Colin arrives; extreme heat records fall for Ukraine and 5 U.S. cities

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:16 PM GMT on August 03, 2010

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Tropical Storm Colin has made its debut over the Atlantic, but does not appear to be a threat to any land areas over the next five days. Satellite imagery shows that Colin is intensifying, as both the intensity and areal extent of heavy thunderstorms has increased over the past few hours. A respectable low-level spiral band is developing to the north of the center, and upper-level outflow is beginning to appear on all sides of the storm. Colin is a very small storm, and its tropical storm force winds extend out just 30 miles from the center. Colin passed about 50 miles south of Buoy 41041 early this morning, and generated top sustained winds of 27 mph at the buoy. There is some dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) to the northwest of Colin, but this dry air is not getting entrained into Colin at present. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots and sea surface temperatures are a very warm 28 - 29°C, so continued development is likely today. The main negative for development appears to be the storm's small size, which makes it vulnerable to modest increases in wind shear or dry air entrainment. The first flight of the Hurricane Hunters into Colin is scheduled for Wednesday morning.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Colin.

Forecast for Colin
The latest 6Z (2am EDT) models are fairly unified taking Colin to the west-northwest at 20 - 25 mph for the next three days. This would bring squalls from the storm's outer rainbands to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, such as Antigua and Barbuda, by Wednesday afternoon. The center of Colin should pass to the northeast of the islands, and the storm is small enough that the islands are unlikely to experience tropical storm force winds. As Colin makes its closest approach to the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday night, the storm will begin to encounter strong upper-level westerly winds associated with the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper-level low pressure system centered between Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that these winds will cause wind shear to rise to the moderate level, 10 - 20 knots, by Wednesday morning, and to the high level, 20 - 30 knots, by Thursday. There is considerable dry air associated with the upper level low that should cause problems for Colin, as well. The high wind shear and dry air should weaken Colin. NHC is giving Colin a 25% chance of attaining hurricane status this week.

A trough of low pressure is expected to move off the U.S. East Coast on Friday, and this trough will pull Colin to the northwest and cause it to slow down on Wednesday. By Friday, Colin will be moving at half of its current speed. It is unclear if the trough of low pressure will be strong enough to fully recurve Colin out to sea late this week. Some of the models predict Colin will not recurve out to sea, and that high pressure will build back in this weekend, forcing Colin towards the U.S. East Coast. A second trough of low pressure is predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast next Monday, so Colin will have a second opportunity to recurve out to sea then. It is possible that Colin could make landfall along the U.S. East Coast or in the Canadian Maritime provinces 7 - 10 days from now, though it is still too early to assess the risk of this happening, nor how strong Colin might be.

Ukraine ties its record for hottest temperature in history
On August 1, Ukraine tied its record for hottest temperature in its history when the mercury hit 41.3°C (106.3°F) at Lukhansk. The Ukraine also reached 41.3°C on July 20 and 21, 2007, at Voznesensk. Sixteen of 225 nations on Earth have set extreme highest temperature in history records this year, the most of any year. The year 2007 is in second place, with fifteen such records.

Five major U.S. cities record their warmest month in history during July
July 2010 was the warmest month in history for five U.S. cities:

Las Vegas, NV: 96.2°F (old record: 95.3°F, July 2005).
Atlantic City, NJ: 79.8°F (old record: 78.7°F, July 1983)
Washington, D.C.: 83.1°F (tied with July 1993)
Baltimore, MD: 81.5°F (tied with July 1995)
Trenton, NJ: 80.5°F (tied with July 1955)

Also, in June, Miami, FL recorded its warmest month in history: 85.6°F (old record: 85.4°F in June 1998.)

Commentary
None of the 303 major U.S. cities listed in the records section of Chris Burt's book Extreme Weather has set a coldest month in history record since 1994 (these 303 cites were selected to represent a broad spectrum of U.S. climate zones, are not all big cities, have a good range of elevations, and in most cases have data going back to the 1880s.) There were just three such records (1% of the 303 major U.S. cities) set in the past twenty years, 1991 - 2010. In contrast, 97 out of 303 major U.S. cities (32%) set records for their warmest month in history during the past twenty years. It is much harder to set a coldest month in history record than a coldest day in history record in a warming climate, since it requires cold for an extended period of time--not just a sudden extreme cold snap.

Are the pattern of U.S. temperature records due to the Urban Heat Island effect?
Is the huge disparity between extreme heat records and extreme cold records in the U.S. due to global warming, or the Urban Heat Island effect? The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect occurs when development of former natural areas into pavement and buildings allows more heat to be trapped in cities, particularly at night. During the day, the UHI effect often leads to a slight cooling, since it can increase the amount of turbulence, allowing cooler air to get mixed down to the surface. For example, Moreno-Garcia (1994) found that Barcelona, Spain was 0.2°C cooler for daily maxima and 2.9°C warmer for minima than a nearby rural station.

However, temperature records are typically taken in parks and airports removed from the main heat-trapping areas of cities, and are not as strongly affected as one might expect. There are several reasons for this. One is that when tall buildings are present, they tend to block the view to the sky, meaning that not as much heat can escape upwards. In addition, the presence of moist vegetation keeps the atmosphere moister in park-like areas (which include the grassy fields near airports where temperature measurements are taken). This extra moisture helps cool the atmosphere on a local scale of tens of meters, due to latent heat effects (the energy required to convert liquid water to water vapor). Peterson (2003) found that "Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures." The study used satellite-based night-light detection to identify urban areas. Recent research by Spronken-Smith and Oke (1998) concluded that there was a marked park cool island effect within the Urban Heat Island. They found that parks in typical cities in the U.S. have temperatures 1 - 2°C cooler than the surrounding city--and sometimes more than 5°C cooler. While the Urban Heat Island effect probably has contributed to some of the reduction in record low temperatures in the U.S. in the past decade, research by Parker (2004, 2006) and Peterson (2003) theorizes that Urban Heat Island effect is a factor ten or more less important than rising temperatures due to global warming.

Chris Burt wrote me yesterday about Las Vegas' all-time warmest month record set in July. He noted that none of the sites nearby Las Vegas' McCarran Airport (where the official obs are kept) came close to setting a warmest month in history record. McCarran Airport has set new warmest month in history records in 2003, 2005, and now 2010. These two facts make us suspect that in the case of Las Vegas, an urban heat island effect may be contributing to the spate of recent warmest month in history records there. The heat records for Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Trenton do not appear to have as much of a UHI influence, since record highs were set over such a large area of the mid-Atlantic in July.

Is the Urban Heat Island effect partially responsible for global warming?
Global warming is affecting the entire Earth, including rural areas far from cities, and the 70% of the world covered by ocean. Thus, the Urban Heat Island effect--if not corrected for--can cause only a small impact on the global temperature figures. Since the Urban Heat Island is corrected for, the impact on the observed global warming signal should be negligible. For instance, NASA uses satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations as rural and urban and corrects the urban stations so that they match the trends from the rural stations before gridding the data. Other techniques (such as correcting for population growth) have also been used. Despite these corrections, and the fact that the Urban Heat Island effect impacts only a relatively small portion of the globe, global warming skeptics have persistently used the Urban Heat Island effect to attack the validity of global warming. There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks.

References
Parker, D.E., 2004, "Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", Nature 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a, 2004.

Parker, D.E., 2006, "A Demonstration that Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", J. Climate 19, pp2882-2986, 2006.

Peterson, T.C., "Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found", Journal of Climate, 16, 2941-2959, 2003.

Spronken-Smith, R. A., and T. R. Oke, 1998: "The thermal regime of urban parks in two cities with different summer climates. Int. J. Remote Sens., 19, 20852104.

The surface temperature record and the urban heat island, realclimate.org post, 2004.

Next update
I have a series of meetings today that will probably keep me from making another post, and keep me from doing my weekly Internet radio show, Hurricane Haven. I'll be back Wednesday morning, at the latest, with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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So far this hurricane season reminds me so much of 2006. Suppose to be a bad one. But ULL and dry air everywhere causing storms to fizzle. And then if they did develop they went to Mexico or curved out.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Unlikely. The wave is probably just going to move off into the Yucatan.


Just put out a new blog on the HurricaneJunky website, go check it out.
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Quoting flsky:
They're mentioning the blob south of Puerto Rico on my local news now as a "possible." Anyone following this?
Yes, I spoke about it in post 142:

"Surface pressures remain relatively high in the vicinity of PGI23L, however it is accompanied by strong divergence aloft, this should translate to lowering of surface pressures. MIMIC-TPW suggests that PGI23L is accompanied by pretty well-defined cyclonic curvature. Upper level winds are also favorable for development as it is accompanied by an anticyclone. Dry air is also minimal around the system. The only inhibiting factor I see is land, but that should not be a problem in a couple of days. At the moment I would give PGI23L a medium chance (30-50%) of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 72-96 hours."

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Quoting sarahjola:
can anyone answer this- why is colin moving so fast?:)


yes very creepy lol can you explain this out of curiousity?
Member Since: July 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 427
Quoting OneDrop:

Very strong A/B high in place as of now. The center of that high will get pushed back to the east allowing a weakness to pull Colin more NW later this week.
BTW, real creepy picture in your avatar!! LOL, loks like something out of a horror movie.
it actually was very creepy to find. this old truck washed up during katrina in st. bernard parish. it was full of marsh grass and had this baby doll in it. while waiting for it to be removed the wind blew real hard and the passenger door flew open and that is what i saw. had to take a pic. of that.:) thanks for the answer:)
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220. flsky
They're mentioning the blob south of Puerto Rico on my local news now as a "possible." Anyone following this?
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A few things are for certain when there is still so much that is not certain. The storm track has been debated for sometime now. Most disagree with the current track. However better than 50% agree its going to be more of a west track than whats posted by NHC. I am finding myself agreeing somewhat with Reedzone on the track although if this storm hits the brakes then it could shift even further west. Who knows?

The sheer forecast will be interesting. Even if this shifts more west before going north, then there is a nasty ULL to contend with. Then you gotta figure what kind of real intensity will this storm gain?

Most everyone agrees that hurricane status seems like a real stretch. Yesterday, NHC gave a 20% chance. Today it was a 25% chance. Depending on the track and given the size of the storm, this Colin either will be a Bonnie or will develope a Napoleon complex.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Any chance for something to form there ? I remember last year or the year before all of a sudden something was trying to form in this area. Horrendous rain here and some gusty winds but don't remember if anything did form N of Cuba.
Unlikely. The wave is probably just going to move off into the Yucatan.
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217. Relix
http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/plots/storm_04.gif
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Quoting sarahjola:
can anyone answer this- why is colin moving so fast?:)
Colin's embedded in a LLJ (low level jet) which is making him move quickly toward the W. The slight northward component is because he is feeling to weakness to the NW.
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Question about the GFS ensemble: supposedly 14 different iterations of the GFS are run with slightly different perturbations. Then the ensemble mean of these 14 runs is given as the GFS track.

But it often seems that there's some human input that conservativley adjusts the final projected track closer toward land than the true mean would be, I assume for caution's sake, the same way the NHC forecast track generally follows the TVCN but prefers to err on the landward side of that track. Is that what goes on with the GFS (and other models?) or am I imagining it?

TIA!

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Quoting K8eCane:



Reed there a some here who value your comments....one bad apple dont spoil the whole bunch...keep sayin what you see. Im convinced that some on here get angry when a storm ISNT headed their way and the comments reveal that sometimes with some people....but then again ignorance is bliss


I agree. I always appreciate your comments.
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 38 Comments: 5303
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Looks to be a tropical wave interacting with an upper low.
Any chance for something to form there ? I remember last year or the year before all of a sudden something was trying to form in this area. Horrendous rain here and some gusty winds but don't remember if anything did form N of Cuba.
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Quoting sarahjola:
can anyone answer this- why is colin moving so fast?:)

Very strong A/B high in place as of now. The center of that high will get pushed back to the east allowing a weakness to pull Colin more NW later this week.
BTW, real creepy picture in your avatar!! LOL, loks like something out of a horror movie.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Colin becoming better organized.


Collin is small.
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Quoting reedzone:


I'm a keyboardist, I play by ear. I make beats on a program as well.


I'm keys as well. Play by ear been playing for a living for 25 years now.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Did it? I dont really thing it did. Bonnie was junk in the Gulf. It hit me direct and I got about .25 inches of rain. Maybe that model was the only one to forecast it correctly?


Never even recognized Bonnie's existence, usually a 40 mph TS would show up. Doesn't even recognizes Colin's existence either.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Quoting K8eCane:



Reed there a some here who value your comments....one bad apple dont spoil the whole bunch...keep sayin what you see. Im convinced that some on here get angry when a storm ISNT headed their way and the comments reveal that sometimes with some people....but then again ignorance is bliss


Thanks :)
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Morning MH09. What is it over the Cayman Islands ? Black skies and lots of thunder right now.
Looks to be a tropical wave interacting with an upper low.
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Quoting wayfaringstranger:


Reed we gotta hook up some time - I have been in music for 15+ years. Piano? guitar? What do ya play?


I'm a keyboardist, I play by ear. I make beats on a program as well.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
Can't believe you are still wishcasting these things to hit America. You have some mental deficiencies, you need to listen to the experts. This system is not going to affect anyone. Don't be a wishcaster reedzone, look at the facts and don't wish these storms to hit land and cause devastation!!


Did you read what the Doc wrote, there is no guarantee the first trough is going to turn it out to sea and if that happens the high that builds back in could push Colin into the East coast. Then on Monday another trough is coming through, if anything this is a tough one to forecast.

Thankfully another upper low will keep Colin from getting too strong. Is it just me or are there a lot of upper lows in the tropics this year??? Seems everytime a storm forms it plows into and upper low and weakens and never recovers. Of course that's great for keeping storms weak but I don't remember seeing so many upper lows in years past.
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can anyone answer this- why is colin moving so fast?:)
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Quoting MrMarcus:
With all of this interest in record temperatures, I'd be curious to know how accurate the data really is...


Perhaps not perfect, but as close as human and technically possible, I would imagine. Too, given the Law of Distribution, if some are off on the high side, just as many are off on the low side, meaning that with enough data points, the averages and means are likely to be very, very close to 100% accurate.
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Quoting reedzone:


I'm a well talented songwriter/composer whos working on his first project, a good storm tracker, I have a job.. I don't see that being mental problems lol..


Reed we gotta hook up some time - I have been in music for 15+ years. Piano? guitar? What do ya play?
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Quoting reedzone:


Wait.. You actually believe BDADUDE that I'm wishcasting this? wow..



Reed there a some here who value your comments....one bad apple dont spoil the whole bunch...keep sayin what you see. Im convinced that some on here get angry when a storm ISNT headed their way and the comments reveal that sometimes with some people....but then again ignorance is bliss
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yep...PGI24L.
Morning MH09. What is it over the Cayman Islands ? Black skies and lots of thunder right now.
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Reed you guess cast. If 1 of your guesses out of 50 come true.. you say.. I told you so!
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Telling from the model consensus the NHC may be a little more aggressive on intensity towards the end of the forecast cone at 11AM EDT.


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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The Euro has been doing better with the large monsoonal type systems it appears. I guess it has something to do with the resolution that it doesn't pick up small systems too well.


Yes that is the ECMWF's achilles heel.
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Quoting ho77yw00d:


oh sorry didnt know you saw that and answerd so quickly, thanks very much


You're welcome:)
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting extreme236:
A new tropical wave has emerged off the African coast...will have to watch this one as it interacts with the ITCZ for some possible development.
Yep...PGI24L.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


ECMWF missed Bonnie.

Did it? I dont really thing it did. Bonnie was junk in the Gulf. It hit me direct and I got about .25 inches of rain. Maybe that model was the only one to forecast it correctly?
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Quoting extreme236:


Post #175 is my best attempt at explaining it, although I'm not completely sure of how it works either. It can be complicated.


oh sorry didnt know you saw that and answerd so quickly, thanks very much
Member Since: July 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 427
A new tropical wave has emerged off the African coast...will have to watch this one as it interacts with the ITCZ for some possible development.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting Chicklit:
You should go to work for Accuweather and Bastardi, Reed. Your 'forecasts' would sell a lot of ads.


Wait.. You actually believe BDADUDE that I'm wishcasting this? wow..
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wish-cast-ing: (wish-kasst-ing or wish-kass-ting) verb 1 : the act of calculating some future event or condition based solely on one's hopes and fantasies rather than the study and analysis of available pertinent data 2 : spec. meteorology: the act of ignoring any logical, climatological, and computational data that contradicts one's hopes or fantasies when predicting whether, when, and where a particular weather event will occur, while putting faith in only those data which correlate with and support those same hopes and fantasies.
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With all of this interest in record temperatures, I'd be curious to know how accurate the data really is...
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Quoting extreme236:


And for the most part, still missing Colin.
The Euro has been doing better with the large monsoonal type systems it appears. I guess it has something to do with the resolution that it doesn't pick up small systems too well.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
Can't believe you are still wishcasting these things to hit America. You have some mental deficiencies, you need to listen to the experts. This system is not going to affect anyone. Don't be a wishcaster reedzone, look at the facts and don't wish these storms to hit land and cause devastation!!


I'm a well talented songwriter/composer whos working on his first project, a good storm tracker, I have a job.. I don't see that being mental problems lol..
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Quoting ho77yw00d:


hi ;) can you answer my question in blog # 162


Post #175 is my best attempt at explaining it, although I'm not completely sure of how it works either. It can be complicated.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting CTSkywatcher:
The heat we had up here in NE killed my ferns and wilted the garden. Everything is much better thanks to the break we have had the last 10 days. We went from tropical rainforest to spring in NE. Now we just need some rain.


I am in the same boat. I found some averages for the next town over. Temps up--rain down


Average and Extremes for Month of July 2010 up to day 31

Average temperature 74.9°F; diff from climate av: +2.8°F
Rainfall for month 2.31 in.; diff from climate av. -1.91 in.
Rainfall for year 24.36 in.; diff from climate av. -3.31 in.
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Quoting extreme236:
ECMWF on the 00z run developed another CV storm several days from now, but moves it well to the north and east of any landmasses...also develops the Caribbean system somewhat and moves it into Central America.


hi ;) can you answer my question in blog # 162
Member Since: July 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 427
Quoting CybrTeddy:


ECMWF missed Bonnie.


And for the most part, still missing Colin.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Here's JB this morn.


TUESDAY 7:15
A COMMENT ON QUOTE FROM DR HEIDI CULLEN'S BOOK


Okay here is the quote:

In 2050, when Hurricane Xavier a category 4 monster, which sprang up from the bathtub that the Atlantic had become finally arrived people sat back and watched it like the World Series. We knew we had a home team advantage, just like the Yankees.


Hey, Dr. Cullen.. Been there, done that.. 1938. Blue Hill 5 minute SUSTAINED 121 gust to ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SIX. Pressure near 945 mb at landfall. We had our cat 4 already, no matter what they classify it as now.


Better look at your climatology and weather history before you forecast and unheard of event, that already happened, before the global warming hysteria hit.

Which is my biggest beef with many people like this.. they dont love the weather enough to actually forecast it, have it correct them, force them to look at map after map to understand what has actually happened.

The 30s-50s were worse weatherwise than what is occurring now. That you dont know about it, or are much more in tune today because of the fact that we have the means to report every event almost instantly, doesnt excuse you from a responsibility to put into perspective the overall weather in terms of history.

121 for FIVE MINUTES gust to 186.. 30-40 feet over water rushing up Narragansett Bay.. the Hamptons overwhelmed. Guess what.. been there, done that.

I guess the movie version of the book will have to be more dramatic.






TUESDAY 7 AM


I am further west with Colin.


I believe Colin will continue the trend of south of the tracks that are issued by the agency that must remain nameless, but I have to react too. It was supposed to be crossing 15 north by 48.5 west from yesterday and its plainly south of that now. The new GFS package at 5k seems to have the right idea and this may be tangled up for several days next week very close to the Carolinas. A very complex pattern in front of it once past day 5.

In the Caribbean, folks in the western gulf should not yet write this off. Lets see where the system organizes, but the 18z GFS yesterday had a nasty implication. My feeling is this will be a storm if it can stay north of central America ( reach the coast Belize or north) COnvection should increase over the next 48 hours on its way wnw. At this time I think its final threat is from La Pesca south next week, but I am nervous about it.


A 3rd storm could be on the charts this weekend from the wave following Colin.

No wouldnt that be a hoot, 5 storms by 15 August, even 4. Given the history of El Nino to La Nina seasons, that they are mid and back end weighted with the hurricane season well into November, the big numbers for those of you actually concerned about such things are well in reach. In fact I think we could have as active a 30 day period as we have seen in the past 50 years ( 2005 the exception) before this is done.

Nothing is over, till its over, especially since in hurricane terms, the game is in the first quarter.

You folks throwing in the towel remind me of people that boo Paterno. Wait till the game is over, okay.. you might be right, but more often than not, the foundation of the past is a great predictor of the future. If not, then you can have your fun later.

Now if you like portabello mushrooms and you have one in the fridge.. you can have your funghi.. now

ciao for now ****
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Here's my new run, still lots of uncertainty, but getting a better idea. This forecast is a mixture between the EURO and GFS runs, while I'm not discounting the out to sea scenario penned by the NHC and most models, i'm still not convinced. With the TUTT in place, I feel it will be blocked from moving north. However, after it reaches the Bahamas, some slight intensification is possible as it goes on the western side of the TUTT where conditions are favorable.

Photobucket
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177. myway
Come on people. We all know that if a Gazelle breaks wind in Africa some will start preaching to put up the shutters. At the same time if there is a true possiblity of landfall in an area others will say it will be nothing more than a afternoon thunderstorm.

Watching all the opinions is very entertaining. I for one will follow the NHC. They can and will change the forecast track based on the conditions @ hand.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You seem to be crossing forecasting with wishcasting. There is still a very good possibility that this may hit the U.S, there's also a very good possibility that this will recurve, there is also a very good possibility that this will get killed by the TUTT axis.
why is this storm moving so fast?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I would suggest you ask StormW or extreme236, either will answer your questions very well. However I do believe that shortwave troughs usually come into play for about a day before moving
off, I'm not sure though.


I'm pretty sure you are correct. I believe troughs are usually only in play for a day or two before moving off, although their effects can be felt for some time before or after in terms of their effects on ridges...I'm sure StormW knows more about it.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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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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