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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905. trHUrrIXC5MMX
12:40 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting Tazmanian:



94L is vary close to TD right now


not so close... BD has to change to LO before that... in most cases
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
904. Tazmanian
12:40 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well dang.



oh well you guys have too wait for 94L
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115246
903. Chiggy
12:39 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting Grothar:
The 00z just came in

14.2N 33.2W Definitely a WNW motion over the last six hours.


As predicted by the steering - West motion about to resume - link below:
Link
Member Since: June 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 297
902. LargoFl
12:39 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39025
901. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:38 AM GMT on August 19, 2012
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
AL, 08, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 343N, 350W, 95, 965, HU,

nooo!

Well dang.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32244
Ummmm...where did 94L go in Mariners 1-2-3 rule?
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Quoting LargoFl:
suns down but you can just make out Gordon
Looks beautiful right now sunny and everything and what looks to be calm seas.
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great. Our power just went out... :o(
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22299
No change to Gordon.

AL, 08, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 343N, 350W, 95, 965, HU
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896. yoboi
Quoting VR46L:
Gordon is quite the stud of a cane....hope the Azores will not have a horror show on their hands..





it might produce rain for ya....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2345
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
AL, 08, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 343N, 350W, 95, 965, HU,

nooo!


That estimate seems odd. Considering the Satellite is showing 10-15mph above that.
Member Since: October 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 451
The 00z just came in

14.2N 33.2W Definitely a WNW motion over the last six hours.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26401
Quoting LargoFl:
suns down but you can just make out Gordon


where?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
AL, 08, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 343N, 350W, 95, 965, HU,

nooo!

Oh, PLEASE.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2462
suns down but you can just make out Gordon
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39025
Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Is this a record? I don't think I've heard of a category 3 this close to the Azores before. The southearnsmost Azores need to brace for some decent impacts tomorrow night and early Monday....this is not ur typical gale blowin thru the Azores...UNREAL!


I posted earlier. Cat 1 is the record for the Azores.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10397
AL, 08, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 343N, 350W, 95, 965, HU,

nooo!
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting Tazmanian:



no TD 9 at 11 but winds did go up to 30kt with 94L

Hmmm....

Well...here is an executive summary of what I just posted on my blog:

--> Gordon strengthened because his structure is below 200 mb winds...which is why he isn't gettin sheared (I put some other theories/ideas out there too)....

--> 94L has a 100% chance of becoming TD9 or Isaac on Sunday (tomorrow)

--> Helene and its remnant will fizzle...its surface low losing identity in broad low pressure field of Mexican-SW US summer monsoon....

I am out for dinner...I just hope Gordon isn't category 4 or somethin when I come back....(JK)...
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Hey, y'all. I've been working on this graphic for last two days. What do y'all think of my forecast and graphic?



I'll explain the forecast in a blog post later tonight


nice
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Hey, y'all. I've been working on this graphic for last two days. What do y'all think of my forecast and graphic?



I'll explain the forecast in a blog post later tonight


I think will pass to the south of puerto rico and will start to moved NW or WNW to the southeast of Dominican republic
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Gordon wants revenge on the Azores(I'm not sure what they did with to him though).So he purposely put on this intensification.


He missed them in 2006 by a smidge. He's there to actually strike them.
Member Since: October 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 451
Quoting jascott1967:


I thought it was Isaac you wanted to be a strong storm? Or is it all of them?
I thought I put you on ignore?.Where do you keep coming from?.It was only Isaac and Gordon I was really looking forward to this season.Stop trying to start fights.Your nothing but a trouble maker and it shows the way you've attacked me ever since you had the chance.
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Quoting Grothar:
I think 94L is moving a little more WNW now.

12z position 12.7N 29.4W
18z position 13.3N 32.0W




has of this update 94L is at 14.2N 33.2W


AL, 94, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 142N, 332W, 30, 1008, DB
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115246
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Nice.
Thanks
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Quoting Levi32:
Whenever you see these Cape Verde waves look like a shrimp, it means they're pretty healthy.



Levi the models have the X factor of the SAL in his logic solution? or only the dry air
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Its about time....she don't look so good....

I wonder if 94L will be TD9 by 11 PM? I just saw the images y'all are posting...and while I was busy typing away this update...94L has really become very organized....

Man...I am really havin a hard time keepin up with the Atlantic tropics....this is so crazy!!!



no TD 9 at 11 but winds did go up to 30kt with 94L
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115246
I think 94L is moving a little more WNW now.

12z position 12.7N 29.4W
18z position 13.3N 32.0W

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26401
877. SLU
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
94L dodges ASCAT again......





aww man .... based on that though you can see the llc is south of the large blob for sure
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5244
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Winds up 5kts with 94L.

AL, 94, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 142N, 332W, 30, 1008, DB



94L is vary close to TD right now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115246
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Hey, y'all. I've been working on this graphic for last two days. What do y'all think of my forecast and graphic?



I'll explain the forecast in a blog post later tonight

Nice.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32244
Gordon wants revenge on the Azores(I'm not sure what they did with to him though).So he purposely put on this intensification.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
HELENE will be gone at 11pm


AL, 07, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 227N, 990W, 25, 1009, LO

Its about time....she don't look so good....

I wonder if 94L will be TD9 by 11 PM? I just saw the images y'all are posting...and while I was busy typing away this update...94L has really become very organized....

Man...I am really havin a hard time keepin up with the Atlantic tropics....this is so crazy!!!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Well I guess
I got my wish for Gordon to be a strong storm..but not affecting land :(..


I thought it was Isaac you wanted to be a strong storm? Or is it all of them?
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Looks like they build houses in the azores to Last..pretty place it is in this sea side area...........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39025
Winds up 5kts with 94L.

AL, 94, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 142N, 332W, 30, 1008, DB
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey, y'all. I've been working on this graphic for last two days. What do y'all think of my forecast and graphic?



I'll explain the forecast in a blog post later tonight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
868. VR46L
Gordon is quite the stud of a cane....hope the Azores will not have a horror show on their hands..



Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6927
Quoting BCastro:
Gordon has had the look of an Annular hurricane, which would explain the retention of strength in cooler waters with little fluctuation.

That sounds plausible
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94L dodges ASCAT again......



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865. SLU
18/2345 UTC 13.8N 33.7W TOO WEAK 94L -- Atlantic

wow
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5244
Quoting Abacosurf:
Pretty storm for the NE atl.
Or anywhere else, for that matter...

Pulled this map off Wikipedia...



NHC forecast brings Gordon just south of the most easterly islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria as a hurricane. Sao Miguel is the most heavily populated island in the archipelago.

And also from Wikipedia...

Hurricanes

A total of ten tropical or subtropical cyclones have affected the region in history. Most of them were either extratropical or tropical storms when they impacted the region, although several Category 1 hurricanes have reached the Azores. The following storms have impacted the region while at Category 1 strength; Hurricane Fran in 1973, Hurricane Emmy in 1976 and Hurricane Gordon in 2006. Several tropical storms have hit the region, including; Tropical Storm Irma in 1978, Hurricane Bonnie in 1992 and Hurricane Erika in 1997. Storms that were extratropical when they impacting the region include Hurricane Tanya in 1995, Tropical Storm Ana in 2003 and Tropical Storm Grace in 2009. In addition, the 2005 Azores subtropical storm impacted the region in October 2005.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22299
HELENE will be gone at 11pm


AL, 07, 2012081900, , BEST, 0, 227N, 990W, 25, 1009, LO
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115246
862. SLU
The center of 94L is near 14n 34w. Just SW of the large blob.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5244
Here is the FIM7 and the FIM8



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26401
Quoting Levi32:
Whenever you see these Cape Verde waves look like a shrimp, it means they're pretty healthy.


Now I want shrimp..
Atleast I am going to the beach tommorow..
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2462
859. SLU
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It shouldn't go north of 15N until after 50W..


let's see what happens
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5244
Quoting NCHurricane2009:

One of my theories on Gordon in my new blog update is that his entire structure now fits below 200 mb...which is why we don't see a 200 mb upper anticyclone...but somewhere there has to be anticyclonic outflow...otherwise the pressures at the surface wouldn't be dropping. Maybe his upper anticyclone is more like at 500 mb or something....


Unfortunately, NHC isn't going to have much to work with in post season, except satellite, Microwave, and whatever scat passes hit it.

I would like to see them research and theorize why/how it got so strong...
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Gordon has had the look of an Annular hurricane, which would explain the retention of strength in cooler waters with little fluctuation.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi Levi,Do you think the center has reformed more north and what it may mean for the NE Caribbean if that is occuring?


It hasn't reformed. The new convection on the north side is making it illusory.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
Quoting stormpetrol:
NHC will wait til 10pm cst to upgrade Gordon to a 120mph hurricane.

Is this a record? I don't think I've heard of a category 3 this close to the Azores before. The southearnsmost Azores need to brace for some decent impacts tomorrow night and early Monday....this is not ur typical gale blowin thru the Azores...UNREAL!
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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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