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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2133. GetReal





There is still a weakness for Ernesto to make a run into the GOM if there is a deepening of the system.
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If it a Hurricane now what?? will go NW or N??
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Funky

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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
The CMC to FL lol

I am only follow what the GFS says. it's picked all 3 systems.
Discard all other models. GFS is the one to follow.
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This may be a Hurricane!!
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WOW 60MPH
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2127. GetReal
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Ernesto maybe drifting NW now




New game maybe??? Ernesto made me eat a ton of crow for the last 36 hours! Finally this system is doing something I thought it would, slow way down in the W. Caribbean. IMO if Ernesto can quickly ramp up it has a chance at heading NW into the south central GOM.
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Quoting mikatnight:
Climate Change Study Ties Recent Heat Waves To Global Warming



WASHINGTON — The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare that it can't be anything but man-made global warming, says a new statistical analysis from a top government scientist.

The research by a man often called the "godfather of global warming" says that the likelihood of such temperatures occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by NASA scientist James Hansen. He says that statistically what's happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change.

"This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact," Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.

Hansen is a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University. But he is also a strident activist who has called for government action to curb greenhouse gases for years. While his study was published online Saturday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, it is unlikely to sway opinion among the remaining climate change skeptics.

However, several climate scientists praised the new work.

Complete Story


Careful. You'll stir up a hornet's nest posting that. Hansen, Mann and Gore are the deniers' main hate figures.

On the subject of hornets, here in the UK they're expected to expand their range northwards, as the climate warms. They're currently only found in the south of the country.

Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2901
Rain rain rain rain lol ps rain
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I think Ernesto maybe drifting NW now

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The CMC to FL lol
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Hello Sf w. I can't make heads or tails of those maps. I just need the basic weather SSt that Dr. Msters sually uses. It's kinda zoomed out. All I can say. Ty
Not quite. I'm trying 2 show my girlfriend how warm the waters r in the Carr. & GULF
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Good morning all. He does look stationary now or is it my morning eyes :)
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 663
Time: 11:20:00Z
Coordinates: 16.4833N 78.0W
Acft. Static Air Press: 392.1 mb (~ 11.58 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 7,755 meters (~ 25,443 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: -
D-value: 430 meters (~ 1,411 feet)
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 138° at 39 knots (From the SE at ~ 44.8 mph)
Air Temp: -14.7°C (~ 5.5°F)
Dew Pt: -15.4°C (~ 4.3°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 46 knots (~ 52.9 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 38 knots (~ 43.7 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 7 mm/hr (~ 0.28 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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It may be up to 70
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morning all. heading down to the farm to batten down the hatches. in otherwords, remove all hanging baskets, loose pots, miscellaneous stuff around the nursery and take down several hanging orchids. also need to harvest those limes. beyond that i dont think it will be all that bad here. we could use the rain, ernesto can keep the wind. will keep checking in here to see if anything more develops.
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ERnesto is barely moving now!
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Time: 11:09:30Z
Coordinates: 16.4667N 77.0833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 392.6 mb (~ 11.59 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 7,748 meters (~ 25,420 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: -
D-value: 433 meters (~ 1,421 feet)
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 107° at 7 knots (From the ESE at ~ 8.0 mph)
Air Temp: -16.0°C (~ 3.2°F)
Dew Pt: -17.1°C (~ 1.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 7 knots (~ 8.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 31 knots (~ 35.6 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 2 mm/hr (~ 0.08 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

HH not far awy now!
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could someone show the SST over the Carribean & Gulf?
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Climate Change Study Ties Recent Heat Waves To Global Warming



WASHINGTON — The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare that it can't be anything but man-made global warming, says a new statistical analysis from a top government scientist.

The research by a man often called the "godfather of global warming" says that the likelihood of such temperatures occurring from the 1950s through the 1980s was rarer than 1 in 300. Now, the odds are closer to 1 in 10, according to the study by NASA scientist James Hansen. He says that statistically what's happening is not random or normal, but pure and simple climate change.

"This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact," Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.

Hansen is a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University. But he is also a strident activist who has called for government action to curb greenhouse gases for years. While his study was published online Saturday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, it is unlikely to sway opinion among the remaining climate change skeptics.

However, several climate scientists praised the new work.

Complete Story
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Sry but that was all on the 00Z and 06Z for me???

You're posting individual GFS ensemble members, I posted the actual GFS. There's nothing wrong with your posts, just state that what you're showing is an ensemble member since they don't carry as much weight as the operational GFS.
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2107. WxLogic
Now we have a nice moist environment around Ernesto.



If it slows down further then I could raise the changes to an 80 to 85mph HURR. For now, I wouldn't go higher than 70mph as it is approaching CA soon.
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Sry but that was all on the 00Z and 06Z for me???
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I'm sure you're not trying to, but you're putting a lot of false information on the blog... Make sure you clearly state what your images are, some people may not know the difference between an ensemble member, which is what you mostly post, and the operational GFS. Here's the last 4 GFS runs.

12z yesterday- Southeast storm:



18z yesterday- grazes the Northeast:



0z last night- big Northeast storm:



6z today showed nothing.
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The Nogaps and cmc going N???
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
06Z GFS NY


I'm sure you're not trying to, but you're putting a lot of false information on the blog... Make sure you clearly state what your images are, some people may not know the difference between an ensemble member, which is what you mostly post, and the operational GFS. Here's the last 4 GFS runs.

12z yesterday- Southeast storm:



18z yesterday- grazes the Northeast:



0z last night- big Northeast storm:



6z today showed nothing.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Post 1066. OracleDeAtlantis 11:58 PM GMT on August 05, 2012

....About 3 A.M. I'll be looking for the tops of those covered wagons, and counting their number. I'm betting the Indians have about run out of ammunition, and the smart thing to do is head away from the jungles of Honduras.

Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Post 1090. GeorgiaStormz 12:07 AM GMT on August 06, 2012
you and your cryptic forecasts....

Nevertheless, within six hours and at 3 A.M. the pattern curiously changed from a basic blob into what I had described, and I was able to easily count those wagons, and there were many.









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IT going to be in the 990MB
Quoting emguy:


That is good...otherwise, I'd err on the side of caution and wait for a couple of visible frames to come in, as Ernesto may have slammed on the e-brake completely, or could have restacked/relocated under the storms, or may still be out west of the conection. Satellite products are not depicting things as clear with the nightime imagery as of now.
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06Z GFS NY

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2100. emguy
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
HH are going in now!!


That is good...otherwise, I'd err on the side of caution and wait for a couple of visible frames to come in, as Ernesto may have slammed on the e-brake completely, or could have restacked/relocated under the storms, or may still be out west of the conection. Satellite products are not depicting things as clear with the nightime imagery as of now.
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Anyone have a good map of the GOM water temps?
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It may be at 995MB
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Recent Conditions -- Western Caribbean

Air temperature: 26.2 °C (79.8 °F)
Dewpoint temperature: 24.8 °C (77.2 °F)
Sea level pressure: 1009.7 hPa (29.8 in)
Significant wave height: 2.4 m (7.9 ft)
Water temperature: 28.0 °C (83.1 °F)
Wind gust speed: 12.0 m/s (23.3 kts)
Wind speed: 8.0 m/s (15.6 kts)
Last reported: 8:49 AM GMT 08/06/2012
3:49 AM EST 08/06/2012
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HH are going in now!!
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Big Rain!!
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Latest NHC track in about the same as GFS was showing 3 days ago.
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2090. WxLogic
Good Morning
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got to love the CMC model when it comes to the tropics

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2088. Gearsts
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good morning everyone. I've been gone a couple days, looks like Ernesto kind of struggled... What's been happening?
Almost died now is comeback time!
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Good morning everyone. I've been gone a couple days, looks like Ernesto kind of struggled... What's been happening?
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Quoting emguy:
Hmmm...I'm in Lexington Kentucky...By Friday it is supposed to be sunny with a high temp of 80 degrees. Last time that happenned here was late March/early April. Fall like conditions arriving. In the words of horse country...Ernesto needs to get on one and ride it if he wants to get ahead...apparently a notable trough is coming to the east central states into mid-late week.

P.S. It's possible Ernesto is relocated a bit to the east himself while trying to get organized...at the very least, he's approcahing crawl speed. Then again...as they say...it's a monday. Speaking of which, ya'll have a good one!

I have a shot of the final stage of Ernesto's E side winning out over the SW side, will post it when I get home from work.
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Today is comeback day for Earnest!


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2084. emguy
Hmmm...I'm in Lexington Kentucky...By Friday it is supposed to be sunny with a high temp of 80 degrees. Last time that happenned here was late March/early April. Fall like conditions arriving. In the words of horse country...Ernesto needs to get on one and ride it if he wants to get ahead...apparently a notable trough is coming to the east central states into mid-late week.

P.S. It's possible Ernesto is relocated a bit to the east himself while trying to get organized...at the very least, he's approcahing crawl speed. Then again...as they say...it's a monday. Speaking of which, ya'll have a good one!
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Quoting bigwes6844:
i know everyone is worried about ernesto but look what happened to Flo! almost a hurricane and poof!


I was suprised just how quickly she fell apart.

When I went to bed last night, the invest in the EPac looked lovely, and this morning's almost looking like it's going to do a Flo. Reckon it might flare back up though. Some are thinking Flo might regenerate towards Florida though? Or were other scenarios just 'ghost storms'?!
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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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