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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according to the shear maps, its heading into 40-50knot shear... OR actually there is aband of VERY high shear just north of the convection blow up.. that would rip a hurricane in half.

BUT if it continues west, it will eventually find some favorable conditions in potentially 24 hours.. the TUTT is lifting based on satellite, and shear will drop drasticly and come from the south if anything.
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799. xcool
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noaa says 25 to 30 kts. i have a feeling that noaa is right. thats only 29 to 35 mph winds
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That for the Vid, Green me! Brian did a great job with the month's animation.
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795. unf97
Quoting Hurricanes101:


It shows us if anything, that 92L has the ability to try and survive until shear becomes more favorable



Actually, based on what it is doing today, 92L has already shown us that it is a strong fighter in the face of shear.
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Tornado Warning

TORNADO WARNING
MNC041-172030-
/O.NEW.KMPX.TO.W.0006.100617T1951Z-100617T2030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
251 PM CDT THU JUN 17 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE TWIN CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
DOUGLAS COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA...

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 248 PM CDT...RADAR INDICATED A STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO. THE MOST DANGEROUS PART OF THE STORM WAS 4 MILES NORTHWEST
OF KENSINGTON...OR ABOUT OVER HOFFMAN...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45
MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
BRANDON...
EVANSVILLE...
GARFIELD...
MELBY...
MILLERVILLE...
CARLOS...
MILTONA...
ROSE CITY...
HOLMES...
LEAF VALLEY...
BELLE RIVER...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON RADAR...IT MEANS THAT
STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY ALREADY
BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE...SEEK SHELTER IN A NEARBY REINFORCED
BUILDING. AS A LAST RESORT...SEEK SHELTER IN A CULVERT...DITCH OR LOW
SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM CDT THURSDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA.

&&

LAT...LON 4612 9520 4609 9514 4604 9515 4577 9558
4576 9561 4576 9577 4609 9578 4611 9575
TIME...MOT...LOC 1951Z 212DEG 38KT 4585 9573

$$

TRH





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Quoting AllStar17:


This was Erika:


reminds me a little bit of Audrey from many years ago... also a late June storm if I remember correctly think it hit East Texas, which is not good news for the BP oil spill.
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92L WILL NOT BE WRITTEN OFF SO EASY! ONCE THIS SYSTEM PASSES
THE HOSTILE SHEAR ENVIROMENT MARK MY WORDS IT WILL MAKE A
COMEBACK. SO FAR IT HAS FACED UP TO 50KTS OF SHEAR AND IS STILL
SHOWING EVIDENCE OF A DECENT CIRCULATION IN FACE OF ALMOST
IMPOSSIBLE ODDS.


I JUST LOVE HOW EVERYONE HAS WRITTEN THIS SYSTEM OFF
ON THIS BLOG, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS PROJECTED TO MAKE IT'S WAY
POSSIBLY INTO THE GULF NEXT WEEK.


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Quoting Acemmett90:
baha
im in palm beach and the storms are comming later then usual
Didn't realize u were that far south... for some reason I was thinking Jupiter...

We've had some morning storms here the last 7 days or so, ending about 2 p.m. First day in a while the buildup didn't start until the afternoon, which is a more typical pattern.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Strong shear duly noted on the cimss shear maps. I will note though that 92L has a nice 850mb-700mb vorticity for what it's worth.


It shows us if anything, that 92L has the ability to try and survive until shear becomes more favorable

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Shear continues to decrease as 92L moves due west, meaning a net loss of shear over the system as the TUTT retreats. It should still remain too strong to allow significant organization though.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
000
NWUS53 KBIS 171940
LSRBIS

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BISMARCK ND
240 PM CDT THU JUN 17 2010

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0231 PM TORNADO 4 E NOONAN 48.89N 102.92W
06/17/2010 BURKE ND LAW ENFORCEMENT

FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED WITH DEBRIS BEING KICKED UP ON
GROUND 3 TO 5 MILES EAST OF HIGHWAY 40 NEAR NOONAN.


&&

$$

PAYD
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Strong shear duly noted on the cimss shear maps. I will note though that 92L has a nice 850mb-700mb vorticity for what it's worth.
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I am still impressed that this is the 303 month above century average temps.
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Quoting Levi32:
Most significant 3-hour increase in 850mb vorticity in 92L's lifetime.



Now that's interesting...
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Here's the view from above:



Here's the view from below:



First day this week we've had "afternoon thunderstorms" as per usual....
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Most significant 3-hour increase in 850mb vorticity in 92L's lifetime.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting IKE:


What a joke and what a joke BP has been in this.


Like I always say, boycott BP.
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Quoting Ivanhater:


Can he sound (or sit) like he cares less?


It would be pretty hard to care less than he seems to.
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Quoting Dropsonde:
So it has, but it still says 50 kt. And for comparison, this is the 12Z for CIMSS and the 12Z for NOAA. Something is not right with at least one of them.


I believe NOAA is strictly 850-200 mb, where CIMSS is "layer mean" so CIMSS uses more layers.
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Quoting GreenMe2225:


The second part of that video like to me a lot. 92L and ex-92L shows burst of deep convection cyclically, as be shown by common tropical waves at diurnal - nocturnal phases but, in most of the life shown in the video, I can discover cyclonic rotation and a LLCC at times. Surprisely, the last burst of convection has ended in a new developing of a LLCC more evident.

Many thanks! I love it!
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Quoting Dropsonde:
I think by now it is too late for this "thing" to develop, but I do not understand why NOAA's shear map says 30 kt of shear and CIMSS says 50. I know the WU map is not necessarily reliable, but these are two entities with a very good track record. HOW can you get different values for shear? It's not exactly a subjective calculation. Very strange.


NOAA SSD shear maps are the 850mb layer minus the 200mb layer. The CIMSS maps are more sophisticated and more accurate because they average several levels at both the lower layer and the upper layer before calculating the difference. For example, the lower-level wind speed is calculated as the average of the 700, 775, 850, and 925 hPa levels. The upper winds are calculated as the average of the 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350 hPa levels. They then take the difference of the two to calculate the shear. SSD only uses two rigid levels.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
775. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


He sounds like a jerk. I really hate that we've had to interrupt his life to ask him these silly questions.


What a joke and what a joke BP has been in this.
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Quoting IKE:
Memo to Tony Hayward: You sound so unprofessional.


Can he sound (or sit) like he cares less?
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I will be happy when we see 93L then we can forget about 92L I also hope 93 is not as bigger of a headache as 92
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Quoting IKE:
Memo to Tony Hayward: You sound so unprofessional.


He sounds like a jerk. I really hate that we've had to interrupt his life to ask him these silly questions.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Well except for the recent convection burst over the COC several of us knew that convection was going to fire due to the diffluent flow aloft provided by the TUTT.


That's almost a given with any wave that interacts with the TUTT, been following these things for years. But the TUTT is not responsible for the concentrated blowup of storms over the tightening center, that is separate.
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769. 900MB
Quoting sarahjola:
surface winds are only 25 to 30 out there where 92l is. according to noaa


St. Kitts, St. Barts, and Monseraat all have pressures of 29.98 and winds 18-21mph from the East. Although I know it is a bit early, tonight's readings will be more interesting.
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Does anybody know where 92L is more likely to go, once in the GOM, if it developes?
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


CIMSS has updated
So it has, but it still says 50 kt. And for comparison, this is the 12Z for CIMSS and the 12Z for NOAA. Something is not right with at least one of them.
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766. IKE
Memo to Tony Hayward: You sound so unprofessional.
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Tornado Warning

TORNADO WARNING
NDC013-023-172030-
/O.NEW.KBIS.TO.W.0012.100617T1936Z-100617T2030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BISMARCK ND
236 PM CDT THU JUN 17 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BISMARCK HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
WESTERN BURKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST NORTH DAKOTA...
EASTERN DIVIDE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST NORTH DAKOTA...

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 236 PM CDT...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR
NOONAN...OR 15 MILES EAST OF CROSBY. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS
TORNADO MOVING NORTHWEST AT 15 MPH. ADDITIONAL STORMS TO THE
SOUTHEAST OF NOONAN COULD PRODUCE TORNADOS AS WELL.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF EXTREME NORTHWESTERN BURKE AND NORTHEASTERN
DIVIDE COUNTIES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO REPEAT...A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND. TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN
INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID
WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE
CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4901 10266 4862 10251 4862 10289 4864 10291
4900 10334
TIME...MOT...LOC 1936Z 147DEG 15KT 4892 10296

$$

KINNEY







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surface winds are only 25 to 30 out there where 92l is. according to noaa
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
There is an area of 30 °C SST's near the islands. Lets see how it deals with that.

Water around the islands are shallow that's why they warm so quickly, the same thing can be noted by the Florida keys and the Bahamas.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Dropsonde:
I think by now it is too late for this "thing" to develop, but I do not understand why NOAA's shear map says 30 kt of shear and CIMSS says 50. I know the WU map is not necessarily reliable, but these are two entities with a very good track record. HOW can you get different values for shear? It's not exactly a subjective calculation. Very strange.


CIMSS has updated
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Quoting Ivanhater:


I agree obviously. The interesting thing about what is happening now is the inner dynamics of this system which may be a key to what happens down the line, i.e the gulf. Bet you no one thought it would like like this in the face of the shear today

Well except for the recent convection burst over the COC several of us knew that convection was going to fire due to the diffluent flow aloft provided by the TUTT.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
758. 900MB
Quoting Ivanhater:


I agree obviously. The interesting thing about what is happening now is the inner dynamics of this system which may be a key to what happens down the line, i.e the gulf. Bet you no one thought it would like like this in the face of the shear today



I guess this is why we watch! Every system is different and has its surprises- this one plenty of them!
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Quoting FFtrombi:
The reason that 92L is still forming convection and popping storms is the fact that it is embedded in a really moist environment which is providing the energy needed. All it needs is a day without >20knot shear and it will become a storm. It looks exactly like ts danny or erika from last year at the moment, dejavu!


This was Erika:
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
I think by now it is too late for this "thing" to develop, but I do not understand why NOAA's shear map says 30 kt of shear and CIMSS says 50. I know the WU map is not necessarily reliable, but these are two entities with a very good track record. HOW can you get different values for shear? It's not exactly a subjective calculation. Very strange.
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I am really excited to see what the wind field will look like on the islands as the center passes through them tonight, this will be the first time we have real wind and pressure observations, and with multiple points on a line, the islands provide a huge data boost.
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The reason that 92L is still forming convection and popping storms is the fact that it is embedded in a really moist environment which is providing the energy needed. All it needs is a day without >20knot shear and it will become a storm. It looks exactly like ts danny or erika from last year at the moment, dejavu!
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Quoting Drakoen:


Deja vu? We saw a concentrated blow up with this system before. Upper level winds and dry is just not conducive for sustained organization.


I agree obviously. The interesting thing about what is happening now is the inner dynamics of this system which may be a key to what happens down the line, i.e the gulf. Bet you no one thought it would like like this in the face of the shear today

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.