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 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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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...
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Quoting Chicklit:
That wave over Africa is the biggest honkin wave I have ever seen.


It could be called Gordon.... Very gordita....
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Ernesto has developed an impressive CDO this evening, even in the wake of the convective diurnal minimum. Outflow is slightly limited to the western side. Nonetheless, outflow on the eastern half of the storm is impressive, and upper level winds (and resulting shear) is light. The CDO pattern reflects this as it has blossomed since this morning, increasing in intensity and coverage. Microwave imagery shows no evidence of an eyewall forming at the moment, but should the CDO keep up over night it could build up a core ring of thunderstorms forming an eyewall.

Looking out ahead at the storm's environment, there is dry air ahead of the system, but the storm is surrounded in a healthy plume of moist air for the time being. Also, the circulation is weaker on the western and southwestern side and trade winds in the central Caribbean are still accelerating slightly. This has prevented the storm from ingesting the dry air out ahead of it. SST and TCHP are plenty warm. Looking at the upper level environment, upper level winds ahead will remain light, keeping shear low. Divergence may remain slightly limited to the west, but it will be impressive off to the east.

Putting it all together, SSTs and TCHP and the upper level environment are conducive for continued strengthening, even in the "dead zone". There is some dry air ahead of the system and trade winds ahead of the storm do accelerate slightly, but the effects of this are yet to be felt by Ernesto. Therefore, I think a little more intensification is likely until about tomorrow afternoon (still thinking under hurricane intensity). As it gets under Hispaniola, the accelerating trade winds, dry air, and slightly less favorable upper level environment should level off Ernesto or weaken him slightly. Thinking we will see a moderate tropical storm again around this time (50-60MPH storm by Jamaica). Beyond Jamaica, however, the doors open again for intensification.


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3752. Thrawst
Quoting BahaHurican:
u know, the forecast is not that bogus.... don't 4get Andrew, Katrina. both faded in the mid-ATL but came back to be notable storms. it can happen in the 6-10 day period which is not in this forecast.


Wise words from a fellow Bahamian :')
How are you Baha?
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Quoting Tribucanes:
So your not going to bed in the next thirty GeoriaStormz? In the vicinity of though. So 45 or so? :)You may have been right about 91L all along, but I think it's still getting more organized even now.


it will stay there till it dies...almost going to bed means i wont quite be sleeping..that eyewall coming makes me want to stay up
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3749. Thrawst
Ernesto is NOT looking shabby at all.

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Quoting galvestonhurricane:


Which way is Ernie going to go? Take your pick: Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama.



Lol wow that spread is awful.
Member Since: June 24, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1537
3747. fsumet
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 it. The models kill it due to dry air and dust, increasing shear, and cooler SSTs. All negatives for the storm.
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That wave over Africa is the biggest honkin wave I have ever seen.
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91L could be a key factor in Ernestos track... Perhaps a bigger weakness, more northern movement... This is not looking good for the Gulf Coast. Everyone from Alabama to Texas needs to CLOSELY monitor Ernesto. I'm confident recon will find Hurricane Ernesto tomorrow morning IF this trend continues. I need to look at the shear map...
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3743. jeebsa
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Guys,
Hello
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Looks like Ernesto took a 5 hour energy....and is headed for another refuel. Ugh!
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Quoting AllStar17:
Stewart is sitting there cringing at Landsea's TD 6 forecast.
u know, the forecast is not that bogus.... don't 4get Andrew, Katrina. both faded in the mid-ATL but came back to be notable storms. it can happen in the 6-10 day period which is not in this forecast.
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3740. jeebsa
Quoting RitaEvac:


Means guys from refineries here in TX are listening to him
Thats Awesome
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So your not going to bed in the next thirty GeoriaStormz? In the vicinity of though. So 45 or so? :)You may have been right about 91L all along, but I think it's still getting more organized even now.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
And away we go:
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Going to move WSW...? What about posible Gordon behind?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Means guys from refineries here in TX are listening to him

Ironic an Alaskan guy who has never been through a storm should know what he knows, but he does. I'm glad for his success, he's earned it.

Wonder what storm he will pick for his first rodeo.
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Hi Guys,

Ernesto is doing what the NHC thought it would.
Hmmm.
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MS /Alabama landfall.
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As of now Jamaica is north of the storm
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Levi's name is on the street. When you've reached street cred level, you have arrived. I feed Levi all his info. The last sentence may be a complete lie. Please remove the word be and replace may with is. :)
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
tropics chat anyone?


im in but im almost going to bed in 30mins
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gfdl...tampa.threat...no...its.is.e.texas
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3728. 7544
gona be a good dmax tonight for ernie and 91l imo
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Quoting BahaHurican:
but how far down the road? 70mph storm 2morrow could mean something quite different 4 JA...


NW Caribbean, and Yucatan will possibly deal with the event, if it hits Yucatan, of course it weakens, but if it don't well....."Be all you can be"
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tropics chat anyone?
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Which way is Ernie going to go? Take your pick: Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
but how far down the road? 70mph storm 2morrow could mean something quite different 4 JA...


then they will change it tomorrow...bright(or dark) and early
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3723. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting pottery:

I didn't think you did.
Either way, we all hope for nothing too dread, anywhere.

Exciting times though!
not too worry if it is something wicked the exodus will begin word will be sent out


now

we wait watch see
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Thank you lightning.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Don't matter if it's 50mph or 70mph, the real show is down the road and that's what counts
but how far down the road? 70mph storm 2morrow could mean something quite different 4 JA...
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Quoting reedzone:
I didn't expect this when I got home...


Ernesto is nearing Hurricane strength alot quicker then forecast. Will not surprise me to the least that Ernesto hits Hurricane strength tomorrow. I am now forecasting this storm to become a Major Hurricane in the Western Caribbean.
I am afraid you are right on this. I had not expected Ernesto to be this healthy. I hope folks on the Gulf Coast are starting to pay attention. A few days away of course, but this could have some serious impacts next week.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
OMG....brother in law text me and told me to go to tropical tibits.com, it's Levi's site. He doesn't even know about Wunderground or this blog, and I told him I know that guy from this site. Guess Levi is getting around on the web, WOW


Means guys from refineries here in TX are listening to him
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Quoting Astrometeor:
Good night all, see Hurricane Ernesto tomorrow...


hey dont get ahead of yourself..
I hear you guys said the same thing with 2006 Chris..
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3716. fsumet
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hurricane hunters found more than 50 mph winds and along with the GFS and Euro, the HWRF, GFDL, CMC, UKMET, and even the NOGAPS are all reliable models, hence the reason why the NHC is in the middle of the guidance.


The NOGAPS is no longer considered reliable, it was removed in 2011. The CMC was also never considered a reliable model.

"NOGAPS: The U.S. Navy's Navy Operational Global Prediction Center System. Graphics are available at the Navy web site. This model has been performing poorly in recent years compared to the other global models, so it has been removed from the consensus models that the National hurricane Center uses as of 2011."
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OMG....brother in law text me and told me to go to tropical tibits.com, it's Levi's site. He doesn't even know about Wunderground or this blog, and I told him I know that guy from this site. Guess Levi is getting around on the web, WOW
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3714. pottery
Quoting RkptMom:


Did not mean to wish ill upon others by any means...

I didn't think you did.
Either way, we all hope for nothing too dread, anywhere.

Exciting times though!
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Blog has slowed down...
Im tired.
Expect to see the following tomorrow morning:

TS ERNESTO
65 Mph
998 MB
Moving WNW @ 14

TS FLORENCE
40 Mph
1007 MB
Moving WNW @ 18

Invest 91L:
No threat to develop---
20%

Knowing the time I get up every morning, Ernesto might be a hurricane.

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Good night all, see Hurricane Ernesto tomorrow...
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Blog has slowed down...
Im tired.
Expect to see the following tomorrow morning:

TS ERNESTO
65 Mph
998 MB
Moving WNW @ 14

TS FLORENCE
40 Mph
1007 MB
Moving WNW @ 18

Invest 91L:
No threat to develop---
20%


I personally think recon will find a much stronger Ernesto in the morning, perhaps 70-75 mph. I am just literally shocked at this storms progress!
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3710. RkptMom
Quoting pottery:

I am pretty sure you did not mean this to sound the way it does.
I am also very sure that you, in Texas, are FAR better prepared in every way, that the people of Mexico for a strong storm.


Did not mean to wish ill upon others by any means...
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Quoting cg2916: I remember Lixion Avila easily. Landsea I just learned and it is so fitting for his occupation.


Christopher W. Landsea

Christopher W. Landsea (born 1965) is an American meteorologist, formerly a research meteorologist with Hurricane Research Division of Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory at NOAA, and now the Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.">
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Quoting pottery:

I am pretty sure you did not mean this to sound the way it does.
I am also very sure that you, in Texas, are FAR better prepared in every way, that the people of Mexico for a strong storm.


Yes, but there are areas in Mexico that are very sparsely populated. Honestly, a (hopefully) weak hurricane/strong TS going into an area like that would be ideal.
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Here in Dominican republic the national center of meteorologist, has issued yellow alert to the south part of the country.
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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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