July 2012: Earth's 4th warmest; update on 94L--a threat to the Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:19 PM GMT on August 18, 2012

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July 2012 was the globe's 4th warmest July on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 12th warmest. July 2012 global land temperatures were the 3rd warmest on record, breaking a streak of three months (April, May, and June) when global land temperatures were the warmest on record. July 2012 global ocean temperatures were the 7th warmest on record, and it was the 329th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last time global temperatures were below average was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in July for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 7th or 5th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of July in his July 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.



Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for July 2012. Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including most of the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Australia, northern and western Europe, eastern Russia, Alaska, and southern South America were notably cooler than average. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

El Niño watch continues
Sea surface temperatures increased to 0.8°C above average as of August 13 in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America. Ocean temperatures have been near or above the 0.5°C above average threshold needed for a weak El Niño event since the beginning of July. However, winds, pressures, and cloud cover over the region have not responded in the fashion typically associated with an El Niño, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said that "The lack of a clear atmospheric response to the positive oceanic anomalies indicates ongoing ENSO-neutral conditions," in their August 9 El Niño discussion. They have issued an El Niño watch, and give a 71% chance that an El Niño event will be in place by September. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. Wind shear has been close to average over the tropical Atlantic since the beginning of hurricane season in June, though.


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 (black line) compared to the previous record low year of 2007 (blue line) shows that 2012 is fast approaching all-time record territory. A big Arctic storm with a central pressure of 963 mb affected the ice during the first two weeks of August, causing a temporary downward spike in sea ice extent. Image credit: Danish Meteorological Institute.


Figure 3. View of the North Pole on August 17, 2012 from the North Pole Environmental Observatory shows plenty of melt water pools from the warm summer the North Pole has had.

Arctic sea ice falls to 2nd lowest extent in July, nears all-time record low during August
July 2012 Arctic sea ice extent reached its 2nd lowest July extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). During the first half of August, sea ice has undergone a spectacular decline, and we are on pace to break the all-time lowest sea ice extent record set in September 2007. As of August 17, the University of Bremen was showing that sea ice extent has already broken the all-time record; the Danish Meteorological Institute put the ice loss in 2nd place behind September 2007; and the National Snow and Ice Data Center put Arctic ice loss in 3rd place behind September of 2007 and 2011.

Update on 94L
A large tropical wave (Invest 94L) located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa is headed west at 15 - 20 mph. This storm is a threat to develop into a tropical storm that will affect the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Wednesday. The storm is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and is over waters of 28°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis. Satellite loops show that 94L has increased in organization this afternoon, with a growing amount of heavy thunderstorm activity and spin at middle levels of the atmosphere.


Figure 4. Afternoon satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 2 pm EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will fluctuate around 28°C over the next five days, as 94L tracks westwards towards the Lesser Antilles. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development, and the SHIPS model predicts increased dry air as 94L approaches the Lesser Antilles. However, with shear expected to be low, dry air may be less of an issue for 94L than it was for Ernesto or TD 7. The storm should maintain a nearly due west track through Monday night, to a point near 50°W, about 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. At that point, a trough of low pressure passing to the north of 94L may be able to pull the storm to the northwest well to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles, as suggested by the latest 12Z (8 am EDT) run of the NOGAPS model. The 12Z UKMET model shows a more west-northwesterly motion resulting in a near miss of the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 24 hours, though. The latest 12Z run of both models now agree on the timing, with 94L arriving Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The BAMM model, which performed as well as the ECMWF and GFS at 5-day forecasts in 2011, is also showing a track through the Lesser Antilles. Given this agreement among our top three models for long-range forecasts, I give a 60% chance that 94L will pass through the Lesser Antilles. In their 2 pm EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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1255. aerojad
Gordon's got to be knocking on the door of the strongest hurricane that far north and east in the Atlantic basin by now, isn't it? Incredible stuff.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Mid-level circulation, here is the 500mb vorticity map showing it well.



nothing at the 850mb level yet though looking at Chicklits post.
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I wonder if Gordon may be going through eyewall replacement. It looks like there may have been at least part of a second eyewall on the last microwave pass a few hours ago.



It would make sense with the somewhat inconsistent convection along with the expansion of the eye.

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1251. JLPR2
Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
I dont think it's been mentioned and there's not a lot of convection with the area but cloud patterns just north of panama are looking a little suspect anyone else notice that?....cant find my link to the vorticity map could someone please post thanks


Mid-level circulation, here is the 500mb vorticity map showing it well.

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Quoting JLPR2:


Funny has to make sense? :P


Just joking.... What's your opinion on 94L... Don't you see it quite high in the N?

Seems like GFS keeps it without development until near the islands, thats why it takes a W path, then NW...
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anyway, goodnight all.
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I dont think it's been mentioned and there's not a lot of convection with the area but cloud patterns just north of panama are looking a little suspect anyone else notice that?....cant find my link to the vorticity map could someone please post thanks
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1247. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:


The wind is stronger in the hills... and you have land slides


Funny has to make sense? :P
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yin yang; maybe 94L and his sister wave finally caught up with each other.
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1245. Tygor
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Rain is scattered in Texas, no rain here since July 15 and counting, maybe I will get some Sunday?


Seems like the rain is past San Antonio, even though there's lightning everywhere. 0.05" and it's the most we've seen since that July 15th you're talking about.
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Quoting ILwthrfan:
They have shifted Gordon s track a bit farther to the north per 11pm update.

If that happens Sao Miguel is is trouble, its largest city (68K) is on the eastern shore of the island, so parts will be affected by a pretty large storm surge probably 5-7 ft.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 701
Quoting Tazmanian:
97W looks good has well could see that come TD 16W soon

98W looks like TD7 before it became Helene
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They have shifted Gordon s track a bit farther to the north per 11pm update.

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Quoting JLPR2:


Ha! If that were true then...
Run for the hills! XD


The wind is stronger in the hills... and you have land slides....

Hey, what's your opinion on 94L? I just came back....
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97W looks good has well could see that come TD 16W soon
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
1238. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

You know it's time for me to go to bed when I thought that was 94L.


Ha! If that were true then...
Run for the hills! XD
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Quoting JLPR2:
In other news, here is Gordon's ASCAT pass.


Neat!

You know it's time for me to go to bed when I thought that was 94L.
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1236. pcola57
:)
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We have TD 15 in the WPAC

Nice U-Turn....

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1234. JLPR2
In other news, here is Gordon's ASCAT pass.


Neat!
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Anyone have a link where it shows the forecast track of each ensemble member of GFS?

Link
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
Quoting sar2401:


Thank goodness. TD07/Ernesto/Helene has been around since about June. :)


that ain't Ernesto.
Ernesto became Hector in the EPAC.
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Quoting etxwx:
Gettin' some rain in Texas...we actually had a half an inch this evening. Hopefully more on the way.
I'm trying to learn to post weather images so I can do something beside post news. ;-)
Rain is scattered in Texas, no rain here since July 15 and counting, maybe I will get some Sunday?
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Anyone have a link where it shows the forecast track of each ensemble member of GFS?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
Maybe CMC and NGP are right....
The center is supposed to be around 14, (in the sat. it looks around 15) quite high (N) for being so far...




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Quoting Grothar:
I'm going to turn in too. I already got the 11 PM advisory so I don't have to wait up. Play nicey nice and thanks for keeping me company while my family is away.
G Nite Gro
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
BLEND OF THE SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE INTENSITY ESTIMATES
YIELDS AN INITIAL WIND SPEED OF 95 KT.

Something about this just doesn't sit right with me. Everything I have read has said that Gordon has 100kt+ winds. Eh, what can you do?

Night all.
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Quoting Chucktown:
Not to change the subject, but since climate change was the top subject of the blog today, and even though I'm a skeptic, here is a very well written presentation by a good friend of mine Stu Ostro. This is a long, illustrative presentation, backed with NWS and NHC references. Its a good Sunday morning read. Nea and others will enjoy this.

Link


That's a huge presentation.

That will take a while to even scan fully, and I'm a good reader.
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1222. JLPR2
To see Helene forming convection when it was finally declared dead...



Priceless.

XD
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Could Broad area of Low Pressure devolop? With Remenet Low of Helene sorry picked wrong one.
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1220. sar2401
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HELENE ADVISORY NUMBER 14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072012
1000 PM CDT SAT AUG 18 2012

...HELENE DEGENERATES INTO A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE...THIS IS
THE LAST ADVISORY...


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.8N 99.1W
ABOUT 85 MI...140 KM WNW OF TAMPICO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1009 MB...29.80 INCHES


Thank goodness. TD07/Ernesto/Helene has been around since about June. :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON ADVISORY NUMBER 14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
1100 PM AST SAT AUG 18 2012

...GORDON WITH 110 MPH WINDS...MOVING QUICKLY EASTWARD TOWARD THE
AZORES...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.5N 33.9W
ABOUT 455 MI...730 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 80 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...965 MB...28.50 INCHES
20.6 Hours away, and if the "Azores" is measured from Soa Miguel then it will go very close to St Maria which is the island south of Soa Miguel which has 170,000 people.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 701
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON ADVISORY NUMBER 14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
1100 PM AST SAT AUG 18 2012

...GORDON WITH 110 MPH WINDS...MOVING QUICKLY EASTWARD TOWARD THE
AZORES...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.5N 33.9W
ABOUT 455 MI...730 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 80 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...965 MB...28.50 INCHES


Avila must be behind the desk....
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON ADVISORY NUMBER 14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
1100 PM AST SAT AUG 18 2012

...GORDON WITH 110 MPH WINDS...MOVING QUICKLY EASTWARD TOWARD THE
AZORES...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.5N 33.9W
ABOUT 455 MI...730 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 80 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...965 MB...28.50 INCHES
Could Broad area of Low Pressure devolop?
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1216. Grothar
I'm going to turn in too. I already got the 11 PM advisory so I don't have to wait up. Play nicey nice and thanks for keeping me company while my family is away.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
1215. etxwx
Gettin' some rain in Texas...we actually had a half an inch this evening. Hopefully more on the way.
I'm trying to learn to post weather images so I can do something beside post news. ;-)
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94L moving at 20knts--fast clip.
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Quoting Felix2007:


No because it wouldn't have been named yet, so the one behind it would be Isaac. :P


But she's aready thrown out the "see, I told ya so (on 94L being the big bad Isaac)".
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1211. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


*cough Dolly dough*


XD
Pre-Irene '11 was also a swirless TS. XD
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Quoting Altestic2012:
Ensemble member #2 slambasts Isaac right into Savannah.


Can ya give me the link where it shows the track for each member?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON ADVISORY NUMBER 14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
1100 PM AST SAT AUG 18 2012

...GORDON WITH 110 MPH WINDS...MOVING QUICKLY EASTWARD TOWARD THE
AZORES...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.5N 33.9W
ABOUT 455 MI...730 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 80 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...965 MB...28.50 INCHES
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HELENE ADVISORY NUMBER 14
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072012
1000 PM CDT SAT AUG 18 2012

...HELENE DEGENERATES INTO A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE...THIS IS
THE LAST ADVISORY...


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.8N 99.1W
ABOUT 85 MI...140 KM WNW OF TAMPICO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1009 MB...29.80 INCHES
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What is the difference between a Prawn and a Shrimp?


Self-esteem


Too Funny Cosmic E.
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Quoting Thing342:
I'd like to see 94L fall apart overnight, just to see the blog completely melt down.


Well,i don´t know but the worst scenario that can happen, it's a weak TS
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Not dry air.
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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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