Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hurricane Paloma (2008)

Storm Active: November 5-10

A system in the extreme southern Caribbean Sea slowly strengthened and organized on November 3. On November 5, the system became Tropical Depression Seventeen. After skirting the coast of Central America, the system became Tropical Storm Paloma, the fourth "P" storm ever used in the Atlantic. By the evening of the next day, October 6, the system had become the eighth hurricane this season. Hurricane Paloma continued to move generally northward and strengthen until passing over the Caymen Islands as a Category 4 hurricane. Shortly after, Hurricane Paloma reached its peak intensity of 145 mph and a pressure of 940 millibars making it the second strongest November storm on record in the Atlantic. On November 8, after weakening to a Category 3, Paloma made landfall in Cuba. It rapidly weakened into a tropical storm the next day and by late November 10, the system had become a low. The low survived for three more days before dissipating in the Gulf of Mexico on November 13.

Image not available. For an image, see here.

Tropical Depression Sixteen (2008)

Storm Active: October 14-16

A slow moving tropical system developed on October 13. On the next day it became Tropical Depression Sixteen. It moved slowly along the coast of Nicaragua and quickly reached its peak intensity of 30 mph and a pressure of 1006 millibars. The system was forecasted to become a tropical storm but all too quickly the storm became disorganized and soon made landfall, losing all chance for any redevelopment. The system dissipated on October 18. However, although the system was weak, it did cause flooding and $9.7 million dollars of damage and at least 16 were killed.

Sixteen shortly after developing. The system never had a definite center and the disorganization is evident.

Track of Sixteen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hurricane Omar (2008)

Storm Active: October 13-18

Around October 10, a tropical disturbance moved off the South American border of the Caribbean Sea and moved into more favorable waters. Upper level winds died down enough for the system to develop into Tropical Depression 15, with 35 mph winds. The next day, October 14, the system reached tropical storm strength and was named Tropical Storm Omar. Meanwhile, Omar was making a loop in the Caribbean, and eventually made an odd turn towards the north-east (this particular turn in that area is uncommon in general but common in October and November). That same evening, after rapidly intensifying, the system became a Category 1 hurricane. As the system approached Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands the system reached its peak intensity. Its peak intensity was reached on October 16, when it was a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds and a minimum central pressure of 958 millibars. After passing these small islands, Omar rapidly weakened. By October 18, the system was a tropical storm and by later that day, the system had become a remnant low. The remnants of Omar tracked northward before being absorbed by an exxtratropical cyclone on October 20.

Omar as a Category 1 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.

Track of Omar from October 10 to October 18.

Tropical Storm Nana (2008)

Storm Active: October 12-14

A weak tropical wave that had moved off the west coast of Africa a few days earlier slowly developed, and on October 12, a weak Tropical Storm Nana formed at its peak intensity of only 40 mph winds and pressure of 1005 millibars. Strong west-to-east shear destroyed the eastern half of Nana, and by October 14, it had weakened into a remnant low. Any remnant of the system disappeared within the next day. Nana caused no damage to any land mass and no damage resulted.

Nana at minimal tropical storm status. The lopsidedness of the system soon ended its life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tropical Storm Marco (2008)

Storm Active: October 6-8

A weak low-pressure system formed south of Cuba on October 3. The system interacted with the Yucatan Peninsula and weakened. Finally, on October 6, the low-pressure emerged into the extreme southern Bay of Campeche, nearly over land. Later that day, a small Tropical Depression Thirteen formed. That night, the system was declared Tropical Storm Marco. By this time, Marco became the smallest tropical cyclone ever recorded throughout the entire world. Its tropical storm force winds only extended a mere 10 miles from the center, greatly surpassing the 30 mile record set by Tropical Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Marco pulled away from land slightly and strengthened to its peak intensity of 65 mph winds and a pressure of 998 millibars. then, on October 7, the system made landfall in Veracruz, and it became the smallest tropical cyclone ever to make landfall. By early the next day, Marco dissipated over the mountains of Central Mexico.

Marco at peak intensity. Note the size in comparison to the surrounding country of Mexico.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Laura (2008)

Storm Active: September 29-October 1

During the last week of September a strong extratropical low tracked south-west from the cold north Atlantic. The system slowly gained tropical characteristics and by September 29, it was organized enough to be called Subtropical Storm Laura. As it continued to move westward, it met warmer waters and developed further. On September 30, Laura was reclassified as a tropical storm. By this time, it had turned to the north, and it briefly reached its peak intensity of 60 mph winds and a pressure of 994 millibars. On the first day of October, it lost tropical characteristics without directly affecting land. A few days later, Norway experienced winds and rain from the system. Soon after it dissipated.

Laura at peak intensity. Note "non-tropicalness" of system.