Nonmodal growth (NG) and unstable normal mode growth are considered in spherical geometry. Two groups of initial conditions (IC) are studied: "connected" IC (common in Cartesian studies) and "separated" IC (based on observed conditions prior to cyclogenesis). Time series of growth rates are emphasized in conjunction with eigenmode projections. Projections show that early on normal mode growth was much stronger for connected IC and that NG caused negative growth early on of some variables for separated IC. Projections explain why amplitude, kinetic energy (KE), and potential vorticity have more NG than available potential energy (APE). Though varying between ICs and with initial phase shift, NG increases with wavenumber. For middle wavelengths, NG is significant and positive using connected IC but negative or small using separated IC. Total energy and KE growth rates of short waves are very similar during the first 2 days for both ICs. Amplitude time series closely follow KE in all cases studied. APE has less overlap than does KE between the main modes present, so less NG occurs for APE than for KE. In separated IC cases, APE growth rates evolve consistent with emergence of an unstable normal mode and little NG.