Category Archives: Tropical

How was the 2019 hurricane season?

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends on Nov. 30, will go down as the fourth-most active hurricane season on record.

There were 18 named storms and 20 tropical cyclones in total, although many were weak and short-lived, especially late in the season. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Tropical

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What is the hurricane cone of uncertainty?

Starting in the 1950s and up until the 1980s, meteorologists forecast the path of hurricanes using statistical prediction based on past data and current climatological data.

Today, weather computer models are primarily used for the forecasting. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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Can we modify hurricanes?

There have been several suggestions on how humans might modify the intensity or path of a hurricane.

One method suggested was to change the “energy budget” of the environment around the storm. It was suggested that this could be done by dispersing, from aircraft, carbon soot. That soot would absorb solar energy and warm the atmosphere, which would enhance the evaporation of ocean water and promote the formation of thunderstorms. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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What is warm rain?

Warm rain results from the joining together of a cloud’s liquid water droplets. For the rain to be warm, temperatures throughout the cloud must be above freezing, so ice particles are absent.

Rainmaking is not easy. A single, small raindrop is a collection of about 1 million cloud droplets. A typical cloud droplet is usually 10 times smaller than the periods in this article. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Tropical

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Why are there so few hurricanes every year?

We are about five weeks away from the climatological peak of the hurricane season, which stretches from early June to November.

During that period, even in a particularly active year, not many hurricanes actually develop. Forming over tropical oceans ensures that warm sea-surface temperature (SST) provides a mature hurricane with a means to warm and moisten the air that flows toward the important eye-wall convection. Thus, it is not surprising that hurricanes struggle to develop if the SST is not 79.7 degrees or warmer. Continue reading

Category: Severe Weather, Tropical

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