|Hurricane ALEX Track|
The 2016 Hurricane Season actually begins next Wednesday June 1, and runs through November 30. It should be what is considered a near normal year, but the predictions this year have higher levels of uncertainty. What this suggests is that we could see more hurricane activity than we've seen in the last 3 years, which were below normal.
The prediction means that there is a 79% likelihood of at least a minimum of 10 storms and can be as high as 16 storms. These will be packing winds starting at around 39 mph and somewhere between 4 to 8 storms could become hurricanes, with winds starting at 74 mph or higher. One to four of these storms could be
considered major, with winds starting at 111 mph or higher. On January 14th, Hurricane Alex packed sustained winds of 80 mph as it was located at least 275 miles or 433 kilometers south of Portugal's Azores Islands. The Azores was experiencing something that most residents that live in this modern time would witness, a hurricane warning in January. Maximum winds were recorded at 85 mph. Hurricane Alex, the first storm of the 2016 is included in the outlook. It is what meteorologists are looking at and scratching their heads when they look at a hurricane formed in the Atlantic in the middle of January. It's been at least 40+ years since a winter storm that was formed in the Atlantic earned a name in January.
So what is the phenomenon? To begin, in the Atlantic waters where the hurricane formed was at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. But the upper atmosphere of the storm was super cold, somewhere in the range of -76 degrees, which calculates to a 144 degree difference that produced the energy to spon the hurricane.
To be sure, this type of storm is not a regular occurrence in hurricane formations. The timing for such a storm is way too soon in the year, but this makes you wonder what type of hurricane season we will have this year. Alex earned the position of being the first named storm of 2016, but more-so it is the first named storm to be born since 1938. Since records have been kept on storms, it is the 4th known storm to arrive in the month of January since records begin in 1851.
So yes, this storm was unusual. I will following ALL tropical storms worldwide on this blog for the entire year of 2016. If you were a betting person, you have a great chance to win if you claimed that there would be more than one severe tropical storm to hit the United States this year. Luckily, Hurricane Alex was not one of those storms that came to the U.S. This storm stayed well out in the Atlantic, but the mere fact that it even existed is something very strange to know.
The following text is the Hurricane Discussion that appeared at the National Hurricane Center.....
ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM HURRICANE ALEX DISCUSSION NUMBER 4 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012016 1100 AM AST THU JAN 14 2016 Remarkably, Alex has undergone the transformation into a hurricane. A distinct eye is present, embedded within a fairly symmetric mass of deep convection. Water vapor imagery shows that the upper-level trough is now west of the cyclone, with divergent flow over the center - indicative of a tropical transition. It is very unusual to have a hurricane over waters that are near 20 deg C, but the upper-tropospheric temperatures are estimated to be around -60 deg C, which is significantly colder than the tropical mean. The resulting instability is likely the main factor contributing to the tropical transition and intensification of Alex. With these changes, the government of the Azores has issued warnings for most of the Azores islands. The initial intensity is set to 75 kt in accordance with the analyzed Dvorak T-number of 4.5. Only slight additional intensification seems possible since the system will be passing over even colder waters during the next day or two. In 36 hours, the global models suggest that the cyclone will become extratropical as it begins to merge with a large low pressure area at high latitude. The post-tropical cyclone is then likely to lose its identity after 48 hours. The initial motion is north-northeastward or 020/17 kt. Alex is being steered by a shortwave mid-level trough that is rotating around a larger trough to the northwest. This should cause the cyclone to turn northward and north-northwestward and accelerate over the next couple of days. The official track forecast is very similar to the previous one and also quite close to the consensus of the tightly-packed dynamical model forecast tracks. Alex is the first hurricane to form in the month of January since 1938, and the first hurricane to occur in this month since Alice of 1955. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 14/1500Z 31.5N 28.4W 75 KT 85 MPH 12H 15/0000Z 34.3N 27.7W 80 KT 90 MPH 24H 15/1200Z 38.9N 27.7W 75 KT 85 MPH 36H 16/0000Z 45.3N 28.6W 60 KT 70 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 48H 16/1200Z 53.0N 31.5W 60 KT 70 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 72H 17/1200Z...DISSIPATED $$ Forecaster Pasch NNNN
The following is a corrected report put out by the NHC the previous day....
ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM CCA HURRICANE ALEX DISCUSSION NUMBER 7...CORRECTED NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012016 500 AM AST FRI JAN 15 2016 Corrected 48-hr forecast position The overall convective pattern of Alex has continued to erode since the previous advisory. However, conventional and microwave satellite imagery indicate that there is still enough inner-core convection and a small radius of maximum winds to warrant keeping Alex as a hurricane for this advisory. Satellite classifications continue to decrease, and the initial intensity has been lowered to 65 kt based on a blend of the TAFB current intensity estimate of T4.5/77 kt and a current T-number of T3.5/55 kt. Alex has yet to make the turn toward due north, and the initial motion estimate is 005/20 kt. Other than to nudge the forecast track slightly to the right based on the more eastward initial position, there are no significant changes to the previous forecast track or reasoning. Alex is expected to be steered northward and then northwestward over the next couple of days within deep cyclonic flow in the eastern periphery of a large extratropical low centered over the northwestern Atlantic near Newfoundland. On the forecast track, the center of Alex and the core of strongest winds should reach the central Azores by late morning or early afternoon. The global and regional model guidance remains in excellent agreement on this scenario, and the official forecast track is a blend of the consensus model TVCN and input from the Ocean Prediction Center. Most of the coldest cloud shield has now shifted into the western semicircle, a signal that extratropical transition is likely beginning. With Alex now moving over 16C sea-surface temperatures, and with colder water still ahead of the cyclone, transition to an extratropical cyclone should be complete within the next 12 hours. However, global models suggest that there will be enough baroclinic forcing to maintain hurricane-force winds after transition occurs despite the cold waters of the north Atlantic. The 34-kt wind radius was expanded in the northeastern quadrant based on quality wind reports from ship BATFR17. The wind field is expected to continue to expand as Alex undergoes extratropical transition at higher latitudes. The wind radii forecasts are based primarily on guidance from the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 15/0900Z 36.8N 27.0W 65 KT 75 MPH 12H 15/1800Z 41.4N 27.7W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 24H 16/0600Z 48.7N 30.0W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 36H 16/1800Z 56.0N 34.5W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 48H 17/0600Z 56.5N 47.0W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP 72H 18/0600Z...ABSORBED BY EXTRATROPICAL LOW $$ Forecaster Stewart NNNNTHE FOLLOWING IS A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE ALEX REPORT WHEN THE WINDS DROPPED AT AROUND 74 MPH.000 WTNT31 KNHC 152032 TCPAT1 BULLETIN POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER 9 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012016 500 PM AST FRI JAN 15 2016 ...ALEX BECOMES EXTRATROPICAL... ...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY... SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...43.0N 27.8W ABOUT 290 MI...470 KM N OF TERCEIRA IN THE AZORES MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 350 DEGREES AT 40 MPH...65 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...986 MB...29.12 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ Satellite images and surface observations indicate that Alex has lost its tropical characteristics. At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Post-Tropical Cyclone Alex was located near latitude 43.0 North, longitude 27.8 West. The post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the north near 40 mph (65 km/h), and a turn toward the northwest and west with an additional increase in forward speed is expected over the next 36 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 36 hours, and the post-tropical cyclone is forecast to merge with another extratropical cyclone by Sunday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 485 miles (780 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 986 mb (29.12 inches). HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- None. NEXT ADVISORY ------------- This is the last public advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center on this system. Additional information on this system can be found in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service under AWIPS header NFDHSFAT1, WMO header FZNT01 KWBC, and available on the Web at http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/NFDHSFAT1.shtml, and in high seas forecasts issued by Meteo France under WMO header FQNT50 LFPW and available on the web at http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-marine/bulletin. $$ Forecaster Pasch