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 KanKunKid:


It's funny you should mention that, when I have the overhead fan on, it creates an upper level low and I just can't develop anything new and the stuff I was working on, just fizzles.

are you sure it creates a ULL? I would think that it creates a more stacked low-pressure system.
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Quoting spartankicker:


Dr. Jeff said "However, 7-day forecasts of a storm that hasn't even formed yet are not to be trusted."

If that's the case, why take a model run as if it's fact that is still 10-15 days out?

I'm a meterological consultant for a major insurance company. I certainly don't know everything about the tropics, but I know it's foolish to look at a 15-day model like that and come to a conclusion that it will be quiet. Climatology and looking at data (aka FACTS) still trumps reading long range models. That's why I love reading StormW's reports everyday to see if my opinions stack up to his.


+1
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Umm, doubt it if u mean this particular system. Everything we've seen so far has shown a recurve before or over FL. IIRC, 0 runs take it low enough to get into the GOM.

This is a pretty interesting "phantom" though. What's catching my eye is that whatever forms is likely to get to 50W without any recurve; that part seems consistent. This means that regardless of actual run finale, the potential for a landfall remains quite high. The other thing is forecasts stay uniform on potential for high intensity. Wherever it ends up, it looks like we're going to have a "pretty one"....


Exactly!
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Quoting KanKunKid:


I would love to tell you, but that would be an opinion and some people don't like that here, or humor or sarcasm, basically, they would like Ferris Beulers teacher to be running things.

Oh, I dunno ask Reed, he is shy and seldom comes out and says anything, but if you ask nice, he might tell you.


I don't mind humor; in fact, I love it. And I can't say I particularly care to read slab-like comments posted by folks who are clearly lacking a discernible personality. However, it's difficult sometimes to separate the wheat from the chaff here, as there's so much of the latter and not enough of the former. Ask anyonewho's tried to write comedy for a living; it's actually difficult to do at a sustained rate...as evidenced by many of the posts here. Of course, humor is subjective, as what I find funny you may not, and vice versa. And that's fine. But there are many posts on here that are not funny to anyone but the person who posted--and if you don't agree with that, well, then, your definition of chaff and mine differ a bit, don't you think? ;-)
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371. IKE
12Z CMC... Trough/ULL off of the east coast.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting LoneStarWeather:

Great, I'll run some models so we know what to expect...


SmileyCentral.com
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Rather impressive vort max embedded in PGI31L's axis:



ASCAT also found a broad area of low pressure:


looks almost closed, but not quite. still a convergence zone on the north side of the axis.
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Nevermind my last post.
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Yesterday the cry was west,west,today its fish,fish fish. Can we wait until we have something the models can grab a hold of? Tomorrow its going to the gulf,gulf.
Umm, doubt it if u mean this particular system. Everything we've seen so far has shown a recurve before or over FL. IIRC, 0 runs take it low enough to get into the GOM.

This is a pretty interesting "phantom" though. What's catching my eye is that whatever forms is likely to get to 50W without any recurve; that part seems consistent. This means that regardless of actual run finale, the potential for a landfall remains quite high. The other thing is forecasts stay uniform on potential for high intensity. Wherever it ends up, it looks like we're going to have a "pretty one"....
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Look at the amplification of the trough shown on the 12z GFS, I mean how often do you see that in August, especially in a negative phase of the NAO? Those type of troughs you see in February...not August. Looks like the GFS still overdoes the amplification of troughs.


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Quoting DestinJeff:
Long time lurker, first time poster here. Can someone tell me if model solutions on a system that has not yet formed are worth anything?


This is your first post? I recall seeing your avatar (rather unique one) in some other blogs. Maybe someone else has the same avatar...
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


They can be worth something if they show consistency


key words (can be) and (consistency).
intresting subject, Weather forcasting came along way over the years and the forcasters still dont completely understand all of the dynamics of when these storms or going to pop up but they are allways trying to look out
for our wellbeing by informing us of impending dangers from tropical weather isnt that what this is really about anyway?
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Yes. I have some stuff, which I plan to release "next week".

Great, I'll run some models so we know what to expect...
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Quoting KanKunKid:


I would love to tell you, but that would be an opinion and some people don't like that here, or humor or sarcasm, basically, they would like Ferris Beulers teacher to be running things.

Oh, I dunno ask Reed, he is shy and seldom comes out and says anything, but if you ask nice, he might tell you.


Third movie ref. in a row. But I think you earned a HARUMPH! for that one. ;)
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Yes. I have some stuff, which I plan to release "next week".


When the tropics start revving up "next week?"
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I would like to see this circled since the models have gone into a good consensus of developing PGI31L.

The impressive Vort Max and Broad low you mentioned should force them into mentioning it.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


i would like to see a invest tagged so we can know what the track and intensity models think.
Exactly!
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon, everybody. Look at how clear it is over the Bahamas this afternoon.... typical August wx that we haven't been experiencing so much this particular August...



Does this imply a return to more seasonable weather i.e. increased TC activity? Who knows....


Not sure what it implies...thought it could imply that the cloudless sky and still-high sun are going to drive the 26.C thermocline deeper and further raise the TCHP...helping grow bigger storms if/when they arrive, and/or prolonging the season.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I would like to see this circled since the models have gone into a good consensus of developing PGI31L.


i would like to see a invest tagged so we can know what the track and intensity models think.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Actually it has had a few runs where it hit the SE US coastline

but yea most of the runs have shown a recurve; either way we have to see how the system develops and where it develops before we can determine which solution is right


Those coastal impacts have been followed by the remains recurving, at least in what I recall seeing.
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Quoting IKE:
NHC should be mentioning our future hurricane here shortly...within minutes.
I would like to see this circled since the models have gone into a good consensus of developing PGI31L.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Rather impressive vort max embedded in PGI31L's axis:



ASCAT also found a broad area of low pressure:


HMMM...
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


looking at the forecast models is part of how someone can observe an analyze what may happen. Why do you think StormW posts the wind shear and steering forecasts? Helps to see if the models could be verified.


It was just sarcasm aimed at those who live by the 10 day model forcasts.
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347. IKE
Quoting angiest:


Boy that ones gotten lost in all this. For days the GFS has shown, in every run:

1 A CV storm
2 said CV storm is very intense
3 said CV storm recurves

By number 3 I mean it has never once shown this storm (that I recall) doing more than skirting the Caribbean. Now,. recurvature has happened everyone from post landfall in Florida to east of Bermuda. But those three trends may actually be telling us something useful...


+1.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting angiest:


Boy that ones gotten lost in all this. For days the GFS has shown, in every run:

1 A CV storm
2 said CV storm is very intense
3 said CV storm recurves

By number 3 I mean it has never once shown this storm (that I recall) doing more than skirting the Caribbean. Now,. recurvature has happened everyone from post landfall in Florida to east of Bermuda. But those three trends may actually be telling us something useful...


Actually it has had a few runs where it hit the SE US coastline

but yea most of the runs have shown a recurve; either way we have to see how the system develops and where it develops before we can determine which solution is right
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LOL but no not even if it going into the caribbean
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343. IKE
NHC should be mentioning our future hurricane here shortly...within minutes.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Hurricanes101:


They can be worth something if they show consistency


Boy that ones gotten lost in all this. For days the GFS has shown, in every run:

1 A CV storm
2 said CV storm is very intense
3 said CV storm recurves

By number 3 I mean it has never once shown this storm (that I recall) doing more than skirting the Caribbean. Now,. recurvature has happened everyone from post landfall in Florida to east of Bermuda. But those three trends may actually be telling us something useful...
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Long time lurker, first time poster here. Can someone tell me if model solutions on a system that has not yet formed are worth anything?

Jeff, would you please get some new material? You are boring Neapolitan and distracting the rest of us who are looking for buried treasure.
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Rather impressive vort max embedded in PGI31L's axis:



ASCAT also found a broad area of low pressure:

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Quoting WeatherMSK:
Its the same crap every day during this time. People come on here and think there opinion is king, and then put other peoples comments/opinions to the dirt. It's retarded. Thats why you don't see me on here that much during the day time. This blog just isn't the same that it used to be years ago.


That's just the way it rolls on here.
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Afternoon, everybody. Look at how clear it is over the Bahamas this afternoon.... typical August wx that we haven't been experiencing so much this particular August...



Does this imply a return to more seasonable weather i.e. increased TC activity? Who knows....
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Quoting KanKunKid:


My daddy said Hurricanes are like a box o' chocolates....
you forget and leave them on the seat of your pick-up in the summer they melt and make a #ell of a mess.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:
I've got a great idea. Everybody go the whole day without looking at any model. Simply observe, analyze and discuss "current" conditions only.


Fat Chance!


looking at the forecast models is part of how someone can observe an analyze what may happen. Why do you think StormW posts the wind shear and steering forecasts? Helps to see if the models could be verified.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Long time lurker, first time poster here. Can someone tell me if model solutions on a system that has not yet formed are worth anything?


Newbie Jeff, I think Homer is the most qualified to answer that question......LOL
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Long time lurker, first time poster here. Can someone tell me if model solutions on a system that has not yet formed are worth anything?



There only worth the digital make believe paper they are printed on past 48 hours....
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Quoting StormSurgeon:
I've got a great idea. Everybody go the whole day without looking at any model. Simply observe, analyze and discuss "current" conditions only.


Fat Chance!


Yea, but then we couldn't support our preconceived notions.
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330. IKE
Quoting MTWX:

you're telling me... so much more interesting in the off season! (A lot less migraines)


Then it's GW arguments. That's almost as bad as this. Maybe worse sometimes.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting DestinJeff:
Long time lurker, first time poster here. Can someone tell me if model solutions on a system that has not yet formed are worth anything?


They can be worth something if they show consistency
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328. MTWX
Quoting WeatherMSK:
Its the same crap every day during this time. People come on here and think there opinion is king, and then put other peoples comments/opinions to the dirt. It's retarded. Thats why you don't see me on here that much during the day time. This blog just isn't the same that it used to be years ago.

you're telling me... so much more interesting in the off season! (A lot less migraines)
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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.