Weekly Weather Take 9/4/2016

The story of the weather world this past week was Hurricane Hermine.  She will likely be the story as we move into next week as well.   Meteorologists began tracking the tropical wave that eventually became Hermine on August 18.  The wave took its time to develop as wind shear prevented development in the Central Atlantic Ocean and then the storm moved through the mountainous islands of the Caribbean.  Finally last Sunday August 28 the wave became a Tropical Depression.
Wave and Storm Surge damage Alligator Point, FL (FOX 13 News)
It took several more days for the depression to organize into a tropical storm.  Finally on Wednesday August 31 the depression was christened Tropical Storm Hermine.  Hermine steadily strengthened as she moved North-Northeast towards the Big Bend of Florida.  On Thursday afternoon the storm began to quickly intensify into a category 1 Hurricane.  Its a good thing the storm ran out of ocean because Hermine was on her way to becoming a strong Hurricane.   Next she moved into Georgia bringing heavy rain and wind even as the storm weakened back to a Tropical Storm.
Tree on house in Valdosta, GA (AP photo Russ Bynum)
The storm then battered North Carolina and Virginia with storm surge, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes before moving into the Atlantic.  Now it is our turn in the northeast to track the storm.  Hermine will stay offshore but she is expected to slowly turn north through Tuesday morning.  As a result high surf and some storm surge will impact everyone from Viginia Beach, VA to York Beach, ME.  Tropical Storm conditions are likely across Coastal NJ, Long Island, and Southern New England South of Providence beginning this evening.
Waves/Coastal Flooding Outer Banks. NC (image NBCNews)
A Tropical Storm Warnings remains in effect from Virginia to the CT/RI border.  A tropical storm watch is in effect for the RI coast and the Cape.  The South coasts of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are under Tropical Storm Warnings.
NHC 11 AM forecast track Hermine
For a Southern New England perspective bands of rain showers will rotate inland beginning overnight tonight through Monday.  There is a 40-60% chance of tropical storm force winds in the yellow, orange and brown bands on this map.  There is a moderate chance of power outages in these regions but not widespread.  I'm surprised RI/Cape Cod is not in the Tropical Storm Warning while portions of Delaware and Virginia are.  Thankfully the forecast is a bit off for NJ/DE/MD but meteorologists will hear it for hyping the storm in this region.  That is a topic I will look at next week.
NWS Boston Tropical Storm Force Wind Probability 
We could use a lot of rain from this system but we aren't going to get a ton.  These tropical storm force winds will occur when the rain bands move in so please be aware of that tomorrow.  That said SE MA will do well with rain.  Latest guidance is trending wetter.
WPC 1-3 day precipitation forecast 
We will take the precipitation as the 2 year drought continues to increase in severity.  Extreme and severe drought are both expanding.  I'd like the rain a bit farther north but that's unlikely.
8-30-16 drought monitor 
Meteorological Summer is in the Books
August ended up the warmest on record in Boston by a full degree!  2016 also goes in the books as the driest summer on record in Boston.  In meteorology we use June-July-August as summer, not the traditional solar summer.
NWS Boston Summer 2016 climate summary
More on this as the data becomes official.

Meteorological History
It was 20 years ago this weekend that I became hooked by the weather.  I was 7 years old and something about Hurricane Edouard caught my eye on the local news.  Rather than scared I was excited to see what a Hurricane could do.  The storm ended up turning out to sea but it still brought some strong winds and rain to Southern New England. Nantucket saw wind gusts up to 90 mph.  After that I ditched cartoons for the Tropical Update.  I annoyed everyone in my house (back when we had 1 TV) because I had to watch the Weather Channel at 50 past the hour from June until November.  A few days after Edouard Hurricane Fran rocked North Carolina and that kind of sealed the deal on what kind of career I wanted to have.  My brothers know more about hurricanes than they ever cared to because when I was grounded I'd give them a couple bucks to watch the tropical update for me and write down all the information. After 9/11 I briefly considered the military/FBI (who didn't want to be Jack Bauer) but when it came down to applying for college I only applied to meteorology schools.   Here we are 20 years later tracking another storm that will bring some wind and rain.  It seems appropriate.

Weather and Science Links of the Week

1) Mike Rucker of the Tallahassee Democrat looks at Hermine by the numbers

2) A 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook the Plains yesterday.  As a result Oklahoma ordered the shutdown of 37 fracking wells.  Some background information on Oklahoma earthquakes/fracking here from the Oklahoma government.

3) WGBH looks at the impact the New England drought is having on the Charles River and the concerns over blue-green algae

4) CNN regurgitated a study that finds female hurricanes are more deadly than man hurricanes because people don't take the female storms as serious.  The Washington Post ran this article from June of 2014.  A few quick thoughts of mine

  • If that's true you a jackass and deserve anything that happens to you in a hurricane
  • Its probably not true
  • 1800 people died in Katrina because of bad emergency planning and a historic hurricane not because it was named Katrina and not Karl
  • Sandy is a man and female name so who gets the blame for the 100+ deaths?
  • Up until 1979 only female names were used
5) A satellite test launch for Facebook coverage in Africa went bad this week as the SpaceX exploded.  No one was hurt but watch and read about it on Wired.com

6) Andrew Freedman of Mashable looks at the British sailboat Northabout trek through the Arctic Ocean during the sea ice melt season

7) Lightning kills 323 reindeer in Norway and 19 cows in Texas 

One more Hermine update tonight.  Have a great day.

-Zack Green


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