Ernesto hit the Windward Islands; 128.5°F in Kuwait

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:49 PM GMT on August 03, 2012

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Tropical Storm Ernesto lashed the Windward Islands with strong winds and heavy rain early this morning, as it passed over St. Lucia near 7 am AST. Ernesto brought sustained winds of 43 mph to Barbados at 7 am AST, and sustained winds of 41 mph, gusting to 63 mph to St. Lucia at 6:15 am AST. Ernesto looks moderately well-organized on Martinique radar, with spiral bands to the north and south feeding into an echo-free center. Ernesto is beginning to show more organization on visible satellite loops, with the very limited heavy thunderstorm activity near its center now expanding, spiral banding increasing, and an upper-level outflow channel developing to the north. Ernesto is fighting moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and water vapor satellite loops show a large area of dry air to the west. Strong upper level winds from the west are driving this dry air into the core of the storm, disrupting it. It appears, though, that Ernesto has fended off the most serious challenges to its survival, as the pressure has fallen to 1002 mb, and the storm's appearance on radar and satellite is gradually improving. The latest 7:30 am center report from the Hurricane Hunters also indicated that Ernesto was beginning to build an eyewall.


Figure 1. Radar image of Ernesto at 9:15 am EDT August 3, 2012. Image credit: Meteo France.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Ernesto.

Forecast for Ernesto
Ernesto's survival into today means that the storm now potentially poses a formidable threat to the Western Caribbean. Wind shear is expected to drop to the low range, 5 - 10 knots, later today, and remain low for the next five days, according to the 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model. With the storm entering a moister environment with increasing heat energy in the ocean, the official NHC forecast of Ernesto reaching hurricane strength by early Monday morning near Jamaica is a reasonable one. The reliable computer models predict a west to west-northwest motion through the Caribbean, with the storm's heavy rains staying south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The more southerly path predicted by the usually reliable ECMWF model, which brings Ernesto to a landfall in Belize on Wednesday, is being weighted less heavily by NHC, since they are assuming Ernesto will stay stronger than the ECMWF model is forecasting. Once Ernesto enters the Central Caribbean on Sunday, the storm's outer spiral bands will likely cause flooding problems in Southwest Haiti, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. Of the major dynamical models NHC uses operationally--the ECMWF, GFS, NOGAPS, UKMET, GFDL, and HWRF--none clearly show Ernesto reaching hurricane strength in the Caribbean. However, some of the best statistical models, such as the LGEM and SHIPS, do show Ernesto becoming a hurricane in the Caribbean. By Monday, a trough of low pressure passing to the storm's north may be capable of turning Ernesto more to the northwest, resulting in the storm entering the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week.

New African tropical disturbance 90L
A strong tropical wave is located just off the coast of Africa, about 175 miles south of the Cape Verde Islands. This disturbance, designated Invest 90L by NHC Friday morning, is headed west-northwest at 10 - 15 mph. Wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots over 90L, but is expected to drop, and water temperatures are warm enough to support development. NHC gave 90L a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning in their 8 am Friday Tropical Weather Outlook.

Kuwait hits 53.6°C (128.5°F): 2nd hottest temperature in Asian history
An extraordinary high temperature of 53.6°C (128.5°F) was recorded in Sulaibya, Kuwait on July 31, the hottest temperature in Kuwait's history, and the 2nd hottest temperature ever measured in Asia. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, Sulaibya is in a location well-suited for recording extreme high temperatures, since high sand dunes surround the site, keeping the wind low and hampering sea breezes from cooling the city. Most record books list the 54°C (129.2°F) recorded on 21 June 1942 in Tirat Zvi Israel as the site of Asia's all-time maximum temperature, but this record is disputed. The previous second warmest temperature in Asian history was set 53.5°C (128.3°F) at MohenjuDaro, Pakistan on May 26, 2010.

Extreme heat in Oklahoma
The most intense and widespread heat wave in Oklahoma since August, 1936 brought more than half of the state temperatures of 110° or higher for the second consecutive day on Thursday. The temperature at the Oklahoma City airport hit 112°, for the 2nd day in a row. These are the city's 2nd highest temperatures since record keeping began in 1890. The only hotter day was August 11, 1936, when the temperature hit 113°. Thursday's temperatures in Oklahoma were generally a degree or two cooler than Wednesday's, with the hottest temperature reported a 116° reading from a location just south of Tulsa International Airport. The highest reading Thursday at any major airport was a 114° temperature at Tulsa Jones Airport. Oklahoma's all-time state record is 120°, set in Tipton on June 27, 1994, and at three locations in 1936. Freedom, in the northwest part of the state, hit 121° on Wednesday, but this reading will need to be reviewed to see if the sensor was properly sited.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I wonder why Ernesto has not strengthened despite its very nice signature on satellite.


RTS says he had to spend the night over cold water, and as of 5a EDT he was still doing 18mph. Maybe once he finds a nice warm spot he'll slow down and breathe some.
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Good Morning.
Ernesto looks great. Strange how recon hasn't found any stronger winds.
Here's the radar from the ABC islands, not sure if it'll be of use.

Link to radar
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Quoting yonzabam:


Happened all last year. Storms were unusually slow to strengthen. Lack of vertical instability throughout the region one factor.


Instability is not an issue here. You can see that by the large area of thunderstorms. Ernesto's issue is in the SW part of his circulation where the trade winds are causing the wind to so slow on that part of the circulation. This is keeping the circulation from wrapping up completely and thus keeping the pressures from lowering.
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Quoting allancalderini:
Yucatan is Almost a guarantee hit.
i think it will shoot the gap.
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im expecting a cat 2 by tomorrow afternoon,a major monday from ernesto,should track nnw thru the yucatan channel imo
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4850. Patrap
12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks

Ernesto

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Early Model Wind Forecasts

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I wonder why Ernesto has not strengthened despite its very nice signature on satellite.




Because that's not a nice signature on satellite.

It has a big hole of dry air on it's northern side, which wraps all the way around to the west and the CoC.




You can also see some of this on the PR radar.

Big dry pocket
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I believe Ernesto will be a cane before end of day today. Still think most of the models are underestimating his future strength, thus their more southerly track. I still believe Ernesto will end up in the SE Gulf as a Cat 2 or 3 and ultimately affect the area between Pensacola and New Orleans. The 6z GFDL and HWRF models are beginning to shift that way as well.
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Yea.. I just saw the ATCF update.

That's really strange, something in Ernesto really isn't clicking right. Titled perhaps?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I wonder why Ernesto has not strengthened despite its very nice signature on satellite.

the more weaker the more south he goes right?
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4467
Quoting MississippiWx:
Ernesto looks to be a lot weaker than its satellite presentation. This is one odd storm. When the HH investigated the SW part of the circulation, the winds were very weak (5kts or so) which probably means Ernesto is staying at the status quo. Recon still needs to investigate the NE quad, but not finding any pressures lower than 1006mb is a red flag that this is not a very strong system.


Happened all last year. Storms were unusually slow to strengthen. Lack of vertical instability throughout the region one factor.
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Quoting allancalderini:
Yucatan is Almost a guarantee hit.

Not really.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32860
Quoting MississippiWx:
Ernesto looks to be a lot weaker than its satellite presentation. This is one odd storm. When the HH investigated the SW part of the circulation, the winds were very weak (5kts or so) which probably means Ernesto is staying at the status quo. Recon still needs to investigate the NE quad, but not finding any pressures lower than 1006mb is a red flag that this is not a very strong system.

With all the Hot towers on SAT you would think this storm is strengthening.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2556
4841. Patrap
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I wonder why Ernesto has not strengthened despite its very nice signature on satellite.



Images are decieving. Recon has not found lower pressures and higher winds.
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Navy COAMPS


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Quoting mobileshadow:
Mexico bound

Yucatan is Almost a guarantee hit.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4467
Quoting superpete:


Hmmm As wide as from P.R. to the coast of Venezuela.....and growing
Good morning Pete. You ready ?
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4835. Patrap

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 4th day of the month at 12:44Z
Date: August 4, 2012
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 309)
Storm Number: 05
Storm Name: Ernesto (flight in the North Atlantic basin)

Mission Number: 4

Observation Number: 17

12:45:00Z 14.917N 68.733W 843.3 mb

(~ 24.90 inHg) 1,564 meters
(~ 5,131 feet) 1008.3 mb
(~ 29.78 inHg) - From 64° at 26 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 29.9 mph) 19.5°C
(~ 67.1°F) 10.5°C
(~ 50.9°F) 26 knots
(~ 29.9 mph) 19 knots
(~ 21.8 mph) 0 mm/hr
(~ 0 in/hr) 19.0 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
73.1%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor

HDOB Observations

Independent Calculations from Tropical Atlantic

At 12:35:30Z (first observation), the observation was 292 miles (470 km) to the SSE (159°) from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

At 12:45:00Z (last observation), the observation was 258 miles (415 km) to the SSE (163°) from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
I wonder why Ernesto has not strengthened despite its very nice signature on satellite.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32860
Ernesto looks to be a lot weaker than its satellite presentation. This is one odd storm. When the HH investigated the SW part of the circulation, the winds were very weak (5kts or so) which probably means Ernesto is staying at the status quo. Recon still needs to investigate the NE quad, but not finding any pressures lower than 1006mb is a red flag that this is not a very strong system.
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4832. GetReal
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Quoting Articuno:

That's for invests..
It did develop, didn't it?



Yeah, but the same principle applies anyway.

There's a reason for the rule, which has to do with air moving over Mexico and Central America and the way it sinks over the eastern Caribbean. It still tends to inhibit intensification.

The physics doesn't change that much, and if the latest pressure is to be believed, it's really a borderline TD/TS pressure again anyway.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Ernesto is starting to become a large tropical cyclone with spiral banding becoming increasingly better organized.


But so far recon has not found lower pressures or high winds.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Ernesto is starting to become a large tropical cyclone with spiral banding becoming increasingly better organized.

But scroll down and look at Nea's post... -.-
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Quoting GetReal:


Hmmm As wide as from P.R. to the coast of Venezuela.....and growing
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Ernesto is starting to become a large tropical cyclone with spiral banding becoming increasingly better organized.


Uhhh the global models don't agree with ur logic ;/
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Mexico bound

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4824. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42265
91L may have a chance of becoming a depression after crossing Florida as the shear is relaxing.
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Ernesto is starting to become a large tropical cyclone with spiral banding becoming increasingly better organized.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Blog sorta slowed a bit.
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Morning all...

Quoting MoeWest:
Urrnesto
Photobucket
Where is this?
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'll let a local answer that question, but I have been there a couple times and I want to mention that their method of construction seems much sturdier than ours here in America. Most homes are made completely of poured concrete, and assuming you're not right near the coast, you're probably going to survive most storms unscathed.

How did the islanders do during Ivan?
We had catastrophic damage but only 2 lives lost which could have been avoided. One wanted to ride it out on his boat and the other came outside to see what was going on and was hit in the chest with flying debris.
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4816. Patrap
TFP's and ZOOM are active

Ernesto Long Floater - RBTOP Color Imagery Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting altesticstorm2012:
We desperately need Ike, Drak, Adrian, Weather456 in here... all the good regs for times like these.

Oh, and STORMTOP for the lulz.


Adrian will say it will open up to a wave and dissipate... :P
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Quoting altesticstorm2012:
Where do the Cayman Islanders evacuate to?
I'll let a local answer that question, but I have been there a couple times and I want to mention that their method of construction seems much sturdier than ours here in America. Most homes are made completely of poured concrete, and assuming you're not right near the coast, you're probably going to survive most storms unscathed.

How did the islanders do during Ivan?
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Quoting RTSplayer:


He used to loosely say, "If it hasn't developed before it enters the eastern Caribbean it won't develope until it enters the western Caribbean."

That's for invests..
It did develop, didn't it?
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2556
4812. Patrap
Quoting biloxibob:
Are you thinking a more northerly track?


I tend to keep my thoughts on Track to myself as to not cause er, "conflict".

But the Dynamic Trends are close the last 3 runs.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129903
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


whats the john hope rule?


He used to loosely say, "If it hasn't developed before it enters the eastern Caribbean it won't develope until it enters the western Caribbean."
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Levi may have nailed the intensity forecast. Will see over the next 12hrs.
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Quoting Patrap:


The Trend is holding there, and the obs as well, as far as track out 36,the Divergence is still there, but when Ernesto becomes a Cane and those G-4 Sniffs input, we should see some consensus forming. By Mon, Tues.


I agree, the models need a boost from the aircraft.
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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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