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 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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wow you should see this rain coming down..you know..the tropical kind..straight dow..street floods in a matter of seconds..well geez you should see it flowing down my street outside.....now watch the nws..oh pinellas got .25 or something inches of rain lol
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Anyways...here is what is going on in Africa:

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Quoting jascott1967:


Gordon and Isaac aren't even real, yet...

What they are and what they will be no one knows. I think the formation of Ernesto and Florence put some folks imaginations on hyperdrive.


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.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
12z GFS shows a major hurricane traped under a balloning ridge moving right towards the east coast. very dangerous path and behind him the wave train with helene and issac.


People have been afraid that would happen for months...
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Quoting mcluvincane:



Yeah, stick. Fork in em, Gordon and Issac look like the real players


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.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

I do want Isaac to form though, nice storm and no landfall.
Something like the 2000 Isaac:
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.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
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.


Above smoke from the Noble-Slaughterville fire, real rain clouds in northern Oklahoma August 4, 2012
image credit: Barefootontherocks

(T-19)


some one needs too take a chill pill
Wow...................... That was strong.. But I can understand if he is really from OKLA... Terrible situation
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Quoting allancalderini:
Figures Ernesto would pass near me at least is weak and will bring beneficial rains to me.looks like the Gfs and Euro well right all along.
u r on the north coast, yes?

Quoting robert88:
The ECMWF has done pretty well also. I always take a blend of the GFS and ECMWF myself. They are the best globals hands down. The rest are junk now. It takes days for the worthless CMC and UKMET to get onboard with the big boys.
Even cmc is better than it used to be.

Quoting washingtonian115:
If the GFS is right looks as if Gordon will immediately develop and will recurve.Looks like Helene does the same as well.Isn't it Ironic?.You know Gordon and Helene were also cape verde storms in 2006 and were both majors XD.
Gordon got almost 2 cat 5, right? I remember those 2 and Ernesto from '06....

Quoting washingtonian115:
That is a possibility.Especially since it seems that these waves are exiting more up north.But it could be a situation where the first few storms go out to sea and the high rebuilds back in unfortunately sending one storm more west having a chance to affect land.
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...

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Quoting Hurricanes101:


168 hours, ridge continues to intensify to the north and the storm is moving due west


Oh here go the wishcasters again.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
A few frames of movement is not a motion or a guarantee of direction. Could be the CoC being pushed around for all we know by the convection.

true if anything it looks kinda NW and the circulation is kinda loose I expect it to tighten up a bit soon and I expect it to start its WNW track later this Afternoon or evening as it does so convection should increase on top of the LLCOC and further orgainization to ocour I expect ernesto to ramp up tonight as it feels more of the higher TCHP
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9595
Quoting CybrTeddy:
I'd be impressed if we got all the way to Issac before August ended, we'd only need 4 more names for a above average hurricane season.

Seems like the wave train has really started now.



me two
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Quoting scottsvb:
Talking about something 384hrs out is laughable. Just buy a farmers alnamac.. anything more than 5 days or 120hrs you can not make any reasonable forecasts. Models change...
If I'm not mistaken GFS originally predicted Ernesto to track OTS or either up the East Coast and look at where it is now.
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Quoting jascott1967:


Gordon and Isaac aren't even real, yet...

What they are and what they will be no one knows. I think the formation of Ernesto and Florence put some folks imaginations on hyperdrive.


Umm.... its August and its hurricane season
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I'd be impressed if we got all the way to Issac before August ended, we'd only need 4 more names for a above average hurricane season.

Seems like the wave train has really started now.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
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.


Above smoke from the Noble-Slaughterville fire, real rain clouds in northern Oklahoma August 4, 2012
image credit: Barefootontherocks

(T-19)



some one needs too take a chill pill
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Talking about something 384hrs out is laughable. Just buy a farmers alnamac.. anything more than 5 days or 120hrs you can not make any reasonable forecasts. Models change...
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Quoting allancalderini:
My country at least will get drought relief from Ernesto.maybe ts warnings later on.haven`t seen a direct landfall since Paula 2010 and before her maybe Gamma in 2005 most of them or go north of us or make landfall in Nicaragua.
Are you in Honduras or Nicaragua ?
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Quoting LargoFl:
..thats why..i like to talk about todays weather because all I know..is what i see,no expert here at all lol...but some...hmmm i stayed out of it last night..geez..attack and defend ..almost like a flame blog there for awhile
Largo...... Correct. Just like 91 sitting off the SE coast of Florida. The experts that predicted problems are now tucking their tails... I usually ignore most of them
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GFDL is slowing down Ernesto earlier than the model consensus, this is why he takes Erni into the north GOM.



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Take the 12Z with a grain of salt until you start seeing some consistency...is a long way out in the weather world.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
I love how this blog makes the seemless transition from a cyclone with high expectations that's waning to the infamous 384 hour speculative models.
.
.
Don't give up the ship on Ernesto. He's not dead yet.Just isn't the hurricane that some had predicted at the moment.

He could still become a hurricane later in the GOM.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
So many experts, and so little knowledge
..thats why..i like to talk about todays weather because all I know..is what i see,no expert here at all lol...but some...hmmm i stayed out of it last night..geez..attack and defend ..almost like a flame blog there for awhile
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


we dont know yet...they might change a ton or have problems developing, you never know

I do want Isaac to form though, nice storm and no landfall.
Something like the 2000 Isaac:
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I love how this blog makes the seemless transition from a cyclone with high expectations that's waning to the infamous 384 hour speculative models.
.
.
Don't give up the ship on Ernesto. He's not dead yet. Just isn't the hurricane that some had predicted at the moment.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Right now since Gordon hasn't formed yet I can't make any educated guess on track. But going by the GFS anyone in FL to the Carolinas are at risk of a landfall.

How do you post your graphics from Powerpoint to the blog?
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.................................GT all this is coming our way up the coast i think
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Quoting cg2916:


Make it stop! Please, make it stop!
So many experts, and so little knowledge
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well its sunday afternoon
looks like a good time to take a nap
blog is quiet
and the storms we do have
not doing much
think i take
2 or 3 hr nap here

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wow simply pouring rain outside now, guess this will go on and off till that tropical low clears florida
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12z GFS shows a major hurricane traped under a balloning ridge moving right towards the east coast. very dangerous path and behind him the wave train with helene and issac.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
Quoting mcluvincane:



Yeah, stick. Fork in em, Gordon and Issac look like the real players


Gordon and Isaac aren't even real, yet...

What they are and what they will be no one knows. I think the formation of Ernesto and Florence put some folks imaginations on hyperdrive.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:



how close does Gordon gets to NYC?
can you put up a pic about it?
Right now since Gordon hasn't formed yet I can't make any educated guess on track. But going by the GFS anyone in FL to the Carolinas are at risk of a landfall.
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The 12z GFS is a good example of bad timing on the troughs part, doesn't show a trough being able to pick up said system until it where to reach the Bahamas and by then it would probably be too late. However, do not put stalk in this run, do not put a single bit of credibility in it for future track as it could go anywhere. The last run was OTS.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
Quoting tornadodude:


Irene part 2?



Bertha, Fran, Floyd, Hazel part 2
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Quoting spleenstomper:
Good morning! So it looks like I WILLbe going on my Grand Isle, La fishing trip starting on Wrdnesday.
..so far it looks ok..but stay tuned
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ernesto is not moving SW
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9595
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:



how close does Gordon gets to NYC?
can you put up a pic about it?


twas the end of the run....but would have to do a lot of unnecessary northward ramming to get to NYC but this run is so far out it might get anywhere on the E US...if it materializes.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9467
Quoting GTcooliebai:
It's right over me and dark outside.
..yeah its dangerous outside..really booming and the lightning whew
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Quoting LargoFl:
.....................................wow alot of lightning and boomers over my house right now
It's right over me and dark outside.
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Quoting mcluvincane:



Looks like a carolina storm to me


Irene part 2?
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A few frames of movement is not a motion or a guarantee of direction. Could be the CoC being pushed around for all we know by the convection.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
Quoting mcluvincane:



Yeah, stick. Fork in em, Gordon and Issac look like the real players


we dont know yet...they might change a ton or have problems developing, you never know
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9467
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Quoting wxchaser97:



how close does Gordon gets to NYC?
can you put up a pic about it?
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poor Bahamas
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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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