Thursday, September 5, 2019

My Late Night Hurricane Dorian Update and Overview: The Mote in the Eye of the Witness

GOES East daytime true color 36-frame satellite loop from 1456 to 1751 UTC Sept 4, 2019

And here is the GOES East night time multispectral IR view of Dorian with its weirdly oversized eye …

36-frame satellite loop from 0106 to 0406 UTC Sept 5, 2019

Note the weird little "things" spiraling around in the eye (thunderstorm elements) -- Motes in the Eye of a Hurricane? What's more, to me, it looks like the storm will make landfall on the South Carolina coastline by morning, but the NHC is confident of its track along / slightly off the SC coastline and a landfall not until the vicinity of Morehead, N.C. or perhaps even Cape Outlook and just a brief sojourn over the Outer Banks.

Never try to out-forecast the models -- especially based on what you think "should" or "want to" happen.


Hurricane Dorian's fury, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Sept 2, 2019


This entry is a sprawling but less weather-detailed write up that I had planned to do tonight about Hurricane Dorian. It consists mostly of readily-accessible images that make the entry look longer than it really is.

As of 11 p.m. EDT, per the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Dorian has top sustained winds of 115 mph and is moving north (at 10 degrees) at 7 mph. Its central pressure is 955 mb or 28.20 inches. It is centered at 31.3 N and 79.6 W or 105 miles south of Charleston, S.C.

The north at 10 degrees means just a hair east of due north but not enough to warrant north-northeast.

Hurricane Dorian is thus back to a low-end category 3 tropical cyclone (i.e., "major hurricane") after having become better organized and strengthened a bit earlier today, and it is moving slowly nearly due north toward the South Carolina coastline -- ahead of a sharp northeast turn that ALL the models of whatever stripe are forecasting.

Storm-tossed sailboat, Jensen Beach, Fla., Sept 3, 2019


This follows Dorian's near-miss of Florida. While it brushed the Florida Atlantic coastline and caused some shoreline flooding, it ultimately spared the Sunshine State serious impacts on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some relevant NWS radar imagery …

NWS Melbourne (MLB) standard base reflectivity radar looped 1219 am - 121 am EDT Sept 4, 2019


NWS Jacksonville (JAX) standard base reflectivity radar looped 1259 am - 124 am EDT Sept 4, 2019


About seven hours later …

NWS JAX standard base reflectivity radar looped 752 am - 824 am EDT Sept 4, 2019


Another six hours later ….

NWS JAX standard base reflectivity radar looped 141 pm - 214 pm EDT Sept 4, 2019

Just FYI: My dad lives literally ON the coastline just below Palm Coast (which is north of Daytona Beach).


And, finally, almost 12 hours later -- or a bit under 24 hours from the original JAX loop …

NWS JAX standard base reflectivity radar looped 141 pm - 214 pm EDT Sept 4, 2019


Here is the Southeast U.S. quadrant radar mosaic …

SECONUS base reflectivity radar mosaic looped 0238 to 0348 UTC Sept 5, 2019

I couldn't help but notice, by the way, while on the gym on the treadmill and watching the built-in TV, that the Weather Channel actually "fills in" the "missing" section of the hurricane radar imagery -- at least in its presentation of these NWS radars. If that's what it is, in fact, doing, that's totally not acceptable.


While Florida was mostly spared, by contrast, the death and devastation that Hurricane Dorian wrought on parts of the Bahamas is more than the small island chain nation can handle following its direct and prolonged strike when it was a full-bore category 5 hurricane several days ago. It needs considerable -- indeed, massive -- international aid, and that appears to be forthcoming including the U.S., which uses the country as a tropical resort.

The death toll in the Bahamas is presently put at 20, but it could be considerably higher. The destruction in places is total and, of course, people are still being found.

Some images of the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in portions of the Bahamas including Grand Bahama with its city of Freeport and the Abaco Islands …




Below are a pair of pictures of a brother and sister -- Matthew and Julia Aylen -- wading through chest-deep waters in or near Freeport in the Bahamas on Sept 3. The picture of Julia features her holding the family dog, and the look on the poor thing's face …

The photos were actually taken by Matthew and Julia's father, Tim Aylen, a journalist in the Bahamas and they were in the process of evacuating with all three of their dogs (see here).


As mentioned, Hurricane Dorian is forecasted by all the models to turn decisively to the northeast and accelerate, morphing into an extratropical low, as it is picked up by a shortwave transiting the eastern U.S. and then gets caught up in the mid-latitude westerlies. It is already beginning to happen.

My dad in Flagler Beach was fine. I'm not sure if he lost power -- he had not as of early afternoon.

Current weather advisories for different NWS county warning areas (CWAs) from south to north …

NWS Charleston (CHS) CWA weather advisories updated 1:05 am EDT Sept 5, 2019


NWS Wilmington (ILM) CWA weather advisories updated 12:21 am EDT Sept 5, 2019


NWS Newport / Morehead City (MHX) CWA weather advisories updated 12:19 am EDT Sept 5, 2019

I don't recall in years gone the surge watch and surge warning "products" from the NWS and associated with tropical cyclones (hurricanes). As it is, the surge warning takes precedence over the hurricane warning. (Again, refer to the full list of products by priority here.)


As suggested in the above images, coastal parts of South and North Carolina could get some damage and flooding, but in the grand scheme of things, it's nothing they haven't weathered. The speed of Dorian means it shouldn't rain five feet on eastern North Carolina and cause all the GOP wholly-unregulated chicken and pig shit lagoons to overflow and poison the land and water over a vast area. They like that down there because it's "freedom" and "owing the libs."  

NWS Wakefield (AKQ) CWA weather advisories updated 12:58 am EDT Sept 5, 2019


Tropical storm watches and warnings extend as far north as the lower Chesapeake Bay just as a precaution and also along the Jersey shore, but here in D.C., it's doubtful we'll get anything -- maybe just some clouds and breezy.

NWS Baltimore/Washington (LWX) CWA weather advisories updated 1:01 am EDT Sept 5, 2019


NWS Philadelphia / Mt. Holly (PHI) CWA weather advisories updated 1:09 am EDT Sept 5, 2019


As for the weather here in the D.C. area, a frontal boundary passed through tonight with some brief heavy downpours -- rain that was needed and welcome -- after a disgustingly record hot and humid day.

It reached 96F at both KDCA and KBWI, both daily records. KIAD reached 92F and KDMH climbed to 95F.

This was a new daily record at KDCA, surpassing the old record 95F set just last year (which also tied the 95F set on this date in 2008).

The KBWI reading tied the 96F set in 1937 (i.e., in the pre-airport record period). The KIAD temperature was well under the daily record of 95F set in 1985. KDMH does not have formal records yet since it doesn't have a full 30-year dataset.

Dew points climbed into the 70F+ range, so it was also goddamn humid.

It shouldn't get this hot again this season in the D.C. and Baltimore areas -- the 53rd instance of 90F+ highs officially at KDCA this summer -- but it could very well get to 90F again. Tomorrow should be a lot cooler with clouds and a northeasterly breeze, high around 80F.

People on Jacksonville Beach, Florida, observing the rough surf ahead of Hurricane Dorian, Sept 3, 2019


Oh, yes, I'm not even going to bother with this bullshit involving our syphilitically-mad and dementia-plagued Emperor Wannabe Trump and the week-old NHC hurricane track forecast (from Aug 29th) that he showed today (Sept 4th) and its crudely hand-drawn alteration to show it going into Alabama as a way of retroactively "proving" what he wrongly tweeted was correct.

You can read Charles Pierce's take on it here. However, I will post an image of this tweet from CWG contributor and tropical meteorologist Brian McNoldy:

Not OK and not normal -- indeed.


As a mini-update, I made it to the gym tonight for a jog and weightlifting -- first time in about two weeks. The pool remains closed, it turns out, until Friday, so I probably won't be able to go swimming there until Monday (assuming I go to Glen Burnie this weekend to visit my mother).

OK, that's all for now. I'll try to post an entry tomorrow but I dunno. Tomorrow night is another after-work gym night. Time now to go to bed. This entry ended up being a helluva lot longer than I planned.


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