Currently in the Atlantic —September 19th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Fiona strengthens even near land

As expected, Fiona suddenly started intensifying Saturday night, and by Sunday was a hurricane. It was even intensifying while the core of Fiona was influenced by the land (and mountains) of Puerto Rico. That's always bad news, since it proves how favorable overall conditions have become. Once the core moves away from land, it can possibly strengthen into a major (Category 3 or above) hurricane.

There is plenty of warm water around Puerto Rico and along the forecast track for Fiona. A storm typically needs at least a 26°C (79°F) surface ocean temperature for formation or intensification. The map below shows temperatures up to 30°C (86°F) along much of the predicted track!

Very warm water along track of Fiona

Look at the top picture on this post. Don't just look at the bright colors near the center. Those thin clouds well north, east, and south are high up in the atmosphere. They are moving clockwise-the opposite of the way the lower clouds move. But they're just as important. It's the outflow, which is a crucial part of the "heat engine" that is a hurricane. Here is a graphic explanation from NASA:

Classic hurricane structure - from NASA

And here is the upper-level wind map. Look at the arrows moving AWAY from the storm!

Upper-air flow goes OUTWARD

So, Fiona will continue to devastate Puerto Rico, especially moving so slowly. But it will also intensify once it moves away from land, perhaps to a Category 2 or 3. There still is no indication of a direct threat to Florida or the U.S. East Coast (but a significant threat to Bermuda and later Newfoundland):

Agreement on tracks close to Bermuda & Newfoundland

Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz thehurricaneschwartz@gmail.com

What you need to know, currently.

Grapes in California wine country have survived a deep freeze, wildfires and excessive heat, as climate change continues to threaten the $45 billion industry. Growers, scientists and winemakers are determined to save their livelihood and are fighting back with technology, according to reporting by CBS News.

For example, researchers are studying various kinds of root stocks to see which are the most drought and heat resistant. Rows of vies are planted in different directions to avoid direct sun, while layers of leaves and artificial shades cover the fruit to keep it cooler.

Grapes are like sponges in a way, as they absorb things from the atmosphere, possibly tainting the wine.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.

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