Buresh Blog: Fantastic sky pics.... Dying El Nino... Historical past hurricane seasons

Aug./early Sept. night skies

Buresh Blog: Fantastic sky pics.... Dying El Nino... Historical past hurricane seasons

Aug. 13, 2019 — The "Buresh Blog" will be on vacation :) for a few days.... next update will be the week of Aug. 26th....

Of course, the tropics could always have different ideas.  Every single day through the hurricane season I update the "Talking the Tropics With Mike" * here *.

Speaking of the tropics.... it was 15 years ago that a blitzkrieg of sorts developed over the Atlantic Basin.  From the first week of Aug. through the end of Sept., 9 named storms formed, 5 of which hit Fl. Tropical storm Bonnie made landfall in the Panhandle on Aug. 12th dropping an F-2 tornado on the northwest side of Jacksonville... Cat. 4 hurricane Charley followed the next day on the SW coast of Fl... hurricanes Frances & Jeanne (more than 3,000 deaths in Haiti) made landfall at the exact same spot on the east coast just a few weeks apart.... & mighty hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola & ravaged the Western Panhandle later in Sept.

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To say the 2004 hurricane season had a lasting impact on Fl. would be an understatement.  Consider:

(1) hurricane days (like snow days up north) were added to school district calendars & remain a fixture for all school districts to this day.

(2) the hurricane deductible was born & is maintained by most Fl. insurance companies to this day. The implication: if a named storm does damage to one's property, a hurricane deductible has to be paid (usually far higher than the standard deductible) before insurance kicks in & pays.

(3) the '04 season was the first time since hurricane Andrew that upgraded building codes were tested.  The results were very positive.

And it was 50 years ago the weekend of Aug. 17-18, 1969 - that intense Cat. 5 hurricane Camille hit the Central Gulf Coast roaring ashore near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi during the middle of the night. The relatively small but violent hurricane is one of only 4 (in addition to Labor Day hurricane, 1935... Andrew, 1992... Michael, 2018) Cat. 5 hurricanes to ever make landfall on U.S. soil. The Mobile N.W.S. has an informative online write-up * here *.... vintage photos from the Times-Picayune * here *.

Speaking of El Nino, '04.... NOAA has officially called it "over".  There is still some water left near the Western & Central equatorial Pacific but water has noticeably cooled to the east as can be seen in the image below.  So we will need to watch for a potentially more active mid to late hurricane season given this scenario IF all other things are equal (favorable for development).

Forecasts below for a neutral state vs. El Nino & vs. La Nina into spring, 2020 with a model trend of slightly positive ENSO state but still generally below the El Nino threshold:

The mid August skies have delivered recently! First pic below from Lauren Jackson Romeo, Vilano Beach - iridescent pileus clouds! The rainbow effect is caused by the ice crystals in the anvil/high level part of the "thunderhead" (cumulonimbus cloud), reflecting & refracting the sunlight.

Randy Harris, St. Augustine:

Masyn Warner:


Lightning Sun. evening struck the runway at JIA!:


Jerome Smith, Jax Beach - Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds! These uncommon clouds are usually difficult to photograph because the formation does not last long.  Caused by differing wind speeds at different levels of the atmosphere.

Erin Hires, Bryceville - crepuscular rays!  Caused by the clouds low on the horizon creating shadows as the sun rises.

August/early Sept. night skies from Sky & Telescope:

Aug. 24 (dawn): The waning crescent Moon, in Taurus, is just 2° from the red giant star Aldebaran.
Aug. 28 (dawn): The sliver of the waning crescent Moon is in or near the Beehive star cluster in Cancer.
Sep. 5 (evening): The first-quarter Moon and Jupiter hang in the south-southwest above Antares, the Scorpion’s heart.
Sep. 6 (dusk): The Moon, brilliant Jupiter, and dimmer Saturn grace the sky above the tail of Scorpius.
Sep. 7 (dusk): Saturn sits to the upper right of the waxing gibbous Moon, hanging above the Teapot of Sagittarius.
Moon Phases
New Moon: July 31, 11:12 p.m. EDT
First Quarter: August 7, 12:31 p.m. EDT
Full Moon: August 15, 7:29 a.m. EDT (Full Sturgeon Moon; also Full Red Moon)
Last Quarter: August 23, 10:56 a.m. EDT
New Moon: August 30, 6:37 a.m. EDT