Disturbance 99L more organized; record melting in Austrian Alps

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:02 PM GMT on August 01, 2012

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A tropical wave (Invest 99L) near 11°N 47°W, about 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is showing increasing organization, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression today or tomorrow as it moves westward at 15 - 20 mph. Visible satellite loops show that the disturbance now has two respectable low-level spiral bands, one to the north and one to the south, and a moderate amount of heavy thunderstorms near the center. The thunderstorm activity has not changed much in intensity this morning. A well-defined surface circulation is not evident on satellite images, but last night's 8:30 pm EDT pass from the ASCAT satellite showed a broad, elongated center with light winds had formed. Water vapor satellite loops show that 99L has a reasonably moist environment, and the latest Saharan air layer analysis shows that the dry air from the Sahara is not present in large quantities over the central tropical Atlantic. WInd shear over the disturbance has increased some since Tuesday, and is now at the moderate level, 10 - 15 knots. Ocean temperatures are 28°C, (82°F) which is about 0.5°C above average for this time of year.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 99L.


Figure 2. Vertical instability over the tropical Atlantic 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, sinking air in the atmosphere, reducing the potential for tropical storm formation. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS/CIRA.

Forecast for 99L
Wind shear is expected to remain light to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, through Friday, ocean temperatures will remain near 28°C, and mid-level moisture will be a moderate 60 - 70%, according to the 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model. The disturbance has gained a bit of latitude and is now at 11°N, which will help it leverage the Earth's spin more to acquire its own spin. These conditions are probably sufficient for 99L to become Tropical Depression Five, with Thursday being the most likely day for this to happen. However, the reliable computer models are not very eager to develop 99L, and none show it becoming a hurricane over the next five days. This is probably because the atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic is unusually stable for this time of year (Figure 2), with large-scale areas of dry, sinking air present. Climatologically, we see very few Cape Verdes-type hurricanes forming near the Lesser Antilles Islands this early in August, and I expect 99L will struggle at times over the next few days. This is particularly likely if 99L goes north of 13°N, where a band a high wind shear of 20 - 40 knots associated with the subtropical jet stream lies. At 8 am Wednesday, NHC gave 99L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday morning. Residents and visitors to the Lesser Antilles Islands should anticipate heavy rains and strong winds from 99L beginning to affect the islands as early as Friday morning. The long-range fate of 99L next week is uncertain, but a track west to west-northwest through the Caribbean is the most popular solution from the models.


Figure 3. Typhoon Saola (bottom) and Typhoon Damrey (top) perform a pincer maneuver on Shanghai, China in this MODIS photo from NASA's Terra satellite taken at 02 UTC August 1, 2012. Image credit: NASA.

Two typhoons headed towards China
In the Western Pacific, typhoon season is in full swing with two typhoons headed towards China. The more dangerous of the two is Category 2 Typhoon Saola, which is predicted to skirt the northern coast of Taiwan and hit mainland China 300 miles south of Shanghai on Friday as a Category 3 typhoon. Typhoon Damrey, a Category 1 storm located just south of Japan, is expected to hit China about 150 miles north of Shanghai on Thursday at Category 1 strength.

Extreme heat in Oklahoma
The withering heat in America's heartland continued on Tuesday, with the prize for most ridiculous heat a 113° temperature recorded in Chandler, Oklahoma. A close second: Tulsa hit 112°, just 3° below the city's all-time high of 115° set on August 10, 1936. The low temperature in Tulsa was 88° Tuesday morning, tying the record for warmest low temperature in city history set just the previous day. Six locations in Oklahoma hit 112° or hotter Tuesday, and the forecast calls for highs near 112° again today over portions of Oklahoma.

Extreme dryness in the Central U.S.
A few final tallies for July precipitation are in, and several U.S. cities in the heart of the drought region set new records for driest July:

Joplin, MO: 0.00" (ties record set in 1946)
Springfield, MO: 0.32" (previous record 0.33" in 1953)
Sioux Falls, SD: 0.24" (previous record, 0.24" in 1947, normal is 3.09")

Record early snow melt in the Austrian Alps
One of the longest meteorological data records at high altitude comes from Sonnblick, Austria, on a mountaintop in the Alps with an elevation of 3106 meters (10,200 feet.) The observatory typically sees maximum snow depths of 3 - 4 meters (10 - 13 feet) during winter. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the snow had never completely melted at Sonnblick until the summer of 1992. Complete snow melt did not happen again until August 12, 2003, and has happened an average of once every two years since then--but always in September. Yesterday, on July 31, the snow completely melted at Sonnblick, the earliest melting since record keeping began in 1886. It's been an exceptionally hot summer in Austria, which experienced its 6th warmest June since record keeping began in 1767. Sonnblick Observatory recorded its all-time warmest temperature of 15.3°C (60°F) on June 30. Vienna hit 37.7°C (100°F) that day--the hottest temperature ever measured in June in Austria. Note that the two mountains in the Alps with long climate records, Saentis in Switzerland and Zugspitze in Germany, beat their records for earliest melting last year in 2011 (Saentis beat the previous record of 2003, and Zugspitze tied the record set in 2003.)


Figure 4. The Sonnblick Observatory in Austria on April 26, 2010. Image credit: Michael Staudinger.

Jeff Masters

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Saola


Damrey
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12Z GFS at 240 hrs, Hurricane in the SW GoM. This is of course 10 days from now BUT the consistency of the GFS runs over the few fays is remarkable. Third run in a row that it is showing a strong system in the SW GoM.
Member Since: June 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 297
Structure continues to improve on MIMIC TPW as well, thought the ITCZ feature is also evident...

MIMIC TPW


In climate related news, the SOI has plummeted which should provide another step up in ocean heat content/El Nino development

1 Aug 2012 1010.36 1014.75 -36.48

Daily SOI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
533. yoboi
Quoting doabarrelroll:

Saving some is better than saving none


my point is ya have no clue how hard it is to evac people....ya have to consider special needs people, nursing homes,reg hospital patients, general public, prisons...etc
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AllStar17:


Not good.


Probably a cat 3 or 4 right here on the GFS.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting yoboi:


the rita evac went good for la, but in texas people rode out the storm on the interstate...because they ran out of gas and traffic grid locked up.....

Locked up is an understatement. The traffic system in Houston is not designed for 1/2 to 2/3 of the population to get out of town at the same time. Lots of people evacuated who shouldn't have, and that held up a lot of people who should have evacuated. Also, speaking from a local perspective, like NOLA, Houston has done quite a bit to prevent the same thing from happening again.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5891
Quoting wxchaser97:
252 hours, even though this is far out it could happen.
GFS turns Ernesto into a beast :(.All though IMO I think it'll be a little further east.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting dogsgomoo:


To be fair, discounting the potential damage and destruction, could it not also have the ability to bring much needed rain/moisture somewhere? I suppose if it could form and make landfall along the Texas coast it might signal a break/disruption in the current dry/stable/hot patterns over much of the US. Too late for much of this seasons crops though.
Wuzup Dog. Hey, if it brings beneficial rains to severely drought stricken areas without killing and causing billions in damage I am all for it.:)
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Quoting MahFL:


The water came up too fast to walk out, the lucky ones ended on the rooftops. And lets not argue they should have left before the canal wall failed, as it had not been maintained correctly for years. No one really expected a wall to fail, overtopping yes, but not a sudden failure.


Evacuation orders were in affect well before Katrina arrived just as they are for ANY major hurricane that approaches a U.S. coast so yes they had time to get out of harms way they just chose not to. I live on the coast in FL 100 yards from the water, when I'm told to evacuate I move inland at least 16-24 hours before the storm hits, this has happened more than once. They should have obeyed the evacuation orders.
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This is the first time since the GFS sniffed out 99L that it has taken the pressure below 1000 millibars.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32877
Quoting stormchaser19:
My forecast last night, still in good shape, and i think the track will shift a little to the north


as I say the track is perfect not going anymore N
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12719
252 hours, even though this is far out it could happen.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
522. yoboi
Quoting Patrap:



Fantastic.

Howe that er, RiTa Evac go?

Pfffth


the rita evac went good for la, but in texas people rode out the storm on the interstate...because they ran out of gas and traffic grid locked up.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chiggy:
12Z GFS @ 180 hrs - moving over the NE tip of the Yucatan and organizing really well!!


Not good.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:



Fantastic.

Howe that er, RiTa Evac go?

Pfffth

Yep. Saw figures in Masters' blog of 1 billion dollar cost and 100 deaths from the Rita panic, I mean evacuation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting doabarrelroll:

Rita? I was not in Rita. Im afraid I dont understand your point. Are you saying that people should not evacuate or that the city should not have used thier buses?


I'm saying that more died in the Rita Evac than died in the Impact.


Anything else?


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS wants to take it into the yucatan and mexico. i disagree. i think it will move into the yucatan channel
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
12Z GFS @ 180 hrs - moving over the NE tip of the Yucatan and organizing really well!!
Member Since: June 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 297
Quoting Pocamocca:
I won't post beyond this (168 hours), because it's simply too far out in advance. But GFS is suggesting a rather strong TS taking advantage of the extraordinarily high TCHP and organizing nicely. Also movement is very slow and very near Jamaica on it's way to Grand Cayman.



takes advantage of TCHP... moves slow... towards Grand Cayman reminds me of Ivan

just to teI'm on Grand Cayman
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12719
ULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1149 AM CDT WED AUG 1 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DULUTH MN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN IRON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST WISCONSIN...
ASHLAND COUNTY IN NORTHWEST WISCONSIN...

* UNTIL 1215 PM CDT

* AT 1140 AM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR ODANAH...OR 7 MILES EAST OF ASHLAND...AND
MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
CEDAR AND GURNEY BY 1155 AM...
SAXON BY NOON...
KIMBALL BY 1210 PM...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN THE WARNED AREA...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...LARGE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD TO
GROUND LIGHTNING. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY INSIDE A STURDY BUILDING
AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42279
513. yoboi
Quoting doabarrelroll:


Fair points. But I stand my statement that the city failed to use their buses to shuttle folks out. I would also be reluctant to assume some folks who commented never experienced a "calamity wholesale" you dont know them or their experiences


gustav was after katrina and they almost could not get everyone out in time....
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174 Hrs
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99L Rainbow

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My forecast last night, still in good shape, and i think the track will shift a little to the north
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2169
Quoting doabarrelroll:


Fair points. But I stand my statement that the city failed to use their buses to shuttle folks out. I would also be reluctant to assume some folks who commented never experienced a "calamity wholesale" you dont know them or their experiences



Fantastic.

Howe that er, RiTa Evac go?

Pfffth
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still an interesting line of convection heading due west out of the CoC, meaning that it's not completely free of the ITCZ.

However, the fact that there is impressing banding in arcs to the north and south of 99L, plus deep convection firing in a tight semi-circle in the southeast quadrant of the CoC shows that this system is pretty darn close to a TD.

Ramsdis Floater
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
This storm has the potential to kill and cause widespread damage somewhere. I wont be disappointed if it gets obliterated by shear.


To be fair, discounting the potential damage and destruction, could it not also have the ability to bring much needed rain/moisture somewhere? I suppose if it could form and make landfall along the Texas coast it might signal a break/disruption in the current dry/stable/hot patterns over much of the US. Too late for much of this seasons crops though. (edit: Not that I'm saying it will or even has the chance to. I think the current patterns will hold and it will be a ragged thing that, at best, throws some rain at Florida. We'll see.)
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42279
307 AussieStorm: Is this true???
Tax on U.S. Olympic medalists.


Complete&utter nonsense. The US doesn't tax awards.

Besides, a "Bronze"Medal is mostly tin and zinc: worth about 5bucks if that much.
Similarly, a "Silver"Medal is mostly copper (I think).
And even at the hyper-inflated gold prices of today, a "Gold"Medal made mostly of silver is worth a few hundred bucks at most.
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we could see a renumber in the afternoon or tonight.
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503. yoboi
Quoting 69Viking:


Those people that managed to get up into the attic and onto the roof and then stand up and wave down the helicopters, yeah right they couldn't walk!


i was there in a boat for 5 days not much walking going on plus the water was nasty with sewer, oil, gas
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12Z GFS @ 162hrs - moving WNW and organizing well.

Member Since: June 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 297
501. MahFL
Quoting 69Viking:


Those people that managed to get up into the attic and onto the roof and then stand up and wave down the helicopters, yeah right they couldn't walk!


The water came up too fast to walk out, the lucky ones ended on the rooftops. And lets not argue they should have left before the canal wall failed, as it had not been maintained correctly for years. No one really expected a wall to fail, overtopping yes, but not a sudden failure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
499. yoboi
Quoting Patrap:
Lot of BS from a lotta folks who have never seen nor experienced Calamity Wholesale.

Here's a few factoids.

1. NOLA had evac'd for Ivan in 04, and Dennis in 05, weeks after Cat 1 Cindy Struck.


2. The Storm came at the end of the month when folks, many poor and had no means to Evacuate.

3. The only memories of the last Major to Hit NOLA was Betsy in 65..and if you werent at Least 45 in 2005, you didnt have that memory.

4. We lost more to the heat the first 4 days than we lost to water, esp in the Lower 9th, upper 9th and Gentilly..

5.Hard to respond in 7-15 ft of water when the Calvary was slow to get here, but many, many folks did.

I saw it first hand.


6.Take a look at Gustav's response here.
It was a ghost town.


I saw it first hand.

Now NOLA to Mobile has that Living memory seared into our collective minds.

Never again we say.

Never forget as well.

So be wary of what you think you know, and maybe ask or do some research.

..Calamity knows no Borders, only men's minds and map's do.











thanks for sharing that pat i was there for 5 days in nola people just don't understand how bad it was there tv didnt really show how bat it was....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Lot of BS from a lotta folks who have never seen nor experienced Calamity Wholesale.

Hes a few factoids.

1. NOLA had evac'd for Ivan in 04, and Dennis in 05, weeks after Cat 1 Cindy Struck.


2. The Storm came at the end of the month when folks, many poor and had no means to Evacuate.

3. The only memories of the last Major to Hit NOLA was BEtsy in 65..and if you werent at Least 45 in 2005, you didnt have that memory.

4. We lost more to the heat the first 4 days than we lost to water, esp in the Lower 9th, upper 9th and Gentilly..

5.Hard to respond in 7-15 ft of water when the Calvary was slow to get here, but many, many folks did.

I saw it first hand.


6.Take a look at Gustav's response here.
It was a ghost town.


I saw it first hand.

Now NOLA to Mobile has that Living memory seared into our collective minds.

Never again we say.

Never forget as well.

So be wary of what you think you know, and maybe ask or do some research.

..Calamity knows no Borders, only men's minds and map's do.








+1 (accidentally pressed the minus, sorry!)
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
497. ackee
Here in Jamaica we will be keeping a close eye on 99L I do think regardless of how strong it gets we will be getting some rain very hot here. I think it will past south of jamaica as TD or weak TS the most
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1376
It was kind of a given that the wind shear would increase over 99L, but I also don't think it cares one bit. It's still organizing at the same rate as it was before he increase in shear, and now you can plainly see the bands forming and where the COC is. It's detaching from thte ITCZ so I suppose that a spin-up to a TD later today is pretty inevitable.

That being said, who's still got their eyes on that low south of the Dominican (it isn't gone yet, though the NHC opted to take its yellow circle away), it's still persisting in spite of the environment. Also, who's watching that large low off the northeastern seaboard? It looks like it wants to make a go at being a TS.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 617
495. MahFL
Make sure the can opener is NOT an electrical one lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
80 or 90% at TWO.



Generous 80% at 2pm IMO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lot of BS from a lotta folks who have never seen nor experienced Calamity Wholesale.

Here's a few factoids.

1. NOLA had evac'd for Ivan in 04, and Dennis in 05, weeks after Cat 1 Cindy Struck.


2. The Storm came at the end of the month when folks, many poor and had no means to Evacuate.

3. The only memories of the last Major to Hit NOLA was Betsy in 65..and if you werent at Least 45 in 2005, you didnt have that memory.

4. We lost more to the heat the first 4 days than we lost to water, esp in the Lower 9th, upper 9th and Gentilly..

5.Hard to respond in 7-15 ft of water when the Calvary was slow to get here, but many, many folks did.

I saw it first hand.


6.Take a look at Gustav's response here.
It was a ghost town.


I saw it first hand.

Now NOLA to Mobile has that Living memory seared into our collective minds.

Never again we say.

Never forget as well.

So be wary of what you think you know, and maybe ask or do some research.

..Calamity knows no Borders, only men's minds and map's do.








Member Since: Posts: Comments:
491. yoboi
Quoting jeffs713:

Right, I'm not arguing that. I was specifically talking about "what if the levees held"... that comment, at this time of year, cannot go anyplace good.


yeah we dont need what if's, just learn from what went wrong before.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:

Yep. Many people in the Houston area thought Ike was a cat 4. And it was a Cat 2. But the NWS and NHC was VERY clear about Ike's impacts, and were not only precise, but accurate. (same thing happened with Katrina). Just tells you how important it is to listen to the authorities in those type of situations.

Alot of people have that "Oh Thats not going to Happen To Me" attitude and thats a killer
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jcpoulard:
Did we notice the BLOB south of DR it increase in size since this morning and wind shear is very low in this area. Any developement ?



Don't expect any :P
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Quoting Pocamocca:
I won't post beyond this (168 hours), because it's simply too far out in advance. But GFS is suggesting a rather strong TS taking advantage of the extraordinarily high TCHP and organizing nicely. Also movement is very slow and very near Jamaica on it's way to Grand Cayman.


Noooooooooo!.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
but thats jasoniscoolman for ya


Which one? LOL. Remember there were like 70 of those.
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Quoting doabarrelroll:
I wonder how may people realize that Katrina was not a Cat 5 at landfall... I know it wa sa flood event but most people assume it was a Cat 5

Patrap usually calls it cat 4--actually was cat 3--but the SS category does not match the surge it generated.
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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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