Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hurricane Alpha

This is from the Weather Underground blog of Dr. Jeff Masters

"Ever since the formation of two major hurricanes in July made it clear that the Hurricane Season of 2005 was going to challenge 1933 as the busiest season ever, I've been expecting to see the words "Tropical Storm Alpha" emblazoned on a hurricane tracking chart.

Well, we've got the record now.

The formation of Tropical Storm Alpha, the 22nd storm of the season, now makes 2005 the busiest hurricane season of all time. Still, it looks really strange to see the words "Tropical Storm Alpha" on the hurricane tracking charts, and gives a surreal cast to Hurricane Season of 2005 as we approach the Halloween season.

In keeping with the season, we have two very scary storms to talk about. The eye of very dangerous Category 2 Hurricane Wilma is moving offshore the Yucatan mainland this evening, a little earlier than I expected. This makes it more likely Wilma will be a bit stronger at landfall in Florida Monday--perhaps a strong Category 2 with 105 mph winds. We are not good at making intensity forecasts, and Wilma could easily be a Category stronger--or weaker.

The argument for a weaker hurricane goes like this: Wilma's inner eyewall has collapsed, leaving an outer eyewall with diameter 80 miles in place. When an inner eyewall collapses like that, it usually takes at least a day for the eyewall to reform, and by a day from now, Wilma will start experiencing increased wind shear which will weaken her down to a Category 1.

The argument for a stronger hurricane goes like this: Wilma still has a large, intact circulation, and is still a Category 2 hurricane. She will not follow the usual normals (since this is the Hurricane Season of 2005, after all), and will re-intensify quickly over the warm waters that nurtured her rise to Category 5 status this week.

By late Sunday, she will be a Category 3 hurricane again, and large enough and fast moving enough that the shear affecting her will be unable to significantly weaken her. Wilma will make landfall as a major hurricane on Florida's west coast.

So, both scenarios are plausible, and Florida must be prepared for the arrival of a major hurricane on Monday. Landfall anywhere between Sarasota and the Keys is possible. "

And here is a report from Liz in Cancun.

"We evacuated our home in Cancun yesterday and came 200 miles west to Merida. Our home sits about 100 feet away from the beach. The waves were crashing over our 6 foot tall sea wall yesterday before we left and destroyed the palapa that sits about 10 feet out in the water. We fully expect our home and all our belongings to be gone. We lost contact with all of our friends that stayed, cell and land lines are down of course as is power.

We just talked with a friend that says the power is out, phones only working when the generators are running to pump out all the water. He said the hotel is blowing apart (not in the hotel zone) and all you can see when looking outside is a wall of water blowing sideways and pieces of things being shredded by the high winds, some huge."

Cancun is getting pounded for 24 hours.

Isle Mujeres has received more than a yard of rain.

Because this hurricane season has gone through the alphabet,

we now start with Greek letters.

Tropical storm Alpha looks like it is going to go across Haiti

and then out to the Atlantic.

But, the first hurricane ever to form in the south Atlantic

was just last year.

It was the real alpha.

and harbinger of things

to come.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did I not know of this first hurricane off Brazil? thanks for the story.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blogsite is the real hurricane alpha. Keep up these strong winds of truth. MS

11:38 AM  
Blogger SB said...

We stayed in Isle Mujeres in the early 80s, at Ojo de Agua, (eye of water) a fresh water spring just off shore in the gulf.

You stay in lovely cabanas which I am sure have blown away, and snorkled along a reef populated with shells and fish and sea cratures -- a world of life I had no names for, and had never seen before, which were gorgeous.

Wilma novered over the Yukatan leaving in some places 62 inches of rain, that is two yards of rain. With that bright red catastrophic torrent on screen, our news here focused on the projected path aimed at Florida after Cancun slowed down the storm.

But many of us know Cancun, Isle Mujeres, the Yukatan and know how devastating even a small hurricane can be where housing is often strung together with rope and plastic, thatch, a bucket of tar. Of course there are new hotels too. But the people live in open huts and sleep in hammocks hung across walls in the great outdoors.

We won't hear about the devastation in the Yukatan, but it will be there.

We really need to get this thing about one earth family.

1:01 PM  

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