Unprecedented Arctic ozone hole in 2011; a Florida tropical storm next week?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:01 PM GMT on October 04, 2011

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An unprecedented ozone hole opened in the Arctic during 2011, researchers reported this week in the journal Nature. Holes in the Antarctic ozone layer have opened up each spring since the early 1980s, but the Arctic had only shown modest springtime ozone losses in the 5% - 30% range over the past twenty years. But this year, massive ozone destruction of 80% occurred at altitudes of 18 - 20 kilometers in the Arctic during spring, resulting in Earth's first known case of twin ozone holes, one over each pole. During late March and portions of April, the Arctic ozone hole was positioned over heavily populated areas of Western Europe, allowing large levels of damaging ultraviolet rays to reach the surface. UV-B radiation causes skin damage that can lead to cancer, and has been observed to reduce crop yields in two-thirds of 300 important plant varieties studied (WMO, 2002.) The total loss of ozone in a column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere reached 40% during the peak of this year's Arctic ozone hole. Since each 1% drop in ozone levels results in about 1% more UV-B reaching Earth's surface (WMO, 2002), UV-B levels reaching the surface likely increased by 40% at the height of this year's hole. We know that an 11% increase in UV-B light can cause a 24% decrease in winter wheat yield (Zheng et al., 2003), so this year's Arctic ozone hole may have caused noticeable reductions in Europe's winter wheat crop.


Figure 1. Left: Ozone in Earth's stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) in mid-March 2011, near the peak of the 2011 Arctic ozone loss. Right: chlorine monoxide--the primary agent of chemical ozone destruction in the cold polar lower stratosphere--the same day and altitude. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

What caused this year's unprecedented Arctic ozone hole?
Earth's ozone holes are due to the presence of human-emitted CFC gases in the stratosphere. The ozone destruction process is greatly accelerated when the atmosphere is cold enough to make clouds in the stratosphere. These polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) act like ozone destruction factories, by providing convenient surfaces for the reactions that destroy ozone to occur. PSCs only form in the 24-hour darkness of unusually cold winters near the poles; the atmosphere is too warm elsewhere to support PSCs. Stratospheric temperatures are warmer in the Arctic than the Antarctic, so PSCs and ozone destruction in the Arctic has, in the past, been much less than in the Antarctic. In order to get temperatures cold enough to allow formation of PSCs, a strong vortex of swirling winds around the pole needs to develop. Such a "polar vortex" isolates the cold air near the pole, keeping it from mixing with warmer air from the mid-latitudes. A strong polar vortex in winter and spring is common in the Antarctic, but less common in the Arctic, since there are more land masses that tend to cause large-scale disruptions to the winds of the polar vortex, allowing warm air from the south to mix northwards. However, as the authors of the Nature study wrote, "The persistence of a strong, cold vortex from December through to the end of March was unprecedented. In February - March 2011, the barrier to transport at the Arctic vortex edge was the strongest in either hemisphere in the last ~30 years. This unusual polar vortex, combined with very cold Arctic stratospheric temperatures typical of what we've seen in recent decades, led to the most favorable conditions ever observed for formation of Arctic PSCs. The reasons for this unusual vortex are unknown.


Figure 2. Global lower stratospheric departure of temperature from average since 1979, as measured by satellites. The large spikes in 1982 and 1991 are due to the eruptions of El Chicon and Mt. Pinatubo, respectively. These volcanoes ejected huge quantities of sulphuric acid dust into the stratosphere. This dust absorbed large quantities of solar radiation, heating the stratosphere. Stratospheric temperature has been generally decreasing in recent decades, due to the twin effects of ozone depletion and the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. During Jan - Aug 2011, Earth's stratosphere had its 3rd coldest such period on record. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Greenhouse gases cause stratospheric cooling
When ozone absorbs UV light, it heats the surrounding air. Thus, the loss of ozone in recent decades has helped cool the stratosphere, resulting in a feedback loop where colder temperatures create more PSCs, resulting in even more ozone destruction. However, in 1987, CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances were banned. As a result, CFC levels in the stratosphere peaked in 2000, and had fallen by 3.8% as of 2008, according to NASA. Unfortunately, despite the fact that CFCs are falling in concentration, the stratosphere is not warming up. The recovery of the ozone layer is being delayed by human emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. These gases trap heat near the surface, but cause cooling of the stratosphere and increased formation of the PSCs that help destroy ozone. We need only look as far as our sister planet, Venus, to see an example of how the greenhouse effect warms the surface but cools the upper atmosphere. Venus's atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide, which has triggered a hellish run-away greenhouse effect. The average surface temperature on Venus is a sizzling 894 °F, hot enough to melt lead. Venus's upper atmosphere, though, is a startling 4 - 5 times colder than Earth's upper atmosphere. The explanation of this greenhouse gas-caused surface heating and upper air cooling is not simple, but good discussions can be found at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and realclimate.org, for those unafraid of radiative transfer theory. One way to think about the problem is that the amount of infrared heat energy radiated out to space by a planet is roughly equal to the amount of solar energy it receives from the sun. If the surface atmosphere warms, there must be compensating cooling elsewhere in the atmosphere in order to keep the amount of heat given off by the planet the same and balanced. As emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, their cooling effect on the stratosphere will increase. This will make recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer much slower.

Greenhouse gases cause cooling higher up, too
Greenhouse gases have also led to the cooling of the atmosphere at levels higher than the stratosphere. Over the past 30 years, the Earth's surface temperature has increased 0.2 - 0.4 °C, while the temperature in the mesosphere, about 50 - 80 km above ground, has cooled 5 - 10 °C (Beig et al., 2006). There is no appreciable cooling due to ozone destruction at these altitudes, so nearly all of this dramatic cooling is due to the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Even greater cooling of 17 °C per decade has been observed high in the ionosphere, at 350 km altitude. This has affected the orbits of orbiting satellites, due to decreased drag, since the upper atmosphere has shrunk and moved closer to the surface (Lastovicka et al., 2006). The density of the air has declined 2 - 3% per decade the past 30 years at 350 km altitude. So, in a sense, the sky IS falling due to the greenhouse effect!

Since any increase in solar energy would heat both the lower and upper atmosphere, the observed drop in upper atmospheric temperatures in the past 30 years argues against an increase in energy coming from the sun being responsible for global warming. The observed cooling of the upper atmosphere is strong evidence that the warming at Earth's surface is due to human-emitted greenhouse gases that trap heat near the surface and cause compensating cooling aloft. It should also give us additional confidence in the climate models, since they predicted that this upper atmospheric cooling would occur. Keep in mind, also, that 2010 was tied for Earth's hottest year on record, and the amount of energy coming from the sun during 2009 - 2010 was the lowest since satellite measurements began in the late 1970s. There has been no long-term increase in energy coming from the sun in recent decades, and the notion that global warming is due to an increase in energy coming from the sun simply doesn't add up.

Commentary
The development of an ozone hole in the Arctic is a discouraging reminder that humans are capable of causing harmful and unexpected planetary-scale changes to the environment. A 2002 assessment of the ozone layer by the World Meteorological Organization concluded that an Arctic ozone hole would be unlikely to occur, due to the lack of a strong Arctic vortex in winter, and the fact CFCs levels had started to decline. However, an Arctic ozone hole may now become a regular visitor in the future. "Day-to-day temperatures in the 2010 - 11 Arctic winter did not reach lower values than in previous cold Arctic winters," said the lead author of this year's Nature study, Gloria Manney, of NASA and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. "The difference from previous winters is that temperatures were low enough to produce ozone-destroying forms of chlorine for a much longer time. This implies that if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures drop just slightly in the future, for example as a result of climate change, then severe Arctic ozone loss may occur more frequently." I might add that its a very good thing CFCs were banned in 1987, or else the Arctic ozone hole would have opened up much sooner and would have been far worse. It turned out that the costs of the CFC ban, while substantial, were far less than the dire cost predictions that the CFC industry warned of. It is highly probable that we will see future nasty climate change surprises far more serious than the Arctic ozone hole if we continue on our present business-as-usual approach of emitting huge quantities of greenhouse gases. Humans would be wise to act forcefully to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, as the cost of inaction is highly likely to be far greater than the cost of action.

References
Manney, G.L., et al., 2011, Unprecedented Arctic ozone loss in 2011, Nature (2011), doi:10.1038/nature10556

Weather Underground Ozone Hole FAQ

World Meteorological Organization (WMO), "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2002 Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project - Report #47", WMO, Nairobi, Kenya, 2002.

Zheng, Y., W. Gao, J.R. Slusser, R.H. Grant, C. Wang, "Yield and yield formation of field winter wheat in response to supplemental solar ultraviolet-B radiation," Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 120, Issues 1-4, 24 December 2003.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Philippe. Philippe has a Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds characteristic of a tropical storm nearing hurricane strength.

Tropical Storm Philippe no threat to land
In the middle Atlantic, Tropical Storm Philippe has managed to grow a bit more organized in the face of high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots. Satellite loops show Philippe is a small system with a modest amount heavy thunderstorm activity, with the surface circulation partially exposed to view by wind shear. Wind shear will remain high today, but is expected to relax to the moderate range on Wednesday as Philippe recurves to the northeast. This may allow Philippe to intensify into a hurricane, as predicted by several of the intensity forecast models. It is unlikely that Philippe will trouble any land areas.

A Florida tropical storm next week?
Recent runs by all of the computer forecast models predict that an area of low pressure will develop near Florida this weekend or early next week. The counter-clockwise flow around this low will bring strong winds and heavy rains to Northeast Florida and the Georgia coast, and it is possible this storm will develop into a tropical or subtropical storm. The situation is similar to Subtropical Storm Four of October 4, 1974, according to the latest extended forecast discussion from NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. That storm brought 10 - 14 inches of rain to the east coast of Florida and strong onshore winds of 30 - 40 mph that caused beach erosion and coastal flooding. The exact formation location of this weekend's storm is still in doubt, with the ECMWF and UKMET models predicting the storm will form in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida, and the GFS model predicting formation over the Bahamas. We'll have to wait for future model runs before we can get a better handle on where and when this storm will most likely develop.

Jeff Masters

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190. KUEFC
Since when has 25mph been gale force?
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Quoting MississippiWx:


With a very strong MJO pulse on the way, we have plenty of work left to do...


And some people said in past weeks that the season was a dud because of the weak brief storms. Now look how it has turned above normal in accumulated energy.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


With a very strong MJO pulse on the way, we have plenty of work left to do...

Yep.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
187. bwi
Quoting OviedoWatcher:
Could anyone comment on Figure 2 in Dr M's post? To me it looks totally wrong. There is a footnote stating that the base period for the data is 1981 to 2010, so as the graph runs from 1979 to 2010, there should be pretty much equal negative deviation as positive, but there are 21 years with below average temperature and only 8 (including 1979 and 80) above it. Visually, it appears that the baseline average should be lower. Have I missed anything?


It looks to me like Dr. Masters' accurately reproduced the graphic from its source,
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/2010/13 ,
which means that if there's an error it would seem to be in the source.

The text section in the post on stratospheric temp anomalies that refers to the figure Dr. Masters cites doesn't seem to speak directly to the base period. However, an earlier section in the post refers to a base period of 1971-2000. I supposed it's possible that the graphic in the post didn't have the correct footnote -- maybe it was supposed to be 1971-2000 base instead of 1981-2010?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Atlantic basin's Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) has now reached 100, making it an above average season in terms of ACE...and its not done yet.


With a very strong MJO pulse on the way, we have plenty of work left to do...
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Kind of off topic, but I was poking around weather Obs in Colorado and found this one at Cooper Mountain, elevation 12,074 ft. Looks like Colorado and Utah are set for their first winter storm of the season, with watches already posted. I'm ready for winter!

Copper Mountain (12,400 feet)
Lat: 39.48 Lon: -106.15 Elev: 12074
Last Update on Oct 4, 1:47 pm MDT

Thunderstorm Light Snow in Vicinity and Breezy

41 °F
(5 °C)
Humidity: 76 %
Wind Speed: SE 22 G 25 MPH
Barometer: 30.38"
Dewpoint: 34 °F (1 °C)
Wind Chill: 31 °F (-1 °C)
Visibility: 2.50 mi


GFS 72Hr forecast 300mb winds
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I've noticed over the past few days that people seem to be getting the Caribbean development and Subtropical development mixed up together.

If we are going to see Subtropical development, it will be this weekend into next week as the MJO really begins to return to the area and the air begins to converge and pile up in the northwestern Caribbean/Bahamas/Eastern Gulf of Mexico area. Whether or not we get Subtropical development is unseen at this point, but it looks possible, and regardless of whether we do or not, Florida is in for several days of heavy rain and gale-force winds.

Caribbean development may not come too far behind. The air will continue to pile up in the Western Caribbean, releasing latent heat, and causing thunderstorms to develop. Any storm that formed in this area would move north/northeast, but possibly be shunted back to the west as the ridge briefly builds back in. This reminds me of one those weird storm tracks that move in all directions, but bottomline is, Florida will once again by under the gun, as it will all month.

Hurricane season isn't over by a long shot, and we may still have major storms that impact the USA.

given the fact that the sub tropical jet will be to the south of the system and the ridge will be to the north of the subtropical system then it will be really hard to get a warmed core hurricane from that but a good 50 to 60mph storm is possible. also model now show the tropical carribean system not moving much as a ridge rebuilds and blocks a north path for now
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1726
Quoting Ameister12:
Philippe defiantly wasn't able to keep his eye feature from last night.

That's not being defiant, that's succumbing to the atmospheric realities that surround him. ;)
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Quoting hydrus:
The only reason I said major is if the system moved W-NW through the straits into the gulf. Which is possible. I should have worded differently..:)
The longer this system lingers in the central gulf or moves NW, the more of a chance a front has of coming along and shunting it ene.
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The Atlantic basin's Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) has now reached 100, making it an above average season in terms of ACE...and its not done yet.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
One world government instituting mandatory abortions for 5 years as a way of managing the world population? Thats just sick. P.S. If China runs the world, it could happen. They do it to their own population by enforcing the 1 child per couple rule.


Now back to the weather.... Storm maybe headed my way. I like it as long as it stays weak and moves fast!

Sick but not impossible. Look up Agenda 21.
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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
250 PM EDT WED OCT 5 2011

.LONG TERM...(FRIDAY THROUGH NEXT TUESDAY).
MAIN CONCERN IN THE LONG TERM PERIOD IS ONCE AGAIN FOCUSED AROUND
THE POTENTIAL FOR THE FORMATION OF SOME SORT OF SUBTROPICAL LOW IN
THE VICINITY OF FLORIDA. MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW A LACK OF RUN TO
RUN CONSISTENCY...WITH THE ECMWF TENDING TO BE THE MOST CONSISTENT
MODEL OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT THE
ECMWF WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MODELS TO DEVELOP SUCH A LOW...AND FOR
NOW IT SEEMS TO BE PRESENTING ONE OF THE MORE CREDIBLE SOLUTIONS.

THE MECHANISMS FOR THE GENESIS OF THIS SUBTROPICAL LOW (AS FORECAST
BY THE NUMERICAL MODELS) REMAIN BASICALLY UNCHANGED FROM LAST NIGHT.
CONVECTION IS ONGOING IN FAIR ABUNDANCE ALONG THE QUASI-STATIONARY
FRONT THAT IS DRAPED ACROSS THE BAHAMAS AND WSW TOWARDS THE YUCATAN
STRAIT. THE TSTMS IN THE BAHAMAS AND FLORIDA STRAITS ARE ALSO IN THE
RIGHT ENTRANCE REGION OF A 60-80 KT UPPER LEVEL JET THAT CURLS NORTH
AROUND THE PERSISTENT UPPER LOW IN THE NE CONUS. THIS IS EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE IN SOME FORM THROUGH THURSDAY...WITH SLOWLY FALLING SURFACE
PRESSURE AND MID-UPPER LEVEL HEIGHTS. BY THE WEEKEND MODELS FORECAST
MORE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO TAKE PLACE WITH A CLOSED SURFACE LOW
DEVELOPING SOMEWHERE INITIALLY BETWEEN 20N AND 25N. THE AREA WILL
REMAIN SQUARELY WITHIN THE RIGHT ENTRANCE REGION OF THE UPPER LEVEL
JET STREAK...AND SEVERAL SHORTWAVES PUSHING INTO THE AREA WILL HAVE
CONTRIBUTED TO A BROAD AREA OF LOWER HEIGHTS AND CYCLONIC FLOW IN
THE MID LEVELS. BASICALLY THERE WILL BE A HANDFUL OF FACTORS
FAVORING LARGE SCALE ASCENT AND THE MAINTENANCE OF ANY CONVECTIVE
CLUSTERS. PINPOINTING THE AREA WHERE THINGS COME TOGETHER MOST
FAVORABLY IS RATHER DIFFICULT AT THIS JUNCTURE. THE OVERALL FORECAST
IS FOR THE GENESIS OF A SUBTROPICAL LOW THIS WEEKEND...WITH A SLOW
MIGRATION TO THE NW AND EVENTUALLY NORTH.

CHANGES TO THE GRIDS INVOLVED A SLIGHT BOOST IN POPS AFTER SATURDAY
NIGHT AS MODELS...ALTHOUGH INCONSISTENT...HAVE SHOWN A GENERAL
WESTWARD TREND WITH THE LOCATION OF THE LOW. DIURNAL TEMPERATURE
RANGES WERE KEPT LOWER IN THE EASTERN HALF OF THE CWA...WITH HIGHER
DEWPOINTS...RH...AND CLOUD COVER.

THE HPC PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION ONCE AGAIN OFFERS
GOOD ANALYSIS OF THIS SYSTEM...AND OFFERS SEVERAL ANALOGS TO PAST
CASES. THE BEST ANALOG IN TERMS OF THE RESEMBLANCE TO FORECAST
PRESSURE AND HEIGHT PATTERNS SEEMS TO BE THE MAY 19-21 2009 GULF
LOW...WITH THINGS IN THIS CASE PERHAPS SHIFTED SLIGHTLY EAST. ONE
THING THAT WAS NOT PRESENT IN THAT EVENT WAS 28-30C WATER TEMPS
WHICH COULD AID THE GENESIS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE LOW THIS TIME.

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I've noticed over the past few days that people seem to be getting the Caribbean development and Subtropical development mixed up together.

If we are going to see Subtropical development, it will be this weekend into next week as the MJO really begins to return to the area and the air begins to converge and pile up in the northwestern Caribbean/Bahamas/Eastern Gulf of Mexico area. Whether or not we get Subtropical development is unseen at this point, but it looks possible, and regardless of whether we do or not, Florida is in for several days of heavy rain and gale-force winds.

Caribbean development may not come too far behind. The air will continue to pile up in the Western Caribbean, releasing latent heat, and causing thunderstorms to develop. Any storm that formed in this area would move north/northeast, but possibly be shunted back to the west as the ridge briefly builds back in. This reminds me of one those weird storm tracks that move in all directions, but bottomline is, Florida will once again by under the gun, as it will all month.

Hurricane season isn't over by a long shot, and we may still have major storms that impact the USA.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I feel sorry for Cuba, Florida, the Bahamas, and potentially the entire Gulf of Mexico...They are going to have a horrible weekend, lol.


So far so good here :D it's not disturbing (to me at least) to have these thunderstorms at 6 in the morning... This front has really helped the drought too :)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Judging by the models, this sub-tropical storm, assuming it becomes Rina would have a fairly large wind/pressure difference, like a 999mb pressure with 45 mph winds. The CMC is showing a 979mb low associated with this in the Gulf, which is likely overdoing it. IMO, a 50mph sub-tropical storm in the Gulf seems fairly likely, but the gale force winds will be spread out over a large area. Very likely at this time to have at least sub-tropical origins.


Just goes to show that you can't give up on tropical cyclone activity in the Gulf Coast region until November at the earliest.
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Florida needs some rain. Hopefully the future TS/STS can help with this fire.


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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Judging by the models, this sub-tropical storm, assuming it becomes Rina would have a fairly large wind/pressure difference. The CMC is showing a 979mb low associated with this in the Gulf, which is likely overdoing it. IMO, a 50mph sub-tropical storm in the Gulf seems fairly likely, but the gale force winds will be spread out over a large area. Very likely at this time to have at least sub-tropical origins.

Its still too early to focus on exact intensity right now...What we DO know is that there will be very heavy rains and gale force winds for the Sunshine state for several days, and we may be dealing with a potent system in the Gulf of Mexico next week.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
I feel sorry for Cuba, Florida, the Bahamas, and potentially the entire Gulf of Mexico...They are going to have a horrible weekend, lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Judging by the models, this sub-tropical storm, assuming it becomes Rina would have a fairly large wind/pressure difference, like a 999mb pressure with 45 mph winds. The CMC is showing a 979mb low associated with this in the Gulf, which is likely overdoing it. IMO, a 50mph sub-tropical storm in the Gulf seems fairly likely, but the gale force winds will be spread out over a large area. Very likely at this time to have at least sub-tropical origins.
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Tiny Tropical Storm Phillipe.
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Good afternoon all.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Philippe showing up... before going NE...

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166. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Looking very possible that Sub-Tropical Storm Rina will form in the Gulf of Mexico early next week and bring heavy rains to Florida as well as gale force winds.


Not surprised to see the models leaning back to it. I just couldn't abandon the band wagon yesterday cause the models pulled such a change for a run or two there. Not with the MJO headed this way..& it's so dry again here.

There's a fire now..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
Miami NWS Discussion

LONG TERM...SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY...LONG RANGE GUIDANCE CONTINUE
TO INDICATE A KIND OF HYBRID CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT ALONG THE OLD
FRONTAL BOUNDARY EXTENDING FROM CUBA THROUGH THE BAHAMAS. ECMWF
SHOWS DEVELOPMENT MORE TO THE WEST OF S. FLORIDA IN THE GULF OF
MEX WHILE GFS NOW SHOWS A WEAK DEVELOPMENT FURTHER EAST AND LATER
(MONDAY) OVER THE NORTHERN BAHAMAS. THERE IS LARGE UNCERTAINTY AT
THIS TIME WHETHER EITHER OF THESE SCENARIO WILL DEVELOP...HOWEVER
BOTH MODELS AGREE WE WILL REMAIN UNDER A PERSISTENT STRONG LOW
LEVEL EAST FLOW AND BOTH MODEL SHOW A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE
CHANCES FOR RAIN AND EVEN THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN. DECIDED TO
INCREASE POPS AT LEAST THROUGH FIRST PART OF THE LONG RANGE PERIOD
TO ACCOUNT FOR THE CONTINUITY AND PERSISTENCE IN THE MODELS. THIS
SITUATION SHOULD BE CLOSELY MONITORED DURING THE NEXT MODEL RUNS
AS CONFIDENCE WILL LIKELY INCREASE IF MODEL CONTINUE WITH THIS
TREND.
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Quoting jrweatherman:


Nothing is there. Wouldn't be surprisedto see a system stay south of Florida and cross cuba and move thru the Bahamas.


That would make no sense given the current setup, and the models that do develop it agree it will form and move west, not east.
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163. Skyepony (Mod)
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 37, L24810, 6 PP., 2010
doi:10.1029/2010GL044548

Potential climate impact of black carbon emitted by rockets
Potential climate impact of black carbon emitted by rockets

Martin Ross

The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, California, USA

Michael Mills

Earth System Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Darin Toohey

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA

A new type of hydrocarbon rocket engine is expected to power a fleet of suborbital rockets for commercial and scientific purposes in coming decades. A global climate model predicts that emissions from a fleet of 1000 launches per year of suborbital rockets would create a persistent layer of black carbon particles in the northern stratosphere that could cause potentially significant changes in the global atmospheric circulation and distributions of ozone and temperature. Tropical stratospheric ozone abundances are predicted to change as much as 1%, while polar ozone changes by up to 6%. Polar surface temperatures change as much as one degree K regionally with significant impacts on polar sea ice fractions. After one decade of continuous launches, globally averaged radiative forcing from the black carbon would exceed the forcing from the emitted CO2 by a factor of about 105 and would be comparable to the radiative forcing estimated from current subsonic aviation.

Received 6 July 2010; accepted 20 September 2010; published 28 December 2010.

Citation: Ross, M., M. Mills, and D. Toohey (2010), Potential climate impact of black carbon emitted by rockets, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L24810, doi:10.1029/2010GL044548.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
Looking very possible that Sub-Tropical Storm Rina will form in the Gulf of Mexico early next week and bring heavy rains to Florida as well as gale force winds.
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Philippe defiantly wasn't able to keep his eye feature from last night.
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Moisture's just hanging around in the Florida Straits.
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Good afternoon!
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23.7n588w has been re-evaluated&altered for TS.Phillipe's_4Oct_6pmGMT_ATCF
23.8n58.8w, 23.9n59.7w are now the most recent positions
Starting 3Oct_6pmGMT and ending 4Oct_6pmGMT

The 4 eastern line-segments represent TropicalStormPhillippe's path,
the westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection for 4Oct_6pmGMT,
the island dot at 22.85n74.346w-PWN is the endpoint of the straightline projection connected to its nearest airport for the 4Oct_12pmGMT*mapping
and the ocean-to-island blob at 21.832n71.799w-MDS is the same for the 4Oct_6amGMT*mapping.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the
ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 12pmGMT then 6pmGMT :
TS.Phillipe's travel-speed was 9.5mph(15.3k/h) on a heading of 277.1degrees(W)
TS.Phillipe was headed toward passage over Greencastle,Eleuthera,Bahamas ~4days12hours from now

Copy&paste 21.832n71.799w-mds, 22.85n74.346w-pwn, 24.3n55.6w-23.8n56.5w, 23.8n56.5w-23.7n57.7w, 23.7n57.7w-23.8n58.8w, 23.8n58.8w-23.9n59.7w, 23.8n58.8w-24.79n76.166w, rsd into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping for 4Oct_12pmGMT

* The alteration of the endpoint of a TropicalCyclone's previous path also changes its previous travel-speed&heading, and the endpoint of its previous straightline projection...
...but I'm choosing to preserve the historicity of the mappings.
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Arctic Sea Ice Continues Decline, Hits 2nd-Lowest Level 10.04.11

Last month the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Satellite data from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder showed that the summertime sea ice cover narrowly avoided a new record low.



NASA satellite data reveals how this year's minimum sea ice extent, reached on Sept. 9 as depicted here, declined to a level far smaller than the 30-year average (in yellow) and opened up Northwest Passage shipping lanes (in red). (Credit: NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio)
The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and shrinks each summer as the sun rises higher in the northern sky. Each year the Arctic sea ice reaches its annual minimum extent in September. It hit a record low in 2007.

The near-record ice-melt followed higher-than-average summer temperatures, but without the unusual weather conditions that contributed to the extreme melt of 2007. "Atmospheric and oceanic conditions were not as conducive to ice loss this year, but the melt still neared 2007 levels," said NSIDC scientist Walt Meier. "This probably reflects loss of multiyear ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas as well as other factors that are making the ice more vulnerable."

Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said the continued low minimum sea ice levels fits into the large-scale decline pattern that scientists have watched unfold over the past three decades.

"The sea ice is not only declining, the pace of the decline is becoming more drastic," Comiso said. "The older, thicker ice is declining faster than the rest, making for a more vulnerable perennial ice cover."

While the sea ice extent did not dip below the 2007 record, the sea ice area as measured by the microwave radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite did drop slightly lower than 2007 levels for about 10 days in early September, Comiso said. Sea ice "area" differs from extent in that it equals the actual surface area covered by ice, while extent includes any area where ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean.

Arctic sea ice extent on Sept. 9, the lowest point this year, was 4.33 million square kilometers (1.67 million square miles). Averaged over the month of September, ice extent was 4.61 million square kilometers (1.78 million square miles). This places 2011 as the second lowest ice extent both for the daily minimum extent and the monthly average. Ice extent was 2.43 million square kilometers (938,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average.

This summer's low ice extent continued the downward trend seen over the last 30 years, which scientists attribute largely to warming temperatures caused by climate change. Data show that Arctic sea ice has been declining both in extent and thickness. Since 1979, September Arctic sea ice extent has declined by 12 percent per decade.

"The oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic continues to decline, especially in the Beaufort Sea and the Canada Basin," NSIDC scientist Julienne Stroeve said. "This appears to be an important driver for the low sea ice conditions over the past few summers."

Climate models have suggested that the Arctic could lose almost all of its summer ice cover by 2100, but in recent years, ice extent has declined faster than the models predicted.
NASA monitors and studies changing sea ice conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctic with a variety of spaceborne and airborne research capabilities. This month NASA resumes Operation IceBridge, a multi-year series of flights over sea ice and ice sheets at both poles. This fall's campaign will be based out of Punta Arenas, Chile, and make flights over Antarctica. NASA also continues work toward launching ICESat-2 in 2016, which will continue its predecessor's crucial laser altimetry observations of ice cover from space.


Patrick Lynch
NASA's Earth Science News Team



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Just wanted to say thank you to Dr. Masters for the extremely well written post on the Arctic ozone hole, its' implications, and its' conditions in context.

Thank you.
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Quoting Motoko:


I don't know about the volcanoes, but cow flatulence has been cited as a source of atmospheric methane. Maybe we can tell the cows to stop farting so we can save the ozone layer! :-0


Quoting Wunderwood:
The NAM at 84 hours has a low forming in the FL Straits.


right now it looks very much like depression type clouds here in the keys. take a look at the radar for key west
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Ozone hole above the Arctic five times the size of Germany



Published on Oct 4, 2011 by Euronews
http://www.euronews.net/

The intense cold at the frozen expanse of the Arctic has opened up an unprecedented hole in the ozone layer.

The natural shield is regularly 'attacked' at both the north and south poles, but scientists believe exceptional conditions this year have caused the damage to the ozone layer.

The discovery was made by a team of international scientists. They monitored satellite observations between winter 2010 and spring 2011 which showed up the gaping hole, which is five times the size of Germany.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Even the near shore water temps are 80+ degrees from Tampa South along the west coast of Fl.
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Quoting scott39:
Umm.....Where are those people who said the GOM was shut down for this hurricane season? LOL


The offshore water temps in the Eastern, Central, and Southern GOM are still in the 80s.
There's a solid chance of a tropical system affecting the Eastern GOM, Florida, or the S.E. U.S. over the next couple weeks.
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148. Bogon
Hey, help4u, how's the weather where you are?
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Quoting biff4ugo:
To look on the bright side of things... Ozone is also an insulator. With the loss of ozone, won't the arctic be cooler this winter and increase the sea ice faster?

If the arctic was so cold this year to covert the chlorine molecules to ozone eaters, why didn't the sea ice recover to average areas, instead of starting summer below 2007 areas? It is still very low but less ridiculously low (near 2007 areas). There is less September ice in 2011 than 2010. Were the cold temperatures and vortex only aloft?
It matters what atmospheric layer you talk about: surface level (troposphere) or upper level (stratosphere), a totally different ball game for temperature profiles1 Basic weather stuff.
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146. JLPR2
Keeping an eye on this one south of the CV islands.

Eh... It's the only player in town for now, besides Philippe.

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Quoting Motoko:


I don't know about the volcanoes, but cow flatulence has been cited as a source of atmospheric methane. Maybe we can tell the cows to stop farting so we can save the ozone layer! :-0
As long as you do not poke your rear end into the stratosphere! :-)
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Umm.....Where are those people who said the GOM was shut down for this hurricane season? LOL
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aaahhh... So many comments to respond to and so little time.

127 carcar1967 "What I am trying to say is that we definitely should be looking for other alternatives to fossil fuels. But you cannot get rid of oil at the snap of your finger whether we like it or not.

Sure we can. Of course that would lead to a halving of the world population within a year, then another halving within the next...
...along with a GreatExtinction (ain't as if folks are gonna peaceably expire without eating everything that's vaguely edible first).

Besides transporting food from harvester to consumer, fossil-fuel derivatives are used to produce fertilizers and to pump water. And the "GreenRevolution" crops are HIGHly dependent on hyperMASSIVE amounts of fertilizer and water to produce the yields we depend upon.
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12Z ECMWF @144HR:



12Z GFS @144HR:



12Z CMC @144HR:



Sure looks like GFS is rather conservative about the evolution of the DB.
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Just demonstrating the very smart people on this blog!
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
You can expect a stronger vortex to form on the western side of a surge of southerly winds.


Given the expected blocking pattern... is possible.
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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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