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: 383 - 333

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

I just saw the GFS latest run..

-----------------------------------------
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
PECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
101 PM CDT SUN AUG 5 2012

TXZ209-223>225-051900-
DE WITT-FAYETTE-GONZALES-LAVACA-
101 PM CDT SUN AUG 5 2012

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR NORTHERN LAVACA...EASTERN
GONZALES...SOUTHWESTERN FAYETTE AND NORTHERN DEWITT COUNTIES UNTIL
200 PM CDT...

AT 1251 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED AN
AREA OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS FROM NEAR HALLETTSVILLE TO
YORKTOWN...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 15 MPH.

WIND GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS...ALONG WITH
HEAVY RAIN AND FREQUENT DANGEROUS LIGHTNING.

LOCATIONS NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE...
SHINER...
MOULTON...
FLATONIA...
HOCHHEIM...
CHEAPSIDE...
BRESLAU...
MOUNT OLIVE...
MORAVIA...
WITTING...
KOMENSKY...

THE HEAVY RAIN MAY FLOOD LOW LYING AREAS SUCH AS DITCHES...LOW WATER
CROSSINGS AND UNDERPASSES. DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE ACROSS FLOODED
ROADWAYS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
El Nino conditions do correlate to stronger trade winds in the Caribbean. During an El Nino we have lower pressures in the east pacific. Lower pressures over the east pacific intensify the pressure gradient between the Azores/Bermuda high and the East Pacific, increasing the trade winds between the two. Over the past week pressures have been lower over the East Pacific, which would help to intensify the trade winds over the Caribbean. So yes, you could say that the weakening of Ernesto partially caused by the accelerating winds in the Caribbean was magnified by El Nino conditions.

SLP Anomalies for the Last Week


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:


Those MJO graphics are incomprehensible to me. In layman's terms, when will it be enhancing cyclogenesis in the Atlantic?
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
372 LOL
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 663
Quoting Patrap:



..Hey PAT..how did you get the pic of me roflmao
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


That's impossible, isn't it, TA?


That comment sounds like deja vu. "How could it only have 60 mph winds?! It looks like a hurricane! Thats impossible!"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting unknowncomic:
Almost exactly 20 years after Andrew.
The evening of August 23, into the morning of August 24th.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:
I see Ernesto is almost no more. Well tried to tell you guys that the Eastern Caribbean was probably going to really weaken Ernesto
Actually it was the Central Caribbean, some how it got stronger in the Eastern Caribbean, but the trade winds increased and the Center outran the MCS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting unknowncomic:
Almost exactly 20 years after Andrew.
..wow thats right
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Ernesto Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop


It's easy to see the naked swirl in this sat. image. He's not dead, yet. WV loops also show that dry air to his west is still present...BUT shrinking.

Very small bit of convection popping up on the south side of the circulation.

If he stays north of C.A. and dry air continues to shrink we could see more convection pop up around the center. IF this happens, expect some slow strengthening.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting unknowncomic:
Almost exactly 20 years after Andrew.


yep
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Florence may regenerate north of the islands and possibly run up the East Coast as a TS.. It's something to watch as models continue to drift westward.



Potentially a precursor for the next one, which may be a very interesting storm to track. Perhaps a true Cape Verde, long tracked Hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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. Assumeing he holds together
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS is the best model so far in the 2012 season followed by the Euro.The performance by GFS for Ernesto has been stellar.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
BahaHurican i would start watching the gfs you may have a cat 3 or stronger hurricane on augs 20th or so
Almost exactly 20 years after Andrew.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormchaser19:


Tom, what is happened with Ernesto is a correlation with el nino?
El Nino conditions do correlate to stronger trade winds in the Caribbean. During an El Nino we have lower pressures in the east pacific. Lower pressures over the east pacific intensify the pressure gradient between the Azores/Bermuda high and the East Pacific, increasing the trade winds between the two. Over the past week pressures have been lower over the East Pacific, which would help to intensify the trade winds over the Caribbean. So yes, you could say that the weakening of Ernesto partially caused by the accelerating winds in the Caribbean was magnified by El Nino conditions.

SLP Anomalies for the Last Week

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
101.. We each have our own opinion.... I'm sorry I went there, Just like I do not speak of politics to friends, or non friends..... I am done with this topic... Pinky truce


truce
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
..................................looks like florida and texas are getting goo d rains today
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yoboi:


it's been a strange storm



yep
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I see Ernesto is almost no more. Well tried to tell you guys that the Eastern Caribbean was probably going to really weaken Ernesto
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
101.. We each have our own opinion.... I'm sorry I went there, Just like I do not speak of politics to friends, or non friends..... I am done with this topic... Pinky truce
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
Umm..... yeah..


The thing is... The current pattern and trends supports this. The next storm may be a big one.
..can you move that storm to say...hmmm Canada lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
357. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:



i fully give up on ernesto not tracking the joker any more


it's been a strange storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting JeffMasters:


Thanks, I changed this to:

"The latest wind shear analysis from the SHIPS model shows moderate shear of 10 - 15 knots affecting the storm,"

Jeff Masters


Thanks for that Dr. Masters..
No one can bash you for the shear info anyway as it was current when you updated your blog..(or didn't) update as it should.. :)
Thanks again for droppin' in and maybe your daughter will get tickets to the Lollapalooza yet.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



i fully give up on ernesto not tracking the joker any more

This is my last comment on Ernesto. If he either becomes more of a threat to the US or becomes a hurricane, I will eat crow. But for now, I see a 50 mph TS hitting the Yucatan.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

hmm don't know


ok I'ved looked at it very very very closely and I have found the cent of ernestos LLCOC located at 15.5N 78.0W also noticed that convection just poped up on the southern half of the circulation

I am expecting ernesto to strengthen and slow down and start a WNW-NW movement later today


Moving at 23mph, it's not going to slow down enough today to make any difference. Maybe tomorrow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


And it is the parents' responsibility to make sure they know what their child is playing, but again I personally feel most kids have a good enough head on their shoulders to realize what they are playing is not real.

Out of the 8 billion people on this planet, how many play these kinds of games? Of those how many of them grow up to kill people?

It would be a very very low number I am sure
Agrred.... But I sure hope my family isn't that (your opinion in totals) 1 in 8 billion. I don't think too many in India play videos
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


well that is your opinion, still doesn't give you the right IMO to come out and bash everyone


LOL. I'm not bashing any single person much less "everyone". I don't think even Dr. Masters comes on here and gives his own personal forecasts (unless I missed that) and I'm NOWHERE as smart as Dr. Masters so me coming on here and throwing a forecast out is just senseless.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like Ernesto is just about done. What is left of the center is outrunning the convection. It's getting too far W of the convection to try to make a comeback.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
Umm..... yeah..


The thing is... The current pattern and trends supports this. The next storm may be a big one.
heres the Link you should check that out!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Naga.... Can you give us a few facts about video games not related to violence? I disagree with your statement


Sent you mail to get this off the main blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto is going POOF.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting unknowncomic:
12z gfs at 384 is wild. But no storm moves west then north then west like that. Could affect Bahamas..we'll see.
Gotta tellya, I've seen storms do just about anything u can think of coming out of the central ATL... and that's not counting the ones before I was born... lol... Check the climatology, and I'll bet u find more than one with such a track.

Not saying that's what's gonna happen in this case... but I've learned to keep an open mind. Two recent cases: Jeanne 2004 and Ike 2008... [check out Hanna from '08 too]

Quoting Tazmanian:
BahaHurican i would start watching the gfs you may have a cat 3 or stronger hurricane on augs 20th or so
Thanks 4 the heads up, Taz... I've been watching since I saw them say fFlorence was going to fade near PR... too much potential for mischief in that scenario, yes... but also it was a signal that when something more substantial got going it would have a good chance of heading this way.

20th anniversary of Andrew, too....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Models shifted north significantly at 18Z.


That's impossible, isn't it, TA?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
florence would die then come back off east coast creating a ridge that would send gordon out to sea heres the Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I must be going crazy.



I know those were farther north when I checked them just a second ago.


You might have had a cached image that changed when you refreshed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:


14.5N/ 75.2W

hmm don't know


ok I'ved looked at it very very very closely and I have found the cent of ernestos LLCOC located at 15.5N 78.0W also noticed that convection just poped up on the southern half of the circulation

I am expecting ernesto to strengthen and slow down and start a WNW-NW movement later today
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11004
Quoting yoboi:
taz what ernesto doin???



i fully give up on ernesto not tracking the joker any more
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: Posts: Comments:
338. yoboi
taz what ernesto doin???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I do not recall I said "DO NOT PLAY THE GAMES" Did I?? You seems to have grown up to a stable 34 years old. I think many young people are unstable and are easily influenced by their environment... TV and videos are one example.


And it is the parents' responsibility to make sure they know what their child is playing, but again I personally feel most kids have a good enough head on their shoulders to realize what they are playing is not real.

Out of the 8 billion people on this planet, how many play these kinds of games? Of those how many of them grow up to kill people?

It would be a very very low number I am sure
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I must be going crazy.



I know those were farther north when I checked them just a second ago.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ernesto looks like POOF.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 23 MPH...


Nothing develops at that speed unless maybe it's baroclinic - this isn't, obviously. Competing vortices and still dealing with dry air. Not looking good for Ernesto yet. Doesn't matter how much TCHP there is without significant slowing of forward speed - not happening.

Ernesto can still pull it together, but it's looking less and less potent, major likely very doubtful. At that clip it'll run out of liquid real estate before it can entertain any sort or real turn more northwards.

It will take a while to realign the circulation. Since it's still moving so fast, I doubt it will happen in time for anything more than a TS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 383 - 333

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.