January 15, 2016

Hurricane Alex Heads for Greenland

As we previously reported the extraordinary North Atlantic cyclone called Alex became a hurricane yesterday. This morning (UTC) we wake to discover that in their most recent update on his progress the National Hurricane Center are predicting that even though Alex has now weakened slightly he will carry his hurricane force winds all the way to Greenland:

According to their interim bulletin 6A:

CONDITIONS [ARE] DETERIORATING OVER THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN AZORES…
HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF THE AZORES LATER
THIS MORNING…

SUMMARY OF 200 AM AST…0600 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…35.5N 27.3W
ABOUT 220 MI…355 KM S OF TERCEIRA ISLAND IN THE CENTRAL AZORES
ABOUT 230 MI…365 KM SSE OF FAIAL ISLAND IN THE CENTRAL AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…80 MPH…130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 10 DEGREES AT 22 MPH…35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…984 MB…29.06 INCHES

The more detailed discussion from 3 hours earlier points out that:

The cyclone should begin extratropical transition in the next few hours, and the global models suggest there will be enough baroclinic forcing to maintain hurricane-force winds through and after the transition despite the cold water.

Based on this and input from the Ocean Prediction Center, the new intensity forecast shows little change in strength until Alex is absorbed by a large extratropical low in about 72 hours.

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Comments on Hurricane Alex Heads for Greenland »

January 15, 2016

Jim @ 9:51 am

NHC public advisory 7 for Alex states that:

ALEX WEAKENS SLIGHTLY WHILE IT MOVES CLOSER TO THE AZORES…
HURRICANE CONDITIONS STILL EXPECTED OVER THE CENTRAL AZORES
LATER THIS MORNING…

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST…0900 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…36.8N 27.0W
ABOUT 130 MI…210 KM S OF TERCEIRA ISLAND IN THE CENTRAL AZORES
ABOUT 155 MI…250 KM SE OF FAIAL ISLAND IN THE CENTRAL AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 5 DEGREES AT 23 MPH…37 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…986 MB…29.12 INCHES

Alex is now forecast to make a sudden turn to the west off Southern Greenland:

The NHC's most recent detailed discussion puts it this way:

Alex is expected to be steered northward and then northwestward over the next couple of days within deep cyclonic flow in the eastern periphery of a large extratropical low centered over the northwestern Atlantic near Newfoundland.

Here's the United States' Ocean Prediction Center's current 48 hour forecast:

Jim @ 11:37 am

The NHC's interim public advisory bulletin 7A states that:

CENTER OF ALEX NEARING TERCEIRA ISLAND…
HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED IN THE CENTRAL AZORES DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…38.0N 26.9W
ABOUT 50 MI…80 KM SSE OF TERCEIRA ISLAND IN THE CENTRAL AZORES
ABOUT 105 MI…170 KM ESE OF FAIAL ISLAND IN THE CENTRAL AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 5 DEGREES AT 24 MPH…39 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…986 MB…29.12 INCHES

Here's what the SpotAzores surfcam at Angra do Heroismo reveals at the moment:

and here is Magic Seaweed's current surf forecast for the vicinity:

Jim @ 2:47 pm

Alex's winds have dropped to 70 mph, and he has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. According to the NHC's public advisory bulletin 8:

ALEX WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM…
NOW MOVING AWAY FROM THE AZORES…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…39.3N 27.0W
ABOUT 35 MI…55 KM N OF TERCEIRA IN THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 28 MPH…44 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…986 MB…29.12 INCHES

The Azores Meteorological Service has discontinued the hurricane and tropical storm warning for the Azores.

Satellite and surface data indicate that Alex made landfall on the island of Terceira around 915 AM AST (1315 UTC) as a tropical storm with an intensity of 70 mph (110 km/h).

Alex's wind speeds are forecast to increase once again, as you can see from the latest forecast track:

Reginald Perrin @ 4:44 pm

It's difficult keeping up, you have been so busy since you returned.
Reggie on the otherhand has taken a hiatus from twitter and won't return until March 19

Jim @ 7:22 pm

There's a lot to keep up with Reggie! Alex is more than a touch unusual so the forecasters don't have a lot of precedents to follow, or so it seems to me at least.

Here's a picture of Alex after he passed over the central Azores earlier today, courtesy of NASA's Suomi satellite:

Jim @ 8:49 pm

The United States' National Hurricane Center has just issued it's last advisory bulletin concerning what they now refer to as post-tropical cyclone Alex:

ALEX BECOMES EXTRATROPICAL…
THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…43.0N 27.8W
ABOUT 290 MI…470 KM N OF TERCEIRA IN THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 350 DEGREES AT 40 MPH…65 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…986 MB…29.12 INCHES

Satellite images and surface observations indicate that Alex has lost its tropical characteristics.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 36 hours, and the post-tropical cyclone is forecast to merge with another extratropical cyclone by Sunday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 485 miles (780 km) from the center.

The NHC's last forecast track for post-tropical cyclone Alex looks like this:

Where should we now turn for more information on Alex's seemingly inexorable progress towards Greenland?

More on that tomorrow!

January 16, 2016

Jim @ 10:17 am

In this morning's update on ex Hurricane Alex we head over to the United States' National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center where we can read the following:

HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING…
24 HOUR FORECAST POST-TROPICAL ALEX 57N40W 975 MB.
WITHIN 240 NM NW QUADRANT WINDS 50 TO 70 KT. SEAS 18 TO 30 FT.
ALSO WITHIN 360 NM N AND NW QUADRANTS WINDS 35 TO 50 KT. SEAS 14 TO 26 FT.
ELSEWHERE WITHIN 480 NM N AND NE…300 NM SE AND 960 NM S
QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 10 TO 20 FT.

48 HOUR FORECAST POST-TROPICAL ALEX 52N51W 982 MB. WITHIN 60 NM N OF A LINE FROM 56N51W TO 59N42W TO 62N35W WINDS 40 TO 55 KT. SEAS 18 TO 30 FT.

ALSO N OF A LINE FROM 60N41W TO 62N35W WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 12 TO 21 FT.
ELSEWHERE WITHIN 480 NM SW QUADRANT WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 10 TO 17 FT.

You will note that "30 ft seas" are forecast and that the forecasters signature includes the words "NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER".

Personally I think a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is the OPC's current synoptic chart for the North Atlantic:

which shows Alex with a minimum central pressure of 980 hPa and mentions "Developing hurricane force winds". Here also is the forecast for 48 hours from now, which shows Alex as having been "absorbed" into a 972 hPa minimum central pressure system south of Greenland which will be sending some welcome swell across the North Atlantic in the general direction of us over here in Soggy South West England:

Finally, for the moment at least, here's some videos of not quite a Hurricane Alex's arrival in the Azores:

Jim @ 8:18 pm

By way of a change, here's a perhaps more visually appealing surface pressure chart than the OPC ones, courtesy of the United Kingdom's Met(eoroloigical) Office, which as luck would have it is just down the road from us in Exeter. This one's from 12:00 UTC today:

It shows Alex as a 975 hPa low still heading inexorably towards the almost stationary 962 hPa low spinning between Newfoundland and Greenland.

Some long distance swell from Alex is currently due to arrive here on the north coast of South West England some time tomorrow:

The wind is forecast to be offshore too, so a trip to the seaside may well be the order of the day tomorrow afternoon!

L_M @ 9:38 pm

Great work
The last few months have been entertaining and since the beginning of this 16 day old year is absolute proof of #global_weirding.
Bernie Sanders is making climate change a major issue and Clinton will have to take a clear position. Meanwhile Sanders is now leading with under 45 year olds. The GOP is melting down and their pseuo-science may come back to bitr them in the a$$.
Reggie isn't real, he is a crude _ALGOREithm that isb a long way from passing the Turing Test but will easily defy explanation unless you have seen the 15 year old flow chart that lead to #reggie

Steve Goddard and his malicous minions are trolling Youtube and believe it or not, they are mocking Vallevy and his crew. The keyboard warriors are mocking men who have accomplished incredible feats. Maybe #tony_the_lessor is insecure about his manhood so he is compensating.

I was banned from real stupid science when I asked tony to delete the nasty comments towards Clease and Midler. What gets heller's panties in a wad is the fact that nobody of any consequence pays him the least attention.

Careful what you wish for because dreams often come true.
Goddard is about to get attention but not exactly the kind he desires.

January 17, 2016

Jim @ 12:06 pm

This morning's update from the NWS Ocean Prediction Center reads as follows:

HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING..

LOW 54N50W 977 MB MOVING S 05 KT. FRONT EXTENDS FROM LOW TO 58N35W. WITHIN 300 NM N OF THE FRONT W OF 40W WINDS 50 TO 70 KT. SEAS 19 TO 33 FT.

ALSO WITHIN 240 NM S QUADRANT AND N OF 60N BETWEEN 35W AND E GREENLAND COAST WINDS 35 TO 50 KT. SEAS 12 TO 18 FT. ELSEWHERE OVER FORECAST WATERS N OF 50N WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 10 TO 15 FT.

24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 53N51W 980 MB. FROM 58N TO 62N BETWEEN 40W AND 48W WINDS 40 TO 55 KT. SEAS 15 TO 28 FT.
ELSEWHERE N OF 52N W OF 50W AND N OF 57N E OF 45W WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 12 TO 24 FT.

48 HOUR FORECAST LOW 56N60W 972 MB. FROM 58N TO 60N BETWEEN 35W AND 58W WINDS 40 TO 55 KT. SEAS 18 TO 30 FT.
ELSEWHERE OVER FORECAST WATERS N OF 57N WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 10 TO 22 FT.

There will now be a brief hiatus in our coverage of ex Hurricane Alex, because we're heading for the coast shortly. We confidently expect a gentle offshore breeze and seas more like 3 ft than 33ft!

January 18, 2016

Jim @ 6:32 pm

Here's the 00:00 UTC surface pressure chart for the North Atlantic from the NWS Ocean Prediction Center:

It shows Alex as now having been absorbed into the low pressure system south of Greenland. Note also another system with central pressure of 976 hPa currently located south of Newfoundland.

This morning's update from the OPC still mentions those "hurricane force winds" though:

http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/NFDHSFAT1.shtml

HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING…
LOW 54N40W 977 MB MOVING NW 30 KT. OVER FORECAST WATERS FROM 55N TO 60N E OF 48W…AND BETWEEN 35W AND A LINE FROM 49N35W TO 53N40W TO 52N49W TO 41N40W TO 39N35W. WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 14 TO 32 FT…HIGHEST NEAR 44N38W.

06 HOUR FORECAST LOW 56N42W 978 MB. FROM 57N TO 60N BETWEEN 38W AND 48W WINDS 40 TO 55 KT. SEAS 16 TO 23 FT.

12 HOUR FORECAST LOW 57N52W 977 MB. FROM 58N TO 60N BETWEEN 43W AND 50W WINDS 50 TO 65 KT. SEAS 20 TO 30 FT.

24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 57N59W 974 MB. FROM 59N TO 61N BETWEEN 43W AND 49W WINDS 35 TO 50 KT. SEAS 12 TO 25 FT. ELSEWHERE OVER ICE FREE WATERS WITHIN 120 NM E AND 300 NM N QUADRANTS…ALSO N OF 60N E OF GREENLAND WINDS 25 TO 40 KT. SEAS 10 TO 20 FT.

48 HOUR FORECAST LOW DISSIPATED.

They then go on to mention that other low:

CONDITIONS DESCRIBED BELOW WITH LOW 56N48W.

which we will be following in greater detail in due course.

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