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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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
151. MahFL
I thought I had spotted 2 centers of cooler cloudtops earlier and was wondering at the possible 2 centers of 92L. An open trough explains it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Beachfoxx:
131. RecordSeason

I fully understand how much oil is needed to keep the world running...

However, there are safer places to drill - the ANWR region of Alaska for example.

We as a nation are dependent on oil & I understand that, but there are safer ways to get the oil...and yes, I do believe we need to continue to search for alternative fuels.


Question.. how are you planning on getting it home?

We don't want it in our waters from your tankers..or on our land from your pipelines. Exxon Valdez shows how safe the tankers are.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
Quoting Patrap:
The Moral thing to do is to get off fossil fuels that are warming the Planet.

Like in Apollo 13..we dont have to turn some circuits off. We have to turn EVERYTHING off.

Even if we stopped increasing the Partial Pressure with Co2, Methane and other today.

The Warming will continue for 60-100 years the current modeling shows.

Now dont freak out thats just the numbers.

No one is suggesting we can or will.

But when the Mayans show up Looking for their Oil and Gold.

IM gonna Point at BP.



And the trend for a faster climb in WV and Global temps are being reflected in the Big Climate ensemble.

Food fer thought.

How about another bowl of rainbow stew, Pat...
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Re: 131

So, recycling isn't possible?

Or, since we can't be totally free of foreign oil, we should just give up?

I'm glad you weren't around in 1776.
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146. MahFL
StormW, I forgot you only needed 80 on the THP maps for possible rapid intensification, I thought it was the red area's, so all in all the THP is looking pretty high.....which is bad if you don't want a storm, but good if you do.....
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Thank you Flood - we could use all the positive thoughts you can send.
Yesterday, the beaches were so soiled by the tar, I haven't gone to the beach this morning, its so hard to look at. :*(
Quoting Floodman:


I've been thinking about you and some others lately...
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We got TD 3-E. Not gonna last so long though.
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@131:

Wow, aren't you just a ray of sunshine all of a sudden...LOL
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131. RecordSeason

I fully understand how much oil is needed to keep the world running...

However, there are safer places to drill - the ANWR region of Alaska for example.

We as a nation are dependent on oil & I understand that, but there are safer ways to get the oil...and yes, I do believe we need to continue to search for alternative fuels.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Floodman I don't recall saying governments are moral.

Lol. I quite believe the opposite to be true, at least in most cases, and especially in the U.S. today.

I said, "the moral thing to do".
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
Quoting StormW:
From the TCHP page:

The tropical cyclone heat potential (hereafter TCHP), is defined as a measure of the integrated vertical temperature from the sea surface to the depth of the 26C isotherm. This parameter is computed globally from the altimeter-derived vertical temperature profiles estimates in the upper ocean (Shay et al., 2000). Different methods have been developed to calculate this vertical thermal structure of the upper ocean.


Storm This may sound stupid but gonna ask it anyways and your the one to ask. With the oil and oil sheen on top of the water in the GOM will that make the water warmer than usually? I seen the THCP u put up and around Mobile and Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island it is very warm
Sheri
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
000
WTPZ33 KNHC 171450
TCPEP3
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE-E ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP032010
800 AM PDT THU JUN 17 2010

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS OFF THE COAST OF SOUTHWESTERN
MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM PDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.3N 105.3W
ABOUT 265 MI...425 KM SSW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 AM PDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE-E
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 105.3 WEST. THE
DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 2 MPH...4 KM/HR. A
TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED BY TOMORROW WITH SOME
INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SOME INCREASE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 48
HOURS AND THE DEPRESSION IS FORECAST TO BECOME A TROPICAL STORM
LATER TODAY.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
NONE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...200 PM PDT.

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE




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lol 3e killed 2e lol
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135. DEKRE
Quoting lickitysplit:
Well Dr. M, looks like, with the latest data, that global warming is over and global cooling is coming full on.


I would have thought that people on this forum would know the difference between weather and climate.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
I could use some too...
Hi Flood - we are not having fun on the Panhandle of FL - that rig that blew off the coast of LA is spoiling the coastline of four states now, my beaches included. Heartbreaking.
Pass the Kool-aide, please.


I've been thinking about you and some others lately...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
TD 2-E just dissipated off the coast of Mexico. Still waiting for the first TD 3-E advisory to come in...

It's probably a depression already.
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Quoting StormW:
Thanks Dr. Masters!


Storm W, I realize that 92L is "just Thunderstorms" but do you expect them to make it to the gulf and decvelope into anything in the future?
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94:

You simply do not realize how much oil is required for modern civilization, apparantly nobody does.

Even if a fairy waved a magic wand and gave us electric everything that ran on magic, we'd still need about 3/4 as much oil for making things like plastic food containers and shampoo, which are absolutely vital for the medical industry and pretty much all of the "easy to build" relatively long lasting products we use.

So basicly, even if we used zero oil for fuel or lubrication, we would still need just as much domestic oil as we currently use, and we'd only cut our foreign oil import needs by about 1/3rd of their current levels.


Without oil based plastics, you cannot do:

Modern medicine
I.V. hypodermic needles(the plunger part,) sanitation

modern food preservation and transport:
nearly everyone starves and/or food quality goes down drasticly.

Greenhouses would need to be made with glass instead of plastic, which would make them far more expensive to make and probably not even profitable, but for some crops, open fields produce only 1/15th as much produce per unit land as a greenhouse.

Roads would had to be paved with concrete instead of asphalt. Concrete is far more expensive, and sufferes worse from heat wedging and frost wedging.

Many canning and bottling companies converted from glass and metal to plastic because the plastic is so much cheaper in materials cost, and is easier to work with. This applies to everything from food, water, soda, detergents, chemicals, vinegar, etc.

I worked in plastics for a while; the plant that makes the red HDPE folgers plastic can and the PET for the crystals, and I can tell you, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to make the same production level at even a remotely similar price using metal or glass. Even then, five years ago, the blow molders put out 108 pallets per shift per molder at 840 of 39oz. cans per pallet(2 shifts per day = 181440 cans per day per molder)...times five molders.

There was also one 13oz line and one PET line, but this one plant makes EVERY can for Folgers brand world wide. There was one full time employee per line, sometimes less, and one temp per line, sometimes less. The plant manager specifically told me that back when they used metal cans, folgers needed literally hundreds of workers to make the same production. With any other material, they'd need a production facility ten times bigger, and would have scores more overhead in wages and other costs.


So if they had to convert back to metal and glass, well, they've totally dismantled the old facilities, so they'd have all the start-up costs from scratch all over again, as I'm sure so many others would in every industry, but if you really wanted to stop drilling and stop importing oil from Iran, this is what you are asking for. You just THINK the U.S. economy sucks right now, if you did away with plastic, we'd practically be a 3rd world country within a few decades.

Oil is here to stay, at least till it gets used up...
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
I could use some too...
Hi Flood - we are not having fun on the Panhandle of FL - that rig that blew off the coast of LA is spoiling the coastline of four states now, my beaches included. Heartbreaking.
Pass the Kool-aide, please.
Quoting Floodman:


Yeah, baby...I want mine!
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Good morning.
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Quoting StormW:


Correct...if you look at the visible loop, you'll see what looks like 2 different circulation centers...it appears though, as if it is one elongated one, from near 17N down to 14N...ya have to zoom in a little.

VIS LOOP
Thanks, Yes i see it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TD 2-E just dissipated off the coast of Mexico. Still waiting for the first TD 3-E advisory to come in...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting LoneStarWeather:

I don't know about you, Flood, but I'm getting in line now for some of that free bubble-up and a bowl of rainbow stew!


Yeah, baby...I want mine!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well Dr. M, looks like, with the latest data, that global warming is over and global cooling is coming full on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning.
Wet weekend ahead for the Greater Antilles.
Not looking too good for Dominican Republic & Haiti either.
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Quoting twhcracker:


oh gosh thanks i was beginning to think we had all the disasters that could happen!


Sea ice melt doesn't cause sea level rise, anymore that the ice melting in your drink causes the level of drink to rise...
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Quoting Floodman:


Wow...so based on your logic, there would never be wars, or pestilence, there would be no poverty and this would be Utopia...because governments are "moral". I'm guessing, what, you're 14 or so?

I don't know about you, Flood, but I'm getting in line now for some of that free bubble-up and a bowl of rainbow stew!
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How come the NHC isn't issuing advisories on TD Three-E???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
According to the Polar Research Group from the University of Illinois, the combined ice extent for BOTH the arctic and antarctic is greater than the mean as measured since 1979. Where is Dr. Masters' analysis about the antartic?

See website address below

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
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Quoting StormW:


A trof is an elongated area of low pressure
So ill take a guess and say thats not good for developement?
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water ...
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000
WTPZ32 KNHC 171438
TCPEP2
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO-E ADVISORY NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022010
800 AM PDT THU JUN 17 2010

...DEPRESSION DISSIPATES OFF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM PDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.8N 98.6W
ABOUT 35 MI...55 KM S OF PUNTO MALDONADO MEXICO
ABOUT 115 MI...185 KM SE OF ACAPULCO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1008 MB...29.77 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS DISCONTINUED ALL TROPICAL STORM
WATCHES AND WARNINGS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.
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I understand the TCHP product had some significant changes made to it in October 2008 if memory serves me. Is that correct?
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111. hercj
Quoting StormW:


Hey...my pleasure! Remember, I didn't always know what I do...years of studying and research...and still not done learning.

I have been flying for 30 years and these new things are teaching me something everyday.
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Quoting StormW:


As of last satellite loop imagery...ASCAT and WINDSAT missed it, appears to be opening into a trof of low pressure. What was a circulation appears to be opening up on the west side.
Thanks, what does that mean opening into a trof of low pressure?
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108. hercj
Quoting StormW:


Correct...that's why if there is any upwelling in the W. Caribbean, it's gonna be warm water.

If you look at the color graph at the bottom of that image, as a rule of thumb, anything 80 kJ/cm2 will allow a Tropical Cyclone to intensify steadily to rapidly, depending on other conditions.

Senior, you are the best friend a pilot could ever have. You really help me understand something I have been interested in for a very long time. Thanks for everything.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
107. hercj
Quoting StormW:


Correct...that's why if there is any upwelling in the W. Caribbean, it's gonna be warm water.

If you look at the color graph at the bottom of that image, as a rule of thumb, anything 80 kJ/cm2 will allow a Tropical Cyclone to intensify steadily to rapidly, depending on other conditions.

Senior, you are the best friend a pilot could ever have. You really help me understand something I have been interested in for a very long time. Thanks for everything.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
105. hercj
Quoting StormW:


Correct...that's why if there is any upwelling in the W. Caribbean, it's gonna be warm water.

If you look at the color graph at the bottom of that image, as a rule of thumb, anything 80 kJ/cm2 will allow a Tropical Cyclone to intensify steadily to rapidly, depending on other conditions.

Senior, you are the best friend a pilot could ever have. You really help me understand something I have been interested in for a very long time. Thanks for everything.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
104. hercj
Quoting StormW:


Correct...that's why if there is any upwelling in the W. Caribbean, it's gonna be warm water.

If you look at the color graph at the bottom of that image, as a rule of thumb, anything 80 kJ/cm2 will allow a Tropical Cyclone to intensify steadily to rapidly, depending on other conditions.

Senior, you are the best friend a pilot could ever have. You really help me understand something I have been interested in for a very long time. Thanks for everything.
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StormW is ex92L just a thunderstorm?
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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.

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