Globe has 3rd consecutive warmest month on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on June 17, 2010

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The globe recorded its warmest May since record keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The May temperature anomaly of 0.69°C (1.24°F) beat the previous record set in 1998 by 0.06°C. We've now had three consecutive warmest months on record, the first time that has happened since 1998. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also rated May 2010 as the warmest May on record, tied with May 1998. Both NOAA and NASA rated the year-to-date period, January - May, as the warmest such period on record, and the last 12-month period (June 2009 - May 2010) as the warmest 12-month period on record. May 2010 global ocean temperatures were the second warmest on record, while land temperatures were the warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 2nd warmest on record in May, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) groups.

For those interested, NCDC has a page of notable weather highlights from May 2010.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for May 2010. Image credit: NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Asia and Southeast Asia record their hottest temperatures in history
The mercury hit an astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F) at MohenjuDaro, Pakistan, on May 26. Not only is the 128.3°F reading the hottest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, it is the hottest reliably measured temperature ever recorded on the continent of Asia. The evidence for this record is detailed in a post I made earlier this month. The Pakistan heat wave killed at least 18 Pakistanis, and temperatures in excess of 50°C (122°F) were recorded at nine Pakistani cities on May 26, including 53°C (127.4°F) at Sibi. Record heat also hit Southeast Asia in May. According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar (Burma) had its hottest temperature in its recorded history on May 12, when the mercury hit 47°C (116.6°F) in Myinmu. Myanmar's previous hottest temperature was 45.8°C (114.4°F) at Minbu, Magwe division on May 9, 1998. According to Chris Burt, author of Extreme Weather, the 47°C (116.6°F) measured on May 12 this year is the hottest temperature measured in Southeast Asia in recorded history.

An average May for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., it was the 50th coldest (66th warmest) May in the 116-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Idaho had its second coolest May on record, while it was Montana's fourth coolest, Wyoming's and Oregon's seventh coolest, Utah's eighth, California's ninth, and Nevada's tenth coolest such period. Rhode Island observed its second warmest May on record and Florida tied for its second warmest. Other states much warmer than normal during May included: Louisiana (4th warmest), Massachusetts (5th warmest), Connecticut (6th warmest), New Hampshire (7th warmest), Mississippi and New York (each 8th warmest), and New Jersey (9th warmest).

NCDC's Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for spring (March-May) was about 5 percent higher than average. The CEI measures the prevalence of several types of climate extremes (like record or near-record warmth, dry spells, or rainy periods). Factors contributing to spring's elevated values: widespread (2-3 times larger than average) coverage of anomalously warm daily max and min temperatures, and above-average extent of extreme one-day precipitation events. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, tornadic activity in May was near normal with 290 preliminary tornado reports.

U.S. precipitation and drought
For the contiguous U.S., May 2010 ranked as the 35th wettest May in the 116-year record. The state of Washington had its third wettest May on record and extreme precipitation events in Tennessee and Kentucky contributed to their sixth and seventh wettest such period, respectively. It was the tenth wettest May in North Dakota. At the end of May, approximately 3% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought. This is a very low amount of drought for the U.S.

La Niña likely by July
El Niño rapidly dissipated in May, with sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", falling to 0.50°C below average by June 14, according to NOAA.. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is reporting that this number was 0.31°C below average (as of June 13.) Since La Niña conditions are defined as occurring when this number reaches 0.50°C below average, we are right at the threshold of a La Niña. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña watch, and it is likely that a full-fledged La Niña will emerge by July. Ten of the 23 El Niño models (updated as of May 19) are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. However, as NOAA's Climate Prediction Center commented in their June 3 advisory, a number of the more reliable models are now calling for La Niña to develop this summer. They comment, "there is an increasing confidence in these colder model forecasts, which is supported by recent observations that show cooling trends in the Pacific Ocean and signs of coupling with the atmospheric circulation."

It is interesting to note that the last time we had a strong El Niño event, in 1998, El Niño collapsed dramatically in May, and a strong La Niña event developed by hurricane season. History appears to be repeating itself, and the emergence of La Niña will likely occur by July. The demise of El Niño, coupled with sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic that are currently at record levels, suggest that a much more active Atlantic hurricane season that usual likely in 2010. The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was about 40% above average in activity, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. The season was relatively late-starting, with only one named storm occurring before August 20.


Figure 2. Ice extent through June 15, 2010 in the Arctic, compared to the record low years of 2006 and 2007. Record low Arctic ice extent began about June 1, and has remained at record low extent for the first half of June. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Arctic sea ice extent reaches a record low at end of May
Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in May 2010 was the 9th lowest since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Ice extent was near average at the beginning of May, but thanks to the fastest rate of decline ever observed during the month of May (50% faster than average), ice extent reached a record low by the end of May. Ice extent has remained at record low levels throughout the first half of June, as well. Ice volume was also at a record low at the end of May, according to University of Washington Polar Ice Center, due to the fact the Arctic is now dominated by thin first and second-year ice.

Record low Northern Hemisphere snow extent in May
For the second consecutive month, the Rutgers Snow Lab reported that the snow cover footprint over North America was the smallest on record for the month. A record-small snow footprint was also observed over Eurasia and the Northern Hemisphere as a whole.

The Atlantic is quiet
The 92L low pressure system, now located about 300 miles east of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, has been completely disrupted by wind shear and dry air, and is no longer a threat to develop. The remnants of 92L, which are currently kicking up some strong thunderstorms due to interaction with an upper-level trough of low pressure, will bring heavy rain showers and wind gusts up to 35 mph to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands tonight through Friday, and into Puerto Rico Friday night through Saturday. On Sunday, the disturbance could bring heavy rains to northern Haiti. The earthquake zone in southern Haiti may also receive heavy enough rains to be of concern for the 1.5 million people living in tents and under tarps.

None of the reliable computer models is predicting formation of a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic over the next seven days, though the GFS model was suggesting a weak development moving through the southern Lesser Antilles Islands seven days from now.

Oil spill wind and ocean current forecast
Light and variable winds less than 10 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the next five days, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The winds will tend to have a westerly component through Sunday, which will maintain a slow (1/4 mph) eastward-moving surface ocean current that will transport oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle coast, according to the latest ocean current forecast from NOAA's HYCOM model. These winds and currents may be capable of transporting oil east to Panama City, Florida, and oil will continue to threaten the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi for the remainder of the week as well, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. Ocean current forecasts for early next week show a weakening of the eastward-flowing currents along the Florida Panhandle, which would limit the eastward movement of oil so that it would not move past Panama City. The long range 8 - 16 day forecast from the GFS model indicates a typical summertime light wind regime, with winds mostly blowing out of the south or southeast. This wind regime will likely keep oil close to the coastal areas that have already seen oil impacts over the past two weeks.

NOAA has launched a great new interactive mapping tool that allows one to overlay wind forecasts, ocean current forecasts, oil location, etc.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA great new interactive mapping tool that allows one to overlay wind forecasts, ocean current forecasts, oil location, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll have an update on Friday.

Jeff Masters

Tar Goobers on Okaloosa Island (Beachfoxx)
Tar & Oil from the DWH spill spoil our beaches - it hit shoreline about 11:30 am CST today
Tar Goobers on Okaloosa Island

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1902. Levi32
03:15...still expanding with hot towers.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26459
1901. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
TROPICAL CYCLONE BLAS (EP032010)
3:00 AM UTC June 18 2010
==================================

At 3:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Blas (999 hPa) located at 15.5N 106.4W or 390 NM south southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico has sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 4 knots.

Forecast and Intensity
======================
24 HRS: 16.0N 107.7W - 45 knots (Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 16.7N 109.9W - 40 knots (Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 17.0N 113.0W - 35 knot (Tropical Storm)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ignore debbykat...if you hadn't figured it out yet it's obviously stormtop. Still using the old toilet bowl for his/her forecasts.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting Tazmanian:
Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby


you are a vary big downcaster



and PLZ dont Quote him




Did you ignore me?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby


you are a vary big downcaster



and PLZ dont Quote him


Not to quote debbykat? Debbykat is a she not a he as far as I'm concerned.
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Guy ignore em its stormtrop.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3709
Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Of course the NHC is talking about it, didn't you see the TWO.
Lol, was she serious? Of course the NHC is talking about it.

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1894. Levi32
Quoting centex:
I've heard how a TUTT can do that if right location, never heard shear do that. I'm sure the experts will tell use how it happened, after the fact.


Shear is ventilation, as it is air blowing over the top of an air column. When you have wind blowing over a standing column of air, some air gets taken out of the top and more is forced to rush in at the bottom. That is why the TUTT usually enhances convection with tropical waves as they approach it. Now ventilation doesn't always imply development....most times the shear is too strong and blows away the convection as it forms, doing nothing to aid the system. In this case, a lot of the MCC's formation had to do with 92L itself, not all the TUTT.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26459
Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby


you are a vary big downcaster



and PLZ dont Quote him


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Quoting AllStar17:


Your avatar is gone.


I know. I dunno why. :/
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Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby

Of course the NHC is talking about it, didn't you see the TWO.
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Quoting Levi32:


A tiny bit....but mostly its chances of surviving to be trouble further down the road when shear lets up are increasing. The longer it fights, the longer it remains a well-defined system, and the longer it will be able to stay that way while giving it time to reach favorable conditions.

Based on current conditions, 92L's MCC should still be disintegrating by 12z tomorrow morning. There is almost no way it can still look like this 12 hours from now. If it does, we will likely have a major concern, but right now with the center still west of the convection and wind shear going strong, tropical development chances are still low.
I can agree on that.
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Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby

NHC is talking about it .. yellow circle
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Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby
Once again we can agree to disagree. Conditions in the Caribbean eastern Caribbean will be favorable as the TUTT will be pushed westward by the developing equatorial ridge.

GFS 18z 24 Hours.

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Quoting KoritheMan:


Shear can do it, provided it isn't blowing directly atop the system.


Your avatar is gone.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
I hope they at least have coastal flood warnings and whatnot for those islands. They have absolutely no "official" tropical warning whatsoever.

They cannot have tropical warnings without the invest being classified.
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1883. Levi32
Quoting AllStar17:
Levi - Do you think its development chances are going up?


A tiny bit....but mostly its chances of surviving to be trouble further down the road when shear lets up are increasing. The longer it fights, the longer it remains a well-defined system, and the longer it will be able to stay that way while giving it time to reach favorable conditions.

Based on current conditions, 92L's MCC should still be disintegrating by 12z tomorrow morning. There is almost no way it can still look like this 12 hours from now. If it does, we will likely have a major concern, but right now with the center still west of the convection and wind shear going strong, tropical development chances are still low.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26459
Quoting Tazmanian:
1868. AllStar17 3:23 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Levi - Do you think its development chances are going up?



YES it went up from 0% too 20% from the nhc wish i think was a big jump


I meant since being up to 20%.
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Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby


Last I checked the EPAC systems are all moving over open water, not much of a threat to anybody. Meanwhile 92L will be trans-versing land, and if it survives (which it is good at doing) it could find an environment to grow in.
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I think stormtrop has returned with a pic.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3709
Quoting Levi32:


It has always had a surface center but it hasn't been closed in quite a while now. Of more concern to me is exactly where it is and if it's getting pulled under the convection or not.


Looks like we really could of used that HH flight that was scheduled for today 3 days ago after all.. :D When it passes the island tonight we should get a good idea though.
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Quoting centex:
I've heard how a TUTT can do that if right location, never heard shear do that. I'm sure the experts will tell use how it happened, after the fact.


Shear can do it, provided it isn't blowing directly atop the system.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Levi - Do you think its development chances are going up?
As for me, no. Why? Well regardless of this recent MCC developing there are still heavy upper level winds that will disrupt the circulation. I would wait until the morning before calling if the development chances have increased.
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Quoting debbykat:
no all star did you look at the shear maps it will not have any chance of developing ..the NHC is not talking about it either..it will cause some heavy rain mayber some flooding in the caribbean but no real serious damage to anyone and it will continue to weaken..debby


Really? Last time I looked the NHC was giving it a 20% chance of development and it has gotten a little better organized since.

Here is the NHC page if you do not have it:
Link
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1875. 7544
Quoting Tazmanian:
1805. MiamiHurricanes09 3:01 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Quoting JRRP:

Interesting to see a closed isobar. Looks like the LLC is closed.


we can have a TD at any time with in the next 24hrs


i have to agree with taz on this its really coming together tight at this hour but its gertting real close to the islands so we just might get a speacial statement from ythe nhc before 2 am in this thing get any better organized in the next hour or so sty tuned
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1868. AllStar17 3:23 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Levi - Do you think its development chances are going up?



YES it went up from 0% too 20% from the nhc wish i think was a big jump
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Quoting centex:
I've heard how a TUTT can do that if right location, never heard shear do that. I'm sure the experts will tell use how it happened, after the fact.


Oops I actually meant to put TUTT... lol
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i think the TUTT is gone or it has move out far a way wenting the wind shear drop
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Whats the point of even watching twc? Unless you want to watch Jim Cantore at some barbecue in Alabama, or some ditsy woman flirting with their hurricane expert its not really worth it. Your local stations will have much better coverage anyway.
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Levi - Do you think its development chances are going up?
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1867. centex
Quoting MrstormX:


Seems ti me the shear is ventilating it and actually helping the convection. Right now this storm is a mystery.
I've heard how a TUTT can do that if right location, never heard shear do that. I'm sure the experts will tell use how it happened, after the fact.
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Quoting Levi32:


It has always had a surface center but it hasn't been closed in quite a while now. Of more concern to me is exactly where it is and if it's getting pulled under the convection or not.



i think its under the under the convection
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1865. Patrap
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting debbykat:
i warned you guys about the pacific getting active two days ago.the atlantic is stuck on shear for at least the next 2 weeks.i dont see any changes happening by then.the waves has subsided for now on the african coast so all can sit back and enjoy the quiet while we can.debby
Disagree on the shear. Take a look at the latest GFS 200 millibar forecast and tell me whether or not the shear will relax in 2 weeks.

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Quoting debbykat:
i warned you guys about the pacific getting active two days ago.the atlantic is stuck on shear for at least the next 2 weeks.i dont see any changes happening by then.the waves has subsided for now on the african coast so all can sit back and enjoy the quiet while we can.debby


Did you forget about 92L?
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Quoting CaribBoy:
Recent update from PR's NWS :


THE ACTIVE TROPICAL WAVE AND ASSOCIATED WEAK SURFACE LOW LOCATED
JUST EAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS LATE THIS THURSDAY EVENING...
WILL ENTER THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN OVERNIGHT...THEN MOVE WEST
NORTHWEST ACROSS THE LOCAL AREA FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY...WITH
WEATHER LINGERING INTO OR THROUGH SUNDAY. SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY WITH THIS SYSTEM...WITH
CONVECTIVE CLOUD TOP TEMPERATURES AS LOW AS -83C. SHEAR IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO SLOWLY RELAX DURING THE NEXT 24 TO 36
HOURS...BUT LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION REMAINS JUST WEST OF THE DEEPEST
CONVECTION.
AS PREVIOUS SHIFTS HAVE MENTIONED...THE LIKELIHOOD IS
FOR A CONTINUATION OF DEEP CONVECTION TO SPREAD WEST NORTHWEST
TOWARD THE LOCAL AREA OVERNIGHT AND THEN GRADUALLY ACROSS THE
LOCAL ISLANDS FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUING INTO
SATURDAY. ALTHOUGH IT IS PROBABLE THAT HEAVY RAINFALL AND SOME
FLOODING WILL OCCUR OVER PARTS OF THE LOCAL ISLANDS...WITH THE
SYSTEM SLOWING DOWN A BIT AND THE DEEPEST SURGE OF MOISTURE
EXPECTED ONCE THE SURFACE LOW/WAVE AXIS GET CLOSE TO/PASS BY THE
LOCAL ISLANDS...OPTED TO HOLD OFF ON FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR SIX
MORE HOURS AND ALLOW MIDNIGHT SHIFT TO ISSUE...AS NECESSARY.


I think the NHC will rise the TC formation prob to 30% at least.
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1859. Levi32
Quoting Tazmanian:
1846. Levi32 3:17 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Woot for 12.5km resolution? Major convergence on the west side of the MCC. Surface center is nearby


92L now has a Surface center ??? all so is it me or dos it look like 92Lhas stalled


It has always had a surface center but it hasn't been closed in quite a while now. Of more concern to me is exactly where it is and if it's getting pulled under the convection or not.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26459
WW12:I see 20-25kts over the area,I was saying earlier sheer was droping over the system apparent by looking at the tops of convection moving SSE when sheer is out of the WSW!!!,I believe sheer values ahead of the system should be around 20kts thru 48hrs ....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Seems as if the Wave is starting to outrun the convection.
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1846. Levi32 3:17 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Woot for 12.5km resolution? Major convergence on the west side of the MCC. Surface center is nearby


92L now has a Surface center ??? all so is it me or dos it look like 92Lhas stalled
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Recent update from PR's NWS :


THE ACTIVE TROPICAL WAVE AND ASSOCIATED WEAK SURFACE LOW LOCATED
JUST EAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS LATE THIS THURSDAY EVENING...
WILL ENTER THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN OVERNIGHT...THEN MOVE WEST
NORTHWEST ACROSS THE LOCAL AREA FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY...WITH
WEATHER LINGERING INTO OR THROUGH SUNDAY. SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY WITH THIS SYSTEM...WITH
CONVECTIVE CLOUD TOP TEMPERATURES AS LOW AS -83C. SHEAR IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO SLOWLY RELAX DURING THE NEXT 24 TO 36
HOURS...BUT LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION REMAINS JUST WEST OF THE DEEPEST
CONVECTION.
AS PREVIOUS SHIFTS HAVE MENTIONED...THE LIKELIHOOD IS
FOR A CONTINUATION OF DEEP CONVECTION TO SPREAD WEST NORTHWEST
TOWARD THE LOCAL AREA OVERNIGHT AND THEN GRADUALLY ACROSS THE
LOCAL ISLANDS FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUING INTO
SATURDAY. ALTHOUGH IT IS PROBABLE THAT HEAVY RAINFALL AND SOME
FLOODING WILL OCCUR OVER PARTS OF THE LOCAL ISLANDS...WITH THE
SYSTEM SLOWING DOWN A BIT AND THE DEEPEST SURGE OF MOISTURE
EXPECTED ONCE THE SURFACE LOW/WAVE AXIS GET CLOSE TO/PASS BY THE
LOCAL ISLANDS...OPTED TO HOLD OFF ON FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR SIX
MORE HOURS AND ALLOW MIDNIGHT SHIFT TO ISSUE...AS NECESSARY.
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Channel 11 in Houston just said the system in the atlantic that they thought was done last night has fired up with convection and needs to be watched even thou the NHC is not expecting it to develope
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Quoting Levi32:
02:45 still expanding westward with hot towers.



The best 92L has looked since its demise.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.