June-November Satellite Loop

Geek up! NOAA has uploaded a great video to YouTube that shows an unenhanced, composite-IR composite satellite loop of the June-November season–not just the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf as advertised, but also the eastern 2/3 of the conterminous U.S.

Click right here on this text to watch it in a separate, pop-up window (maximize to full-screen mode and step back a little for best results).

Of course, the 2010 Atlantic tropical season was tied for the third most active on record, despite the fact that the U.S. mainland was spared hurricane impact. Coastal residents, emergency managers, and especially insurance companies, can thank the flow patterns associated with a combination of persistent, early-mid season upper troughing near the east coast, and strong later-season ridging over the Gulf and northern Caribbean, for helping to keep America’s beachfront structures and residents relatively safe. We won’t be so lucky every year! In some years, such as 1992, there’s only one storm of note, and that’s all it takes.

Some of the easternmost action in the Eastern Pacific also can be seen; though that basins’ tropical cyclone season was the most lame on record (7 named storms) in the satellite era.

Outside of the meteorologically prurient eye candy briefly offered by the spinups of the mature hurricanes themselves, this loop is jam-packed with weather action. For one, it covers the entire Great Plains! Those of us who spent a large chunk of June wandering the Plains in search of supercells will find out daily convective eruptions here, in the fascinating context not only of what happened on a larger scale, but in the days before and after. What happened with your favorite chase-storms and the systems that spawned them in the hours and days afterward? Follow the processes originating from any given supercell, and you may find new storms the next day somewhere in the eastern part of the nation, or even cloud tags over the Atlantic days later.

One of the other fascinating things about videos like this is that one can track the steady procession of tropical waves (the trough part, at least) from E-W across the low latitudes, even after they spawn tropical cyclones that may or may not remain in phase with the originating wave. When I worked at the National Hurricane Center an increasingly long time ago, we did this primitively, by pasting daily, time-matching strips of satellite printouts into a board, in effect yielding a Hovmöller diagram.


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