Weather History: Hurricane Andrew
August 24th marks the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew striking the south Florida Coast back in 1992. To this day Andrew remains one of only three Category 5 hurricanes to ever make landfall along the US Mainland. At the time of landfall, it was the costliest hurricane in our nation’s history, causing over $26 million in damages. Although Hurricanes Katrina and Ike (2005 and 2008, respectively) have since passed Andrew on this list, its impacts will not soon be forgotten. Additionally, the storm was responsible for 26 direct fatalities, including 15 in the state of Florida alone.
Watch vs. Warning: What's the Difference
With the severe weather season underway, now is a good time to go over the difference between tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. A WATCH means that the potential exists for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, depending upon the specific type of watch issued. In the case of a tornado watch, this DOES NOT mean that a tornado has been seen or even indicated on radar...it just means that conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in thunderstorms.
Tropical Outlook: Remainder of August & Beyond
So far this season, the Atlantic Basin has seen two named storms. Bertha’s formation date of July 31st was right on par with climatology, as the average date of development for the second named storm is usually right around August 1st. Similarly, we are right on schedule in terms of seasonal hurricanes…as Arthur passed off the Eastern Seaboard earlier in July. With that being said, what can we expect during the coming weeks and beyond?
The Science Behind Sea Breezes
A relatively common summertime occurrence took place across coastal Illinois during the afternoon of June 24th. No, it was not a thunderstorm or any kind of severe weather; instead it was something much more subtle. A lake breeze from Lake Michigan moved onshore and backed first through the coastal plain before eventually making it several miles inland through downtown Chicago. As a result, easterly winds from off the lake itself resulted in cooling temperatures during the hottest part of the day across these locations.
How Do Hurricanes Work?
With hurricane season underway and Arthur currently churning off the Southeast coast (as of July 2, 2014), now is the time to get prepared in the event you find yourself in the path of one of these storms. Although most of us understand what a hurricane is, specific details related as to how they develop are sometimes not as clear. Let's investigate the basics of hurricane formation and find out how these storms differ from typical mid-latitude systems.
2014 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook
For those of you who follow tropical weather, it should come as no surprise that last year’s hurricane season can be described as a total “dud.” In fact, statistically speaking, it was the least active non-El Niño season in recorded history. This resulted in minimal impacts for the nation as a whole. Aside from the season’s first named storm, Andrea, no other system had a direct impact as a tropical entity on the United States. Looking ahead, the main question is will we luck out for yet another year, or will this season prove to be more destructive?
El Niño's Impacts on Summer 2014 & Beyond
Over the past few months, our long range department has been noticing the increasing potential that El Niño conditions could develop by later this summer / early autumn and carry us through winter 2014 – 2015. The big question is, what types of impacts can we expect across the nation over the next several months based on this projection? Let's investigate the possibilities.
The Science Behind El Niño
Many times, meteorologists use some technical terminology during weather discussions. Some of the acronyms used can understandably come off as a form of alphabet soup. Perhaps one of the most widely used terms in the industry is “El Niño” or its counterpart “La Niña.” While you may have heard these terms mentioned many times in passing, what do they actually mean and how can they impact weather patterns in your neck of the woods? Let's investigate...