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la naissance d’arthur


Mark Michaelsen, our resident hurricane hunter, brings you up to date on both the developing Atlantic storm and a broader look at the action affecting the Pacific and Southern California this summer.  ATTENTION ANARCHISTS IN THE OBX, CHESAPEAKE, AND LONG ISLAND/NEW ENGLAND:  Get your shit sorted out and ready for some nastiness.  Hat tip to Sir Thomas Malory for the title.

Tropical Storm Arthur

In the last two satellite frames and from the radar signature you can clearly see that Arthur has developed a fairly distinct eye to the north of the upper level circulation but that ay all becoming  into alignment through tomorrow. Arthur has 29/30′ F water available to him and that is in the form of the Gulf Stream to some degree so despite Arthur’s anemic forward speed the storm will be fed constantly renewing warm to very warm water giving him plenty of energy to develop off.  Sheer values are low trough 60 hours.  What does this all mean?  Potentially somewhat explosive intensity growth.  For now, he is a very small storm…but Hatteras didn’t get the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic” for nothing.

The guidance envelope is unusually tightly grouped so there is better than average confidence that he will go where he is told on his trip up the coast.  Stay tuned with the thread here.

Pacific/SoCal Outlook

The coastal waters here in Southern California have very cold here for the last three years. So cold most of the local fisherman have lost interest as migratory paths have followed the warmer water. When I lived back East I had a poster on my wall as a kid with three surfers on long boards with the phrase “It’s warmer in California”. I always wanted to share in that California lifestyle. I moved my sophomore year of High School to Hawaii (Dad got a new job). We had been there before so I knew the water was a balmy 80’F most of the year.

I moved to California in 1984 during the summer. My GF at the time took me to Manhattan Beach and I ran down the beach and dove head first into the water…. HOLY$HIT*** was it COLD***! (65’F)

pac_anomI have watched the trends in coastal water temps for the last thirty years and this is about as warm a start to Summer Coastal Waters as I can remember.  Cold water is one of the main factors in keeping SOCAL off the Eastern Pacific Hurricane path since 1939. I checked up and down the coast about an hour ago and San Diego was checking in with 74’F water. 73 in Huntington Beach. Santa Monica Bay was 71’F. This is a dramatic departure from the norm which is 3-5 degrees cooler on average from what we are seeing right now. Warmer waters also mean less of a temperature differential between the coastal areas and the low deserts which is what drives the daily sea breeze. Less sea breeze less upwelling. Less upwelling means warmer and warmer waters. Could this be the year we actually get some tropical system(s) in So Cal?  No one can predict that for sure but when I walked out of the grocery store last night it felt a lot more like Miami or Honolulu than it did like the normally dry and warm or cool and damp southern California evening air mass. Something is changing.  I like it.  Talk about it in the Pacific thread.