134 votes
Accepted

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

You were right to question whether the atmosphere really held that much water. It comes nowhere close! We use precipitable water to track this, which is the measure of all moisture in the entire ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
25 votes

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

I invite correction if I missed any details, the column of air above you, at any one time, at 100% humidity can hold maybe 3-6 inches (75-150 mm) of water depending on temperature and it's likey to ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 5,857
21 votes
Accepted

Would hurricanes on an ocean planet continue indefinitely?

No. As it is, many hurricanes never make landfall. In an oceanic world I could see three fates happening: Hurricanes that dissipate due to dynamical features or climatological features. By dynamical ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
19 votes

Why did Hurricane Ida have so much precipitation when it reached the Northeast?

First, it's good to note that it really wasn't much of Ida that went that far... in terms of the strength of the low pressure (and the resultant wind), while the swampy waters in southern Louisiana ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
15 votes

Would hurricanes on an ocean planet continue indefinitely?

What is possible in a low-friction world is illustrated by the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, an anticyclonic storm that has has been continuously observed that fluid planet's surface at least since 1878 (...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 3,831
13 votes

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

Harvey is almost stationary and is rotating new gulf moisture up the "dirty" side (east of the center). I am outside the main path and have 10+ inches (250 mm) in 30 hours (emptied the rain gauge ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 1,043
12 votes
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Do hurricanes cool the earth?

Hurricanes can be viewed as having primary and secondary circulations. The primary circulation is what we see in satellite photos, comprising the winds and clouds that circle the low pressure zone at ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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10 votes
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Has a hurricane or cyclone ever reformed after passing over a large land mass?

Since you don't seem interested in Atlantic-Pacific crossovers, of which there are several good examples..... 2004's Hurricane Ivan made landfall on the Gulf Coast, degraded into a tropical ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 3,558
7 votes

Impossible or improbable? Hurricane crossing the equator

The Coriolis effect is necessary for FORMATION but NOT for MAINTENANCE of a tropical cyclone. Once formed, in a full-fledged tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity the wind balance is cyclostrophic,...
Jack Denur's user avatar
7 votes

Do hurricanes cool the earth?

To summarize David's great answer for folks perhaps looking for an answer more approachable to a wider audience: the answer is a thorough yes to the main question. Hurricanes do have a cooling impact. ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How did a tropical storm starting with "D" end up next to a typhoon starting with "T"?

The naming of typhoons, in the north west pacific region, is different to that used by other parts of the world. According to accuweather, For typhoons, there is one list with 140 names submitted ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
7 votes

Why did Hurricane Ida have so much precipitation when it reached the Northeast?

You're asking about several different aspects so let me try and get them in order. The slow drop off in rainfall is in fact because of the Brown Ocean Effect just a bigger one than we've seen before. ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 4,260
6 votes

When there is snow on the ground, can a hurricane still form?

First off, hurricanes form in tropical seas over warm water. In general, they form in places where it never snows at all. Also, they form over the ocean, and it is hard to have snow on the ground in ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 3,376
6 votes

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

The atmosphere can "hold" only maximum 75mm worth of precipitation at any given locality, this is true. However, this particular hurricane Harvey was a very slowly moving structure. The vortex would ...
Ale..chenski's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How to open AVHRR files downloaded from NOAA CLASS?

You can use the Python library satpy to read AVHRR GAC data: ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 11.7k
5 votes
Accepted

Could we cool the ocean by reflecting away sunlight to influence hurricanes?

Water has a large thermal capacity. which is why the temperature change between seasons is gradual rather than sudden, especially near the oceans. For water to lose heat time is required. By ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
5 votes

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

The precipitable water vapor content of the air never exceeds about 3 inches even in the most humid tropical maritime air masses, and in most maritime tropical air masses is typically closer to 2 ...
Jack Denur's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Why do hurricanes hitting the US East Coast seem to go north once hitting land?

It is mostly due to the Coriolis effect (aka Coriolis Force). (Another reference here) Because of the Coriolis Effect, parcels of air (think of boxes of air) in the northern hemisphere are deflected ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
5 votes

Why exactly did the use of Greek letters as names for Hurricanes happen the first place, despite the fairly obvious and predictable impracticalities?

Well for one major reason, the assumption was that seasons with so numerous hurricanes were rare. Canonically, tropical cyclones typically follow a Poisson Distribution. If you consider that, of the ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Why does air subside in the Eye - the lowest pressure area of a tropical cyclone?

I will just talk about an already formed tropical cyclone. Converging winds spiral in (counterclockwise in northern hemisphere) over the warm ocean waters towards the central low pressure area of the ...
Dalton Bentley's user avatar
4 votes

Have there ever been simultaneous cyclones in the same ocean but different hemispheres?

Today (February 22nd 2019) There are cyclones/typhoons/hurricanes in both the North and South Pacific - Wutip east of Philippines, Oma East of Australia. They are not twin cyclones as defined above, ...
Keith Quick's user avatar
4 votes

Why are tropical cyclones forming earlier in the North Atlantic basin?

The shift appears to match up to a large change in the number of cyclones that peak as tropical storms in the early part of the TC season (here defined as March-July), shown by the blue (tropical ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
4 votes

Is it normal for a cyclonic storm to form at the latitude of New York, USA?

A cyclone is nothing more than a low-pressure system. It can surely form in the North Atlantic; in fact, most low-pressure systems that reach Europe form in the North Atlantic. You are probably ...
GeneralDuke's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Could a nuclear explosion in the Atlantic Ocean during the hurricane season trigger a hurricane?

Hurricanes can only form when oceans reach a specific temperature. The picture below shows the tracks of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean for a 150 year period from 1848. All the tracks are in the ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
4 votes

Why don't terrestrial storms heat up the upper atmosphere?

It's first important to distinguish what you mean by the upper atmosphere. Weather occurs in the troposphere. The tropopause (boundary between troposphere and stratosphere, which is a dynamic boundary)...
Moist_occlusion's user avatar
3 votes

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

Harvey has been using a rainband to get water in from the Gulf of Mexico. Think of the rainband as a pipe, it is piping water from the gulf to the core, and this pipe has a leaking problem, so the ...
Pokestar Fan's user avatar

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