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 Tazmanian:



its EX Helene
i know could it remerge into gom again?
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1754. LargoFl
GFS at 132 hours
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Good morning guys,

I see 94L wants to be a Caribbean storm, like I said it may want to be. ;)

TD Helene is going to comeback as it remerges out in the GOM and redevelop and hit Tx.

Hurricane Gordon has a pinhole eye. wait, what?!?! GORDON HAS PINHOLE EYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Uhhh... No, Gordon doesn't.
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Quoting Tropicalupdate:
Where is the center of TD Helene?



its EX Helene
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115241
Quoting Tropicalupdate:
Where is the center of TD Helene?

It kind of went into mexico and is dying. Some of the remaining moisture is moving north into the gulf coast frontal system.
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1750. ackee
Quoting hydrus:
Very possible. If it does make it into the Caribbean, it may have a more northerly component then the past two.
agree
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1748. VR46L
I see arrows.... and nadar signatures ...



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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Good morning guys,

I see 94L wants to be a Caribbean storm, like I said it may want to be. ;)

TD Helene is going to comeback as it remerges out in the GOM and redevelop and hit Tx.

Hurricane Gordon has a pinhole eye. wait, what?!?! GORDON HAS PINHOLE EYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where is the center of TD Helene?
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Quoting hydrus:
Very possible. If it does make it into the Caribbean, it may have a more northerly component then the past two.


a much N component

in terms of track I'm thinking TS Fay or Hurricane Gustav
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Experimental FIM&GFS Ensemble more along the CMC, UKMET solution:


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Good morning guys,

I see 94L wants to be a Caribbean storm, like I said it may want to be. ;)

TD Helene is going to comeback as it remerges out in the GOM and redevelop and hit Tx.

Hurricane Gordon has a pinhole eye. wait, what?!?! GORDON HAS PINHOLE EYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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1743. hydrus
Quoting ackee:
THe Ecmwf WAS the frist to track 94L throught the carrbbean has a very weak system seem like the GFS and other model are joining the camp I think base on streering pattern and trend we have seen so far 94L could be simlar to TD#7 AND EARNESTO IN BOTH track and strength
Very possible. If it does make it into the Caribbean, it may have a more northerly component then the past two.
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Quoting ackee:
THe Ecmwf WAS the frist to track 94L throught the carrbbean has a very weak system seem like the GFS and other model are joining the camp I think base on streering pattern and trend we have seen so far 94L could be simlar to TD#7 AND EARNESTO IN BOTH track and strength



Well, the Euro was the first to track it there, but it never had it above an open wave, unless I missed something.

When you have a system that disorganized it's really more about what the initialization data was than the model itself.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Hi JLPR2. This is the analysis made this morning by TV Met Ada Monzon that I translated to English.


DETAILED analysis of the INVEST 94 L - Sunday, August 19, 2012Summary: Based on the GFS forecast and other models (European, HWRF, GFDL, etc.): If the guides are correct, on Thursday may be happening a tropical depression or storm (Isaac) very close to the South coast of Puerto Rico. (Eye: everything can change because as you know always there are variations in the forecasts, both path and intensity, and I do them this summary and warning for the sole purpose of you keep your attention to changes over time in the coming days.)

ITINERARY: From the afternoon of Wednesday, and through all the night must be increased (15-25 mph) breeze, even the arrival of rain bands. However, on Thursday from the morning the wind should increase of 25-45 mph with higher gusts, depending on how close or intense pass future cyclonic system of our coasts. In the evening of Thursday will already decrease the wind. In short, during hours of the day Thursday is that we will have the event of wind and rain, before noon. (Certainly it depends on its translational motion, and therefore this forecast may change)

STRUCTURE: I remind you that forecasts are based to a focal point, but this phenomenon is not a dot on a map, but a wide area of clouds, winds and rains. Therefore, even if the Center passes of 30-100 miles on the South coast, will have effects of rain and windy with very dangerous waves on Thursday. At the time its satellite presentation needs to mature, or needs sustain thunderstorm and clothe the center of circulation or low pressure. If you follow how it goes, you can achieve classification of tropical depression 9 today. The quantities of rain associated with the passage of a phenomenon like this South of PR may vary, but we expect accumulations of 1-4 "/ 24 with this picture.

"TRACK: I think that no major changes have occurred in trajectory forecasts. Virtually all models indicate that your travel will be by the waters of the Caribbean Sea; crossing the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday night, and passing just to the South of PR in the early morning on Thursday. I will continue to evaluate this.

INTENSITY: Have been changes in intensity forecasts. Models NO longer see a hurricane for our area. It may be in response to four factors: A trough in the high strains of the atmosphere which will take place near 55 %uFFFD W, the fact that come moving quickly westward, dust from the Sahara to the North-West of the system, and that has not started other tropical waves which then subtract you energy. This contrasts the factor of waters of high-calorie that face between 50 - 60 %uFFFD O. Intensity guides are concentrating on that may be a storm when near PR.

NOTICES: That depends on that threat has winds for PR, and is a long way yet to determine. In addition this determined exclusively the National Hurricane Center and the national service of meteorology of San Juan. There are no warnings issued. Some reminder occur it would be from Tuesday to Wednesday.
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1740. LargoFl
Quoting hydrus:
Some rotation with the area that just exited the African Coast also..
my gues is, with that wave train over africa..then a very active september
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Quoting LargoFl:
we sure must keep a good eye on it huh..water temps in the real high 80's..
Do u have a map to show me where the COC is?
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1738. bappit
Quoting Grothar:
This just came out.


What did it come out of?
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Could turn out to be a very real threat to the US coastline. Depending on the exact path of course, could get shredded.


If the GFS is right it might have to thread the needle between those mountains. 06z ensembles this morning.

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1736. LargoFl
Quoting Tropicalupdate:
Will Helene reform and make a come back in the GOM
we sure must keep a good eye on it huh..water temps in the real high 80's..
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most here are concerned of the development of 94L but what also is of concern is the moiture level that is associated with the TW the area of low pressure sw of 94L and 94L itself. this weather complex could trigger flooding rains for the islands for a few days
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1734. hydrus
Some rotation with the area that just exited the African Coast also..
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1733. ackee
THe Ecmwf WAS the frist to track 94L throught the carrbbean has a very weak system seem like the GFS and other model are joining the camp I think base on streering pattern and trend we have seen so far 94L could be simlar to TD#7 AND EARNESTO IN BOTH track and strength
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Quoting LargoFl:
geez that storm has 9 lives
Will Helene reform and make a come back in the GOM
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1731. LargoFl
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1730. GetReal


Watch out MS, AL, and NW FL gulf coast, this is coming your way next....
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8896
1729. LargoFl
Quoting GetReal:


IMO a new COC is going to form in the SW GOM near that cluster of convection just off the coast... Welcoming back Helene from the dead.
geez that storm has 9 lives
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1728. JLPR2
I see that after hours of weakening 94L's vort is now steady and recovering, the low ahead is looking sharper too.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
1727. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8896
Yet another storm heading for landfall as a typhoon in the West Pac:



Currently at 45kts:

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1724. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8896
Why Texas needs a tropical system, last 2 days several storms have gotten close to my house and I end up with less than a tenth of an inch, my first rain in 35 days and it just gets the streets wet. They said scattered and isolated, they were right, LOL.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:
\

Based upon that image you just showed, that appears like it could be side-lobing artifacts of the radar, and not actual rotation. Will load up GR2Analyst to see.


rotation is most likely dead by now anyway..that was quite a few minutes ago
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1721. Grothar
This just came out.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26502
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Brad Panovich9:36 AM - Public
Tornado warning cancelled but still strong circulation with this storms moving towards the Virginia line.


Based upon that image you just showed, that appears like it could be side-lobing artifacts of the radar, and not actual rotation. Will load up GR2Analyst to see.
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1719. pcola57
Quoting hydrus:
The 1997 El-Nino was impressive.This image of the Pacific Ocean was produced using sea surface height measurements taken by the U.S./French TOPEX/Poseidon satellite. The image shows sea surface height relative to normal ocean conditions on Dec. 1, 1997. In this image, the white and red areas indicate unusual patterns of heat storage; in the white areas, the sea surface is between 14 and 32 centimeters (6 to 13 inches) above normal; in the red areas, it's about 10 centimeters (4 inches) above normal. The green areas indicate normal conditions, while purple (the western Pacific) means at least 18 centimeters (7 inches) below normal sea level.The 2007 looked impressive too..During La Niña, sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are below average, and temperatures in the western tropical Pacific are above average. This pattern is evident in this temperature anomaly image for November 2007. This image shows the temperature for the top millimeter of the ocean’s surface—the skin temperature—for November 2007 compared to the long-term average. A strong band of blue (cool) water appears along the Equator, particularly strong near South America. Orange to red (warm) conditions appear north and south of this strong blue band. The 2007 data were collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The long-term average is based on data from a series of sensors that flew on NOAA Pathfinder satellites from 1985 to 1997.
Date 21 December 2007


Wow!!..
Great explanation..thanks so much.. :)
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1718. hydrus
The 1997 El-Nino was impressive.This image of the Pacific Ocean was produced using sea surface height measurements taken by the U.S./French TOPEX/Poseidon satellite. The image shows sea surface height relative to normal ocean conditions on Dec. 1, 1997. In this image, the white and red areas indicate unusual patterns of heat storage; in the white areas, the sea surface is between 14 and 32 centimeters (6 to 13 inches) above normal; in the red areas, it's about 10 centimeters (4 inches) above normal. The green areas indicate normal conditions, while purple (the western Pacific) means at least 18 centimeters (7 inches) below normal sea level.The 2007 looked impressive too.During La Nia, sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are below average, and temperatures in the western tropical Pacific are above average. This pattern is evident in this temperature anomaly image for November 2007. This image shows the temperature for the top millimeter of the ocean%u2019s surface%u2014the skin temperature%u2014for November 2007 compared to the long-term average. A strong band of blue (cool) water appears along the Equator, particularly strong near South America. Orange to red (warm) conditions appear north and south of this strong blue band. The 2007 data were collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) flying on NASA%u2019s Aqua satellite. The long-term average is based on data from a series of sensors that flew on NOAA Pathfinder satellites from 1985 to 1997.
Date 21 December 2007
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I've been wondering about that naked mid-level circulation in the W. Caribbean, which is now hitting Nicaragua (and getting some pop-up assisted convection).

What do you figure the odds are for it hooking north along the ridge and making the BoC?!

I think it's unlikely, but a slight chance.

Maybe that was what the models developed in the past runs, and not Helene's remnants as some of us thought?!


Maybe it develops in the E.Pac instead...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase/hwrf/invest94l/ fcst/archive/12081906/1.slp.png

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Gordan has a Pinhole Eye?

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Brad Panovich9:45 AM - Public
Impressive supercell structure with this one embedded cell. #ncwx #vawx

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Could turn out to be a very real threat to the US coastline. Depending on the exact path of course, could get shredded.
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Quoting LargoFl:
could THIS be what the models had off Nola's coast by wens?..a crossover?

I was thinking another Ernesto/Hector Cross-over.
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rather decent early term consensus among the hurricane models listed here. Population has increased markedly since yesterday at this time.



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1710. SLU
Bouy south of 94L at 12n 38w shows a closed circulation
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Brad Panovich9:36 AM - Public
Tornado warning cancelled but still strong circulation with this storms moving towards the Virginia line.

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Shifted back to Florida on the 6Z...?

No me gusta.
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At least none of the lows associated with the fronts are below 1000mb, so there shouldn't be too much severe weather today. Just a lot of rain.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Good Sunday Morning to everyone...Is the reason for 94L's weakening due in part to the land interaction with Haiti? Those mountains over Haiti have been notorious for ripping apart storms.

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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


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




So models are showing Houston storm. I thought Tillman was wish casting.lol
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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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