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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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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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I did...relax. I did say I would take their word for it as I did not watch it to the end haha.


NO! You don't get a second chance you don't deserve it!!! LOL
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Quoting pilotguy1:


And maybe to my point about tracking ten of the last three storms. As much fun as is it is watching the models maybe we shouldn't be paying any mind to these things until they actually develop. Maybe we could talk about cooking recipes until something is actually happening.


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.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I did...relax. I did say I would take their word for it as I did not watch it to the end haha.
Lol, sorry.
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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??
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That graphic in post #1457 is interesting, for want of a better word.
.
I've studied probability analysis quite a bit and I find it next to impossible that the proabilities worked out to form that graphic as is from stem to stern.
.
I suspect that whoever drew that graphic added a flourish of their own, maybe just a tip, either for fun or as a warning of what we're up against.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Fascinating Blog on the extratropical storm from 2006, Dr. Masters.
Also recognized a couple of familiar faces, Skyepony and St. Simon's Island Guy.
Thanks for the memories!


This?
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Quoting FLdewey:
What makes you think he's from Earth?
Maybe he's making himself look like an human as a cover up.Lol.
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1516. scott39
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!
Dont go outside then, you will get more than a wedgie!LOL
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Fascinating Blog on the extratropical storm from (whoops) '89, Dr. Masters.
Also recognized a couple of familiar faces, Skyepony and St. Simon's Island Guy.
Thanks for the memories!
Excerpt:
On January 3, 1989, a strong extratropical cyclone moved off the coast of North Carolina, and pulled a large mass of Arctic air over the ocean behind it. As the cyclone crossed the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, where water temperatures were over 70 degrees, the storm "bombed". It's central pressure fell 66 mb in 18 hours to an astounding 936 mb--a pressure typical of a Category 3 or 4 hurricane! Post-analysis of the data suggested that the pressure fell even further, to 928 mb. This was the lowest pressure ever observed in an Atlantic extratropical cyclone south of 40 degrees latitude in the 20th century. But since the storm never affected land, few people outside of the research community have ever heard of it, and it doesn't even get a ranking on the NESIS scale.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

yea nevermind, finally found last advisory for Alex with the 105 sustained. Interesting. Guess i should have watched it to the end.


Alex, cat. 2:




Rita, cat. 3:

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Dude look at the advisory before landfall. There isn't anything to question.

I did...relax. I did say I would take their word for it as I did not watch it to the end haha.
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Quoting RMM34667:


I hope that holds true only in the fact that in Mid October the odds decrease. Just booked my Western Caribbean cruise for mid-November! Calico Jacks deserves another visit!


LOL. Still there waiting for you plus a new beach bar next door called the Tiki bar.
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1508. xcool
0100 1013.0(S) 80.6(S)/77.00(S) 50°(S)/009(S)/---/0.00" BKN/015 6.2 mi

by Africa


i'm used - MADIS Surface Data
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting washingtonian115:
That's funny.To me hurricane Alex looked beautiful before landfall,and it was a strong sysytem.Hurricanes are are judged be there pressure.
Sorry my computer is really jacked up right now.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
Hmmm I am not sold on Alex being a Cat 2. Winds did get to 105mph but they were gusts. Highest I have seen is 85mph sustained winds which is still a cat 1. Gusts do not determine cats.
Dude look at the advisory before landfall. There isn't anything to question.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
Hmmm I am not sold on Alex being a Cat 2. Winds did get to 105mph but they were gusts. Highest I have seen is 85mph sustained winds which is still a cat 1. Gusts do not determine cats.

yea nevermind, finally found last advisory for Alex with the 105 sustained. Interesting. Guess i should have watched it to the end.
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Quoting pilotguy1:


I agree with the history however something strange is happening this year and I would sure like to add it to my mental data base for the future. Most don't want to acknowledge that something not quite normal is happening this year so far.


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.
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Quoting kmanislander:


There is one additional factor that I did not mention because it is self evident and that is that climatology also dictates that from here on out until mid Oct. the odds of a tropical cyclone forming somewhere in the Atlantic basin are high until the end of September and return to being relatively high for the secondary peak of the season in mid October.


I hope that holds true only in the fact that in Mid October the odds decrease. Just booked my Western Caribbean cruise for mid-November! Calico Jacks deserves another visit!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
jason2010xxxx is the bigets fishcaster on earth


Agreed......
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Here's the animation.
Water Vapor Animation
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
Hmmm I am not sold on Alex being a Cat 2. Winds did get to 105mph but they were gusts. Highest I have seen is 85mph sustained winds which is still a cat 1. Gusts do not determine cats.


No 105 mph was sustained
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No takers from the non-expert crowd either (again, no offense). Eventually, the lack of cyclonic energy will make a new entry into the predictions. I'm just an observer of observers, but A.C.E. will be the factor that makes this odd season odd...
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1498. scott39
Quoting kmanislander:


Honestly, I don't know. I am not a model lover and pay no attention to them until a system develops a closed low. As for intensity, you would likely do as well looking into a crystal ball before the system becomes a tropical cyclone. Nearly every invest this year was taken up to hurricane strength by the models, even those that fizzled out before even becoming a TD.

Some years the models do better than others but whenever we get a year with unusual conditions, like we have this year, they have performed poorly.

I guess they are simply programmed to run to a certain point out in time regardless of whether they spit out gibberish or not.
Thanks, It was alot easier 30 years ago when I had my pencil and tracking map, waiting for the next coordinates.LOL
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1497. centex
WC AOI has also slowed down. Yesterday it was fast moving wave 20mph. Than it slowed to 10-15 earlier today. That trend has continued.

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Hmmm I am not sold on Alex being a Cat 2. Winds did get to 105mph but they were gusts. Highest I have seen is 85mph sustained winds which is still a cat 1. Gusts do not determine cats.
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ok.. But u never know taz.. Some lurkers might not seen them yet.. lol
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


near the end is when it became a strong CAT 2

top winds were 105mph
That's funny.To me hurricane Alex looked beautiful before landfall,and it was a strong sysytem.Hurricanes are are judged be there pressure.
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:



we no we seen
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Quoting scott39:
Kman- Why do models go so far out on intensity and track forecasts, before something organizes to at least a TD?


Honestly, I don't know. I am not a model lover and pay no attention to them until a system develops a closed low. As for intensity, you would likely do as well looking into a crystal ball before the system becomes a tropical cyclone. Nearly every invest this year was taken up to hurricane strength by the models, even those that fizzled out before even becoming a TD.

Some years the models do better than others but whenever we get a year with unusual conditions, like we have this year, they have performed poorly.

I guess they are simply programmed to run to a certain point out in time regardless of whether they spit out gibberish or not.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I will have to go back and look. I dont remember it being a cat 2 but I take your word for it. I didnt watch it that closely near the end.
It was a strong category 2 hurricane with winds of 105mph and a pressure of 947mb at landfall.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I will have to go back and look. I dont remember it being a cat 2 but I take your word for it. I didnt watch it that closely near the end.


near the end is when it became a strong CAT 2

top winds were 105mph
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
1484. JRRP
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


actually winds were a strong CAT 2

I will have to go back and look. I dont remember it being a cat 2 but I take your word for it. I didnt watch it that closely near the end.
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Quoting pilotguy1:


Thank you for a intelligent post. I appreciate your response and wait on developments. I agree with yo reasons that nothing has happened yet but remain a little skeptical about this current development.


There is one additional factor that I did not mention because it is self evident and that is that climatology also dictates that from here on out until mid Oct. the odds of a tropical cyclone forming somewhere in the Atlantic basin are high until the end of September and return to being relatively high for the secondary peak of the season in mid October.
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Quoting StormChaser81:
Water Vapor

Not much convection right now. but I see two spins right next two each other.
It's in a very moist envierment right now.
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sry Taz.. been long day.. I didnt check the times/date..
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1478. scott39
Kman- Why do models go so far out on intensity and track forecasts, before something organizes to at least a TD?
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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.


actually winds were a strong CAT 2
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874

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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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