For more than a week, tropical storm Nadine has been located within 600 miles of the Azores islands, and is in no hurry to leave the area.
In fact, the 5-day National Hurricane Center track forecast places the storm very near where it was on September 17! It has separated from the major steering features in the atmosphere, and is meandering. The GFS global model shows this storm sticking around well into the first week of October before getting obliterated by a potent trough -- near the Azores.
As of 11 a.m. today, Nadine’s estimated maximum sustained winds were 45 mph, and forecast to increase to 65 mph by the weekend.
Nadine has now been a numbered tropical cyclone (depression, storm, or hurricane) for 13 days, not including the 1.5 days near the Azores when it was considered “post-tropical”. It has been a tropical storm or hurricane for 12.25 days.
While 12.25 days is fairly long, it’s nowhere near the record. In 1899, the “San Ciriaco” hurricane lasted 28 days as at least a tropical storm. It was responsible for 3,433 deaths, and passed over the northern Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and North Carolina as a powerful hurricane. Other noteworthy long-lived Atlantic storms include Ginger (27.25 days in 1971), Inga (24.75 days in 1969), Kyle (22.00 days in 2002), and #4 (21.00 days in 1926). The tracks of these five storms are shown to the right for reference. Only the infamous 1899 storm passed near the Azores, while the others wandered in the western Atlantic.
Keep in mind that storms prior to the satellite era which began in 1961 could easily have been underestimated, and may have lasted longer than the official record indicates. It’s looking likely Nadine will eventually join the ranks of these historic long-duration storms.
NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) field program is planning another long flight for the unmanned Global Hawk aircraft over Nadine. The aircraft is scheduled to take off from Wallops Island, Va. early tomorrow morning for a 26-hour mission, including another “lawnmower pattern” over the storm to survey the environment and release dozens of dropsondes.
Status of compromised GOES-13 satellite
NOAA has provided no update on the GOES-13 satellite which stopped providing imagery Sunday night. The satellite is designed to provide continuous coverage of the eastern U.S. and the Atlantic basin, and the source of the satellite loops you see on the news. Some of its key instruments failed on Sunday, and engineers are working hard to figure out what happened and how it can be fixed. It has been switched into “safe mode” to avoid further damage to the electronics or moving parts.
Related reading: Key GOES-13 weather satellite goes dark
To fill the gap left by GOES-13, GOES-14 - which has been “parked” as a spare over the equator and 105W - was called into action. The figure below demonstrates the type of coverage provided by GOES-13, 15, and 14 (top, middle, bottom), centered over 75W, 135W, and 105W.
* Brian McNoldy is a senior researcher at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.