and direction in hurricanes at all stages, our models stream of all 12 storms, it was in position to provide can do a better job of predicting a hurricane's evolu- wind data on eight. In those cases, it was able to de- tion and course." tect the closed wind circulation well before it could QuikSCAT was launched in June 1999. It travels be seen as cloud swirls on the GOES satellite image. over 90% of the ice-free oceans every day with a high- The lead times ranged from three hours for Hurricane frequency microwave scatterometer that provides de- Irene to 46 hours for Hurricane Lenny. tailed information on sea surfaces that can be translated Being able to detect tropical depressions early is into wind speed and direction. especially important in increasing warning times in In their NASA-supported study, Katsaros and her regions like the Gulf of Mexico, where storms can colleagues looked at SeaWinds data from the regions grow quickly into hurricanes and can make landfall where 12 of the named storms in the 1999 hurricane within a few days. Early detection also may help the season formed. Eight of the storms eventually devel- National Hurricane Center plan the best use of its re- oped into hurricanes. The researchers then examined sources to keep watch on developing storms. the data collected 12^ 8 hours in advance of the storms "The ability of SeaWinds to see tropical depres- being declared tropical depressions. sions at their earliest stage gives us the opportunity to While the SeaWinds instrument was not always up- identify and study the elements that create hurricanes," Canada and northern and eastern United States continued in November the windy conditions of October, but generally without the coldness and snowi- ness except during the first and last weeks. The gales of mid-November were terrific along the northern part of the eastern seaboard. Evidently, the tempera- ture contrasts between the continent and the ocean to the SE and E and an abun- dance of readily available warm, humid air were in part responsible for this storminess. At the end of November and during the first week in December, exceptional storminess prevailed over much of the continent, but especially in the eastern half. This period of storminess coincided with one of cold, snow, and gales in western and southern Europe, reported the Associated Press. Perhaps the outstanding feature of this period on our side of the Atlantic was the tropical cyclone, for a time of hurricane strength, that deluged the Atlantic coast. From the northwestern Caribbean this storm crossed southern Florida, causing some deaths and much damage by wind, fire and flood. At Miami, 15.12 inches of rain fell in 36 hours, establishing a new record there for rainfall intensity, and for rainfall quantity in November and December, with the possible exception of 1905. The winds up the Atlantic coast reached whole gale force as far as New England, and the rainfall quantity generally exceeded 2 or 3 inches. Owing to a persistent high over New England and the Maritime Provinces this cyclone spent several days south of New England with conse- quent long enduring precipitation, three days without cessation. Coming immediately after a moderate snowstorm, and followed immediately by another low from the west, precipitation in the Northeast continued daily for nearly a week. The western low concluding this particu- lar stormy period was destructive in the interior, because of gales, tornadoes, torrential rains, and a cold wave.—Charles F. Brooks. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc6, 183-184. Vol. 8 7, No. 12, December 2000
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 1, 2000
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