A Taste Of Fall
WELCOME TO AUTUMN
A view of some great fall colors on a hill slope from www.orbitz.com
Well here we are, the first day of September, and the seasons will start to change from Summer to Autumn. I know what you are going to say, “But wait, doesthat not happen until the end of September?” And yes, you are right. The Autumnal Equniox officially comes around on September 22, 10:49 A.M. EDT. According to Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, “It is the summer’s great last heat, it is the fall’s first chill: They meet.”
But for us in the weather world, the Meteorological Fall Season starts on September 1st and goes until November 30th. This tends to make more sense, since temperatures generally begin to moderate around the beginning of the month, and summer releases its hold on the nation. Temperatures during the day may reach 80, but the nights cool into the upper 50s. Temperatures in the mountains will begin to moderate around the first of September, and the leaves start to change color. Check out this fall foliage map from www.bnbfinder.com.
THE BLUE MOON (sorry, I’m not referring to the beer)
A very cool sight was to behold up in the sky last night, it was the Blue Moon! The Blue Moon is described as being the occurrence of two full moons in one calendar month. We had one on August 1st and one on August 31st. I hope you had a chance to see it, because it will not be back for several years. The next blue moon will arrive on July 31, 2015. After that, we get two blue moons in 2018 when they fall within January and March. Poor February gets skipped over for having the chance of a blue moon due to its short number of days. Show some love to February, it needs it. Take a look at the view of the blue moon from beautiful Las Vegas. The lights of the casinos are trying to compete with the show in the heavens, sorry casinos, the show up above always wins.
LOOKING OUT FOR THE TROPICS
The name “Isaac” will likely never be forgotten by the residents along the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama where heavy rains came down and led to dire flooding situations. Hurricane Isaac slowed down as it approached the coast and continued to bring a torrent of rain on the land. Combine that with a storm surge, from the huge size of the storm, and we saw several areas become overwhelmed by the amount of water surging towards them. Now that the storm is raining itself out across the midwest, it begs the question, “What else could potentially come towards the United States?”
We are entering the climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which is when the wind shear is at its lowest, the sea surface temperatures are at their warmest and more tropical waves form in the ocean waters. On average, 3-5 storms form during the month of September. Here is an image (from NOAA), of the zones where storms are likely to form and their prevailing tracks.
Notice that storms can form close to home in the Gulf of Mexico and get pushed towards the Gulf Coast by steering winds. However, it is the storm path from the Cape Verde Islands (near Africa) that can sometimes generate the larger and more powerful storms because they have plenty of time to travel over open, warm waters without any land masses to impede their development. After September, the size of the areas where tropical cyclones can form begins to shrink due to colder waters and an increase in wind shear. Here is another image from NOAA showing the zones of development for October.
By November, the zone of development shrivels up to a small area around Cuba and towards the Bahamas. The end of the hurricane season is November 30th. Although if you remember the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, you’ll know that rules are meant to be broken as storms formed as late as the last week of December! Tropical Storm Zeta (we ran out of names on the list that goes along with the English Alphabet and had to switch to the Greek Alphabet) lasted until the first week of January in 2006. That was a crazy season that rewrote the book on hurricanes.
Thank you for checking this blog, I hope you enjoyed it! Tune in tomorrow for more weather tidbits as well as an outlook for your Labor Day forecast.