Category Archives: Meteorology

Tampa Bay Hurricane Storm Surge Scenarios

While no storm scenario is a good one for the Tampa Bay area, the worst case is when the hurricane center is located north of the Tampa Bay entrance such that the maximum winds associated with the eye wall occur at the mouth of the bay with storms making landfall farther north result in lower surges. Continue reading

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What is a Storm Surge?

Storm Surge is the abnormal sea level elevations (or depressions) caused by winds and atmospheric pressure. The components are: 1. Coastal set up (down) by the along shore wind stress.  In deep water, the Earth’s rotation causes a water to … Continue reading

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Tropical Cyclone Wind Speed probability graphic

In addition to the familiar National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) hurricane track forecast with it’s iconic cone, the NHC also produces a wind speed probabilities graphic. Continue reading

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Hurricane Force storms over North Atlantic Shipping Lanes

A strong 500 mb jet is setting up west to east across the North Atlantic over the next couple of days near 40N latitude. This will favor strong storm development across the main North Atlantic shipping lanes.  Expecting storm to … Continue reading

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Use of the 500 mb Chart at Sea

The 500mb forecast chart is an excellent tool for mariners to estimate where to anticipate the heaviest sea and swell conditions as well as a guide to the expected surface storm tracks and intensities.  The closer the height contours on … Continue reading

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Tale of Two Hemispheres

Interesting split in SST temperatures for the Northern Hemisphere vs. the Southern Hemisphere.  The Northern Hemisphere SST anomaly is predominately warmer than normal while the Southern Hemisphere appears to be mostly cooler than normal. NOAA Global SST Anomaly https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2019/anomnight.8.8.2019.gif   … Continue reading

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What does a “Gale Warning” mean?

The National Weather Service has developed a multi-tier concept for forecasting hazardous weather which includes outlooks, watches, warnings and advisories.  Below are the visual day flag and nighttime light signals that warn of rough weather.  NOAA discontinued using the flags in … Continue reading

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URGENT “Notice to Mariners” – Changes to NOAA marine products effective March 7th, 2018

By Lee Chesneau Lee is a senior marine meteorologist, lecturer, & a graduate from the University of Wisconsin (Madison).   Lee has had a distinguished career with NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), NOAA Satellite Service (NESDIS), U.S. Navy Ship Routing Officer … Continue reading

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High Wind and Wave Events Crossing the Gulf Stream

Crossing the Gulf Stream where ocean currents can exceed 2 knots takes some skill and if you try in under certain weather conditions, could be dangerous for any size vessel.  High wind and wave events can occur under certain conditions … Continue reading

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What does a Small Craft Advisory mean?

The National Weather Service has developed a multi-tier concept for forecasting hazardous weather which includes outlooks, watches, warnings and advisories. An outlook is issued to indicate that a hazardous weather or hydrologic event may occur over the next several days. … Continue reading

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