Sunday, October 28, 2012

Watch the Frankenstorm Unfold!

Well, we've all heard about the Frankenstorm by now, whatever it will amount to.  But it's absolutely fascinating to watch it unfold on the satellite images as the low pressure system and following arctuc cold front here in Canada meet up with the hurricane system arriving from the south.

Go to Environment Canada's weather page for Ontario, and choose Radar and Satellite, then Satellite. A number of satellite images are listed.  I find the best is the 'small' version of GOES-East, for Eastern Canada, the IR image.  Click on this and when the image comes up, go to the bottom of the photo and 'Display the last ...', select 'all images.  Then hit 'play'.

The sequence of images that will unfold in front of you is amazing.  The 100 or so images cover about the past 48 hours. As it starts you can see the curving lines of clouds over Ontario that represent Friday's low pressure system and rain, moving northeast.  You can also see Hurricane Sandy, just appearing on the picture, still centred out in the Atlantic.

Quite quickly as the hours click off, the two huge air masses meet over Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Just after Saturday at midnight the first long curved cloudline associated with the hurricane reaches southern Ontario, while our earlier storm has been pushed northeast.  By late Sunday afternoon the first  orange colour shows up, indicating cold upper layer temperatures, reflecting the cold front still sitting over southern Ontario.  The outer edge of the hurricane system's clouds have reached Lake Superior, though the eye of the storm still sits in the Atlantic off South Carolina.

This is going to be really interesting to watch unfold over the next few days, regardless of what happens on the ground.

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