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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Storm, Ike, Pat, D'Fly, Good Morning
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2176. breald
Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Dont bring politics into this a very bad call...


If she is a politician, I am a meteorologist. Both would be bad to relay on. But you are right bad call.
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
fish storm by the computer models ..i am right again. 100% fish storm..look at the computer models


Hope you're right, but you well know that it's WAY too early to tell where anything is going with 100% accuracy.
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
100% being a fish storm


Doubt it......

As the well known Max Mayfield says.... "Don't look at models beyond 2 - 3 days as anything can happen after that"

South Floridians and forcasters learned this with Andrew.....
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
fish storm by the computer models ..i am right again. 100% fish storm..look at the computer models


Models are NOT gospel.
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Quoting scott39:
I would say slow developement and the SAL is moving out of the picture. I think a shallow system would continue to move W? I hope a trof developes and kicks her N, but this being Late August, I would put my money on that trof being overdone and the high building back in.

I tend to agree even ECMWF believes so: http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase/ecmwf/fcst/archive/10081800/62.html
notice the bend back to the left.
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2167. IKE
Trouble Brewing in the Atlantic

Aug 20, 2010 6:05 AM

We continue to monitor a large area of disturbed weather, extending from the west coast of Africa and south of the Cape Verde Islands. While a low-level circulation has not developed, clouds associated with this system are turning counter-clockwise suggesting at least some midlevel circulation. The upper-level winds, lower-level wind shear and the overall atmosphere surrounding and ahead of this area of disturbed weather are favorable for further organization and we continue to believe there is a good chance this feature will gradually become a tropical system within the next couple of days and could become the next tropical depression in the Atlantic Basin by the end of this weekend, as computer modeling suggests that formation will start to take place over the next 24-36 hours around 12 north, 30 west. A large area of high pressure in the Atlantic has been slowly working eastward during the past couple of days and this trend should continue. This suggests this system will move westward for a few days, then gradually turn more northwestward next week. The future path of this system remains highly uncertain until a low-level feature forms.

Elsewhere across the Atlantic Basin, a tropical wave near 86 west remains disorganized as it moves west at about 6-8 degrees longitude per day. The system continues to encounter some shear and no low-level feature has formed yet. So development of this system looks unlikely at this time as it approaches Central America. The rest of the Atlantic Basin remains relatively quiet.

By AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Michael LeSeney
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
. wayfaringstranger 12:27
Quoting jason2010xxxx:
fish storm by the computer models ..i am right again. 100% fish storm..look at the computer models


Can u please leave your POLITICAL OPINION off the blog!!

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2164. Vero1
Storm, is this what the models are seeing?

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Looking good...

Click image for full-size


Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13525
Quoting wayfaringstranger:




Dont bring politics into this a very bad call...
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Quoting swlavp:
Due West...270 Deg.


And will continue to do so based on the steering maps
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Quoting wayfaringstranger:



LOVE IT! Thanks for the good morning ROFLMAO!!!
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2157. swlavp
Quoting StormW:


Well, that isn't correct in the graphic...once again, the models are jumping on a WNW motion right away. WHICH way is it moving right now?, and for the past 36-48 hours?
Due West...270 Deg.
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Hey everybody Jason is 100% correct. He sure can call em..can't wait for his synopsis with video.
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Quoting severstorm:

Morning everyone, jeff and Dfly, you had some great lightning last night.I could see it from my place.


We had great lightning before dark here in Winter Garden.... Unfortunatly right after the sun went down the lightning went north and south of me.. I got a few shots but nothing I would post.. But I still need to review the images...
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Need 95L to get to approx 70W before recurvature to see much...

in other news, Aussies getting massive swell!
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2151. scott39
Quoting GTcooliebai:

I think it must be rather shallow. And I'm wondering if the models develop this quickly with slow intensification or rapid intensification. That may give an inkling as to where this is heading. By the way I wonder how high the SAL is?
I would say slow developement and the SAL is moving out of the picture. I think a shallow system would continue to move W? I hope a trof developes and kicks her N, but this being Late August, I would put my money on that trof being overdone and the high building back in.
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2150. breald
Quoting StormW:


Correct...look at the upcoming synoptic pattern.



Wow, I didn't even realize we had an invest.

So storm, based on your above response, the pattern is setting up to be CV Fish storms??
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Quoting Jeff9641:


We had some action near us last evening. A tremendous amount of lightning just to my east by about 15 miles.

Morning everyone, jeff and Dfly, you had some great lightning last night.I could see it from my place.
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Quoting StormW:
In case anyone has forgotten the GFS has ALWAYS had a northern, or poleward bias when dealing with CV storms.
I didnt know that. But thanks for the heads up because I was about to pull all my hair out wondering how this system is turning so quick north.

If you had waited any longer on giving me this clue I would have ended up looking like you?? LOL.
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 235
2146. Engine2
Quoting StormW:
In case anyone has forgotten the GFS has ALWAYS had a northern, or poleward bias when dealing with CV storms.

As always, I have alot of faith in what Storm says - this is while I'll check back later and see new model runs with more westerly components.
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ECMWF 00Z 168 hour 500mb ensemble mean


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Quoting jrweatherman:
For the past couple of days all the nonbelievers have wanted to ignore the consistent model support saying that we need an invest to track and then see what it looks like. Now we have an invest and nothing has changed in a future track with a a turn to the north. People still don't want to believe the models. This one is going north. Maybe the next storm will take a different track.


Um Jr.....maybe u need to go back and look in the archives and check out the early model runs for Ike and Andrew. That might change your thinking
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2143. IKE
Quoting Jeff9641:


A 20 percent chance and that maybe generous. Very good model consense for a recurvature.


Can't argue with that either.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting StormW:


I beg to differ.


Storm I watched the GFS models and I think the GFS is bringing a L frontal system across the US and exiting just around the VA/NC border.

Thats just an assumption because outside of that I really dont see what would cause this storm to pull so quickly north save it was reacting to this weak frontal system.
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 235
Quoting scott39:
What is the depth of 95L?

I think it must be rather shallow. And I'm wondering if the models develop this quickly with slow intensification or rapid intensification. That may give an inkling as to where this is heading. By the way I wonder how high the SAL is?
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It looks like that Atlantic will start to heat up soon, but at least we're getting close to that time of year where the stronger troughs start to dig down out of Canada. So hopefully, the "go fish" signal will apply to systems trying to move west from the African coast.

This new invest doesn't seem to be moving particularly fast. The slower it moves, the more likely it is to recurve.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


We had some action near us last evening. A tremendous amount of lightning just to my east by about 15 miles.


Morning Jeff... are you close to Sebring?? that is where the real hot spot was last night.. Some in Lake Mary but Sebring got the good stuff. Just a bit out of my range.
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A trough that hasn't formed yet = ghost trough
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Quoting Engine2:

What troughs? I only see 1 and its not far enough south
Apparently the computer models think the trough will be enough to turn it OTS. Same track past 9 or so gfs runs. Always subject to change though. Now, the second one behind it, may be a different story.
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Quoting Patrap:
Morn' EDF.

Friday!!!!!!!!!!


Heck yeah... Now that was one crazy music video there pat... Too early for that for D-fly.. LOL
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For the past couple of days all the nonbelievers have wanted to ignore the consistent model support saying that we need an invest to track and then see what it looks like. Now we have an invest and nothing has changed in a future track with a a turn to the north. People still don't want to believe the models. This one is going north. Maybe the next storm will take a different track.
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2128. breald
I see our wave is now at 40% for development.
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2127. scott39
What is the depth of 95L?
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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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