Tropical Storm Cristobal, Saturday 6 June 2020

Before discussing Cristobal … I’ve re-established the link to Facebook because so many get their information that way.  While it is a problematic platform in many ways, the simple fact is many people use it.  I would again caution that for real time hazards and news, Facebook can even be dangerous because it does not show you things chronologically.  It also does not show you every post, because it aggressively wants corporate and even non-profit users to pay them to “boost” posts.  So if you really want live data from Enki, bookmark the blog directly.  Another thing I dislike is people profiting from disasters.  As I get time I’m considering options like creating an app,  but I may have to set up a Patreon type thing to sponsor that.  Either way, I really appreciate everyone who has contacted me with well wishes and ideas for how to sort through this.  Note going forward I am not reading or responding to comments on FB.  This is purely an echo of what goes on to the site as a convenience for FB users.

Cristobal has re-emerged into the Gulf of Mexico, and tropical storm force winds should make landfall on the Louisiana coast tomorrow morning – but the impacts will be felt starting later today/tonight.  NHC’s key messages are pretty straightforward, and there are tropical storm warnings up for the Louisiana/Florida Coast, including New Orleans.  Here is the forecast damage swath …

Two things about Cristibal:  first, it isn’t likely to get very strong.  It has a very broad structure, and is dragging in dry air, limiting how intense it can get.  Here is a water vapor image from this morning, you can see the dry air in orange … as always, click any graphic to embiggen.

The second (related) thing is how large the system is.  Normally tropical cyclones get smaller as they get more intense.  It’s a lot like an ice skater who spins faster as she draws her arms in, and slows down when they are extended.  The circulation of Cristobal is quite large.  That means the area of winds and somewhat elevated water is also large – but it also means the storm won’t intensify as fast, even given warm water.  There is also some shear (winds moving in different directions in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere).  Here’s the 850mb (about 5000 feet up) wind speeds … so even the Florida coast might see gusty (but not dangerous) winds.  Water elevations will run a bit above normal across the Northern Gulf Coast – but only structures right on the coast are at risk.  However, soil moistures are high, and there will likely be a lot of rain, meaning there will be river/creek flooding, so if you live near one along the Gulf Coast beware.  Aside from the odd tree down and scattered power outages, that should be about it for Cristibal.

 

 

Tropical Storm Cristobal (Friday 5 June)

Well, technically still Tropical Depression Cristobal as of 11am … for a while it was not much of a system, but NHC continued tracking and advisories since it was expected to re-emerge over the Gulf of Mexico.  That seems to be happening today, the center of circulation is moving north and should move back over water later today.  The part that is over water seems to be intensifying, so there is a good chance Cristobal will become a “real” tropical storm before it strikes the Gulf Coast of the US on Sunday Morning.  Here’s the satellite view as of 10:40am …

Left side is infrared (colder, higher clouds indicating convection in color), right is visual.

Here is the TAOS(tm) TC impact estimate based on the official 11am NHC forecast:

Cristobal has caused a lot of flooding and mudslides in southern Mexico and in Central America, but with all the other news hard to find any good summaries.  Oil refineries and offshore rigs are starting to take action to protect their assets … although the Gulf isn’t nearly as important to US energy and prices as it was 10 years ago.  While it may cause a brief spike (based more on trading dynamics than reality), Cristibal isn’t likely to cause any significant damage offshore.  Onshore, the main risks are flooding, with some minor wind damage and coastal flooding.  NHC is forecasting a very broad wind field – I suspect overly broad – but the Louisiana, Alabama, and parts of the Florida Coast will certainly be gusty Saturday Night in to Sunday.

Tropics June 3rd, 2020 (TS Cristobal and Cyclone Nisarga)

Two storms making landfall on opposite sides of the world this morning.  Cyclone Nisarga has hit the west coast of India, south of Mumbai with hurricane force winds.  It rapidly intensified from a weak depression to full blown hurricane in less than a day.  The impacts both financial and virological are likely to be significant but hopefully not catastrophic. Here’s the damage swath …

In the southern Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Cristobal is hovering near shore, dumping a lot of rain on the Yucatan peninsula, causing mudslides and flash flooding.  It will likely drift inland and start to break up, however, in two days whatever survives is likely to be dragged back offshore and northward towards the Louisiana coast.  If that scenario holds up, as the NHC is forecasting, the impact swath will look something like this:

The main uncertainty is how organized the storm will be as it begins its northward trek.  The more organized, the stronger it will be when it hits the US.  Likewise, it may be nothing more than wind and rain.  We will know more by Friday morning …

 

Tropical Depression #3

Some bits of the system that was Amanda in the East Pacific is now Tropical Depression #3 (AL032020) as NHC has started advisories.  It is expected to become a Tropical Storm tomorrow, and meander near the Mexican coast for a couple of days, dumping a *lot* of rain on Southern Mexico and Central America, with a significant risk of flooding and mudslides.  Here’s what it looks like at about 5pm ET today, see if you can find the center …

Most likely it will end up going inland over Mexico/Central America and dissipating.  But, depending on the Virus and the Riots, you may see scary graphics like this one …

showing a monster storm bearing down on the Gulf Coast (and note this graphic is lying, since it’s just a tropical storm here).  It’s certainly not time to worry about that, it’s not the most likely scenario at this point.  But, the interesting thing is, while *this* circulation may well die out, another may well form in the same place later in the week and drift north, so the whole situation is worth watching anyway.  It will be especially interesting to see if NHC maintains continuity, or creates yet a third storm of of essentially the same chunk of hot air …

Administrative note: As previously posted, I’ve discontinued the Enki Facebook and Twitter feeds.  Facebook in particular was problematic and their policies are rather toxic and ultimately became unacceptable, so I needed to stop feeding the beast.  However, I understand that many people are on it with family and friends and it is a pretty ubiquitous communications tool.  Feel free to share links there if you like.

As for the blog, I’m not sure what direction it is going to go, or how it will be supported.  We’ll see how it goes.