Archive for hurricane

Hurricanes of July and August

Posted in Seasons, weather with tags on July 15, 2016 by marksun

storms20160715 15 July  2016 is the first Hurricane month of 2016.  This year the first storms of the year in the Eastern Pacific have formed but they have so far all weakened.   Accuweather is predicting 14 named storms, seven hurricanes (3 major and 2 mexian landfalls).  Nobody is coming out and saying it,  but the overall situation for Hawaii is trending towards a relatively mild hurricane season.    (Graphic source: weather underground).

Blas  – cloud remants bring moisture and high humidity to HI around 14 July 16
Celia – 7/15 weakening tropical depresion   22º  142º
Darby – 7/15/July  Darby forms – 7/22 Darby still a TS and ETA on BI of 20W tonight- Sat. with a forecast track right on the chain.

Factors for Hawaii:

  1. La Niña : cooler ocean waters are a negative factor for tropical storm development and strength. The cooling la nina forecast is persistence through August, September and October.  Critical SS Temp: 80°.
  2. Wind shear is forecast to be present in the E Pacific hurricane zone –  probably refers to the subtropical jet which is a factor in breaking up hurricanes in the Pacific.

Crappy WX of July

7/18 Celia produces SE winds, rain and flood adv on Oa and Kauai 6/18
7/18 –Darby impact forecast 23-24 timeframe as a TD with a forecast track (7/18) just N of BI on Friday.

14 August – the last named storm was Javier which affected Mexico.  Howard fizzled but it’s cloud field brought heavy rain and wind of spotty TS strength. Ivette tracked south and brought some increased moisture and wind but otherwise a non-event.

Nobody is talking about it but what seems to be happening is that the current large scale la nina  and wind shear regime have suppressed hurricane activity in the central pacific for the first half of August.  14 August there are no storms of note, with two weak disturbances out there at 132 and 137W.  Neither will become hurricanes. This also means that we won’t see storm type weather for at least a week – so any rain we get (for example while camping on the 19-21st!) will be trade showers or upper trough type stuff – not necessarily great dry wx but better than tropical cyclones!




Hurricanes of August 2015

Posted in weather with tags on August 31, 2015 by marksun

three-cat-4s Aug2015

9/1/15  Three CAT 4 Storms, Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena

There were four storms in August, Guillermo (2 Aug), Kilo (15 Aug), Igancio (31 Aug) and Jimena (ok September) that concern us here in the Hawaiian Islands.  As of Today 9/1/15, Ignacio is looking like it will track to the North.  Jimena also is forecast to track to the north when it passes Hawaii in it’s westward track.

The hurricane threat to Hawaii is growing due to the increased frequency of hurricanes on the one hand,  and on the other, the sheer growth in the numbers of people and structures threatened.  There is just more of us and our stuff at stake.  My little townhouse in Aiea was build in the 60’s and hurricanes could not have been further from the mind of the developer, intent of flipping his parcel of former sugar cane land, carefully scraped free of topsoil into terraced developements for homes. If one of these hurricanes hit us dead on we’re going to be like the first two of the three little pigs cowering behind the shaking doors and walls of wood, and sheetrock,  Yikes.

We speculate about whether the changing climate is the cause of these hurricanes but that’s in a sense a wierd way of looking at the situation — hurricanes have always been around – the current climate just contains more of them.  Hurricanes and everything else that spins, churns, and blows in the Earth’s atmosphere is how the planetary solution for what to do with energy.  The ocean is especially warm in the equatorial Pacific right now.  This happens every so many years with enough regularity for humans to recognize a pattern when we see it — we call it el Nino after the name given to it by Peruvian sailors in the 19th century who noted that warm ocean current events occurred around the Christmas season.  I learned about el Nino in the late 70’s from my Climatology professor Jen Hu Chang at the University of Hawaii… Back then there was speculation that the heat in the water was doing something on a large even planetary scale,   All atmospheric phenomena are nature’s solution to what to do with energy on a planet blanketed by a thick atmosphere, fat with  water billowing out of oceans through evaporation to form islands of water floating in the skies.  Hurricanes are of the more spectacular and transient genera of such energy systems.

These days there is also the cold water counterpart that is called la Nina… I’m sorry but this is silly and frivolous play on words, and I wish “they” had come up with another name.  I am not going to talk about “ln” anymore.  I would rather it was called “cold phase ocean oscillation” or “cold ocean”.  The expression “El nino” comes out of deep cultural perhaps nautical tradition with poetic and deep associative linguistic allusions – “la nina” to me is derivative and somehow insulting to baby girls…

Hurricanes of August 2014

Posted in climate change, Seasons with tags , on August 9, 2014 by marksun

Hurricane Iselle was a near thing.  Hawaii watched with anxious anticipation, hoping for the best as the  Category 1 980 mb storm barreled straight into the eastern-most coast of the Big Island late Friday night August 8 and continued through Saturday.   I’ll just relate impressions from talking to hams and friends via facebook and twitter.  For real news, it is all over the papers and the internet.  In Puna up through Volcano, winds were scary and severe, knocking  down trees, rattling roofs and walls.  The rain affected Puna, Hilo, Hamakua, and the Kohala mountains eastern exposures, Kau and perhaps some wrap around to S Kona.   Folks I heard in the Kailua Kona, deep in the lee of Mauna Loa and Hualalai – the third large volcano on Hawaii, reported little by way of rain and wind.   Hilo experienced strong winds in gusts, fallen trees everywhere, rain, a broad and disruptive power outage in Puna and Volcano, Waimea, and the theft of a Red Cross pickup truck.  Significantly, landline phone, cellphone service was lost – there may still be outages here and there now 48 hours later.  My family on the Big Island reported no damage to our homes, flood waters contained within the banks of the stream in our place in Waimea.

The very interesting aspect of this event was that Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa,  broad 4000+ meter high volcanic shield volcanoes effectively  blocked the lower level airflow within the hurricane, and apparently caused the system to unravel.  Hard to say exactly what other factors played a role – the forecast models ( these are giant computer programs to run weather simulations based on real data ) predicted the storm intensity decline – I do not know if the island effects were part of those models) .    The satellite shots show few visible traces of a storm center once the region of central pressure moved west past Hawaii Island.   A tropical storm circulation of greater than 1000 mb central pressure continued tracking west.

One can hear  “noise crashes” caused by lightning on radio receivers.  During this storm I heard some and other  hams noted “hearing” lighting as well.  Overall it seems lighting did not affect us much.  I did hear thunder in the distance, and some folks did report it.  I heard no reports of tornadoes, a fearsome prospect and by-product of hurricane related thunderstorms.  I heard a first hand account of tornadoes associated with Hurricane Iniki on Kaua’i. This leads me to speculate that tornadoes or other vortice – like winds  may have played a greater role in storm damage  on Kaua’i than is generally recognized.

Ham radio operators on Maui reported generally remarkably mild conditions – wind here, rain there.   On Oahu, winds came up and downed trees in the Pali area, and certainly all over the place.  Trees come down at random in just about any kind of wind greater than the average, but we can credit these casualties this storm.   At my place in Aiea, 400′ up in the ridge above Pearl Harbor,   the wind speed varied greatly with periods of gusts of 25k or so, maybe an occasional higher burst.   In my rain gauge, total event rainfall was just over 1″.

A second storm, Julio, is tracking WNW and if this course persists will pass to the North as a tropical storm.  This event is unlikely to have as significant an impact as Iselle – it is significantly farther north and distance matters.    The uncertainty for the past several days is the uncertainty inherent in predicting the course of nature.  However the computer models used by the National Weather Service are “pretty good” in my opinion and incorporate a great deal of information based on an unprecedented accumulation of scientific knowledge.  Precision leaves a lot to be desired, but the effects of  randomness pervade all forces of nature, and computer models have not tamed the element of chance.

OCTOBER 2014.  Ana –

15 Oct 2014.  This storm materialized out of the ITCZ cloud band on Sunday with a threatening .