Weather Around The World, 10/20: Tropics Alive; First Lake Effect Snow; Ski Season Opens; Pumpkin Trick Or Treat

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Home / Weather Around The World, 10/20: Tropics Alive; First Lake Effect Snow; Ski Season Opens; Pumpkin Trick Or Treat
Former Typhoon , now Tropical Storm Koppu, has hung around the northern Philippines for five days. Graphic courtesy of US Navy.

Former Typhoon, now Tropical Storm Koppu, has hung around the northern Philippines for five days. Image by US Navy.

Super-Typhoon Koppu, known in the Philippines as Lando, smashed the northern island of Luzon and is still dumping inches of rain.

And yet another near-Super-Typhoon in this record-breaking year is spinning across the western Pacific.

In the eastern Pacific, major Hurricane Olaf is forecast to curve away from Hawaii, while a new storm forms close to the Mexican coast.

In the US, Gulf coast residents are keeping a wary eye on a slow-moving system to the south, while the first real taste of fall brought Lake Effect snow and the opening of a couple of ski resorts.

Then there’s the pumpkin feast or famine in the US and UK.

Let’s go Around The World.

Typhoon Koppu Ravages Philippines

The record-breaking eighth Super-Typhoon (storms with winds exceeding 150 miles per hour) of the western North Pacific season came ashore Friday in Luzon, the northern Philippine Island — and found conditions so hospitable that it hasn’t left yet.

Like its Atlantic cousin, Hurricane Joaquin, Koppu is moving painfully slowly and affecting the same area for a long time. The powerful winds caused the initial damage; now, with winds reduced to tropical storm strength, the main threat is flooding from up to 40 inches of rain. So far there have been twelve fatalities.

At this time of year, the easterly trade winds that blow across the tropics and sub-tropics slow down north of the equator and the paths of storms become erratic and sometimes bogged down. Eventually they stray far enough north to get caught up in the increasingly active jet stream. Koppu is now near the northern tip of Luzon and beginning to move north.

Since most typhoons cross the Philippines from east to west at a speed of about 20 miles per hour, rainfall on the western slopes of the mountains is rarely of the magnitude of this storm’s deluge. Mudslides and flash flooding will be extensive.

As Koppu moves over the water north of the Philippines, it could gain back a little strength, but will be just a tropical storm as it passes safely east of Taiwan.

Another Powerful Typhoon is Headed Out to Sea

Typhoon Champi, which nearly gained Super-Typhoon strength over the weekend, was headed towards Japan, but will curve out to sea and not affect any large land mass.

Eastern Pacific Has Double Threat

Hurricane Olaf, now category four, is forecast to curve north and miss Hawaii. Forecast courtesy of National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Olaf, now category four, is forecast to curve north and miss Hawaii. Forecast courtesy of National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Olaf, now at category four, is whirling in the direction of Hawaii, but once again the islands will be spared all but the surfing effects as the storm curves north to the east of the Big Island.

Meanwhile, meteorologists will name the next storm today or tomorrow very close to the Mexican coast. As the new entity moves parallel to and within 100 miles of the shoreline, all interests along the coast should be alert.

Potential Cyclone Formation in the Gulf of Mexico

An old frontal system that moved through the Gulf of Mexico has combined with an enhanced phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (a global wave of instability) to bring a large area of cloudiness and showers to the Pacific Mexican coast, the northwest Caribbean, and the southern Gulf of Mexico.

One center of low pressure, as mentioned, will develop into a tropical storm in the Pacific and move northwest parallel to the coast of Mexico. Another center of low pressure may eventually form in the southern Gulf of Mexico and move north. This system will be slow to develop and we may still be talking about it in next week’s Weather Around The World.

Lake Effect Snow in UP-Michigan and New York

Some places on the shores of Lakes Michigan, Superior, and Erie received their first Lake Effect snow of the season on Saturday, as cold air swept south and east out of Canada. The heaviest snowfalls occur when the contrast between water and air temperatures is greatest, so the peak of the season comes in late fall or early winter, when the water is still relatively warm, but very cold arctic air outbreaks are possible. Once the lakes become ice-covered, the lake effect is shut off.

An Early Start To The Ski Season

Conditions in northern New England were perfect for snow-making the last few days and there was a little natural white to enhance the artificial stuff. So Killington in Vermont and Sunday River in Maine are open. Although there’s less than a foot of base and only three of 390 trails are open between the two resorts, ya gotta start sometime, and those with an addiction can get their first fix of the season.

Weather is a Treat For Long Island Pumpkin Growers, But Plays Tricks on UK Farmers

There are plenty of pumpkins on Long Island, but the UK has a shortage due to weather. Photo credit: ronnieb

There are plenty of pumpkins on Long Island, but the UK has a shortage due to weather. Image by ronnieb.

The pumpkin growing season got off to a great start in the United Kingdom, but August rains have now cut the expected crop in half; pumpkins sitting on the soggy soil are rotting before farmers can harvest them.

Meanwhile on Long Island, New York, where it was a dry summer, growers are harvesting a bumper crop while rooting for the Mets.

Gearing Up For Winter

The jet stream forecast indicates changing patterns for a couple of weeks, as El Niño  (warm water in the equatorial Pacific) battles The Blob (warm water in the northwest Pacific) for dominance. But whatever the weather pattern, the northern hemisphere will get colder and the southern hemisphere warmer until January.

What’s happening in your neck of the woods?

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