Tropical news you may have missed this week

On Fridays, when the tropical Atlantic is calm, as it will be next week, I’ll be repeating tropical news that you may have missed. Today’s edition begins with a changing of the guard at the National Hurricane Center.

National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham has been named the new director of the National Weather Service

KenGraham (NOAA)

Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center since April 2018, received a major promotion this week. The National Weather Service, the umbrella organization of the National Hurricane Center, announced Ken as the new director on Tuesday morning. Ken follows his old boss Dr. Louis Uccellini, a 32-year NWS veteran and prominent atmospheric scientist who retired late last year. Jason Samenow of the Washington Post wrote one excellent piece describing Ken’s four-year tenure as NHC director. Ken is widely respected among his peers, and for many of us who know him, we’re not surprised by the news.


Prior to his time as NHC Director, Ken ran the National Weather Service Office in New Orleans from 2008 to 2018. Before joining the National Weather Service in 1994, he was a broadcast weather forecaster with a CBS affiliate in Mississippi. NHC Assistant Director Jamie Rhome will serve as NHC acting director while the center searches for a permanent director.

The hardy La Niña continues to trudge in the eastern Pacific and is expected to remain there through the summer

sea ​​surface temperature (WPLG)

The ongoing La Niña in the eastern Pacific, which has been ongoing since last summer, has been one of the strongest episodes ever observed during the spring months. A La Niña occurs when water in the eastern Equatorial Pacific cools, affecting global wind patterns. This change in wind circulations reduces storms in the eastern Pacific, which in turn weakens hostile wind shear over the Atlantic, making the Atlantic more conducive to hurricane activity. NOAA forecasts a greater than 50/50 chance that La Nina will survive the peak months of the Atlantic hurricane season. This is well documented by my advisor and other colleagues La Niña conditions also increase the likelihood of a hurricane making landfall in the continental United States and Florida’s chances of a hurricane making landfall increase significantly when La Niña or neutral conditions prevail compared to El Nino conditions. All of this information supports projections of an active and potentially impactful 2022 hurricane season.


The Miami area tops 30 inches of rainfall for the year, almost a foot above the previous year’s average

Observed total precipitation (Southeast Regional Climate Center)

Recognition: Regional Climate Center Southeast

Thanks to more than four inches of rain left behind by potential Tropical Cyclone One last weekend, year-to-date rainfall for the Miami subway is now among the 15 wettest since the late 1800s. For Fort Lauderdale International, which has only held a continuous rainfall record since 1999, it was one of the five wettest starts ever. The high pressure move early next week should give us at least a brief respite from the stormy pattern. While the 30-inch total is impressive, it pales in comparison to Miami in 1930 and 1942, when over 40 inches of rain were recorded through June 9.


NASA launches first pair of six small satellites to improve overwater hurricane observations

Most of our high-fidelity data examining hurricane structure comes from either research aircraft with Doppler radar like the NOAA Hurricane Hunters, or from existing low-Earth satellites that give us a snapshot when we fly over storms a few times a day at most. That may change soon NASA will launch the first pair of six small satellites into low-Earth orbit in the coming days That will allow a look into tropical cyclones almost every hour instead of just a few times a day, similar to a medical MRI. This will help forecasters better assess hurricane characteristics important to hurricane forecasting, such as strength, eyewall organization, and precipitation rates.

These nanosatellites, which weigh only about 10 pounds each and aren’t much larger than a loaf of bread, are significantly smaller than traditional low-Earth orbiting satellites, which can weigh thousands of pounds and span 12 feet. They also cost significantly less — around $30 million for all six satellites, compared to hundreds of millions of dollars to build and launch a conventional low-Earth orbit satellite. The only downside to the smaller satellites is that unlike their larger cousins, they are designed to last up to a decade or more to last just a few years. The other two pairs of satellites will join the first pair on later launches planned later this year.


The latest update on the tropics, provided by Local 10 Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert Michael Lowry.

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https://www.local10.com/meta/newsletter/2022/06/10/friday-roundup-news-you-may-have-missed-this-week-from-the-tropics/ Tropical news you may have missed this week

Sarah Y. Kim

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