Most of the time when you see a post here on The Vane, it’s about some horrible weather event somewhere that killed lots of people and destroyed most of their belongings. I have good news for once! We’re about to have an exceptionally nice weekend across the eastern United States, featuring crisp temperatures and mostly clear skies. Such a universally nice weekend is rare, so enjoy it while you can.
Years ago, The Learning Channel dumped learning in favor of Honey Boo Boo and a family led by a couple that doesn’t know how to just sit and talk at night. The History Channel slowly went from history to Hitler to the Harrisons, and The Weather Channel—once a force so powerful in America that it was the authority on weather—followed that same misguided path, eschewing the perpetual map briefings that turned them into a powerhouse to begin airing reality programs about pudgy beards, people anxiously ogling at rocks, and the foibles of a buncha rushin’, cussin’ truckers.
This Saturday is the climatological peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s been a weird year with about seven storms so far, and we still have more than two months until it’s over. The season could have been worse if it weren’t for El Niño conditions out in the Pacific Ocean, which saves the butt of many coastal residents around the Atlantic during this time of the year.
Tropical Storm Grace formed near the Cape Verde Islands this afternoon. It will follow roughly the same path as Danny and Erika before it, and it’ll probably fizzle out in the dry air and wind shear. Meanwhile, Fred—a questionable tropical depression at best—is still hanging on by a thread. Neither storm will pose a threat to land in the next five days.
The United States is in a weather drought right now—there’s not much to talk about outside of the tropics. However, this weekend will feature some active weather in an area they need it the most. Heavy rain is possible in the interior northwest around Idaho and Montana over the next several days, potentially aiding firefighters in their war against raging wildfires that are burning hundreds of thousands of acres of land, covering the region in a thick blanket of smoke.
A tropical cyclone is an iconic storm that strikes fear (or laughter) in the heart of coastal residents around the world. Most of these low pressure systems over the ocean are weak, but some can grow into monsters. If they’re all the same kind of storm, though, why do we call them different names around the world?
Today is the last day of meteorological summer, and it’s been a long, boring three months. Save for a couple of tropical storms and a derecho or two, there weren’t many weather events that commanded attention. The big story has been the heat and humidity, and that’s what will continue through the first half of September.
Remember Erika? The mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba tore it to bits, and the National Hurricane Center declared it dead at 9:30 this morning. All that tropical moisture has to go somewhere, though, and Florida could still see several inches of rain from its remnants. Tropical downpours on saturated soil will lead to the potential for dangerous flooding, so it’s not something to take lightly.
Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida this morning in anticipation of Tropical Storm Erika’s arrival this weekend and early next week. The storm’s disorganized nature and erratic motion is making it a nightmare to forecast. Here’s what you need to know about Erika as it draws closer to the U.S.
Tropical Storm Erika is a mess today, barely holding itself together as it draws closer to Puerto Rico. Despite its ragged appearance, the storm is producing very heavy rain along its path; devastating flooding on the small island of Dominica killed at least four people last night. Erika is still a threat to Florida, and current forecasts show the storm closing in on the Sunshine State as a hurricane early next week.
We’re fast approaching ten years since the last hurricane made landfall in Florida. Hurricane Wilma struck the southwestern tip of the state on October 24, 2005, and ever since then, this hurricane-prone panhandle has been incredibly lucky. That could change in the coming days if the forecasts hold true.
Social media is buzzing this afternoon over the possibility that Tropical Storm Erika could strengthen into a hurricane and threaten the U.S. East Coast next week. However, the forecast is far from certain, and the storm could either make landfall or fall apart or swerve out to sea. Predicting the future is hard, and Tropical Storm Erika represents one of those frustrating limits of weather forecasting.
Whenever a hurricane threatens land, almost all of the focus is on preparing for the strong winds. It’s not always the wind that gets you—it’s the water. The storm surge in a hurricane is arguably the greatest threat with these landfalling terrors, and it’s one that too many people seem to ignore until it’s too late.
Summer weather is characterized by long periods of mind-numbing monotony followed by short bursts of terrifying chaos. We’re in one of those chaotic periods right now, where the August doldrums collapsed and gave us a tiny but powerful hurricane in the Atlantic, and a potential hurricane threatening Hawaii next week.
Talk about feast or famine—it’s like the tropics looked at the calendar and decided that they needed to shift into high gear. Not only are we tracking Hurricane Danny as it makes its way toward the Caribbean this weekend, but there are three more systems—two in the Atlantic and one in the central Pacific—that could try to develop into tropical cyclones as we head through next week.
Fraternal twins were born in the western Pacific Ocean this weekend. Two typhoons—Goni and Atsani—developed at the same time within a few hundred miles of each other, but each storm took on a life of its own and will have dramatically different outcomes. Typhoon Goni poses the greatest threat to land, coming dangerously close to countries like Taiwan and Japan.
A new tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean is going to get a lot of play in the news over the next couple of days as official forecasts expect it to become Hurricane Danny by the end of this weekend. The system has plenty of obstacles along its path and it’s a long way from land, but we’re nearing the peak of hurricane season, so it’s worth watching closely.