The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Zeta…An October Surprise?
Dear Diary. During this eye opening hurricane season with have seen many Louisiana landfalls and near misses. Cristobal made landfall as a 60 mph (95 km/h) tropical storm on June 7th in southeast Louisiana with only minor damage. Laura was a true beast, making landfall near Cameron, Louisiana in the western sections of the state, with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a central pressure of 938 millibars on August 27th. Marco fizzled, making landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River as a weak tropical storm with winds at 40 mph (64 km/h) . Marco degenerated into a remnant low just south of Louisiana at on August 25th. Sally was another beast making landfall at peak intensity near Gulf Shores, Alabama with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) and a pressure of 965 millibars on September 15th, but eastern Louisiana had been in NHC’s cone prior to landfall. On October 9th Delta then made landfall near Creole, Louisiana with winds of 100 mph (155 km/h) and a pressure of 970 millibars, also in western Louisiana.
So, by my count New Orleans has been in a National Hurricane Center forecast cone of uncertainty five times. Now Hurricane Zeta will make number six. New Orleans so far this hurricane season has remained fairly unscathed this dreadful year of 2020, except by the ravages of COVID-19. Early this afternoon it is apparent that the city will get hit by a borderline CAT2/3 hurricane with sustained winds somewhere between 95-115 mph with some higher gusts. Unfortunately residents have had very little time to prepare for Zeta and some may not be taking the situation seriously enough, getting “crying wolf syndrome” from the previous NHC cone watches. We could see an “October surprise,” even though NHC has had a consistent forecast the last couple of days, since Zeta is accelerating.
Residents of the populated region between New Orleans and Atlanta may get caught off guard, not anticipating widespread power outages from a system that won’t get a chance to rapidly wind down due to Zeta’s high forward speed tonight into Thursday. Even the old Climate Guy might see a power outage, so it’s possible that I won’t be able to write a Thursday post. Overall damage and hardship from Zeta could even affect the impending 2020 election. We will see.
My biggest point today is that Zeta would not be nearly as strong so close to Halloween were it not for above average sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. I seriously doubt that damage will be as severe as that of Sandy in the Northeast during 2012, but both systems have made landfalls in the last week of October, fairly late in the hurricane season. Also, we are now well into the Greek alphabet with nomenclature. Could Zeta get its name retired due to widespread damage? We will see.
This week there will be a well above average number of important messages related to deadly weather. Let’s compartmentalize these for today starting with messages concerning Zeta, then the California fires, etc.
The latest messages, as usual, will be at the top of all lists:
Second. California’s fires:
Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”