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 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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2082. Gearsts
Not moving much.
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Quoting LargoFl:
NOW let's see what the GFS does with it now that the center that wanted to go to the S Pole having been kicked out and the true center gains control.
And now that Ernesto has discovered the utility of DMAX.
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2080. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38252
2079. LargoFl
...god morning folks, looks like this is Miami's day for the rains, some nice storms by south florida this morning..well have a great day everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38252
Tropical Depression Florence
5:00 AM AST Mon Aug 6
Location: 16.2N 38.8W
Moving: W at 12 mph
Min pressure: 1009 mb
Max sustained: 35 mph


Tropical Storm Ernesto
5:00 AM EDT Mon Aug 6
Location: 15.1N 80.5W
Moving: W at 12 mph
Min pressure: 1003 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph
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i know everyone is worried about ernesto but look what happened to Flo! almost a hurricane and poof!
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6August12amGMT's 15.1n76.1w-15.2n77.9w-15.3n79.2w was re-evaluated&altered
6August06amGMT's 15.0n76.1w-15.0n77.9w-15.0n79.2w-15.0n80.0w are now the most recent positions
(Vectors and straightline projections have been corrected from the previous mapping)
Derived from (NHC) ATCF data for TropicalStormErnesto for 6August6amGMT:
MinimumPressure held at 1003millibars
MaxSusWinds held at 45knots(52mph)83km/h
Its vector changed from 270.2*West@14.5mph(23.3km/h) to 270.1*West@8.9mph(14.3km/h)

CUK-CayeCaulker :: MDB-Dangriga :: WSP-Waspam :: PUZ-PuertoCabezas

The easternmost dot on the kinked line marks Ernesto's position on its 30th hour as a TropicalStorm
The westernmost dot on the kinked line marks Ernesto's position on its 72nd hour as a TropicalStorm
The easternmost dot on the longest line is TS.Ernesto's most recent position

The longest line is a straightline projection through TS.Ernesto's 2 most recent positions to its closest approach (within 18miles or 29 kilometres) to a coastline
5August12pmGMT: TS.Ernesto was heading for passage over MiskitoCays (northernPUZdumbell)
5August6pmGMT: TS.Ernesto had been headed for passage over LagunaBismuna (southernWSPdumbbell)
6August12amGMT: TS.Ernesto had been headed for passage over CaboViejoTalaSulamasNaturalReserve (northernWSPdumbbell)
6August6amGMT: TS.Ernesto was heading for passage over CaboViejoTalaSulamasNaturalReserve in ~20&1/2.hours from now (when this comment was posted)

Copy&paste eyw, ctm-18.883n87.642w, cuk-17.75n88.024w, mdb-17.23n88.304w, wsp-14.91n83.258w, wsp-14.955n83.209w, puz-14.32n82.6w, puz-14.57n82.652w, pva-13.323n81.391w-13.213n81.384w, stx, 13.8n64.8w- 13.9n66.4w- 14.2n67.9w- 14.6n69.3w- 15.1n71.7w- 15.1n73.9w- 15.0n76.1w- 15.0n77.9w, 15.0n77.9w-15.0n79.2w, 15.0n79.2w-15.0n80.0w, 15.0n79.2w-14.97n83.174w into the GreatCircleMapper for a larger-scale map and other information
The previous mapping for comparison
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Recon will tell a lot when it gets there. NHC doesn't know where the actual center is located. Just went with continuity. We'll see later on how it goes. Back to sleep I go.



miss hope u woke. I wanted to ask ya, is there some kind of a weird scenerio that if ernesto gets into the BOC, and begins to shift towards LA or Miss because of the High pressure that begin to build back in? just asking
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Recon will tell a lot when it gets there. NHC doesn't know where the actual center is located. Just went with continuity. We'll see later on how it goes. Back to sleep I go.



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.ERNESTO EXPECTED TO PASS NORTH OF THE COAST OF HONDURAS TONIGHT...TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS ISSUED...
5:00 AM EDT Mon Aug 6
Location: 15.1°N 80.5°W
Moving: W at 12 mph
Min pressure: 1003 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Don't know if anyone is still on, but Ernesto continues to organize tonight. Outflow is expanding in the NW and SW quadrants and intense thunderstorms of < -85C are firing near or over the center. I'm giving the link to Ernesto's AVN floater. Pause the link on the first frame, then click the back button...looks like this: <. If you look at the first frame and the last back to back, you can tell that Ernesto has not moved during the entire loop which is 7 hours long.

Link


Cool, thanks for that. Looks like it gave all that convection a chance to catch up!
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Lol. They haven't left yet and it will take them a couple of hours to get there and start sampling data. You're good for a nap. Lol. I think I'm going to wait for the advisory then head to sleep.

Oh alrighty then lol I'll take a nap then be back like around 6 until then good night!
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Quoting STXHurricanes2012:

Oh well maybe I'll stay a bit longer than lol! No said nothing lol!


Lol. They haven't left yet and it will take them a couple of hours to get there and start sampling data. You're good for a nap. Lol. I think I'm going to wait for the advisory then head to sleep.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


They should be leaving now, actually.

Oh well maybe I'll stay a bit longer than lol! No said nothing lol!
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Quoting STXHurricanes2012:
Before I head to sleep...what time is the next recon so I can check back in.


They should be leaving now, actually.
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Satellite estimate from over an hour ago:


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.1 /1000.8mb/ 47.0kt
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Before I head to sleep...what time is the next recon so I can check back in.
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Convection south of the center is starting to move east with west winds picking up.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Don't know if anyone is still on, but Ernesto continues to organize tonight. Outflow is expanding in the NW and SW quadrants and intense thunderstorms of < -85C are firing near or over the center. I'm giving the link to Ernesto's AVN floater. Pause the link on the first frame, then click the back button...looks like this: <. If you look at the first frame and the last back to back, you can tell that Ernesto has not moved during the entire loop which is 7 hours long.

Link

It wobbled north?
Looks like its starting to feel that weakness...and yes out flow on the west side is expanding and more banding too! Getting interesting!!
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Don't know if anyone is still on, but Ernesto continues to organize tonight. Outflow is expanding in the NW and SW quadrants and intense thunderstorms of < -85C are firing near or over the center. I'm giving the link to Ernesto's AVN floater. Pause the link on the first frame, then click the back button...looks like this: <. If you look at the first frame and the last back to back, you can tell that Ernesto has not moved during the entire loop which is 7 hours long.

Link
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That's my story,
and I'm sticking to it!
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Quoting Chicklit:

That jerk just made #289 on my ignore list.


Do you really have 289 on ignore? You may not see this as I may be on ignore. 289 is impressive!
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Quoting TideWaterWeather:
Lowest pressure so far on this RECON

Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1002.4 mb


Lowest previous pressure was?
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Mr Ernesto
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good morning everyone i see ernesto still alive after im off from work. anything i miss anyone?
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Quoting Patrap:
Interesting as it seems the envelope has expanded and morphed a tad N.

Caribbean - Water Vapor Loop

click Image for Loop

ZOOM is active





Great outflow channel to the north, and possibly feeling the developing weakness in the subtropical ridge at this point.
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Quoting tennisgirl08:
POLL TIME....bored while waiting on recon:

What will the HHs find when they reach Ernesto?
A. status quo - no weakening or strengthening; same track and speed
B. 50 mph,WNW - slower
C. 60 mph, W - slower
D. strongest yet - 70 mph or higher

E. none of the above (please be specific)


50 NW 12
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Quoting yqt1001:
Haven't really paid much attention to the size of Ernesto until now.



If this thing ever becomes developed enough far away from land before the Yucatan landfall, this thing could easily bomb out. It's barely 2 degrees wide with banding.


However the inner core is broad and ill defined...has to be smaller, tighter and more consolidated before any big strengthening episode gets going. The small size of a system that bombs is usually because it has a very compact inner structure.
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2052. Patrap
Interesting as it seems the envelope has expanded and morphed a tad N.

Caribbean - Water Vapor Loop

click Image for Loop

ZOOM is active



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2051. yqt1001
Haven't really paid much attention to the size of Ernesto until now.



If this thing ever becomes developed enough far away from land before the Yucatan landfall, this thing could easily bomb out. It's barely 2 degrees wide with banding.
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Ernesto still has a whole degree of latitude to climb if he's going to miss Nicaragua.
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Quoting DubiousCane2012:


Thanks, bro!


No problemo!

This is a good illustration of how Ernesto has gradually moistened the environment around him over the past couple of days. While there is still some dry air in the lower levels it is not a huge inhibiting factor anymore now that he is clear of the S American dry inflow.
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2048. emguy
Quoting TomTaylor:
No problem, it was late, everyone was acting up, people just needed to get some sleep. Didn't know you had been forecasting for 25+ years, you should post more...


Thank you Tom. Keep pushing forward with meteorology!!! You are a good guy...doing good...lots of potential!

For some background, my first one to forecast was a good one, Elena in 1985, and if you know the history of her, she was a wild one.

I wonder how that would have panned out with the resources of today. I wish we would have had the tools, and even something like this back then, because people on here that are legit contribute to the overall interest of the community, through links, data, and images...and that IS great!

Something new is to be learned every day. In 27 years of doing this I have a lot of success, but I still have busts. With the weather, we will always learn something new ever day, and no 2 storms are created alike. On that note, 27 Years does not make a man a subject matter expert, just a man who loves it, chases down the info, and gets to learn something new about Earth every day.

Keep on going Tom, you are a good man.
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Ernesto now has higher ACE than Chris.
1 2.73 Ernesto
2 2.72 Chris
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Quoting DubiousCane2012:
G'morning, everyone!

Can someone please post the 0z ECMWF run, if you can?

If there's anybody still awake out there, that is, LOL, =).


0z Euro run
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Good night everyone! Ernesto will be interesting to look at in 6-7 hours when I get up :)
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7940
Have a wonderful night everybody!
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Gotta get up early in the morning for work, out for now, later all
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting BahaHurican:
tg08, u got some cred added 2night... good discussion on Ernesto... watching that Sward drift earlier made me wonder if we were going to see him pull a Wilma or Mitch type act... meander around in that same general area to get things together, then go off in the direction of the Yucatan... not likely he'll get much past hurricane, but I expect a much improved storm will greet the dawn...


Thanks Baha! I'm off to bed now. Yes...we'll see how he looks at dawn.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
Quoting MississippiWx:
Fresh update. Center should be right on top of 80W.

850mb



500mb



Still not aligned perfectly with each other, but it's better than 3 hours ago.

850



500

looks like it's dumping the SA connection, too...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21949
We have been tracking "Ernesto" since July 30.... Maybe before, watching the models...

It was just a wave or Invest 99L

Posted by: JeffMasters, 3:10 PM GMT on July 30, 2012
The first African tropical wave of 2012 with a potential to develop is Invest 99L, located in the Eastern Atlantic near 9 N 36 W, midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands....
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Quoting tennisgirl08:


Hmmm...not sure what to make of that. But I don't think it's the center.


The upper level structure leads me to believe it will be short lived if it is. Just interesting to note. It could have already reformed a center and spit out the non-productive center that was.

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Quoting Grothar:


It should have a very good chance of developing in the Bay of Campeche, if it gets there.
Agreed, 0z GFDL shows that possibility, taking the storm further north than the other dynamic models and strengthening it into a major hurricane.

The consensus between the 0z dynamic models seems to favor it reaching the BOC, although they really don't give it much time over water or distance from land to allow for much strengthening.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357

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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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