Wednesday, September 22, 2010
As many of you have noticed, the U.S. hasn’t been hit by a hurricane this year. We’ve come mighty close – one recurved off of the outer banks and one landed just south of Brownsville, but we have had no U.S. landfalls, which is phenomenal because this has been a very active hurricane season so far.
But we may get a hurricane landfall yet. There’s another Cape Verde storm way out in the Atlantic, and it’s not going to impact us. But there is an area of disorganized low pressure in the Caribbean, and this could very easily develop into something if conditions are favorable.
As the satellite image shows, there is a LOT of thunderstorm activity in the Caribbean. There is not much wind shear and there are warm water temperatures. The strongest hurricane on record occurred in the Caribbean in conditions like these back in 2005. It reached 882 millibars! The Columbus Day Storm, our strongest storm, was only a 960. Only a few storms ever go below 900, and no non-tropical storm that I know of has ever gone below 940. 882? That’s crazy. It was Hurricane Wilma, and at peak intensity, it had the smallest eye on record, being 2 nautical miles in diameter. Most eyes are like 40 nm across.
See if you can make out the eye in this picture. It is visible, but barely. Wilma also occurred in mid-October when water temperatures were cooler. Evidently, they weren’t cool enough to prevent hurricane formation. I’ll keep you posted for updates on the situation in the Caribbean!.