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 eyesontheweather:
It to dang hot...Even the hurricanes don't want to stick their toes in the water


haha.......maybe so.....they want a pool not a hot tub.
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Quoting WeatherMum:
Been bringing in some stunning kings and spanish myself lately!
We caught a awesome Wahoo and put him in the smoker. It was outstanding.
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Quoting iammothernature:
Does anybody know why the entire northern hemisphere is so quiet?

I realize things are starting to kick into gear here in the Atlantic, but the West Pacific, Central Pacific and Indian Ocean have all just been absolutely DEAD this entire season. So, whats up with that?
It to dang hot...Even the hurricanes don't want to stick their toes in the water
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Quoting StormW:
Let's review...the GFS is on the right side. Is this the trough that folks are speaking of?



Isnt the GFS always on the right side with systems this far out? lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7682
Quoting StormSurgeon:


Hopefully I'll get to Dauphin Island saturday and do a little surf fishing. They're going to let us keep what we catch now. Of course, I'll throw any filets in a hot skillet of oil.......go figure.
Been bringing in some stunning kings and spanish myself lately!
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Quoting Floodman:


Whats up, NEwx?


Hey,flood off tomorrow,so long weekend,visions of cold beer dancing in my head. You missed Storms tutorial yesterday,great stuff,I actually learned something,and thats no easy feat.
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870. xcool
EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
202 PM EDT THU AUG 19 2010

VALID 12Z SUN AUG 22 2010 - 12Z THU AUG 26 2010


PRELIMINARY UPDATE...

USED A BLEND OF THE 00Z ECMWF AND ITS ACCOMPANYING 50 MEMBER
ENSEMBLE MEAN TO UPDATE THE FRONTS AND PRESSURES FOR DAYS 3
THROUGH 7. ALL IN ALL...THE VARIOUS MODELS AND ENSEMBLE MEANS ARE
IN GOOD AGREEMENT THIS PERIOD...SHOWING A SUBSTANTIAL FULL
LATITUDE COLD FRONT KNIFING ACROSS THE PLAINS...AND A
CLOSED...STACKED...CYCLONIC CIRCULATION HOLDING ITS GROUND...OR
SHOULD SAY OCEAN SURFACE...OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC. THE
MERIDIONAL FLOW HAS A DISTINCT POSITIVE TILT ACROSS THE UNITED
STATES...WHICH ALLOWS THE ATLANTIC TROUGH TO JUST SLOWLY SHEAR
APART IN PLACE...OR DRIFTING SOUTHWARD WITH TIME. THE ECENS MEAN
IS STILL PERFORMING STRONGLY ENOUGH AT THE DAY 6 TO 7 TIME RANGE
TO RELY ON ITS VERSION OF THE ATMOSPHERE OVER THE OTHER GUIDANCE.


FINAL...

NO SURPRISES WITH THE 12Z GUIDANCE...WITH THE PATTERN ILLUSTRATED
BY THE UPDATED MANUAL PROGS STILL SUPPORTED BY BOTH THE
DETERMINISTIC AND ENSEMBLE MEANS FROM THE VARIOUS CENTERS.
COORDINATED THE LOW DRIFTING WESTWARD ACROSS THE NORTHERN GULF OF
MEXICO WITH TPC DURING THE MIDDAY CALL...AS SUCH CIRCULATIONS
BREAKING OFF FRONTAL ZONES DO BECOME TROPICAL FROM TIME TO TIME.
HOW FAR OFF THE MID ATLANTIC COAST THE SYNOPTIC LOW ENDS UP
FORMING IS STILL UNCERTAIN...BUT HAVE THE POWER OF THE HIGHLY
RESOLVED ECENS MEAN MEMBERS TO BACK UP THE FINAL MANUAL DEPICTION.


CISCO
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15670
Does anybody know why the entire northern hemisphere is so quiet?

I realize things are starting to kick into gear here in the Atlantic, but the West Pacific, Central Pacific and Indian Ocean have all just been absolutely DEAD this entire season. So, whats up with that?
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Quoting Floodman:


I've been sort of in and out...crazy week and they're just getting crazier


It's just the "ramp up" effect. CV showing life now, all will get crazy.
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Link

they might want to warm up the pump stations some time this weekend.
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Antarctica. Thats where the action is@!
For now...




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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Read the report, it does consider direction.


Ok but even so, still does not prove to me that the GFS does not overamplify troughs

It has been doing it for years and it is pretty common fact no matter what statistics you may show.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7682
Quoting kshipre1:
Good afternoon Storm,

sorry to bug you again with another question. You are always so nice and patient so I thought I would ask you something again if you do not mind.

I was reading an article on accuweather.com's hurricane section earlier and they stated that the High at this time of the year in August is located in the central atlantic steering storms westward and posing a threat to land.

sorry for this dumb question but where exactly is the high located right now? I look on the map and see several small highs. Is there something I am not understanding?

Also, one accuweather forecaster seemed to hint at a westward movement of the low a few hundred miles east of the caribbean (he did not say this but maybe towards Florida?).

Thanks Storm. Have a nice evening.



this look at the maps and you find out where the high is
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115073
Just an FYI...Rarely does the entire Caribbean reach 30C. It's happening this year and warming more every day. The big negative NAO is only going to help SSTs rise in the Tropical Atlantic or at least remain the same. I dread the day that a system makes it into the Caribbean with ideal upper level conditions. It's going to happen this year eventually, like it or not.



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Quoting Hurricanes101:


but just because the bias with the GFS isn't larger than others, does not mean it is not still overdoing the strength of troughs. Bias does not consider direction; some of those models with biases just as large as the GFS could have had a westward or southward bias.


Read the report, it does consider direction.
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Quoting Floodman:


Where you at and who'd work an old ridge runner like you? LOL
Hey, you know even toilets need cleanin...You Got Mail
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Definitely some HUGE surf on the East coast from that!


Quoting BahaHurican:
Re: post # 701



That would be a "best of all worlds" track, especially if we could get our current storm to back off the NE Car by about 100 miles... all of the thrills, none of the chills...


720. CosmicEvents 3:58 PM EDT on August 19, 2010

We'll see. According to the blog experts we were supposed to have at least 2 tropical storms within 3 days...and that was 6 days ago......


However the forecast for two storms in 3 days wasn't due to verify until this coming Saturday... Are we there yet?



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Quoting TexasHurricane:


let me guess, a repeat of XTD5?


Looks that away today
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Good afternoon Storm,

sorry to bug you again with another question. You are always so nice and patient so I thought I would ask you something again if you do not mind.

I was reading an article on accuweather.com's hurricane section earlier and they stated that the High at this time of the year in August is located in the central atlantic steering storms westward and posing a threat to land.

sorry for this dumb question but where exactly is the high located right now? I look on the map and see several small highs. Is there something I am not understanding?

Also, one accuweather forecaster seemed to hint at a westward movement of the low a few hundred miles east of the caribbean (he did not say this but maybe towards Florida?).

Thanks Storm. Have a nice evening.
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Not sure I'd agree Baha... a bit too close for comfort!
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Storm,any time your in this blog,class is session,that was excellent yesterday,never saw the blog get so civil.


Agreed and it was a good lesson...I sat in the back row corner.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


When I look at the NHC Verification Reports for the last several years, they list the model bias vectors in deg/nautical mile. The GFS is comparable to the other global models in it's bias except for 2008. If the GFS was overdoing troughs, you would think it would show a much larger bias than other models.


but just because the bias with the GFS isn't larger than others, does not mean it is not still overdoing the strength of troughs. Bias does not consider direction; some of those models with biases just as large as the GFS could have had a westward or southward bias.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7682
Food for thought. If you want to accelerate a change in the SST profile in the Atlantic, recurve a major storm or two through the Central and North Atlantic. It would not take much combined with the natural seasonal cooling of land to really focus the energy imbalance in the Tropical Atlantic. If the model depiction of a recurving storm plays out, my bet right now for a long tracked storm would be energy exiting or near the African Coast caught under the rebuilding ridge as the major storm begins its NE turn. To close and it catches the trailing weakness.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:
Hi Flood, been pretty interesting in here today.


So what happened in here that was noteworthy toay?
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Quoting StormW:


You're new to tropical weather...aren't you.


LOL!!
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I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting pretty tired of these lows breaking off fronts and meandering into the Gulf. It's going to drive me nuts...
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Woookin....You?


Where you at and who'd work an old ridge runner like you? LOL
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey man, what are YOU up to?
Woookin....You?
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Storm,any time your in this blog,class is session,that was excellent yesterday,never saw the blog get so civil.


Whats up, NEwx?
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Storm,any time your in this blog,class is session,that was excellent yesterday,never saw the blog get so civil.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Mainly because it's anecdotal? Most pple who talk about that aspect of GFS performance do so from prior observation thereof...


When I look at the NHC Verification Reports for the last several years, they list the model bias vectors in deg/nautical mile. The GFS is comparable to the other global models in it's bias except for 2008. If the GFS was overdoing troughs, you would think it would show a much larger bias than other models.
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Re: post # 701



That would be a "best of all worlds" track, especially if we could get our current storm to back off the NE Car by about 100 miles... all of the thrills, none of the chills...


720. CosmicEvents 3:58 PM EDT on August 19, 2010

We'll see. According to the blog experts we were supposed to have at least 2 tropical storms within 3 days...and that was 6 days ago......


However the forecast for two storms in 3 days wasn't due to verify until this coming Saturday... Are we there yet?



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JupiterFL 8

Quoting CosmicEvents:
Now Jupiter....I was thinking the same thing....lol


Cosmic,
Thought that I had gone over everyone's head with that one for a sec.



Was gonna make a comment on it before, but I thought I would be put in time out for sure!! LOL!!
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
And a great class it was. I followed from begining to end, Thank You Storm. Hey Pat, I got a new "ugly stick"


Hey man, what are YOU up to?
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Quoting StormW:


Yeah...especially during a ramp up.


I know, it's starting........
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Quoting StormW:


Good! Held class yesterday.
And a great class it was. I followed from begining to end, Thank You Storm. Hey Pat, I got a new "ugly stick"
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Quoting StormSurgeon:
Hi Flood, been pretty interesting in here today.


I've been sort of in and out...crazy week and they're just getting crazier
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Now Jupiter....I was thinking the same thing....lol


Cosmic,
Thought that I had gone over everyone's head with that one for a sec.
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Okay, I'm pretty sure it's not December because it's 100 degrees outside. But then, I come to Weather Underground and see:

North Atlantic Storm Advisories
There is no tropical storm activity for this region.

East Pacific Storm Advisories
There is no tropical storm activity for this region.

Western Pacific Storm Advisories
There is no tropical storm activity for this region.

Central Pacific Storm Advisories
There is no tropical storm activity for this region.

Indian Ocean Storm Advisories
There is no tropical storm activity for this region.


Wish I had a tackle box to sort. Maybe I'll go buy one.
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Hi Flood, been pretty interesting in here today.
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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.