Archive | February 11, 2015


Subject To Change

Depth: 13 km

Distances: 2736 km S of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 381,900 / local time: 10:29:25.8 2015-02-12
3951 km S of Canberra, Australia / pop: 327,700 / local time: 08:29:25.8 2015-02-12
4924 km S of Nouméa, New Caledonia / pop: 93,060 / local time: 08:29:25.8 2015-02-12

Global viewRegional view


Typhoon Higos Makes History in NW Pacific

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Typhoon Higos at 0310 GMT on February 10, 2015. Image credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
With an unexpected burst of intensification on Monday, Typhoon Higos became the strongest tropical cyclone on record for so early in the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The compact typhoon dissipated quickly after its show of strength, having spun out its short life over an empty stretch of the Northwest Pacific roughly midway between the Marshall Islands and Northern Mariana Islands. The official peak intensity of Higos, as recorded by Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JWTC) was 105 kts (120 mph) at 0600 GMT on February 10, making it a Category 3. Satellite imagery suggests that Higos may have briefly spiked at Category 4 strength, with an outside chance of Category 5 strength, so the storm’s peak winds could be revised in later analyses. Two NASA satellites were in place to estimate rainfall rates below Higos.
Figure 2. The satellite image at right of Higos, collected at 0301 GMT on February 10, 2015, shows a solid field of intense convection around the typhoon’s distinct eye. The typhoon’s intensity at this point or shortly thereafter may have been stronger than the officially recorded peak of 105 kts (120 mph). Image credit: NOAA, via @ wxtrackercody.
Typhoons do form on occasion in February over the Northwest Pacific, with 36 tropical cyclones on record for the region since 1900 in NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks website. However, these storms tend to develop late in the month, with their peak intensities often occurring in early March. Supertyphoon Mitag formed at the end of February 2002 and attained peak winds of 140 kts (160 mph) on March 5. The strongest intensity in the official record during February is the 1970’s Typhoon Nancy, whose winds reached 120 kts (140 mph) on February 24. This also stands as a record for the entire Northern Hemisphere, since water temperatures are normally too cool and wind shear too strong to allow for hurricane development so early in the Northeast Pacific and North Atlantic.
Another noteworthy aspect of Higos is its position-–at peak intensity, it was more than 500 miles east of the track of any other February typhoon. The next closest is 2014’s Typhoon Faxai, although Faxai did not peak until early March. Sea-surface temperatures were close to 1°C warmer than average across the region where Higos developed (see Figure 3), part of a pattern of unusual warmth covering much of the western tropical Pacific.
Figure 3. Departures from average (anomalies) in sea-surface temperature (degrees C) for February 5, 2015, just before Typhoon Higos developed. Image credit: NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations.
Courtesy of Dr. Jeff Masters
Credit to Bob Henson 


Subject To Change

Depth: 190 km

Distances: 93km (58mi) W of El Aguilar, Argentina
128km (80mi) W of Humahuaca, Argentina
153km (95mi) SW of La Quiaca, Argentina
154km (96mi) SW of Villazon, Bolivia
750km (466mi) SSE of La Paz, Bolivia

Global view

Fierce sandstorm lashes Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, halting Suez traffic

Sandstorm Alert

A fierce sandstorm lashed Egypt, Israel and Lebanon on Wednesday, forcing the closure of the Suez Canal and grounding domestic flights in Israel, officials said.
The skyline of Cairo was barely visible as dust blown in from the surrounding desert hung in the air and shrouded the Egyptian capital for a second day. 
A few incoming flights were diverted to other airports in the country but most air traffic was normal, an airport official said. 
But the Suez Canal southeast of Cairo was closed Wednesday, with 52 ships waiting to enter from the Red Sea as winds reached 74 kilometres per hour (46 miles per hour), officials told AFP. 
Traffic would resume once the storm subsides, the officials said. 
The health ministry advised Egyptians to wear masks when leaving their homes. 
In neighbouring Israel, the domestic carrier Arkia said it had grounded flights for several hours until 1400 GMT because of bad weather.
11.02.15 Israel Sandstorm
A view of Ben-Gurion Airport as dust storms descend on Israel. (photo credit:ISRAEL AIRPORTS AUTHORITY)
Courtesy of Gulf Times


Solar Energy Alert




Subject To Change

Depth: 182 km

Distances: 523 km S of Sucre, Bolivia / pop: 224,838 / local time: 09:01:14.1 2015-02-11
156 km NW of San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina / pop: 305,891 / local time: 10:01:14.1 2015-02-11
80 km NW of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina / pop: 4,000 / local time: 10:01:14.1 2015-02-11

Global viewRegional view

Historic snow smashes record after record in Boston, USA

Winter Storm Warning_2

When the governor of Massachusetts and the mayor of Boston both refer to the recent snowfall as “historic,” they are not kidding, writes Storm Team 5 meteorologist Mike Wankum.
We are smashing records nearly every hour.
The 23.1 inches of snow from the latest storm in Boston means we are staring down one of the snowiest winters in Boston history, and it only started 18 days ago on Jan. 23. 
71.8 inches have fallen in those 18 days, when the average snowfall for an entire winter in Boston is 43.1 inches.
It is already the ninth snowiest winter in history, and prior to Jan. 23, we were running a snow deficit.
A measly 5.5 inches for the winter before that January date. Big storms would move through, but lacked the needed cold air to produce snow.
February is now running almost 10 degrees below average.
Looking at the long-range maps this could end up being one of our coldest February’s ever.
Unfortunately the trend is for more cold air to slam us later this week. With the arctic air in place the recent storms have all been block buster snow events.
Starting with the blizzard Jan of 26-28, 24.6 inches of snow landed us in the No. 6 spot for all time biggest snow storms in Boston history.
A few days later the Feb. 7-10 snow total of 23.1 inches landed in the No. 7 spot.
Think about it, two of the biggest snow storms in Boston history occurred within 10 days of each other, and in between a 16.2 inch snow storm.
That storm just missed being a top 10 snow storm. That’s three of the biggest snow storms in Boston’s history all in an 18-day period.
The only other time that two top 10 snowstorms hit was back in the winter of 1978.
21.4 inches fell on Jan. 20-21, 1978 and a few days later the great Blizzard of ‘78 deposited 27.1 inches on February 6-7.
A big difference between 1978 and 2015 is that between the two storm in 1978 there was a major melt. In 2015, there was a major snowstorm (16.2 inches).
We have smashed the 30-day record for snow in Boston with 72.6 inches and we have two more weeks for any potential snow storms to add to the total. Worcester also saw its greatest 30-day period for snow with 78.5 inches.
We also smashed the 14-day record for snow in Boston with 64.4 inches.
Courtesy of WCVB News