July Atlantic hurricane outlook

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:55 PM GMT on July 13, 2012

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It's mid-July, and we have yet to see a named storm form in the Atlantic this month. The computer models are not predicting any development through at least July 20, and if we make it all the way to the end of the month without a named storm forming, it will be the first July since 2009 without a named storm. Since the current active hurricane period began in 1995, 13 of 17 years (76%) have had a named storm form during July. The busiest July occurred in 2005, when five named storms and two major hurricanes formed. These included Hurricane Dennis and Hurricane Emily--the strongest hurricanes ever observed so early in the season. Only eight major hurricanes have formed in July since record keeping began in 1851. As seen in Figure 1, most of the last half of July activity occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and waters off the Southeast U.S. coast. These type of storms form when a cold front moves off the U.S. coast and stalls out, with the old frontal boundary serving as a focal point for development of a tropical disturbance (as happened for Alberto, Beryl, Chris, and Debby in 2012.) There will be at least two cold fronts moving off the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast over the next two weeks. The first of these fronts will push offshore around July 20, and we will need to watch the waters offshore of North Carolina for development then. Formation potential will be aided by ocean temperatures that are about 0.7°C (1°F) above average along the U.S. East Coast.


Figure 1. Tracks of all tropical storms and hurricanes 1851 - 2006 that formed July 16-31. The U.S. coast from North to Texas are the preferred strike locations. Only a few storms have formed in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean in July. Wind shear is typically too high and SSTs too cool in July to allow African waves in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic to develop into tropical storms. However, a few long-track "Cape Verdes" hurricanes have occurred in July, spawned by tropical waves that came off the coast of Africa. African tropical waves serve as the instigators of about 85% of all major hurricanes.


Figure 2. The seasonal distribution of Atlantic hurricane activity shows that July typically has low activity. Image credit: NHC.

Sea Surface Temperatures: slightly above average
The departure of Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) from average over the tropical Atlantic between Africa and Central America was about 0.3°C above average during June (Figure 3.) This figure has not changed much over the first two weeks of July. These temperatures are not warm enough to appreciably affect the odds of a July named storm or hurricane. The strength of the Azores-Bermuda high has been near average over the past two weeks, driving near-average trade winds. The latest 2-week run of the GFS model predicts continued average-strength trade winds through late-July, so SSTs should remain about 0.3°C above average during this period, due to average amounts of cold water mixing up from below due to the wind action on the water.


Figure 3. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) departure from average for July 12, 2012. SSTs were 0.3°C above average over the tropical Atlantic's Main Development region for hurricanes, from Africa to Central America between 10° and 20° North Latitude. Note the large region of above average SSTs along the Equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America, the hallmark of a developing El Niño episode. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS

El Niño on the way?
For two consecutive weeks, ocean temperatures 0.5 - 0.6°C above average have been present in the tropical Eastern Pacific, which is right at the threshold for a weak El Niño episode. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued an El Niño Watch, and gives a 61% chance that El Niño conditions will be present during the August - September - October peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. The likely development of a full-fledged El Niño episode means that Atlantic hurricane activity will probably be suppressed in 2012, due to the strong upper-level winds and high wind shear these events typically bring to the tropical Atlantic.


Figure 4. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) departure from average for the the equatorial Eastern Pacific (the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region"). El Niño conditions exist when the SST in this region rises 0.5°C above average. As of July 9, 2012, SSTs in the Niño 3.4 region had risen to 0.5°C above average. To be considered an "El Niño episode", El Niño conditions must occur for five consecutive months, using 3-month averages. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Wind shear: above average
Wind shear is usually defined as the difference in wind between 200 mb (roughly 40,000 foot altitude) and 850 mb (roughly 5,000 foot altitude). In most circumstances, wind shear above 20 knots will act to inhibit tropical storm formation. Wind shear below 12 knots is very conducive for tropical storm formation. High wind shear acts to tear a storm apart. The jet stream has two bands of strong high-altitude winds that are currently bringing high wind shear to the Atlantic. The southern branch (subtropical jet stream) is bringing high wind shear to the Caribbean, and the northern branch (polar jet stream) is bringing high wind shear to the waters offshore of New England. This configuration often leaves a "hole" of low shear between the two branches, off the Southeast U.S. coast and over the Gulf of Mexico. The jet stream is forecast to maintain this two-branch pattern over the coming two weeks. Wind shear has been about 10 - 20% higher than average over the first two weeks of July, and is predicted to be mostly above average for the coming two weeks. This will cut down on the odds of a July storm.


Figure 5. Vertical instability over the Caribbean Sea in 2012 (blue line) compared to average (black line.) The instability is plotted in °C, as a difference in temperature from near the surface to the upper atmosphere. Thunderstorms grow much more readily when vertical instability is high. Instability has been lower than average, due to an unusual amount of dry air in the atmosphere, reducing the potential for tropical storm formation. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS/CIRA.

Dry air: above average
As seen in Figure 5, there has been an unusual amount of dry, stable air in the Caribbean this year creating low levels of vertical instability. This has occurred due to a combination of dry air from Africa, and upper-atmosphere dynamics creating large areas of sinking air that dry as they warm and approach the surface. The Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles have also seen low vertical instability this summer. June and July are the peak months for dry air and dust coming off the coast of Africa, and the Saharan dust storms have been quite active over the past two weeks. Expect dry air to be a major deterrent to any storms that try to form in the tropical Atlantic during July.

Steering currents: average
The predicted steering current pattern for the next two weeks is a typical one for July. We have an active jet stream bringing many troughs of low pressure off the East Coast of the U.S. These troughs are frequent enough and strong enough to recurve any tropical storms or hurricanes that might penetrate north of the Caribbean Sea. Steering current patterns are predictable only about 3 - 5 days in the future, although we can make very general forecasts about the pattern as much as two weeks in advance. There is no telling what might happen during the peak months of August, September, and October--we might be in for a repeat of the favorable 2010 and 2011 steering current pattern, which recurved most storms out to sea--or the unfavorable 2008 pattern, which steered Ike and Gustav into the Gulf of Mexico.

Summary: a below average chance of a July tropical storm
Given that none of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the coming seven days, SSTs are only slightly above average, and wind shear and vertical stability are above average, I'll go with a 30% chance of a named storm forming in the Atlantic during the remainder of July.


Figure 6. Hurricane Emilia over the Eastern Pacific at 20:35 UTC July 10, 2012. At the time, Emilia was a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. Emilia peaked earlier in the day as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds--the strongest hurricane in the East Pacific so far in 2012. Image credit: NASA.

An active Eastern Pacific hurricane season
It's been a very active start to the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, where we've already had six named storms, four hurricanes, and three intense hurricanes. A typical season has 4 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 0 intense hurricanes by July 14. The formation of Tropical Storm Fabio on July 12 marks the 4th earliest formation of the Eastern Pacific's season's sixth storm. The record is held by the year 1985, when the season's sixth storm formed on July 2. Record keeping began in 1949.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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Did I say it had slowed here? lol. Figured the Houston area would come back under the warnings after all the rain y'all got yesterday.

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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
I'll consider that fer sure. I like Midland, as I have a Midland CB.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
208. yoboi
Quoting Patrap:


I havent one,but I tune in VIA the web a lot.

http://www.eham.net/


i have a portable one and a mobile one both midland brand. the portable one misses about 30% of alerts. might just be a louisiana thing idk. my advice if your going to buy one go with the mobile not the portable one....
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What is this? A good chance of rain and storms?

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FLASH FLOOD WARNING
TXC071-201-291-339-473-131945-
/O.NEW.KHGX.FF.W.0046.120713T1643Z-120713T1945Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
1143 AM CDT FRI JUL 13 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LEAGUE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN LIBERTY COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS...
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN CHAMBERS COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS...
HARRIS COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS...
SOUTHWESTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS...
NORTHEASTERN WALLER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS...

* UNTIL 245 PM CDT

* AT 1136 AM CDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING
HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO
BEGIN SHORTLY. A BAND OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ALONG THE I-10
CORRIDOR SHOULD DEVELOP NORTHWARD AND WILL BE CAPABLE OF RAINFALL
RATES 1.5 TO 2" PER HOUR AND ON TOP OF THE SATURATED GROUND WILL
RUNOFF PRODUCING FLOODING. ROADWAYS WILL BE SEVERELY IMPACTED.

HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT HAS REQUESTED THAT PEOPLE
IN THE WARNED AREA STAY INDOORS AND NOT TO ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...
HOUSTON...CHANNELVIEW...CLOVERLEAF...ALDINE...WEST UNIVERSITY
PLACE...GALENA PARK...JACINTO CITY...LIBERTY...HIGHLANDS...JERSEY
VILLAGE...TOMBALL...DAYTON...HUNTERS CREEK VILLAGE...BUNKER HILL
VILLAGE...SPRING VALLEY...PINEHURST...PINEY POINT VILLAGE...
BARRETT...HEDWIG VILLAGE...CROSBY...SHELDON...SOUTHSIDE PLACE...
AMES...HILSHIRE VILLAGE AND STAGECOACH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF SMALL
CREEKS AND STREAMS...URBAN AREAS...HIGHWAYS...STREETS AND
UNDERPASSES AS WELL AS OTHER DRAINAGE AREAS AND LOW LYING SPOTS.
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205. MTWX
Quoting stormchaser19:
Hey, Guys here in dominican republic right now, it's happening a solar halo , this is because the CME ?



It is not caused by the CME.

They are produced by the ice crystals in cirrus clouds high (5–10 km, or 3–6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion. The crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting sunlight between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions.

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Quoting yoboi:


what kind of weather radio do ya have??


I havent one,but I tune in VIA the web a lot.

http://www.eham.net/
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
202. yoboi
Quoting Patrap:
RED PCAF, one dosent see that often at'all.

IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is
expected to be at mostly quiet to unsettled levels for day one (13
July). Unsettled to active levels, with isolated minor storm
intervals, are expected on days two and three (14 - 15 July) as
effects from the 12 July CME are expected to become geoeffective.

III. Event Probabilities 13 Jul-15 Jul
Class M 80/80/80
Class X 35/35/35
Proton 99/99/50
PCAF red


[Latest and Full Report]


what kind of weather radio do ya have??
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Quoting stormchaser19:
Hey, Guys here in dominican republic right now, it's happening a solar halo now, this is because the CME ?



Those form when High Cirrus,ice crystals refract the sunlight O believ ..

I shot one here in NOLA a few weeks back as well.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
Quoting yoboi:


it's how i communicate with that one person....not everyone can communicate the same.....and i can see how ya might take it as baiting or trolling i can respect that, but i got my troll shot in may i am good for 6 months.....
alrighty then.. seemed like those recent exchanges were the first.. i'll just let your actions dictate mine, sparing the blog any further ;)
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199. yoboi
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
to be honest i think winter will be reduced to just two months a year jan and feb with spring running from early march till late april summer from early may till early october and fall from mid oct till end of dec


i think you will have a cold winter this year....
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Hey, Guys here in dominican republic right now, it's happening a solar halo , this is because the CME ?

Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2169
197. yoboi
Quoting Minnemike:
this is what i was mentioning.. you don't see this as baiting/trolling?
i wouldn't bother even communicating, but you don't seem like a troll.. but you're pressing on this for what reason?


it's how i communicate with that one person....not everyone can communicate the same.....and i can see how ya might take it as baiting or trolling i can respect that, but i got my troll shot in may i am good for 6 months.....
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"Figure 1. Tracks of all tropical storms and hurricanes 1851 - 2006 that formed July 16-31. The U.S. coast from North to Texas are the preferred strike locations."
-- Dr. Masters

I think he meant to say "North Carolina."
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New Mark on Jupiter.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
Quoting yoboi:


4 seasons will be cut to 3 due to budget cuts...
to be honest i think winter will be reduced to just two months a year jan and feb with spring running from early march till late april summer from early may till early october and fall from mid oct till end of dec
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thats a big spin heading to the east coast..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16214
Quoting LargoFl:
........................................near the howard franklin bridge to tampa


Carallon Bell Tower?
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Quoting yoboi:
Schwankmoe, are ya still on the sidelines today?????
this is what i was mentioning.. you don't see this as baiting/trolling?
i wouldn't bother even communicating, but you don't seem like a troll.. but you're pressing on this for what reason?
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190. yoboi
Schwankmoe, are ya still on the sidelines today?????
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189. yoboi
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
we havn't seen 63 since i think march


4 seasons will be cut to 3 due to budget cuts...
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188. etxwx
Link
Space Weather Message Code: WATA20
Serial Number: 497
Issue Time: 2012 Jul 13 1313 UTC

WATCH: Geomagnetic A-index of 20 or greater predicted
NOAA Scale: Periods reaching the G1 (Minor) Level Likely
Valid for UTC Day: 2012 Jul 14
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.

Space Weather Message Code: ALTEF3
Serial Number: 1933
Issue Time: 2012 Jul 13 0739 UTC

CONTINUED ALERT: Electron 2MeV Integral Flux exceeded 1000pfu
Continuation of Serial Number: 1932
Begin Time: 2012 Jul 11 1055 UTC
Yesterday Maximum 2MeV Flux: 2470 pfu
Potential Impacts: Satellite systems may experience significant charging resulting in increased risk to satellite systems.
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187. MTWX
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


thats slower, it was supposed to arrive at 1am edt before, and it was on the map, supposed to be mainly in the pacific, with some in the W US, and about none for the E US before the nightime areas.
but it may have changed, i cant find the map of the noaa space site now.
i hate the redesign


That's not my wording, it a copy and paste... ;)
Link
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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting LargoFl:
..wow just look at all that runoff, must have really been pouring rain there huh, we were like that during Debby around my way


Yes, it was really pounding down earlier. Now it's seems to have slowed at my location. Still raining with distant thunder now. Was a loud night! Been under FF Warning since early. I'm ready to pass this rain on to someone who might need it but...can I keep the temps? :-)



Thunderstorm Rain

72°F

22°C

Humidity100%
Wind SpeedCalm
Barometer30.06 in
Dewpoint72°F (22°C)
Visibility1.75 mi
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we havn't seen 63 since i think march
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Quoting MTWX:


How do you figure???

The CME launched toward Earth by yesterday's X-flare is moving faster than originally thought. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have revised their forecast accordingly, advancing the cloud's expected arrival time to 09:17 UT (5:17 am EDT) on Saturday, July 14th. Weekend auroras are likely.

Doesn't look like it will affect the CONUS at all.


thats slower, it was supposed to arrive at 1am edt before, and it was on the map, supposed to be mainly in the pacific, with some in the W US, and about none for the E US before the nightime areas.
but it may have changed, i cant find the map of the noaa space site now.
i hate the redesign
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Normals
Max: 81°F
Min: 63°F
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Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Friday 13 July 2012
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 30.15 inches
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 5

Temperature: 86.2°F
Dewpoint: 64.9°F
Humidity: 49 %
Wind: S 5 mph
Humidex: 97
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32692
Of note, Updated Jul 12 2200 UTC

Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
SDF Number 194 Issued at 2200Z on 12 Jul 2012

IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be
moderate with a chance for X-class events for the next three days
(13 - 15 July).
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
178. txjac
It looks like the end of the world here in Houston ...dark, lightening, windy and thunder.

I'm giving at training class this week and yesterday we had water coming in to the room ...wonder what this afternoon has in store of us???
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RED PCAF, one dosent see that often at'all.

IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is
expected to be at mostly quiet to unsettled levels for day one (13
July). Unsettled to active levels, with isolated minor storm
intervals, are expected on days two and three (14 - 15 July) as
effects from the 12 July CME are expected to become geoeffective.

III. Event Probabilities 13 Jul-15 Jul
Class M 80/80/80
Class X 35/35/35
Proton 99/99/50
PCAF red


[Latest and Full Report]
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
176. MTWX
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


supposed to miss the east US and hit the west.


How do you figure???

The CME launched toward Earth by yesterday's X-flare is moving faster than originally thought. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have revised their forecast accordingly, advancing the cloud's expected arrival time to 09:17 UT (5:17 am EDT) on Saturday, July 14th. Weekend auroras are likely.

Doesn't look like it will affect the CONUS at all.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


the impact is going to be relatively minor


this time but sooner or later well we wait and see
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........................................near the howard franklin bridge to tampa
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


the impact is going to be relatively minor
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


80-90 mph?

Maybe a huricane at next adxisory.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
170. wxmod
3000 mile wide view of Russian fires and heavy smoke. MODIS satellite photo today.

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........................................geting real humid outside now
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting Patrap:
www.solarham.net


CME Impact simulation for tomorrow.




Published on Jul 12, 2012 by ve3en1

A major and long duration eruption reaching X1.4 around Sunspot 1520 peaked at 16:52 UTC Thursday afternoon. Type II and IV Sweep Frequency Events were recorded. This event was also responsible for a Strong R3 Radio Blackout on the sunlit side of Earth. A Coronal Mass Ejection was also produced and looks to be Earth directed.



supposed to miss the east US and hit the west.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Nederland Avenue runoff.

..wow just look at all that runoff, must have really been pouring rain there huh, we were like that during Debby around my way
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
The water is warm,
but it's sending me shivers.
A baby is born,
crying out for attention.
Memories fade,
like looking through a fogged mirror
Decision to decisions are made and not bought
But I thought,
this wouldn't hurt a lot.
I guess not.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
Quoting ncstorm:


got some black clouds like you posted the other day in the distance heading my way
oh boy get ready for the rain
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Good thing I'm not in this...



:)
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16214
www.solarham.net


CME Impact simulation for tomorrow.




Published on Jul 12, 2012 by ve3en1

A major and long duration eruption reaching X1.4 around Sunspot 1520 peaked at 16:52 UTC Thursday afternoon. Type II and IV Sweep Frequency Events were recorded. This event was also responsible for a Strong R3 Radio Blackout on the sunlit side of Earth. A Coronal Mass Ejection was also produced and looks to be Earth directed.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129419
Quoting Patrap:


wave should lose characteristics over the next day or two as it moves W across the gulf.
It is mostly dead already

$$MoneyBoy
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746

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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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