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: 633 - 583

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

Probably will move 25-30 miles north of the forecast point too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


........

What?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Ernesto is such a well-behaved storm. Look at it trying to come back the second it passes Jamaica. Typical Caribbean cruiser.

Good! After hard-headed Debby, every other storm this season needs to be well-behaved.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think Ernesto is actually moving a bit slower than 20 mph now, probably 17 0r18 mph imo, also looks like a gradually WNW movement has begun too!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
New Invest in the E-Pac...


this is another fun storm


fwua...that's a nice looking invest! I like it when you get ones like that straight off the African coast, when you can see the spin before they even hit the water.

Been quiet over there, def maybe be a fun one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Okay, Major if Levi. IF Ernesto manages to do something crazy and become a hurricane in the next 24 hours will it be pulled north? Or is it too late for a U.S. landfall?


Eh it's starting to look too late. The models just won't stop shifting south, except for one 12z ECMWF ensemble member that still takes it to Houston lol. At this rate it might be hard to even get Ernesto north of Tampico on the second landfall, but we'll see. The track is still far from finalized because of the disagreement the models are still having over the short-term intensity. Stronger still equals farther north track.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26682
Btw its over the coc lol!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Ernesto is such a well-behaved storm. Look at it trying to come back the second it passes Jamaica. Typical Caribbean cruiser.
Cute storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Okay, Major if Levi. IF Ernesto manages to do something crazy and become a hurricane in the next 24 hours will it be pulled north? Or is it too late for a U.S. landfall?


It might not be too late for a Brownsville, Texas landfall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Ernesto is such a well-behaved storm. Look at it trying to come back the second it passes Jamaica. Typical Caribbean cruiser.


While we're anthropomorphosizing, which I do all the time, mainly in the shower, Ernesto has shown patient determination to every hurdle and roadblock he's come up against. If he crosses over into the BOC and then makes landfall, he truly will be the 'little storm that could'.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
THE ANTICIPATED DECELERATION IS FINALLY OCCURRING ..i.posted.this.two.hrs.ago..hurricane.stage.comin g.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Articuno:

Watch it weaken once it covers its coc
This time might be different, he is in a more user friendly environment.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting Articuno:

Watch it weaken once it covers its coc


........
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Articuno:

Watch it weaken once it covers its coc

nope not yet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gulf Of Mexico - Water Vapor Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Great post. My forecast of 5 named storms this month isn't looking too far off now, is it? :P

With the gfs predicting Gordon, Helene, and Isaac 5 maybe 6 is possible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Ernesto is such a well-behaved storm. Look at it trying to come back the second it passes Jamaica. Typical Caribbean cruiser.


Okay, Major if Levi. IF Ernesto manages to do something crazy and become a hurricane in the next 24 hours will it be pulled north? Or is it too late for a U.S. landfall?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
With Ernesto slowing down and getting in the good zone, should see more of the convection increasing. Going out for a little bit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto can sure take punch! He's on his way back big time!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
While things are a little slow, I took the time to write up a discussion on the factors influencing tropical cyclone activity over the Atlantic as we enter our most active months of the season.


The intertropical front over Africa has consistently been further north than climatology over the past few months. Precipitation anomaly maps over Africa show above average precipitation across much of northern equatorial Africa, and exceptionally above average over the Sahel (between about 15-18N). The weak presence of the MJO over the region and the cool SST anomalies over the Gulf of Guinea have likely helped intensify these anomalies. Regardless, the above average rainfall over Africa, particularly in the Sahel, combined with the ITF being further north than normal both support the idea of stronger waves coming off Africa and less dust available to be blown out into the Atlantic and disrupt the development of tropical waves.



Sahel Rainfall Anomaly (percent of normal) since May 1st. Look closely at the Sahel (15N-18N).





In other words, conditions over Africa are very conducive for above average activity and are forecasted to stay that way.

In the Atlantic, however, conditions are not so exceptional. Across the MDR SST anomalies are above average, although they are far from significantly above average like we saw in 2005 or 2010 and even 2011 had slightly warmer temperatures across the MDR at this time. Vertical instability has been below average across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean. Velocity potential anomalies indicate that net downward motion has been strongly present over the Atlantic for the last month. The lack of the MJO's presence is partially for this, but if we had warmer SST anomalies we wouldn't see so much downward motion, even in the absence of the MJO. The SST anomaly profile over the Atlantic also reveals that we have lost the tripole. Although the SST profile also shows that SST anomalies over the south Atlantic and equator are below average. This has acted to draw the ITCZ/monsoon trough north over the Atlantic, which will help provide a moister and more unstable environment for waves emerging off Africa. TRMM precipitation anomalies over the Atlantic show the wet anomalies above the dry anomalies, a clear sign that the ITCZ is further north than normal. SST anomalies in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are above average, which would favor increased activity there, although as we near Cape Verde season we see fewer storms form in this region.

As a whole, the tropical Atlantic is favorable for somewhat above average activity as we head toward the climatological peak.


Lastly, looking at the ENSO, region 3.4 has slowly continued to warm over the last few weeks. But regardless of region 3.4, there is a large pool of above average warmth over the eastern tropical Pacific. The anomalies there are slightly warmer than our anomalies in our basin which would favor slightly more upward motion in the east Pacific. This would favor a little more shear, downward motion and stronger trade winds in the Atlantic.


Summing things up, we have very favorable conditions in Africa, a decently favorable Atlantic, and a slightly unfavorable ENSO as we begin to near our climatological peak in early September. As a result, I expect an above average August and September, after a pretty boring July.

Great post. My forecast of 5 named storms this month isn't looking too far off now, is it? :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:
Look at that Fl radar!
BAM!
Now thats a looooong sea breeze line!


i was waiting for the west coast sea breeze to pass me here in citrus county so i could go fishing but now to out flows have collided and r coming back at me there goes fishing
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 22
Quoting stormwatcherCI:



Covering his coc again ?

Watch it weaken once it covers its coc
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
is there an upper low in the gulf?and if will it effect ernesto?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto is such a well-behaved storm. Look at it trying to come back the second it passes Jamaica. Typical Caribbean cruiser.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26682
Hey, RTS calm down. Why has this got you so rung up? you didn't come on here like this after the CO shooting. Everything okay?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
New Invest in the E-Pac...


this is another fun storm
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
While things are a little slow, I took the time to write up a discussion on the factors influencing tropical cyclone activity over the Atlantic as we enter our most active months of the season.


The intertropical front over Africa has consistently been further north than climatology over the past few months. Precipitation anomaly maps over Africa show above average precipitation across much of northern equatorial Africa, and exceptionally above average over the Sahel (between about 15-18N). The weak presence of the MJO over the region and the cool SST anomalies over the Gulf of Guinea have likely helped intensify these anomalies. Regardless, the above average rainfall over Africa, particularly in the Sahel, combined with the ITF being further north than normal both support the idea of stronger waves coming off Africa and less dust available to be blown out into the Atlantic and disrupt the development of tropical waves.



Sahel Rainfall Anomaly (percent of normal) since May 1st. Look closely at the Sahel (15N-18N).





In other words, conditions over Africa are very conducive for above average activity and are forecasted to stay that way.

In the Atlantic, however, conditions are not so exceptional. Across the MDR SST anomalies are above average, although they are far from significantly above average like we saw in 2005 or 2010 and even 2011 had slightly warmer temperatures across the MDR at this time. Vertical instability has been below average across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean. Velocity potential anomalies indicate that net downward motion has been strongly present over the Atlantic for the last month. The lack of the MJO's presence is partially for this, but if we had warmer SST anomalies we wouldn't see so much downward motion, even in the absence of the MJO. The SST anomaly profile over the Atlantic also reveals that we have lost the tripole. Although the SST profile also shows that SST anomalies over the south Atlantic and equator are below average. This has acted to draw the ITCZ/monsoon trough north over the Atlantic, which will help provide a moister and more unstable environment for waves emerging off Africa. TRMM precipitation anomalies over the Atlantic show the wet anomalies above the dry anomalies, a clear sign that the ITCZ is further north than normal. SST anomalies in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are above average, which would favor increased activity there, although as we near Cape Verde season we see fewer storms form in this region.

As a whole, the tropical Atlantic is favorable for somewhat above average activity as we head toward the climatological peak.


Lastly, looking at the ENSO, region 3.4 has slowly continued to warm over the last few weeks. But regardless of region 3.4, there is a large pool of above average warmth over the eastern tropical Pacific. The anomalies there are slightly warmer than our anomalies in our basin which would favor slightly more upward motion in the east Pacific. This would favor a little more shear, downward motion and stronger trade winds in the Atlantic.


Summing things up, we have very favorable conditions in Africa, a decently favorable Atlantic, and a slightly unfavorable ENSO as we begin to near our climatological peak in early September. As a result, I expect an above average August and September, after a pretty boring July.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Do the new tw looks promising for development or not?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here's the 5 for everyone.


000
WTNT45 KNHC 052039
TCDAT5

TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO DISCUSSION NUMBER 17
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052012
500 PM EDT SUN AUG 05 2012

ASIDE FROM A SMALL BURST OF THUNDERSTORMS JUST EAST AND SOUTHEAST
OF THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER...MOST OF THE DEEP CONVECTION IS IN
DISORGANIZED PATCHES WELL TO THE EAST-NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER.
DRY AIR IN THE LOW- TO MID-LEVELS HAS BEEN DISRUPTING THE
STORM...ALONG WITH SOME SOUTH-SOUTHWESTERLY VERTICAL SHEAR.
HOWEVER...THE SHEAR APPEARS TO BE ABATING RECENTLY AND...ASSUMING
THAT ERNESTO WILL BE ABLE TO OVERCOME THE UNFAVORABLE
THERMODYNAMICS...SOME STRENGTHENING SHOULD COMMENCE WITHIN A DAY
OR SO. ONCE AGAIN...THE STATISTICAL-DYNAMICAL LGEM/SHIPS GUIDANCE
SHOWS SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS. GIVEN THE
CURRENT ORGANIZATION AND APPEARANCE OF THE STORM...THIS SEEMS
DUBIOUS. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE LATEST
HFIP INTENSITY MODEL CONSENSUS.

THE ANTICIPATED DECELERATION IS FINALLY OCCURRING AND THE INITIAL
MOTION ESTIMATE IS 280/17. THERE IS LITTLE CHANGE IN THE TRACK
FORECAST REASONING FROM THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY PACKAGE. A
MID-TROPOSPHERIC SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF ERNESTO IS
PREDICTED TO WEAKEN SOMEWHAT AS A TROUGH DIPS OVER THE EASTERN
UNITED STATES DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. AS A RESULT...THE TROPICAL
CYCLONE SHOULD TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITH A FURTHER
REDUCTION IN FORWARD SPEED OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO. MOST OF THE
MODELS ARE IN AGREEMENT THAT THE RIDGE WILL NOT WEAKEN ENOUGH TO
RESULT IN ERNESTO TURNING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST GULF COAST IN THE
LATTER PART OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. IN FACT...THE GFS AND ITS
ENSEMBLE MEAN...AS WELL AS THE LATEST ECMWF...ARE SOUTH OF THIS
OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 05/2100Z 15.3N 78.6W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 06/0600Z 15.5N 80.8W 45 KT 50 MPH
24H 06/1800Z 16.0N 82.8W 50 KT 60 MPH
36H 07/0600Z 16.7N 84.7W 55 KT 65 MPH
48H 07/1800Z 17.5N 86.6W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 08/1800Z 19.0N 90.5W 40 KT 45 MPH...INLAND
96H 09/1800Z 20.5N 94.5W 55 KT 65 MPH
120H 10/1800Z 21.5N 97.5W 70 KT 80 MPH

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/ROBERTS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Im interested to see what recon finds this evening.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting spathy:


Now this is what I am talkin about!

Woot woot!
Thank you!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop




click Image for Loop


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting spathy:
Look at that Fl radar!
BAM!
Now that a looooong sea breeze line!
I tried to post the radar but I failed..awesome! Sea breeze boundry finally!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto is moving into a TCs Dream Enviroment!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6881
Quoting spathy:


From the looks of its elongated circulation,it could be passing both N and S of next forecast point LOL



and west lets not forget west


its like it gave itself a Lobotomy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Ernesto

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting STXHurricanes2012:
He's giving us the ugly look...meaning he's ready to blossom
Hope is not near me I am going to the beach tomorrow with some friends.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hes been moving 20mph for 6 hours. Forward speed is presently decreasing less than 20mph.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6881
cloudtops getting colder.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto now to peak at 80mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DataNerd:
Been pouring rain all day here in Texas.


Same here in East Tennessee. We had a storm form right on the mountain here, didn't move for an hour. Picked up 2.97 inches of rain. nuts!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
He's giving us the ugly look...meaning he's ready to blossom
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 633 - 583

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
45 °F
Overcast