Extraordinarily Nice Weather on the Way for the Eastern U.S. This Weekend

Dennis Mersereau · 09/10/15 03:39PM

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.

Weather Channel Ends Its Rumspringa, Decides It Wants to Focus on Weather After All

Dennis Mersereau · 09/09/15 03:08PM

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.

Despite El Niño, Atlantic Ocean Keeps Cranking Out Tropical Cyclones

Dennis Mersereau · 09/08/15 02:35PM

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.

Dennis Mersereau · 09/05/15 05:27PM

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.

Weekend Rain Should Help Firefighters Battle Raging Fires in the Northwest

Dennis Mersereau · 09/03/15 12:59PM

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 Typhoon and a Hurricane Are the Same, So Why Do We Call Them Different Names?

Dennis Mersereau · 09/01/15 03:57PM

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?

Summer's Revenge: September to Begin With a Blast of Heat and Humidity

Dennis Mersereau · 08/31/15 04:12PM

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.

Tropical Storm Erika Croaks, But Heavy Rain Is Still Possible in Florida 

Dennis Mersereau · 08/29/15 04:45PM

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.

Deadly Flash Flooding Possible as Tropical Storm Erika Aims for Puerto Rico

Dennis Mersereau · 08/27/15 05:43PM

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.

Tropical Storm Erika Could Break Florida's 3,594-Day Hurricane-Free Streak

Dennis Mersereau · 08/26/15 02:43PM

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.

Tropical Storm Erika Could Either Threaten the U.S. Next Week or Fall Apart into Nothing

Dennis Mersereau · 08/25/15 02:53PM

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.

Understanding Storm Surge, the Deadliest and Most Overlooked Hazard in Hurricanes

Dennis Mersereau · 08/24/15 02:57PM

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.

Hawaii Under Hurricane Threat; Atlantic's Danny Explodes into a Major Hurricane

Dennis Mersereau · 08/21/15 03:41PM

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.

Hurricane Danny Eyes Caribbean as Three More Storms Try to Take Shape

Dennis Mersereau · 08/20/15 03:18PM

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.

'Twin Typhoons' Spinning in Western Pacific, Taiwan and Japan at Risk

Dennis Mersereau · 08/19/15 02:55PM

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.

Tropical Storm Danny Forms in Atlantic, Moving Toward Caribbean (Updated)

Dennis Mersereau · 08/18/15 02:35PM

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.