Towering Cumulus over the London Array

Towering cumulus over the London Array, outer Thames Estuary.  Complex low pressure lies over the North Sea countries.  Watnall balloon suggest unstable to sea surface temperatures with drying up at about 15,ooo ft.  AVHRR image, 1420Z, picks out this development at the end of a cumulus boundary running through the south east.

Atlantic Tropical Storm and Hurricane Forecast

UKMO North Atlantic and Tropical Storm forecast , 1 June 2017, predicts slightly enhanced activity when compared to long term averages. The first storm of the year, Arlene, happened in April.

2017 forecast is:

Tropical Storms (> 39mph wind): 13

Hurricanes (> 74 mph wind): 8

ACE index : 145

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index. A measure of the collective intensity and duration of all named tropical storms and hurricanes during the season.

The first storm of the year, Arlene, happened in April.

Atlantic Hurricane season starts on Wednesday, first of June, what’s in store?

The Atlantic Hurricane seasons starts this week on Wednesday the first of June.

Tropical storm naming is well under way already.  ‘Bonnie’ (featured image) has just been downgraded from ‘Tropical Storm’ to ‘Tropical Depression’ and is the first system to make landfall on the USA this year.

D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH

The question arises as to the expected intensity of the 2016 season.  Theories link the El Nino (ENSO) to the intensity of the hurricane season.  It is thought that higher than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic follow an El Nino and sea surface temperatures feed energy into tropical storm systems.  This has been an El Nino year.  Other observations report unusually cold regions of the Atlantic Ocean further north which may mitigate any warming later in the season.

Reports are a little mixed:

Reuters reports that US meteorologists at NOAA predict greater than average numbers this year.  NOAA’s website itself is sticking to a ‘near normal’ pattern of tropical storms.  Other reports abound.

Always thought that weather forecasting was a tricky business; it makes weather watching interesting though….



East Africa rains takes lives and destroy infrastructure – El Nino?

News reports communicate that heavy rain, flooding and landslides have taken lives and destroyed infrastructure in East Africa over the last month or so.  Some point the finger at El Nino as being the culprit.

The Africa Rainfall Climatology (NOAA NCEP), which estimates rainfall based on satellite derived cloud top temperature fused with station observations and other measurements, shows considerable areas of above average rainfall (see featured image).

Enhanced tropical rainfall in this region is associated with El Nino with its greater than average sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  A chart of current sea surface temperature anomalies follows.

SST Anomaly Apr-May 2016

Latest guidance from NOAA NCEP is that El Nino is present and is weakening.

Carbon Monoxide Plume from Alberta Fires

MODIS imagery from NASA Worldview gave us a clear view of the Fort McMurray forest fires on 6 May 16 with and extensive smoke plume extending towards the south east of the area.

Surface winds appear to be light-ish.  The smoke plume is streaming down the flow in the middle atmospheric layers at 5000 ft.


The Worldview system also allows us to analyse the concentration of the combustion product, CO.  The following split image, covering exactly the same area, shows the more intense area of carbon monoxide in the white and red arc.