Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Northern Most Hurricane EVER!

Hurricane Joaquin is still churning out in the open Atlantic more than 14 days since it become a tropical depression on September 28th in the Caribbean.

The official track from the NHC has it sustaining tropical characteristics through the upcoming weekend as it tracks as it approaches Europe.

This had me wondering what the furthest NORTH any hurricane has traveled. The award goes to Hurricane Faith in 1966. This system started out off the coast of western Africa, headed toward the Caribbean then north off the coast of the U.S. then out to sea. It lasted 26 days and traveled more than 6800 miles. 

What I find fascinating is that according to the official track data (wind, position and date) it held hurricane strength over incredibly cold water. The hurricane crossed into water below 20 degrees Celsius off the coast of Nova Scotia yet it stayed at category 2 strength for another two and a half days.

The storm didn't officially weaken until it reached the north of Great Britain where the water temperatures dropped to between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius. The "X" marks the approximate location where Hurricane faith was downgraded to a tropical storm....yet it continued as an extra tropical storm/low into Scandinavia for another week!

The National Hurricane Center has a great summary on the hurricane season that year. They show a  map of Faith denoting its movement into the arctic north of the Arctic Circle into the Soviet Union then north into the Barents Sea where water temperatures were barely above freezing.

Air temperatures were in the 30s and 40s.

It finally ended its journey over an uninhabited island chain north of the Arctic Circle around 600 miles from the North Pole.

Monday, October 05, 2015

How Many Gallons of Water Fell over Parts of South Carolina?

Photo Courtesy:
Some are calling this rain event a "Thousand Year Rain Event".

Many locations have received more than 20" of rain since Friday.  The final rainfall totals map here as of Tuesday 5:30am.

The National Weather Service office in Columbia, South Carolina has a great summary HERE. Eyeballing this map shows roughly seven counties with at least 15" across at least 90% of each county as of Sunday evening.

So how much rain in gallons is 15"?  A quick volume calculation will give us the answer: The area of the 7 county region (Richland, Sumter, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Berkeley, Calhoun and half of Charleston counties) is 10,317 square miles. Convert 15 inches into miles and you get 0.000237 miles. Multiply these together you get 2.44 cubic miles. Convert cubic miles into gallons and the answer is:

2,690,000,000,000 gallons (trillion)! 

This is DOUBLE the volume of Lake Okeechobee in Florida.

So image dumping Lake Okeechobee TWICE over these 7 counties over a 3 days period!