Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Unexpected Tropical Storm Julia Pops Up in Northern Florida; TD 12 Forms

By: Jeff Masters , 4:22 PM GMT on September 14, 2016

In a rare surprise, the Atlantic experienced the formation of a tropical storm with its center located over land on Tuesday evening, when Tropical Storm Julia emerged at 11 pm EDT, centered about five miles west of Jacksonville, Florida. Tropical cyclones (comprising all tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) derive their energy from the warm waters of the ocean, so it is very difficult—but not unheard of—for a storm to get its start while centered over land. Julia was helped out by its very large circulation, which pulled a tremendous amount of moisture-laden air from a wide area of ocean. The waters off the coast of Florida that fed Julia featured the exceptional warmth of the Gulf Stream Current, at the time of year when ocean temperatures are at their peak. The Atlantic has had at least one other case of tropical cyclone formation over land: Tropical Storm Beryl in August 1988, which was declared a TD and then a TS while over southeastern Louisiana (thanks go to Boris Konon for this example.)


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