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 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: 114053
Flag and ignore, people. Flag and ignore.
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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?
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wow, looks like Ernesto is firing on all four cylinders.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
According to the latest models, Ernesto may not even make it into the Bay of Campeche.

Not sure whether I agree with them.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30252
Shape is more circular. Still needs to gain latitude though.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
1276. yoboi
patrap ya having a drink tonight ya seem differ...
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Derived from (NHC) ATCF data for TropicalStormErnesto for 6August12amGMT:
MinimumPressure decreased from 1006millibars to 1003millibars
MaxSusWinds held at 45knots(52mph)83km/h
Its vector changed from 273.5*West@20.1mph(32.3km/h) to 274.7*West@14.5mph(23.3km/h)

CUK-CayeCaulker :: MDB-Dangriga :: PEU-PuertoLempira :: WSP-Waspam :: PUZ-PuertoCabezas

The easternmost dot on the kinked line marks Ernesto's position on its 30th hour as a TropicalStorm
The westernmost dot on the kinked line marks Ernesto's position on its 72nd hour as a TropicalStorm
The easternmost dot on the longest line is TS.Ernesto's most recent position

The longest line is a straightline projection through TS.Ernesto's 2 most recent positions to its closest approach (within 18miles or 29 kilometres) to a coastline
5August12amGMT: TS.Ernesto had been headed for passage over CayeCaulker (CUK)
5August6amGMT: TS.Ernesto had been headed for passage over LagunaBismuna (southernWSPdumbbell)
5August12pmGMT: TS.Ernesto was heading for passage over CaboViejoTalaSulamasNaturalReserve (northernWSPdumbell
5August6pmGMT: TS.Ernesto had been headed for passage over Cauquira,Honduras (northernPEUblob)
6August12amGMT: TS.Ernesto was heading for passage over ReservaDeVidaSilvestreCaratasca (where HurricaneMitch made landfall) in ~20&1/2.hours from now (when this comment was posted)

Copy&paste eyw, ctm-18.883n87.642w, cuk-17.75n88.024w, mdb-17.23n88.304w, peu-15.43n83.84w, wsp-14.87n83.274w, wsp-14.95n83.222w, puz-14.32n82.6w, pva-13.323n81.391w-13.213n81.384w, stx, 13.8n64.8w- 13.9n66.4w- 14.2n67.9w- 14.6n69.3w- 15.1n71.7w- 15.1n73.9w- 15.1n76.1w- 15.2n77.9w, 15.2n77.9w-15.3n79.2w, 15.2n77.9w-15.61n84.058w into the GreatCircleMapper for a larger-scale map and other information
The previous mapping for comparison.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1274. MZT
Quoting RTSplayer:



Ya'll really need to lighten up.

You just think trolls are bad here.

Should try an entertainment based forum with, you know, teenagers and 20-somethings; try it a few times and see what "normal" forums are like.



Seems like news articles, especially on Yahoo or the in "Disqus" comments at newspaper sites ... have really devolved over the last several years into taunting fests. The noise-to-signal is exponential.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

LOL. Nice to see a pic of u Taz. JK

But they aint on my sexiest blogger list. They on the ignored list.



that was not me lol that was prsslord
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114053
1270. Skyepony (Mod)
By recon the center looks wide but closed. I'll go ~14.900N 79.333W ~272 miles (436 km) to the SW (220°) from Kingston, Jamaica. 1005mb
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Add another lightning death to the total this year, a fan was killed by lightning at Pocono raceway today. Link
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886


Why won't Ernesto let go of South America?
Or is it SA that won't let go of him?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
Quoting DubiousCane2012:


But would that be enough to keep them moving west, Tasmanian?

The first one took off to sea; therefore, why couldn't the latter ones follow in the first one's footsteps and do the same?



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
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114053
Quoting Tazmanian:


sexiest blogers?


LOL. Nice to see a pic of u Taz. JK

But they aint on my sexiest blogger list. They on the ignored list.
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1635
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

My Google Earth shows it already went through the center.


Tropical Atlantic doesn't show that yet and it's normally up-to-date.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
1261. MZT
Y'all must be quick on the "-" signs tonight because I'm only seeing the trolls on quoted comments. (Have my blog reader set to "Show Below Average")

Don't quote trolls. Just "Minus" them so they converse among each other.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Thanks for the message.. -JasonisCOOLman2012...
You're officially ignored...
Big deal. Jase has been posting 4 weeks... most pple know who he is... he bothers nobody... nobody bothers him... everything is cool. Even Taz gave him props last night 4 calling Ernesto's falling apart when nobody else did. u could have ignored w/out the callout. Like this u just look petty...

JIMHO...
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This is one place that if I don't want to hear or read stupid, inane remarks I don't have to.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
Quoting MississippiWx:


1005mb with 35kt winds. Haven't reached the center yet.

My Google Earth shows it already went through the center.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30252
Quoting Chicklit:
From 8 PM ... DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 79.6 WEST. ERNESTO IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 20 MPH...32 KM/H...AND A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITH A FURTHER DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF ERNESTO IS EXPECTED TO PASS TO THE SOUTH OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY AND MOVE NORTH OF THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF HONDURAS LATE MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AS ERNESTO MOVES OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 125 MILES...205 KM FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN JAMAICA THROUGH THIS EVENING. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN GRAND CAYMAN TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY...AND IN THE WATCH AREA ALONG THE COAST OF HONDURAS BY LATE MONDAY.

RAINFALL...RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS...CAN BE EXPECTED IN JAMAICA AS ERNESTO MOVES BY THE ISLAND.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART




If it makes a jog north then the Caymans will certainly be in the tropical storm force wind range.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Time: 01:30:30Z
Coordinates: 15.0N 79.4333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.6 mb (~ 24.91 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,548 meters (~ 5,079 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1005.7 mb (~ 29.70 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 42 at 24 knots (From the NE at ~ 27.6 mph)
Air Temp: 20.5C (~ 68.9F)
Dew Pt: 17.2C (~ 63.0F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 26 knots (~ 29.9 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 34 knots (~ 39.1 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 3 mm/hr (~ 0.12 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ernesto's circulation has strengthened today to say the least, lol.

The pressure was higher this time though. 1006 millibars.



1005mb with 35kt winds. Haven't reached the center yet.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
better re move it lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114053
1251. Chicklit
1:38 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
From 8 PM ... DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 79.6 WEST. ERNESTO IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 20 MPH...32 KM/H...AND A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITH A FURTHER DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF ERNESTO IS EXPECTED TO PASS TO THE SOUTH OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY AND MOVE NORTH OF THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF HONDURAS LATE MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AS ERNESTO MOVES OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 125 MILES...205 KM FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN JAMAICA THROUGH THIS EVENING. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN GRAND CAYMAN TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY...AND IN THE WATCH AREA ALONG THE COAST OF HONDURAS BY LATE MONDAY.

RAINFALL...RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS...CAN BE EXPECTED IN JAMAICA AS ERNESTO MOVES BY THE ISLAND.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART


Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1249. SFLWeatherman
1:36 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
What going on rain at 9:40PM??
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
1247. TropicalAnalystwx13
1:36 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Ernesto's circulation has strengthened today to say the least, lol.

The pressure was higher this time though. 1006 millibars.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30252
1246. MississippiWx
1:36 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Could be the start of a good night for Ernesto. Now that his low level center is slowing down, the mid level center can get aligned with it and cause quicker strengthening. Could still easily see a hurricane if he misses Honduras.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
1243. SFLWeatherman
1:34 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
All from 384HR



Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
1242. Chicklit
1:34 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It has updated.

good, thanks.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1241. wxchaser97
1:34 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Quoting Chicklit:

That jerk just made #289 on my ignore list.

Sorry if this sounds like a rookie mistake but I hit the minus instead of the plus. Even though you can't see it sorry. +1
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7886
1240. Tazmanian
1:34 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Taz, please stop responding to the trolls.



ok will do
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114053
1239. JrWeathermanFL
1:33 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Quoting PatrapFag:


TOO high in Altitude, likely fish.
Quoting DubiousCane2012:


How do you know?

Im almost to 50 people on my list
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 1635
1238. Tazmanian
1:33 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114053
1237. RTSplayer
1:32 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Ernesto continues to defy all logic and precedent by being considerably weaker in the W. Caribbean than the E. Caribbean.


Hopefully, the flooding in Central America won't be too bad, as it looks like it's going to be making a very close call to Nicaragua.


Since the logical expectation regarding intensity is for the storm to stay weak now, since it will be spending so much time near land anyway, but every "logical" approach to forecasting intensity has failed thus far, then my expectation is that it will probably do the opposite of what makes sense, and start intensifying after it starts interacting with Nicaragua.

At this point regarding intensity, it only makes sense for it to do something which makes no sense.

I'm sure the hurricane center probably feels about the same way right now. What are they supposed to think? 36 hours ago two different models had it as high as 145mph for lifetime max, and now it'll be a wonder if it ever makes hurricane status at all, or so it seems.


Let's all say it together:

"Never say never."

and

"It surely isn't sure."
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1502
1236. MississippiWx
1:32 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Quoting Chicklit:

I'v posted that at least 4 times today. Even Jeff didn't notice. ugh.


CIMSS is updated. If it's still showing last night's image on your computer, refresh the page.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
1234. SFLWeatherman
1:32 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
120HR 18Z GFS



Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
1233. TropicalAnalystwx13
1:32 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
Quoting Tazmanian:



look at the gfs mode runs the high will be comeing in and take the storm more W

Taz, please stop responding to the trolls.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30252

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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.