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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3807. JLPR2
Quoting viman:
Antigua - wind gusts to 45
St. Thomas - 43
St. Croix - 36
St. Maarten - 36
Not bad considering how far away Ernesto is...
Currently gustin pretty good right in a band of showers that's rolling thru... Must be about 35-40mph....


San Juan, PR got a 35mph gust.
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I always like to watch Bruce Katz from WGNO-New Orleans because he give scenarios on where the storm could go. One shows it heading west towards Mexico/Texas, but he said that it could also come north towards us depending on the dip coming south (not sure of the correct wording). Hope it doesn't follow that path!
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Good evening all, I stuck my head in here a few weeks ago. Lurking since, Considering how "slow" the Atlantic has been over the past few weeks this is surely a change of pace.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Dry air and shear, at least that's the NHC's thinking.

I wouldn't be that surprised if it managed to fight off the dry air, but the shear ahead isn't friendly.


Thanks.... Like always we expect that to happen.... That is why, being just a TD the trayectory is adjusted more S....
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It makes sense to see Ernesto's cloud tops warming just a bit this evening. It is diurnal minimum after all. Just as long as they don't dissipate much, the storm will be fine.

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3802. viman
Antigua - wind gusts to 45
St. Thomas - 43
St. Croix - 36
St. Maarten - 36
Not bad considering how far away Ernesto is...
Currently gustin pretty good right in a band of showers that's rolling thru... Must be about 35-40mph....
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91L will not weaken much more through the night. I think organization will increase and tomorrow morning we will see an orange circle if not a red. A TD between Florida and Cuba will form tomorrow imo and head toward the NW. I've really been abusing the fresca, so take it for what it's worth.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting Thrawst:


Wise words from a fellow Bahamian :')
How are you Baha?
hey... thought u were gone... good comments on the wx here yesterday... I got in very late fr. FLL because of it. Amazing 2 see lightning fr. the air...
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I spent three hours on this blog. :/
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Quoting DataNerd:



Lol wow that spread is awful.
Texas is pretty much protected, strong High pressure dominating this state, over 100 here every day and I have seen a cloud in almost 3 weeks. I would say Ernesto will go to Mexico or East of Texas but I know little except that high pressure is kicking most of this state's butt again.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


FTFY


I think some of that is because Ernesto is just now slowing down. I think once the upper level cyclone catches up with him he'll become much more vertically stacked and then it's good to go. I would also imagine this would happen about the time he starts to see those 82-86 SST's. Past that, the gulf is looking mighty nice for him to.
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3795. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:
From Storm to Depresion?... Why?



Dry air and shear, at least that's the NHC's thinking.

I wouldn't be that surprised if it managed to fight off the dry air, but the shear ahead isn't friendly.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Until it weakened right dramatically thereafter. XD

I'm done using the global models to forecast track and intensity of a storm.



Now now they do well sometimes just not this year.
Member Since: June 24, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1534
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Quoting Chicklit:
That wave over Africa is the biggest honkin wave I have ever seen.
looks like it beats even that Walmart wave from afew years ago...
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


FTFY


LOL...thanks.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10189
Quoting MississippiWx:
Cloud tops have warmed off again this evening near the center. Probably proves that Ernesto is still a moderate strength tropical storm that doesn't have hurricane ambitions yet. He has been falling apart at night a bit, opposite to what tropical systems normally do. However, convection is igniting in a rather nice band to the east of the center. It's the best spiral band yet for Ernesto and if it can wrap into the center, it could be what is needed to begin the eye formation process.



FTFY
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3789. cg2916
Ernesto now has a spiral band ahead of it going into the dry air.

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.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10189
From Storm to Depresion?... Why?

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Quoting Twinkster:
Joe Bastardi just said this on twitter: "Convective blow up over Ernesto may be dry entrainment bursting, we will know tomorrow I have seen this many times, may not be what u think"


what does everyone think of this possibility. My take on Ernesto is track will be further north than NHC currently has it, short term it will I don't see Ernesto getting stronger than a strong TS with the dry air to its west. I actually like the NHC intensity forecast


Kind of makes sense considering it collapsed and bands formed around the center after the strong convection collapsed.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10189
Quoting JLPR2:


No surprise there, the GFS simply doesn't want anything to strengthen.

At least Ernesto's initialization seemed alright.

Until it weakened right dramatically thereafter. XD

I'm done using the global models to forecast track and intensity of a storm.
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3784. SLU
Ernesto looks stronger than 50mph relative to how horrible it looked this morning at 45mph given the burst of convection tonight. But it does indeed have the cloud pattern of a typical 50mph TS in the deep tropics. No way this is a 65 - 70mph storm. There's not enough large bands wrapping around the system nor a well consolidated inner core convective mass. (CDO). I agree with the NHC.
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Quoting altesticstorm2012:
Don't really get why the NHC is downcasting TD 6..they should be in for a rude awakening soon.

They aren't downcasting at all... Alot of things are working against it... SST's and shear being the major issues... This does not mean you should count it out what so ever later on however
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3782. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The darn model initiated TD Six too weak!


No surprise there, the GFS simply doesn't want anything to strengthen.

At least Ernesto's initialization seemed alright.
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Joe Bastardi just said this on twitter: "Convective blow up over Ernesto may be dry entrainment bursting, we will know tomorrow I have seen this many times, may not be what u think"


what does everyone think of this possibility. My take on Ernesto is track will be further north than NHC currently has it, short term it will I don't see Ernesto getting stronger than a strong TS with the dry air to its west. I actually like the NHC intensity forecast
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Quoting RitaEvac:
As of now Jamaica is north of the storm
I don't expect Jamaica to move so from here on in it's up to Ernesto.
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From the NHC's discussion on TD6:

IT APPEARS THAT THE GENESIS OF THIS CYCLONE WAS AIDED BY THE INTERACTION OF THE WESTWARD MOVING TROPICAL WAVE WITH AN EASTWARD MOVING CONVECTIVELY-COUPLED KELVIN WAVE AS DEPICTED BY ANALYSES FROM SUNY-ALBANY.


I encourage you all to check out Mike Ventrice's website. He provides the convectively-coupled kelvin wave analyses at SUNY-Albany the NHC is referring to. It's a pretty cool site, cool graphics like you'd see on Janiga or Maue's websites, and he even issues forecasts for the waves.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
also some of the best / most experienced @ NHC.

I wouldn't say Avila was all that conservative... u guys haven't seen him in action....


yah i guess
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Quoting JLPR2:
And the 00z GFS starts.


The darn model initiated TD Six too weak!
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Quoting Chicklit:

massive thing.
Anyway, I have a feeling Ernie will still be around in the morning. Night all.

Yes.. may as well call a HH run over Gordon while he's still close to airports! I've never seen Africa amass that much moisture.
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3775. JLPR2
Seriously? At 27hrs TD 6 is stronger than Ernesto.



I have lost all faith in the GFS. xD
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3774. cg2916
Quoting JLPR2:
And the 00z GFS starts.



Did it finally initialize properly?
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Quoting Chicklit:

massive thing.
Anyway, I have a feeling Ernie will still be around in the morning. Night all.


Looks like September morning....
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Ernesto continues to look better organized. It baffles me that the NHC would leave it at 50mph. This is probably at 60-70mph by now. I expect Ernesto to be nearing hurricane intensity by daybreak. I hope recon doesn't malfunction again...
That was a bit unfortunate because a lot of us were following along and just when that happened the storm had developed a nice CDO. I'm sure there are stronger winds.
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3771. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Ernesto continues to look better organized. It baffles me that the NHC would leave it at 50mph. This is probably at 60-70mph by now. I expect Ernesto to be nearing hurricane intensity by daybreak. I hope recon doesn't malfunction again...
likly G-IV missions detail info
they knew it was taking off and got out to find better info later
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Not much rain for us... Maybe some tomorow morning... thats all.... Then, our eyes should be on TD6, looks scary with that new adjustment in trayectory...

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Quoting MississippiWx:
Cloud tops have cooled off again this evening near the center. Probably proves that Ernesto is still a moderate strength tropical storm that doesn't have hurricane ambitions yet. He has been falling apart at night a bit, opposite to what tropical systems normally do. However, convection is igniting in a rather nice band to the east of the center. It's the best spiral band yet for Ernesto and if it can wrap into the center, it could be what is needed to begin the eye formation process.



microwave is showing an eyewall forming
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


top names are landsea and avila in my opinion..they just sound cool
also some of the best / most experienced @ NHC.

I wouldn't say Avila was all that conservative... u guys haven't seen him in action....
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3767. fsumet
Quoting altesticstorm2012:
3747... dust is overrated, and if it develops an anticyclone it can fend off the shear, like Ernesto.


The largest SAL this summer is coming off the coast now. The SSTs would barely support a TS in 2 days anyway, plus shear of 30-50 knots would kill any storm. It isn't going to survive because you want it to. It is going to die due to the surrounding horrible conditions. The one that will be fun to watch is the one behind it.
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3766. JLPR2
And the 00z GFS starts.

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Cloud tops have warmed up again this evening near the center. Probably proves that Ernesto is still a moderate strength tropical storm that doesn't have hurricane ambitions yet. He has been falling apart at night a bit, opposite to what tropical systems normally do. However, convection is igniting in a rather nice band to the east of the center. It's the best spiral band yet for Ernesto and if it can wrap into the center, it could be what is needed to begin the eye formation process.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10189
Quoting sunlinepr:


It could be called Gordon.... Very gordita....

massive thing.
Anyway, I have a feeling Ernie will still be around in the morning. Night all.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Can't believe u guys don't know Landsea... u guys r basing forecasts on his findings and using his hurricane database revision info all the time...


i know him.. mainly because i like the name

i generally never read who wrote what
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Quoting altesticstorm2012:
Don't really get why the NHC is downcasting TD 6..they should be in for a rude awakening soon.


Maybe it is that they want to give quality attention to each one (like in a hospital)... Ernesto is first.... Florence... Ms. Florence.... Mr. Gordon...
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4000 comments today, nice. WU is the standard for the skinny even before the NHC say's so. NHC is the standard the world lives up to. Those guy's are the best. Levi and many of our younguns here will be the future of the NHC. When I'm losing faith in the youth of America I only need to log on to WU to see that it is not so. GeorgiaStormz thanks for questioning me so often, it just upsets me how often your right.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
3760. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
the quickening
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Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS - Total Precipitable Water (MIMIC-TPW):

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So i need a pros opinion on a system such as Ernesto. My question once a developing system like Ernesto comes together and it continues to intensify doesn't the storm wan't to pull poleward at say cat 2 strength and greater?
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Quoting AllStar17:


Oh, I don't. I have no idea who Landsea is. But Stewart is notoriously aggressive in his forecasts. And, actually, I'd rather have an aggressive forecast not pan out than a weak forecast be totally incorrect.
Can't believe u guys don't know Landsea... u guys r basing forecasts on his findings and using his hurricane database revision info all the time...
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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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