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 AtHomeInTX:


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


No thats not rain theres rotation to it
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148
1104. Chiggy
BAM suite models treading more and more WEST, latest 00Z models
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1103. Grothar
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26150
Quoting gugi182:
I got 2 questions:

Will 94L go D-Max tonight?


I'm pretty sure D-max happens just before sunrise.
Quoting gugi182:
I got 2 questions:



Will 94L start to move West North West or will it keep on going West if any case it will in deed turn WNW where do you think it will start to curve?

Not really sure. Depends on its intensity.
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Quoting sar2401:


I'm not seing any storm hitting Houston on that model. I see an area of rain which is likely to be the tail end of the cold front currently moving south. I don't see any relationshop to Helene, which should be dead and buried by later tonight.


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


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Obvious major hurricane is obvious.

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1099. Chiggy
I can't believe we have 15+ posts on here just about mph to kph conversion.
No excuse these days of not knowing it as one can always GOOGLE it lol
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Very persistent bugger.




Might be worth installing some storm shutters or plywood, because this could be stronger than anything they've seen.


Over the past 20 years, the Azores have only been impacted by six tropical cyclones:

Charley (1992) : : 65mph winds
Erika (1997) : : 40mph gusts
Jeanne (1998) : : 30mph winds/ >86mph gusts
Unnamed (2005) : : 49mph winds/59mph gusts
Gordon (2006) : : 56mph winds/82 mph gusts
Grace (2009) : : 44mph winds

Also of note, Hurricane Tanya (1995) was declared extratropical just before passing through the Azores. She produced gusts up to 105mph.

(Source: various Wiki pages)
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1097. JLPR2
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I can see 115 mph at 11 pm... otherwise, NHC is DEAD wrong.



Easy 115mph, really nice looking hurricane. Never thought Gordon would manage this.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8698
1096. yoboi
Quoting Grothar:


That's OK. Just don't go speeding in Europe. Everything there is in km. I just convert them in my head because I used them more than mph.


gro gas is so high i can't even afford to go to ville platte to get some boudain...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2337
1095. 7544
hey everyone looks like 94l is a td a this hour ?
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oh warning JFV83 is in the chat room i would put him on your ignore list
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115121
That's three questions...

: )
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Taz, satellite is the only tool we have at our disposal when a storm is out of the range of a reconnaissance aircraft. What are your reasons for stating that Gordon is not a major hurricane?



hmmm thats ture
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115121
1091. Grothar
Quoting yoboi:


i had 185.093 guess i messed up


That's OK. Just don't go speeding in Europe. Everything there is in km. I just convert them in my head because I used them more than mph.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26150
1090. gugi182
I got 2 questions:

Will 94L go D-Max tonight?

Will 94L start to move West North West or will it keep on going West if any case it will in deed turn WNW where do you think it will start to curve?
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Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148
1088. yoboi
gro ya might remember this old saying when they had out houses. my drizzle won't fizzle so i can whizzle...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2337
1087. sar2401
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Yes on the 12z run.


I'm not seing any storm hitting Houston on that model. I see an area of rain which is likely to be the tail end of the cold front currently moving south. I don't see any relationshop to Helene, which should be dead and buried by later tonight.
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No gulf storm. 94l misses the islands though weaker.

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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Is he ENE yet?

Looks like it...
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Quoting Tazmanian:



Gordon is not a cat 3 you cant this look at satellite presentation and say its a cat 3 there are other facter that needs too come in play too make some in a cat 3 and turst me Gordon is not one of them


Taz:

There's no buoys and no HH out there, because nobody even expects a storm of this magnitude to go through there.

Only thing NHC is using is the same tools we are, unless they have something top secret.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
I can see 115 mph at 11 pm... otherwise, NHC is DEAD wrong.



Is he ENE yet?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5223
1082. aquak9
Quoting Grothar:


Sorry, but when I visited Atlantis is wasn't in the Atlantic, it was in the Mediterranean. :)


Don't you know your plate tectonics?

OF COURSE it was in the Med when you were there.
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1081. etxwx
Il fait si chaud...

Kids cool off at the Parc Javel-Citroën fountains in southern Paris as temperatures soared across France, sparking “orange alerts” in 33 regional departments, primarily in southern and central France. Photo credit: Andrea Davoust/FRANCE24
France on alert as temperatures soar
8/18/12 - Excerpt: Remembering 2003's deadly heat wave, France's government has taken care to implement safety precautions as thermometres rise dangerously high nationwide.
In France, it is known as the canicule. In English, it’s simply called a heat wave. And while speakers of both languages can probably agree that oppressively hot weather typically renders people sluggish and listless, the trauma of France’s last major canicule in 2003 has the country’s authorities in overdrive.
French weather services have forecasted temperatures in the mid to high 30s Celsius (high 80s to low 90s Farenheit) in the coming days, which, after a summer of mediocre weather, has come to some as a welcome reprieve. But while some Parisians plan evening picnics on the edge of the Seine and others eagerly look forward to a weekend on the beach, the ministry of health has been busy taking precautions against the sweltering heat.

The country’s main weather service, Météo France, has put 33 regional departments on “orange alert”, the second highest warning level, with temperatures expected to spike as high as 43 C (109 F) in parts southern France on Saturday. The ministry of health has also urged the public to stay on guard against possible health risks, putting a special emphasis on the country’s more vulnerable populations, especially the elderly.

Story continues here.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Portugal Met. Institution special Information Communicated valid between 2012-08-18 22:10:00 and 2012-08-19
22:10:00 Matter: Notice of Hurricane - Gordon 2012.08.18 21:00 TUC

The hurricane Gordon intesificou-itself during the last minute classifying itself in this moment as of category II in the scale of Saffir-Simpson.

It foresees itself that to the 06h TUC of Monday 20 deaden for I category and is found located very near to the island of S. Maria.

For the island of S. Miguel are predicted medium winds between 70 and 90 km/h with squalls to 115 km/h.

For the island of S. Maria are predicted medium winds to 130 km/h with squalls to 160 km/h.

Is predicted still for the zone of the Oriental Group very strong haste, thunderstorm and strong a lot maritime agitation with waves between 14 and 16 m
Taz type this?
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1079. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:



Gordon is not a cat 3 you cant this look at satellite presentation and say its a cat 3 there are other facter that needs too come in play too make some in a cat 3 and turst me Gordon is not one of them


taz at some point 1 mph upgrades a cat 2 to a cat 3....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2337
Quoting Tazmanian:



Gordon is not a cat 3 you cant this look at satellite presentation and say its a cat 3 there are other facter that needs too come in play too make some in a cat 3 and turst me Gordon is not one of them
Taz what do you think they use when a plane cant reach the storm? They use sat. So yes u can.
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1077. Grothar
Quoting RTSplayer:


185.07456


Only in Greece. In the rest of Europe it is rounded to 185.09 to account for a little bit more than 115 mph. :) haha madja look, madja look.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26150
Quoting Tazmanian:



Gordon is not a cat 3 you cant this look at satellite presentation and say its a cat 3 there are other facter that needs too come in play too make some in a cat 3 and turst me Gordon is not one of them


Taz, satellite is the only tool we have at our disposal when a storm is out of the range of a reconnaissance aircraft. What are your reasons for stating that Gordon is not a major hurricane?
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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
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7787
I can see 115 mph at 11 pm... otherwise, NHC is DEAD wrong.

Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8009
1073. Grothar
Quoting BahaHurican:
Another interesting factoid about the Azores is that they are considered the "key" to the location of Atlantis... allegedly Atlantis is 9 days sail from Gibraltar, and since the Azores [and the Madieras, to their southeast, for that matter] are volcanic, some have suggested they are all that is left of the great civilization... lol



Sorry, but when I visited Atlantis is wasn't in the Atlantic, it was in the Mediterranean. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26150
Quoting SouthFLNative:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-rb.h tm l

Gordon is a cat 3. NO question. Look at the satellite presentation! The gulf stream does traverse near the Azores, but this is very unusual.



Gordon is not a cat 3 you cant this look at satellite presentation and say its a cat 3 there are other facter that needs too come in play too make some in a cat 3 and turst me Gordon is not one of them
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115121
Quoting Grothar:


that would be 185.09


185.07456
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


What's the orange color-50 to -60?

Correct.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I thought it followed the same rules as the blog.XD.


No, it has a script to stop cursing, but it is easily beat....
We are being good right now,, you can join us

few trolls. maneageable
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1068. yoboi
Quoting Grothar:


that would be 185.09


i had 185.093 guess i messed up
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Quoting Articuno:

If it doesn't filter it.. then why not?
I thought it followed the same rules as the blog.XD.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Eyewall almost completely orange now.

Azores is doomed.


What's the orange color-50 to -60?
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Quoting yoboi:


don't need much more rain in swla...been a very wet summer..


Here too. And cases of west nile virus too.
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Small amount of dry air has gotten in there.

Should point out the boundary is not as defined on un-enhanced IR, and it could just be a case of a color scale boundary artificially making the structure more prominent than it should be.




South side is probably the best it's looked though.
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Newest Gordon microwave. That's a Cat 3:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7787
1062. yoboi
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Yes on the 12z run.


don't need much more rain in swla...been a very wet summer..
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2337
1061. Grothar
Quoting RTSplayer:


184kph


that would be 185.09
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26150
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-rb.htm l

Gordon is a cat 3. NO question. Look at the satellite presentation! The gulf stream does traverse near the Azores, but this is very unusual.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




what that say?


Portugal Met. Institution special Information Communicated valid between 2012-08-18 22:10:00 and 2012-08-19
22:10:00 Matter: Notice of Hurricane - Gordon 2012.08.18 21:00 TUC

The hurricane Gordon intesificou-itself during the last minute classifying itself in this moment as of category II in the scale of Saffir-Simpson.

It foresees itself that to the 06h TUC of Monday 20 deaden for I category and is found located very near to the island of S. Maria.

For the island of S. Miguel are predicted medium winds between 70 and 90 km/h with squalls to 115 km/h.

For the island of S. Maria are predicted medium winds to 130 km/h with squalls to 160 km/h.

Is predicted still for the zone of the Oriental Group very strong haste, thunderstorm and strong a lot maritime agitation with waves between 14 and 16 m
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5223
Quoting yoboi:
how do ya get to weather chat???

Link
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Eyewall almost completely orange now.

Azores is doomed.


there is no way this is not a major....it looks better than hurricane fran when it made landfall on N.C.....WAY BETTER!
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

Is this the same model that shows that system hitting galveston?


Yes on the 12z run.
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1055. yoboi
how do ya get to weather chat???
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2337

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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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