Friday, April 10, 2009

More Storms Coming?

We escaped any storms today as a strong upper disturbance stayed far to our north. However, the next upper system off the southern California coast is on a track farther to the south and that could bring us some severe weather late Easter afternoon into early on Monday. It's too soon to pinpoint the exact time and location, but be alert the second half of this weekend as we're likely to go under a severe weather watch ahead of a cold front that won't arrive until after daybreak on Monday. Hopefully all it will bring is some much needed rainfall.

Well, the National Hurricane Conference did not have any alarmist papers on GW...quite the contrary, there were 2 (Dr. Neil Frank & Dr. Bill Gray) that mentioned why GW was not affecting hurricane frequency & intensity. The main issue was the inadequacy of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. It was originally designed as a wind scale with storm surge added later. What we have learned is that what may work along the east coast doesn't work in the Gulf. Larger storms generate bigger surges so that a large Cat. 3 (Katrina) could have a cat. 5 surge while a small Cat. 4 (Charlie) could only generate a Cat. 2 surge. Several different scales (Integrated Kinetic Energy - IKE, Hurricane Intensity Index) were given but NHC says they will stick with the Saffir-Simpson scale for now. They will start issuing Storm Surge Warnings when water rises of 5 feet or more are expected. We could be under a Storm Surge Warning long before we go under a Hurricane Watch or Warning. I'll have more on that the closer we get to June 1st. Just hearing that there has been a dramatic decrease in sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Atlantic made the Conference for me. Cooler waters "usually" mean fewer & less intense storms. That is my hope as we need several more quiet seasons here and allow the Corps more time to finish the levee upgrades.


Bourbon St. Blues said...

Bob could the NHC develop a scale that a measures wind velocity and a second scale to measure storm surge? We only have to look at Hurricane Ike which was a Cat 2 I believe but with the storm surge acted like a Cat 4 or 5 with all the damage it did to the Texas coastal residence.

Happy Easter get hoppin' and hide those Easter Eggs!!!

Susan said...

Have a very Hoppy Easter Bob!