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Capital Region may not be finished with tropical conditions

Capital Region may not be finished with tropical conditions

Remnants of former Hurricane Nate brought rain, humidity
Capital Region may not be finished with tropical conditions
Schenectady resident J.J. Moran, umbrella in hand, walks down Clinton Street on Monday.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

Hurricane Nate has brought a taste of the tropics to the Capital Region.

Rain and humidity were Monday's top weather conditions, following Sunday's balmy, summer-like climate.

"Hurricane Nate hit the Gulf shores Saturday night in parts of Louisiana and a second landfall in Mississippi," said Christina Speciale, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany.

"Because that system hit where it did and we had a high-pressure system located off the Southeast coast, the moisture from that hurricane streamed way up into the Northeast, so that's why it felt so humid," Speciale added. "We were really experiencing a lot of the humidity and moisture that was streaming up from the Gulf."

That meant people who planned outdoor activities may have been toting rain gear for much of the day.

The Capital Region may not be finished with tropical conditions though, because the weather cycle is not finished with tropical systems.

"The hurricane season in general does not end until Nov. 30, so it's not out of the question or unprecedented to see remnants of tropical systems in the fall," Speciale said.

Meteorologists are already watching the next potential problem — Tropical Storm Ophelia has formed over the Atlantic.

"The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on recently upgraded Tropical Storm Ophelia, located over the eastern Atlantic Ocean more than 800 miles west-southwest of the Azores," states an advisory from the hurricane center.

The Azores are a group of nine islands off the coast of Portugal.

Speciale said meteorologists are checking out Ophelia's moves.

"We don't know where it's going to be tracking," she said. "It could be what we call a 'fish storm.' That's basically a way of saying it could just be out in the sea meandering around and never hit land."

It's still a little early to think about winter, but meteorologists will think more about it next week. Speciale said the weather service's winter outlook will be available online Oct. 19.

The outlook will include basic predictions about whether the region will receive colder or wetter conditions than normal — or dryer and warmer conditions than normal.

"The National Weather Service does not forecast snow anomalies," Speciale said. "We only do precipitation and temperature anomalies for the winter.

"A lot of people, I know they want to know if this is going to be a snowier winter or a less snowy winter," Speciale added. "Really, our science is not at a point at the weather service where we have the confidence to really make judgement calls on how much of the precipitation we'll be receiving in the winter months will come in the form of snow or liquid, so we just do all liquid."

Another source is making that call now, though.

Forecasters at the Old Farmer's Almanac believe snowfall will be above-normal throughout the country. Parts of the Northeast, central Great Lakes, central Plains, and states from Eastern Tennessee through New Mexico all will make the shovel and snowblower schedule.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124, [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

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