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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Well...something has gone wrong with Recon's data.


Looks to be a training flight over Houston.
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Quoting ncstorm:
um..too close for comfort..



Bermuda is in for trouble if that verified.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Next pass will be interesting..

If we start to see that pressure drop thing will get very interesting.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



Looks like a different plane.
Lol, didn't even notice the different coordinates. Thanks.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Looks like Igor as a tropical depression.

Similar location as well.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11665
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
We have a very interesting month ahead of us.



What they come out africa at a so high latitude!!!
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Quoting Levi32:
Some 12z CMC ensembles also have a reasonable idea, at least the two that cross the Yucatan.



That one lone straggler wants to visit all of the gulf states. I love it when ensemble members do funny things.
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Quoting Patrap:
Maybe if we can go back to 1969 and get a few Humpback Whales?..

would that help?

...we gonna need a Big Puter and someone to input those Light Speed calc's

Aye Captain, inputting the calculations now.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Quietly becoming better organized...


Hard to tell for sure, but it certainly has been able to generate some impressive convection.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11665
Looks like Igor as a tropical depression.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31438
2547. amd
Quoting robj144:


How do you get the overall direction for the shear? In your first example, both winds were to the east, but the shear was to the west. Where did that come from? A relative velocity type subtraction, gives inconsistent directions in your two examples.

Also, does the direction of overall shear matter? Is 50 mph to the east have a different affect on a storm than 50 mph to the west?

Thanks.


In the heart of the tropics, many times it is not as simple as a west wind at the 250 mb level and a easterly wind at 850 mb. In the example I used previously, if winds are 20 knots stronger to the east at 850 mb compared to 250 mb, at 850 mb, the storm is being pushed 20 knots faster to the east than at 250 mb. Hence, the convection at the upper levels looks like it is going from west to east because it cannot keep up with the lower levels.

All I am saying here is that the winds do not have to be in opposite directions to induce shear.

Now, for the second question, shear of 50 mph is shear of 50 mph. If the shear was out of the east at 50 mph, then the convection would race ahead to the west in a somewhat linear faction. Sometimes this is seen with waves that leave Africa at low latitudes due to an extension of the African Easterly Jet. If the shear was out of the west at 50 mph, then the convection would be shunted eastward.

For the record, I used the 1st example on purpose because that is going to be Ernesto's biggest problem this weekend in the Central Caribbean. Easterly winds at 850 mb in the Central Caribbean typically race ahead of the upper level winds due to the presence of an area of high pressure in the open Atlantic, the Columbia heat low, and an extra filtering of winds between the mountains of the greater Antilles and the hilly regions that exist near the northern coast of south America.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Well...something has gone wrong with Recon's data.



Looks like a different plane.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10875
Quoting Levi32:


It looks better than I expected it to today, but we're still waiting to see if recon will find a stronger storm than last night.
indeed. the blowup of convections looks interesting. if ernesto gets stronger now, will that influence its track?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
Quoting Stormchaser2007:

I'm not going to lie, I am definitely experiencing some level of catharsis now that Ernesto is more than a swirl with disorganized and intermittent convection.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11665
2541. hydrus
This link shows 91L crossing Florida, intensifying, and hitting the northern gulf coast. Then a couple other developments. It is definitely worth a look...Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
Well...something has gone wrong with Recon's data.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting washingtonian115:
Isaac is that you?!!??.I hope he's a beautiful system and not a sheared mess.
Yes its me:) I better not be or I'll be disappointed in myself.
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Maybe the winds havent picked up yet? Hmm they should've picked up by now!
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Next pass will be interesting..

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31438
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I don't think 91L will amount to much, other than just a rain event for Central/South Florida this weekend.
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2534. Patrap


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
We have a very interesting month ahead of us.

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2532. ncstorm
um..too close for comfort..

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here the 10pm update on the atcf site not sure if this is new or old


AL, 05, 2012080318, , BEST, 0, 138N, 633W, 45, 1002, TS
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114712
Quietly becoming better organized...

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Ernesto

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
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Quoting mobileshadow:


Don't let the FL wishcasters hear you say that or they will be calling you a troll and poofing you :)


I don't get the continued sarcastic reference to FL wishcasters?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
its 3 stages

R.I FLAG OFF
R.I. FLAG FLAG
R.I. FLAG ON
Thank you.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
18z GFS, 348 hours... Assuming 90L becomes Florence, there's Gordon, Helene, and Isaac:

Isaac is that you?!!??.I hope he's a beautiful system and not a sheared mess.
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2522. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
18z GFS, 348 hours... Assuming 90L becomes Florence, there's Gordon, Helene, and Isaac:



OMG..No way those are fish storms!! GFS has to be crazy!

...lol
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2520. Levi32
Some 12z CMC ensembles also have a reasonable idea, at least the two that cross the Yucatan.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting stormchaser19:
The Hurricane hunters needs investigate ernesto more often, because every time they go ernesto intensifies

Or completely leave him alone, depending on your point of view... :P
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11665
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
18z GFS, 348 hours... Assuming 90L becomes Florence, there's Gordon, Helene, and Isaac:


And if 91L miraculously becomes a tropical storm in addition to 90L and nothing else forms, there's Helene, Isaac, and Joyce...ahead of last season.

Choo choo...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31438
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2516. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Does "Flag Flag" mean RI is twice as likely to be occurring?
its 3 stages

R.I FLAG OFF
R.I. FLAG FLAG
R.I. FLAG ON
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91L

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
18z GFS, 348 hours... Assuming 90L becomes Florence, there's Gordon, Helene, and Isaac:

The doom is strong in Isaac I can already tell.
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2513. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Still not finding anything noteworthy as they continue on a due north heading. 43kt flight-level winds:


223330 1445N 06318W 8430 01573 0103 +174 +096 119042 043 034 001 00
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Pls. don't blame me or Weather modification...

The animation is backwards....
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2509. Ldog74
Interesting that the recon data show a storm that has not strengthened much, if at all, yet the satellite presence of Ernesto has improved pretty drastically in the past 12 hours or so. If the CDO can stick around and continue to build, I figure we'll have ~70 mph TS for the 5 AM advisory tomorrow morning.
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2508. Levi32
Quoting floridaboy14:
Levi would you say that Ernesto has been stregthining today?


It looks better than I expected it to today, but we're still waiting to see if recon will find a stronger storm than last night.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting Patrap:


Dats my Tally Ho, ping, dat middle,,etc,etc'

: )



Trying to form a Low a bit further south?
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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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