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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Quoting RTSplayer:


It peaked about 2 hours ago.

It now has a dry air mass inside the CDO on the north side, and a finger or two of dry air on the east side.

It may have been category 3 briefly about 2 or 3 hours ago, but I doubt it will be upgraded until post-season analysis..

It seems all the hurricanes this season will be upgraded in the post-season. Why can't they just do it now? They've got nothing to lose since it's going to weaken by the time it reaches the Azores anyways.
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31502
I'd like to see 94L fall apart overnight, just to see the blog completely melt down.
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1151. Grothar
Quoting yoboi:
gro ya might remember this old saying when they had out houses. my drizzle won't fizzle so i can whizzle...


Today that is called Diurnal Max.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What?

Well...
Ummmm. 105 Knots?!

Its really NHC's call on this one.. They could do it now, or later...
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Quoting RTSplayer:


It peaked about 2 hours ago.

It now has a dry air mass inside the CDO on the north side, and a finger or two of dry air on the east side.

It may have been category 3 briefly about 2 or 3 hours ago, but I doubt it will be upgraded until post-season analysis..
Wow... answered before I even asked...

Thanks, RTS...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21516
Quoting Stormchaser121:


Helene near Texas?
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6874
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
ummmm. WTF?
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 19 AUG 2012 Time : 011500 UTC
Lat : 34:22:06 N Lon : 34:26:44 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.6 / 953.1mb/104.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.5 5.5 5.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 33 km

Center Temp : +14.2C Cloud Region Temp : -56.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 95km
- Environmental MSLP : 1015mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 54.1 degrees



It said that earlier and NHC went with the conservative 110mph.

So the fact it's about the same intensity, but now has a weakening flag is self-consistent, it's just NHC ignored the intensity and pressure estimate and went with their own numbers.
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Quoting sar2401:


No, sorry, I was looking at the wrong model run. It does show a low pressure system, although it gives no indications of the point of origin. Since that model is 5.5 days out, it's hard to imagine that Helene has somehow managed to regain depression status the whole time in the Gulf without other models picking it up.


Yeah it was just that run. The HPC called it the reincarnation of Helene. lol Not that it would come to TX. The CMC showed similar. They might drop it too.
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1144. Grothar
Quoting Abacosurf:
Boy that cone has a A LOT of real estate in it....


I can't wait for the real cone to come out.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
94L has a floater-Hurray.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
ummmm. WTF?
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 19 AUG 2012 Time : 011500 UTC
Lat : 34:22:06 N Lon : 34:26:44 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.6 / 953.1mb/104.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.5 5.5 5.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 33 km

Center Temp : +14.2C Cloud Region Temp : -56.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 95km
- Environmental MSLP : 1015mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 54.1 degrees

What?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31502
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
ummmm. WTF?
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 19 AUG 2012 Time : 011500 UTC
Lat : 34:22:06 N Lon : 34:26:44 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.6 / 953.1mb/104.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.5 5.5 5.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 33 km

Center Temp : +14.2C Cloud Region Temp : -56.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 95km
- Environmental MSLP : 1015mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 54.1 degrees


5.5= 102 KTS 117 MPH ...

Umm... No comment?
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

It has done a good amount of strengthening today. It's eyewall is turning orange again. An increase of 5mph isn't a wild change in intensity. If any storm can do it, it's Gordon.


It peaked about 2 hours ago.

It now has a dry air mass inside the CDO on the north side, and a finger or two of dry air on the east side.

It may have been category 3 briefly about 2 or 3 hours ago, but I doubt it will be upgraded until post-season analysis..
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Land interaction with what? It has 5 days before it reaches the Antilles.
I'm talking about when it gets pass the Antillies.It could tangle with land.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Just stating that it doens't look as good, as it did earlier.

If only we had a buoy, or any other surface observation. :/
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Quoting sar2401:


I doubt it. Gordon has topped out now and we should start seeing rapid deintensification as he hits cooler water and higher shear.


Deintensification? Is that even a word? lol
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1136. Grothar
Quoting Thing342:
Anyone know why the models aren't as hot on 94L this run?


I don't know for sure. Maybe because currently it is surrounded by dry air and has been moving more to the WNW. It should resume a more westerly motion, if the models are correct.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
ummmm. WTF?
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 19 AUG 2012 Time : 011500 UTC
Lat : 34:22:06 N Lon : 34:26:44 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.6 / 953.1mb/104.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.5 5.5 5.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 33 km

Center Temp : +14.2C Cloud Region Temp : -56.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 95km
- Environmental MSLP : 1015mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 54.1 degrees
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Quoting Dakster:
What is the difference between a Prawn and a Shrimp?
Self-esteem.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

It has done a good amount of strengthening today. It's eyewall is turning orange again. An increase of 5mph isn't a wild change in intensity. If any storm can do it, it's Gordon.

Just stating that it doens't look as good, as it did earlier.
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1132. sar2401
Quoting WeathermanAG:
Gordon will be a 125 MPH hurricane 11pm IMO


I doubt it. Gordon has topped out now and we should start seeing rapid deintensification as he hits cooler water and higher shear.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I think the models show future Isaac weaker because of land interaction.

Land interaction with what? It has 5 days before it reaches the Antilles.
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1130. bappit
The FIM shows a low developing in the western Gulf around 72 hours I think.
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Quoting lottotexas:
12z run not 18 z


That's what I said at the beginning of this. Lol. I think we got our wires crossed.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Gordon is probably peaked... 110 Mph.
94L @ 60%, should become a TD later tomorrow.

It has done a good amount of strengthening today. It's eyewall is turning orange again. An increase of 5mph isn't a wild change in intensity. If any storm can do it, it's Gordon.
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Quoting pcola57:



1121.
My point exactly.
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I think the models show future Isaac weaker because of land interaction.
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1125. Grothar
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Obvious major hurricane is obvious.



Why, just because it's round?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
1124. pcola57


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Quoting Grothar:


they are not as aggressive on the intensity as before.

Anyone know why the models aren't as hot on 94L this run?
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1122. sar2401
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Is that just rain? Maybe I read it wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. :)




No, sorry, I was looking at the wrong model run. It does show a low pressure system, although it gives no indications of the point of origin. Since that model is 5.5 days out, it's hard to imagine that Helene has somehow managed to regain depression status the whole time in the Gulf without other models picking it up.
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NHC will probably stay with 110 Mph Intensity with Gordon. Although it has sustained the Eyewall very well, It is beginning to looks less impressive than Earlier.
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Quoting Grothar:


they are not as aggressive on the intensity as before.

Boy that cone has a A LOT of real estate in it....
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Gordon is probably topped out.

The eye will probably run out of 26C+ water within about 2 or 3 hours now.
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Quoting HrDelta:
I was out for Dinner. Anything change with Gordon or 94L?

Gordon is probably peaked... 110 Mph.
94L @ 60%, should become a TD later tomorrow.
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Quoting LargoFl:
..that GFS track is quite dangerous, storms there usually lift up into the gulf
Hate to keep bringing charlie up, but that's kind of what happened. . . similar track. But like I always add, days off and a lot can change]


Edit: and Ivan and many others.
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Quoting yoboi:



taz look at that wave behind 94 it's kicking...



yep
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114753
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Is that just rain? Maybe I read it wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. :)


12z run not 18 z
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Gordon will be a 125 MPH hurricane 11pm IMO
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Quoting Grothar:


they are not as aggressive on the intensity as before.


They're right over me...
But at least they're weaker this time around...
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1112. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:
oh warning JFV83 is in the chat room i would put him on your ignore list



taz look at that wave behind 94 it's kicking...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
1111. Grothar
Quoting BahaHurican:
Obviously, they did not ask the correct person, which is why they r so misinformed... lol...



You're OK, Baha!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
1110. Grothar
Quoting Chiggy:
BAM suite models treading more and more WEST, latest 00Z models


Bam models are not the best to look at. Look at the AVNI models. They are more useful.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
Quoting Grothar:


Sorry, but when I visited Atlantis is wasn't in the Atlantic, it was in the Mediterranean. :)
Obviously, they did not ask the correct person, which is why they r so misinformed... lol...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21516
1108. HrDelta
I was out for Dinner. Anything change with Gordon or 94L?
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1107. sar2401
The closest thing we have to real-time observation of Gordon is a ship report:

Location: 32.9N 31.5W
08/19/2012 0000 UTC
Winds: E (80°) at 25.1 kts
Significant Wave Height: 3.3 ft
Dominant Wave period: 3 sec
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.98 in and falling
Air Temperature: 78.8 °F
Dew Point: 72.5 °F
Water Temperature: 77.0 °F
Visibility: 0.02 nmi
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1106. Grothar


they are not as aggressive on the intensity as before.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25371
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Is that just rain? Maybe I read it wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. :)


No thats not rain theres rotation to it
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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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