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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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I say 99L track like hurricane Emily
What year of Hurricane Emily?
*checks records*
ahhh...you must mean the 2005 version.
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385. MahFL
Quoting Pocamocca:

Thank you.


"Some levees might be overtopped" does not equal what actually happened, hence the "your luck ran out " scenero, in that piticular case. My father in law lost his house in Long Beach MS, and he had no idea the water would even come upto his house, let alone the 28 ft of water that left only the slab in place, and he's lived there for decades. A cousin a few blocks further inland had to escape out of the first floor window into a truck to escape with his life, though to be honest he was taking some risk staying there imho. Lesson..., if massive ex cat5 is heading your way and you live near the coast, leave town......
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Quoting MahFL:


What about the poor though, who stayed and died, would you call them stupid ?


Have you ever been outside the French Quarter in New Orleans?

Nothing was going to save many who died.
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Quoting Pocamocca:
Meanwhile...

12Z GFS at 72 hours out.

Florence is that you by the cape verde islands?.Lol.
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Quoting Pocamocca:
Meanwhile...

12Z GFS at 72 hours out.

..puts it real close to south america huh
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Quoting MahFL:


What about the poor though, who stayed and died, would you call them stupid ?

No, I never said anything about stupidity. that would fall under "blind faith". Blind faith of the government that all would be OK. Blind faith by the people that all would be OK, and the government would take care of them even if the government didn't know they were there.

The response after Katrina was a HUGE part of the disaster. Preparing your kit based on one storm, while a good exercise in "worst possible case", isn't the best suggestion. The best suggestion is to prepare for what you know you can handle. For some, that may mean riding out everything up to a cat 2. For others (like me, who lives 80 miles inland, at 154' ASL), that means preparing for everything, including a cat 5, and up to 10 days without food/water/resupply.

Also, and I can't stress this enough - talk with your neighbors. Coordinate your supplies and plans. You'd be amazed how much more prepared you are when you're coordinated with your neighbor. For example, my wife and I have the grill, medical supplies, and much of the food. My neighbor across the street has weapons (to prevent looting), the generator, chainsaw, additional food supplies, and a satellite phone. They also have access to additional supplies via their work (a major railroad).
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5891
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This ASCAT site has been unavailable for four days. What is going on?

I just got on the page:)
ASCAT is working for me now
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
that would be to mature for him to handele
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Quoting jascott1967:


I keep a small ax in my zombie apocalypse kit :) that and a bat for double tap.


and I hope you have plenty of cardio..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16215
.................................west coast sea breeze kicking in now..breezy outside
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I say 99L track like hurricane Emily
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Quoting MahFL:


What about the poor though, who stayed and died, would you call them stupid ?

No, just the ones that refused to leave when they were capable. The 1,833 people that were killed weren't all poor.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32720
Quoting jeffs713:

The warnings were up for a very strong hurricane to hit your area, and your area happens to be at or below sea level. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it is time to get out. Only blind faith and willful ignorance are reasons why people with means would stay in that kind of situation.

Yes, I'm terribly blunt with this, but my point is that there is absolutely no excuse for someone who lives in a hurricane zone to be unprepared. Income isn't an issue, as there are government programs and community resources that are designed specifically to help in that kind of situation. It absolutely is tragic. And it is absolutely necessary to be prepared. A small hatchet *is* a good idea, I never implied that it wasn't. I only mentioned what my personal kit includes, as a separate option.


Jeff..when I see you suggest the govt programs about evacuation and then I remember all those buses in flooded waters that could have taken so many people away from harm..I just dont remember it as you do..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16215
Run after run for a few days now, GFS has been keeping 99L weak ad on a West path. Very consistent, the new 12Z run shows the same.
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Quoting MahFL:


What about the poor though, who stayed and died, would you call them stupid ?
I would call them abandoned.
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This ASCAT site has been unavailable for four days. What is going on?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32720
Quoting ncstorm:


let it go...they dont get it..until they are walking in someone's else shoes, then they can appreciate different walks of life..it was very apparent a lot of people stayed because of lack of transportation and income..
Agreed.
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Quoting ncstorm:
People..have a small Ax in your hurricane kit..flooding dosent just happen in major hurricanes and not everyone evacuates for a Category two or 3..I know I didnt..



I keep a small ax in my zombie apocalypse kit :) that and a bat for double tap.
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Quoting MahFL:


What about the poor though, who stayed and died, would you call them stupid ?


let it go...they dont get it..until they are walking in someone's else shoes, then they can appreciate different walks of life..it was very apparent a lot of people stayed because of lack of transportation and income..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16215
99L is currently having some technical difficulties....
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12Z GFS @ 42 hrs!
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359. MahFL
Quoting jeffs713:

The warnings were up for a very strong hurricane to hit your area, and your area happens to be at or below sea level. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it is time to get out. Only blind faith and willful ignorance are reasons why people with means would stay in that kind of situation.


What about the poor though, who stayed and died, would you call them stupid ?
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Have to go now. Back later
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So all of you rooting for a northerly track...

That would more than likely kill it within days.

The southern route is it's best bet to become anything significant.
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ULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
1156 AM EDT WED AUG 1 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON NY HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
QUEENS COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK...
RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND) COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK...
KINGS (BROOKLYN) COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK...

* UNTIL 200 PM EDT...

* AT 1147 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR
INDICATED FLASH FLOODING FROM THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WARNED AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

AT 1154 AM...RADAR ESTIMATES 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAIN HAD ALREADY
FALLEN NEAR THE VERRAZANO NARROWS BRIDGE...AND ALSO IN THE FOREST
HILLS AND JAMAICA SECTIONS OF QUEENS. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF
1 TO 2 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WARNED AREA.

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.

FLOODING IS OCCURRING OR IS IMMINENT. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN
AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER
COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY DEEPER THAN THEY
APPEAR. JUST ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO SWEEP
VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS MAKE THE
SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS

CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.

1100 AM EDT WED 01 AUGUST 2012

SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)

VALID 02/1100Z TO 03/1100Z AUGUST 2012

TCPOD NUMBER.....12-075


1. SUSPECT AREA.....APPROACHING THE LESSER ANTILLES

FLIGHT ONE -TEAL 70-

A. 02/1800Z

B. AFXXX 01BBA INVEST

C. 02/1530Z

D. 12.4N 54.4W

E. 02/1730Z TO 02/2030Z

F. SFC TO 10,000 FT



FLIGHT TWO -TEAL 72-

A. 03/0600, 1200Z

B. AFXXX 0205A CYCLONE

C. 03/0400Z

D. 13.0N 57.5W

E. 03/0530Z TO 03/1200Z

F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXED


DEFINITELY NORTH
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Quoting islander101010:
cv.wave.is.coming.back..female


For some reason everytime I read your comments with the periods between each word I think of Stephen Hawking.
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Quoting Grothar:


Who would think a little tail could cause so much trouble?


Historically, its been known to be the downfall of many, including tropical systems in their formative stages LOL
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Quoting MahFL:


Or too poor, or you had no idea the canal wall would fail and flood your city, or no one really told you a 28 ft storm surge would occur where non had occured in living memory. Sometimes though, your luck just runs out.....

"COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 18 TO 22 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE
LEVELS...LOCALLY AS HIGH AS 28 FEET...ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS
BATTERING WAVES...CAN BE EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE
CENTER MAKES LANDFALL. SOME LEVEES IN THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA
COULD BE OVERTOPPED. SIGNIFICANT STORM SURGE FLOODING WILL OCCUR
ELSEWHERE ALONG THE CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO COAST."
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32720
011430Z AUG 12
FM FWC-N
BT
UNCLAS
MSGID/NLMC/OVLY2/0087/AUG
OVLY/TCFA/011430Z9/AUG/1OF1/TCFA AL9912/METOC
LINE/2//G/104800N3/0470000W1/111200N5/0530000W8
LINE/2//G/122400N9/0465400W9/090600N5/0471200W4
LINE/2//G/090600N5/0471200W4/093000N2/0531200W1
LINE/2//G/093000N2/0531200W1/124800N5/0525400W6
LINE/2//G/124800N5/0525400W6/122400N9/0465400W9
TEXT/20//G/080600N4/0500000W5/TCFA AL9912
TEXT/20//G/070600N3/0500000W5/VALID UNTIL 021430Z
TEXT/20//G/060600N2/0500000W5/WINDS: 20-30 KTS
TEXT/20//G/050600N1/0500000W5/MVG: WNW AT 15 KNOTS
ENDAT
BT
#0001
NNNN

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55670
Quoting MahFL:


Or too poor, or you had no idea the canal wall would fail and flood your city, or no one really told you a 28 ft storm surge would occur where non had occured in living memory. Sometimes though, your luck just runs out.....

The warnings were up for a very strong hurricane to hit your area, and your area happens to be at or below sea level. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it is time to get out. Only blind faith and willful ignorance are reasons why people with means would stay in that kind of situation.

Yes, I'm terribly blunt with this, but my point is that there is absolutely no excuse for someone who lives in a hurricane zone to be unprepared. Income isn't an issue, as there are government programs and community resources that are designed specifically to help in that kind of situation. It absolutely is tragic. And it is absolutely necessary to be prepared. A small hatchet *is* a good idea, I never implied that it wasn't. I only mentioned what my personal kit includes, as a separate option.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5891
Quoting MahFL:


Or too poor, or you had no idea the canal wall would fail and flood your city, or no one really told you a 28 ft storm surge would occur where non had occured in living memory. Sometimes though, your luck just runs out.....


sometimes people need to think outside their own circumstances..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16215
Quoting Pocamocca:

Doubt it's dry air...


The "center" is on the NW side of the deep convection in this image. Moisture content falls off dramatically in that immediate area.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

If you're stuck in the attic it probably means you were stupid enough not to evacuate in the first place..
Or you probably couldn't afford it....
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Very knowledgable Met on another site
(Worth the read)


"That convective organization is not a given yet. We are still in the middle of a battle for synoptic pattern dominance. In one corner, we have a strong upper level trough thats still inducing significant westerly shear over the Atlantic basin, especially between 40-60W 15N and above. On the other, we have a significant convectively coupled kevin wave (CCKW) which should enhance upper level easterlies after its passage. As many people have already mentioned this morning, the track of 99L is becoming critically important. A track further south will likely keep it away from the strongest shear of the TUTT, while allowing it to take advantage of the easterly flow and upper level divergence of the CCKW. However, this might make its track across the Caribbean more difficult hugging the South American coastline where the low-level easterly flow is strongest. On the flip side, if the storm goes too far north, the upper level westerlies will almost certainly rip it apart and decouple the low/mid level circulation centers. However, it might have a chance to better survive in the Caribbean and re-develop in the Western Caribbean."
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343. MahFL
Quoting Autistic2:
I thought that between 0-10 n there was not enough spin to get a storm going.


It's at 12 so your comment is irrelevent.
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People..have a small Ax in your hurricane kit..flooding dosent just happen in major hurricanes and not everyone evacuates for a Category two or 3..I know I didnt..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16215
Quoting kmanislander:


Notice too that the "tail" of vorticity off to the SW that has existed for several days is now almost gone. This suggests consolidation which should lead to a closed low very soon, if not already. The overall appearance is still somewhat ragged though and it seems to be fighting off less than ideal upper air conditions at the moment.


Who would think a little tail could cause so much trouble?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27125
..FOLKS>>A TORNADO WARNING..............ULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
1134 AM EDT WED AUG 1 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WAKEFIELD HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL ACCOMACK COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA...

* UNTIL NOON EDT

* AT 1129 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
WATERSPOUT THAT CAME ONSHORE. THIS DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED 8
MILES NORTH OF PARKSLEY...OR 11 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CRISFIELD. THE
TORNADIC STORM WAS MOVING NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

* THIS DANGEROUS STORM WILL AFFECT MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF NORTH
CENTRAL ACCOMACK COUNTY...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS
SAXIS AND SANFORD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE... OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.



LAT...LON 3787 7562 3785 7569 3787 7570 3788 7570
3790 7572 3792 7573 3795 7566 3794 7565
TIME...MOT...LOC 1533Z 226DEG 2KT 3790 7568



44
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Quoting kmanislander:


Does it matter why it is exposed ?. Could be due to dry air ingestion or the surface low outrunning the convection. Could even be a combination of factors. Whatever the reason an exposed center is a short term set back.


No, it doesn't matter. However, it has been partially exposed all morning.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
338. MahFL
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

If you're stuck in the attic it probably means you were stupid enough not to evacuate in the first place..


Or too poor, or you had no idea the canal wall would fail and flood your city, or no one really told you a 28 ft storm surge would occur where non had occured in living memory. Sometimes though, your luck just runs out.....
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Quoting Grothar:


No one reads it, why should I bother. By the way, who was the guy who wrote this morning that the next blow-up of convection would be in the NW quadrant??



I read your blogs.
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cv.wave.is.coming.back..female
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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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