Central Pacific storm looks like a hurricane, but is it?

Update:  HORRAY:  Tropical Storm Omeka was named!  Dec 20, 2010

If it looks like a duck…well, if this bird were in the Atlantic, it would have been named a while ago.  Instead, this area of (subtropical) low-pressure that has an eye is labeled Invest 98C — C for Central Pacific — .  Sea-surface temperatures are near the magic threshold of 26 degrees C, convection is surrounding the center, and vertical shear is weak.   However, it is unlikely that hurricane force winds are associated with the system — but the fact remains, even with our fancy technology, we don’t know for sure.  Unless a plane flew in it, this Invest will remain an enigma.   Satellite animations:  Visible and IR.  Note, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center is not responsible:  it is now west of the Dateline…

Click below for a beautiful image of this “baby-hurricane”.

From the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

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27 thoughts on “Central Pacific storm looks like a hurricane, but is it?

  1. This begs the question if it were not for the better detection methods would it even have been noted even ten years ago?
    This is why I’m suspicious of “Worst everrrr!!!” hurricane seasons in the satellite?digital
    era …

  2. Probably one of those “freak” storms that cause mysterious ship disappearances. It certainly looks mean.

  3. I think Al Gore warned us about this, Non huricanes?
    It should be named a Goreacane because it is easier to say than Globalwarmingclimatechangeglobaldisrusptionacane.

  4. http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/satellite/animateweb_e.html?imagetype=satellite&imagename=goes_pac_1070_m_………………jpg&nbimages=1&clf=1
    Perhaps instead of looking at this in a myopic way i.e. “look at the depression”, looking at the associated powerful anticyclone that can be seen on this animation explains why this storm is not genetically the same than a cyclone.
    High pressure anticyclones are quite remarkably strong this winter: check a 1065hPa on Greenland for instance… If anticyclones are strong, associated depressions will be deep.

  5. My father, who grew up in Puerto Rico, used to say that there have been hurricans in every month of the year. Long before the AGW nonsense began.

  6. At the end of the visible satellite loop a number of smaller cells pop up. They show in the b/w image at the top of the post but that isn’t as revealing.
    See the GOES-WEST Satellite Imagery — my current link is here:
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/cgi-bin/latest.cgi?ir
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/cgi-bin/latest.cgi?ir_enhanced
    and water vapor
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/cgi-bin/latest.cgi?wv_enhanced
    There is a Low off of the Pacific NW coast (or Vancouver Island).
    Shows the moist flow streaming toward CA also.
    These seem to be “splitting” the air mass at about 30N and 140E.

  7. Looking at the World TEC it is interesting that this storm coincides with a very strong electron count. The count increased considerably even after this image was recorded.
    This is consistent with experiments I performed a few years ago with water vapor and high potentials. It would appear that the high TEC may be partially responsible for this storm.
    The high TEC would be brought about by decreased solar wind, because the positively charged solar wind normally strips the Earth (and other bodies in the solar system) of its continually increasing electrostatic buildup.
    These ideas are not conclusive but are worth looking into.

  8. @Douglas
    It’s on the other side of the date line, so it wouldn’t be a hurricane. It would be a typhoon (if it were strong enough). There is no “season” for typhoons; they can form any month of the year.

  9. It’s not a polar low. The SSTs are sufficient for tropical convection (~80F). Because the tropopause is lower here from the effects of the upper-level low from which it was spawned, it is clearly warm-core in nature, and definitely a tropical cyclone of 40-50 knot strength, or more.

  10. What is most interesting are those smaller formations with the micro-lows preceding the storm. These are what accelerate out of control when a Hurricane comes into its glory. They are the demons of destruction. I have seen things that most cannot imagine caused by these little bastards. Wonderful pic. As said above, this is would be a non-entity a mere 20 years ago. If in the Atlantic, no doubt this would be classed as a Hurricane. For reasons that are a bit unclear, but having to do with so many false alarms and the opposite, calming forecasts prior to disaster (Hurricane paths are far more difficult to predict in open, deep, ocean) you don’t call a Hurricane in the Pacific unless it is one. Period. People will get fired for screwing this up.

  11. Jeff says:
    December 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm
    Strike anyone as funny that there would be a (possible) hurricane in mid-December?”
    I chalk it up to the fact that we mortal humans still have a lot to learn. We shouldn’t be so arrogant that we’ve figured everything out. Maybe we scratched the surface.

  12. For all we know, the Atlantic Hurricanes of the warm periods give way to Pacific Typhoons of the cool periods.
    Wouldn’t that be just peachy.
    The Typhoon season would be just winding up….er cooling down.

  13. This typhoon is weather related don’t ya know. Only Atlantic hurricanes are climate related. Monty Python, you must write a movie script for this stuff.

  14. Woaw if SST was the condition for cyclonic development you would not have enough of the chinese alphabet to count them…

  15. The lunar declination is maximum North for the eclipse of the moon early on the 21st.
    if the normal cyclic tidal bulge dynamics still apply, the peak intensity of this little sucker should be at about the same time. Good candidate for watching it interact with the movie I want to make.

  16. Jeff says:
    December 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm
    Strike anyone as funny that there would be a (possible) hurricane in mid-December?
    Not really. I would say that this is uncharacteristic but not far fetched. Hawaii’s Hurricane season ended less than a month ago and several locations in the Pacific Ocean stay warm enough to support Hurricane development all year.

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