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: 883 - 833

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 ncstorm:


I wouldnt hold the 18z and 00z runs with much merit..the 06z and 12z runs are the better runs


Ncstorm the 00z and 12z runs are the better runs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Very close call.



Still a long way out, hopefully this doesnt happen
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I see potential Isaac by the cape verde islands :).Please be a beautiful non destructive storm.Like in 2000.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



what evere you do dont look be hid curtain #1
I looked there once and I havent been the same!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:


Yeah, I see that. Isn't that being caused by the ULL in the gulf?


Looks like partially so, yes. The ULL hasn't moved fully out of the way yet.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 5th day of the month at 22:52Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 309)
Storm Number: 05
Storm Name: Ernesto (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 04

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Sunday, 22:50Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 16.5N 73.1W
Location: 150 miles (241 km) to the SSW (200°) from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Turbulence: None
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 7,320 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 130° at 16 knots (From the SE at ~ 18.4 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: -17°C
Flight Level Dew Point: -18°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Overcast / Undercast
400 mb Surface Altitude: 7,590 geopotential meters

Remarks Section...

Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 22 knots (~ 25.3mph)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


TA13,post the graphic when is more close to the Leewards.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31502
Quoting scott39:
That is big and nasty. If that hit New York....well lets not go there.

Lets just hope it doesnt
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Cirrus coming in from the west in the NW part of this loop show that there is still some shear to deal with at the moment that could keep Ernesto southeast-weighted for now, though that shear should be lightening with time.



Yeah, I see that. Isn't that being caused by the ULL in the gulf?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Doppler22:

where can we watch the mars rover thing??? Itll b on tv??


NASA website - www.nasa.gov
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cirrus coming in from the west in the NW part of this loop show that there is still some shear to deal with at the moment that could keep Ernesto southeast-weighted for now, though that shear should be lightening with time.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting DubiousCane2012:


What is it with this model?

From an August ridge on one run, to an October trough on the other?


I wouldnt hold the 18z and 00z runs with much merit..the 06z and 12z runs are the better runs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Very close call.

That is big and nasty. If that hit New York....well lets not go there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Very close call.



TA13,post the graphic when is more close to the Leewards.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yoboi:


behind curtain #1 or curtain #2??? lol



what evere you do dont look be hid curtain #1
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RussianWinter:



What is CV?


Cape verde
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
Quoting yoboi:


ya forgot the saints game....
`

Oh, how could I forget the Saints. My boyfriend Drew Brees is playing ;)

Back to tropics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
864. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:
be vary vary quit am huting jfv


behind curtain #1 or curtain #2??? lol
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Forecast for 8pm ET Advisory:
Tropical Storm Ernesto-
50 Mph
1003 MB
Moving West @ 14



8pm not out yet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Very close call.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31502
Quoting yoboi:


ya forgot the saints game....


lol was fixing to say the same. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 679



Finally starting to stack vertically again but its too little, too late, as far as changing the track.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DubiousCane2012:



it's still early. All we have to look at is something might form. The way that pattern has been so far 12z run with strong ridge is more likely than 18z run with late fall strength trough
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
be vary vary quit am huting jfv
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Forecast for 8pm ET Advisory:
Tropical Storm Ernesto-
50 Mph
1003 MB
Moving West @ 14
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting MississippiWx:


Recon will give us a good idea on speed. Due to the increased organization, it has most likely slowed some at least.
Look forward to thier findings. It doesnt look like its moved too much since the last coordinates.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:
2 things to watch tonight:

1) Ernesto

2) Mars Rover - around 1:30am EDT, 12:30am CDT

Should be an interesting!

where can we watch the mars rover thing??? Itll b on tv??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



will see 1 cat 5 this year


Gotcha! Thanks. You may be right, friend. Still a little early, so I'm thinking maybe 2 or even 3 may or may not hit land. We'll see! ;) Hope you're doing good, bud! Take care.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
851. yoboi
Quoting tennisgirl08:
2 things to watch tonight:

1) Ernesto

2) Mars Rover - around 1:30am EDT, 12:30am CDT

Should be an interesting!


ya forgot the saints game....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting ncstorm:


Be careful Levi..the NOGAPS is a crappy model..

I think watching Nate do donuts in the BOC last year was the most exasperating storm ever. What an aberration.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Some of these modules should be helpful, you do need to sign up, it is free.


Fabulous! Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


The Bay of Campeche's topography usually does help TCs that get in there. It's not a bad place to be most of the time. Most storms strengthen there.


Many times weak steering winds also make the TC's aimless wanderers. That makes it especially difficult to forecast
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sar2401:


Unless Ernie completely disintegrates into an open wave, Honduras is too far south. Central Belize into Guatemala looks more likely to me, but it may be the Yucatan if he can get his act together.
He is working on the 1st act right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




it likey wont be a fish


and i wish you guys would stop calling them fish storm it may hit the CV on the way too its next stop so there for it will loss the fish name on it



What is CV?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting moonlightcowboy:



Taz, hey man! Ernesto looking somewhat better, but nearly ***poofed***. Not much chance of it becoming a monster at this point. So, any thoughts on how many CAT5s we may see this year? TIA :)



will see 1 cat 5 this year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


Be careful Levi..the NOGAPS is a crappy model..


Yes, that caveat goes unsaid lol. However, global models all agree on strengthening which is significant, except for the models that keep it inland (i.e. GFS).
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That large trough is going to take it out to sea.


not necessarily, the high extends to the coast, look at the isobars..still bears watching for how much it can recurve...already showing a lot more than last run
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scott39:
I would say Ernesto is presently moving no more than 15mph if that.


Recon will give us a good idea on speed. Due to the increased organization, it has most likely slowed some at least.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting washingtonian115:
Thank's Doppler and Levi.Gordon stay out to sea.Our shield needs to come in handy again.Would be remarkable to go 7 years without a major...

ncstorm I didn't go..


bummer..Summer will be here for a while so maybe you guys can go later before fall gets here..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




it likey wont be a fish





Taz, hey man! Ernesto looking somewhat better, but nearly ***poofed***. Not much chance of it becoming a monster at this point. So, any thoughts on how many CAT5s we may see this year? TIA :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gordydunnot:
Ernie hitting Honduras IMO.


Unless Ernie completely disintegrates into an open wave, Honduras is too far south. Central Belize into Guatemala looks more likely to me, but it may be the Yucatan if he can get his act together.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 13240
I would say Ernesto is presently moving no more than 15mph if that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Feels good to be back again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2 things to watch tonight:

1) Ernesto

2) Mars Rover - around 1:30am EDT, 12:30am CDT

Should be an interesting!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:

Where in Miami is the NHC?

Florida International University Campus
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 883 - 833

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
62 °F
Overcast