We’re Not Done With Tropical Weather Yet

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Looking back at the first week of October, it appears that the hurricane season hasn’t ended yet. In addition, recent storms have become curiouser than ever.

The week’s highlight, particularly here in Georgia, was Tropical Storm Tammy, which developed off of the Florida coast, and then moved across south Georgia, eventually curving to the southwest over Alabama, and back into the Gulf of Mexico. Nonetheless, it managed to bring 1.79 inches of rain to Hartsfield Airport, and almost 3 inches of rain to Lawrenceville.

The next reported storm was Subtropical Depression 22. The official reason it was a subtropical depression rather than the normal tropical depression is that much of its energy was derived from a low pressure system to its south. Originally predicted to move northwest into the New England states, within 24 hours it was history, with the Hurricane Center having decided the storm had dissipated to the point where it was no longer a cyclone.

This morning’s surprise was the appearance of Tropical Storm Vince, now Hurricane Vince. Unlike most storms tracked by the National Hurricane Center, Vince is moving towards the northeast, and is expected to weaken, and strike the Iberian coast near the northern border of Spain and Portugal sometime Tuesday morning. The forecast track as of 5 PM Sunday is below:

In justifying listing Vince in what is nominally an American storm warning system, the Hurricane Center claims, “If it looks like a hurricane, it probably is.” The storm has winds of 75 MPH, and a pressure of 29.15 inches, which is certainly within hurricane range. It just seems odd to track a storm that is located near the Madeira Islands.

Now that the name Vince has been claimed by a storm, what’s left. Well … it’s Wilma. Once Wilma makes her appearance — and it’s looking like a strong possibility that we may see her later this week — we’ve run out of the 20 names designated for Atlantic storms for 2005. Should there be any more (remember the tropical season doesn’t stop until the end of November), they will be named using Greek letters, starting with Alpha, and continuing with Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and so on.

What’s the weather likely to be in Lawrenceville over the next few days? We’re on the western edge of a low pressure system extending from Florida north to Maine along the Atlantic Coast. That system is likely to bring more damp weather through Wednesday morning, although not a lot of rain. After that, our weather may be determined by what’s going on in the Atlantic. Temperatures will continue to get cooler as well, with a possibility of an overnight low below 50 degrees as soon as next weekend.