878 mb Storm Off North Florida — The Model Forecast for Irma that no one Wants to See Happen

As the United States struggles to recover from severe damage inflicted by one hurricane made far worse by climate change, another powerful storm is brewing over the hotter than normal waters of the tropical North Atlantic.

As of the 5 PM Atlantic Standard Time statement from the National Hurricane Center, Irma was positioned about 1,100 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the central tropical Atlantic. The storm hosted a small circulation, packing 110 mph winds and a minimum central pressure of 973 mb. Over the next few days, according to the Hurricane Center, Irma is presently expected to reach major hurricane status with 130 mph maximum sustained winds.

(Category 2 Irma in the Central Atlantic seems relatively innocuous. But NHC guidance indicates the potential for Irma to develop into a major hurricane over the next five days. Some of the longer range models, however, are producing some rather worrying forecasts. Image source: National Hurricane Center.)

The Hurricane Center is clear to note that it uncertain at this time if Irma will ultimately threaten the Bahamas or the mainland U.S. But the Center cautions that all interests remain watchful and prepared as the storm could pose a risk over the coming days:

It is much too early to determine what direct impacts Irma will have on the Bahamas and the continental United States. Regardless, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place, as we are now near the peak of the season.

Looking beyond the official forecast, some of the our best long range model runs are putting together some seriously scary predictions for Irma. By next week, the Global Forecast System (GFS) model shows Irma as a 878 mb monster hurricane looming about 300 miles off Florida. 878 mb would represent the lowest pressures ever recorded in a hurricane in the Atlantic (The present strongest Atlantic storm was Wilma at 882 mb. The devastating Labor Day Hurricane hit 892 mb.). And it would almost certainly represent the strongest storm in our records ever to venture so far North. 878 mb roughly corresponds with maximum sustained winds in excess of 170 mph and possibly as high as 200 mph or more. And we’ve never seen something like that threatening the Central Atlantic U.S. East Coast in all of the modern era.

(A storm stronger than Wilma and approaching Tip’s record 870 mb intensity off North Florida and not in the Caribbean? GFS says it’s possible. Let’s hope for the sake of much that is precious and dear to us that this model forecast does not emerge. Image source: Tropical Tidbits.)

The model then slams the storm into Cape Hatteras just after midnight on Monday, September 11 as only a slightly weaker Category 5 range storm at 910 mb. The storm proceeds north into the Hampton Roads area early Monday morning retaining approximate Cat 5 status at 919 mb. After roaring over this highly populated low-lying region, the storm enters the Chesapeake Bay at 934 mb by noon on Monday — in the Category 4 range and still stronger than Hurricane Sandy — before crossing up the Bay and over the D.C. region by evening the same day at 958 mb (approx Cat 3).

To say this would be an absolute worst case disaster scenario for the Mid-Atlantic is an understatement. A storm of this intensity would produce 10-20 foot or higher storm surges, devastating winds, and catastrophic rainfall throughout the Outer Banks, Hampton Roads and on up the Chesapeake Bay. But unlike Harvey, it would be a fast-moving event. More like a freight train than a persistently worsening deluge.

This long range model scenario is not, however, an official forecast. It’s just what the GFS atmospheric computer models are presently spitting out. And such long range predictions from a single model, no matter how reliable, should be taken with at least a pinch of salt. That said, we should certainly, as the NHC recommends, keep our eyes on Irma and keep our response plans ready.

(Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic off the Southeast Coast are between 1 and 1.8 C above average. Atmospheric moisture levels are quite high as is instability. So as with Harvey, we have quite a lot more fuel than normal available for a hurricane to feed on. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

We should also note the context in which this present extreme potential emerges. Ocean surfaces in the North Atlantic off Florida are very warm with temperatures around 30.5 degrees Celsius (87 F) near the Bahamas. This is about 1.8 degrees Celsius above the already warmer than normal climatological average. Atmospheric moisture and instability in this region of the North Atlantic are also quite high. These two conditions provide fuel for hurricanes that do enter this region. They are conditions that are linked, at least in part, to human-caused climate change. And they are similar to the conditions that amplified Harvey’s intensity just prior to landfall.

So though the GFS forecast described above is far from certain, we should absolutely listen to the NHC’s urging for us to pay attention to what could be another dangerous developing storm. One that appears to at least be physically capable of defying previous weather and climate expectations. Let’s just hope it doesn’t.

Links:

The National Hurricane Center

Earth Nullschool

Tropical Tidbits

List of Most Intense Tropical Cyclones

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129 Comments

  1. wpNSAlito

     /  September 3, 2017

    Evil me: I want a very strong yet very tiny storm (F6 tornado?) to hit Mar-a-Lago.

    Reply
    • Maybe if it skips straight to D.C and hits hard there congress might take another look at climate change. Two monster storms, one in the capital, might open a few minds while it hits them in the wallet.

      Reply
    • Sheri

       /  September 3, 2017

      San Francisco had temp today of 102 degrees…San Diego has been very hot for this time f year. LA is scorchng , too.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 3, 2017

        It was as high as 116 in at least two locations in SF yesterday., as per Weather Underground.

        A local library branch opened it’s basement meeting room to the public; it was at least 20 degrees cooler there than upstairs.

        Most people – probably over 99% – in SF have no air conditioning; temps over 80 are not regular, even in the summer.

        “Temperatures reach or exceed 80 °F (27 °C) on an average of only 21 and 23 days a year at downtown and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), respectively.”

        Indoor temps Friday and Saturday were well over 90 degrees. For people not acclimated to those much higher than normal temperatures, 95+ is quite unhealthy and possibly worse.
        Going outside to escape heat inside wasn’t an option: fire into frying pan. The librarians were fielding calls throughout the day, people asking if the branch was air conditioned – it’s not – or if there was another branch that’s got AC (librarians weren’t aware of any).

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 3, 2017

          ‘People are desperate for air conditioning as San Francisco deals with record heat’
          2017-09-02

          http://mashable.com/2017/09/02/san-franciso-heat-wave-air-conditioning/

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          ’38 hospitalized for heat-related illnesses in SF’
          September 4, 2017

          http://www.sfexaminer.com/38-hospitalized-heat-related-illnesses-sf/

          “Twenty-six people were hospitalized for heat-related illnesses on Friday, and another 12 on Saturday by 5 p.m., according to the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management….

          San Francisco knew it would get hot, but did not necessarily mobilize its resources until late in the day Friday, which surprised local officials.

          “It was 106 degrees in the middle of the day,” Supervisor Jane Kim told the San Francisco Examiner. “It was very clear action needed to be taken earlier.”

          Supervisor Aaron Peskin agreed. “It raises legitimate questions,” he said. “It’s a cause for concern.”

          The National Weather Service sent out an “excessive heat warning” at 12:14 p.m. Friday — a dire warning meant to save lives.

          “Any time we put out an excessive heat warning, we wouldn’t put it out unless we think the public should take it seriously,” said Brian Garcia, a warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS….”

      • eleggua

         /  September 3, 2017

        Not much “boogie” goin’ in SF on the past couple of nights.

        Reply
      • Woke up at 5 AM “sticking to the sheets” even though I was on top of them. Window fan bringing in warm air. Checked the downtown San Diego temperature on-line. It was 87F with a temperature index of 91F. At 5 AM in San Diego! Yecch! Did I wake up in Cabo?

        At least my orchids and tropical night-blooming cereus cacti are happy…

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 3, 2017

          “sticking to the sheets”

          These are helpful on hot, hot, hot nights. (And for sweaty yoga excercising, too.)
          Probably other brands available that work as well.

          https://jadeyoga.com/products/mat-towels

          “microfiber yoga towels are made with polyester microfiber, are super absorbent and quick drying”

      • Andy_in_SD

         /  September 4, 2017

        Yesterday was unbelievable. It was excruciatingly hot, and the humidity was unbearable. They combined into a hell that was worse than steeping out of Miami Airport into a humid blaze. I have never felt such a hot / humid hell here before. Today it is in the 80’s (still extremely humid) but comparatively much better (not good still, but way better than yesterday).

        Reply
    • Sheri

       /  September 3, 2017

      Me, too!!!!!

      Reply
  2. Paul

     /  September 3, 2017

    Regarding how higher sea surface temperatures may affect hurricanes, here’s a graph showing the increase in frequency and strength of Atlantic Hurricanes since 1850:

    I found this in the article: “Is Hurricane Harvey a harbinger for Houston’s future?”

    https://phys.org/news/2017-08-hurricane-harvey-harbinger-houston-future.html

    This debunks a common climate change denier claim that there have been fewer hurricanes since the mid-2000’s.

    Reply
    • Doug

       /  September 3, 2017

      You ought to be a little more careful in your pronounciations. Your graph was only for the North Atlantic; there are of course many other basins around the world so it sounds like a bit of a cherry pick when you say the science says “there will be more hurricaines”. In fact it does not say that if you read the scientific literature. It DOES indicate that we will see more powerful hurricaines.

      But even for the North Atlantic, from your site, there is not very strong evidence that hurricaine frequency in the North Atlantic is due to climate change.

      “We can be confident that we’re seeing more severe tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic than we did a few decades ago. It is likely that climate change has contributed to this trend, although there is low statistical confidence associated with this statement. What that means is that this observed increase in hurricane frequency is more likely than not linked with climate change, but the increase may also be linked to decadal variability.”

      Global warming is bad enough without us needing to get our facts wrong for effect.

      Reply
      • wharf rat

         /  September 3, 2017

        “Your graph was only for the North Atlantic; ”
        Deniers only care about the US. If it doesn’t hit us, it didn’t happen. If it hits us, but is less than Cat 3, it didn’t happen. Sandy doesn’t count, and Matthew didn’t happen.

        4,300 Days Since Last U.S. Major Hurricane StrikeJuly 31st, 2017
        by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
        Wednesday of this week will mark 4,300 days since the last major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger, 111-129 mph maximum sustained winds) made landfall in the U.S.
        http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/07/31/4300-days-since-last-u-s-major-cat-3-hurricane-strike-almost-12-years/

        Reply
        • Bill H

           /  September 4, 2017

          Absolutely, the obsessive US-centric view of US deniers is abject. Unfortunately their memes can spread far beyond the US.

  3. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 3, 2017

    How the demand for sand is killing rivers

    UN report estimated global sand use in 2012 alone could have created a concrete wall 27m high by 27m wide around the equator.

    The sand used for construction comes mainly from riverbeds and oceans. Desert sand, it turns out, is too smooth for the mix.

    In India, a black market for sand harvesting has emerged, operated by violent sand mafias. In China, the country’s biggest freshwater lake – Poyang Lake – is drying up due to sand dredging. Hundreds of locals rely on the lake for fish, as do the millions of migratory birds that stop here each year.

    In Kenya, sand dredging from the riverbeds of poor rural counties like Makueni is leaving some communities without access to water.

    During the rainy season, water percolates through and is stored underneath. During the dry season, the population of nearly one million people dig holes in the sand to extract water to survive.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-41123284

    Reply
  4. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 3, 2017

    Terribly hot & humid here, a contributor may be the tropical depression a hundred miles or so south of us. Tomorrow we should see a temp of 80 ish and rain (70% chance).

    Reply
  5. wili

     /  September 3, 2017

    It strikes me how easily this could be everything, or it could be nothing. If it rolls back out to see, almost no one but weather geeks will remember it.

    If it hits a major city in the US–Miami, Houston (omg), NOLA (omfg), NYC…–it could well be the storm that breaks the economic back of the country and possibly sends world markets into turmoil. This is how thin of a wire we now walk, and it’s getting thinner by the second.

    Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  September 3, 2017

      +1 and who knows what monsters may still come crawling across the Atlantic.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 3, 2017

      “The disaster would be so extreme that no one Cutter is aware of has ever run a computer model disaster scenario like it.”

      ‘If a Hurricane Harvey hit South Carolina it ‘would be like the 2015 flood on steroids’ ‘
      Aug 28, 2017 Updated Aug 29, 2017

      http://www.postandcourier.com/news/if-a-hurricane-harvey-hit-south-carolina-it-would-be/article_cb2c10ea-8c1a-11e7-88ea-6f4dc9acea9c.html

      “…..”It would be a major catastrophic event,” said Susan Cutter, the director of the Hazards and Vulnerabilities Research Center at the University of South Carolina. “It would overwhelm what Hurricane Hugo did. In some respects it’s beyond our ability to imagine.”

      Flooding alone “would be like the 2015 flood on steroids,” she said.

      To put it in perspective, Hugo in 1989 was a Category 4 hurricane at landfall, just like Harvey. It killed 35 people, left more than 50,000 homeless and stranded half the state without electrical power. It caused $6.5 billion in damage — at the time the costliest hurricane in U.S. history — without serious flooding away from the coast.

      By comparison, Hurricane Harvey wracked the Texas coast with 130 mph winds at landfall Friday night. The difference is it has stalled there as a tropical storm, dropping around 24 inches of rain by Monday with the potential to reach 50 inches in the coming days.

      If Harvey happened here, the depth of the flooding prospects are horrifying, smothering large swaths of homes, woods and farmland deep into the state’s interior, just like what Houston is facing now some 40 miles inland.

      It would begin with winds ripping up the coastal communities. Folly Beach likely would be cut in half by 20 feet of storm surge. The Charleston peninsula and most of the low-lying islands largely would be underwater. Inland areas would be wracked by the storm then watch their rivers rise to swamp them deeper than they have ever seen.

      “Oh, that would be absolutely terrifying,” said Carolyn Ganis, who lives in the Crichton Parish in the Oakbrook community outside Summerville near the Ashley River…..

      “How much worse could it be? The simple answer is, that’s impossible to answer,” said meteorologist James Carpenter with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

      “It’s possible the county could be split in half at Four Holes Swamp,” said Mario Formisano, the Dorchester County emergency management director. “We experienced this for a period of time during the 2015 floods.”

      Flooding would engulf low-lying places like Oakbrook or Goose Creek.

      “It would keep getting deeper and deeper. It would start washing away homes that just got wet in 2015,” said Lee Lindner, College of Charleston environmental studies professor.

      Entire towns could be swamped, particularly near rivers, like what happened to Andrews in the 2015 flood and to the Marion County town of Nichols after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

      Even larger, higher-ground towns such as Mullins, near Nichols, could go under. Mullins saw some swamping during Matthew.

      Wanda Pittman, who lives in Mullins, had her apartment flooded out. A deeper flood, “it would just tear us down,” she said.

      Roads would be impassable for miles. For example, in the 2015 flood, 13 miles of Interstate 95 were closed. Shelters and emergency facilities such as hospitals — designed and selected based on storm surge or potential flood models rather than a combination — might be left in crisis.

      The disaster would be so extreme that no one Cutter is aware of has ever run a computer model disaster scenario like it.

      “I don’t think we’ve ever really thought about that kind of multi-hazard, multi-impact, multi-day event,” she said. “But clearly we should be thinking about these kinds of events because we know they happen.”

      While the flooding would be the worst deeper in the state, the coast might not fare as poorly. Mark Wilbert, the city of Charleston’s director of Emergency Management and Resilience, said 4 feet of rain here would produce problems similar to what the region saw during the October 2015 floods.

      “What the Charleston region has going in its advantage, at least along the coast, is when we get low tide, we do drain, which is good,” Wilbert said. “And we drain fairly quickly. The problem is there’s another high tide around the corner.”

      The height of hurricane activity usually occurs in September.”

      Reply
  6. Doug

     /  September 3, 2017

    Here is Albuquerque, the skies have been hazy the last few days which around here usually only means fires in the region. Apparently the hazy sky is from fires in the Pacific Northwest, a long long ways from here.

    Reply
    • Just got back from a road trip to visit relatives in Colorado, catch the eclipse, do tourist stuff, etc. From the top of Mt. Evans (CO) the view to the east was very murky (due to smoke). From Denver to well south of Colorado Springs, the air was hazy with smoke. Got back to San Diego in time to catch the nasty hot & muggy weather. Sweating in my t-shirt as I type this.

      Denver was a bit hot during the day (low 90s), but it cooled off to the low 60s or high 50s overnight. Didn’t need to use the A/C at all at my mom’s house — just ran the whole-house fan for a while before sunrise and then closed the house up.

      Reply
  7. wharf rat

     /  September 3, 2017

    Heat, Smoke, and Fire Assault Western States: All-Time Record Heat in California
    Bob Henson · September 3, 2017, 4:35 AM

    The steamy, fiery summer of 2017 hit a new crescendo this weekend across the U.S. West, which is getting its hottest Labor Day weekend on record in many locations—and in some spots, the hottest weather ever observed. Overall, “this is the greatest statewide heat wave ever recorded in California,” proclaimed WU weather historian Christopher Burt on Saturday night. Burt based his conclusion not only on the heat’s intensity but on its widespread nature well beyond California’s usual scorching locations. Even an escape to the cool Pacific shore was pretty much futile, as easterly downslope winds funneled scorching air from the interior into coastal sections that are normally mild and sometimes chilly even in midsummer. Readings also soared above 110°F across California’s Central Valley, although such heat is not quite so unusual for late summer in that area.

    California’s Bay Area has been the focal point of the weekend’s most extraordinary heat. Temperatures soared to 106°F in downtown San Francisco on Friday and 102°F on Saturday. Friday’s reading was the hottest ever measured in downtown SF, where temperatures have been observed since 1874. Friday’s 106°F handily topped the previous record of 103°F from June 14, 2000, and Saturday was only the second high of 102°F in downtown history, matching Oct. 5, 1987. “To put this in perspective, the average high temperature for the city these two days is just 71°F,” said Chris Burt, who lives in the East Bay region. “Friday night’s temperatures failed to fall below 85°F at several hill locations near me (I dropped to 81°).” He added: “It is so hot in our home I can hardly think. No air conditioning, of course.” Heat-related illnesses overwhelmed San Francisco hospitals on Friday, according to the Bay Area NWS office. It would not be shocking to see multiple Bay Area fatalities during this heat wave, given the multi-day intensity of the heat and the Bay Area’s lack of air conditioning.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/heat-smoke-and-fire-assault-western-states-all-time-record-heat-california

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 3, 2017

      “Temperatures soared to 106°F in downtown San Francisco on Friday and 102°F on Saturday.”

      Putting this in perspective: that’s just downtown and at the Airport. Those temps are on average lower than temps in many other parts of San Francisco, especially the airport which is usually lower due to its location. High was over 105 yesterday in most locations that I checked; there were a couple of 116s.

      “Because of its sharp topography and maritime influences, San Francisco exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. The high hills in the geographic center of the city are responsible for a 20% variance in annual rainfall between different parts of the city. They also protect neighborhoods directly to their east from the foggy and sometimes very cold and windy conditions experienced in the Sunset District; for those who live on the eastern side of the city, San Francisco is sunnier, with an average of 260 clear days, and only 105 cloudy days per year”

      Reply
      • yeah. Nuts. 106 in SF proper? A hot day in SF is 70.

        Here in Seattle it’s in the 90s with a bad air warning. Sky is orange again.

        Reply
  8. Joe Brunty

     /  September 3, 2017

    Climate change is a bitch, and you have been warned many times. When will you listen and will you act? It looks to me like it’s a little too late for talking, need to take action now. Stop these future storms from being SUPER STORMS. This in no warning, wake up people.

    Reply
  9. Leland Palmer

     /  September 3, 2017

    Latest GFS has Irma coming ashore somewhere around the Carolinas at 885 mb about 8 days from now.

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/?model=gfs&region=namer&pkg=mslp_pcpn_frzn&runtime=2017090312&fh=198&xpos=0&ypos=0

    Hope GFS is wrong, but these models are getting better and better.

    The price tag from Harvey could be over a hundred billion dollars. How much are we willing to pay for our fossil fuels, and why don’t the oil corporations have to pay a portion of these costs?

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 3, 2017

      “…why don’t the oil corporations have to pay a portion of these costs?”

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 4, 2017

      Make that 180 billion dollars, according to the Texas governor – to rebuild in the same low lying areas, because Trump just torpedoed Obama’s bill that would modify that.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41143979

      Some of the people along the Russian river after the flood that my wife and I witnessed at least had the sense to rebuild on piers, ten feet or so higher than their original elevation. Two story houses with the first story being piers or trusses made of treated wood that were flood resistant was the solution that some people adopted.

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 4, 2017

      Some of the houses rebuilt along the Russian River in California looked kind of like these:

      https://buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-111-flood-and-hurricane-resistant-buildings

      The first story was used for parking, storage, and building access.

      According to my wife, who used to be a real estate appraiser, rebuilding on piers or trusses might not increase property values, but might bring higher and quicker offers on resale.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  September 5, 2017

        There were contractors that would put your existing house on piers, I think, after the Russian River flood. Just jack it up using lots of floor jacks, and then put treated wood trusses underneath it.

        Really, an additional 10 feet of elevation would protect most people from events less extreme than Harvey. It’s hard to say how long it will be before Houston sees its next 1 in 800 year event. Should be at least 10 years in our new reality including global warming, although the way probabilities work it could happen again tomorrow.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  September 5, 2017

        I seem to recall that FEMA would loan homeowners the money to elevate their houses?

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          Houses and consciousness must elevate.

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          FEMA: Elevating Your Home Above Future Flooding
          Release date: January 29, 2013

          https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2013/01/29/elevating-your-home-above-future-flooding

          “…Eligible homeowners who have National Flood Insurance Program policies and whose homes were substantially damaged may be eligible for Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage of up to $30,000. This can pay all or part of the cost to elevate your home to the current effective Base Flood Elevation, which is the estimated level that floodwaters would reach….”

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          ‘FEMA program will pay $500,000 to lift a Riverside home above flood level’
          October 15, 2012

          http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-10-14/story/fema-program-will-pay-500000-lift-riverside-home-above-flood-level

          “….The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Eisenberg have come up with a way to get her Riverside neighborhood home out of harm’s way — at a cost of $503,671.

          The 86-year-old home will be elevated so its foundation is 8 feet above the floodplain. FEMA will pay 90 percent of the cost, which is $453,304. Eisenberg will put up 10 percent, or $50,367.

          City Councilman John Crescimbeni said he questions whether the federal program is getting the best bang for its buck. The Duval County Property Appraiser estimates the market value of the 2,400-square-foot home is $251,135, so the cost of saving it from future flooding will be double what the house could sell for.

          He said it might make more sense to buy the property and demolish the house, as FEMA grants have done for other repeatedly flooded homes in Jacksonville.

          “I think that’s a more permanent solution,” he said. “What happens if there’s a continuing problem or some super-storm floods it again?”

          But the federal government doesn’t compare alternatives such as demolition versus elevation to determine which is most cost-effective. The program, which is voluntary for property owners, gives them the option of applying for grants to either sell out and move, or stay and reconstruct.

          After the property owner decides, FEMA estimates how much the National Flood Insurance Program would pay in future flood damage claims if nothing is done. FEMA then determines whether the benefits of preventing those flood claims outweighs the cost.

          Elevating Eisenberg’s home passed that test, barely. It got a benefit-cost cost ratio of 1.049. In other words, FEMA expects the $503,000 project will result in preventing $527,647 in future flood damage.

          Eisenberg said demolition wasn’t an option she considered. She said it’s combination of emotional attachment to the home she’s owned since 1996, and also because the Riverside neighborhood is characterized by preserving historic buildings.

          She said after she learned how much it would cost to raise the foundation, “That’s when I asked, ‘Does this really make sense?’ ”

          But she said ultimately, it’s the only way to stop the chronic intrusion of water. ”

          Or just move.

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          Rise up, and go about
          The Pole of our salvation,
          As winds the pilgrim route
          By Mecca’s holy station.

          Why art thou slumber bound,
          Like clay the earth caressing?
          In movement shall be found
          The key to every blessing.

          – Rumi

  10. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2017

    ‘Exxon begins rebooting second-biggest U.S. refinery in Baytown’
    Sunday, September 3, 2017

    http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Exxon-begins-rebooting-second-biggest-U-S-12170579.php

    “Exxon’s Baytown refining is the second-largest facility of its kind in the United States, with a refining capacity above 560,000 barrels a day.

    “We’re making good progress,” said Suann Guthrie, a spokeswoman for Exxon. “But the timing depends on the availability of transportation infrastructure” to get fuel to markets.

    Exxon has been working with the Port of Houston to expedite vessels traveling through the Houston Ship Channel and helping to coordinate repairs to railroads in the region, she added.”

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 3, 2017

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 3, 2017

      ‘How Exxon Used the New York Times to Make You Question Climate Science ‘
      Sep. 02, 2017

      https://www.ecowatch.com/exxon-new-york-times-2479595376.html

      “A breakthrough study from Harvard unearths the extent Exxon has gone to in order to destroy the public’s trust in climate change science.

      Last week, Harvard University researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes (of Merchants of Doubt fame) published the first peer-reviewed study comparing ExxonMobil’s internal and external communications on climate change.

      The abstract of the Supran and Oreskes study shows that ExxonMobil’s own scientists and executives had a much sharper understanding of climate science than the company told the public (emphasis added):

      “Accounting for expressions of reasonable doubt, 83 percent of peer-reviewed papers and 80 percent of internal documents acknowledge that climate change is real and human-caused, yet only 12 percent of advertorials do so, with 81 percent instead expressing doubt. We conclude that ExxonMobil contributed to advancing climate science—by way of its scientists’ academic publications—but promoted doubt about it in advertorials. Given this discrepancy, we conclude that ExxonMobil misled the public.”

      As the Harvard authors credit, the advertorials came from a study published on PolluterWatch by our former colleague at Greenpeace, Cindy Baxter.

      Cindy republished many of ExxonMobil’s New York Times advertorials back in 2015. This was right as investigative reporters at InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times revealed the extent of knowledge among Exxon’s own scientists that burning fossil fuels caused unnatural global warming.

      With these revelations in mind, Cindy recalled a peer-reviewed study in the journal Public Relations Review on “advertorials” or “op-ads” that Mobil Oil paid to have published in the New York Times. The authors of that study, Clyde Brown and Herbert Waltzer, reviewed 819 New York Times advertorials that Mobil placed “every Thursday” from 1985 to 2000.

      Using a subscription database called ProQuest, Greenpeace found that Exxon and Mobil’s op-ads went back at least as far as 1974, and continued until at least 2004. This was years after Exxon and Mobil merged to form the world’s largest non-government oil corporation in 1999. Combined with evidence published by reporters showing the degree to which Exxon and Mobil’s own scientists understood the global warming phenomenon and its root in human fossil fuel combustion, the advertorials take on new meaning.

      These oil companies were not as naive or uncertain as they long pretended to be, up until the point that denying the science was no longer possible. It turns out, they knew the entire time, and they appear to have intentionally deceived the public.”

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 3, 2017

        Reply
        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  September 4, 2017

          Harvey is also managing to increase petrol (gas) prices in the UK as product is diverted to the US as a result of the refinery closures. Just shows how inter-connected the whole world is now, but on the plus side it reduces demand for a short while and the release of CO2 is delayed.
          https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/sep/01/uk-petrol-prices-harvey-rac-unleaded

        • eleggua

           /  September 4, 2017

          “(RAC spokesman Pete Williams) added: “Americans are wedded to their petrol engines and while they have been endeavouring to become more self-sufficient through increased fracking they are now having to buy more unleaded from overseas which is reducing the availability of unleaded for the rest of the world.””

  11. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2017

    ‘ECONOMIC ANARCHY
    Burning Man signifies society’s shift away from traditional capitalism’
    September 01, 2017 Simone Stolzoff

    https://qz.com/1067122/burning-man-signifies-societys-shift-away-from-traditional-capitalism/

    “…overworked America’s obsession with Burning Man may be a cry for help; many of the yuppies who spend one of their two weeks of vacation at Burning Man are seeking the spirituality and hedonism missing from their desk jobs. But aside from self-discovery and personal growth, Burning Man’s rise in popularity may be indicative of a larger value shift away from traditional capitalism.

    As the demand to attend Burning Man swells, so too have post-capitalistic ideals percolating outside of Black Rock City. According to a 2016 Harvard study, the majority of young people aged 18 to 29 years old no longer support traditional capitalism. Thanks in part to Bernie Sanders, alternatives to America’s capitalist roots have become part of the political zeitgeist, and groups like the Democratic Socialists of America have more than tripled in membership in the past year alone.

    For the 40% of Burning Man attendees who will be first-timers this year, Black Rock City may inspire an idea of what a post-capitalist society could look like. “The term ‘gift economy’ is a little misleading,” says Andie Grace, Burning Man’s longtime director of communications. “The term ‘economy’ often implies some aspect of exchange. But there’s no accounting, no expectation of receiving anything in return. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a commerce-free experience—burners buy plenty of goods to bring into Black Rock City. It’s just a commerce-free zone.”

    Burning Man is full of social services that are “universal,” which makes the playa a level playing field. The hundreds of workshops, art pieces, and curated experiences throughout the week are free to anyone who chooses to participate, and your experience is bound not by the money in your wallet but what you can contribute to the group. And it’s not just about what you can receive: Anyone can volunteer to work at the international post office or become a “lamplighter” to illuminate the oil street lamps each evening, which keeps the giving cycle turning.

    Despite Burning Man’s mainstream rise, the ethos of self-reliance and self-expression have been well-maintained over the years. “Burning Man blows up the siloes of economic stratification,” says longtime burner Tom Price. “It’s a society where despite your economic means, you can participate in everything the city offers, and you can’t just buy your way out of the problem in front of you.”

    Despite the lack of a tangible currency or a hospitable environment, Black Rock City’s DIY infrastructure functions—thrives, even. The local newspaper goes out every morning. The public radio station broadcasts through the airwaves. The Department of Mutant Vehicles (DMV) registers each of the fire-shooting art cars that provide public transportation.

    One might assume Burning Man could only exist in vacuum. After all, in order for Black Rock City to function for a week, thousands of volunteers offer their time, energy, and money all year round. How could this cultural anomaly possibly translate to the real world?

    But Black Rock City is not meant to last forever—and that’s the point. Impermanence is central to the experience as dusty men in skirts. However, Burning Man’s short-term influence extends back to the mentality of its citizens when they return home to the “default world.” Numerous social enterprises like Black Rock Solar, which provides low-cost solar power to the county surrounding Black Rock City, and Burners Without Borders, a disaster-relief organization that was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    Rather than a swell of rich adults in search of a desert rave, Burning Man’s increase in popularity points toward a larger societal shift in values. As more and more people hope to participate every year, it has ironically become the exact free-market force that has made capitalism so much harder to escape. As a result, the Burn is a well-positioned antidote for many of our first-world ailments—at least for those that can afford it.”

    Reply
  12. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2017

    ‘Oil Firms That Cheered Regulatory Cuts Are Quaking on Nafta’
    September 1, 2017

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-01/oil-firms-that-cheered-regulatory-rollback-are-quaking-on-nafta

    “The Trump administration is easing environmental regulations and opening up territory for drilling as part of the president’s bid to unleash the “vast energy wealth” of the U.S. Yet Donald Trump’s push to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement could have the opposite effect….

    In Mexico, U.S. businesses captured five of the eight deep-water oil and gas blocks awarded during December 2016 bidding. Andeavor, formally Tesoro Corp., just opened its first ARCO-branded filling station in northwestern Mexico — with plans for more as the company leverages refineries in El Paso, Texas, and Los Angeles to provide fuel while using newly contracted pipeline capacity to transport it….”

    Reply
  13. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2017

    ‘How antidepressants are ending up in Great Lakes fish’
    Sept. 1, 2017

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/2017/09/01/antidepressants-great-lakes-fish/621938001/

    “A new study might depress anyone concerned with Great Lakes water quality.

    Antidepressant drugs, making their way through an increasing number of people’s bodies, getting excreted in small amounts into their toilets, and moving through the wastewater treatment process to lakes and rivers, are being found in multiple Great Lakes fish species’ brains, new research by the University of Buffalo has found.

    Researchers detected high concentrations of both the active ingredients and metabolites — byproducts of the parent drug — of popular antidepressant pharmaceuticals including Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa and Sarafem in the brains of fish caught in the Niagara River connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

    While the concentrations aren’t potentially harmful to humans eating the fish, they are problematic, said University at Buffalo chemistry professor Diana Aga, the lead author of the study published Aug. 16 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

    “It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned,” she said.

    Previous research has shown antidepressants in water create “suicidal shrimp” that swim toward light instead of away from it, making them vulnerable to predator fish and birds, Aga said.

    “Other research teams have shown that antidepressants can affect the feeding behavior of fish, or their survival instincts,” Aga said. “Some fish won’t acknowledge the presence of predators as much.”

    That has the potential to affect delicate ecological balances in the Great Lakes, already under siege from invasive species. Ultimately, it could disrupt the sport fishing that fuels a multibillion-dollar industry in Michigan….

    Concern for pharmaceutical contamination of lakes and rivers has risen with the emerging technological ability to detect the drugs in very small quantities in water bodies — and as use of the prescription drugs has exploded.

    The percentage of Americans taking antidepressants rose 65% between 2002 and 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. From 2011 to 2014, some 12.7% of Americans age 12 or older had taken antidepressant medication within the past month.

    Most wastewater treatment plants don’t screen for such drugs, only screening for waste solids and treating to kill E. coli bacteria….

    “Fish are receiving this cocktail of drugs 24 hours a day, and we are now finding these drugs in their brains.””

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 3, 2017

      Reply
    • Paul

       /  September 4, 2017

      We do so much harm on so many levels. We aren’t even aware of most of it.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 4, 2017

        Awareness is arcing upward, though; concern follows that same arc.
        The more you know, the more you glow. The more you care, the more you share.

        ‘The Growing Level of Environmental Awareness’
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/the-growing-level-of-envi_b_6390054.html

        “…This awareness, which could be labeled a paradigm shift, is exerting pressure on many of the day-to-day actions routinely undertaken by corporations, government agencies and nonprofits, along with behaviors seen in communities and households. Individual behavior is changing as well. …

        These changes are not simply a temporary fad or a symbolic trend, but a durable element of our changing values. …”

        Reply
        • Paul

           /  September 5, 2017

          What I mean by not being aware is that much of the harm that we do, like the example of the effect of pharmaceuticals in environment, which we are only beginning to appreciate, has not been detected by us as of yet.
          We cannot start to be aware of that which we have no knowledge

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          “We cannot start to be aware of that which we have no knowledge”

          True. “unwitting contributions”

  14. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2017

    “…“I got stuck on a gondola ride with a climate change denier,” Mr. Guariglia said recently.

    So when the man on the gondola said the earth’s warming temperatures were just part of a cycle, Mr. Guariglia recalled, “I took off my jacket and I said, ‘Does this look like a cycle to you?’”
    Continue reading the main story

    Along his right arm is a tattooed wavy line that is actually a graph charting the average temperature of the earth’s surface over the last 136 years; on his left arm, a similar line reflects 400,000 years of carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere. It shoots upward at the end and curves around his wrist….

    Mr. Guariglia is part of a fairly recent movement that could be called environmental anxiety art, from the photographer Edward Burtynsky’s wrecked industrial landscapes to Korakrit Arunanondchai’s poetic films that associate recycling with the idea of human reincarnation.

    “The cognitive dissonance on these issues is so great, artists like Justin can provide something to hold onto,” said Ms. Galilee of the Met, adding that it was an “urgent task” for artists and curators to address climate change and related topics…..”

    Reply
  15. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2017

    Exercising an obsession.

    Reply
  16. wili

     /  September 3, 2017

    Thanks for the great posts. To turn again for a moment back to Irma, here’s one of the latest from one of the greatest:

    Eric Holthaus:

    “Roughly 75% chance now that #Irma will impact the U.S. as a major hurricane. A lot can still change, but trending in the wrong direction now”

    Oh my!

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 3, 2017

      Also notable:

      “Regardless of exact track, Irma will serve up monstrous waves along East Coast next weekend.

      This particular model projects 50-60ft waves!”

      https://mobile.twitter.com/EdValleeWx/status/904368456648314880

      Yikes!

      Reply
      • wili

         /  September 3, 2017

        It’s apparently at 857 mb now! Is that a record?

        Reply
        • wili

           /  September 3, 2017

          (To answer my own question) according to Wiki: “The strongest tropical cyclone recorded worldwide, as measured by minimum central pressure, was Typhoon Tip, which reached a pressure of 870 hPa (25.69 inHg) on October 12, 1979.”

        • wili

           /  September 4, 2017

          Sorry, I think that figure was made up by some poster on another forum. Pressure not that low…Pressure currently seems to be more like 959.

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

  17. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 3, 2017

    Walter Becker R.I.P. 1950-2017

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 4, 2017

      ‘Donald Fagen’s Kamakiriad (produced by Walter Becker) recognizes how complicated a problem climate change is, intentionally or not.’
      Nov 4, 2016,

      https://www.vox.com/culture/2016/11/4/12821830/pop-culture-climate-change-kamakiriad-donald-fagen

      “…One album recognizes just how complicated a problem climate change really is

      There’s at least one album out there that addresses these hard facts. Released in 1993 and set shortly after the millennium, Kamakiriad — the second solo record by Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen — takes place in a future United States that’s being ravaged by climate change.

      At the start of the record, the middle-aged narrator embarks on a cross-country trip in the car of the title (“kamakiri” is Japanese for “praying mantis”). The imaginary automobile moves slowly, runs on steam, and — as revealed in the opening track, “Trans-Island Skyway” — even has a bionic vegetable garden in the trunk.

      “The car is going through territory in which tide pools are boiling and plates are grinding,” Fagen told the radio program Words and Music around the time of Kamakiriad’s release. “[T]hese are really natural disasters.”

      And that’s just in the first song. Throughout the next seven, the narrator encounters several more residual effects of extreme weather, from an alien invasion that takes place during a summer heat wave (“Tomorrow’s Girls”) to a city that’s permanently iced over (“Snowbound”)…..”

      Reply
  18. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 4, 2017
    Reply
  19. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 4, 2017

    Two other excellent tropical weather websites:

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/
    http://crownweather.com/

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 4, 2017

      Great stuff here on his video update; info dense, highly informative.

      “Levi Cowan creates videos and blogs pertaining to tropical cyclones, primarily hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. Posts occasionally concern other, non-tropical weather events around the world. Levi is currently working on his masters degree in tropical meteorology at Florida State University, and completed his bachelors degree in applied physics with a concentration in atmospheric physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.”

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 4, 2017

        Robert, his forecasting here will probably be of interest to you. Video cued up to begin at the pertinent bit.

        Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 4, 2017

      Wow, Tropical Tidbits is a killer website.

      GFS still has Irma hitting the Carolinas at 880 mb…I think this is Category 5. On the other hand, ECMWF has Irma hitting Puerto Rico, trashing the Bahamas, scaring the snot out of Florida, and then making a hard right turn back over the Atlantic.

      https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/?model=ecmwf&region=watl&pkg=uv850_vort&runtime=2017090312&fh=0

      Reply
      • Allan Barr

         /  September 4, 2017

        GFS just recently had an update and for some reason is too high by around 30 to 40 mb, does not imply that someone is going to get a monster on their hands just that that super low reading is likely incorrect.

        Reply
        • Leland Palmer

           /  September 5, 2017

          Oh, good to know. I was wondering why the pressures seem so low, compared to ECMWF and the other models I’ve seen.

          That would make Irma more of a normal hurricane, and less of a monster, like you say.

          The models seem to be converging on Florida, I think. Too bad Irma can’t just hit Mar a Lago without hitting the good people of Florida at the same time.

  20. Sheri

     /  September 4, 2017

    Sept 3, 2017
    Cool and cool and overcast in San Diego today, temp in 70s. Don’t know if heat wave I’d over for CA or no t but today was lovely compared to last 3 days.

    Reply
  21. Sheri

     /  September 4, 2017

    Attention Andy in SD,. Are you in San Diego or in South Dakota????? I would like to be sure, sometimes I wonder at your weather reports then it dawned on me you must not be in South Dakota. Thank you , Sheri who is usually in Arizona.

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  September 4, 2017

      Hi Sheri,

      Yup, I’m in San Diego. I’ve done my time in the cold, a bit further north than South Dakota by about a thousand miles…..

      Reply
  22. wili

     /  September 4, 2017

    models are narrowing more and more around a Florida hit. When do they start getting at least some of the most vulnerable people out of harms way?

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 4, 2017

      This morning, models seem to have it going yet further east before turning north. These make it more likely that it will hit or affect the US rather than spinning relatively harmlessly off to sea. Thinking about friends in Florida now.

      Reply
      • The official track does keep shifting west — zeroing in on Florida. GFS has been very consistent over past two days– landfalling near Miami as a Cat 5 then tracking up the FL, GA and SC coasts.

        ECMWF brings the storm in through the FL straits and then button hooks it into the west coast — in which case we might want to keep our eye on interests from Tampa to the Pan Handle.

        Reply
  23. wili

     /  September 4, 2017

    I seem to be in permanent ‘moderation’ — maybe rs is taking a (well deserved) rest? Or still being swarmed by trolls?

    Reply
  24. Mblanc

     /  September 5, 2017

    I don’t know if anyone has already posted this, but melting ice releasing volcanic activity is something I take an interest in.

    ‘A series of massive volcanic eruptions in West Antarctica 18,000 years ago might have hastened the end the last ice age.

    In a new study, scientists argue that the eruptions caused a giant hole in the ozone layer to form, which increased the atmospheric temperature in Antarctica. This could help explain the sudden and dramatic climate changes that occurred around the time of the demise of the last ice age.

    “The eruptions happened at a time when the Ice Age was already ending—both hemispheres were showing increasing temperatures from around 19,000 years ago—but this event really sped up the process,” says co-author Jørgen Peder Steffensen.

    The volcanic eruptions lasted for almost 200 years and emitted vast quantities of ozone-degrading elements high into the atmosphere, setting into motion a chain of climatic events that characterise the end of the last ice age.’

    http://sciencenordic.com/volcanic-eruptions-hastened-end-last-ice-age

    This comes on top of the recent discovery of a whole stack of previously unknown volcanoes under Antartica. The work is reported as slightly speculative, (as regards cause and effect in the ozone hole-warming link), but the identification of the eruptions themselves looks robust, to my untutored eye.

    Bill McGuire (a vulcanologist and geophysical hazards expert) has been banging on about this sort of stuff for years, I recommend his book to anyone who is interested in the subject.

    Reply
  25. eleggua

     /  September 5, 2017

    Tropical Tidbits Monday night update.

    “We also have a system behind Irma that could develop into a tropical storm or hurricane in its own right…” at the 1min 10sec mark.

    Irma up to Cat 4, likely to strengthen.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 5, 2017

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 5, 2017

      Vincent E Ankner @oregonvt “getting less likely but a few of the Euro ensemble members still take it out without and US impact. Here are the latest ECMWF ensembles:

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 5, 2017

      GFS (American model) spaghetti plot showing very good agreement on Irma’s forecasted path into next weekend. (Via Tropical Tidbits)

      Reply
  26. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 5, 2017

    Irma as of Monday night:

    Reply
  27. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 5, 2017

    Another website for storm junkies:
    http://spaghettimodels.com/

    Reply
  28. Robert in New Orleans

     /  September 5, 2017

    I remember this music all too well from 2005.

    Reply
  29. Abel Adamski

     /  September 5, 2017

    Meanwhile back to the situation in Texas, the humanity of the Conservative/GOP mentality

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/04/hurricane-harvey-landlords-demand-rent-for-flooded-homes

    Displaced families say they are struggling to pay rent on damaged dwellings, as an acute housing crisis grips south-east Texas after Hurricane Harvey
    Fuentes, her husband Jaime and their five children, ages ranging from seven months to 14 years, were plucked from the floodwaters by her mother, who arrived in a truck. They are now crammed into her sister’s apartment and with no insurance have little idea where they will live next. Jaime is unable to earn money because his construction job has been paused due to the flooding.

    But while everything has changed for this family, they are still expected to pay for their abandoned home.

    “Our landlords say we have to pay rent and late fees and every day it is going up,” Fuentes said. “We are paying rent for somewhere we can’t live in. They said ‘you aren’t the only ones in this situation’, but what are we supposed to do? We don’t have any money. We don’t have anything.”
    Under the Texas property code, if a rental premises is “totally unusable” due to an external disaster then either the landlord or tenant can terminate the lease through written notice. But if the property is “partially unusable” because of a disaster, a tenant may only get a reduction in rent determined by a county or district court.

    “There are a lot of property owners who aren’t conscious of what has gone on; they are being rude and kicking people out,” said Isela Bezada, an unemployed woman who lived with 10 family members in a Houston house until her landlord took her to court to evict her after the hurricane hit.

    Reply
  30. eleggua

     /  September 5, 2017

    ‘As Their Home Burns in the Helena Fire (Trinity Co., CA), a Mother and Daughter Are Saved by Passing Heros’

    Bobby Bambino is the passenger, with the cellphone camera.
    As they accelated backwards to avoid the oncoming fire he heard the little girl screaming for help, audible in the video.
    He pocketed the cellphone, camera running.
    Mother was trying to hang onto her 7-year old but she fell; Bobby caught her.
    The driver, Jon Jordan, caught the mother. Both survived and weren’t badly injured.
    It could’ve ended in tragedy for everyone.

    Nearly 9000 acres and only 14% contained at this time, the fire is expected to burn until October 1st. There’re over 1,200 fire personnel struggling to contain this blaze.
    Thunderstorms and lightning forecast for Wednesday.

    “Potential for thunderstorm development over the mountains north and south of the fire area could have a large impact on fire spread. Hot and dry conditions will promote fire growth as the fire moves from grass to timber on higher slopes when the inversion lifts.”

    Reply
  31. wharf rat

     /  September 5, 2017

    Microburst storm in Santa Barbara on Sep 3 2017 at around 2:45 PM PST.
    Heavy rains, and winds at around 80 mph took down huge trees, power lines, flooded streets, capsized boats and kayaks, and sent umbrellas flying.

    Reply
  32. Shawn Redmond

     /  September 5, 2017

    Hellfire or High Water: This is our World at 1°C warming, August 2017. (Part 1 of 3)
    By DemandClimateJustice Staff, originally published by DemandClimateJustice
    September 4, 2017
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-09-04/hellfire-or-high-water-this-is-our-world-at-1c-warming-august-2017-part-1-of-3/

    Reply
  33. wharf rat

     /  September 5, 2017

    Reply
  34. Abel Adamski

     /  September 5, 2017

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/threat-increasing-cuba-florida-intensifying-irma
    7:45 AM AST Tue Sep 5
    Location: 16.7°N 57.7°W
    Moving: W at 14 mph
    Min pressure: 929 mb
    Max sustained: 175 mph

    Reply
  35. Abel Adamski

     /  September 5, 2017

    000
    WTNT61 KNHC 051147
    TCUAT1

    Hurricane Irma Tropical Cyclone Update
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017
    745 AM AST Tue Sep 05 2017

    …HURRICANE IRMA BECOMES A CATEGORY 5 ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
    HURRICANE WIND SCALE…

    NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane
    Irma has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5
    hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum
    winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts. A special advisory
    will be issued at 800 AM AST (1200 UTC) in lieu of the scheduled
    intermediate advisory for Irma.

    SUMMARY OF 745 AM AST…1145 UTC…INFORMATION
    ———————————————-
    LOCATION…16.7N 57.7W
    ABOUT 270 MI…440 KM E OF ANTIGUA
    ABOUT 280 MI…445 KM ESE OF BARBUDA
    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…175 MPH…280 KM/H
    PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 270 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
    MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…929 MB…27.44 INCHES

    $$
    Forecaster Brown/Landsea

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  September 5, 2017

      Good Morning Abel…I saw that you responded to my comment over at WU where I “gently” gave out some information about the “loopy” jet stream someone posted. Absolutely crazy, crazy over there..which I get. A Cat 5 with an uncertain five day cone is making lots of people nervous, especially after Harvey. Suzanne…a.k.a MostlyOptimistic at Disqus.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  September 5, 2017

        Hi Suzanne aka etc
        the post rate over there is unbelievable, however I note mention of Global Warming is unwelcome to some, even though the signature is writ large.

        I wonder, an absolutely outside chance Irma could hit Houston or Corpus Christi, but then we have Katie building up and if they hit the oil centres and Jose gave Mar a Largo a tickle, you could say someone up above is making a clear statement

        Reply
        • Suzanne

           /  September 5, 2017

          I am definitely keeping my eyes on that disturbance in the BOC. Wondering if that will have a steering impact on Irma? If it goes through the Fl. Straits and heads into the GOM…all bets are off. Can’t even imagine what the islands, PR and Hispaniola are thinking. I am 5 days out..and seeing the radar images of that monster is making me feel ill…literally.

        • This is an opinion. But I think another 24-36 hours and then it’s as good a time as any to take that well-deserved, unexpected, vacation out of the danger zone.

        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

      • wharf rat

         /  September 5, 2017

        A lot of people are trying to will this thing thru Mar-a-lago. This would be a good time for you to take a vacation in another state.
        Stay safe.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 5, 2017

          “A lot of people are trying to will this thing thru Mar-a-lago.”

          Fine and dandy, as long as no one is hurt, Trimp or otherwise, human or any other animal.

    • Leland Palmer

       /  September 5, 2017

      fHi Abel-

      Hmmm… that central pressure reading of 929 mb closely matches the 939 mb reading in the GFS from Tropical Tidbits. This reading was supposedly from an aircraft?

      If so, that suggests that the ECMWF pressure predictions are too high, instead of GFS being too low? Anybody know more about this?

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  September 5, 2017

        These aircraft readings, if that’s what they are, suggests that GFS is predicting correctly. So the monster 890 mb pressure drops GFS is predicting might also be real. Scary stuff.

        I’d be looking for high ground, away from flood plains, if I lived in S. Florida.

        Reply
  36. Keith Antonysen

     /  September 5, 2017

    Over the last decade climate change is ramping up. The research from one year to the next is becoming more worrisome. There have been major flooding events around the globe in 2017 as well as major wild fires. Predictions have suggested that Australia needs to prepare for a potentially dangerous bush fire season. Over the last years a number of countries have had insufficient fresh water for domestic purposes.
    But:
    New Matilda has provided an article about Australian coal mining companies wishing to create new mines in Africa. An example of the Paris Accord being ignored.

    https://newmatilda.com/2017/09/04/africa-labor-libs-help-oz-miners-save-continent-destroy-world/

    Quote of first sentences:

    Australian mining companies – with the help of the Labor and Liberal parties – have got their eyes fixed firmly on Africa. Lucy Manne, Head of Campaigns at ActionAid Australia worries about the price Africans (and the rest of us) will pay.

    There is only one place for coal, and that is in the ground.

    Reply
  37. I have become addicted to reading the comments on the cat 6 blog..those people seem to know a lot about weather..they never advise people to leave their home area..I worry about people I know in Fla

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  September 5, 2017

      It is just a little harder getting to the informed commenters. Since WU changed over to Disqus, the blog is a little more “wild west” over there…especially now with a Cat 5 heading in our general direction. I do a lot of scrolling looking for the commenters I know you can trust.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  September 5, 2017

      Also, leaving S. Florida (where I am) can be a tough call, especially with this storm and the wiggles to the east..then to the west in the models. When you only have a couple South to North major roads on a long peninsula it can be a traffic nightmare, and people are just, at this point not sure where to go once they get out of Florida. It is nerve-wracking and I am sure will only intensify in the next few days.

      Reply
      • bostonblorp

         /  September 5, 2017

        Much like the days of the cold war when buildings had “Fallout Shelter” signs posted on them it would not be a bad idea to pursue something similar, even if just an online map, for hurricanes.

        From what I read there is no possibility whatsoever to evac FL in the face of a direct hit from a hurricane like Irma. A map of concrete garages and the like that are capable of withstanding a CAT4 or higher would be a start. Any form of organization is better than no organization.

        Reply
      • Robert in New Orleans

         /  September 5, 2017

        This storm is a potential city killer, leave now if you can. Avoid the interstates and take back roads. Find a lodging in a small town in western Georgia.
        Good luck.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 5, 2017

        “S. Florida (where I am)” Stay safe, be well.

        Reply
  38. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 5, 2017

    That means from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. Tuesday – just three hours – Irma went from a 150-mph Category 4 to a 175-mph Category 5, with higher gusts.

    That is a lot of energy to draw from and to spool up with.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/weather/hurricanes/hurricane-irma-still-targeting-florida-with-category-4-intensity/2336263

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 5, 2017

      Similiar rates of progression in forestfire ramp-ups of late. Doubling in size of area affecting within hours. In the middle of one two years ago, 4,000 to 16,000 acres overnight; up to 32,000 acres in less than 24 hours and another doubling to over 64,000 acres by the following day. 70,000+ acres by the time it was contained. Transformed the area every way, physically, socially, financially. Two died in the fire; six killed themselves within the year, unable to deal with the memories and aftermath.

      It was no picnic.

      Reply
    • No direct hits on mountains to reduce wind speeds “much” AND the warmest water (to add energy to the storm) is where the Gulf Stream rounds Florida to go up the coast.
      The Cone of Irma future is aimed directly for that triangle of warmest water.

      https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-72.29,19.41,1107/loc=-79.559,24.428

      Reply
  39. bostonblorp

     /  September 5, 2017

    From http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/051446.shtml?

    “A peak SFMR wind of 154 kt was reported, with a few others of 149-150 kt. Based on these data the initial intensity is set at 155 kt for this advisory. This makes Irma the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in the NHC
    records.”

    Rainfall records getting broken all over, strongest Atlantic hurricane, wildfires, San Fran heat record, and on and on and on.

    Reply
  40. Suzanne

     /  September 5, 2017

    NHC at 11….Hurricane Irma..now the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic
    basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in the NHC
    records.
    And it hasn’t even it the even warmer waters yet….

    Ryan Maue ✔ @RyanMaue
    Hurricane #Irma has maximized its potential intensity with ~29.5°C ocean water. Will continue over warmer water over 30°C as approaches FL

    Reply
  1. ‘Nuf said | Hypergeometric

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