Category Archives: Meteorology

Elsa less than forecast for Tampa Bay

As Tropical Storm Elsa was moving north off the west coast of Florida on July 6th, the National Hurricane Center in Miami upgraded Elsa to a hurricane at 1:45pm on the 6th based on an Air Force Recon report that … Continue reading

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2021 North Atlantic Hurricane forecasts

Each spring there are numerous government and private organizations that undertake the task of predicting the North Atlantic Hurricane season.  This year, the 2021 North Atlantic hurricane forecasts are calling for another above-normal hurricane season with between 12 and 20 … Continue reading

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Monster North Pacific Storm Sets Record

As 2020 transitioned into 2021, a rapidly deepening and intense hurricane-force storm over the western North Pacific has set an all-time record low central pressure of 921 mb breaking the previous record of 924 mb recorded on Nov 8th, 2014 … Continue reading

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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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