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 LargoFl:

right you see where the TS is and you see where the models is expect a modle shif and and track shift to the N and E
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11704
Florence's pressure up:

AL, 06, 2012080518, , BEST, 0, 164N, 360W, 45, 1005, TS, 34, NEQ, 60, 40, 20, 50, 1013, 135, 30, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, FLORENCE, M,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13508
Quoting Patrap:
Touchdown is on time for 01:31 EDT Monday Morning,or 11:31 PST Tonight.

Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror



Cute. Making one of the times in Eastern Daylight Savings Time and the other in Pacific Standard Time.
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Quoting mynameispaul:


I'm not bashing anyone. Just don't see the point in making wrong forecasts unless you have more assets than the pros have. Seems pointless to me. Good thing I have most of them on ignore so it's really no problem.


Problem with that theory is those who you have on ignore are likely the ones who have the most to offer this blog. Again what gives you the right then to come in after the fact and bash someone for being wrong at something as inexact as weather?

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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I don't like your florence track


Thankfully that is unofficial.
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Quoting mynameispaul:


I'm not bashing anyone. Just don't see the point in making wrong forecasts unless you have more assets than the pros have. Seems pointless to me. Good thing I have most of them on ignore so it's really no problem.


So why come here then to do what? jsut repeat what the nhc says over and over and over?
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looks like the gulf coast is safe from this one for now.
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Quoting taco2me61:
It will very slowly though....
Just Saying

Taco :o)

Very slowly building convection, slowly organizing may not help with crossing the Yucatan, but I think Ernesto can make it.

Quoting GTcooliebai:
Anyways...back on topic, can anyone confirm if this is anywhere near the newly designated 92E is located?


Off the coast of MX, LOCATED ABOUT 475 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
ACAPULCO.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


he doesn't' want to, that's the point. He is perfectly content in not contributing until it comes time to bash others


I'm not bashing anyone. Just don't see the point in making wrong forecasts unless you have more assets than the pros have. Seems pointless to me. Good thing I have most of them on ignore so it's really no problem.
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Quoting LargoFl:
..ernie still has dry air in front of him but..look at all the moisture by the yucatan
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Quoting wxchaser97:
If it wants to survive it should start building convection again.
It will very slowly though....
Just Saying

Taco :o)
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Anyways...back on topic, can anyone confirm if this is anywhere near the newly designated 92E is located?

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I want to plot where ernesto is now but its kinda hard to tell the LLCOC looks to be elongated NW to SE I'll wait till a little later see what the sattelite shows
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11704
Quoting Tazmanian:
poor Bahamas
We live in hope... but frankly, I expect to see that model "gun" pointed at us more than a few times this season... that high setup is too "perfect"....

Quoting java162:



91l should neva been designated an invest in the first place
The last wave in the area got invested too... NHC never expected much from either, imo...

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Quoting TomTaylor:

Don't worry, I'm here for ya Drak

Here's a paper on the Caribbean Low Level Jet. Search "Caribbean Low Level Jet" on Google Scholar for more papers on the physical, dynamical and climatalogical properties of the accelerating trade winds in the central Caribbean. Here is a paper on the local minimum in tropical cyclone genesis in the eastern Caribbean.


Tom, what is happened with Ernesto is a correlation with el nino?
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If it wants to survive it should start building convection again.
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Touchdown is on time for 01:31 EDT Monday Morning,or 10:31 PST Tonight.

Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

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Quoting wxchaser97:

If you don't try then you will never get better. I screwed up on this forecast and will learn from my mistakes and try harder the next time.


he doesn't' want to, that's the point. He is perfectly content in not contributing until it comes time to bash others
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Quoting mynameispaul:


It is SO easy not to try and outguess the pros. And I don't like crow so it works for me.


So if you don't have the knowledge or dare I say balls to make a prediction or at least be involved in the discussion, you should keep your comments to yourself
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Anyone from new york state here today?..some bad storms up there also.......................ULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
212 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BUFFALO HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
GENESEE COUNTY IN WESTERN NEW YORK

* UNTIL 300 PM EDT

* AT 211 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 8 MILES SOUTHWEST OF OAKFIELD...
OR 11 MILES WEST OF BATAVIA...AND MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
OAKFIELD...
BATAVIA...
BYRON...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 700 PM EDT SUNDAY
EVENING FOR WESTERN NEW YORK.
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Quoting mynameispaul:


It is SO easy not to try and outguess the pros. And I don't like crow so it works for me.

If you don't try then you will never get better. I screwed up on this forecast and will learn from my mistakes and try harder the next time.
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.....................................wow one storm goes away..and another one fires uo right over my house lol..looks like its going to be an active day by me...stay safe out there folks..alot of lightning with these storms all over the east coast
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Must be easy to not make a forecast then come out and bash others who were wrong.


It is SO easy not to try and outguess the pros. And I don't like crow so it works for me.
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Quoting Naga5000:


It has nothing to do with video games and more to do with societal stress and lack of access to mental health care and a weak mental health care infrastructure. We are a violent society, we live in a culture of violence, do not blame video games or any fictional media for this, they are just one minute part that is a representation of culture, not a cause.
That's what I said, it's part of the problem, now this subject is off topic, so I will move on like VAbeachhurricanes.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Lots of pple u r downing u don't know the first thing about... most of the pple looking at G H I storms coming off Africa and noting the GFS w/ a relentless high are paying attention because they are in the potential strike Zone. They're not salivating; they're CONCERNED. I get really tired of pple telling us we shouldn't pay attention.

Sure, some bloggers, like taz and levi, don't live in the hurricane strike zone. OTOH, a lot of us live with the fear day in, day out, and we fight it with KNOWLEDGE. We figure if we know what's going on, we can prepare for the worst. Nothing to do with cruelty.

I wish u head in the sand types would let us do what we have to do.

[sorry if I mashed ur corn; this just gets old.]
LOL. I was just going to say I can tell who stepped on your corn toe. Island saying lol.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
Quoting mynameispaul:


Stupid me, I thought some of these shade tree forecasters had super computers in their garage.


Must be easy to not make a forecast then come out and bash others who were wrong.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Neapolitan I just don't know what the heck is going through some peoples minds these days, too much violence in video games could be to blame.


It has nothing to do with video games and more to do with societal stress and lack of access to mental health care and a weak mental health care infrastructure. We are a violent society, we live in a culture of violence, do not blame video games or any fictional media for this, they are just one small part that is a representation of culture and replicated in culture, not a cause.
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Quoting jonelu:
Looks like some crow will be eaten today by many on this blog calling for major hurricane Ernesto....Oh those trade winds aren't a factor. CAW CAW...


Stupid me, I thought some of these shade tree forecasters had super computers in their garage.
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Quoting Drakoen:

Quoting Levi32:


Dunno...I think we've seen many tropical disturbances do this in the central-eastern Caribbean during the peak of the hurricane season. I still don't know why this is being described as "unexplainable." Climatology alone can explain this.

I have yet to see any papers that explain this, physically, dynamically, or climatologically.

Don't worry, I'm here for ya Drak

Here's a paper on the Caribbean Low Level Jet. Search "Caribbean Low Level Jet" on Google Scholar for more papers on the physical, dynamical and climatalogical properties of the accelerating trade winds in the central Caribbean. Here is a paper on the local minimum in tropical cyclone genesis in the eastern Caribbean.

If you still don't believe that the eastern Caribbean is a region of less activity, scroll through the NHC's tropical cyclone formation points by 10 day periods.
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BahaHurican i would start watching the gfs you may have a cat 3 or stronger hurricane on augs 20th or so
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114919
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.


no storm does what?

The scenario the 12Z GFS is showing very well could happen, it takes the system mostly westward
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248. 7544
Quoting ilovehurricanes13:

I don't like your florence track


notice the bend to the west on the red ala good old G F S
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


No as in, I don't want it to come that close to me haha
Should hopefully be weak if it does, but this year has been no ordinary year.
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12z gfs at 384 is wild. But no storm moves west then north then west like that. Could affect Bahamas..we'll see.
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I made a new forecast for Ernesto. Take it for what it's worth (which is probably not much now considering how bad I've forecast this one..):

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Quoting LargoFl:
..looks like the storms are firing up all over the place today

Except in my area, cold front just went through and today will be a great day. Pocono raceway is under a rain delay for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Lots of pple u r downing u don't know the first thing about... most of the pple looking at G H I storms coming off Africa and noting the GFS w/ a relentless high are paying attention because they are in the potential strike Zone. They're not salivating; they're CONCERNED. I get really tired of pple telling us we shouldn't pay attention.

Sure, some bloggers, like taz and levi, don't live in the hurricane strike zone. OTOH, a lot of us live with the fear day in, day out, and we fight it with KNOWLEDGE. We figure if we know what's going on, we can prepare for the worst. Nothing to do with cruelty.

I wish u head in the sand types would let us do what we have to do.

[sorry if I mashed ur corn; this just gets old.]



Great post, thank you +1000000
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Quoting Neapolitan:
New EPac invest:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_ep922012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201208051800
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 92, 2012, DB, O, 2012080512, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP922012
EP, 92, 2012080512, , BEST, 0, 118N, 1045W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
GFS caught that one too :)
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Quoting jonelu:
Looks like some crow will be eaten today by many on this blog calling for major hurricane Ernesto....Oh those trade winds aren't a factor. CAW CAW...
Its not over yet, but I may have to fire up the grill or the Fry Daddy..:)
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Quoting robert88:
Ernesto is still moving SW or WSW. Link


now he is not moveing SW or WSW he is moving W with maybe NW-WNW jog
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11704
Quoting wxchaser97:

Why, seems like thats the way she is going?


No as in, I don't want it to come that close to me haha
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Correction SHIPS 5 takes it up to a Hurricane:

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Virgina warning.....................
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
152 PM EDT SUN AUG 5 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CITY OF WINCHESTER IN NORTHWEST VIRGINIA...
CENTRAL FREDERICK COUNTY IN NORTHWEST VIRGINIA...
WESTERN CLARKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST VIRGINIA...

* UNTIL 230 PM EDT

* AT 146 PM EDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS DETECTED NEAR STEPHENS
CITY...OR 8 MILES SOUTHWEST OF WINCHESTER...AND WAS MOVING EAST AT
20 MPH. THIS STORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
STEPHENS CITY...
WINCHESTER...
MILLWOOD PIKE...
GREENWOOD...
GREENWOOD...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...MOVE INDOORS TO A
STURDY BUILDING AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO
SO...REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR TO THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND
LIGHTNING. MOVE INDOORS TO A STURDY BUILDING AND STAY AWAY FROM
WINDOWS.

LAT...LON 3925 7802 3905 7801 3910 7834 3917 7835
TIME...MOT...LOC 1751Z 267DEG 17KT 3913 7827
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Quoting NJ2S:



Earl/Irene again PLEASE SAY NO!!!! i want them all to be fish storms! plus i have to be in PR from aug 27-sep3....keep the canes away!!



sorry with the high comeing back in they will likey not be fish stroms from what the gfs is showing
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114919
Quoting GTcooliebai:
It's part of the problem though, you cannot ignore it.


I'm not ignoring it, just a weather blog isn't the place to discuss it.
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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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