The Atlantic is quiet; Russian heat wave ends; huge 926 mb South Indian Ocean storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on August 19, 2010

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A tropical wave in the western Caribbean approaching Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is generating disorganized thunderstorms. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 15 knots over the region, and water vapor satellite images show that there is some dry air to the west that will interfere with any development that might occur. None of the reliable computer models develop this wave, and NHC is giving it a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of the disturbed region of weather of the coast of Africa, south of the Cape Verdes Islands.

The GFS, NOGAPS, and ECMWF models continue to predict that a tropical storm will form between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands sometime in the period 3 - 6 days from now. There is an area of disturbed weather south of the Cape Verdes Islands, but there is no obvious organization to the cloud pattern. Wind shear is a hefty 20 - 30 knots in the region, and the disturbance is a 1 - 2 day journey away from reaching a lower shear area where development can occur. Preliminary indications are that if a storm did develop in this region, it would track west-northwest and pass well to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands 7 - 8 days from now. However, 7-day forecasts of a storm that hasn't even formed yet are not to be trusted.


Figure 2. The cold front that brought an end to the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 lies east of Moscow in the NASA MODIS photo taken at 8:35 UTC August 19, 2010. Smoke from wildfires is visible over a wide swath of Russia east of the front. Image credit: NASA.

The Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 ends
A powerful cold front swept through Russia yesterday and today, finally bringing an end to the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010. Temperatures at Moscow's Domodedovo airport hit 25°C (77°F) today, which is still 4°C (7°F) above average, but the high temperature since late June. Moscow has seen 62 consecutive days with a high temperature above average, but the latest forecast for Moscow predicts that remarkable string will come to an end Friday, when the high will reach just 17°C (62°F).

Massive 926 mb extratropical storm generating huge waves off Antarctica
One of the most intense extratropical storms in recent years is churning up the waters near the coast of Antarctica in the South Indian Ocean. The powerful storm peaked in intensity yesterday afternoon with a central pressure of 926 mb--the type of pressure typically found in a Category 4 hurricane. Storms this intense form on average once per year, or perhaps less often, according to an email I received from Jeff Callaghan of the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. Since extratropical storms do not form eyewalls, the winds at the surface from this monster storm probably reached "only" 100 - 120 mph (equivalent to a Category 2 or 3 hurricane.) The storm is forecast to generate huge waves with a significant wave height of 13 meters (44 feet) today, according to the NOAA Wavewatch III model (Figure 3.) I have flown into an extratropical storm this intense--in 1989, I participated in a field project based in Maine that intercepted a remarkable extratropical storm that "bombed" into a 928 mb low south of the Canadian Maritime provinces. You can read my story of that somewhat harrowing flight here.


Figure 3. Satellite image taken at 8:10 UTC August 19, 2010, showing the intense extratropical cyclone that has weakened to 940 mb in the South Indian Ocean near the coast of Antarctica. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 4. Surface pressure analysis from 18 UTC August 18, 2010, showing a 926 mb low in the South Indian Ocean, just north of Antarctica. Image credit: Jeff Callaghan, Australia Bureau of Meteorology.


Figure 5. Predicted wave height from the NOAA Wavewatch III model for 2pm EDT (18 UTC) today, August 19, 2010. Peak wave heights of 13 meters (44 feet) are projected over ocean areas between Antarctica and Australia. Long-period waves (19 seconds between crests) up to 7 meters (22 feet) high are predicted to affect the southwest coast of Australia by Sunday. The waves are predicted to propagate eastwards to New Zealand 8 - 9 days from now, and be a respectable 4 - 5 meters high then.

Jeff Masters

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1577. Grothar
Quoting FLdewey:
I bet Jeff has that graph tattooed near his "invest" to impress the ladies.


YO! LOL
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Well I will call it a night for now. You all have a great evening and I will check in again tomorrow.
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Strong area of 850mb vort

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1574. Grothar
Quoting Chicklit:


Workin' and like my job, fortunately; so it's all good. Thanks, Grothar, et toi?


tout bien!
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Quoting kmanislander:


Low pressure at the surface, certainly but not able to go beyond that with the data we have at this time. The buoy near there did have prolonged Westerly winds so its chances look good down the road.
I agree 100%.
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Quoting Grothar:


I've seen that graph so many times now, I dream in red and orange. How you doing, Chicklit?


Workin' hard and like my job, fortunately; so it's all good. Thanks, Grothar, et toi?
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Quoting kmanislander:


The pass only caught half of the circulation so hard to say. I don't see the NHC making that kind of call this early and with the convection not quite there yet. There is enough to support Invest status though, perhaps as early as by noon tomorrow.
Yeah I doubt that the circulation is truely closed, may be on Its way. In my opinion, it still has to work on some stuff before being called a TD, but it's well on its way. I do think that it should be an invest though.
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Quoting KmanIslander: What we have seen over the last couple of days is a return to higher levels of instability in the upper atmosphere and a partial retreat of ULL's and the TUTT that has been plaguing anything trying to form. You may recall a strong wave that approached the Caribbean about 5 days ago got completely stretched out North to South by a ULL to the NNE of the islands.

Moisture levels are on the rise in the Atlantic whcih is generally more supportive of cyclogenesis than 5 days ago.

I believe that conditions for tropical cyclone formation will continue to improve over time and that based upon the above we will likely see a TD by mid week next week at the latest.


I believe this man knows about what he speaks.
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Quoting xcool:
kmanislander /LLC


Low pressure at the surface, certainly but not able to go beyond that with the data we have at this time. The buoy near there did have prolonged Westerly winds so its chances look good down the road.
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1567. Grothar
Quoting Chicklit:

ROFL loved it in Masters' blog this week...He's got a sense of humor, too.


I've seen that graph so many times now, I dream in red and orange. How you doing, Chicklit?
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1566. centex
Wow we got 92L in E pacific. Maybe they have opened the barn door.
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1565. Gearsts
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Weak in comparison...JMO. Winds were a weak Cat 1. that is what I meant by it. Still a hurricane but to me a solid hurricane is a strong cat 2 through 5. I have been through a bunch of cat 1s and they are just like being in a extended thunderstorm in the gulf states.
Alex was 110mph?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Broad area of low pressure. The image on the bottom has my interest because of the west winds...is there a closed low? Possibly.


The pass only caught half of the circulation so hard to say. I don't see the NHC making that kind of call this early and with the convection not quite there yet. There is enough to support Invest status though, perhaps as early as by noon tomorrow.
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1563. Grothar
Quoting Chicklit:

Second That.
Jeff is The Man!
Back to 2010, we're looking down the barrel now, methinks.


Thou thinkest thus, dost thou?? LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice graph, Jeff. Don't think I have ever seen that before. LOL
LMAO!!!
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice graph, Jeff. Don't think I have ever seen that before. LOL

ROFL loved it in Masters' blog this week...He's got a sense of humor, too.
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1560. Grothar
Quoting DestinJeff:


Yeah. Like I have been saying:





Nice graph, Jeff. Don't think I have ever seen that before. LOL
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Quoting vis0:
Thank you Dr. Jeff Masters for the "Massive 926 mb extra-tropical storm" post.

Second That.
Jeff is The Man!
Back to 2010, we're looking down the barrel now, methinks.
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1558. scott39
Quoting KanKunKid:


I wasn't gonna, but the guy I replaced let the chairs go flying and I'm not supposed to let that happen. I saved all but 2 and I watched them disappear into the night like a porta-potty in a Florida hurricane.

It was intense. I'm about 240 lbs and it's not all blubber, and it had me grabbin' for a handhold. It was just one of those "Captain Ron" squalls "They come on ya fast and they leave ya fast"! But it came too fast. It was dark too, with a bright moon, I couldn't see diddly squat. Of course if I had seen diddly squat, I don't know if I could identify it. I think it's a nice way of saying another word for poop. I couldn't have seen that either.

It's a good thing I know how to ask for preparation H in Spanish..
Sounds like your done for the season! Pep H and A fan would feel good on that wedgie tonight! LOL
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1557. centex
Quoting xcool:





old
I'm willing to pay a few extra bucks for better wind data. Sad when you see tech go backwards.
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Quoting RMM34667:


Will do - till then as always I will watch for your input here. No hype, just the facts as you see them. Great insight!


Thanks
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1555. xcool
kmanislander /LLC
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Quoting kmanislander:


Drop me a WU mail close to the date and I can give you a few insights if need be.


Will do - till then as always I will watch for your input here. No hype, just the facts as you see them. Great insight!
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BBL maybe.. going to update my computer.. y'all take care
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Broad area of low pressure. The image on the bottom has my interest because of the west winds...is there a closed low?Possibly.


Looks like it...At leas ton the western half.
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Quoting xcool:





old


The pass from late today has better symmetry than this morning.
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Quoting xcool:





Definitely better organized!!!
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Yeah, it looks benign, but a big nasty windy storm just came ripping through here at about 60 mph and blew some of lawn furniture to the swamp.
The wind generator is set to stall at 50 and it was going faster than that!

So while y'all are contemplating the models and prognosticating, I'm getting blown away over here! This is punch you in the face weather, not read it from a screen! Running after the lawn furniture (it was nice, the lawn furniture that is) I slipped on the wet floor and slid down the porch backwards and got hung on the railing, without solid footing my feet went out and my shorts got caught and I got a full wedgie! Ruined my shorts and I got wet and injured. It all happened so fast!

I survived 140 MPH winds from Charlie and didn't get hurt. I'm down here and a big squall roughs me up and gives me a wedgie.

I hate to see what a CAT 3 would do!
LOL that's funny. Not the part part where you got hurt but the wedge.
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Quoting xcool:



Broad area of low pressure. The image on the bottom has my interest because of the west winds...is there a closed low? Possibly.
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Quoting RMM34667:


We had such a great time in 2007 that I'll take your recommendations on where to visit! November date is to avoid any TROPICAL issues, I really hope this season doesn't decide to extent it's ACTIVE stay. You would hope November is an odds on favorite for good weather!


Drop me a WU mail close to the date and I can give you a few insights if need be.
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1546. vis0
Thank you Dr. Jeff Masters for the "Massive 926 mb extra-tropical storm" post.
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Fldewey,yep those were the best.A flash of light,and your memory is gone.
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:
I just fixed my computer Washington.. Now I just need to add some more ram to my laptop.. Thinking about getting 2GB's of ram.. I think that would do the trick.. But I debating if i should put firfox back on as my browser or what do you all think is the best browser??
Thanks.I have windows.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I think we may see 2 storms form, they both look far enough apart


Agree.
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Quoting scott39:
How many Cat3 or above are you forecasting?


I am a little reluctant to put on the hat of "forecaster" because I am not a met. Having said that, I have given out my numbers several times since May and they have not changed.

I think we will see 14 storms of which 7 will become hurricanes and 4 or 5 of those seven will be Cat 3 or higher.
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1541. xcool





old
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Quoting kmanislander:


LOL. Still there waiting for you plus a new beach bar next door called the Tiki bar.


We had such a great time in 2007 that I'll take your recommendations on where to visit! November date is to avoid any TROPICAL issues, I really hope this season doesn't decide to extent it's ACTIVE stay. You would hope November is an odds on favorite for good weather!
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1539. scott39
Quoting DestinJeff:


Yeah. Like I have been saying:



WOW--Ive never seen that wonderful tool!
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Don't know how I got 2006 from '89 other than I'm working 15-hour days all week...ugh peak season is murder.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I think we may see 2 storms form, they both look far enough apart
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7397
1536. JRRP
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1535. centex
Maybe this will turn out to be good model lesson. Something pops up in few days but not where models predicting today. It would warm my heart because I know CG is models at their worst. They do a real good job with normal weather. Do you wonder why NHC even puts an area at 10/20 percent in 48 hours and models say nothing, they know better.
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1534. raggpr
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


where did u find that?
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1531. scott39
Quoting kmanislander:


Well if you think about it if the models continue to develop the twaves eventually one will develop. As I said a few days ago if I predict tonight that on the 10th of September there will be a tropical cyclone somewhere out in the Atlantic the odds of me being right are much higher than if I made the same prediction for the 10th of July.

Why ?. Climatology.
Quoting kmanislander:


I agree that something odd is happening this year but that makes it even more of a concern than usual. There is a lot of pent up heat out there that has to be evacuated from the tropics and that process is left to tropical cyclones.

That is why I also think this season will be remembered not for the gross number of storms but more for the intensity of the ones that become hurricanes.
How many Cat3 or above are you forecasting?
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This is the extratropical cyclone from 2006. WOW!



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Hi Astro! If you say so...
Lookin' at this right now:


Still just in formative stage.
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You all have a good night...got to sleep off this cold (sorta since I got to get up in 6 hours for work haha). this one could be fun to watch. Enjoy.
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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.