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:
They either missed the circulation to the east, or it opened up, no?


Don't think they reached the center yet, next batch of data.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10872
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They missed it.
That's what I'm thinking...

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Have they checked the ne quadrant??
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
They either missed the circulation to the east, or it opened up, no?
It may have moved to the west from the last fix, remember this storm is moving fast.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
2303. Grothar
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.)


The LBAR is used by the GFS for boundary conditions in the short term. It is NOT a forecast model. I personally only use the GPMAF myself.
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Quoting ncstorm:
From CrownWeather

As for a track, I think the track guidance such as the BAM models are incorrect in bringing 91L into the Gulf of Mexico. I think instead that we will see a general northwestward track and for this system to scrape along the east coast of Florida on Saturday from about Port St. Lucie to Daytona Beach. After that, it seems plausible that the upper level winds should take 91L inland into the Carolinas by Sunday into Monday.
wishcasting at it's finest
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2301. Patrap

Cross section of a hurricane.

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Quoting wakd3Xn04:


Freind of mine reported hail at her house in Lake Alfred from this mess.


All hail Lake Alfred! Seriously, how bad was it and how big was the hail. I'm sure there will be more weather related events around Florida and the Bahamas as 91l starts gearing up to TD status.
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Definitely missed the center.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
They either missed the circulation to the east, or it opened up, no?

They missed it.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31417
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
0_0
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Not sure where you're seeing 1000mb, lowest I see is 1003.8. Winds pretty lacklustre too. I think Ernesto has weakened some.

1003/1004 millibars with 30 knots winds.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31417
Quoting Levi32:
Looks like about 1004mb for the extrapolated central pressure estimate, no stronger than last night.

They either missed the circulation to the east, or it opened up, no?
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
21:48:30Z 13.867N 64.233W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,529 meters
(~ 5,016 feet) 1003.8 mb
(~ 29.64 inHg) - From 102° at 18 knots
(From the ESE at ~ 20.7 mph) 19.6°C
(~ 67.3°F) 10.6°C
(~ 51.1°F) 21 knots
(~ 24.1 mph) 35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 30.0 knots (~ 34.5 mph)

1003.8 mb. pressure lowest reading recon has found so far and surface winds of 40.2 mph.

Wow and I don't even think they are in the center.
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2292. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
2291. hydrus
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20487
2290. Levi32
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Last upgrade moved it to 27km resolution.
Link


Yeah I realized that and updated my post.
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21:48:30Z 13.867N 64.233W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,529 meters
(~ 5,016 feet) 1003.8 mb
(~ 29.64 inHg) - From 102° at 18 knots
(From the ESE at ~ 20.7 mph) 19.6°C
(~ 67.3°F) 10.6°C
(~ 51.1°F) 21 knots
(~ 24.1 mph) 35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 30.0 knots (~ 34.5 mph)

1003.8 mb. pressure lowest reading recon has found so far and surface winds of 40.2 mph.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
2288. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Time: 21:49:00Z
Coordinates: 13.8333N 64.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.3 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,525 meters (~ 5,003 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1003.9 mb (~ 29.65 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 126° at 13 knots (From the SE at ~ 14.9 mph)
Air Temp: 19.5°C (~ 67.1°F)
Dew Pt: 10.8°C (~ 51.4°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 16 knots (~ 18.4 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 32 knots (~ 36.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr (~ 0.04 in/hr)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Pressure seems to be down to around 1000 millibars.


Not sure where you're seeing 1000mb, lowest I see is 1003.8. Winds pretty lacklustre too. I think Ernesto has weakened some.
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Quoting LargoFl:


Freind of mine reported hail at her house in Lake Alfred from this mess.
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2284. Levi32
Looks like about 1004mb for the extrapolated central pressure estimate, no stronger than last night. They haven't hit the center perfectly though.

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HH are in the center and Ernesto will stay a TS:
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 38 knots (~ 43.7 mph)
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2281. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
HH and in it now
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Nice to have recon in there during this convective upswing.

Wow Ernesto not going down without a fight.He does not want to open up into a wave XD.I can see a 60mph storm out of this.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16383
Quoting bigwes6844:
and u would think that TWC would break in to talk about it. Guess wats on LIFEGUARD! SMH! tropics active and look whats on. one word WOW!

Dafudge they doin?
Have they even talked about Ernesto since you started watching?
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Convection is definitely firing in the correct locations this time around.

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Pressure seems to be down to around 1000 millibars.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31417
38kt SFMR winds:


214700 1356N 06417W 8433 01533 0053 +189 +103 076030 031 038 000 00

1003.8mb MSLP; no west winds though.


214830 1352N 06414W 8428 01529 0038 +196 +106 102018 021 035 003 00
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2272. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
I have a question... I know what shear is, but how is it measured? What exactly does it mean when you have "30 knots" of shear?
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2270. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36841
winds are getting stronger on recon
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Quoting Hurricane1956:
We all the respect,we here in Florida don't care right now about 90L at all (at least me) anyways that system is going to the open sea and is not going to bother anybody only the shipping lanes,we have a HUGE tropical system in our front door,that is why everybody is talking about 91L and worry about it.


You don't know that about 90L. That high pressure could keep it in check if it doesn't feel the trough.
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Quoting Levi32:


The GFS has a 35km grid resolution. The NCEP graphics do not plot wind barbs at every grid point, but I can.


Last upgrade moved it to 27km resolution.
Link
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10872
Quoting Hurricanes101:
90L looks very impressive, would not be shocked to see TD 6 tomorrow


Maybe even as early as tonight. I'm quite shocked that an invest this organized isn't a designated tropical system.
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Nice to have recon in there during this convective upswing.

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2264. sar2401
Quoting altesticstorm2012:
Wondering... could a wave of East African origins transport viruses like ebola to the West if they make landfall and rain themselves out there?


Umm...no. Not unless the storm carries a lot of chimp and bat bodies along with it. Ebola is not spread by aerosol but only by direct cntact with an infected source, like people, chimps, and maybe bats. With all the other things to worry about, Ebola is way down the list of likely candidates.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Why cant we talk about a more impressive feature?
Like 90L?
We all the respect,we here in Florida don't care right now about 90L at all (at least me) anyways that system is going to the open sea and is not going to bother anybody only the shipping lanes,we have a HUGE tropical system in our front door,that is why everybody is talking about 91L and worry about it.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


problem is the NHC never forecasts storms "Bombing out" with RI or anything..A lot of people have that as a possibility
That's not true.
The NHC in fact always mentions RI as a possibility if the probability is high enough. We're still days away from any RI with Ernesto. Right now the sort of TS is slogging it's way through shear and dry air and the deadzone. It needs to survive first. Then if it does the NHC will mention RI, which is a given high probability in the NW Carib.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5523
Quoting Levi32:


Felix was a very small storm and had an unusually tight pressure gradient around it, thus Cat 4-5 winds occurred despite the somewhat higher pressure than normal for a tropical cyclone of that strength.
very interesting stuff. thank you. Will the Gulf of mexico be as favorable as the W.carribean if ernesto enters it?
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2260. LargoFl
- IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PADUCAH KY 440 PM CDT FRI AUG 3 2012 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PADUCAH HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... SOUTHWESTERN BOLLINGER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI... NORTHEASTERN WAYNE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI... * UNTIL 515 PM CDT. * AT 437 PM CDT...RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR CASCADE...OR 13 MILES NORTHEAST OF GREENVILLE...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH. * LOCATIONS IN THE WARNED AREA INCLUDE... ZALMA. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... SEEK SHELTER INDOORS. STAY TUNED TO WEATHER RADIO OR LOCAL MEDIA FOR THE LATEST SEVERE WEATHER INFORMATION. LAT...LON 3733 9028 3732 9023 3712 8998 3703 9026 3728 9038 TIME...MOT...LOC 2141Z 330DEG 20KT 3724 9026 WIND...HAIL 60MPH 1.00IN">
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36841
Quoting BDAwx:


That sounds reasonable. :) I personally would disagree with the gfs and ecmwf solutions for the same reason. Although I would expect Ernesto to only very slightly strengthen- at least in the short term- because of the dry air out ahead of it and it's rather fast pace. The storm is relatively small too, so it could become ill defined at times; I'm buying into the idea that it could open up into a wave, but it shouldn't weaken in terms of wind speed because of the pressure gradient in that region. However that scenario is looking less likely. When it gets in the west Caribbean I would give it a very high chance - near 70% for rapid or explosive intensification to a major hurricane IF the wind shear is favorable. The tchp in the west caribbean is pretty impressive, and the air seems to be more moist there, even if Ernesto disorganized to a tropical wave in the central Caribbean I would still expect a hurricane under these conditions. And yes, I agree on this more poleward track for a stronger character.

It seems that the windward islands fared fairly well. Although, I haven't heard much about them. I hope that is the case for them and for those in Ernesto's path.
This pretty much falls right in line with my thinking lol. I made a post earlier that depicted the 18z SHIPS pointing towards mid-level RH levels in the 65%+ levels, with upper-level winds below 5kts, and TCHP values above 80, all taking shape beyond 48 hours -- so that's when I believe the bulk of intensification will take place. For now it just appears as if the cyclone will continue to maintain its intensity, and possibly strengthen slightly while it deals with the somewhat unfavorable thermodynamic environment. By the time it starts nearing Jamaica and the subtropical ridge begins to weaken allowing for some slowing in speed, that's when things start to get serious.
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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.