No Alberto, and the NASA/Dr. James Hansen affair
Watching for Alberto
There will be no Subtropical Storm Alberto forming from the large cold-cored low pressure system off of the coast of Africa today. There has been no increase in deep convection near the storm's center the past 24 hours, and the storm has stayed over chilly waters less than 20 degrees C. The Greek tropical cyclones of 2005 that formed in a location similar to that of today's storm--Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta--all had ocean temperatures of at least 22 C to work with. It appears that 20 C is just too cold to support a tropical or sub-tropical system in this region. Today's storm--which does have winds of 35 mph, just below tropical storm force--is forecast to remain over waters cooler than 20 C and weaken as it slides slowly southeastward towards the African coast over the next few days.
Figure 1. Visible satellite image from 1300 GMT February 9, 2006, shows no sign of increased convection associated with the large low pressure system off of the coast of Africa. Image credit: Naval Research Lab, Monterey.
More on the NASA/Dr. James Hansen affair
As I reported in a blog two weeks ago: NASA tries to silence its top climate researcher, political appointees at NASA and NOAA have recently been attempting to control the flow of information coming out of the agencies. There are two more New York Times stories that have come out on the affair. Yesterday's story reports on the resignation of George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to Dr. James Hansen, NASA's top climate researcher. Apparently Mr. Deutsch had falsified his resume, claiming to have graduated from college, when transcripts revealed that was not the case. The second article, published February 4, reports that NASA's top administrator, Michael D. Griffin, issued a sharply worded statement calling for "scientific openness" throughout the agency. It sounds like for now, there will be less restriction on information coming out of NASA, which is a welcome change.