Monday, October 15, 2012

Tropical Storms -
Tropical Storm Rafael is intensifying, but is headed northwards away from the Lesser Antilles Islands, after bringing gusty winds and heavy rains to the islands over the past two days. Three-day rainfall amounts of 2 - 3" were common over the Leeward Islands, but the winds mostly stayed below tropical storm force.
Satellite loops show that Rafael had gotten much more organized late Sunday morning, with an impressive spiral band with very heavy thunderstorms to the east of the center. Heavy thunderstorms with cold cloud tops are forming over the center, the hallmark of an intensifying tropical storm. The Hurricane Hunters found a central pressure of 997 mb, and winds at their 5,000-foot flight level of 68 mph. Rafael is experiencing a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear.
Wind shear is expected to remain in the moderate range through Tuesday, which should allow Rafael to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane. Heavy rains will continue over the Leeward Islands and diminish on Monday. A tropical storm watch has been posted for Bermuda, which is at risk of seeing tropical storm-force winds from Rafael on Tuesday. The models are pretty tightly clustered showing a track for Rafael to the east of Bermuda, which would put the island on the weaker (left front) side of the storm.

Tropical Storm Paul formed Saturday in the East Pacific, and is headed northwards towards Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Paul's formation brings this year's tally of named storms in the East Pacific to sixteen, making 2012 JUST THE THIRD YEAR SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1949 that both the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic have had at least sixteen named storms. The other years were 2003 and 2008.

Tropical Cyclone Anais, in the Southwest Pacific early Sunday, was a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds, THE STRONGEST TROPICAL CYCLONE EVER OBSERVED IN THE SW PACIFIC SO EARLY IN THEIR HURRICANE SEASON, which typically runs from November to May.
It's springtime in the Southern Hemisphere, where the UNUSUAL tropical cyclone has formed. Anais' formation in mid-October is akin to getting a major hurricane in the Atlantic during April, something which has never occurred (the earliest major hurricane on record in the Atlantic occurred on May 21, 1951.) Anais is the second earliest hurricane of any kind to form so early in the Southwest Pacific tropical cyclone season, after Tropical Cyclone Blanche of October 10, 1969. Anais may reach Category 4 strength before cooler waters and increased wind shear weaken the storm as it approaches Madagascar. (satellite images)

**Perfection is not attainable,
but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.**
Vince Lombardi

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/14/12 -

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical storm Rafael was located about 235 mi [380 km] NNE of San Juan Puerto Rico. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Bermuda. Tropical-storm-force winds are possible in Bermuda by Tuesday afternoon or evening.

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical storm Paul was located approximately 605 mi [970 km] SW of the southern tip of Baja California. Paul could become a hurricane early oday. Strong upper-level winds should then cause Paul to weaken back to a tropical storm on Tuesday.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon 22w (Prapiroon) was located approximately 290 nm south-east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
- Tropical storm Maria was located about 320 nm south of Iwo To, Japan.

In the Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Anais was located approximately 540 nm southwest of Diego Garcia.

The outer bands of Tropical Storm Rafael drenched the Caribbean's Northern Leeward Islands with heavy rain on Sunday as its center steadily moved over open ocean on a possible track toward Bermuda. Rafael could turn into a hurricane by today. A tropical storm warning has been discontinued for the Virgin Islands as Tropical Storm Rafael churns away from that area of the eastern Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Paul is lumbering across the eastern Pacific, well southwest of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

A near-average cyclone season (11 cyclones) is predicted for Australia given a neutral outlook for disruptive weather patterns over the November-April period, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Monday.


Cyclone Cleopatra to bring heavy storms over northern Italy - 'Cleopatra', a Mediterranean cyclone, will usher autumn into Italy. Generated by the clash between the cold air moving southwards from the Arctic to Spain and Morocco and the warm air from the Saharan hinterland, Cleopatra will become strongest between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Cleopatra brought a risk of severe storms in at least 6 regions storms on Sunday: Liguria, Lombardy, Friuli and then Tuscany, Lazio, Campania. High alert levels have been issued from 8 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday in Liguria and particularly the Genoa area where at least 100 mm of rain are expected. During the night the storm system will cross Lombardy and especially the Bergamo area with 60mm of rain. More rain will hit Friuli where precipitations will reach 150mm in 24 hours with a peak of 200mm on Monday and Tuesday.
Heavy showers wee also expected over upper Tuscany, Lazio and Rome starting Sunday afternoon, with at least 50-100mm of rain falling in 12 hours. In the evening the storm front will hit Campania and Naples with 50mm of rain and heavy rainfall will also cross Sicily. The bad weather conditions will reach the southern areas of the country on Monday night into Tuesday while it will continue to rain in the Northeast where it may snow at 1600m although conditions are expected to improve with a drop in temperatures.
The severe storm this weekend will be accompanied by strong south winds. The situation for the Tyrrhenian slopes is potentially dangerous since the warm sea temperatures may enhance the storms over Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia, and the eastern coast of Liguria. Over 100mm of rain may fall in less than two hours, with flash flooding and landslides. Very heavy rains are also expected in the North, "in particular close to the Alps, Pre-Alps, Piedmont foothills and Friuli Venezia Giulia where more than 150mm of rain may fall in one day.
Severe weather conditions are also expected over the Salento area with thunderstorms starting Sunday night. "The snow will be back in the Alps at below 2000 meters. It will snow even at 1500-1800m on Sunday evening in the Central and Eastern Alps and also at 1200-1300m along the South Tyrolean Alpine borders. Strong southerly winds will bring high water levels back in Venice after less than 2 years, with an expected flood of 110cm. Rain will continue on Tuesday with scattered rain showers early in the day as conditions will start to improve in the western portions of the country."
A new wave of bad weather will mar the the following weekend with continuous rain in the northwest and Tuscany which is expected to last into November.


An UNUSUALLY COLD storm in southern Australia has dished out the FIRST OCTOBER SNOW IN A CENTURY. Snow whitened the ground along the Mount Lofty and southern Flinders ranges, east and north of Adelaide, South Australia. At low elevations, rain fell late Wednesday to early Thursday at temperatures in the lower to middle 40s.
Normal low temperature in Adelaide is about 50 degrees, whereas the typical high is in the lower 70s. Snowflakes likely mixed in above about 1,500 feet of elevation, with snow sticking and covering the ground above 1,800 to 2,000 feet. The late-season storm gave wetting rain to a significant swath of the state, including agricultural land. Some growers indicated the rain "boosted crop prospects." However, the storm came with some "rough edges," as winds in the area reached up to about 55 mph. Trees were felled, and a falling sign crushed a car in an Adelaide area shopping center, according to the ABC site.
Seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite of those in the north, so October is a spring month in Australia. The snow and cold rain stemmed from a storm that swept in from the Southern Ocean, which separates Australia from Antarctica.