What a difference a week makes — in some places. Last week tropical weather was concentrated in the Indian Ocean and the eastern and western Pacific Oceans. This week, it’s the Atlantic and the central Pacific.
Meanwhile, tranquil weather across the US has been replaced by Transitional Fall Storm Giraffe.
But some things never change. The nearly unabated warmth in Europe continues. Some places got a brief below-normal respite last week, but the temperature in most of Europe is still above normal on most days. The California drought drags on. And there’s no change in the El Niño outlook.
Let’s go around the world.
First Things First: The Tropics
NOAA issued its October El Niño outlook update on October 13– they updated it to no change. NOAA predicts there is still a 65% chance of an El Niño this fall or winter.
Temperatures across the Pacific remain above normal, but the progress towards a true El Niño has been halted for several months. Decoded Science now puts the odds at less than 50-50, based on the fact that most El Niños, though they peak around Christmas, have begun by October.
Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Gonzalo:
Gonzalo crossed the Atlantic as an easterly wave without fanfare or prospects until it encountered favorable conditions a few hundred miles east of the Windward Islands. It has developed rapidly into a hurricane as it reached the Virgin Islands on Monday, and could be a major hurricane with winds over 115 miles per hour by Wednesday morning.
The official National Hurricane Center forecast track takes Gonzalo directly over Bermuda as a category three storm (winds 115 to 135 miles per hour). Bemudans, still recovering from the unexpectedly severe blow from last week’s Hurricane Fay, should prepare for a powerful storm.
Central Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Ana:
The area of disturbed weather nearly a thousand miles east-southeast of Hawaii has now strengthened into Tropical Storm Ana. It will soon be a hurricane.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s forecast track takes the Ana directly over Hawaii; with brushes by two earlier tropical storms fresh in their minds, Hawaiians are watching Ana carefully. If the forecast is correct, landfall will occur Sunday night near Hilo.
Transitional Fall Storm Giraffe
A dozen tornadoes were reported on Monday, and several hundred instances of wind damage from severe thunderstorms affected nine states. The storm, designated Giraffe by Decoded Science, dumped snow in the Rockies before moving east to ravage the midwest and south, even interrupting the national pastime when a downpour caused postponement of the Kansas City-Baltimore playoff game in Kansas City.
More violent weather is in store for the midwest, south and east coast through Wednesday.
Though a nor’easter is still a possibility, Giraffe will probably exit tamely as a low pressure system in Canada with an associated cold front sweeping off the east coast.
Some Things Never Change: Drought in California and Unusual Warmth In Europe
Features of the jet stream that seem to be stuck in place are keeping the Continent (Europe, of course; is there any other?) abnormally warm, and California abnormally dry.
And the drought goes on. A stubborn ridge in the eastern Pacific repels all attempts by troughs to encroach on the southern two-thirds of California. Tropical moisture tried to get in from the south, but most of the rain from the remnants of eastern Pacific hurricanes produced dessert deluges. There is no relief in sight.
Europe Remains Warm:
Storms have frequented the middle of the Atlantic Ocean this summer, and the corollary has been a downstream high pressure area over Europe. Berlin and Rome have been above normal every day this month so far, and the forecast implies a good chance for a clean sweep of October, temperature-wise.
As the days shorten in the northern hemisphere, the transition from summer to winter accelerates. What’s happening where you are?