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 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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Quoting Cotillion:
Texas was also, I believe, the location of the last major to hit the US without having to be retired.


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.
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Quoting angiest:


I believe it is still true that the highest officially recorded wind in Texas was during Carla, when two stations on either side of the eye both reported 145mph winds, one out of the north and one out of the south.


Hadn't read that but I can believe it!
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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
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Texas was also, I believe, the location of the last major to hit the US without having to be retired.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting StormW:


Doesn't make sense though, if the A/B high is weaker.


If they AB/B is weak then it can be done in by a trough that slips under the positive height anomalies.
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2010 - the year of the ULL's:-) Take a look at the size of that puppy NE of the islands!
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Yeah. I read a paper written in the last couple of years by a police officer who was sent down there to help during Carla. Said she blasted the decals off the car doors. She was a beast! We do seem to get some huge systems over here. This little gem wasn't a long tracker either but a BIG September OWWY! Lol. My official weather jargon. :)



I believe it is still true that the highest officially recorded wind in Texas was during Carla, when two stations on either side of the eye both reported 145mph winds, one out of the north and one out of the south.
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Quoting StormW:


That has been the case with some parameters so far, however, remember that the GFS nailed that loop of TD5 before any other model did.


Thanks!
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Nasty wind shear.
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CFS MJO forecast:

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Quoting Txrainstorm:
40. angiest 2:46 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
Hopefully one day the deaths will be 0.


Amen.
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Storm, I dont know if you saw my question in the other blog, but I would like to know your opinion on something. One of our local mets said that the GFS was recently upgraded or changed and that she doesnt trust the new version because it doesnt see factors that should be considered...what are your thoughts?
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thank you very much for the update Dr. Masters.
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Quoting angiest:


And there were some bad ones I ignored (Galveston 1915) because they were not in September, or (Carla) because they weren't long enough track or didn't seem to have their origins near the Cape Verde Islands.


Yeah. I read a paper written in the last couple of years by a police officer who was sent down there to help during Carla. Said she blasted the decals off the car doors. She was a beast! We do seem to get some huge systems over here. This little gem wasn't a long tracker either but a BIG September OWWY! Lol. My official weather jargon. :)

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40. angiest 2:46 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
Hopefully one day the deaths will be 0.
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Two AOIs in the Western Pacific:
94W and 93W. Last year's season was like this, quiet till the beginning of September, where it exploded.
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Wow! All monsters in their own right.


And there were some bad ones I ignored (Galveston 1915) because they were not in September, or (Carla) because they weren't long enough track or didn't seem to have their origins near the Cape Verde Islands.
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Quoting angiest:


Select September long track/Cape Verde Texas landfalls:







Wow! All monsters in their own right.
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One hell (am I allowed to say this?) of a system in the South Indian ocean. I thought those pressures are only attainable by tropical cyclones.
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Quoting tallyhoe:
Wow- this is like 3 or 4 days of ZERO tropical weather on the PLANET. Is it really August 19th?

How come this lack of weather is not making news?


The old adage goes..."If it bleeds, it leads". The lack storms is boring to the mass media of our time.
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Quoting StormW:
Thanks Dr. Masters! Interesting write up on the Antarctica system.


Storm, will that Antartic system create cooler more turbulent weather east of Africa that would possibly translate into future tropical waves exiting on the west side of Africa?
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42. IKE
MJO...





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Its almost like an erie calm before the storm...
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Texas gets most of our landfalls in September. A negative NAO pattern doesn't help. It helped Long-tracking CV storm Ike right to us in 2008. When the models had him recurving, hitting Miami, hitting New York...Like DRM said models don't mean much this far out. So it's still wait and see.
I'll feel a lot better about things in November. :)


Select September long track/Cape Verde Texas landfalls:





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Wow- this is like 3 or 4 days of ZERO tropical weather on the PLANET. Is it really August 19th?

How come this lack of weather is not making news?
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Quoting Drakoen:
ASCAT, no signs of a surface circulation yet:



Almost... those strong SW to S winds should assist in closing the low level circulation and associated energy:



Development should take a little while as expected... 500MB VORT trying to get its act together:

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Quoting Cotillion:
Sort of reminds of the Braer Storm of '93 which plummeted to 914 millibars.



Looks a lot bigger, though.
914 millibars.....Wow.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19506
Quoting KanKunKid:
If your "quote" button doesn't work right, log out and log back in and it will work.

If your "modify comment" button doesn't work, just try it twice and it will. Just FYI for those frustrated like I was.


Sounds like you're still using IE. I finally smartened up and moved on to FF... at the suggestion from someone here last year. Thanx.
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8-10 day 500mb mean pattern favors recurvature:

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Sort of reminds of the Braer Storm of '93 which plummeted to 914 millibars.



Looks a lot bigger, though.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting KanKunKid:


Awesome! I have FF, I'll have to switch. Thanks and a tip of the hat to ya!


You're welcome. Hope it helps. :)
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WOW what an amazing storm!
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
2106. AllBoardedUp 1:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
I remember at the very beginning of the season some people on here (maybe Storm being one of them) stated that because of the atmospheric conditions, Texas was going to be in the bull's eye, so to speak. It started out that way with the first two storms. My question is, what changed, if anything, and are the chance of a Texas hit less now? Sure not complaining if the chances are less, just curious.
Action: Quote | Modify Comment


Texas gets most of our landfalls in September. A negative NAO pattern doesn't help. It helped Long-tracking CV storm Ike right to us in 2008. When the models had him recurving, hitting Miami, hitting New York...Like DRM said models don't mean much this far out. So it's still wait and see.
I'll feel a lot better about things in November. :)
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


I finally gave up and stopped using IE. Firefox doesn't do that.


WU does something funky that I can't figure out yet. They disable certain functionality for different browsers, unfortunately I can't see where in the code they are doing it. The most glaring example is that, for users of firefox (and possibly other browsers) when commenting on a blog post, there is a row of buttons to make it easy to post links, images, etc. There is a specific block of HTML that enables that. When using chrome, that HTML block is not there. It is not just a problem of the browser not rendering it, this is a decision WU has made, but I don't see what exact check they are using to do that. I WUmailed the admin yesterday about it but havent heard back yet.

Granted, IE may simply be broken in your instance. It usually is anyway. :)
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Quoting Drakoen:
ASCAT, no signs of a surface circulation yet:



Nice little windshift though..
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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.

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