Here's a video about a "hurricane" storm in Cape Town, South Africa. We also have a news story about it. Maybe it was a Sou'easter? I haven't had a chance to investigate this further (I'm in an all-day brainstorming meeting) but leave me a Comment and let me know what you think. As I say, the weather is always interesting.
Alexandre Aguiar / MetSul Weather Center:
Jesse wrote: "Well, in the case of the South America Hurricane, it wasn't expected and people weren't looking for it. Some cyclones can look like hurricanes but not technically be hurricanes (requires a warm-core and formation over warm waters). In this case, the waters are too cold so it's virtually impossible. In the end, many "regular" strong cyclones, such as Nor'easters and the strong storms that hit the U.K., do damage that a hurricane could".
My comment: Perfect !!! It was definitely not a hurricane, but a powerful low, just as you compared to a Nor'easter. Remember the deep lows over Europe that the Germans call orkan, despite being a cold core low. In recent years, some extratropical cyclones that affected Southern Brazil were quite strong as a CAT1 hurricane. In 2005, Montevideo (Uruguay) had over six hours of winds topping 100 km/h with gusts of 190 km/h. On the Catarina hurricane, the first to be documented - not necessarily the first to happen - in the South Atlantic. It was never expected by any mean by the scientific community, but it was warned hours and days in advance by AccuWeather, MetSul Weather Center (Brazil) and other private enterprises, except the governmental weather institutions in Brazil. It took place in late March (compared to late September in the North Hemisphere), so the waters were still warm, what is not the case now in South Africa.
Posted by Alexandre Aguiar / MetSul Weather Center | October 31, 2009 3:52 PM
I've worked for quite a few years on disaster relief missions mainly in the West and South Pacific and I've always been fascinated by the routes that these Cyclones take. When I was on Kauai after Hurricane Iniki I asked the locals why is it always Kauai that seems to get the worst of the cyclone, and they told me that there are steering currents of volcanic heated water that follow the Hawaiian Chain north and through the Niihau Strait. They told me at the height of Iniki's 200 mph gusts, the locals could actually feel the island being pushed northeast to southwest as Iniki was being squeezed between Kauai and Niihau. The wind guage at Barking Sands Base broke at 224 mph. Is that what made this small hurricane so powerful?
I think these locals, though very deep into their folklore, may have something there. There has to be something to these warmer water steering currents. Just look at whats happening to the Phillipines? One Typhoon after another all moving over the same water, week after week.
Jesse, when these cyclones are so powerful and following the same pattern, can they affect this Volcano that's getting ready to blow on Luzon? Or can this Volcano be the reason that hurricanes seem to hitting the island very close to it's underground base? Just a thought as to why Luzon keeps getting hit so often.
FROM JESSE: As far as I know, no one has found a link between Volcanic and Hurricane activity.
Posted by Harry | October 29, 2009 7:27 PM
If this was indeed a hurricane, why wasn't it obvious that it was coming and why was it not clear from satellite that a tropical system had formed and was heading towards South Africa?
FROM JESSE: Well, in the case of the South America Hurricane, it wasn't expected and people weren't looking for it. Some cyclones can look like hurricanes but not technically be hurricanes (requires a warm-core and formation over warm waters). In this case, the waters are too cold so it's virtually impossible. In the end, many "regular" strong cyclones, such as Nor'easters and the strong storms that hit the U.K., do damage that a hurricane could.
Posted by Mo | October 27, 2009 8:40 PM
I clicked on link to read about Hurricane Wilma-2005 and maybe I am not reading carefully enough, but I do not see anything on Wilma-Nor'Easter almost-merger. Thanks!
FROM JESSE: Sorry about that, that was the wrong link, you can read about it in my Hurricane Wilma Remembered entry.
Posted by John | October 27, 2009 6:58 PM
Another thought -- South Africans, I would think, probably have a good idea what a tropical cyclone is, since cyclones probably occasionally approach the northeasternmost part of the country and definitely strike neighboring Mozambique. TC Eline was a huge story in Southern Africa just some years ago.
Posted by Bo | October 27, 2009 5:53 PM
Can a tropical storm/hurricane cause a snowstorm in the northeast after is makes landfall further south?
FROM JESSE: In theory though I can't say it happened in the last 10 years. I made an allusion to Hurricane Wilma in 2005 which almost merged with a Nor'easter in my October Snow blog.
Posted by David | October 27, 2009 11:29 AM
It is 40 degrees outside, but the Weather Channel said the low will be 57 degrees. And has not updated this information. Why or How is this possible?
FROM JESSE: Sounds like some sort of computer failure to me.
Posted by Roger | October 27, 2009 9:45 AM
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