Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Beach Hazards Statement for the Great LakesAlways hearing about rip currents risk with passing tropical storms or when those long period swells line up just perfectly from a passing storm. The same weather setup can also set up over the great lakes providing some great wave action, but it also poses a risk. The National Weather Service has a whole page dedicated to Great Lakes Hazards including rip currents.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Typhoon Matmo makes Landfall Here
|Image source: http://www.kuriositas.com|
It is called the Dragon Bridge to the Platform of the Three Immortals and you can read more about it here. It looks amazing, the only problem was I found it by looking for what is around the landfall of Typhoon Matmo. It is ironic the only reason I looked into this was by tracking a typhoon. That very typhoon is now lashing this exact spot.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Down the Shore Watch the Wind DirectionGrowing up in Stone Harbor, NJ I loved those west wind (offshore) days since it made for great waves. I could deal with the colder water and since I was in the water or off the beach, the flies didn't bother me. Times have changed now and anytime I am asked about beach weather I always check the wind first, then the chance for sun or rain.
West Wind is Not Good
- Quickly drops the water temperature due to upwelling
- Prevents sea breeze so it gets hot
- Brings in the flies from the marshes and mainland
What to Look for on a Weather Map
A cold front normally means a drop in temperatures, but plan for the opposite at the beach. This was from last week as a large storm over Eastern Canada brought a series of fronts through the Mid-Atlantic. Normally behind the front the wind will be out of the west or northwest. This blows off shore in NJ.
Once the front passed and the wind direction changed the water temperature dropped quickly. So when you see a cold front (blue with triangles) then most likely expect a colder ocean to follow. In this case a day after the front passed the water temperature was stuck in the 50s.
Little or no Sea Breeze
You want the sea breeze to develop to enjoy you day on the beach. Often the temperature drops in the afternoon thanks to an onshore wind. Plus the flies from the back bays and mainland will stay there as the wind is blowing onshore. When there is a west wind the sea breeze can't develop so it will really start to heat up and you will be attacked by black flies, greenheads, and mosquitoes. This is a great article on the sea breeze in New Jersey.
Don't trust your Phone's Temperature Reading
This has gotten a lot better in recent years only due to more data available and better programs pulling that data but you still can't be sure. The official observation site for Atlantic City, NJ is at the airport well inland and that may be what some programs look for when you enter your location. The temperature difference could be 10 to 20 degrees if a sea breeze develops between there and the beach. If you see a west wind then it is probably about the same but you may find it much cooler than what your readings say depending on where the sensor is located.
What to look for:
- Watch for an approaching cold front, that might indicate a wind direction change
- West to northwest winds prevent the sea breeze
- Warmer air temperature
- Colder water temperature
- Flies Everywhere
- Don't trust your phone. Sometimes the air temperature will be much cooler right at the beach then a block or two away
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Still my Favorite Analysis ToolAs my Synoptic Meteorology Professor Dr. Ken Crawford would say, "There is a lot of Meteorology happening there." Seems like that can always be said every time you look at a 1km visible satellite image. Put it into motion and then you have something truly amazing.
Here you go, I won't add any loops so no need to lock the door or dim the lights.
GOES WestStands for Geostationary Operational Earth Satellite and has 2 satellites west and east. Best I found was from Here. Great menu and offers a low and hi res version. This was from July 17th and shows the western US.
|Provided courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison\|
Space Science and Engineering Center
1km Visible Images of the Current Washington State Wildfire
|Got this from the NWS in Pendleton, OR|
The National Weather Service has some great tools to get close up views of any area. This image was from the Pendleton, OR office. These closeup views you can really see what is happening with the weather that day. This shows the smoke from the fire complexes in Washington State along with the low clouds due to the on shore flow in Western Washington.
This Visible Satellite has some limitations:
- Only can be used during daylight hours
- May not distinguish between low and high clouds (Both look white)
- Clouds and snow can look the same
Lots of Meteorology Happening Here
|Photo Courtesy NEXLAB-College of Dupage|
From just this image you can determine:
- Areas affected by the smoke
- Inversions keeping the low clouds and the smoke trapped in the valleys.
- An estimate of the wind direction (Northwest)
A Look from Below
|Washington Department of Transportation|
Smoke has lifted just a bit but you can see the extent of the smoke in this traffic camera which is in Western Washington.
Another Great Resource is NASA
One site that always deserves a daily visit is NASA Earth Observatory. It is not just a satellite gallery but also contains many other graphics that result from NASA research. Along with the image they will often highlight certain features and offer an explanation on the impact of the event.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Rapid Intensification Prior to LandfallRammasun went from a Tropical Storm with 60 mph wind to a Typhoon with 125 mph wind in just 36 hours. The storm made landfall in the Central Philippines Tuesday. The satellite loop shows a clear eye develop around a solid area of thunderstorms just before the storm impacts land.
Warm Water with little Wind Shear
Stremlines and contours is what it may look like but this is a map that charts wind shear. The change of wind direction or speed with height can actually rip apart tropical storms. With very low shear and warm water a storm will not be held back from Intensifying.
|Highlighted area shows an area with low wind shear. This is the area that Rammasun moved through just prior to landfall in the Philippines.|
Just Like Hurricane HumbertoHad to look through a few years of data but remembering where it happened made it a lot easier. Hurricane Humberto went through a similar intensification prior to making landfall in Texas back in 2007.
The data from the National Hurricane Center shows that the storm went from a depression to a Hurricane in under 24 hours.Date: 12-14 SEP 2007 Hurricane-1 HUMBERTO ADV LAT LON TIME WIND PR STAT 1 28.10 -95.20 09/12/15Z 30 1006 TROPICAL DEPRESSION 1A 28.30 -95.10 09/12/18Z 40 1005 TROPICAL STORM 2 28.60 -94.90 09/12/21Z 45 999 TROPICAL STORM 2A 28.80 -94.80 09/13/00Z 45 998 TROPICAL STORM 3 29.00 -94.60 09/13/03Z 55 995 TROPICAL STORM 4 29.40 -94.40 09/13/05Z 70 992 HURRICANE-1 5 29.90 -94.10 09/13/09Z 75 986 HURRICANE-1
|Hurricane Humberto Radar just after Landfall|