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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Quoting nigel20:

Hey Tropics! The effects of Ernesto on Jamaica was very limited...there were only a few reports of downed poles.


Hi nigel. That is very good news.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13304
Quoting mcluvincane:


Good evening guys/gals. What's your take on the latest gfs run?



you are talking too a imposter pat
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114054
1330. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting jiminceiba:
so..I am on the north coast of Honduras..about the middle of it, La Ceiba....what I am going to see..Rain?...Wind?...what?


Probably a Tropical Storm Watch. Ernesto maybe packing more precipitation by then. Divergence aloft (blues/cool colors) may be moving in, intensifying him then. It's been well spread out with it's rain. So rain, maybe TS winds. With the high, water temps & all I'll go outside chance of Cat 1 winds. I 1/2 expect it to follow the ULL going into MX so should stay a little north of you but that High may push it more south.

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1329. spbloom
For those who care about the future, the much-anticipated new Dai paper on drought is here. The full text is thick going, but the graphics make the unpretty picture clear enough. Yep, warm the planet, get fundamental shifts in rainfall patterns plus much greater soil drying.
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Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, bolt gave us the best present on the eve of our 50th anniversary.

Evening Nigel.
Hows the weather?
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1636
Quoting nigel20:
Thanks Dr. Masters...good evening everyone!
hey Nige... good race w/ Bolt today... waiting 2 watch the rebroadcast... good stuff 4 JA just in front of independence day...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20734
Quoting PatrapFag:
I want to see Florence (or whatever the blue hell her name is) pump the ridge.


Good evening guys/gals. What's your take on the latest gfs run?
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1324. nigel20
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi pottery. Is 92E in EPAC.

Hey Tropics! The effects of Ernesto on Jamaica was very limited...there were only a few reports of downed poles.
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1323. pottery
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi pottery. Is 92E in EPAC. How much rain fell there as Ernesto passed?

0.5" at my house, some heavy showers in some areas.
No problem.
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1319. pottery
Quoting nigel20:
Thanks Dr. Masters...good evening everyone!

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



One would think; however, moving west still at 20 mph does not lean towards strengthening enough to feel that weakness. He better get cranking; otherwise, he's going to run out of liquid real estate fairly soon.


Recon shows that he has slowed.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
1317. nigel20
Quoting SubtropicalHi:
Hope your celebration went well, Nigel

Hope your celebration/weekend went well.

Yeah, bolt gave us the best present on the eve of our 50th anniversary.
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1316. sar2401
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
According to the latest models, Ernesto may not even make it into the Bay of Campeche.

Not sure whether I agree with them.



TA, I do agree with the models, as I've said before. This going to be a Belize storm and die inland unless Ernie undergoes an amazing RI in the next 24 hours. I just don't see him organizing more than he is now, and he doesn't have that much time over deep water. I know a lot of people are pulling for Earnie to get out of his funk but I'm afraid he's destined to be a footnote in hurricane history.
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Quoting jiminceiba:
so..I am on the north coast of Honduras..about the middle of it, La Ceiba....what I am going to see..Rain?...Wind?...what?
TS force wind and rains r likely. hard to know how much yet, as Ernesto is very much a work in progress... stay tuned to NHC / local reports and keep us up to date.

Stay safe!
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20734
Quoting pottery:
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?


Hi pottery. Is 92E in EPAC. How much rain fell there as Ernesto passed?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13304
Quoting MississippiWx:
There is the break in the ridge. Ernesto should continue to slow down and begin to gain latitude.




One would think; however, moving west still at 20 mph does not lean towards strengthening enough to feel that weakness. He better get cranking; otherwise, he's going to run out of liquid real estate fairly soon.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
ok i give up on this for the night. ernesto is proving me wrong again. take care all
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1311. pottery
Quoting LostTomorrows:


Everyone is actually saying 92E... as in... Eastern Pacific.

Oooops!
Silly me.
Sorry.
Thanks.....
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1310. 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
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Quoting pottery:
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?

There is no 92L, someone read BEST track wrong. There is 92E and it has a 50% chance of development per latest NHC outlook.

Quoting nigel20:
Thanks Dr. Masters...good evening everyone!

Good evening Nigel!
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Hope your celebration went well, Nigel
Quoting nigel20:
Thanks Dr. Masters...good evening everyone!


Hope your celebration/weekend went well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?

92E. No 92L
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1636
1305. yoboi
hey taz the real pat is going to blow a fuse, i thought it was the real pat drinking an jokin around the imposter is funny
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Quoting pottery:
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?


Hi Pott...no 92L and yes it is stupid in here tonight.
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Quoting pottery:
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?


Everyone is actually saying 92E... as in... Eastern Pacific.
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would you guys stop falling for the fake pat he a imposter posting in his name



look at the date he joined and commets



are real pat has way more commet hes all most up where i am
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114054
1299. nigel20
Thanks Dr. Masters...good evening everyone!
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1298. pottery
Some real stupidness in here tonight.

92L ?
Where?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Alright. Seriously, you quote the trolls, you get the iggy along with them. Simple as that.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
Quoting jiminceiba:
so..I am on the north coast of Honduras..about the middle of it, La Ceiba....what I am going to see..Rain?...Wind?...what?


Check out this link. Link La Ceiba Honduras Weather
Click on Satellite map as needed to check convection in your area.

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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
EP, 92, 2012080600, , BEST, 0, 124N, 1058W, 25, 1008, LO, 34, NEQ,

30 mph Invest 92L

Invest 92E*
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
EP, 92, 2012080600, , BEST, 0, 124N, 1058W, 25, 1008, LO, 34, NEQ,

30 mph Invest 92L
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Quoting Tazmanian:



that was not me lol that was prsslord

interesting....
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1636
Quoting Tazmanian:



1st storm is dieing but may come back later on and likey go out too sea cant say the same for the other two



but what do i no


You know wrestling!!!
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1285. Skyepony (Mod)
Dropsonde found 1005mb.. though it was dropped in eye you can tell by the winds it missed..or it is closed to about 908mbs.

Significant Wind Levels...
Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
1005mb (Surface) 175° (from the S) 22 knots (25 mph)
985mb 185° (from the S) 21 knots (24 mph)
945mb 175° (from the S) 13 knots (15 mph)
923mb 195° (from the SSW) 14 knots (16 mph)
908mb 190° (from the S) 8 knots (9 mph)
855mb 345° (from the NNW) 1 knots (1 mph)
843mb 60° (from the ENE) 4 knots (5 mph)
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Quoting yoboi:
patrap ya having a drink tonight ya seem differ...



that is not are real patrap hes a troll/imposter in his name
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114054

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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.