Four invests in the Atlantic; fair weather in Arctic to drive rapid sea ice loss

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:38 PM GMT on August 12, 2011

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It's a busy day in the tropical Atlantic, with the National Hurricane Center tracking four areas of interest (Invests.) None of these systems is a danger to any land areas over the next three days. The disturbance of most concern is the one farthest from land, a tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa two days ago. This wave, (Invest 93L), is located about 500 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, and is moving westward at 15 - 20 mph. Recent visible satellite loops show that 93L has lost some of its heavy thunderstorms since yesterday, and the system is poorly organized, though there is a good deal of spin to the system. There is dry air to its north that is interfering with development. The SHIPS model and University of Wisconsin CIMSS wind shear analysis are showing high wind shear in excess 20 knots affecting 93L, which has undoubtedly contributed to the storm's loss of organization. Sea surface temperatures are 27.5°C, which is one degree above the 26.5°C threshold usually needed to support a tropical storm.


Figure 1. Morning satellite photo of the four Invests in the Atlantic today.

Forecast for 93L
High wind shear above 20 knots is predicted along 93L's path through Saturday afternoon, followed by a drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, for the succeeding four days. This should allow the storm to organize over the weekend. The latest 00Z and 06Z model runs of the four best models for predicting tropical storm formation (GFS, ECMWF, NOGAPS, and UKMET), have only one model, the GFS, that is indicating significant development of 93L. This model brings 93L near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands by Wednesday. NHC gave 93L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning in their 8am outlook. Given 93L's recent struggles, I'd put these odds at 30%.

92L
An African wave midway between the northern Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa, near 18°N 45°W, is moving west-northwest at 20 mph. This system, (Invest 92L), is being given a 40% chance of development by NHC. Recent visible satellite loops show a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, but no signs of a surface circulation. A Windsat pass from 8:04 am EDT this morning also showed no surface circulation, and noted top winds of around 35 mph. Water vapor satellite loops show that a large area of dry air surrounds 92L, and this dry air is causing problems for the storm. The SHIPS model and University of Wisconsin CIMSS wind shear analysis are showing moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots affecting 92L. Sea surface temperatures are 27 - 27.5°C, which is a degree above the 26.5°C threshold usually needed to support a tropical storm.

Forecast for 92L
Moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots is predicted along 92L's path over the coming five days, which should allow the storm to organize if it can handle the dry air surrounding it. The latest 00Z and 06Z model runs of the four best models for predicting tropical storm formation (GFS, ECMWF, NOGAPS, and UKMET) show weak development or no development of 92L, and NHC gave 92L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning in their 8am outlook. A steady west-northwest motion for 92L is predicted by all of the models, which should make the storm miss the Lesser Antilles by a comfortable margin. However, Bermuda may be at risk from 92L next week.

94L
A broad low pressure system about 700 miles northeast of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands has developed a small amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, and may be a threat to become a tropical depression early next week. This system, (Invest 94L), is currently headed west-southwest at 10 mph, but is expected to turn northwest later today. Recent visible satellite loops show some spin to the cloud pattern at middle levels of the atmosphere, but no signs of a surface circulation. This system is also battling dry air, which is keeping the its heavy thunderstorms relatively meager. The SHIPS model is showing moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots affecting 94L. Sea surface temperatures are 28°C.

Forecast for 94L
Moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots is predicted along 94L's path over the coming five days, which should allow slow development, if it can handle the dry air surrounding it. None of our reliable models for predicting tropical storm formation (GFS, ECMWF, NOGAPS, and UKMET) show no development of 94L, and NHC gave 94L just a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning in their 8am outlook. Bermuda is the only land area that needs to be concerned with 94L.

95L
The final invest out there is an area of disturbed weather along on old frontal boundary several hundred miles off the coast of North Carolina. This sytem, Invest 95L, is headed northeastwards out to sea, and is not a threat to any land areas.



Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent on August 11, 2011, was the 2nd lowest on record for the date. The Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage (southern route) were both ice-free. Image credit: UIUC Cryosphere Today.

Arctic sea ice poised to undergo record decline in mid-August
A strong high pressure system with a central pressure of 1035 mb has developed over the Arctic north of Alaska, and will bring clear skies and warm southerly winds to northeast Siberia and the Arctic during the coming week, accelerating Arctic sea ice loss. Widespread areas of northeastern Siberia are expected to see air temperatures 4 - 12°C (7 - 22°F) above average during the coming week, and the clockwise flow of air around the high pressure system centered north of Alaska will pump this warm air into the Arctic. Arctic sea ice extent, currently slightly higher than the record low values set in 2007, should fall to to its lowest extent for the date by the third week of August as the clear skies and warm southerly winds melt ice and push it away from the coast of Siberia. This weather pattern, known as the Arctic Dipole, was also responsible for the record sea ice loss in 2007, but was stronger that year. The weather conditions that led to the 2007 record were quite extreme--one 2008 study led by Jennifer Kay of the National Center for Atmospheric Research showed that 2007's combination of high pressure and sunny skies in the Arctic occur, on average, only once every 10 - 20 years. The 2011 summer weather pattern in the Arctic has not been nearly as extreme as in 2007, but the total sea ice volume has declined significantly since 2007, leading to much loss of old, thick, multi-year ice, making it easier to set a new low extent record with less extreme weather conditions. The GFS model is predicting that the Arctic Dipole will weaken by 8 - 15 days from now, with cloudier weather and weaker high pressure over the Arctic. This should slow down the rate of Arctic sea ice loss to very near the record low values observed in 2007. It remains to be seen if 2011 Arctic sea ice extent will surpass the all-time low set in September 2007; it will be close, and will depend on the weather conditions of late August and early September, which are not predictable at this time. It is already possible to sail completely around the North Pole in ice-free waters through the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage, according to sea ice maps maintained by the UIUC Cryosphere Today website. This marks the fourth consecutive year--and the fourth time in recorded history--both of these Arctic shipping routes have melted free. Mariners have been attempting to sail these passages since 1497. This year, the Northeast Passage along the north coast of Russia melted free several weeks earlier than its previous record early opening.

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I'll have a new post by 1pm Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting pottery:

You learn Fast, young Fellow.


I heard that no man is one...but I disagree.
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Quoting TampaTom:


Robin Meade is a man?
Amazing fakes he's got there, man....
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wow, yeah looks like they are starting to agree with each other

speaking of 93L, it is interesting how by looking at yesterday's model runs that Florida seemed to be most at risk (even though it was and still is too early). I guess the High stretching from Texas to the western atlantic is going to be so strong it could steer the storm south of florida

who knows.....I heard there might be a trough dipping down to possibly turn the storm northward.

if and where that happens is the question
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I noticed the ECMWF last night and GFS this morning were coming in line with bringing this system across the Caribbean towards the Yucatan of Mexico.


Oh god not another mexican system.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Caribbean Storm Update August 12th 2011
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Quoting Tazmanian:



thats not good

In fact, it's BAD.
Grothar does that just to Terrorize people, I think.

:):))
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18z models take 93L into the Caribbean as a weak to moderate system.

Needs to develop for this to even happen.
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Quoting Grothar:
I noticed the ECMWF last night and GFS this morning were coming in line with bringing this system across the Caribbean towards the Yucatan of Mexico.
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Quoting Grothar:



thats not good
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


All islands are surrounded by water.....fascinating.

You learn Fast, young Fellow.
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Quoting PaulinJax:



They were having the same conversation when the Mammoths became extinct ....
Yes, but the opposite and I quote " ugha booga ugha" which means,( hasn't it gotten a lot colder recently? We may need to move south. ) What is sad is that our present day society will try to stop the sea from taking back our land. Can you see the Keys being surrounded by dykes and windmills? Or South Florida? I guess what will probably happen is a huge hurricane will destroy a lot of the habitable coast line and the government will not allow the people to reinhabit the area. Then the Floridians will know what the Seminoles and Cherokees felt like when they were moved off their land. Our only consolation will be that the sea will take it rather than a bunch of white settlers.
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Quoting outrocket:


Not all on land...some are called "Heat Islands"))

Ah!
I must be living on one of them, then.
It's now 35.2 C, which is still around 96F.

Everyone here is Hot.
TGIF !
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Quoting Floodman:


He ain't gonna like 'em!


i like mine frozen with sliced strawberries
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


he wants your twinkies


He ain't gonna like 'em!
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Quoting Floodman:


I was thinking more like an Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin...THAT would be funny
Lol!...#268
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Quoting Floodman:


Are you at it again?


he wants your twinkies
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
For 95L
AL, 95, 2011081218, , BEST, 0, 356N, 647W, 30, 1011, DB,

92L
AL, 92, 2011081218, , BEST, 0, 186N, 469W, 30, 1011, DB

93L
AL, 93, 2011081212, , BEST, 0, 113N, 303W, 25, 1011, LO, 34, NEQ

94L
AL, 94, 2011081212, , BEST, 0, 247N, 547W, 25, 1013, DB


Is noted that the separation between 92L and 93L is greater today than yesterday.
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Quoting presslord:


well....Why didn't he just say so?!


i looked at those stupid numbers for i don't know how long b4 i finally got it...lol...they use to drive me insane...i still get crosseyed when keeper or Groth post them big ole long lists of numbers tho lol
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i think we will see 3 out of 4 from


that would be 92 93 and 95L
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


i know some of em lol... 93 is first number that is the invest...
2011081218...date 2011, 08(aug)12(day) 18 (time i think)

BEST, 0, 113N, 315W, 25, 1010, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 200, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,

now you have coordinates... 113N is 11.3N, then 31.5W, i think 25 is wind speed, then 1010 is pressure...


well....Why didn't he just say so?!
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Quoting FLdewey:


I'm thinking of a Hell's Kitchen sort of thing... Red Team vs Blue Team.

Joe Bastardi could play Ramsey.

Would be a good way to get the population tropical info.


I was thinking more like an Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin...THAT would be funny
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curious to see the 2PM model runs for 93L
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Quoting presslord:


Look, pal....if you're gonna continue to post this Mandarin...you're gonna have to translate it for me....


i know some of em lol... 93 is first number that is the invest...
2011081218...date 2011, 08(aug)12(day) 18 (time i think)

BEST, 0, 113N, 315W, 25, 1010, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 200, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,

now you have coordinates... 113N is 11.3N, then 31.5W, i think 25 is wind speed, then 1010 is pressure...
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Maybe they should go to traffic lite colors and replace orange with green:

Red: Stop and pay close attention;

Yellow: Keep an eye on this one;

Green: Don't worry about it for now.


Channel 4 in Miami replaces the NHC's yellow circle with a green circle. I think it's a bit arrogant on their part(not a surprise that they feel they can do it better than NHC). But it also seems to be confusing to the general public, which is reckless at best, dangerous at worst. What else are they changing and not disclosing? Not everyone reads weather blogs all day and understands that they are not getting the forecast delivered to them in the way NHC gave it.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, it is happening. Just think, we will get to see the demise of the polar bear species and who knows what else. It makes me sick, but there really isn't much we can do. In 100 years( or sooner) the keys will be history along with most of South Florida.



They were having the same conversation when the Mammoths became extinct ....
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Quoting Neapolitan:
And, finally, 93L. Pressure is down a notch:

AL, 93, 2011081218, , BEST, 0, 113N, 315W, 25, 1010, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 200, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,


Look, pal....if you're gonna continue to post this Mandarin...you're gonna have to translate it for me....
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Quoting tropicfreak:



1/4 of a twinkie ;)


well now he will be back for another bite! :)
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323. HCW
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


ummmm...you just gave a troll a twinkie...



1/4 of a twinkie ;)
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
320. 7544
uggg my fav is 94l moving sw this may form imo
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And, finally, 93L. Pressure is down a notch:

AL, 93, 2011081218, , BEST, 0, 113N, 315W, 25, 1010, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 200, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
Quoting leelee75k:
darn!! I thought I hid the red crayons really well :(


Maybe they should go to traffic light colors and replace orange with green:

Red: Stop and pay close attention;

Yellow: Keep an eye on this one;

Green: Don't worry about it for now.

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Quoting hcubed:


But who cold we get to play Gilda Ratner's "Emily Litella"?

"What is all this fuss I hear about the decline in Arctic lice? That sounds like a good thing to me..."
Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, it is happening. Just think, we will get to see the demise of the polar bear species and who knows what else. It makes me sick, but there really isn't much we can do. In 100 years( or sooner) the keys will be history along with most of South Florida.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


All islands are surrounded by water.....fascinating.


Not all on land...some are called "Heat Islands"))
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Quoting tropicfreak:


They NEVER said 93L was going to fizzle out! 94L might not hook out to sea, but 95L will (may even become TD 6 or Franklin tonight.)


ummmm...you just gave a troll a twinkie...
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Quoting HOTWHEELS99:
east coast us safe for the next few weeks or more the weather channel said thank god


Stop downcasting.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Slowed down significantly on here.
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1800Z update for 94L. Still very weak:

AL, 94, 2011081218, , BEST, 0, 246N, 555W, 25, 1013, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1015, 200, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626

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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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