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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2407. hydrus
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
The NHC mentions RI frequently in it's discussions, not in it's advisories, by name(rapid intensification). Do I have to pull up old discussions from dozens of storms in the past to prove my point?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
Only 5-10kts of shear over Ernesto now. A large upper level anticyclone is moving north out of the SW Caribbean.


There's an upper level low in the NW Caribbean? Hope it's not moving southwest...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting hydrus:
And without the MJO to lift things. Very interesting.
MJO should be here in a week right?
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Quoting LargoFl:
..yes sure is making it an active posting day huh...tomorrow might be awesome

Might see Ernesto, Florence, and Gordon... If things work out perfectly... Not sure if they will or not... but there are some decent chances out there.
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Recon is going to investigate the NE quadrant before heading back towards the center.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting oreodogsghost:
Someone is taking things seriously. KHOU in Houston has brought Dr. Neil Frank in to talk about the storms.


I like Dr Frank, when I moved to SE Fla in 1979 he was our Main Man at the NHC!
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Didn't the GFS nail the track of debbie, while the gfdl took the storm to texas?
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2399. ncstorm
Quoting Matt1989:
All the shear to the North of Ernesto is only going to help with outflow. So we might see some nice strenghtening tonight.


Wishcasting at its finest..
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Quoting Maineweatherguy20023:

Why dont we have Florence off Africa


Don't know and I think most systems out there are designated by NHC based upon satellite derived data. In a perfect (funded) world, would be nice to have a few long range NOAA drones to do some of the legwork in the future. But as noted by Levi earlier, plenty of time to watch and monitor those systems which present no current threat to land.
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2397. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
T.C.F.W
05L/TS/E/CX
R.I.FLAG FLAG
MARK
13.74N/64.44W


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2396. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
other than the GFS have we seen the models shift to the right
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Nice CDO forming now.



wait I thought the Eastern Caribbean was the deadzone :P
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7822
Quoting 1900hurricane:
This is for 90L:



I have had enough of seeing the satellite images of 90L. It's clearly more than sufficiently organized for it to be classified TD 6. I don't know what is keeping NHC from designating it.
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2392. LargoFl
Quoting hydrus:
And without the MJO to lift things. Very interesting.
..yes sure is making it an active posting day huh...tomorrow might be awesome
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting floridaboy14:
that is probably florence now
When will it get named? All of us should yell at the NHC!
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
All the shear to the North of Ernesto is only going to help with outflow. So we might see some nice strenghtening tonight.
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2389. hydrus
Quoting bigwes6844:
Almost have all three of our storms on the map 91L, 90L, and ernesto
And without the MJO to lift things. Very interesting.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
Quoting GetReal:


If Ernesto keeps up this type of organization, and obvious deepening, he may very well become a hurricane overnight. Ahead of schedule!
I will agree to that if I see the eastern side get some more convection. I think all this will be is Ernesto making it to 60 MPH.
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2387. amd
Quoting robj144:


It's the difference of wind velocities right? Direction matters...


Of course. Hence why there is 20 knots of westerly shear when winds at 850 mb are out of the east at 25 knots, but are only 5 knots out of the east at 250 mb.

In a more extreme example, if you have westerly winds of 30 knots at 250 mb and easterly winds of 20 knots at 850 mb, then the westerly shear is 50 knots.

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Quoting 1900hurricane:
This is for 90L:

that is probably florence now
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RECO OB


RADAR FIX PSBL CENTER 13.6N 64.3W, POOR RADAR PRESENTATION, SHORT SPIRAL BANDING ON SOUTH SIDE, MET ACCURACY 10NM
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
Quoting 1900hurricane:
This is for 90L:


Dry air is preventing convection to fire to the north of 90L. still looks well organized and has a defined center...
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2383. robj144
Quoting CothranRoss:

Thank you. Does wind direction matter at all? As in, if it's blowing from the east at 10 knots at 850mb and from the west at 10 knots at 250mb (I know that's a pretty unrealistic scenario, but bear with me), is there 20 knots of shear?


Not on expert, but I would think yes... it's actually the relative velocity between tow different levels.
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2382. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Only 5-10kts of shear over Ernesto now. A large upper level anticyclone is moving north out of the SW Caribbean.

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Quoting Maineweatherguy20023:

Why dont we have Florence off Africa
Yes y dont we have Florence yet could or will we have it at 11pm?
Member Since: June 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
Quoting amd:


Typically shear is measured by the winds at 850 mb (roughly 5000 feet above the surface) subtracted by the winds at 250 mb (roughly 35000 feet above the surface).

For instance, if winds are out of the east at 10 knots at both 850 mb and 250 mb, there is no calculated shear between these two regions. But if there is 30 knots out the east at 850 mb, and calm winds at 250 mb, there would be 30 knots of upper level westerly shear.

It is important to note that this calculation is just at 2 points in the atmosphere, and may not represent the full shear profile.

Thank you. Does wind direction matter at all? As in, if it's blowing from the east at 10 knots at 850mb and from the west at 10 knots at 250mb (I know that's a pretty unrealistic scenario, but bear with me), is there 20 knots of shear?
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Someone is taking things seriously. KHOU in Houston has brought Dr. Neil Frank in to talk about the storms.
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2376. Patrap
Ernesto Long Floater - Funktop Color Imagery Loop
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2375. hydrus
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
Quoting Maineweatherguy20023:

Why dont we have Florence off Africa

I have no clue what the NHC is waiting on with this wave. It completes all requirements to be declared.
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2373. TXCWC
Quoting 19N81W:
didnt masters say shear would weaken today?


Not sure - I know he said that Ernesto's biggest problems/obstacles are now behind him "It appears, though, that Ernesto has fended off the most serious challenges to its survival..." - if this is indeed the case and I am understanding him right - I find it hard to believe any weakening as depicted in the GFS and Euro is going to occur
Member Since: May 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 526
2372. LargoFl
still no rain here by me, must all be around tampa
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
This is for 90L:

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2370. GetReal
Quoting MississippiWx:
Nice CDO forming now.



If Ernesto keeps up this type of organization, and obvious deepening, he may very well become a hurricane overnight. Ahead of schedule!
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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
What is theb hightest winds in Ernesto? Y dont we have TD 6 from the low off africa?

Why dont we have Florence off Africa
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Annoying...

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2366. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Can someone give me the approximate center of ernesto please? (coordinates)
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2364. TXCWC
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Post 2331 is that from the latest GFS?


No, one of the individual ensemble members depicting 1 of several different possible scenarios
Member Since: May 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 526
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:

That positioning is a little "off"
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2362. Patrap

18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Ernesto

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





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts

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2361. LargoFl
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
606 PM EDT FRI AUG 3 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN CABARRUS COUNTY IN THE PIEDMONT OF NORTH CAROLINA...
SOUTHEASTERN IREDELL COUNTY IN THE PIEDMONT OF NORTH CAROLINA...
NORTH CENTRAL MECKLENBURG COUNTY IN THE PIEDMONT OF NORTH
CAROLINA...
SOUTHWESTERN ROWAN COUNTY IN THE PIEDMONT OF NORTH CAROLINA...

* UNTIL 700 PM EDT

* AT 600 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
KANNAPOLIS...OR 6 MILES NORTHWEST OF CONCORD...AND MOVING NORTHEAST
AT 5 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL IMPACT LOCATIONS NEAR...
KANNAPOLIS.
ENOCHVILLE.
LANDIS AND CHINA GROVE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO REPORT DAMAGING WINDS...HAIL...OR FLOODING THROUGH OUR AUTOMATED
REPORTING SYSTEM...CALL TOLL FREE...1 8 7 7...6 3 3...6 7 7 2.



LAT...LON 3535 8061 3542 8087 3546 8085 3554 8081
3559 8080 3572 8072 3561 8041
TIME...MOT...LOC 2206Z 203DEG 5KT 3546 8067



KRENTZ
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting dogsgomoo:
*eyes the GA path* Before I get all exited about that one, what's the reliability of the LBAR model? I understand that it is partly based on an idealized circulation data set thingy unlike the others? (Still trying to understand the differences/nuances between the model runs.)


Training session on Track Models used at the NHC
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
C'mon NHC what are you waiting for? XD.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

Very impressive, 90L is.
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Almost have all three of our storms on the map 91L, 90L, and ernesto
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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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