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:



winds up too 55kt mb down too 994mb with a close eye wall


Wow! She was certainly busy last night. Thanks for the update.
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2332. LargoFl
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
..this will be headed towards me tonight nws says..going to be a stormy day for east and central florida today alright,wonder if it will affect sw florida at all, i know they can use its rains also
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
Ernesto sure seems to be moving a true NW this morning.
What do yall think?
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Quoting hurrtracker1994:
Good morning all! Whats the latest on Ernesto?



winds up too 55kt mb down too 994mb with a close eye wall
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
Ernesto been moveing N its now vary close too 16 N is not right on it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
What is this from??
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:


Nevertheless, within six hours and at 3 A.M. the pattern curiously changed from a basic blob into what I had described, and I was able to easily count those wagons, and there were many.











meaning what?
Another cryptic thing..why dont you just say exactly what you think will happen clearly..you know...without the wagons.. and faces
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on sattelite does now show more NW movement
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2323. Levi32
12z BAM suite got in with the new coordinates found by recon. Change is to short-term track not long-term.

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Good morning all! Whats the latest on Ernesto?
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:

the LLCOC is NE of where the NHC puts it and NE of where the models put it wow if the models can ever get it right may see shift N and E
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2303. wunderkidcayman 9:04 AM EDT on August 06, 201

It will all depend on what happens later on today. Any jog to the North could increase the impacts to you folks; the wind fields on tropical storms or hurricanes (for tropical storm level winds or gusts) can sometimes extend up to 175 miles out. I am not sure how far South-Southeast the COC is from you folks in Caiman at the moment.
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Good rain on me 
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
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8AM Computer Model no good
Quoting AussieStorm:
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
2316. LargoFl
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

.THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
A VERY MOIST SOUTHEAST WIND FLOW WILL CONTINUE ACROSS EAST CENTRAL
FLORIDA TODAY. THIS WILL PRODUCE SCATTERED LATE MORNING AND
AFTERNOON SHOWERS AND LIGHTNING STORMS ACROSS THE REGION. STORMS
ARE INITIALLY EXPECTED TO FORM OVER THE EAST COASTAL COUNTIES FROM
VOLUSIA SOUTHWARD THROUGH MARTIN FROM LATE MORNING THROUGH THE EARLY
AFTERNOON ALONG AN EARLY DEVELOPING ATLANTIC SEA BREEZE. THE SEA
BREEZE BOUNDARY WILL BE RATHER DIFFUSE AND FAST MOVING...CAUSING
STORM ACTIVITY TO CONCENTRATE OVER THE INTERIOR FROM MID AFTERNOON
THROUGH AROUND SUNSET...WITH MOST OF THE ACTIVITY PUSHING INTO THE
WESTERN SIDE OF THE PENINSULA FROM SUNSET ONWARD.

TODAY`S STORMS WILL MOVE NORTH AT AROUND 10 MPH WHILE DEVELOPING
PROGRESSIVELY FARTHER INLAND...AND ANY STRONGER STORMS WILL BE
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING...RAINFALL
AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES IN A 60 TO 90 MINUTE PERIOD...AND WIND
GUSTS OF 40 TO 50 MPH. MOVE INDOORS IF YOU HEAR THUNDER...OR AT
THE FIRST SIGN OF THREATENING WEATHER.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Quoting washingtonian115:
Shows that when it comes to weather man still doesn't have the upper hand.
yeah that is true looks that mother nature want to do what she wants.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3704
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

my guts says otherwise but yet simmilar to what you are saying

my guts are telling me if this this is moving NW well Grand Caymans going to get that NE quad mid or far side and with it possibly becoming a Hurricane and with that weakness it may even pull some N movements so my gaurd is not going to go down accualy it will go up like if it was to come directly just can't take no chances ernesto os so full of surprises


Currently 15 mph [max] wind here on the south coast, seas five to seven feet at Spotts Dock. You need to relax, this isn't coming to Cayman
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Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
Quoting allancalderini:
And they say that the cape Verde will not be that active this year.
Shows that when it comes to weather man still doesn't have the upper hand.
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2309. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Headed in for another center pass. Should be interesting.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Expect very strong waves to come off of Africa.So could have some good cape verde storms to track these next few weeks.Could even see waves like Julie who developed over land XD.
And they say that the cape Verde will not be that active this year.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3704
Quoting StormTracker2K:



Could be a pattern that from FL to Maine will have to watch down thye road.


At this point I only take it as a somewhat likely potential that the AB ridge will not let a turn E of the CONUS happen. From Brownsville to Nova Scotia should be mildly concerned at this point. Still a very long way out, but very good time to go from generic preparedness plans to a more concrete one.
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2305. LargoFl
..................so far the models seem sure where he is going
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Continuing to trend up the El-Nino ladder.



with a little help from the MJO.

Expect very strong waves to come off of Africa.So could have some good cape verde storms to track these next few weeks.Could even see waves like Julie who developed over land XD.
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
On a positive note, he is far enough South that Caiman will probably be spared any significant impacts, other than surf erosion, from being in the line of fire from the NE quadrant.

my guts says otherwise but yet simmilar to what you are saying

my guts are telling me if this this is moving NW well Grand Caymans going to get that NE quad mid or far side and with it possibly becoming a Hurricane and with that weakness it may even pull some N movements so my gaurd is not going to go down accualy it will go up like if it was to come directly just can't take no chances ernesto os so full of surprises
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2302. LargoFl
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Up to 1inch

..might be some street flooding there if this keeps up huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
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2300. LargoFl
Quoting washingaway:
..I know it wont happen..but imagine...he goes out into the pacific, regroups and heads north into southern california lol..this storm really needs to be watched..he has a mind of his own
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Up to 1inch

Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4207
Quoting StormTracker2K:



Could be a pattern that from FL to Maine will have to watch down thye road.


Yes the next 3 weeks could be rather active then El-nino takes over and ends most of the major threats especially the long track ones to the US
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Quoting AussieStorm:

would a Circular eye with a diameter of 6 nautical miles be classified as a pinhole eye??




yes or vary close too it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
Continuing to trend up the El-Nino ladder.



with a little help from the MJO.

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Looks like it's just starting to get an anti cyclone going overhead.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

would a Circular eye with a diameter of 6 nautical miles be classified as a pinhole eye??

No, because the eye hasn't cleared out.

And also because I don't want to read through 100 posts every time I refresh.
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Quoting roatangardener:
but what does that spell for the bay islands of honduras????



I have been to the Bay Islands (I have a friend from there) and lots of tourists down there diving this Summer. Too early to tell but they will at least be on the weaker side. One of my friends diving down there was evacuated there about 5 years ago by the Navy when a storm was going. She got to ride in a Navy Chopper....They got all the Americans out and back inland to the coast...... :)
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2292. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Quoting StormJunkie:
Morning all.

Kudos to the global models on Ernesto. They did a great job of forecasting it for the most part. Storm specifics on the other hand did not fair as well until late in the game. I see Ernesto has gotten its act together a little.

On a side note, the long range GFS is showing a worrisome pattern coming up in the next few weeks.



Could be a pattern that from FL to Maine will have to watch down thye road.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Just because it has a closed eyewall doesnt mean hes a hurricane. He still has to gain some wind speed.
Poll.
Will Ernesto undergo RI?
A. Yes
B. No
C. He already is
D. RI is unpredictable. Who knows.
E i gave up trying to forecast Ernesto
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2288. LargoFl
...........................local mets changed the track i see this morning
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33344
Morning all.

Kudos to the global models on Ernesto. They did a great job of forecasting it for the most part. Storm specifics on the other hand did not fair as well until late in the game. I see Ernesto has gotten its act together a little.

On a side note, the long range GFS is showing a worrisome pattern coming up in the next few weeks.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
Caiman is not out of the woods if this storm start pulling more N Caiman will be in for it


Hopefully not but it may be close if the center relocates to the north, he really grows in size, and, makes hurricane status as opposed TS status per the current forecast; the core of the storm will not make it over the Island but we have to see how widespread his banding becomes over the next 24 hours.
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It's going to still take a Emily like track into Mexico but heck it's fun to watch :) GO USA





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Quoting Tazmanian:




they found a pine hole eye?

would a Circular eye with a diameter of 6 nautical miles be classified as a pinhole eye??
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Just because it has a closed eyewall doesnt mean hes a hurricane. He still has to gain some wind speed.
Poll.
Will Ernesto undergo RI?
A. Yes
B. No
C. He already is
D. RI is unpredictable. Who knows.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.

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