Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dean, Felix, and Noel Retired From List of Storm Names

International Committee Selects Replacement Names for 2013 List

May 13, 2008

The names Dean, Felix, and Noel, three of the most devastating storms of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, were retired by members of the 30th Session of the World Meteorological Organization's Regional Association IV Hurricane Committee during its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Members of the committee, which includes representatives from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, can remove names associated with storms that cause significant loss of life and property. These names will not be used again because of the wide spread destruction caused by these storms.

The committee issues a list of potential names for tropical cyclones every six years and for 2013, Dean, Felix, and Noel have been replaced with Dorian, Fernand, and Nestor. Since tropical cyclones were first named in 1953, 70 names have been retired, the first two being Carol and Hazel in 1954.

Details of the newly retired 2007 named storms are shown below:

Dean passed between St. Lucia and Martinique on Aug. 17 on a remarkably constant heading across the Caribbean Sea, passing just south of Jamaica with Category 4 winds of 145 mph. Over the warm waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea, Dean reached Category 5 strength of 165 mph just before landfall on Aug. 21 near Costa Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula. It weakened over land but emerged into the Bay of Campeche, strengthening to Category 2 status just before landfall the next day south of Tuxpan, Mexico. Dean is directly responsible for 32 deaths across the Caribbean, with the largest tolls in Mexico and Haiti.

Felix was the second hurricane of the season to make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, a feat never seen before in records dating back to 1851. Felix became a hurricane on Sept. 1 over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. It rapidly intensified, and Felix became a Category 5 hurricane about 400 miles southeast of Jamaica. The storm weakened to Category 3 but re-intensified to Category 5 status just before landfall on Sept. 4 at Punta Gorda, Nicaragua. Felix was responsible for 130 deaths in Nicaragua and Honduras, causing major damage in northeastern Nicaragua and inland flooding over portions of Central America.

Noel was a slow-moving tropical storm from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31, while over the Dominican Republic, Haiti, eastern Cuba and the lower Bahamas before reaching Category 1 hurricane strength on Nov. 1 in the northwestern Bahamas. As it accelerated northeast over the western Atlantic waters near Nantucket Island, Mass. it was no longer classified as a tropical system but packed 75 mph winds as it came ashore near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Noel was responsible for at least 160 deaths across the Caribbean and Bahamas. The system produced hurricane forecast winds over portions of the northeast U.S. and Canada, producing widespread power outages. It also produced significant coastal flooding and wave action that washed out coastal roads in portions of Nova Scotia.

Names for the upcoming 2008 Atlantic season, which begins June 1, include Arthur, Bertha, Christobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paloma, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Cape Breton (NS) gets up to 15 cm/6 Inches of wet snow in rare May storm

Updated Sun. May. 11 2008 6:55 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow fell on Cape Breton Island on Sunday in a rare snowstorm that left motorists wishing they hadn't already removed their snow tires for spring.

"It's pretty greasy," one Cape Breton driver told CTV Atlantic on Sunday, adding she was preparing for a drive to Halifax without her winter tires. "I don't know how that's going to pan out."

The steady sprinkling of thick, wet snowflakes resulted in at least six accidents on the island, although no one was seriously injured, said Const. Gary Fraser of the Cape Breton police.

By noon, road conditions had deteriorated to the point that police put out the call for salt trucks.

The trucks took longer to get on the road than expected because they had already been reassigned to summer construction duty and had to have their plows reattached.

"These are rare, these mid-May storms," Fraser told CTV Atlantic. "It is rare and it is surprising how fast it was coming on today."

Drivers weren't the only ones experiencing a wrench in their plans. Golfers at one Cape Breton course spent the day cooped up in the club house, even though courses have been open for weeks.

"The last few days were pretty summery," said one disappointed golfer. "Now it's winter again. Crazy."

According to Environment Canada, Cape Breton often sees about three centimetres of snow over the month of May. In 1972, 25 centimetres fell on one May day.

Last year on May 11, the temperature was 21 degrees Celsius.

The rest of Nova Scotia also faced bad weather on Sunday, but mainly in the form of rain. The National Concrete Canoe Championships, being hosted by Halifax's Dalhousie University, were cancelled due to the precipitation.

'Toxic' snow lingers in Montreal

In Montreal, temperatures this month have been higher than normal, but signs of winter are still in full view. Huge piles of snow still linger in dumpsites, parking lots and parks, and some environmentalists are worried they are becoming toxic after soaking up a significant amount of air pollution.

City officials say they're not worried about the snow because it will run into sewers and be treated before it ends up in the waterways. However, in Mascouche, north of Montreal, inspectors are looking into whether melting snow may be going directly into the river.

With reports from CTV's Toby Koffman and Genevieve Beauchemin