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 pilotguy1:


It's painful watching the blog right now.


That's because it has been slow for August out in the basin. That is changing though and by the end of the weekend and going into next week I think there will be something to track.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Err, this may be a TD in 48 hours!

I respectfully disagree but there is always that chance. NHC only has it at 20% for next 48hours. They tend not to just jump up that fast. I would look at around 72 to 96 hours for TD. It def is still looking good and getting better each day. things just take time.
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1424. scott39
Quoting kmanislander:


Not as bad as a few days ago. You can see from the image below that there is moisture out ahead of the system for quite some distance.

Do you have a short or long term track forecast?
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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..
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Quoting washingtonian115:
According to Mark Sudduth the models only go by satalite weather patterns,and not the surface,especially dealing with the ocean.


who is Mark Sudduth thats twice i saw that name here today
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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.


Err, this may be a TD in 48 hours!
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1420. eye
based on my observations of this blog

models point to landfall in the USA...people post doom and gloom and "hope" it does not verify and the models are GOD and 100% right.

models point to early fish...models are junk! dont believe them!
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Quoting scott39:
Is there dry air to deal with?


Not as bad as a few days ago. You can see from the image below that there is moisture out ahead of the system for quite some distance.

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1417. xcool
ha
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
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.
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1413. scott39
Quoting kmanislander:
Good evening folks

I see that the pre invest agony continues.

This one looks like it will make Invest status tomorrow if it persists. The NHC are probably waiting for it to pull away from the coast and establish some longevity as it begins the trek to the West. Convection is not concentrated but the 850 mb vorticity looks good.

If the system does not die down tonight I think it stands a fair chance of becoming a TD in 48 hrs. The buoy nearest its current location has been showing W and WSW winds for some time now and relatively low surface pressure.
Is there dry air to deal with?
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I used to more often but everyone puts me on ignore since I guess I am a downcaster however the last two years that has pretty much panned out so far. This wave looks like it could be a beast. We are still 5-7 days away from truely knowing anything. looks good now but still has a long way to go.


No worries, ask politely to be removed from the ignore lists and be cool. Most will comply...as long as you do.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
Fish storm! ... it's going to be hard to track something that hasn't even formed yet, still over a thousand miles out to boot.
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1410. Greyelf
#1342
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


Ooh. what a purty swirly thingy in the middle of the country. :P
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Second discussion on TD6 (Frances)

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST OR 280 DEGREES AT 15 KNOTS.
CURRENTLY...THE CYCLONE IS SOUTH OF A STRONG SUBTROPICAL RIDGE BUT
UNANIMOUSLY...ALL GLOBAL MODELS WEAKEN THE RIDGE AS A MID-LATITUDE
TROUGH MOVES EASTWARD ACROSS THE ATLANTIC. THIS PATTERN SHOULD
FORCE THE CYCLONE TO MOVE TOWARD THE NORTHWEST WITH A GRADUAL
DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED BEYOND 3 DAYS.
BECAUSE OF CONTINUITY...
THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS VERY CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS ONE BUT IT IS
STILL TO THE LEFT OF THE GFDL AND THE CONSENSUS MODELS. MOST LIKELY
THE TRACK HAS TO BE ADJUSTED TO THE RIGHT LATER TODAY IF MODELS
INSIST ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MID-ATLANTIC TROUGH. AT THIS
TIME...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST AND AVAILABLE TRACK MODELS SUGGEST
THAT THE CYCLONE WILL TURN NORTHWESTWARD WELL-EAST OT THE LESSER
ANTILLES IN 4 OR 5 DAYS.

Sounds familiar to me on what the models are showing, it's really all on the timing, if the ridge can build back in time to catch the storm.
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According to Mark Sudduth the models only go by satalite weather patterns,and not the surface,especially dealing with the ocean.
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Good evening folks

I see that the pre invest agony continues.

This one looks like it will make Invest status tomorrow if it persists. The NHC are probably waiting for it to pull away from the coast and establish some longevity as it begins the trek to the West. Convection is not concentrated but the 850 mb vorticity looks good.

If the system does not die down tonight I think it stands a fair chance of becoming a TD in 48 hrs. The buoy nearest its current location has been showing W and WSW winds for some time now and relatively low surface pressure.
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1406. centex
Quoting scott39:
Whats the hold up on tagging the AOI a Invest?
When they think organization trends will continue, I guess creates a little work to setup and don't want to setup and have to take it down.
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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.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


Too far East,,,


Definitely not too far east.

Bertha in 2008 was tagged an invest a few hours after it emerged from Africa.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
quote button is having some kind of nervous break down sorry
anyway dont know nothing about the ballons at sea but i do no if you input data and its incorrect it will throw off all other varibals at the end of the day
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Quoting Grothar:


Using Paint Brush, again? Not nice to fool with Mother Nature. LOL


Evening Grothar, long time no see.
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1401. xcool


low pressures anomalies
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting StormSurgeon:


Too far East,,,


highly doubt that, they have tagged invests this far out before
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
I'm pretty sure before TD6 (Frances) formed, models were recurving it because the discussions on TD6 said that it all depended on a mid-atlantic trough..
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Quoting scott39:
Whats the hold up on tagging the AOI a Invest?


Too far East,,,
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
1397. angiest
Quoting stoormfury:
it appears from the steering currents that the ridge maybe trying to build west which will keep the system on a course north of due west and thereby nullifying the forecast track into the north atlantic. i hate this recurvature expression. something can only recurve if it had taken a curve before


The curve is from west to north (in the atlantic and epac), and the recurve is north to east.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


Well put, you should blog more.....

I used to more often but everyone puts me on ignore since I guess I am a downcaster however the last two years that has pretty much panned out so far. This wave looks like it could be a beast. We are still 5-7 days away from truely knowing anything. looks good now but still has a long way to go.
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Quoting Vero1:


yea not sure those maps agree with the GFS and ECMWF on a recurve
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Well the NHC 5 day forecast may have had Francis re-curving Anywho this is at least two days away from forming probably 3-4 even then we still won't know if this thing will turn only time will tell
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1393. Vero1
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NGP has the East Coast system to the right.



The 18Z GFS is also in agreement with the NGP.



An interesting feature to keep an eye on, nonetheless.

-Snow
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1391. scott39
Whats the hold up on tagging the AOI a Invest?
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1390. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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it appears from the steering currents that the ridge maybe trying to build west which will keep the system on a course north of due west and thereby nullifying the forecast track into the north atlantic. i hate this recurvature expression. something can only recurve if it had taken a curve before
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


check the 5 day, 1st few frames had it going northward


The NHC also had Chris as a hurricane... <_<
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Not in the middle of the ocean. Models rely on upper air plots primarily and pretty sure not many balloons are launched over the ocean. Junk in junk out. Too far otu to believe models. Chances are higher that it will recurve as models agree and ridge expected to weaken however models always adjust westard. No low center yet so models not all over it yet either.


Well put, you should blog more.....
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
Quoting Twinkster:


yes but models are notoriously bad for the long term forecast track


notoriously to say the least


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Quoting lahurrbuff:
So where are all the westcasters tonight?
out to lunch with the models saying.."Can you make it go a little west plase".Lol.
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Quoting breald:



Snowlover maybe that is the system you see going up the east coast??


Yep. The ECMWF shows it as well. I'm checking to see if the NOGAPS model shows it...

-Snow
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Quoting DestinJeff:
NHC never had Frances as recurve

Link


check the 5 day, 1st few frames had it going northward
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
1381. breald
Quoting srada:
Good Evening Everyone..

I was just watching Frank Strait on Accuweather and it looks like exTD5 could regenerate off the NC coast..(the storm that wont quit)

I have to say though, I just dont see the potential disturbance near cape verde recurving out to sea if it develops..all summer the bermuda high has been set up right over us or near us and it dosent look it might break the pattern..with that high blocking the storm, we might be seeing an east coast hit (if it develops)



Snowlover maybe that is the system you see going up the east coast??
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
AOI/XX/XL
MARK
11.3N/28.7W


Looks like it's gradually becoming better organized.

ECMWF shows a similar situation the CMC model shows, along the East Coast...

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Quite a bit of turning
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15947
Quoting blsealevel:


Agree; but you also have to belive in your tools, isnt the data input needed for modeling

Not in the middle of the ocean. Models rely on upper air plots primarily and pretty sure not many balloons are launched over the ocean. Junk in junk out. Too far otu to believe models. Chances are higher that it will recurve as models agree and ridge expected to weaken however models always adjust westard. No low center yet so models not all over it yet either.
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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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