Air pollution season begins; new hurricane buoys go on-line

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 30. huhtikuuta 2007 klo 14:35 (GMT)

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Air pollution season begins May 1 and lasts through the end of September. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated this week as Air Pollution Awareness Week, so I'll be pointing people to the EPA web site designed for the occasion. We worry most about air pollution in the summer for two reasons:

1) The pollutant of most concern in the U.S. Is ground-level ozone. Ozone is a colorless odorless gas. It's the same kind of gas that's found in the ozone layer. But in the ozone layer, high in the Earth's stratosphere, ozone protects us from the sun. At ground level, where we live, ozone pollution is unhealthy to breathe. Ground-level ozone forms when nitrogen oxides and gaseous carbon compounds from cars, trucks, power plants, industries, and some consumer products cook in the sun. Intense sunlight and hot temperatures make the most ozone. Thus, hot summer days in late afternoon have the highest ozone pollution--unless strong winds disperse the foul air.

2) Summertime has the the greatest incidence of multi-day periods with clear weather and light winds. These "air stagnation episodes" allow pollutants to build up, since there is little wind to disperse the stuff. Air stagnation episodes are much less common during other times of year, when low pressure systems and their attached cold fronts and warm fronts bring strong winds that keep pollution levels lower.

I'll have a new blog Tuesday or Wednesday, and take a look at last year's pollution season. Is air quality improving in the U.S.?


Figure 1. Map of hurricane buoys maintained by the National Data Buoy Center. Image credit: NOAA.

New hurricane buoys on-line
Two new ocean buoys are now on-line to help monitor hurricanes, thanks to over $2 million in special hurricane funding approved by Congress in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. Buoy 42059, a few hundred miles south of Puerto Rico, and buoy 41043, a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico, are strategically placed to offer data in area where hurricanes frequently traverse. Six more buoys are scheduled to come on-line in the next year, and these will be a big help in tracking hurricanes.

Jeff Masters

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351. weatherboykris
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 21:25 (GMT)
hello
Member Since: 9.12.2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
350. HIEXPRESS
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 20:27 (GMT)
Last! ? LOL
Member Since: 13.10.2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
349. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 19:45 (GMT)
LOL, has there been a year with no tropical development..
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43701
347. thelmores
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 19:43 (GMT)
Last year's cape verde's was a flop...... this year I think we will have some doosy's!

unfortunately, some of these "could" be "major" storms..... possible bad news for the islands, the gulf, and even (gulp) the east coast! :(
Member Since: 8.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
346. SLU
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 19:25 (GMT)
The 1st tropical wave of the year?

THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF CONVECTION NEAR THE ITCZ IS THE NUMEROUS
MODERATE FROM 2S-5N BETWEEN 25W-35W. THIS AREA HAS BEEN SHOWING
SOME TROPICAL WAVE-LIKE CHARACTERISTICS OVER THE LAST DAY OR
SO...AND MAY BE ADDED AS EITHER A TROUGH OR A WAVE TO THE 1800
UTC MAP.

Lots of thunderstorms rolling off Africa already in the last weeks days .. it could be a bad sign already with the season still 4 weeks off.
Member Since: 13.07.2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4734
345. Tazmanian
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 19:03 (GMT)
Posted By: MisterPerfect at 10:02 AM PDT on May 01, 2007.

What are the chances no Atlantic storms develope this year?


0%
Member Since: 21.05.2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114071
344. weatherboykris
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:53 (GMT)
I think he means that not every season is going to have 20-30 storms.
Member Since: 9.12.2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
342. weatherboykris
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:53 (GMT)
Yes,you should use the average for warm AMO periods,which are definitely higher than the long term averages.
Member Since: 9.12.2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
341. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:47 (GMT)
Good to see you SW ☺

I agree that is the average 23 was using, but since we are in a time of increased activity I don't think it is really fair to use that 200 year average. I have heard that this increased activity could last as long as 40 to 50 years. Therefore I don't think we should really give to much credibility to the 200 year average until we are out of this cycle. Just my two cent.

Back to work y'all.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
340. thelmores
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:47 (GMT)
SJ, don't forget Ernesto was "almost" a cane! ;)

but I guess we aren't playing horseshoes! LOL
Member Since: 8.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
339. thelmores
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:45 (GMT)
one thing you can bet for the upcoming season.... even the experts guesstimation will be wrong!

as Dr. Masters has always stated, the margin of error for such seasonal forecasts is extremely high!

bottom line, the best we can do at this point is make an educated guess!

hope I am not wasting time pointing out the obvious! LOL
Member Since: 8.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
338. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:44 (GMT)
No to mention almost all of the '06 storms were fairly weak.

And with the exception of Bermuda no land mass was even close to threatened by a cane.

Hence, IMHO, the rightful assumption that '06 was a slow year as far as the tropics go.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
336. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:38 (GMT)
23, your statement is a little misleading.

Over the past 10 years we have averaged 14.5 storms per year. Most of those seasons had 14-16 storms. That being said, the '06 season was fairly slow compared to recent years.

The 02, and 99 seasons had 12 storms and the 97 season only had 8. Pretty much every other year has seen 14+ named storms.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
334. chessrascal
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:35 (GMT)
lol

heres the satellite pic of the low in the middle and south US fairly big low pressure center.
333. chessrascal
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 18:33 (GMT)
i agree with u 23
332. hurricane23
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:36 (GMT)
For some reason people seem to think of 1995/2005 total numbers as the norm nowadays. For example, 2006 has been discussed as if it were a highly below average year when in reality the 10 named storms and 2 major hurricanes is normal and we were shy only 1 hurricane from average.Basically with a nina in place or neutral across the basin we should have an above average season number wise but certainly not to the levels some people are forcasting.Adrian

Adrian's Weather
Member Since: 14.05.2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
331. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:31 (GMT)
what would be the MDR region in the East Pacific? Is it similar in latitude to the Atlantic MDR?
330. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:27 (GMT)
Thanks for all your answers StormJunkie, StormW and seminoles. Just to clear it up I was asking more for the understanding how these Lows work than for suggesting development in the Pacific.
329. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:25 (GMT)
lmao NG, good to see you.

Welcome aboard sf.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
328. NormalGuy
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:21 (GMT)
Looks pretty quiet on here for now. Will wait another week or so and this place will be busier than Wal-Mart on the first of the month.
327. stoormfury
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:13 (GMT)
this is my very first comment. it looks that the upcoming season should be very interesting compared to last year. looking forward to it.
Member Since: 22.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
326. hurricane23
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:09 (GMT)
Good afternoon...

Just wanted to announce once again the GFS upgrade which is now in affect.Some of the changes here.

Here is some of the changes.

1. REPLACE SPECTRAL STATISTICAL INTERPOLATION /SSI/ ANALYSIS
SYSTEM WITH GRIDPOINT STATISTICAL INTERPOLATION /GSI/
ANALYSIS SYSTEM.

2. USE OF INCREASED OBSERVATIONS INCLUDING FULL RESOLUTION
ATMOSPHERIC INFRARED SOUNDER /AIRS/ DATA...CONSTELLATION
OBSERVING SYSTEM FOR METEOROLOGY...IONOSPHERE AND CLIMATE
/COSMIC/ GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM RADIO OCCULTATION /GPSRO/
DATA.

MODEL CHANGES:

3. MODIFY SIGMA COORDINATE SYSTEM TO A HYBRID SIGMA-PRESSURE
COORDINATE SYSTEM.

4. UPDATED GFS RADIATION MODULE

PRODUCT CHANGES:

5. SURFACE FLUX FILES HAVE 30 NEW RECORDS MAINLY FOR
HYDROLOGICAL USE

6. CHANGE OUTPUT OF GLOBAL DIAGNOSTIC ASSIMILATION SYSTEM
/GDAS/ FROM 3-HOURLY TO HOURLY

7. MODEL TO NATIVE OUTPUT FILE WILL CHANGE FROM A SIGMA
SPECTRAL BINARY FILE TO A HYBRID SPECTRAL BINARY FILE
Member Since: 14.05.2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
325. MisterPerfect
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 17:02 (GMT)
What are the chances no Atlantic storms develope this year?
Member Since: 1.11.2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20123
324. NormalGuy
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:57 (GMT)
Well here we go.. This one should be interesting. I hope the off season treated everyone well. Lets try and keep the discussions above the 3rd grade level this year. It was interesting last year to see whose, umm you know what was bigger, but it didn't help anyone with forecasting or analysis. I look forward to learning as I do every year.
323. Buhdog
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:51 (GMT)
ahh, the smell of fire burning..

sucks. We are so dry in SWFL (high 600's on the drought index) that at least 1 or 2 50+ acres fire goes up a day. Lehigh Acres is getting the brunt of it. Hazy days...90 degrees...We actually had our first seabreeze collision induced rain shower in Cape Coral yesterday...let's hope we get more of it with no lightning!
Member Since: 30.07.2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 958
322. seminolesfan
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:42 (GMT)
Not really relevant for this forcast area is it?
Member Since: 14.06.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2106
320. seminolesfan
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:35 (GMT)
Also, the GFS seems to favor more of a dual low pressure center forcast than the other models(CMC, NOGAPS, UKMET, etc.), so the models do not agree on this forcast.
Member Since: 14.06.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2106
318. seminolesfan
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:29 (GMT)
They both say :25 so we'll call it a tie.
Member Since: 14.06.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2106
316. seminolesfan
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:27 (GMT)
I bow to your better timing StormW. lol
Member Since: 14.06.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2106
315. seminolesfan
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:25 (GMT)
It looks like a low embedded in the ITCZ.
Member Since: 14.06.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2106
312. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 16:02 (GMT)
Another suggestion STOC, look at all of the models and see if you can find one that hints at development. If you see other models starting to jump on board then it should warrent a little more attention.

You can find most of the models and model pages from the Quick Links page at SJ.com. Also try using vorticity models as well as pressure models.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
311. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:51 (GMT)
Well, not sure I can answer that question SOTC, but there is no organized circulation there, you are looking at a forecast not analysis, and I think that blob is too far south to get spinning anyway...

I geuss you might call it a cutoff low, but not even sure about that. Those are usually associated with fronts and troughs if I am not mistaken...
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
310. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:45 (GMT)
okay so say that Low stays stationary over South America, what would you call a low that emerges from that Low that appears to be happening now? At what point does a Low become two seperate entities? Why isn't every single "L" on that map considered a seperate Low Pressure System?
309. StormJunkie
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:43 (GMT)
STOTC...I think it is just a disorganized area of low pressure, not really a surface low as you would think about with a tropical system. This is just my geuss, maybe someone could elaborate more or correct me if I am wrong.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
308. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:42 (GMT)
nobody wants to tackle those questions?
307. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:39 (GMT)
How come this isn't considered two SEPERATE surface lows? They seem to be parting ways to me

306. livinginnavarre
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:38 (GMT)
I think they follow me :P When I moved to south florida, Andrew came through, Then I moved to central florida, and something else came there after (I cant remember its name). I moved to the gulf coast of florida and Ivan came shortly after I moved here, Its my magnetic personality! Lol
Member Since: 8.03.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 45
305. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:36 (GMT)
So what would you call the convection in the Pacific if its not part of the surface low?


304. stormhank
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:34 (GMT)
storm top is gettin his crop duster fined tuned for the first named storm LOL :O
Member Since: 8.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1382
303. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:33 (GMT)
did Wilma form off of a Tropical Wave or a Surface Low?
302. StoryOfTheCane
1. toukokuuta 2007 klo 15:32 (GMT)
I havent seen StormTop since mid-season of 2006

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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