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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At 36 hours, ridging filling in between the A/B high and Florida. There's also a small ridge just off to the west of the depression.

Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766


That be the 924mb storm.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting caneswatch:


Yes, it stood until Frances. If you were evacuating in WPB, it would be the next day until you got out if state if you were driving on I-95.


Well I thought Ivan, but I won't argue with it having been any of the big four of 2004.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting TampaTom:


You can say that again. I remember sitting in my apartment on St. Pete Beach thinking, "These people are full of doo doo," at 9 p.m., but then being very surprised by the intensity by midnight. Next day, storm surge all over the roadway...

The next day was the only time I had ever heard the 'tone' for the Emergency Alert System over the radio and Gov. Chiles giving a frank assessment of what had happened statewide...


Was hoping to get a heavy snow in Dallas from that storm (and get out of school), but unfortunately for us it got its act together a little to late to give us more than maybe a light dusting.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting unf97:


What a memorable storm for the books! My goodness, that March '93 Superstorm really packed a huge wallop to say the least.


You can say that again. I remember sitting in my apartment on St. Pete Beach thinking, "These people are full of doo doo," at 9 p.m., but then being very surprised by the intensity by midnight. Next day, storm surge all over the roadway...

The next day was the only time I had ever heard the 'tone' for the Emergency Alert System over the radio and Gov. Chiles giving a frank assessment of what had happened statewide...
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Quoting angiest:


That was also, for a very long time (maybe until 2004 or 2005) the largest peacetime evacuation in US history, as I recall.


Yes, it stood until Frances. If you were evacuating in WPB, it would be the next day until you got out if state if you were driving on I-95.
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Storm,


A gentleman by the name of Chris Hebert at Impact Weather (I am sure you have heard of his name) posts his tropics blog usually every week.

In his blog from yesterday, he is showing a map that according to him has the American GFS model and other models jumping on a strong hurricane forming in the northeastern caribbean due to a weaker low east of the caribbean. Looks like it is headed towards South Florida. Do you and anyone in this chatroom agree with this synopsis and see some truth to it?

Thanks
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1130
Quoting hcubed:


Main blog:

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


However, the answer to the question is yes. It is certainly possible. It is also possible nothing happens. Anyone who says what it will or won't do with certainty (and that includes saying it absolutely unequivocally will turn out to sea) is being naive at best.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
118. unf97
Quoting TampaTom:


Per NWS - 960 mb....


What a memorable storm for the books! My goodness, that March '93 Superstorm really packed a huge wallop to say the least.
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Quoting troy1993:
Is there anychance this potential cape-verde system could threaten the Northeast?


Main blog:

"...However, 7-day forecasts of a storm that hasn't even formed yet are not to be trusted..."
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Quoting robj144:


Wait a second?!?! The Galveston hurricane degraded to a tropical storm and then became a cat. 1 hurricane again in the northeast, over land. Is that correct?


A very potent extratropical storm. Have you ever read Isaac's Storm? Remnants of the 1900 storm apparently caused damage in England!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
115. MTWX
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



What was the pressure on the "superstorm" of 1993?

Not sure, but I was in Plattsburgh NY for that one.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



What was the pressure on the "superstorm" of 1993?


Per NWS - 960 mb....
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Quoting angiest:


Select September long track/Cape Verde Texas landfalls:







Wait a second?!?! The Galveston hurricane degraded to a tropical storm and then became a cat. 1 hurricane again in the northeast, over land. Is that correct?
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111. unf97
Quoting StormW:
Hot off the press!

TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS AUGUST 19, 2010 ISSUED 11:25 A.M.


Storm, just read your update and thanks very very much for providing this blog your insights! Very thorough and comprehensive analysis master chief and I appreciate it very much.
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12 hours, perhaps showing a depression:

Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting angiest:


If it was Bret he hit King Ranch, I think. Not much there but a few million head of cattle.


Ah ok. Thanks.
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Anyone wish to hazard a guess what storm held that statistic before Bret?
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



What was the pressure on the "superstorm" of 1993?


960mb.

There has been a couple of storms in the Atlantic that surpass that Antarctic storm. There was a 924mb storm back in...2003, I believe.

Always the most nastiest Atlantic windstorms always seem to correlate with El Ninos.

I don't believe any other extratropical storm has surpassed the 914mb storm of 1993. I could be incorrect, though.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting Txrainstorm:
81. angiest 3:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
Do not recall..lol Was not born until 63. But I do remember Dan Rather :) Born in Houston and still here.


I had heard of Dan Rather's coverage. I wasn't quite around yet at the time though. Hubby was born in 1963, in Beaumont, Tx, while this was coming ashore. And he let me think I was the jinx. Lol.

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Things appear to be coming together of the african coast this morning, still leaning towards a recurve with this one.
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wow check out the vort SW of CV Islands

850



700



and also 10kt shear wih a anicyclone to its west
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From this mornings forecast discussion out of NWS HGX.

The GFS and European model (ecmwf) forecast the subtropical ridge to recede early
in the upcoming week but both are giving different solutions. As
it stands now...an upper trough looks to dig into the Middle Atlantic
States and help move the ridge westward of southeast Texas by the end of the
weekend. The GFS brings an inverted trough westward into the
northwestern Gulf by Wednesday while the European model (ecmwf) differs by bringing
the weakness aloft over southeast Texas by Monday. Felt confident enough to
introduce isolated probability of precipitation on Monday and slightly lower temperatures
on Tuesday.

My note: It's been "hot" here lately, but that really is only about 3-4 degrees above average this time of year (which is ~94 degrees). Slightly cooler probably means average.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting jason2010xxxx:
926 mb extratropical storm I never saw extratropical storm at 926 mb before



What was the pressure on the "superstorm" of 1993?
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12Z GFS runs shortly.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting StormW:


True, but how strong would that trof tend to be, if the other 2 features are weaker?


What two features?
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Quoting angiest:


Bret was active while I was out of town with limited internet and no access to TWC, hence I was only slightly aware of that storm. I know he had been a solid cat 4, but couldn't remember how much he weakened prior to landfall.

Bret fell apart pretty quickly, since he was a very compact storm (but solid cat 4) that hit basically in the middle of nowhere, between Corpus Christi and Brownsville. Just a bunch of cows and pasture in that area, along with a few very widely scattered small ranching towns.
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Didn't know that either. Which one? There is a whole lot of Texas with nothing in it. Maybe that's why? But then again it does kinda rankle when we hear Rita hit an "unpopulated" part of Texas. The only reason that was true is because we all left. Lol.


If it was Bret he hit King Ranch, I think. Not much there but a few million head of cattle.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting angiest:


Which storm are you thinking? Ike wasn't officially a major (yet) and was retired. Rita technically made landfall in LA. Prior to that, hmmm, maybe Bret. Can't remember if that one was a major when he made landfall. Further back there was Alicia, which was retired, and Allen, which was retired.


Yeah, Bret in 1999, hitting as a borderline Category 3.

I suppose CONUS should be emphasised as Omar did pass very close to the US V.I. - also the last major to hit land and not have to be retired.

Before that, and the last actual landfall as a major and not being retired, I guess it'd be Emily in '05. Beta weakened below major status before hitting Central America.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting Txrainstorm:
81. angiest 3:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
Do not recall..lol Was not born until 63. But I do remember Dan Rather :) Born in Houston and still here.


Born in Dallas but got to Houston as fast as I could. ;)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Howdy all...
Member Since: July 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 491
Quoting Enigma713:

Only to soon be followed by two of the most messed up evacuations in US history... (Katrina and Rita)


I can't remember if it was Katrina or Rita that broke the record, unless it was Ivan the year before. I'm inclined to think Katrina had a smaller evacuation, with disastrous results.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting Enigma713:

Nope. Winter storms tend to not have thunderstorms, due to the lower temperature, well under the ambient convective temperature needed to get updrafts strong enough to form a thunderstorm.

Understand the tendencies, but some winter storms have "thunder snow", and wondered if the greater intensity made for increased instance there.

"Thundersnow also occurs in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sometimes several times per winter season. The British Isles and northwestern Europe sometimes report thunder and lightning during sleet or (usually wet) snow showers during winter and spring. It has also been reported around Kanazawa and the Sea of Japan, and even around Mount Everest during expeditions."
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Quoting Cotillion:
Texas was also, I believe, the location of the last major to hit the US without having to be retired.


Didn't know that either. Which one? There is a whole lot of Texas with nothing in it. Maybe that's why? But then again it does kinda rankle when we hear Rita hit an "unpopulated" part of Texas. The only reason that was true is because we all left. Lol.
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hey, where is Weather456? anyone know?
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81. angiest 3:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
Do not recall..lol Was not born until 63. But I do remember Dan Rather :) Born in Houston and still here.
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Quoting Enigma713:

I'm thinking you are right, and it was Bret. Ike, Rita, Alicia, and Allen were all retired. The only major in the last 10+ years that hit TX and didn't get retired that I know of is Bret.


Bret was active while I was out of town with limited internet and no access to TWC, hence I was only slightly aware of that storm. I know he had been a solid cat 4, but couldn't remember how much he weakened prior to landfall.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting angiest:


That was also, for a very long time (maybe until 2004 or 2005) the largest peacetime evacuation in US history, as I recall.

Only to soon be followed by two of the most messed up evacuations in US history... (Katrina and Rita)
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Quoting angiest:


Which storm are you thinking? Ike wasn't officially a major (yet) and was retired. Rita technically made landfall in LA. Prior to that, hmmm, maybe Bret. Can't remember if that one was a major when he made landfall. Further back there was Alicia, which was retired, and Allen, which was retired.

I'm thinking you are right, and it was Bret. Ike, Rita, Alicia, and Allen were all retired. The only major in the last 10+ years that hit TX and didn't get retired that I know of is Bret.
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Quoting Txrainstorm:
Hurricane Carla - Did not know this...lol
From Wikipedia.... Then little-known newsman Dan Rather reported live from the Galveston Seawall during the storm, an act that would be imitated by later reporters. This marked the first live television broadcast of a hurricane.


That was also, for a very long time (maybe until 2004 or 2005) the largest peacetime evacuation in US history, as I recall.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting HIEXPRESS:
Wondering if there would be thunderstorms in one of those Antarctic Lows. It does not appear so. http://wwlln.net/five_day_density_average.jpg

Nope. Winter storms tend to not have thunderstorms, due to the lower temperature, well under the ambient convective temperature needed to get updrafts strong enough to form a thunderstorm.
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Quoting Txrainstorm:
Hurricane Carla - Did not know this...lol
From Wikipedia.... Then little-known newsman Dan Rather reported live from the Galveston Seawall during the storm, an act that would be imitated by later reporters. This marked the first live television broadcast of a hurricane.


Yep, he was with KHOU. That stunt is why we were saddled with him reading the news for so long.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Hurricane Carla - Did not know this...lol
From Wikipedia.... Then little-known newsman Dan Rather reported live from the Galveston Seawall during the storm, an act that would be imitated by later reporters. This marked the first live television broadcast of a hurricane.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Are we there yet?


Jeff, if you ask that again, I'm going to make you get out of the back of the Station Wagon and WALK - d'you hear me, WALK.

ROFL - shades of us sisters on long car trips! :)
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.