It seems likely that the National Hurricane Center will start issuing official advisories on the area currently identified as AL962014. If so it will be designated AL042014, named “Cristobal”. Here is this morning’s enhanced IR image and some possible tracks:
Most of the guidance shows the system stalling out in the Bahamas for a few days and reaching hurricane intensity. Here is the HWRF forecast track and intensity, as depicted in my taru model:
It looks like the media is spinning up, and Florida will likely go in to full on panic mode shortly. In all seriousness folks in the southeast should watch this one. Most scenarios indicate it staying offshore after passing slowly through the Bahamas, but forecasts in the 4-7 day range are very uncertain and it could easily make landfall in the US.
The area in the Atlantic is still a bit of a mess; the latest HWRF run kills it off, but the National Hurricane Center gives it a high chance of developing into something in the next 5 days, but the environment right now isn’t great. Track cluster is further north than it was, so all those folks enthusiastic for a Gulf storm are probably disappointed. Something to watch, but nothing to get excited about yet.
There is an area in the Atlantic that forecasters and forecaster-wannabes are watching. Can you find it?
No, this is not a repeat. A 5.7 and 4.2 in the same general area this morning; over 20 earthquakes in the last week in this area:
It’s a seismically active area on a major fault zone (politically as well as geologically), but still . . .
A weird cluster of earthquakes in western Iran, near Dehloran:
One of them last night (Iran time) was a significant 6.2, probably upwards of $50 Million in damage. There have at least 10 earthquakes clustered in this area, and a couple more nearby. Given the focus on the Iranian nuclear program, and the vulnerability of many of their sites to seismic damage, this is worth keeping an eye on.
Northwest of the one a few days ago (in the lower part of this image), on the Iran/Iraq border. Not near any of the nuclear sites; a 100,000 or so people in the impact area but damage should be relatively light. So is something up on this fault system? Aftershocks or foreshocks?
With the organization changes and web site reorganization (yeah, still working on that) folks often get lost looking for old links. If you are looking for the analysis I led of the damage from ‘The Avengers’ or ‘Man of Steel’, those articles are here.
Near the Bushehr Nuclear Plant:
Only a 4.9, 34km depth, so more than likely didn’t cause any damage, but another reminder that this is a dangerous facility located in a very risky area.
Typhoon Halong is decaying slowly, but should be a respectable 75kt typhoon when it makes landfall on Japan in 3 days. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast landfall will be directly on the central island of Shikoku. Here is the wind swath using my Taru model and the JTWC track:
On that track and intensity the storm would cause upwards of $1 Billion in impacts. The forecast isn’t unanimous, however. The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast takes the storm towards Kyushu, with roughly the same intensity at landfall. The HWRF and JMAE objective models also show a jog to the left and landfall on Kyushu:
We should know which way the storm is going by tomorrow.
The decaying Hurricane Iselle should be making landfall on the big island of Hawai’i in just under two days. By then it should be a tropical storm, and impacts are forecast to be in the $10 to $20 Million range. Here’s the forecast wind swath, using my Taru model and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast track and intensity:
Next up is Hurricane Julio, which is about five days out. It is forecast to pass north of the islands, and impacts should be light if that track holds up:
Having two or more hits in the same general area is not at all unusual. Statistically, if you are hit by a hurricane or tropical storm, there is a one in four chance you will be hit by another tropical system that same year. Why is that? Hurricanes are “steered” by middle and upper level winds. While these winds vary from day to day, they tend to follow a pattern in a given year due to the interactions of various climate cycles like the El Nino/Southern Oscillation, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, and others. So the pattern that steered one storm over you tends to push any others storms that form in that same are later in the year over similar tracks. On the plus side, when a storm passes over the ocean it cools the water, both by rain and by churning up deeper, cooler water. So if the second storm passes too close behind the first, before the ocean has a chance to reset, the second storm will tend to be weaker because the ocean will not have as much energy to feed it.