Ernesto disorganized; more fires, extreme heat for Oklahoma

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

Share this Blog
45
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1483 - 1433

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50Blog Index

Quoting Levi32:
Strong convection at the center is creating healthy 4-5C spikes in both temperature and dewpoint at the center. You can see the last two penetrations by recon here:



Levi What you think is the death of Ernesto?
Looks like NHC sends him to the mortuary
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1481. yoboi
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Just [!] and [-] the comment and move on.


thanks what up with this dude???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Forecast shifted south.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1476. Levi32
Ernesto's center is still vertically tilted, as the pressure center and wind center at flight-level are not being found simultaneously. Center appears to be leaning NW to SE, consistent with the light amount of NW wind shear still impinging upon the system.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto 50mph and 1003mb and W at 15mph
000
WTNT25 KNHC 060249
TCMAT5

TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052012
0300 UTC MON AUG 06 2012

CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* JAMAICA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* GRAND CAYMAN
* THE COAST OF HONDURAS FROM THE HONDURAS/NICARAGUA BORDER WESTWARD
TO PUNTA CASTILLA

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN
12 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24 TO 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS IN BELIZE AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF ERNESTO.

TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 15.0N 79.7W AT 06/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 20 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 270 DEGREES AT 13 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1003 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 45 KT WITH GUSTS TO 55 KT.
34 KT.......110NE 80SE 0SW 30NW.
12 FT SEAS..180NE 120SE 45SW 90NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 15.0N 79.7W AT 06/0300Z
AT 06/0000Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 15.0N 79.2W

FORECAST VALID 06/1200Z 15.3N 81.3W
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.
50 KT... 20NE 20SE 0SW 0NW.
34 KT...110NE 80SE 20SW 30NW.

FORECAST VALID 07/0000Z 16.1N 83.3W
MAX WIND 55 KT...GUSTS 65 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 20SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT...110NE 90SE 30SW 40NW.

FORECAST VALID 07/1200Z 17.1N 85.1W
MAX WIND 60 KT...GUSTS 75 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 20SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT...110NE 90SE 30SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 08/0000Z 17.9N 87.5W
MAX WIND 65 KT...GUSTS 80 KT.
50 KT... 40NE 30SE 20SW 30NW.
34 KT...110NE 100SE 50SW 70NW.

FORECAST VALID 09/0000Z 19.0N 91.4W...INLAND
MAX WIND 35 KT...GUSTS 45 KT.
34 KT... 60NE 30SE 20SW 60NW.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 175 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 225 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY

OUTLOOK VALID 10/0000Z 20.0N 95.2W...OVER WATER
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.

OUTLOOK VALID 11/0000Z 20.5N 98.5W...INLAND
MAX WIND 55 KT...GUSTS 65 KT.

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 15.0N 79.7W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 06/0900Z

$$
FORECASTER STEWART


Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Not bad at all.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10244
Quoting yoboi:


don't call me boy...first and last warning...

Just [!] and [-] the comment and move on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1470. nigel20
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hi Nigel, how are you doing tonight?

Hey GT! I'm good thanks for asking...Ernesto had limited impact across Jamaica with very few damage reports.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
Recon is almost in the center again, thankfully we don't have a strong hurricane shooting the gap and making a US landfall like most thought at one time or another. Could strengthen to a hurricane if it makes it to the GOM.
Still not seeing 45/50 kt flags....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What the heck is ernesto doing? tanking south?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6485
Quoting yoboi:


don't call me boy...first and last warning...


Lol. Please just ignore him.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 530
Looks like were getting help by the admin deleting the comments from the trolls! Thanks admin!! :)
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I've been disappointing by that. Haven't had a good helping of StormTop this year. It's just JFV, Jasoniscoolman, and WRONGASUSUAL who both have at least 30+ names on my ignore list each. At least StormTop could give a good laugh to us all.

Anyways, the recon found that the circulation has for the first time in Ernesto's life probably become much better defined and is actually worthy of being a tropical cyclone.

We'll see what the NHC says. Personally, I really don't hope it doesn't run into Central America, why? That area is particularly prone to flash flooding and death from these types of systems. True, Ernesto will be a fast mover but the risk remains high.


I miss stormtop slightly, but stormW was a real loss IMO.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 530
1457. Levi32
Strong convection at the center is creating healthy 3-5C spikes in both temperature and dewpoint at the center. You can see the last two penetrations by recon here:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey is possible that the LLCOC could get sucked N into the center of that ball of convection
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:
...FLORENCE STILL WEAKENING...
11:00 PM AST Sun Aug 5
Location: 16.2°N 37.9°W
Moving: W at 13 mph
Min pressure: 1008 mb
Max sustained: 40 mph
Hi Nigel, how are you doing tonight?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:


I would have preferred a Fred or Julia part II.

That would have been nice. I would have also liked an Igor part II, but without the destroying Newfoundland part.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I didn't ignore those two trolls so I can flag and minus every one of their posts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting galvestonhurricane:
Speaking of trolls... where's Storm? LOL


I've been disappointing by that. Haven't had a good helping of StormTop this year. It's just JFV, Jasoniscoolman, and WRONGASUSUAL who both have at least 30+ names on my ignore list each. At least StormTop could give a good laugh to us all.

Anyways, the recon found that the circulation has for the first time in Ernesto's life probably become much better defined and is actually worthy of being a tropical cyclone.

We'll see what the NHC says. Personally, I really don't hope it doesn't run into Central America, why? That area is particularly prone to flash flooding and death from these types of systems. True, Ernesto will be a fast mover but the risk remains high.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1442. pottery
Quoting BahaHurican:
Guy looks happy enough 2 win it. watching ur guy in the 400m also...

Running well.
Heavy competition though.
Should be a Grand race.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Two more I just put in Wow!!! bad night with trolls!!!
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
1439. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:




am moveing on



what are ya thoughts with that big storm over land in af???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1438. JLPR2
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

She could have continued Lisa's legacy...


I would have preferred a Fred or Julia part II.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 19N81W:
Amazing we can't even get rain out of a passing tropical storm.......I need something else to look at when I wake up
Dude... don't complain abt the tropical outlook... might scare away the tourists.... lol...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




i hop you injoy the 24hr bannd you get in the AM


if i where you i would re move it

If I were you I wouldn't be quoting it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1483 - 1433

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50Blog Index

Top of Page

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.