Fay a two-sided storm. So what's Gustav?


Wednesday, August 27th 2008, 9:12 am
By: News 9


By News9 Meteorologist Carrie Rose.

Tropical Storm Fay and her remnants dumped temendous amounts of rain on the southeast U.S., flooding parts of Florida, but bringing much-needed moisture to the drought-stricken southeast.  So I suppose the old adage that there are two sides to every coin applies to Fay.  On one side, Florida didn't really need those 20" to 30" of rain, thank you very much!  Yet on the other side, the dry-mouth South joyfully cries a hoarse, "Thank you very much!"

Here are some of the storm totals from Fay, documented by the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

..ALABAMA...
CLAYHATCHEE 5.9 E                  15.27
HIGHLAND HOME                       12.74
VALLEY 0.4 NNW                       11.62
WETUMPKA 9.9 NNE                  10.81
CLIO 0.2 SSW                           10.27
MEADOWBROOK 1.7 NE            10.27
LAKE PURDY 3.6 ENE                 10.10
CALERA                                       8.87
TROY                                           8.14
BIRMINGHAM INTL                       7.24
ANNISTON                                   6.99
MOBILE                                       6.14
DOTHAN                                      5.80
MONTGOMERY                             5.72
AUBURN                                      5.52

...FLORIDA...
MELBOURNE/WINDOVER FARMS                    26.65
CAPE CANAVERAL /USAF FIELD MILL 21/       22.83
SEBASTIAN /SCRIPPS SPACE COAST/            22.25
PALM SHORES 1.4 W                                     21.44
PALM BAY 1.0 NE                                           21.00
VIERA                                                            20.75
HILLIARD 5.4 NW                                          19.70
MELBOURNE WFO                                         19.62
CAPE CANAVERAL/COCOA BEACH                 19.01
SANFORD 2 ESE                                            18.27
ST MARKS 4 ESE                                           17.67
JACKSONVILLE/INTL APT                              12.07
MONTICELLO 3.6 WSW                                11.90
VERO BEACH/MUNI APT                                11.34
WACISSA 1.1 SW                                         10.80
DAYTONA BEACH/REGIONAL APT                    8.99
GAINESVILLE/REGIONAL APT                         8.25
NAPLES/MUNICIPAL APT                                7.96
FT LAUDERDALE/HOLLYWOOD                       7.12

...GEORGIA...
THOMASVILLE                          27.50
COOLIDGE 3.2 SSW                 12.03
NEWTON 11 SW                      13.50
ELMODEL                                 11.80
VALDOSTA 9 N                         11.67
BLAKELY                                   10.85
MORGAN 5 NW                         10.83
MILFORD                                  10.73
IRON CITY 6 NE                          9.54
ALBANY 1 N                                8.68
FORT GAINES 13 ENE                 8.48
BLUFFTON 0.2 N                         8.35
FORT BENNING/COLUMBUS        6.77
TIGER 1.7 S                               5.00
SAVANNAH/HUNTER AAF            4.87
PEACHTREE CITY/ATL WFO        2.56

...KENTUCKY...
LEXINGTON/BLUE GRASS FLD              1.69
LONDON-CORBIN ARPT                       1.38
ALBANY 4 N                                         1.18
DIXON                                                 1.14
TAYLORSVILLE                                     1.00

...LOUISIANA...
BATON ROUGE/SHERWOOD                4.49
MILLERVILLE                                      4.38
ZACHARY                                            4.20
SHENANDOAH 0.8 W                          4.02
INNISWOLD 4 E                                 4.01
WALKER 1.1 N                                   3.93
DENHAM SPRINGS                              3.91
GREENWELL SPRINGS 2 SW               3.79
VIDALIA                                             3.30
JACKSON                                           3.26
RESERVE                                           3.20
NEW ORLEANS/MSY                           1.46

...MISSISSIPPI...
ACKERMAN 3 SE                         7.87
NOXAPATER 1 N                         6.80
DAMASCUS 1 SE                        6.27
STATE UNIVERSITY                    5.50
STARKVILLE 2.5 ENE                  5.47
GHOLSON 8 W                           5.12
CRAWFORD 5 W                        5.07
TOPTON                                    4.88
PHILADELPHIA 5 N                    4.87
BROOKSVILLE 2 NNE                 4.59
TOOMSUBA 5 SE                        4.53
PASCAGOULA                             4.52
MERIDIAN/KEY FLD                     4.43

...NORTH CAROLINA...
CHARLOTTE             5.90
ASHEVILLE              5.22
HICKORY                 2.90
MONROE ARPT         2.85
WINSTON-SALEM     1.21

...SOUTH CAROLINA...
BEAUFORT                              6.11
MEGGETT 1.8 W                     4.97
SALEM 0.1 SE                         4.65
WALTERBORO 2 SW               4.33
HARDEEVILLE 13 S                 4.25
CHARLESTON/MUNI APT         4.07
FOLLY BEACH 2.5 SW             3.96
WALHALLA 5 NW                    3.94
MARIETTA 1.8 SW                   3.49
COLUMBIA/METRO ARPT          3.10
GREENVILLE/SPARTANBURG    3.03

...TENNESSEE...
CARTHAGE 0.1 W                            5.30
COLUMBIA 0.9 SE                           5.05
EAGLEVILLE 1 SE                            4.39
SMYRNA 4.5 SSW                            4.24
SIGNAL MTN 1.2 WSW                    4.20
RED BANK 3.4 NNE                          4.19
CHATTANOOGA/LOVELL FLD ASOS   3.75
KNOXVILLE                                      1.73

...VIRGINIA...
GRAYSON HIGHLANDS IFLOWS       1.88
PEAK CREEK IFLOWS                      1.24
FANCY GAP IFLOWS                        1.16

So if Fay was a two-sided coin, what is Gustav?  As of writing this blog Wednesday morning, Gustav is projected to move into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, and pass over very warm waters that have not be worked over by a previous storm recently.  That means there will be plenty of warm ocean water for Gustav to move over and gulp energy into the storm and strengthen.  Upper level winds are fairly light, too, and that will keep the cyclone structure together.  It looks like Gustav will make it to at least Category 3 status this weekend, and make landfall somewhere on the U.S. Gulf Coast next week. 

It is too soon to say if Gustav will affect Oklahoma's weather.  It's even too soon to pinpoint where exactly the storm will make landfall along the Gulf.  Tropical cyclones fascinate me, the way they evolve, especially their transformation process as they gradually transition from a tropical to an extratropical system after landfall.  Tropical cyclones have warm centers, or cores, which is unlike a low pressure system we typically see inland with a colder core than the surroundings.  Once a cyclone makes landfall and moves inland, though, its warm core slowly cools and eventually loses its "tropical" characteristics.  That's when we dub the storm "extratropical." 

To learn more about tropical weather, click here.