Ernesto disorganized; more fires, extreme heat for Oklahoma

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:25 PM GMT on August 05, 2012

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A disorganized Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to speed westward at 23 mph across the Caribbean. Ernesto has brought sporadic heavy rains to Jamaica today, and Kingston has picked up 0.51" of rain as of noon, and recorded top sustained winds of 22 mph. Ernesto looks very unhealthy on visible satellite loops, with its low-level circulation center a naked swirl exposed to view with almost no heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. However, the storm does have some rather far-flung spiral bands, and these bands are bringing occasional heavy downpours to Haiti, western Cuba, Jamaica, and the southwest Dominican Republic. This morning's flight by the Hurricane Hunters found that Ernesto had a very high central pressure of 1006 mb and top winds near 50 mph. The latest wind shear analysis from the SHIPS model shows moderate shear of 10 - 15 knots affecting the storm, but there must be some wind shear the satellites are not able to detect affecting Ernesto, given its disorganized appearance. Water vapor satellite loops show a large area of dry air to the west, and this dry air is also interfering with Ernesto's organization.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image with 375 meter resolution taken of Ernesto by the new Suomi NPP satellite at 1:39 pm EDT August 4, 2012. At the time, Ernesto had a flare-up of intense thunderstorms, and had top winds of 60 mph. Image credit: University of Wisconsin Madison CIMSS.

Forecast for Ernesto
Ernesto's rapid forward speed of 23 mph has been part of the reason for its lack of intensification, but the storm is expected to slow down Monday and Tuesday in response to a trough of low pressure passing to the north. This slowing, in combination with low wind shear, a moister environment, and increasing heat energy in the ocean, may allow Ernesto to strengthen some before making landfall in Belize or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday night. However, the storm will be passing very close to the north coast of Honduras, putting a portion of its circulation over land and limiting intensification potential. It is unlikely Ernesto will become a hurricane in the Caribbean; NHC is giving just a 19% chance that this will occur. The main threat from Ernesto will be heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Jamaica. The track forecast for Ernesto has become a bit easier, since the storm's current disorganization and more southerly path make will make it more difficult for the storm to make a northwesterly turn into the Gulf of Mexico like the UKMET and GFDL models are predicting. A stronger Ernesto would have been more likely to turn northwest under the influence of a trough of low pressure passing to the north. If Ernesto survives its crossing of the Yucatan Peninsula, the potential exists for it to re-strengthen over the Bay of Campeche, and make a second landfall on Mexico's coast on Friday, between Tampico and Veracruz. It's pretty unlikely that Ernesto will hit the U.S.-- though Brownsville, Texas could see some rain from Ernesto's outer spiral bands on Friday, if the storm survives that long.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Ernesto, showing the exposed low-level center--a swirl due south of Jamaica--and only very limited heavy thunderstorm activity surrounding the center.

Tropical Storm Florence
Tropical Storm Florence continues to plow westward at 14 mph over the Eastern Atlantic, and is not a threat to any land areas for next five days. The SHIPS model is predicting a moderate 5 - 15 knots of wind shear for Florence Sunday and Monday, but the shear will increase to the high range as Florence encounters an upper-level trough of low pressure on Tuesday. The latest Saharan Air Layer Analysis shows that a large area of dry air lies to the north and west of Florence, and this dry air will likely cause problems for the storm. Ocean temperature are near 26 - 26.5°C, which is right at the threshold for where a tropical storm can typically exist. It is possible that Florence could pose a threat to Bermuda next weekend, if the storm survives that long. Both the GFS and ECMWF models dissipate Florence before then.

Historic heat wave in Oklahoma
A second day of destructive fires affected Oklahoma on Saturday, thanks to extreme heat and drought, low humidities, and strong winds in advance of an approaching cold front. At 3 pm CDT Saturday, Oklahoma City had a temperature of 107°, a humidity of 19%, and winds of 16 mph gusting to 22 mph. The Oklahoma fires have destroyed at least 125 homes. The high temperature in Oklahoma City on Saturday reached 109°, the 12th warmest temperature recorded in the city since records began in 1891. Friday's high of 113° tied for the warmest temperature in city history.


Figure 3. Highway 48 is covered in smoke as flames continue, Saturday, Aug 4, 2012, east of Drumright, OK. Image credit: Associated Press.

The only comparable Oklahoma heat wave: August 1936
The only heat wave in Oklahoma history that compares to the August 2012 heat wave occurred during the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the hottest summer in U.S. history. Oklahoma City experienced three days at 110° that summer, and a record streak of 22 straight days with a temperature of 100° or hotter. Those numbers are comparable to 2012's: three days at 110° or hotter, and a string of 18 consecutive days (so far) with temperatures of 100° or hotter. The weak cold front that passed though Oklahoma Saturday will bring temperatures about 10° cooler over the next few days, but high temperatures are still expected to approach 100° in Oklahoma City Sunday through Tuesday. It's worth noting that Oklahoma City has experienced only 11 days since 1890 with a high of 110° or greater. Three of those days were in 2011, three in 2012, and three in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a new post on July's heat extremes in the U.S.


Figure 4. Most of Oklahoma has experienced nine consecutive days with highs of 100° or more, and many regions, including Oklahoma City, have had a streak of eighteen such days. Image credit: Oklahoma Mesonet.

Severe thunderstorm complex forces evacuation of Lollapalooza
A organized complex of severe thunderstorms developed over Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois late Saturday afternoon, forming a dangerous bow echo that swept through Chicago, forcing the evacuation of the Lollapalooza music festival. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logged over 150 reports of wind damage from the storm, with five of the thunderstorms containing winds in excess of hurricane force (74 mph.) And just yesterday, my daughter was bemoaning her misfortune at not being able to get tickets to the show! The thunderstorm complex traveled about 300 miles from Eastern Iowa to Ohio, generating winds gust in excess of 58 mph along most of its path, meeting the definition of a derecho.


Figure 5. Radar image of the severe thunderstorm complex that spawned a dangerous bow echo over Chicago, which forced the evacuation of the Lollapalooza music festival.

Jeff Masters

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM (nanamac)
Storm clouds overwhelming Chicago
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM (nanamac)
Sheets of rain & darkness!
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
()
Storm damage (Bubbly)
Straight line winds during a severe thunderstorm left crumpled metal and splintered wood behind in Frytown, Iowa
Storm damage

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LinkMy forecast for T.D 7
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Quoting hydrus:
Hurricanes are weird. They can change course even when it does not look like they should. I am wondering how much the storm will slow.


Look at my post above.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Food for thought....

1934 - TS #2
Storm Two carved an erratic path through Central America and the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding that killed thousands. It formed in the Gulf of Honduras in early June and slowly moved north and then west into Belize as as Tropical Storm. Over the next four days, it made a slow loop over the same general region of Central America. It went down through Guatemala and El Salvador and then back north into Honduras and the western Caribbean. Still hugging the coast, it strengthened into a hurricane, making landfall north of Majahual, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. It weakened back to a storm as it began to move west across the northern part of the peninsula and into the Bay of Campeche. The storm slowed down further, making a tight (and rare second) counterclockwise loop then turning northward and gaining speed. It regained hurricane status, making landfall in Louisiana at Point au Fer Island on the east end of Atchafalaya Bay. The scale of the destruction in Central America was immense. As many as 3,000 people died in the catastrophic floods. Many places saw in excess of two feet of rain in just 72 hours.

Link


Looking more at this website...storms do REALLY crazy things when they hit Belize. Interesting read!
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
Food for thought....

1934 - TS #2
Storm Two carved an erratic path through Central America and the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding that killed thousands. It formed in the Gulf of Honduras in early June and slowly moved north and then west into Belize as as Tropical Storm. Over the next four days, it made a slow loop over the same general region of Central America. It went down through Guatemala and El Salvador and then back north into Honduras and the western Caribbean. Still hugging the coast, it strengthened into a hurricane, making landfall north of Majahual, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. It weakened back to a storm as it began to move west across the northern part of the peninsula and into the Bay of Campeche. The storm slowed down further, making a tight (and rare second) counterclockwise loop then turning northward and gaining speed. It regained hurricane status, making landfall in Louisiana at Point au Fer Island on the east end of Atchafalaya Bay. The scale of the destruction in Central America was immense. As many as 3,000 people died in the catastrophic floods. Many places saw in excess of two feet of rain in just 72 hours.

Link
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
INaccuweather says the exact opposite to the image above.
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Weatherbell
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afternoon everyone. i went to bed last night and saw 50 mph winds and yall telling me this thing slowed down and growing in size? whats really going on! and everyone is RI rapid intensification?
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:


I can never figure these conversions. I was thinking military time. 1300 is 1:00 pm.


I use to have a conversion chart posted to the side of my computer desk -- made life easier.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Which is dangerous because if it doesn't lose its eyewall, there is a chance it will undergo explosive intensification.


So is EI faster than RI?
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2474. hydrus
Quoting BahaHurican:
looking like Caymans won't get worse than what JA did yesterday.

If it gets strong enough, still think Brownsville area could get some rain from this....

Hurricanes are weird. They can change course even when it does not look like they should. I am wondering how much the storm will slow.
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2473. hydrus
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Recon does reveal a somewhat pinhole eye with Ernesto. Interesting, 6 miles is very small. Ernesto has a very tight core.
That should change, especially if forward movement slows a bit more. Ernest will be small for a while, but should grow quickly with such a large mid level circulation. I Mentioned on the 4th that this may be a large and intense storm, if the track stays off the Honduran coast, it still might happen.
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Quoting superpete:


Currently 15 mph [max] wind here on the south coast, seas five to seven feet at Spotts Dock. You need to relax, this isn't coming to Cayman
looking like Caymans won't get worse than what JA did yesterday.

Quoting Jeff9645:
Ernesto is a Yucatan and Mexico storm now, sorry US wishcasters :)
If it gets strong enough, still think Brownsville area could get some rain from this....

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00:00 UTC = 8:00 p.m. EDT
01:00 UTC = 9:00 p.m. EDT
02:00 UTC = 10:00 p.m. EDT
03:00 UTC = 11:00 p.m. EDT
04:00 UTC = 12:00 a.m. EDT
05:00 UTC = 1:00 a.m. EDT
06:00 UTC = 2:00 a.m. EDT
07:00 UTC = 3:00 a.m. EDT
08:00 UTC = 4:00 a.m. EDT
09:00 UTC = 5:00 a.m. EDT
10:00 UTC = 6:00 a.m. EDT
11:00 UTC = 7:00 a.m. EDT
12:00 UTC = 8:00 a.m. EDT
13:00 UTC = 9:00 a.m. EDT
14:00 UTC = 10:00 a.m. EDT
15:00 UTC = 11:00 a.m. EDT
16:00 UTC = 12:00 p.m. EDT
17:00 UTC = 1:00 p.m. EDT
18:00 UTC = 2:00 p.m. EDT
19:00 UTC = 3:00 p.m. EDT
20:00 UTC = 4:00 p.m. EDT
21:00 UTC = 5:00 p.m. EDT
22:00 UTC = 6:00 p.m. EDT
23:00 UTC = 7:00 p.m. EDT
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2470. centex
Quoting Grothar:
What happened to all those RIP's from last night.
I don't think they factored in relocation and intensification this early. Will be interesting to see what direction it’s moving which will take a few more hours.
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Quoting chevycanes:

its 9:19am est.

12z UTC is 8am when they do the tropical weather outlook and run the models.
Incorrect.

Eastern Time) GMT-5
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200 mb level showing some intensity finally.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Hey...I speak Spanglish. Duh.

LOL
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2466. pcola57
GFDL Vort.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 6th day of the month at 13:44Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number & Year: 05L in 2012
Storm Name: Ernesto (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 10
A. Time of Center Fix: 6th day of the month at 13:17:00Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 15°43'N 80°10'W (15.7167N 80.1667W)
B. Center Fix Location: 261 miles (420 km) to the SSE (162°) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,381m (4,531ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 40kts (~ 46.0mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 3 nautical miles (3 statute miles) to the SE (137°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 235° at 54kts (From the SW at ~ 62.1mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 3 nautical miles (3 statute miles) to the SE (137°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 994mb (29.35 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,538m (5,046ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 21°C (70°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,400m (4,593ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 15°C (59°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Closed Wall
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 8 nautical miles
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 55kts (~ 63.3mph) in the east quadrant at 12:05:30Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 77kts (~ 88.6mph) in the northwest quadrant at 13:19:00Z
Radar Signature: Good


Ernesto is a hurricane , could get a special advisory soon, appears to be moving NW also.

I don't see a hurricane in that.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


If it becomes a major, yes. Otherwise, the GFS has been spot on this entire time.


models and the nhc arent into putting any RI into a forecast.... they just go with expected gradual intensification...but then this might not be RI either
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9467
Quoting moonlightcowboy:


I can never figure these conversions. I was thinking military time. 1300 is 1:00 pm.

Yeah thanks, UTC or Zulu time which must be what the "z" is, is 5 hrs. earlier than EST time and then another hr. for Central, Mountain, and Western.
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2462. WxLogic
Quoting MississippiWx:


Hey...I speak Spanglish. Duh.


LOL...
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2461. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

ATCF says 65mph, so they'll probably go with that.
But they are finding higher readings.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3707
Quoting washingtonian115:
Sorry Jeff.But I like mines with A1 steak sauce.

To each their own. My dislike of crow is why I tend to avoid making bold predictions - especially those unsupported by data. When Ernesto was still east of the islands, I said once it passes 75W, it would slow down and blow up. And it did. But that wasn't much of a reach, since all the data and models were right there with it.
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2458. Hugo5
rapid intensification may not be ruled out at this time, but usually means around 50mph wind increase in around 6-8 hours from what I have seen. a 2.5mb drop in pressure in one hour is pretty awsome though.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

It's "Muchas gracias".


Hey...I speak Spanglish. Duh.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 6th day of the month at 13:44Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number & Year: 05L in 2012
Storm Name: Ernesto (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 10
A. Time of Center Fix: 6th day of the month at 13:17:00Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 15°43'N 80°10'W (15.7167N 80.1667W)
B. Center Fix Location: 261 miles (420 km) to the SSE (162°) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,381m (4,531ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 40kts (~ 46.0mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 3 nautical miles (3 statute miles) to the SE (137°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 235° at 54kts (From the SW at ~ 62.1mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 3 nautical miles (3 statute miles) to the SE (137°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 994mb (29.35 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,538m (5,046ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 21°C (70°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,400m (4,593ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 15°C (59°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Closed Wall
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 8 nautical miles
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 55kts (~ 63.3mph) in the east quadrant at 12:05:30Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 77kts (~ 88.6mph) in the northwest quadrant at 13:19:00Z
Radar Signature: Good


Ernesto is a hurricane , could get a special advisory soon, appears to be moving NW also.
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Quoting jeffs713:

crow goes well with BBQ sauce, didn't you know? They might be at the store getting some.
Sorry Jeff.But I like mines with A1 steak sauce.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738
Could be a temporary jog, or knowing Ernesto, a relocation of the COC to the NE but he is "off" of the latest forecast track......Everything is going to shift to the right later today at this rate.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8308
Quoting NewEnglandExpress:
Why is it that nobody can get the weather right in the northeast.
Forcasting is down right awful in this part of country, 30% of the time there are right at best over the last year,
I wish I could be wrong 70%of the time at my job too!
I just cant believe how really off they are!


When I was living in Duluth, MN when the NWS predicted 1-3 inches of snow we would routinely get 8-12. When they predicted 8-12 we'd get a trace to 3.

Some places the weather is just harder to predict than others. The only thing I was sure of up there were the temps and when they predicted a foot or more me, the shovel and my snow blower were going to get a workout!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Now if Ernesto bombs out and turns into a nasty major remember your PERFECT MODELS didn't catch that did they?


If it becomes a major, yes. Otherwise, the GFS has been spot on this entire time.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
And morning, Grothar!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
We are on EST so you subtract 5 hours which makes it 8:19.

its 9:19am est.

12z UTC is 8am when they do the tropical weather outlook and run the models.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Muchos gracias.

It's "Muchas gracias".
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Quoting AussieStorm:

busy tucking into a plate of fried crow with a side of crown and a tall glass of crow juice.

crow goes well with BBQ sauce, didn't you know? They might be at the store getting some.
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Quoting ncstorm:
I thought this was cute since people were posting about the Mars landing but evidently there is life on mars..



Saw that on George Takei's page...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
Now if Ernesto bombs out and turns into a nasty major remember your PERFECT MODELS didn't catch that did they?
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738
Quoting Grothar:
What happened to all those RIP's from last night.


ive had a good lol at the blog this week....people here know much but let other things get in the way of sense... well at least some people do...


Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9467
Quoting moonlightcowboy:


1:19 pm


I can never figure these conversions. I was thinking military time. 1300 is 1:00 pm.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
We are on EST so you subtract 5 hours which makes it 8:19.

Okay thanks, that's what had me confused. They are going on UTC time.


Link Water Vapor Loop
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
URNT12 KNHC 061344
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL052012
A. 06/13:17:00Z
B. 15 deg 43 min N
080 deg 10 min W
C. 850 mb 1381 m
D. 40 kt
E. 137 deg 3 nm
F. 235 deg 54 kt
G. 137 deg 3 nm
H. 994 mb
I. 17 C / 1538 m
J. 21 C / 1400 m
K. 15 C / NA
L. CLOSED WALL
M. C8
N. 12345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF302 0805A ERNESTO OB 10
MAX FL WIND 55 KT E QUAD 12:05:30Z
MAX OUTBOUND FL WIND 77 KT NW QUAD 13:19:00Z
GOOD RADAR SIGNATURE


I leave for 12 hours and Ernesto goes from a scrub storm to a probable hurricane? Daaaaaaang!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
2441. ncstorm
I thought this was cute since people were posting about the Mars landing but evidently there is life on mars..

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Link


Muchas gracias.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


More than likely.


possibly... Knowing the NHC 65 - 70 mph
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Quoting Chicklit:
What time is 13:19:00z? And how do you convert that to Caribbean time at 81W, anybody know?


Hope this helps..CONVERTING ZULU TIME TO LOCAL TIME
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:


1:19 pm
Wrong. Z is Zulu which is -5 for EST or -4 for EDT.
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Quoting kshipre1:
Hey Levi. hope you are doing well. two quick questions for you. First, do you agree with CSU raising their storm total forecast? Second, given the projected upper air patter in the coming peak months of hurricane season, which portions of eastern US and gulf coast would you say is at risk? Do you think this season kind of mirrors patterns and tracks of 2004 and 2005? Thanks.
Anyone can probably answer these questions. 1- Yes, 2- Gulf Coast, Tampa, SFLA, Texas. 3- Yes.
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Quoting Grothar:
What happened to all those RIP's from last night.

busy tucking into a plate of fried crow with a side of crown and a tall glass of crow juice.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
Carl parker from the weather channel says RI is taking place
I don't want to hear that :)(By the way the smiley face is sarcastic).That means Ernesto is more than likely to feel the weakness.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.