Watch Tropical Storm Arlene be 'eaten' by weather system

There were high hopes last week from alarmists the the first Atlantic tropical storm of 2017 – Arlene, which formed 40 days before the official start of Hurricane season on June 1st, would turn into a bonanza of “weather is getting worse due to climate change” stories. Alas, the system was so weak, it became a non-tropical storm almost as fast as it was declared one. Perhaps NHC was a bit premature in the declaration of a named storm?

From NASA Goddard: An animation created by NASA using imagery from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite shows the North Atlantic Ocean’s first tropical storm of the season being “eaten” by a large frontal system. The animation from April 19 to April 22 shows Tropical Storm Arlene in the Central Atlantic Ocean as it strengthened into a tropical storm on April 21 and weakened to a subtropical storm only to be absorbed by a frontal system later that same day. The animation combines visible and infrared satellite imagery from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite.

On Friday, April 21 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), the National Hurricane Center issued their final bulletin on Arlene. At that time, Arlene had ceased to be a tropical cyclone although maintaining maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph/83 kph). At the time, Arlene was centered about 1,235 miles west-northwest of the Azores islands near 39.3 degrees north latitude and 49.9 degrees west longitude.

Arlene was moving southwest at 20 knots (23 mph/37 kph) when the frontal system to the west of the post-tropical storm, caught up to Arlene and absorbed it.


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April 24, 2017 9:22 am

I guess we need to mainstream the term “fake weather”

April 24, 2017 9:23 am

I’m sure there were plenty of half-written media articles full of “record early hurricane”
alarms that now lie in a handy wastebasket. Which is where their global-warming-means-extreme-weather, a destroyed theory which never even provided logic how one can connect warming and “extreme weather” also belongs. From history, warmer temps lead to less extreme weather . apparently, although I doubt that the connection is very strong.

April 24, 2017 9:27 am

“last week from alarmists the the first Atlantic tropical”….should that be “that the” ?

Paul R. Johnson
April 24, 2017 9:39 am

Improved satellite surveillance and relaxed criteria allow transient event to be hyped as Tropical Storm. Breathless headlines ensue.

Reply to  Paul R. Johnson
April 24, 2017 10:46 am

Exactly. They are naming every weather event to hype alarm. Not only would we not have named arlene 20 years ago, to MarkW’s point, we wouldn’t have known that it happened.unless a ship at sea got rained on. They now feel compelled to name snowstorms for the benefit of hyperbole this all cheap theater.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  powers2be
April 24, 2017 10:59 am

Agreed 100% All this “weather weirding” is about how weather is being REPORTED, not about any actual changes to the weather.

Reply to  powers2be
April 24, 2017 12:39 pm

The same is happening in the UK where the met office is naming every bit of heavy rain thats a bit windy as storm this and storm that. Pathetic.

Reply to  powers2be
April 24, 2017 1:41 pm

…Lately it seems, every time a Unicorn farts, they name it a Tropical Storm !!

Reply to  powers2be
April 24, 2017 4:17 pm

Here in Oz, every single bit of weather seems to be described as ‘wild’. Every rainstorm, hailstorm and just about anything else. It’s become a joke.
Also, all of these events apparently ‘batter’, ‘smash’, ‘pummel’ and ‘hammer’ places now. I’m sure there is a MSM lexicon of CAGW alarmist terms for weather somewhere…

Reply to  powers2be
April 24, 2017 7:25 pm

As Jerome says, SYD had an “Extreme Weather event” announced by the meeja. It had an inch of rain and 13kt winds!

Reply to  Paul R. Johnson
April 24, 2017 11:04 am

No, satellite surveillance allowed the system to be detected *and* their use in improved atmospheric sampling allowed the proper analysis of the dynamic of the system to see it had a warm core…which separates ‘typical’ from ‘tropical’ lows.
NHC was correct in their analysis & no criteria were ‘relaxed’. The system was what the system was – a weak tropical storm which didn’t last long…but it *did* exists.

John Coghlan
Reply to  JKrob
April 24, 2017 11:23 am

I am guessing that you work at NHC ?

Ben of Houston
Reply to  JKrob
April 24, 2017 12:21 pm

Jkrob, you have a point. However, please understand the counterpoint as well. If this is used to provide comparisons to historical data, the fact that it would not have been detected even in the relatively recent past is a very important point. We have repeatedly seen increases in weather events due to detection being hyped as total increases. The most dramatic example is the number of F0 tornados now recorded causing the number of total tornados to increase fivefold from a century ago.
Looking harder has the same effect as relaxing criteria, and we are definitely looking harder.
Finally, John, so what if he (or she) does? If so, I would welcome interaction from someone who does this for a living. It makes anything said MORE valid, not less. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to comment on the effect of regulations on industry, or why Texas is better than the other 49 states.

Reply to  JKrob
April 25, 2017 3:17 am

Ben of Houston – “If this is used to provide comparisons to historical data,…”
OK, sure, there is no way of knowing for fact the past number of systems due to limitations in detection…but we can’t change that. We just have to keep that in mind when analyzing event trends, especially tornadoes.
“Looking harder has the same effect as relaxing criteria, and we are definitely looking harder.”
But it is not the same thing. Fools on this blog are implying that NHC is the one relaxing the criteria to justify naming systems to justify…whatever. No, they are doing their job the best they can. If people take the time & read the NHC Forecaster Discussion write up on active systems, they *may* understand the thinking of the forecasters when they do what they do.
John Coghlan – no, I work at NESDIS for 26 years & have been studying meteorology for 45 years specializing in tropical, synoptic & convective meteorology, and write software to analyze and calculate diagnostic parameters on atmospheric parameters…and you?

April 24, 2017 10:02 am

What are the chances of Arlene being spotted 40 years ago.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  MarkW
April 24, 2017 11:08 am

Very slim and even less likely back then would it have been declared a Tropical Storm. NHC was more conservative back then about upgrading systems, usually waiting 24 hours before changing system status just to make sure something like this present case did not happen. Now-a-days, the hurricane specialists are either too far ahead of the curve or behind it. It depends on which specialist is on duty. This tendency is bound throw statistics off, making for more short-lived systems getting Storm status skew the yearly numbers higher.

Greg Woods
April 24, 2017 10:13 am

The weather ate my Climate Change…

J Mac
April 24, 2017 10:44 am

From WeatherBell, Joe Bastardi ‘Daily update’:
The low pressure storm system that just crossed lower Florida (W to E) is getting organized, sliding up the US east coast and will come ashore in North Carolina at 2 AM Tuesday, with near-hurricane force wind gusts.
This storm has real potential to cause some damage, unlike the ‘eyesore in the Azores’ (Bastardi quip) that was insignificant Arlene.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  J Mac
April 24, 2017 12:04 pm

There is a tightly-wound upper level low just onshore from that.

Reply to  Steve Fraser
April 24, 2017 8:21 pm

Love that Nullschool map!
I have mine set to look almost straight down on the north pole where I can watch the movement of the jetstream. I’ve never been able to watch it like this before. Maybe, after a few years of watching, I can make some sense out of it.,82.29,265

Reply to  Steve Fraser
April 25, 2017 3:19 am

Nullschool…eye candy & not much else IMO.

April 24, 2017 11:20 am

Should I vacation to “tropical” North Carolina this year, or “tropical” San Francisco?

Reply to  RWturner
April 24, 2017 11:34 am

North Carolina (I live here). Water temps in summer ~85F vs colder than a brass monkeys b*lls in SF.
(Depends on the depth of the water. Such large swings happen in still lake and pond water (not flowing streams) with shallow water. .mod]

Reply to  RWturner
April 24, 2017 4:20 pm

Didn’t you hear? The tropics will be expanding because of CAGW, or so it was reported a few years ago. Obviously someone had no idea what actually defines ‘the tropics’!

Not Chicken Little
April 24, 2017 1:29 pm

The idea of an “official” start date for the hurricane season is kind of stupid. Have the hurricanes and storms been notified about this? Apparently not.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Not Chicken Little
April 24, 2017 1:45 pm
Reply to  Not Chicken Little
April 24, 2017 1:51 pm

Are hurricanes fined if they try to form before the official date?

Mumbles McGuirck
April 24, 2017 1:43 pm

A bit off topic, but I notice the recent spate of news articles on how “The Deadliest Catch” was addressing climate change. It seems the waters in their traditional fishing grounds in NE Pacific had warmed and the fish had migrated to cooler waters, causing problems for the fishermen. I realized after a bit that the present season of the TV show was shot more than a year ago. The warmer waters were due to “The Blob” and not global warming. But never let a misunderstanding get in the way of a good story….

April 24, 2017 1:44 pm

Joe Bastardi has been ranting (his words) about “Arlene” being a named feature. it has no business being named, being outside the tropics, and over water approximately 20°C or cooler. This was not done in the past, so 2017 will have an inflated storm count… the Karl-ization of tropical storm statistics.

April 24, 2017 2:52 pm

Here’s a weather event that’s a perfect example of the greenhouse effect:

Richard Patton
April 24, 2017 7:41 pm

I remember when I was in forecasting school in the Navy it being drummed in our heads that tropical cyclones can form any time of the year, they don’t adhere to man’s rules. An example is Hurrican Alice which formed Dec 30 1954, and more recently tropical storm Zeta which formed in 2005 also on December 30.

Don K
Reply to  Richard Patton
April 24, 2017 8:49 pm

Looking at the Unisys sea surface temperature maps, there would seem to be water warm enough (27C?) to support a real, serious, tropical cyclone in the Carribean and maybe parts of the Eastern GOM. But I don’t know much about this stuff.

tony mcleod
April 24, 2017 8:13 pm

From the fake news department, straw man section:
“There were high hopes last week from alarmists”

April 24, 2017 8:28 pm

Arlene get worse? Nah, the Sun is too quiet, and getting quieter.
Watch the space weather. When it gets lumpy, storms down here
get the hint.

April 24, 2017 9:29 pm

Wow, a tropical storm at 39 Degs North? Here in the Southern Hemisphere, the tropics end at 23 degs, & anything at a higher latitude is just a storm. Methinks you have more alarmist’s above the Equator.

April 24, 2017 10:42 pm

I watched a terrible programme from 2012 the other day called Alien Deep presented by a swivel-eyed bloke called Bob Ballard, who was spouting off nonsense about how catastrophic man-made global warming is supposedly making the oceans ‘angrier’ and more dangerous with ever-higher waves. Lots of fake CGI.
There was no evidence for any of this, just his bold assertions and a few anecdotal pieces by harbour pilots, surfers, etc. There was even a section by a young bimbo who was trying to pin it all on the tail-swooshings of fish (not sure how that would be our fault, even if it were true).
The people behind this sort of alarmist tosh ought to be tarred and feathered in public, lest gullible viewers are sucked in.

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