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Atlantic Basin is Quiet Again After January's Hurricane Alex.
Number of days since last Hurricane Landfall in US: 666 (Arthur) , in Florida: 3840 (10 y 6 m) (Wilma)
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Alex becomes Hurricane, Warnings up for the Azores

Posted: 09:40 AM 14 January 2016 | | Add Comment

Alex has been upgraded to a hurricane, with baroclinic forces being perfect, and a very clear eye visible.

Because of this, Hurricane Warnings are now up for parts of the Azores.

For the Hurricane Warning: the islands of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, and Terceira in the central Azores.

Tropical Storm Warning for the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria in the eastern Azores.

This is an extremely rare event to have a January hurricane, and even rarer for it to directly affect land areas.

Alex is the first January hurricane to form since 1938. The last one to occur (But not form) in January was 1955's Alice.

Additionally It is only the second hurricane on record to form north of 30.0N east of 30W (during any time).

Original Update
Welcome to 2016, a possible developing subtropical system is found off the east coast of the US, it has a 30% chance for development over the next 5 days.

The last time something developed in January that was subtropical was in 1978. It also happened in 1951 and 1938. If it were to be named, the first name for the year is Alex. The system is not currently being tracked as an invest. The National Hurricane Center has issued a special tropical weather outlook for the system.

The actual North Atlantic Hurricane season starts on June 1st.

From Ed Dunham re 2016:

NCEP has revised their forecast and now expects that it will be mid Summer of 2016, rather than Spring, before the current strong El Nino moderates to ENSO neutral conditions in the Pacific 3.4 Region. If the forecast pans out, it would be normal to anticipate that early season (or pre-season) activity would be unlikely, however, their forecast also suggests above average SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea from January through June - so I wouldn't close the books on any early season activity just yet. At the moment the best analog years seem to be:

1998 - 14/10/3
1988 - 11/5/3
1966 - 11/7/3
2003 - 16/7/3

Six month SST forecasts are not exactly precision forecasts, but I would still anticipate ENSO Neutral by late July into August. With SSTs generally warmer in the basin, I'm going to start with an outlook for an above average level of activity with 14 named storms and 8 hurricanes with 3 of those hurricanes reaching 'major' status. We'll leave this thread open until the start of the Atlantic season on June 1st. You can post your own seasonal forecast numbers here and change them until the season starts. At the end of the 2016 season we'll take a look back and see how well we've done.

Alex Event Related Links

Animated Skeetobite Model Plot of Alex


SFWMD Model Plot (Animated Model Plot) SFWMD Hurricane Page
Clark Evans Track Model Plot of Alex (Animated!) Model Plots in Google Earth - In Google Maps
Clark Evans Intensity Model Plot of Alex (Animated!)

Clark Evans Track Plot of Alex

Other Model Charts from Clark

Clark Evans Top 10 Analog Storms for Alex
More model runs on from RAL/Jonathan Vigh's page
NRL Info on Alex -- RAMMB Info

Floater Satellite Images: Visible (Loop), IR (Loop), WV (Loop), Dvorak (Loop), AVN (Loop), RGB (Loop), Rainbow (Loop), Funktop (Loop), RB Top Loop)

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Ed Dunham

The Erika Enigma

Posted: 05:57 PM 27 August 2015
At 27/17Z, TS Erika was located at 16.5N 63.5W and at 27/19Z Erika was located at 16.6N 63.6W - pretty much a dead stop, i.e., slow drift to the northwest, however at 27/21Z the center was located at 16.8N 63.8W - still moving to the northwest but the forward speed is increasing. With convection displaced to the southeast, positions were easy to determine based on the exposed, but still well formed, LLCC. As noted elsewhere, convection was firing on the eastern edge of the center but it is now firing over most of the center and the displacement continues to the east and southeast.

Over the past couple of days the forecast models have been of very little help in determining both the future intensity and the forecast track of this sheared tropical cyclone - both the early and the long range models have been all over the place with this system. Some of this erratic model output has surfaced in the NHC forecast which at times has seemed to be just as erratic, but if you live by the model.... To be fair, they have to come up with something every six hours whereas we have no such requirement.

When dealing with the tropics there are times (frequent times actually) when persistence is not only the best solution but often the only realistic solution so before I chastise the NHC too harshly I'll wait awhile and see how this all plays out. When forecasting hurricanes, the hardest thing to do is to have patience - when something is expected to happen but it doesn't, if you force yourself to wait a little longer the event that you expected, i.e., a turn to the northwest or something like that, eventually will. In other words the forecast idea was generally pretty good, but the timing was off.

Where is Erika likely to go - and will Erika survive to do it? Right now there are many options and all of them are realistic based on where the tropical cyclone is and what the environment looks like and how that environment is expected to evolve. Erika could get sheared apart and become an open wave. Erika could hit Puerto Rico and fall apart or survive and just miss Hispaniola. Erika could hit Hispaniola and end the storm track. Which one is the likely solution? Right now I have no firm idea - so I'll be patient for a little while longer. At Erika's current speed I certainly have enough time to do that. Erika still has to deal with a significant amount of windshear but, since the shear is primarily in the upper levels of the atmosphere, the system has been dealing with the shear rather well so far and it will probably continue to do so as long as the LLCC remains intact.
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