Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hurricane Danny at the door -- ETA EC, Monday morning

Hurricane Danny is knocking at the Eastern Caribbean's door:

As Weather Underground's blog explains:
  • Hurricane Danny has begun its long-anticipated weakening. Maximum sustained winds were estimated at 100 mph as of 5 a.m. EDT Saturday.
  • Danny was located about 740 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
  • Danny will track west-northwest, reaching the Leeward Islands Monday, then Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday.
  • A weakened Danny should bring welcome rainfall to drought-stricken Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • Danny peaked as a category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds up to 115 mph Friday afternoon, becoming the first major hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.
WU goes on to explain and to caution:
Wind shear vs Hurricane Danny as it approaches the EC
Danny has started to move into an environment with more wind shear, or change in wind speed with height either in speed and/or direction, and this has caused the hurricane to be downgraded from Category 3 to Category 2 intensity . . . . Small circulations such as Danny are prone to sudden changes in intensity, which can be difficult to forecast.

(MORE: Track Danny with our Interactive Storm Tracker)

The large-scale atmosphere Danny is moving into, as well as its potential track over land areas of the Caribbean, will induce further weakening the next several days.

Danny will encounter an ample reservoir of dry air extending westward into the Caribbean Sea.
Dry air hampers tropical cyclones by encouraging the development of stronger thunderstorm downdrafts, which then either squelch nearby thunderstorms from forming or push them away.
This dry air is also stable, meaning it suppresses upward vertical columns of air needed to maintain or form new thunderstorms.

Danny is also moving into what has been so far this season a figurative Caribbean "wall of wind shear". According to tropical meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, wind shear over the Caribbean Sea had been at record levels from mid-July through mid-August.

Wind shear can blow convection away from the center from a tropical cyclone. If strong enough, it can rip apart existing tropical cyclones.
 In short, we would be well-advised to follow developments and to bear in mind the particular unpredictability of small tropical cyclones.

However, before closing, I want to note that Daniel is a very significant name: God is [my] judge.

And Jesus once warned leaders of Israel that while they were good at judging the signs of the skies, they were failing to properly judge the spiritual signs of their times.

DV, I will follow up on that side in a little while, a hurricane named Daniel is speaking to us, even as we all have a strange blend of hope and concern as it approaches: hope for rain to relieve a terrible drought that is seeing coconut trees dry up and die here, something I have never seen before. Concern, as hurricane winds can be astonishingly destructive.

We have not only signs in our skies but signs of our times to address.

Let us pray for showers of blessing with not too much wind. END