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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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
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:









i dont no why we are uesing that map they olny update evere 6 too 8hrs so the maps we are posting are old
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
Based on the current organizational trend I believe we will see a tropical depresion in 72-96 hours out of PGI31L. Yes, it is organizing nicely but the system remains rather broad and it covers a large area so it will, without a doubt, take time to organize into a tropical cyclone.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Alex was weak? Pressure of 947mb is weak?

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.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Mark Sudduth is a hurricane chaser,and he has his own website.Here it isLink


thank you
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

that is the question but I would say yes. Could be the first true hurricane this year. Alex was one but weak. Might see a good one out of this one.


Alex was weak? Pressure of 947mb is weak?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Hey xcool.interesting little anomoly over central fl too!!!
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Quoting pilotguy1:


The question right now is will it be a storm at all?

that is the question but I would say yes. Could be the first true hurricane this year. Alex was one but weak. Might see a good one out of this one.
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Quoting StormW:


Yeah...email him this, and have him start on page 6:

Forecasting U.S. Hurricanes 6 Months in Advance

or this


Yes Storm! The Cauchy distribution and Hurst, and of course there is low sunspot activity in this case.

Seasonal prediction of hurricane landfalls is of potentially great value to business, government,
and society. Better forecasts provide a sound basis for assessing the likely losses associated
with a catastrophic reinsurance contract [Michaels et al., 1997], but forecasts will need
to be issued well before January 1, the start date of most reinsurance treaties, to be of greatest
value to reinsurers. It is worth noting that although forecasts of the mean hurricane count uctuate
around 2, there can be a sizeable change in the forecast probability of a large number of
hurricane landfalls with a small change in the forecast mean, and changes in the tails of these
probability distributions are of practical importance to catastrophe reinsurers. Our model of hurricane
landfalls, which shows skill at lead times of at least 4 months before the hurricane season,
8
begins to provide risk managers the advance information needed for action.

Analyzing historical data, there had been a 25% chance of at least one hurricane striking the continental US during a peak sunspot year; a 64% chance during a low sunspot year. In June 2010, the hurricanes predictors in the US were not using this information.[

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1462. scott39
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Sorry, didnt finish the sentence. Got a bad cold so messing with my head haha. Opens up the coastline in those states if something moved into the Gulf.
Thanks, Lets hope that doesnt happen.
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csu expert on bbob show. he sounded like a guy that throws darts at a board. had no answer for there bad call on 2010 season. i guess all the others are looking like shams too. i think later sept to mid oct will give us headachs in the se us
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Quoting pilotguy1:


Possibly. I am not a downcaster just questioning all the false alarms here. I think watching the development and listening to the smart guys is educational, however forecasting 10 out of the last 3 storms isn't getting at it. Not trying to cause a problem. JMHO.


From two Saturdays ago I have repeatedly taken the position that activity would not pick up until the week beginning this Sunday the 22nd.

In fact, I have also taken the position that there would be no tropical cyclone formation either last week or this week which, of course, ran counter to the thinking of many who hang on every run of their favourite model.

This was not based upon wishful thinking but upon several factors.

1. The atmosphere was very dry and stable and would not support tropical formation until that changed.

2. Shear from ULL's was persistently high and only pockets of low shear existed across the basin. This too had to change.

3. Change does not come overnight and would take at least two weeks to occur.

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.
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Quoting scott39:
sorry, Opens up to what?

Sorry, didnt finish the sentence. Got a bad cold so messing with my head haha. Opens up the coastline in those states if something moved into the Gulf.
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1457. centex
Our west Caribbean AOI is showing better convection tonight than previous nights. The limited blowup tonight is near the mid level circulation, this may be sign it's working its way down. Don't get too excited just something to watch. This seems about right for where in this wave the best chances are.



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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I don't either, I was more commenting because several people on here are calling this a fish storm already

Ah I gotcha. It may be a fish storm and things point that way early but to me it could still hit Mexico or nothing at all.
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1455. scott39
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

It happens but rare. The position of it opens up the LA, MS and AL. Hoping it moves out.
sorry, Opens up to what?
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Quoting blsealevel:


who is Mark Sudduth thats twice i saw that name here today
Mark Sudduth is a hurricane chaser,and he has his own website.Here it isLink
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he all so the bigets videocaster on earth
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Water Vapor

Not much convection right now. but I see two spins right next two each other.
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Quoting scott39:
Is it "normal" for troughs to dive down in late August?

It happens but rare. The position of it opens up the LA, MS and AL. Hoping it moves out.
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1450. scott39
That Wave is massive in size!
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1449. raggpr
Quoting jason2010xxxx:
tropical update time from jason video.


LOL your videos are funny! they come with free music. It would be cool if "Alejandro" were the name of our next Storm
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I do not think I said this was a Fish storm for sure. I actually think this is the first time I posted about this wave. Been way to busy at work last 7 days to post. I do not like to take decent looking waves and predict a track this far out. I do try and forecast chances of formation this far out. Looking ahead I think this could easily be at least a Cat 3 hurricane but still too early to tell. Formation at some point is high but at the moment no idea where it is going.


I don't either, I was more commenting because several people on here are calling this a fish storm already
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


but alas I thought this was a FISH storm for sure?

you are telling me that may not be the case? *dies of shock*

I do not think I said this was a Fish storm for sure. I actually think this is the first time I posted about this wave. Been way to busy at work last 7 days to post. I do not like to take decent looking waves and predict a track this far out. I do try and forecast chances of formation this far out. Looking ahead I think this could easily be at least a Cat 3 hurricane but still too early to tell. Formation at some point is high but at the moment no idea where it is going.
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1446. scott39
Is it "normal" for troughs to dive down in late August?
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1445. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Cool, that is why I love weather. The debate and competition. A real test of skill. Time will tell which one pans out.


but alas I thought this was a FISH storm for sure?

you are telling me that may not be the case? *dies of shock*
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
I asked this earlier this week of the experts, with a minimal response. Now I ask the non-experts (no offense): A.C.E. is in the basement, yet all other indicators predict an explosive season any day now. Considering the historical greatest single year increase in A.C.E., is it still possible to have the predicted season, or, do factors exist that said experts are either unaware of or have not yet been considered?
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Hey ReedZone (post # 1409). I remember Frances as it knocked power out in the areas outside of Gainesville for over two weeks. Tropical systems wreck havoc well after making initial landfall.

Computer models are off by several hundred miles 5 days out. I have been seeing a lot bloggers on here posting the long-range models for a system that has not yet formed - good luck on that one.
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
tropical update time from jason video.


LOL!!!
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Quoting btwntx08:


hmmmm also i agree with tropicalanayistwx13

Cool, that is why I love weather. The debate and competition. A real test of skill. Time will tell which one pans out.
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1438. scott39
Quoting kmanislander:


Short term ( 24 hrs )the feature will head due West. After that who knows. Depends on too many unknowns.

Thanks
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Quoting DoubleAction:


Another major factor is how strong a system it will become, right now the assumption is it will form early, and intensify fairly quick .. anyones guess right now.


Very true DoubleAction...everyone has seen this seasons storms have had a rough time getting started, and we all know the weaker it is the farther west it will go. So you are right, and we will just have to sit back and wait to see what she does. (assuming she becomes Danielle)
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jason2010xxxx is the bigets fishcaster on earth
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1435. centex
Quoting lahurrbuff:
Please enough talk about Frances...can we just keep our focus on the what should be Invest at hand here. It appears to be gathering steam and is looking quite impressive on radar!! Should be an Invest tomorrow unless the NHC is scared..
Scared? They may feel some pressure when bad system nearing land but wave in eastern ATL, more like bored and not wanting to create unnecessary work.
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Quoting scott39:
Do you have a short or long term track forecast?


Short term ( 24 hrs )the feature will head due West. After that who knows. Depends on too many unknowns.

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1433. Gearsts
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
It isnt an invest because it isnt organized enough yet and being as far east and unorganized the models will only spit out junk. Probably an invest in 48 hours. Maybe 24 if they want to get a better feel what what the models are thinking.
Thats not it.Is cause theres no rush
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Quoting DoubleAction:


Another major factor is how strong a system it will become, right now the assumption is it will form early, and intensify fairly quick .. anyones guess right now.

Intensity of the system can help weaken the ridge hence affect the track. The stronger the storm the more it slows down as well allowing the ridge to adjust. So indirectly the intensity does affect it because of how it affects the ridge. A low will not cross over a ridge. it is like running into a wall.
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1431. xcool
08 19 2000 11.46 -23.00 SW 6 - 29.81 - - 82.8
08 19 1600 11.47 -22.99 WSW 15 - 29.78 - - 82.8
08 19 1400 11.46 -23.00 W 12 - 29.82 - - 82.9
08 19 1100 11.46 -22.99 WSW 19 - 29.85 - - 82.9
08 19 0800 11.46 -23.00 WSW 21 - 29.79 - - 82.9
08 19 0500 11.46 -22.99 WSW 20 - 29.79 - - 83.1
08 19 0300 11.46 -22.99 W 22 - 29.80 - - 83.1
08 18 2100 11.47 -23.01 WNW 16 - 29.85 - - 83.3
08 18 1700 11.47 -23.01 WSW 18 - 29.83 - - 83.3
08 18 1600 11.47 -23.00
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Pat, you here?
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
It is pretty obvious that there is one major factor on the track. It is the position of the ridge. Highs steer weather not Lows. So yes watching the ridge over the next 4 days will give a better indication of where it may go. Models have no clue this far out. 72-96 hours the models do decent but anything over that has to be used with caution.


Another major factor is how strong a system it will become, right now the assumption is it will form early, and intensify fairly quick .. anyones guess right now.
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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.