Jesse Ferrell

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Tropical Storm Nadine and Europe's Hurricane History

September 21, 2012; 2:21 PM

UPDATE: 9/28/12: Not only is Nadine still around, she has become a Hurricane again today! Tomorrow (Sept. 29) she will pass over the same point where she was on Sept. 17, so she's still going in circles, and models are still indicating the possibility that her (or her remnants) may make landfall in Europe. AccuWeather's latest forecast for this "zombie storm" is available here.

UPDATE: 9/26/12: The insanity that is Nadine continued to spin around in the Atlantic, threatening Europe. Here are the latest model forecasts, via our Hurricane Center Nadine Page:

UPDATE 9/24/12: She's stiiiiiiiiiiiiiill going... around in circles on Day 13, after being declared "post-tropical" Friday night, then a Tropical Storm again on Sunday.

Some models still think she could make landfall in Europe or Africa. Here are the latest forecast tracks:

ORIGINAL POSTING, 9/21/2012: In 2005, I blogged about Tropical Storm Vince becoming the first tropical "storm" to make landfall in Spain (something that is still in dispute today, but official records indicate that it was a tropical depression). In 2006, I showed the hurricane history of Europe and Africa. Today, with Tropical Storm Nadine circling around in the Atlantic waters and threatening to move towards Europe, I would like to update that information - but first, Nadine's forecast:

Today is Nadine's 10th day, the record being 28. She has been meandering near the Azores for the last several days, but some models are now taking her into Africa or Europe (see above). The models are likely tracking her farther than the official NHC records will (they called her a "marginal" tropical storm this morning and reckon they will close the book on her soon), so it's entirely possible that she won't make landfall. Our official forecast is here.

To update the Europe/Africa landfall map, I found 34 storms on NOAA's Hurricane GIS that appeared to make landfall on the continents (shown above). (Wikipedia has information on the remnants of tropical storms that caused trouble in Europe but were not tracked into Europe by the U.S. National Hurricane Center). From this map, this is what I see:

- Only one Hurricane (Debbie in 1961) has made landfall in the Northeast Atlantic. The Category 1 storm came ashore in Ireland on Sept. 16, 1961 and was tracked north of the nation.

- No other tropical storm has made landfall in Greenland, Iceland, Europe or Africa; only one named storm did, and that was Tropical Depression Vince in Spain.

- By far, storms forming in September (see graph above) are the most likely to make landfall in the Northeast Atlantic. Of course, that's also the most common month for Atlantic storms, but note that these northeast-landfalling storms are a little heavier in September and much more uncommon in October.

- 32 previously-named storms were tracked as making landfall but were considered "extratropical." A country-by-country count of those follows:

AFRICA: 1 hit: Extratropical Storm Delta made landfall in Morocco on Nov. 29, 2005; it was tracked into Algeria.

ICELAND: 1 hit, Extratropical Storm Alberto in 2000. Alberto was the farthest northward track.

SPAIN: 1 tropical depression (Vince in 2005 in the south) and Extratropical Storm Frances in 1992 in the north.

PORTUGAL: 2 hits, Extratropical storms Arlene in 1987 and Jeanne in 1998. Dolly in 1953 and Bob in 1991 approached but were not tracked over the nation.

FRANCE: 2 hits. Tropical Storm Chloe was the closest (by far) tropical storm to make landfall in France (30 miles from shore) but was officially extratropical at the next update. An unnamed extratropical storm in 1887 also made landfall in the north. Floyd in 1993 and Iris in 1995 were close but were not tracked into the nation.

NORWAY: 2 hits. Extratropical Storm Karl was tracked inland on Sept. 4, 2004, and was the farthest east storm tracked, at +12 longitude. ET Faith also made landfall farther north on Sept. 6, 1966.

UNITED KINGDOM: 5 hits: Five extratropical storms were tracked passing over this nation in 1883, 1887 then 1958, 1986 and 1996.

IRELAND: 5 hits, including the aforementioned Hurricane Debbie in 1961.

SCOTLAND: 3 hits: Alberto in 2006, Isaac in 2000 and Katia in 2011, all extratropical storms.

DENMARK: No hits, but Extratropical Storm Charlie was tracked to within 30 miles of shore.

NOTES ON FORMATION: I noted that nine storms developed just off the African coast, but only four in the Gulf or Caribbean. Only six affected the U.S. before making landfall in the east, but it's not surprising that storms forming further east would be quicker to turn around and hit land as a named storm.

Note that storms before 1951 (shown below) were generally tracked along shipping lanes between the United States and England. This is not surprising since ships comprised most of the tracking data at that time. There were probably dozens of other storms, some of which could have hit Europe or Africa, which went un-tracked.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.