Hurricane Florence

Space station view of Hurricane Florence on Wednesday, September 12.


Posted under Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on September 12, 2018

Active Tropics

Today (Sept 10) is the peak of hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin.

This evening we have three named storms in the Atlantic…Florence, Issac and Helene.

Florence is forecast to remain a Category 4 storm as it heads toward the the southeast coast of the United States. Somewhere along the North Carolina coast appears to be where it moves onshore. It is a large storm so it is not just the center of circulation people should be concerned about. Look how far in, from the coast, the heavy rain falls. The latest forecast shows the rainfall amounts will be 10″ to as much as 20″ across much of North Carolina and Virginia.

Winds along the coast could exceed 130 mph. Only one hurricane has brought sustained winds of 130 mph or stronger to North Carolina since 1851, it was Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

The chart below shows Florence began off the coast of Africa and the path it has taken through Monday.

Since 1970, there have been six hurricanes to make landfall as a category 4 or 5, three of those six were last year. Florence has the potential for make it the seventh.

Here is what it looks like in the center of the hurricane from one of Hurricane Hunters.


Several models are suggesting the eye of the storm to make landfall along the North Carolina Coast.

Here is the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center as of Monday evening.




Posted under Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on September 10, 2018

Tracking the Tropics: Two Systems Potentially Impacting US

Right now, we are in the heart of the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.  The climatological peak of hurricane season is September 10th.   Sure enough, as close as we are, things are active in the Atlantic AND Pacific.

In the Atlantic, all eyes are on Florence (and two systems behind that one, along with several waves in Africa).  As of 9 PM Saturday evening, Florence was a strong Tropical Storm, tracking west.

The forecast has been consistent in bringing this storm near, or into the United States east coast by the middle and end of next week.  There’s a strong high pressure that will anchor over the northern Atlantic, and steer this system toward the US.  With the high, and the hurricane, anchored to the east, our weather pattern will become “blocked,” which means we will see several days of the same type of weather if things work out the way they are forecast now.

We are also tracking Hurricane Olivia in the eastern Pacific Ocean.  Right now, it’s a Category 1 hurricane, and is forecast to weaken as it heads toward the Hawaiian islands.  Keep in mind, Hawaii is just recovering from being impacted by Hurricane Lane.


Posted under Tropics

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 8, 2018

Several Hours of Rain

In just a few days we have had more measurable precipitation hours than most full months of 2018.

Thursday morning low temperatures dropped into the 20s across northern Minnesota. Here are the lows plotted on a map and the temperatures in the 20s are circled in blue.

We now have Tropical Storm Florence in the Atlantic. It is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane as it moves toward the US. Still several days out to know if it will impact the US next week.


Posted under Precipitation Totals, Temperatures, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on September 6, 2018

More Heavy Rain

There is a wide spread area of rain exceeding 10″ in the last 30 days. The map does not include the rain from Monday.

Showers and storms taper off overnight. Tuesday morning into early afternoon we stay dry. Tuesday afternoon, showers and storms develop and will continue through the evening and overnight. Rain is on and off through most of Wednesday as well before ending during the late afternoon and evening. Thursday is Dry. Isolated storms are possible Friday, but the bigger concern would be the potential for more heavy rain this weekend. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Gordon making landfall Tuesday. The moisture from the storm could make it as far north as Iowa this weekend.

Here is a look at the potential rainfall through Monday evening. You can see where the heavy rain moves north and across Iowa.


Posted under Flooding, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on September 3, 2018

Hurricane Lane

The data on the right is from a buoy just southwest of Hurricane Lane near Hawaii. The chart on the right shows how the pressure and wind changed really fast near the eye of the hurricane.

Here is a picture of the eye of a hurricane, NOT “Lane”.  This will give you an idea what part of the storm matches up with the chart above.


Posted under Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on August 23, 2018

First Real-Time Computer Hurricane Forecast

On August 13, 1958, the first computer model forecast for a tropical system was issued.

University of Chicago scientists ran a forecast for Tropical Storm Becky. The storm had formed a few days prior.

Becky’s actual track

This computer model was not used in the official forecast for Tropical Storm Becky. Scientists tried computer models for three more storms that season, with 17 total forecasts issued in 1958.

For more information, click here.

For more information on the 1958 hurricane season, click here.


Posted under Tropics, Weather History

This post was written by Rachael Peart on August 14, 2018

2018 Tropical Atlantic Storm Names

Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1. Here are the World Meteorological Organization’s list of names for tropical systems in the north Atlantic:

These names are issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The lists of names are rotated on a six year cycle. Most of the names that will be used this year for tropical systems were also used in 2012.

Seaside Heights, NJ, November 12,2012–The iconic roller coaster that had been part of the Seaside Heights boardwalk for over 70 years sits in the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Sandy pushed the roller coaster into the ocean. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA

One notable name that is not on this list but was in 2012 is “Sandy”. WMO retired this name in 2013 after it caused significant damage and resulted in deaths. “Sara” takes its place for the 2018 season.

Meteorologists at Colorado State University forecast 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes (category 3+ on the Saffir-Simpson scale) this season. A typical season features 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Be sure to keep an eye on the tropical forecast if you plan to travel this year.


Posted under Tropics

This post was written by Rachael Peart on May 9, 2018

Hurricane Harvey Stats

Here are some wild numbers as a result of historic Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas.




Posted under Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on January 30, 2018

2017 Forecast to be in Top Three Warmest Years on Record

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) predicts that 2017 will rank in the warmest years on record. This year may rank second or third.

Temperature average Jan-Oct 2017

2017 was not an El Nino year. Therefore, the WMO anticipates it will be the warmest year without the impact of El Nino on record.

2017 is represented by the far right grey line

We’ve seen multiple devastating hurricanes and other weather events during 2017. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all reached major hurricane strength. NOAA forecast an above average hurricane season earlier this year.

NOAA’s 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction (May 2017)

It seemed as if there was a point when there was a new hurricane or tropical system in the Atlantic. That’s because 2017 has seen six major hurricanes, 10 hurricanes and 17 named storms (as of November 7, 2017).

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Data (does not include information on “Rina”)

This year also featured devastating droughts, floods and fires. 2016 holds the title of warmest year on record.

For the full report from WMO outlining their findings, click here.


Posted under Heat, Temperatures, Tropics

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 8, 2017