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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I just read about a space storm that could effect the earth soon. The last big one was a 150 years ago when we didnt have sats and power grids. This would be catastrophic world wide. It would make a hurricane look and feel like a scratch in comparison.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




pat has a imposter


Please flag and don't quote them.
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GFS 168 hrs, longer range show this one heading due west as a classic long track cape verde system.
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426 He is not going to give up until he is over land.
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Quoting PatrapFag:
What did you mean its not a hurricane!??





pat has a imposter
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Quoting TomTaylor:
Yep, the GFS's consistent development of storms coming off Africa is the GFS trying to show us that the set up is ripe for development of tropical waves in the MDR.



If just one of them ever makes it into the Northwestern Carrib or GOM from the straights it would be very nasty. Gulf is going to remain hot until late October.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

At least 7 dead in mass shooting at Wisconsin Sikh Temple


Ernesto is trying, have to wait to see if this continues.

Yeah....we should at least give him credit for trying :)

The image you posted does show some more cloudtops on the NW side of convection. This could be a SMALL sign that the dry air intrusion is waning a little bit.

He doesn't want to dissipate...at least not at this point.

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Good consensus with Florence:






Interestingly tracks losing their recurve each cycle.

If Florence was to hold together as a rem-anent low and transit westward it could be interesting.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

So much for the ECMWF's depiction of well above average MSLP across most of the Atlantic by this time..

Our Cape Verde season should be more active than thought, especially with the GFS consistently showing 2-3 this month.
Yep, the GFS's consistent development of storms coming off Africa is the GFS trying to show us that the set up is ripe for development of tropical waves in the MDR.
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384...you might be right for a change.
j/k
not happening.
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Link



Not surprisingly we have 0 RI going on this morning and basically no chance of it happening at this point.

LLC moving way too fast to stack vertically and the westerlies will ensure it continues to do so.



If the system had stacked up before passing the Antilles and become a hurricane it would have posed a threat to the U.S., as it stand now its highly unlikely it will be a threat to CONUS. Once it was past the Antilles the westerlies proved to be too strong and caused decouple and collapse of the mid and upper level part of the system leaving the llc behind.



IMO its not going to turn at all, it will run straight into central america and that will be that.


In any event, what this storm taught me is to trust the GFS more, as it was pretty much right all along, although it was 24 hrs off on the timing of dissipation, and was off on how strong the system would become before decoupling.


Will be interested to see what the wave heading off Africa does, its not strong enough to develop like Florence did so it may transit the Atlantic west in the ITCZ.
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..............................nice to see new mexico getting rain..they need it out there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
the 12z gfdl is much more believable than yesterdays runs
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Florence doesn't look much better.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
LOL. I was just going to say I can tell who stepped on your corn toe. Island saying lol.
lol at least one person knows what I am talking about... lol

Quoting sar2401:
I'll just repeat what I've been saying for the past three days. My observatons are based on watching and tracking tropical systems for the last 50 years.
Would u mind putting this list up on ur blog or somewhere? This is such a useful set of reminders for the gung ho and the forgetful.

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.................................looks like the sea breeze has moved inland
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
I just want to say I'm not at all surprised at what ernesto looks like right now. I saw the end of ernesto yesterday when I noticed that the cloud profile on the western side of the storm was characteristic of early signs of dry air intrusion. I remembered reading about the trade winds situation possible causing problems for Ernesto and that led me to believe that trade winds along with the dry air intrusion would really give Ernesto problems.
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At least 7 dead in mass shooting at Wisconsin Sikh Temple


Ernesto is trying, have to wait to see if this continues.
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That's Mr. Handiwrap to you Grothar.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
This doesn't even look like a tropical cyclone anymore. ECMWF and GFS?


It's not. The NHC won't declare it post-tropical though as it's starting to enter a more favorable environment for redevelopment.
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Quoting tennisgirl08:


As I stated before, the GFDL model plots are much more in line with tracks from analog years similar to 2012.

I think Ernesto could very well dissipate, but I also think it could very well slightly strengthen and move more northernly than expected. 50/50 at this point.

I agree "Tennisgirl08 ;o)>>>> I have "Always" say that you never count out a Storm untill it has passed or the NHC says it's Dead and last advisory has been given.... So on that note I will keep my eye on Ernesto untill either gone or dead.... Just Saying :o)

Taco :o)
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Quoting yonzabam:


Those MJO graphics are incomprehensible to me. In layman's terms, when will it be enhancing cyclogenesis in the Atlantic?
Soon
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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSONVILLE FL
306 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012

FLZ036-040-051930-
ALACHUA-MARION-
306 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012

...A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR CENTRAL ALACHUA
AND NORTHWESTERN MARION COUNTIES FOR STRONG WINDS AND EXCESSIVE
LIGHTNING VALID UNTIL 330 PM EDT...

AT 306 PM EDT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM CENTERED 3 MILES WEST OF FLEMINGTON...OR 7 MILES
NORTHEAST OF WILLISTON...MOVING NORTH AT 15 MPH. THIS STRONG
THUNDERSTORM WILL ALSO AFFECT AREAS AROUND FLEMINGTON...ROCHELLE...
NEWNANS LAKE...MICANOPY...GAINESVILLE AIRPORT AND GAINESVILLE THROUGH
330 PM EDT. EXCESSIVE CLOUD-TO-GROUND LIGHTNING AND GUSTY WINDS OF 40
TO 50 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED ALONG WITH POSSIBLE MINOR DAMAGE. HEAVY
RAINFALL WILL PRODUCE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS AND MINOR FLOODING
OF LOW-LYING AREAS.

REPORT DAMAGE TO THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR YOUR COUNTY
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

LAT...LON 2971 8241 2971 8218 2939 8227 2938 8240
TIME...MOT...LOC 1906Z 196DEG 12KT 2943 8234

$$

ZIBURA
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


GFS is the stellar model so far in 2012.


which to me leads more credence, regardless of how far out it is, to a busy CV season over the next few weeks and 1 of those potentially threatening the US
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


CIMSS wind charts say yes you are
i was asking because no one ever quotes me until now
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Quoting unknowncomic:
You may want to wait saying that till after peak season and mjo here.


Just my belief...not written in stone ;)
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
This doesn't even look like a tropical cyclone anymore. ECMWF and GFS?



GFS is the stellar model so far in 2012.
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..................folks up in the northern states..pay attention to your local alerts..an active afternoon up there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Quoting tennisgirl08:


NO. Season is not a bust. Patience. Although, I do not believe we will have very many landfalling hurricanes this season due to strong troughs. Unless they are "homegrown" in nature.
You may want to wait saying that till after peak season and mjo here.
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Quoting windshear1993:
am i invisible??


CIMSS wind charts say yes you are
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Quoting windshear1993:
am i invisible??


Is that you, Mr. Cellophane?
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This doesn't even look like a tropical cyclone anymore. ECMWF and GFS?

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Quoting Patrap:





LOL. Nice pics...he sure is trying.
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am i invisible??
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Quoting Patrap:





LMAO!! Great analysis
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Quoting reedzone:


May not recurve that easily.. I have a feeling Florence may ride up the East Coast as a TS or minimal Hurricane. It's a long time form now though, we'll see what happens. Best not to make a bold statement saying Florence is going to recurve cause, we really don't know right now.
yes, I actucally just modifyed my comment, addind "assuming he holds together." at current strenght or strenthens.
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Good consensus with Florence:

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Quoting yonzabam:
I'll make a prediction - Ernesto will be one of many 'inexplicable' non events this season. I believe the drought is creating a 'sinking air' environment throughout the western Atlantic and this is inhibiting cyclogenesis.

Season's a bust.


NO. Season is not a bust. Patience. Although, I do not believe we will have very many landfalling hurricanes this season due to strong troughs. Unless they are "homegrown" in nature.
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TORNADO WARNING>>>>>>>>>>> ;>>>>>>>>>>>>& gt;>>>>>>>>>BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED  TORNADO WARNING  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH  
242 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012  
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND HAS ISSUED A  
 
* TORNADO WARNING FOR...  
SOUTHEASTERN TRUMBULL COUNTY IN NORTHEAST OHIO...  
 
* UNTIL 300 PM EDT  
 
* AT 239 PM EDT...SPOTTERS REPORTED A FUNNEL CLOUD NEAR HUBBARD...OR  
7 MILES NORTH OF YOUNGSTOWN. A TORNADO MAY DEVELOP FROM THIS STORM.  
DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THE STORM MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.  
 
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...  
WEST HILL.  
 
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...  
 
THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. IF NO  
BASEMENT IS AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE  
BUILDING IN AN INTERIOR HALLWAY OR CLOSET.  
 
PLEASE REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY  
CALLING TOLL FREE. 1-877-633-6772. WHEN YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY.  
 
 
 
LAT...LON 4113 8075 4118 8076 4125 8052 4125 8051  
4114 8051 4113 8052  
TIME...MOT...LOC 1841Z 260DEG 22KT 4118 8056  
 
 
 
KOSARIK  
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37144
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10160
Quoting galvestonhurricane:


That comment sounds like deja vu. "How could it only have 60 mph winds?! It looks like a hurricane! Thats impossible!"


:)
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Quoting Methurricanes:
A decent line of storms are developing in the CT River Valley in Western New England, this is the leading edge of the trough that will recurve Florence out to sea.


May not recurve that easily.. I have a feeling Florence may ride up the East Coast as a TS or minimal Hurricane. It's a long time form now though, we'll see what happens. Best not to make a bold statement saying Florence is going to recurve cause, we really don't know right now.
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I just saw the GFS latest run..

-----------------------------------------
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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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