Sunday, September 24, 2017

Latest Rainfall Amount Forecast

Here is the 2-day rainfall up to 1pm today.


Please keep in mind that on the scale of this product, yellow = 2.5 inches. As much as five inches has fallen in a small area of far west Texas (the image immediately above). You can click any of the images and they will enlarge.

Here is the updated rainfall forecast from 7pm this evening to 7pm Thursday.
There is still the potential for flooding in west and south central Texas from these rains. Elsewhere, the rain will mostly be welcomed for agriculture and for water resource management purposes.

Sunday 11am EDT: Hurricane Maria Update

The latest satellite image is below. Wind speeds have dropped into the 95-105 mph range.

Here is the forecast of the center of Maria.
It is not forecast to make landfall. However, the storm is generating dangerous surf and rip currents throughout the coast. In addition, high winds will brush the Outer Banks.

Sunday Special: Diving into a Fire

That is one of the most stunning photos I have seen. It is of a fire suppression aircraft diving into a fire's smoke plume to drop chemicals onto a fire.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday: 11:40 EDT Maria Update

Here is the latest forecast path of Maria. As it will be a hurricane off the North Carolina coast, the center is not expected to make landfall. That said, residents of the Outer Banks should be aware of the potential for high winds as the storm passes by. More on that tomorrow.

Rainfall Amount Forecast Update


Rains have begun to fall from Minnesota to New Mexico.

Here is the seven day rainfall forecast. A small area of 11 inches of rain is forecast to fall near the Rio Grande near Del Rio. Flooding is a risk in much of western Texas, especially in the Hill Country.

Saturday 10:10am Update on Maria

Here an update on Hurricane Maria.
M=major hurricane (Cat 3) and H=weaker hurricane. The storm is expected to slow and move closer to the United States than originally thought. 

Flood Threat in Texas; Need Rains in the Great Plains

The Texas Hill Country south to the border are at risk of flooding over the next few days. Farther north, needed rains are forecast to fall on the central and northern Plains and Upper Midwest.


10:10EDT Saturday: Update on Hurricane Maria

It is still out there, unfortunately. Cuba is at lower left.

Here is the three-day track forecast.
Beyond three days, there is a possibility the storm will come near the United States before moving out to sea. I'll update this evening with later information.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Did Meteorologists Fail in Forecasting Irma?

Some people seem to believe so (I won't bother to post all of the links).

Here is my reply. I want to thank Slate magazine. They were great to work with.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Please, Please Donate to Disaster Relief Services!!!

I cannot stress this enough. Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean desperately needs our help. 
  • No power on PR for four to six months, a year to restore power to everyone. 
  • Dominica flattened.
  • Barbuda flattened.
  • Severe damage to St. Martin. 
I have done some research on which charities to donate. Please do your own research. But here are the ones Kathleen and I have donated to:

There was a news story yesterday about "donor fatigue" and I get it. But, if you have a roof over your head, three meals, sufficient water, electricity, and medical care you are far better off than the people in the Caribbean. Please give as much money, over and above your normal donations, as you can afford. 

Thank you. 

11:45am EDT Thursday Update on Maria

Here is the latest satellite image of Hurricane Maria.

Here is the forecast path of Maria. After the vicinity of the Turks and Caicos, Maria will move into the open ocean. It is no threat to the United States.
As the purpose of this blog is weather forecasting and storm warnings rather than news coverage, this will be the last update on Maria.

Why Don't Hurricane Hunters Fly Over Land?

The Hurricane Hunters are incredibly important to the accurate forecasts of hurricanes. The National Hurricane Center wrote this yesterday afternoon.

One of our readers asked me this question and while I thought I knew the answer, I wanted to be sure. So, I asked Dennis Felgen of the National Hurricane Center.  His answer:

There is a lot of up and down and side to side pushing by the hurricane onto the aircraft (like being on a roller coaster in a car wash).  If the aircraft were to fly over land during this turbulence it would have to deal with the structures on the land and the variable terrain itself.  And that is too dangerous. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

8pm EDT Wednesday, Update on Hurricane Maria

The mountains of Puerto Rico pretty well tore Maria apart but from satellite images, it appears to be regains organization and, likely, strength.
Maria has taken a bit of a westward jog and it looks like it will move over or very close to the coast of the Dominican Republic. With the likely intensification, people in the DR will need to prepare for a major storm. Haiti will feel the outer effects but is not going to suffer a direct hit.

Here is the 5-day hurricane forecast.
I was asked on the air this afternoon, and elsewhere, whether I knew Florida was safe from Maria. I am. I believe it is unlikely Maria will hit the United States but the effects of Tropical Storm Jose´ interacting with Maria make this forecast a bit tricker than usual. Besides, our ability to forecast hurricanes beyond about five days is marginal at best.

So, relax for now and if you live in the Northeast, I'll let you know if/when it is time to be concerned.

A Blog Housekeeping Note

As you know, the policy changed a couple of years ago and I now delete blog posts pertaining to "routine" weather and storm warnings.

However, I am going to keep the warnings for this year's hurricanes and related items in case some researcher might find them useful in the future.


Also, a reminder that if you would like my full storm coverage, please follow me on Twitter: @usweatherexpert .

Hello Ft. Wayne

I will be on The Pat Miller Show at 5:08pm on WOWO Radio in Ft. Wayne this evening. Please consider tuning in.

Catastrophe for Puerto Rico

The eye of Maria is just southwest of San Juan. As feared, the storm took the worst possible path.

As meteorologist Pam Knox said about this process a couple of weeks ago: Being a meteorologist during these hurricanes is like being a passenger on the Titanic and seeing the iceberg ahead."

The storm made landfall at 6:15am AST/EDT. The winds ahead of the eye caused both radars on the island to fail. Here is what the wind pattern looked like on the last image. San Juan circled at top.
The radar shows widespread winds above 120 mph. Highest sustained winds were estimated at 155 mph. Now that the storm has traveled over land, the winds are estimated near 140 mph near San Juan (no radar image available). The latest satellite image is below.
This is an utter catastrophe for St. Croix and Puerto Rico. They are going to require immediate and effect help that is going to cost a great deal of money. 

Here is the three-day track forecast.

Here is the Weirdest Story in a While

Perhaps politicians should do some due diligence on their sign language interpreters.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

10:55pm Tuesday Update on Maria

As of 11pm EDT/AST, winds in Maria are 175mph. In mountainous areas and on the higher stories of buildings (i.e., hotels) winds could gust to 190 mph or higher. Severe flash flooding will occur. 

Hurricane force winds are now occurring on St. Croix, US VI. 

Revised time of arrivals: The eye will reach the southeast coast of Puerto Rico between 6:30 and 8am AST ( = EDT). 5:30am and 7am. The eye will reach San Juan about 2 hours later. 

The damage will be catastrophic. Puerto Rico's government declared bankruptcy. I am hoping that will not retard relief efforts.

Here is the radar image as of 10:45pm AST/EDT.


Here is the satellite image at 10:15pm AST/EDT.

Houston NWS Meteorologists and What They Went Through During Hurricane Harvey

HGX = National Weather Service in Houston.
Yes, meteorologists -- surprisingly often -- are heroes in the full definition of the term.

Hat tip: NWS Houston and National Weather Assn.

8pm EDT, Maria Update

Hurricane Maria's sustained winds are now 175 mph with a minimum pressure of 909mb. It is one of the 10 strongest hurricanes in the history of the Atlantic Basin. Its path forecast is unchanged.

Addition at 9pm: At the current rate, the eye would be near San Juan around 9a-Noon Eastern Daylight Time which is the same as Atlantic Standard Time (the local time in Puerto Rico).