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 lightning75:


I would hope you are not banned for this comment just saying as you see it . The cherry picking of facts is wonderous .
Care to share your definition of "cherry picking"? Again, Dr. Masters' current blog entry contains actual, verifiable facts about this recent Oklahoma heat wave. I repeated one of those facts. Would you have been less inclined to accuse me of cherry picking had I arbitrarily inserted a cold record that has nothing to do with the heat wave so I could offset the comment about Oklahoma? Okay, here's one for you: this morning, Aniak, Alaska, tied its low for the day of 39.2 degrees, set in 2008.

Better? ;-)
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Earlier from the NWS in Galveston

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Quoting LostTomorrows:


I'm not thinking that far ahead, the G storm hasn't even developed. For all we know, the next couple of invests could pull a 91L and just fail at life.



91l should neva been designated an invest in the first place
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Quoting Fishinnfever05:
If E gets going and gets to hurricane strength, what are the chances it does recurve to the north?


I would feel more comfortable giving percentage chances when and IF Ernesto begins to strengthen.
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Special Weather Statement
TXZ214-238-051730-
GALVESTON TX-CHAMBERS TX-
1129 AM CDT SUN AUG 5 2012

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR GALVESTON BAY AND GALVESTON
COUNTY UNTIL 1230 PM CDT...

AT 1125 AM CDT...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED SEVERAL LARGE
WATERSPOUTS IN GALVESTON BAY IN AND AROUND THE KEMAH BOARDWALK AREA.
THIS STORM WAS NEARLY STATIONARY.

WITH LITTLE OR NO WARNING...FUNNEL CLOUDS CAN REACH THE GROUND AND
BECOME SHORT LIVED TORNADOES AND WATERSPOUTS CAN MOVE ONSHORE. IF A
FUNNEL CLOUD OR WATERSPOUT IS WITNESSED...PLEASE REPORT IT TO YOUR
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST
OFFICE.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
LEAGUE CITY...TEXAS CITY...DICKINSON...LA MARQUE...SANTA FE...
BACLIFF...SAN LEON AND KEMAH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER...CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY. THEY WILL RELAY YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE OFFICE IN LEAGUE CITY .

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I think we all owe the GFS a apology for yelling at it for making Ernesto so weak at this time. Another thing is the fact GFS nailed this makes me a little uneasy about what it shows later in the run.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think the National Hurricane Center plans on declaring Ernesto post-tropical if I'm decoding what their message was. It said "PROGGED PT".

What's that mean?


You can clearly see a center on visible imagery, though.
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Quoting AllStar17:
People on here are dismissing Ernesto like it is completely dead. That could turn out to be a mistake.


well its not looking to good
its heading to hondurus or its coast
then trek across the yuc
it has to survive all that
then get into boc
and reform into a full fledge tropical cyclone
i will watch for regeneration
but at the moment thats about it
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If E gets going and gets to hurricane strength, what are the chances it does recurve to the north?
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I think the National Hurricane Center plans on declaring Ernesto post-tropical if I'm decoding what their message was. It said "PROGGED PT".

What's that mean?
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Maybe TX


Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4984
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Wait a second, people are wishing for death and destruction when we say that there's a chance a tropical storm might form out by Africa and move west where it would for the short term harm no one?

Seriously, if there's anything that's just annoying as JFV is the people that come on here and proclaim us all wishcasters wishing for death and destruction and are just as bad. We're a group of people discussing opinions.


Agreed 10000000%, it is so frustrating when people come on and try to ruin good discussion.
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Quoting AllStar17:
People on here are dismissing Ernesto like it is completely dead. That could turn out to be a mistake.


Thank you!
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo, Not to many storms in Florida this afternoon, but one is hanging on over your house......
..wow it sure is, the sea breeze must be stuck right over me
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
Quoting pmzqqzmp:


Oh here go the wishcasters again.


Me posting a model means I am wishcasting?

Seriously, get a grip
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Quoting pmzqqzmp:


Exactly wishcasting and posters here just salavating at the thought of death & descruction, without any regard to the fear others may have. Incredibly cruel people.


Wait a second, people are wishing for death and destruction when we say that there's a chance a tropical storm might form out by Africa and move west where it would for the short term harm no one?

Seriously, if there's anything that's just annoying as JFV is the people that come on here and proclaim us all wishcasters wishing for death and destruction and are just as bad. We're a group of people discussing opinions.
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Quoting LargoFl:
Largo, Not to many storms in Florida this afternoon, but one is hanging on over your house......
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Analog years for 2012:

1951, 1953, 1957, 2006, 2007, 2009 - according to CSU

After researching these hurricane seasons, it seems there is a consistent pattern of strong troughing that disrupts the ridges. Wide open weakness in the Gulf and off the East Coast of the U.S.

Because of the troughs - Tracks favor movements north in the GOMEX and recurves in the Atlantic with major storms. Very little chance that a storm will strike the East coast. Homegrown storms are much more likely.

Obviously, Ernesto is not "homegrown" - BUT all the storms that formed in the Carib and GOMEX region for these analog years tracked north into the very obvious weakness in the Gulf.

Never ignore history and climatology - it usually repeats itself.

I am not sure what will happen to Ernesto...but history should not be ignored.

Based on climatology - the GFDL makes more sense.



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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I know about La Ceiba. My daughter-in-law has lived here since she was a baby but she is from Hinduras. She just came back from there last week. I saw you had a 4.6 earthquake last week.
That was in the west part of the country yeah some I live in the north part I didn`t even feel it but people that do were scare but nothing major even though I need to say since the 7.3 earthquake in 2009 tremors have become more regular.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
GFS was showing Florence hitting East Coast at 384 HR last week -_- just saying that following the models at 384 HR isn't a great idea.


Who says Florence cant hit the East coast still? Why is it that when the model 2 weeks out shows it going out to sea, the reaction here is it's a fish right away, no concern, but if it shows it's a threat it's well it's long range, not accurate?


All we know about Florence is its going to be a remnant low in 5 days, which would actually lead to a better chance of it moving further west, so who is to say it doesn't redevelop a few days later?

The GFS has been really good in the long range, especially with CV systems. It has nailed several scenarios in the past while it was still 2 weeks out. If it were any other model, I would agree.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Shut up, Neo. I'm sick of your crap and I don't care if I get banned for sayin so. You did the same dang thing last summer. Relentless. How do you think those of us who live in Oklahoma feel? This is our home. Oh, I forgot. You don't care, not about anything except making acrid remarks which maybe come from your own hopelessness.
"Hmmm. I quoted two short sentences from Dr. Masters's current blog entry, then summarized the content of those sentences. Since being upset with something so benign would be highly illogical, I have to assume that you're referring only to my one-word opinion "interesting" as an "acrid remark"--that is, "expressing criticism in a cruel way".

Again: hmmm...

FWIW, the reason I "did the same thing last summer" is because last summer was also wickedly hot in Oklahoma--where lives, by the way, my mother, my stepfather, one brother, two stepsisters, a baker's dozen of nieces and nephews, and numerous friends from my time there. In case you're interested...

Have a good day, stay cool, and hang in there; summer will be over soon. ;-)
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Quoting allancalderini:
I am in Honduras in La ceiba third most important city.Yes I am in the north part of the country.
I know about La Ceiba. My daughter-in-law has lived here since she was a baby but she is from Hinduras. She just came back from there last week. I saw you had a 4.6 earthquake last week.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

The central african wave is "Gordon"...
that is what I think.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
GFS 12z Rundown...
-Gordon forms about 5 days from now...
-Gordon continues westward... - Day 6
-Gordon strengthening... moving west - Day 7 - 9
-Gordon becomes a Hurricane NE of the virgin islands - Day 11
-Gordon strengthening as it moves just north of the islands... - Day 12 - 13
-Helene forms - Day 14
-Gordon becomes Major hurricane... Helene moving westward - Day 15
-Gordon scraping the Bahamas as a Major Hurricane... Helene strengthening and moving westward... Isaac forms - Day 16
That would put us more time for having maybe Joyce or even Kirk.
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GFS was showing Florence hitting East Coast at 384 HR last week -_- just saying that following the models at 384 HR isn't a great idea.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
I use paint, so I take the WU or NHC blank chart and the draw what I want on it. Then save the image as a JPEG image. I then upload the image to WU photos. Finally I copy the image URL and paste it in the image section here.

Good to know...
Be right back... LOL
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Anyways...here is what is going on in Africa:


The central african wave is "Gordon"...
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Quoting Grothar:


Too much work.
I don't know any easier way.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Are you in Honduras or Nicaragua ?
I am in Honduras in La ceiba third most important city.
Quoting BahaHurican:
u r on the north coast, yes?

Even cmc is better than it used to be. u r on the north coast, yes?

Even cmc is better than it used to be.

Gordon got almost 2 cat 5, right? I remember those 2 and Ernesto from '06....

I think there's a huge low pressure system fixin' to swipe the Oympics at that point... may influence track in that area, especially if we get a swift intensifier...

Yes I am in the north part of the country.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
I use paint, so I take the WU or NHC blank chart and the draw what I want on it. Then save the image as a JPEG image. I then upload the image to WU photos. Finally I copy the image URL and paste it in the image section here.


Too much work.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I'm actually not getting it yet, I'm closer to Indian Rocks beach, but it looks like it is slowly moving this way.
..ok whew this is a good one..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
Quoting LostTomorrows:


I'm not thinking that far ahead, the G storm hasn't even developed. For all we know, the next couple of invests could pull a 91L and just fail at life.


The Sad Sack model lol
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GFS 12z Rundown...
-Gordon forms about 5 days from now...
-Gordon continues westward... - Day 6
-Gordon strengthening... moving west - Day 7 - 9
-Gordon becomes a Hurricane NE of the virgin islands - Day 11
-Gordon strengthening as it moves just north of the islands... - Day 12 - 13
-Helene forms - Day 14
-Gordon becomes Major hurricane... Helene moving westward - Day 15
-Gordon scraping the Bahamas as a Major Hurricane... Helene strengthening and moving westward... Isaac forms - Day 16
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Quoting LargoFl:
................................GT all red and yellow on top of us...................JED are you getting this too?
I'm actually not getting it yet, I'm closer to Indian Rocks beach, but it looks like it is slowly moving this way.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
The question is when El nino will appear, if he appear after september this will be a scary season, specially with this strong ridge
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People on here are dismissing Ernesto like it is completely dead. That could turn out to be a mistake.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
not going to happen because there was a weakness in the bermuda high at the time. i know its a week out but a track towards the northern islands is highly certain. after there many possibilities open up but its not good news when you have the OPERATIONAL run of the GFS showing a major approaching N Florida. Some ensembles showed a major in miami. Bottom line, Gordon is our next cape verde hurricane in the making and he will be watched.
That would be my ideal scenario, not what could happen. The next couple weeks could be very bad.
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Quoting pmzqqzmp:


Exactly wishcasting and posters here just salavating at the thought of death & descruction, without any regard to the fear others may have. Incredibly cruel people.


Lol
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................................GT all red and yellow on top of us...................JED are you getting this too?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42045
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Anyways...here is what is going on in Africa:




1st Africa wave looks good but it will need some work the 2nd Africa all most looks like a TD overe land
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well so much for my theory on we will know what ernesto is going to do on sunday
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

How do you post your graphics from Powerpoint to the blog?
I use paint, so I take the WU or NHC blank chart and the draw what I want on it. Then save the image as a JPEG image. I then upload the image to WU photos. Finally I copy the image URL and paste it in the image section here.
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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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