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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1383. yoboi
Quoting floridaboy14:
who is JFV? i know who jason is he is the guy that posts things with an exclamation point



is jfv an jason the same person??? idk who jfv really is people who been on here longer could prob tell the story...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
whatever janiel
thats janiel? i know him
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I think ernesto has an ace up his sleeve
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1376. nigel20
Quoting pottery:

Would love to be there to be part of that!
We trying for a medal with Phillips in the cycling tomorrow. Going good.

Good luck.
Quoting wxchaser97:

Great, I heard what Bolt did and that tomorrow is a special day for you, have a great time!

Thanks!
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

I have 49 people on ignore and more than half are jason and JFV




i got 125 ignore
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114048
1373. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting DubiousCane2012:


What's up with your aggression tonight, KOTG?

Having a bitter Sunday night, or what, my man?

Chillax and let's stick to talking tropics only!

=)
whatever janiel
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

I have 49 people on ignore and more than half are jason and JFV
who is JFV? i know who jason is he is the guy that posts things with an exclamation point
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Great, I heard what Bolt did and that tomorrow is a special day for you, have a great time!


Congrats Jamaica! Very glad Ernesto didn't spoil the party.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
I think the center is going to settle down a little north of where they have it at 6z, ya know, after he finds his balance to the upper levels.
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1367. sar2401
Quoting Skyepony:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC

Skye, it sure doesn't look like Earnie is undergoing any significant strengthening, unless I'm reading the vortex message wrong. Down 1 mb in pressure is well within the range of normal error, and 48 knots is still not very impressive. At least he's not falling apart, but he's also not growing much, if at all.

BTW, just hit the red "!" when there's an annoyance. The mods here are pretty quick to respond as long as enough of us flag a post.
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Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, I'm. very happy that Ernesto didn't put a damper on the celebration that is going on at the moment

Great, I heard what Bolt did and that tomorrow is a special day for you, have a great time!
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I would not like to be under those towers Ernesto's developed over his COC right now. This guy is looking like he's tired of playing around, he's getting serious.
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1364. pottery
Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, I'm. very happy that Ernesto didn't put a damper on the celebration that is going on at the moment

Would love to be there to be part of that!
We trying for a medal with Phillips in the cycling tomorrow. Going good.
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Quoting Pocamocca:



I'm certain of one thing. He ain't going to Texas and sure is a weak storm that stayed very far south as the GFS has been suggesting all week.


There is NEVER a sure thing in weather.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



may be

I have 49 people on ignore and more than half are jason and JFV
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1632
1359. yoboi
tennis whats ya thoughts with ernesto???
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Alright. Seriously, you quote the trolls, you get the iggy along with them. Simple as that.


Well then I better not quote you. LOL. JK.
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1357. nigel20
Quoting wxchaser97:

Sounds like you guys/gals in Jamaica did ok, luckily Ernesto went far enough south so he did cause major issues.

Yeah, I'm. very happy that Ernesto didn't put a damper on the celebration that is going on at the moment
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I would expect the center to jump around a little bit while it tries to get under the strongest convection.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
Quoting Pocamocca:
Track has shifted well south, and we'll probably remain about the same if not a bit further south for the 11 PM EDT update from the NHC.

Looks like the GFS can very well get the gold this time. Well done.



I wouldn't be certain of that.
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Recon is going for another pass, he is starting to get his act together.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Taz the troll hunter.
He's gotten 2 tonight.
Is that a record?



may be
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114048
1351. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
check the plusses they are getting trolls plussing trolls funny how they give themselves away idiots
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Quoting nigel20:

We had very little rain with only a few reports of downed poles.

Sounds like you guys/gals in Jamaica did ok, luckily Ernesto went far enough south so he did cause major issues.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Wow. He looks so much better now.

But he has GOT TO GAIN SOME LATITUDE!
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
Taz the troll hunter.
He's gotten 2 tonight.
Is that a record?
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1632
1347. nigel20
Quoting wxchaser97:

Nigel did you get much rain/wind from Ernesto and if so then how bad/much?

We had very little rain with only a few reports of downed poles.
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1346. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting pottery:
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?


its ok
we just have a couple of stupidness idiots
that think they are brainless wunders
on the board but just like always
be gone soon enough
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Well guys, I was sent home from work because there was nothing to do, so I guess I'm spending my last few hours as a minor watching Ernie in the W Caribbean, and then of course my first few hours as a 21 year old. Much better than a hot ass factory if you ask me.

Now Ernesto needs to give me a show!


On a side note, the lakes are still slowing warming overall. On Labor Day I'll actually be able to swim in Superior for more than a few minutes without going hypothermic.

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1344. Skyepony (Mod)
273 miles (439 km) to the SW (218°) from Kingston, Jamaica.

I was only 1 mile off. Not bad for the size of the center.
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1343. nigel20
Quoting BahaHurican:
hey Nige... good race w/ Bolt today... waiting 2 watch the rebroadcast... good stuff 4 JA just in front of independence day...

Agreed. Today was a great day for all of Jamaica.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Invest 92E*


whatever....
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14869
1340. yoboi
Quoting Pocamocca:

Too bad Ernesto won't come far enough north to eat her.



hmmmm i am really sick because i know what ya meant....shame shame..
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Quoting nigel20:
MET SERVICE OF JAMAICA

Sunday, August 5, 2012 – 5:00 p.m.

Bulletin 15

TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT… ERNESTO ABOUT TO START MOVING AWAY FROM JAMAICA

The TROPICAL STORM WARNING continues for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Ernesto remains in the vicinity of the island.
At 4:00 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located near Latitude 15.3 degrees North, Longitude 78.6 degrees West; about 355 kilometres (220 miles) south-southwest of Kingston, or 330 kilometres (205 miles) south of Negril Point, Jamaica.

Ernesto is now moving towards the west near 32 km/h (20 mph) and a gradual turn toward the west-northwest with a further decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 85 km/h (50 mph), with higher gusts, and some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 km (125 miles) from the centre of Ernesto.

Radar reports indicate that light to moderate showers have been affecting most of the island, especially eastern parishes, in squalls moving from east to west. With Ernesto about to start moving away from Jamaica, it is possible that the Tropical Storm Warning could be lifted later today.

All small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, are reminded to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been discontinued and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.

The Meteorological Service continues to monitor the progress of this system. The next Bulletin on Tropical Storm Ernesto will be issued at 8:00 p.m. today.

rar

Nigel did you get much rain/wind from Ernesto and if so then how bad/much?
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1337. nigel20
Quoting pottery:

Good Evening!
Well done, Jamaica.
How's the weather? Looks kind of wet....

Thanks much! Most of the rain is situated on thee eastern end of the island, but it's mostly light.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



you are talking too a imposter pat


Oh wow, i didn't see that last part on the handle. Sorry
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1335. Skyepony (Mod)
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 6th day of the month at 02:03Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 309)
Storm Number & Year: 05L in 2012
Storm Name: Ernesto (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 12
A. Time of Center Fix: 6th day of the month at 1:27:40Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 14°53'N 79°19'W (14.8833N 79.3167W)
B. Center Fix Location: 273 miles (439 km) to the SW (218°) from Kingston, Jamaica.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,486m (4,875ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 20kts (~ 23.0mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 28 nautical miles (32 statute miles) to the SE (139°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 197° at 14kts (From the SSW at ~ 16.1mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 23 nautical miles (26 statute miles) to the SE (140°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1005mb (29.68 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 18°C (64°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,527m (5,010ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 21°C (70°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,526m (5,007ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 17°C (63°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, 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 Wind Outbound: 42kts (~ 48.3mph) in the northwest quadrant at 1:31:30Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 42kts (~ 48.3mph) in the northwest quadrant at 1:31:30Z
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Quoting Tazmanian:



you are talking too a imposter pat


He's doing that in spite of what I said. Just like Pocamocca. They both just got ignored.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156

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About JeffMasters

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