The U.S Open Tennis Tournament began on Monday in New York and the weather looks good. There are hurricanes in two oceans. The late summer heat wave continues in the US. And a cold weather pattern has overtaken Europe — but it probably won’t last. Let’s go around the world.
The Tropics: Atlantic Ocean
The third tropical system of the season, now Hurricane Cristobal, will follow a path parallel to the US east coast but well offshore. Large swells will affect the entire eastern seaboard.
Another disturbance in the middle of the ocean is given one chance in three of becoming a tropical storm within the next five days by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).The long-term peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is Sept. 10.
The Tropics: Eastern Pacific
The eastern Pacific has been a hotspot of activity this year, with storm after storm developing in the warm water south of Mexico.
Currently, Hurricane Marie, previously the first category five hurricane (winds 160 miles per hour) in the eastern Pacific in four years, has been downgraded to category two, with winds of 105 miles per hour. It will continue to weaken rapidly and dissipate within a few days over colder water.
Large swells are affecting Baja California and southern California, and some moisture from the system could reach California by the weekend.
The Tropics: Western Pacific
After a roaring start, the western Pacific typhoon season has gone quiet — unnaturally so. The water is still warm over the western Pacific, and the same conditions that spawned Super Typhoons Rammasun and Matmo still prevail. The typhoon season runs all year in this part of the ocean, so more typhoons, probably some intense ones, are guaranteed.
Last week it appeared that the warm spell of weather over Europe, which began last fall, had broken. But newer forecasts suggest that the cold weather is only temporary, and that today will be the last day of temperatures below normal.
The American Heat Wave
A late-summer heat wave is bringing record temperatures to many states, with the warmth now spreading from the south and midsection of the country to other regions. Some examples of high temperature records tied or broken on August 25:
- Springfield, MO: 101
- Houston, TX: 98
- Caribou, ME: 88
- Seattle, WA: 86
High temperature records tied or broken on Aug. 24:
- Pensacola, FL: 98
- Gulfport, MS: 99
- New Orleans, LA: 99
- Memphis, TN: 100
- Vichy-Rolla, MO: 98
U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, New York City, Through Sept. 7
The venerable tennis tournament, the last of the grand slam events for the year, opened yesterday under perfect conditions. Except for a few showers on Wednesday, the weather should be good through the weekend. Next week a dip in the jet stream could bring unsettled weather.
What’s On Tap For The Next Couple Of Weeks?
While the European pattern of a ridge in the jet stream is quickly being re-established, over the U.S. the heat will continue as the jet stream stays well to the north.
As normal temperatures decline with the lowering angle of the sun, the record temperatures are not as oppressive as they would be in July. However, the heat may continue for more than a week in the south, as the jet stream sags slowly southward bringing relief to the northern tier of states.
Though a large section of the country is flirting with high temperature records, high minimum temperature records are being broken with much greater frequency.
Greenhouse gases act as a one-way mirror: Incoming radiation from the sun is unaffected; outgoing microwave radiation from the earth is absorbed. This is the greenhouse effect: heat is trapped in the atmosphere as it is trapped in a greenhouse.
Clouds are more egalitarian than greenhouse gases. They interfere, by reflection or absorption, with the passage of both incoming and outgoing radiation. As the atmosphere warms due to greenhouse gases, it can hold more moisture — more moisture, more clouds.
The result is a narrowing of the spread between high and low temperatures: High temperatures are being held down by reflection of the sun’s radiation; low temperatures are raised by the trapping of the earth’s radiation. Many more high minimum temperatures are being set than high maximums. Since high minimum temperature records don’t get the press coverage that high maximums do, the public may not be aware of this aspect of global warming.
Watch For Signs Of Change
The atmosphere is changing, sometimes in less spectacular ways than new high temperature records. What’s going on where you are?