November 4

Record Warmth Reaches MSP – Hurricane Eta Delivers Punishing Blow to Nicaragua – Poses Risk to Florida

Colder and Stormier by Mid-Month. That’s what GFS is hinting at; maybe a few significant storms (mixed precipitation?) less than 2 weeks out as a few waves of colder air push south of the border.

Category 4 Hurricane Eta Punishes Nicaragua. The New York Times (paywall) has details: “The Category 4 storm threatened much of Central America with winds of up to 140 miles per hour and rainfall that could reach 35 inches in some areas. Forecasters predicted that Hurricane Eta, whose eye began making landfall along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua midafternoon Tuesday, would rapidly lose power as soon as the center had fully moved onshore. By early Wednesday, it was expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it carved a path through northern Nicaragua, and weaken further to a tropical depression by Wednesday night as it moved into southern Honduras, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said on Tuesday afternoon…”
Tuesday night IR image: AerisWeather.

Super Typhoon Goni Slams into Philippines as Strongest Landfalling Tropical Cyclone on Record. Dr. Jeff Masters has eye-opening statistics about the mega-hurricane that just hit the Philippines at Yale Climate Connections: “…Goni was the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in world recorded history, using one-minute average wind speeds from the National Hurricane Center for the Atlantic/northeast Pacific and one-minute average winds from JTWC for the rest of the planet’s ocean basins. The previous record was jointly held by Super Typhoon Meranti, which made landfall on September 16, 2016, on Itbayat Island, Philippines, and Super Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall on November 8, 2013, on Leyte Island, Philippines. Both had maximum winds of 195 mph at their peak intensity, but made landfall with 190 mph winds, according to JWTC. There are no official world records for strongest landfalling storms, since the JTWC does not routinely assign landfall intensities in their post-season summaries (though they did make an exception for Super Typhoon Haiyan)…”

Image credit: “Super Typhoon Goni as seen by the light of the Halloween full moon on October 31, 2020, by the VIIRS instrument. The lights of Manila are visible at left.” (Image credit: NASA Worldview).

More Durable Radars Are Needed For an Era of Stronger Hurricanes. Dr. Marshall Shepherd reports for Forbes: “…According to University of Miami hurricane expert Brian Mcnoldy, Hurricane Zeta marked the fifth landfall during the state, three of which were hurricanes. In August, Hurricane Laura (2020) knocked out the National Weather Service radar at its Lake Charles office. Unfortunately, the same region faced threats from Hurricanes Delta (2020) and Zeta (2020), respectively, after Laura. As I sit at my computer tracking an unprecedented Hurricane Eta (yep, Eta), strong and rapidly intensifying storms in recent years raises the following question for me: Do we need more durable weather radar infrastructure for an era of stronger hurricanes?…”

Image credit: “NEXRAD Doppler radar in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.” NOAA

Moderate to Strong La Nina Event Develops in the Pacific. BBC News has an update: “…There is a 55% chance of the conditions persisting through the first quarter of next year. While a La Niña event normally exerts a cooling influence on the world, this is unlikely to make too much of a difference to 2020. “La Niña typically has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but this is more than offset by the heat trapped in our atmosphere by greenhouse gases,” said Prof Petteri Taalas, from the WMO. “Therefore, 2020 remains on track to be one of the warmest years on record and 2016-2020 is expected to be the warmest five-year period on record,” he said “La Niña years now are warmer even than years with strong El Niño events of the past...”

How the Oklahoma Ice Storm Helped Strengthen Hurricane Zeta Beyond Expectations. Here’s an excerpt of a good explainer from Capital Weather Gang: “…The hurricane managed to capitalize on upper-level winds streaming through Texas and Oklahoma generated by an unusually sharp dip in the jet stream for late October. This dip allowed record cold to crash through the northern Rockies and into the Plains, with temperatures up to 60 degrees colder than average and as low as minus-33 degrees. The upper level winds roaring from south to north along the eastern flank of the jet stream dip facilitated diverging air flow above and out ahead of the hurricane. This encouraged air to rise, cool and condense into clouds and precipitation, and led to an increase in thunderstorm intensity within Hurricane Zeta, which overwhelmed anything that might inhibit it...”

Image credit: “Visible satellite image from Wednesday showing Hurricane Zeta moving ashore in Louisiana, an ongoing ice storm over Texas and Okla., and smoke plumes from fires in Southern California.” (CIRA/RAMMB)

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