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 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: 113 Comments: 32259
Quoting Chicklit:

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

It has updated.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32259
Quoting PatrapFag:


TOO high in Altitude, likely fish.



]it wont be a fish
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting DubiousCane2012:


How do you know?



look at the gfs mode runs the high will be comeing in and take the storm more W
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
That map is from last night. CIMSS has not updated since 0300.

I'v posted that at least 4 times today. Even Jeff didn't notice. ugh.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11348
Quoting Chicklit:

That jerk just made #289 on my ignore list.



good
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting Tazmanian:
imposter pat is back i see

That jerk just made #289 on my ignore list.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11348
Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
hurricane hitting miami,fl
I wouldn't call it hitting Miami. It looks more like grazing Miami.
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Next TS coming off at 114HR!!:)
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I don't know where some of you get your information from when you write things like Ernesto has been a weird storm and the NOAA NHC and HH has been stressed by this storm. They have been pretty consistent on their two possible tracks and forecast; one path had a gracious hurricane Cat one that could have had the possibility of a tip of Yukatan followed by an enterance into the Gulf. The other was keeping it at TS status and heading for Belize or thereabouts. The only people baffled by this were some of the bloggers who wanted Ernesto to "thread the needle" and roar into the Gulf as a hurricane.

There was a 3rd scenario by the models and nhc, somewhat of an outlier by the professional mets that also said Ernesto could dissipate in the Caribbean.

Give credit where credit is due.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
That map is from last night. CIMSS has not updated since 0300.


Refresh your page. It's updated.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
1219. scott39
Ernesto 50mph 1003mb moving 6 hour average at 15mph 12 hour average 17mph. He found his breaks and is dropping in pressure!
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Quoting MississippiWx:
That map is from last night. CIMSS has not updated since 0300.
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Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
WOW!!!

Thanks for the message.. -JasonisCOOLman2012...
Youre officially ignored...
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Recon is headed back for another center fix. Might be able to tell motion/speed and of course if its any stronger.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
ime: 01:20:30Z
Coordinates: 14.7333N 79.2167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.9 mb (~ 24.89 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,564 meters (~ 5,131 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.3 mb (~ 29.78 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 247° at 9 knots (From the WSW at ~ 10.3 mph)
Air Temp: 17.9°C (~ 64.2°F)
Dew Pt: 14.8°C (~ 58.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 9 knots (~ 10.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 17 knots (~ 19.5 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 2 mm/hr (~ 0.08 in/hr)
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from PR up the E coast needs too start watching next week has the set up we have will not have the storms go out too sea the way you like them
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I remember someone saying it was a MCS over the center and Levi agreeing. Does that still count as a CDO?
Ok I found the quote after searching. It on page 10 of the blog if you out it on 200 posts.

1950. Levi32 12:05 AM GMT on August 05, 2012 +2
Quoting Hawkeyewx:
Pretty much all we have is a nice rotating MCS floating along above a poorly defined surface center. It appears little has change today.


Exactly.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
i would say north of the islands

I was just about to say that, I went back a page, and looked at that frame again...
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Finally how a true circulation should look with the HHs.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
Florence has a nic blow up




Taz...... that is a flock of sea gulls! LOL
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Quoting DubiousCane2012:


The other two better head off to sea as well.



there not going out too sea with that kind of setup the high is
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

That set-up would put those two in the caribbean...
i would say north of the islands
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imposter pat is back i see
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
Quoting CaneHunter031472:
SPOOKY!!


That set-up would put those two in the caribbean...
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1201. Hugo5
poor flo, prolly won't make the transit.
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There is the break in the ridge. Ernesto should continue to slow down and begin to gain latitude.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
CIMSS finally updated. The long awaited upper level ridging is building in over the Western Caribbean.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
have you guys seen the wave train the GFS shows? 3 storms before LATE august? thats already 9 storms!
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Time: 01:10:30Z
Coordinates: 14.3333N 78.8167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.4 mb (~ 24.88 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,565 meters (~ 5,135 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1009.4 mb (~ 29.81 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 222° at 10 knots (From the SW at ~ 11.5 mph)
Air Temp: 15.8°C (~ 60.4°F)
Dew Pt: 13.6°C (~ 56.5°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 11 knots (~ 12.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 3 mm/hr (~ 0.12 in/hr)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Time: 00:46:30Z
Coordinates: 14.0333N 79.5W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.8 mb (~ 24.89 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,566 meters (~ 5,138 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1008.9 mb (~ 29.79 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 275° at 11 knots (From the W at ~ 12.6 mph)
Air Temp: 17.3°C (~ 63.1°F)
Dew Pt: 13.4°C (~ 56.1°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 11 knots (~ 12.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 11 knots (~ 12.6 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr (~ 0.04 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

Some good true west winds for the first time of all the missions!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Some stuff in Ernesto wants to go West, other stuff wants to shoot the gap and go North. That's why is not a circular cane.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It had a real CDO. Yesterday and the day before. A very impressive one at that.

It's inner-core...not so impressive.

I remember this image like it was just yesterday...



Oh wait, it was.
I remember someone saying it was a MCS over the center and Levi agreeing. Does that still count as a CDO?
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1190. scott39
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
A hot mess compared to thet previous post.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Blog is slow
everybody's watching a different "bolt"..... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22318
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32259
1187. ncstorm
18Z GFS Ensemble spread for the storm coming off Africa





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It seems that the GFS was right from the beginning with Ernesto by calling it a Dud! That's good news for the Gulf coast and Hopefully it will not be too strong when it hits Mexico
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I want to share this awesome tool NASA has provided for us to watch Curiosity land. Link

Its like a Google Earth 3D tracker of the Mars Science Lab (Curiosity) on approach and landing.
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1184. scott39
Quoting ncstorm:
thats a lot of moisture for the updated HPC map

That is alot of rain!
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SPOOKY!!

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

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