Igor

We always knew Igor had what it took to be a hurricane, despite early, and rather embarrassing, fluctuations in intensity. Now, Igor is a Category Four hurricane with prospects for additional strengthening. There are no current warnings or watches, and the Hurricane Prediction center is not saying a lot about what is supposed to happen after the end of the week when Igor has drifted to the middle of the ocean, weakened slightly, and is pointing more or less a North Carolina but so far away as to not be anything like a threat. Yet.

Most hurricanes with this path make a strong right turn at some point and head towards Iceland (though they never make it there). But sometimes they don’t. I suspect we’ll hear some very important forecasts late Monday or early Tuesday.

In the mean time, have a look at Igor. Nice looking storm, despite the hump in the lower right hand corner .

Comments

  1. #1 John McKay
    September 13, 2010

    “What hump?”

  2. #2 Peromyscus
    September 13, 2010

    I suspect we won’t know until Wednesday or Thursday whether Igor could hit North Carolina.

  3. #3 yogi-one
    September 13, 2010

    The big storms seem to be tracking more northerly this year instead of passing through the Gulf. Which is probably a good thing. They can burn out over the Atlantic before hitting land with reduced strength.

    The Gulf may dodge the bullet this year, but the region remains vulnerable.

    The northeast is always vulnerable, but the frequency of big storms hitting is much smaller, my guess is due to lower water temperatures as you go north.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    September 13, 2010

    @yogi-one: Eyeballing the storm tracks this year, it looks to me as though the Cape Verde-type storms are forming well east of where they usually form, which favors early recurvature. The newest storm, Julia, is an extreme case: it’s passing to the south and west of the Cape Verde islands and looks like it will fully recurve before it gets to 45W longitude. Might be a nasty one for the Iberian coast in five or six days, depending whether it goes extratropical before the cold waters of the eastern Atlantic kill it.

    As for the northeast, yes, it helps that near-shore waters are much cooler, especially north of Cape Hatteras where the Gulf Stream detaches from the shoreline. Also, wind shear picks up as you get farther north because you are more likely to find a baroclinic system at those latitudes, at least during hurricane season. Not much help if you get a fast mover like the 1938 express.

    The Gulf Coast has been lucky so far, but they will remain vulnerable longer. There may yet be a late October/early November surprise for them, since there haven’t been any hurricanes to churn deep cold water to the warm surface.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    September 13, 2010

    It also helps that much of the NOrtheast (but not the barrier islands) are less vulnerable to hurricanes’ usual effects. 1) If you build your houses for snow, they are automatically able to handle strong winds to a greater degree and 2) It’s hilly, which erodes the hurricane faster and reduces flooding and direct effects of winds. I’ve been on both sides of a hill during a New England hurricane, and the differences is huge.

  6. #6 gruebait
    September 13, 2010

    “Nice looking storm, despite the hump in the lower right hand corner.”

    Sheesh. Everbody’s a critic.

  7. #7 zackoz
    September 13, 2010

    The other Igor’th thay it’s the betht hump they’ve zeen, thur.