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 MAweatherboy1:

94L will likely either stay at 50% or go to 60%. They probably won't mention the second wave but if it maintains itself they may circle it at 2AM.



ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114041
Quoting VR46L:
I think the blog is more devastated tonight, when there is no absolute DOOMcane in the GFS 18Z ,than last night when utter carnage was being offered by the 18z ...just saying
That's because there's nothing to talk about.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Quoting shmdaddy:
Hey folks. Not a met...not an expert. I moved to the Florida Panhandle in December 2005. and I've been here on this blog since 2004. And I think it was PensacolaDoug who, when I said I was moving there, told me to "bring plywood". LOL Well we bought a home with hurricane shutters so we're good. But the point I want to drive home here is that EVENTUALLY one of these storms is coming. And with the way they're lining up, one is going to moisten the atmosphere for the next and the next, and so on. 7 years folks. We're now offically pushing our luck. You want to play along with the models?...Great! You want to go against them...Fine! But history proves one simple fact that we all must acknowledge...We WILL be hit again. Will Isaac make to us...who knows. But something will eventually be on our doorstep and, whether the models tell you so or not, you will need to prepare AHEAD of time. Get your supplies in order. Have a plan. Be ready to execute.

Great comment! I live in the Panhandle as well. Similarly, parts of South Florida climatologically see a hurricane every three to five years, and it's been since 2005 since they've seen one there!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I'm not buying the south track. I think 94L will make it to strong tropical storm status/hurricane status and pass over the NE Caribbean in a week or so.


Didn't we say the same thing with Ernesto and how the models kept taking it south and we were adamant on taking it north?
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6814
Quoting BahaHurican:
I'm familiar w/ Inez from previous research because it drifted so close to my home... like it was trying to hit every country in the basin... lol

But an excellent example of a trough that didn't pull the storm far N enough before the high built back...



it's silly for me to ask you were alive back then to know it...
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Quoting shmdaddy:
Hey folks. Not a met...not an expert. I moved to the Florida Panhandle in December 2005. and I've been here on this blog since 2004. And I think it was PensacolaDoug who, when I said I was moving there, told me to "bring plywood". LOL Well we bought a home with hurricane shutters so we're good. But the point I want to drive home here is that EVENTUALLY one of these storms is coming. And with the way they're lining up, one is going to moisten the atmosphere for the next and the next, and so on. 7 years folks. We're now offically pushing our luck. You want to play along with the models?...Great! You want to go against them...Fine! But history proves one simple fact that we all must acknowledge...We WILL be hit again. Will Isaac make to us...who knows. But something will eventually be on our doorstep and, whether the models tell you so or not, you will need to prepare AHEAD of time. Get your supplies in order. Have a plan. Be ready to execute.
Listen to what the man said... [or woman, as may be...]
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Quoting Tazmanian:
any take on what 94L will be at the 8pm two all so do any one think that the wave be hid it will be on it

94L will likely either stay at 50% or go to 60%. They probably won't mention the second wave but if it maintains itself they may circle it at 2AM.
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Even TWC is noticing the Curse of the "I" Hurricanes since 2001...



Link
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with this speculation we can state that Isaac and Joyce could be freaky...lol
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646. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I'm not buying the south track. I think 94L will make it to strong tropical storm status/hurricane status and pass over the NE Caribbean in a week or so.


I'm currently in that camp too, I expect an Earl-ish track till the Antilles.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting Tazmanian:
any take on what 94L will be at the 8pm two all so do any one think that the wave be hid it will be on it


id say 80% it hasnt detached from the twin

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Quoting LargoFl:


Looking at my local (Mobile, AL) radar, we are in for a very rainy night. There's been a ton of thunder with the line that just came through here. Local mets are talking about the possibility of flood watches/warnings overnight and tomorrow.
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643. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:
any take on what 94L will be at the 8pm two all so do any one think that the wave be hid it will be on it


heading west at 8 pm...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 1960
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


yes..it was 1966...you look it up didn't u?
I'm familiar w/ Inez from previous research because it drifted so close to my home... like it was trying to hit every country in the basin... lol

But an excellent example of a trough that didn't pull the storm far N enough before the high built back...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Quoting Tazmanian:
any take on what 94L will be at the 8pm two all so do any one think that the wave be hid it will be on it


60-70%
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Didn't I and J used to be the same thing back in Roman times?


That's right...I know Latin. Just like Julius was Iulius...kinda weird or even Jesus-Iesus
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639. yoboi
Quoting VR46L:
I think the blog is more devastated tonight, when there is no absolute DOOMcane in the GFS 18Z ,than last night when utter carnage was being offered by the 18z ...just saying


your saying the truth....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 1960
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I'm not buying the south track. I think 94L will make it to strong tropical storm status/hurricane status and pass over the NE Caribbean in a week or so.




$$codycaster$$
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Well if we believe in a intensity model, the strenght of the system will not be a problem the best intensity models are showing a Cat.3 hurricane
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any take on what 94L will be at the 8pm two all so do any one think that the wave be hid it will be on it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114041
I want to see 115 mph for Gordon at 8 pm to boost the major count for my forecast. I got 15/8/4 for 2012 season and we got 8/3/0 so far.
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Quoting Hurricanes305:


Perhaps the best analysis and conclusion of this latest GFS solution. Also it has 4-5 days to strengthen into something significant under <10 kts of shear and increasing SST. However, if it emerges into the SE Atlantic it will be north SAL thus RI could occur Anywhere from the SE US to Bermuda could deal with a MAJOR knocking on their doorsteps.


You are forgetting the John Hope rule too.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9668
Quoting Grothar:


Was Jeanne and 'I' storm?
Didn't I and J used to be the same thing back in Roman times?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
632. VR46L
I think the blog is more devastated tonight, when there is no absolute DOOMcane in the GFS 18Z ,than last night when utter carnage was being offered by the 18z ...just saying
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm not buying the south track. I think 94L will make it to strong tropical storm status/hurricane status and pass over the NE Caribbean in a week or so.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30241
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I must say, I do find Jeanne as one of the better analogs for the track that 94L may take. Obviously, I don't agree that it'll loop in the southwestern Caribbean, but look at the overall synoptic set-up. It entered the Caribbean briefly, impacted both Puerto Rico and Hispañola as a decent tropical cyclone, was drawn poleward by a weakness induced by troughiness, and then began to advect westward as the subtropical ridge began to amplify and ultimately affected the southeastern United States.

Jeanne was also originally forecast to travel up the "spine" of the Bahamas on its way to a Ft Pierce landfall... which could fit in with some of the suggested scenarios.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Hey folks. Not a met...not an expert. I moved to the Florida Panhandle in December 2005. and I've been here on this blog since 2004. And I think it was PensacolaDoug who, when I said I was moving there, told me to "bring plywood". LOL Well we bought a home with hurricane shutters so we're good. But the point I want to drive home here is that EVENTUALLY one of these storms is coming. And with the way they're lining up, one is going to moisten the atmosphere for the next and the next, and so on. 7 years folks. We're now offically pushing our luck. You want to play along with the models?...Great! You want to go against them...Fine! But history proves one simple fact that we all must acknowledge...We WILL be hit again. Will Isaac make to us...who knows. But something will eventually be on our doorstep and, whether the models tell you so or not, you will need to prepare AHEAD of time. Get your supplies in order. Have a plan. Be ready to execute.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Not 1966?



"Bad" 18Z run suggests it dissipates between Cuba and Jamaica...


yes..it was 1966...you look it up didn't u?
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Quoting Grothar:


Was Jeanne and 'I' storm?

For some people in Florida it was.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5558
Quoting Methurricanes:
Heres a novel Idea, why don't we focus on a Strong Hurricane that will impact land in 24 hours, instead of focusing on a storm that may or may not develop in 36-48 hours.

Well, obviously one is headed away from all these posters and the other might be headed towards them--or not.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5558
Don't look at the models for the strenght of the storm, use the models as and indicator of where the storm will be in so many days.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Gordon's probably just about to peak intensity. Looks like the SW eyewall is pretty weak so it won't be able to strengthen much more.

I think Gordon is trying to fix the problem with his SW eyewall. Convection is getting strong on that side now.

Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3813
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I must say, I do find Jeanne as one of the better analogs for the track that 94L may take. Obviously, I don't agree that it'll loop in the southwestern Caribbean, but look at the overall synoptic set-up. It entered the Caribbean briefly, impacted both Puerto Rico and Hispañola as a decent tropical cyclone, was drawn poleward by a weakness induced by troughiness, and then began to advect westward as the subtropical ridge began to amplify and ultimately affected the southeastern United States.



Was Jeanne and 'I' storm?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23687
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Hurricane Inez 1969
Not 1966?



Quoting gugi182:
Why is everybody down on 94L. What did i miss? looks like 3 or 4 hours ago there where cheers with this and all of a sudden it's like a graveyard with this invest. What happened any explanation?
"Bad" 18Z run suggests it dissipates between Cuba and Jamaica...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
how about this guys...

WHAT IF KATRINA WAS THE "I" STORM... THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SCARY...
If she were...then she would be Irene..how ironic
wow that is crazy and issac would be the last "i" veteran
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I must say, I do find Jeanne as one of the better analogs for the track that 94L may take. Obviously, I don't agree that it'll loop in the southwestern Atlantic, but look at the overall synoptic set-up. It entered the Caribbean briefly, impacted both Puerto Rico and Hispanola as a decent tropical cyclone, was drawn poleward by a weakness induced by troughiness, and then began to advect westward as the subtropical ridge began to amplify and ultimately affected the southeastern United States.

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Could be consolidating farther north than expected.

Doesn't really matter at this point since the ridge is strong enough to steer this WSW eventually.

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Quoting Altestic2012:
94L is still a darn good looking system, compare it to something like Ernesto in its early stages and this one looks MUCH better.

Or the pathetic-looking CATL wave known as 94L I seem to remember at the end of August 2007 that eventually became.....*drum roll* a 175 mph Category 5 hurricane.


Me!
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
Quoting gugi182:
Why is everybody down on 94L. What did i miss? looks like 3 or 4 hours ago there where cheers with this and all of a sudden it's like a graveyard with this invest. What happened any explanation?


Because every model is critiqued and judged like it is only run the GFS ever does, there will be another one at 00z tonight and countless more for 7 days + I am sure on what 94L will do. Watch the trends.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
It kind of looks to me like that if Gordon doesnt take a sharp NE turn soon, he might not pay the Azores a visit.
you only see the larger islands on the Satilite, Populated islands spread southeastward for a couple Hundred Miles.
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how about this guys...

WHAT IF KATRINA WAS THE "I" STORM... THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SCARY...
If she were...then she would be Irene..how ironic
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Gordon is an absolutely amazing storm... remember when it came off Africa and everybody just dismissed it as no threat to anyone? But this is certainly a system that was determined to maximize its impact...

I forgot it ever came off of Africa
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not really; they still develop the cyclone, and honestly that's the only thing we should be looking at when watching for development 120+ hours out on a system that hasn't even developed. If 94L intensifies into a hurricane before reaching the Lesser Antilles, it'll be more susceptible to move poleward into the southwestern Atlantic and affect the United States, whereas a weaker cyclone would end up cruising along with the zonal flow and repeating an Ernesto-like track.


Perhaps the best analysis and conclusion of this latest GFS solution. Also it has 4-5 days to strengthen into something significant under <10 kts of shear and increasing SST. However, if it emerges into the SE Atlantic it will be north SAL thus RI could occur Anywhere from the SE US to Bermuda could deal with a MAJOR knocking on their doorsteps.
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Quoting ncstorm:
the 18z and 00z runs are the worst runs of the GFS..the 06z and 12z runs are what you should pay attention to..I understand more data is fed into the 06/12 and thats why they are better..

00z and 12z ones
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Gordon's probably just about to peak intensity. Looks like the SW eyewall is pretty weak so it won't be able to strengthen much more.

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Quoting BahaHurican:
A lot of us like this kind of dickering around with the logistics of cyclogenesis. The models have been doing such a good job with track once the storm is established that they've taken a lot of the "guess work" out of it.


Please, this blog is no place for logic.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23687
Quoting gugi182:
Why is everybody down on 94L. What did i miss? looks like 3 or 4 hours ago there where cheers with this and all of a sudden it's like a graveyard with this invest. What happened any explanation?


its the ebb and flow of this blog

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It kind of looks to me like that if Gordon doesnt take a sharp NE turn soon, he might not pay the Azores a visit.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Going to guess 115-120 at next advisory.

Gordon is an absolutely amazing storm... remember when it came off Africa and everybody just dismissed it as no threat to anyone? But this is certainly a system that was determined to maximize its impact...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.