Paloma’s fate

Paloma, once a strong hurricane, is now languishing near the southern Bahamas as a weak tropical depression.  The late-season storm developed quickly late in the first week of November, but just as rapidly she lost most of her strength after crossing Cuba.

This provides a great example of why tropical systems this late in the storm season (which ends Nov. 30th) rarely pose a serious threat to to the United States.  There are two factors working against a sustained storm life-cyle. 

First, sea surface temperatures, the life-blood of tropical storms,  have cooled considerably from just a month ago.  Second, upper-level winds are increasingly dominated by the northern jet stream that is dipping farther and farther south.  These strong winds aloft shear apart the storm structures of hurricanes.

It seems every season has a particular weather disaster looming.  Summer and fall bring hurricanes, winter brings fierce winter storms, and spring brings tornadoes.  Never “down-time” in the weather business.

Posted by Jim Duncan

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