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 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...
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Quoting windshear1993:
1966*
know your "i" history!!
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I have long feared the I storm...

so does TWC...
1 canada 1 Central America 4 United states and 1 mexico and the Usa(Isidore)
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Hurricane Inez 1969
1966*
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Out of the Atlantic we got Iniki hitting Hawaii as well and Ioke in central pac as the strongest hurricane ever
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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?
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Blob alert coming soon.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27211
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


and that ONLY goes back 11 years... how about those in the 90s or 80s etc...
they wasnt going that far back and if they did none were in the 90s or 70s..pre 2000s only had ione 1955 and inez 1966
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Going to guess 115-120 at next advisory.


If the deep orange convection were to wrap around the eye, we'd be in buisiness but IMO at the moment, Gordon is 105-115.
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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.
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.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Going to guess 115-120 at next advisory.





it wont get any stronger then what it is now it will likey weakin
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
18z Dynamic/Statistical models are flattened out and farther west.

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Convection has waned some on 94L as DMIN and dry air erode thunderstorms. 8pm TWO should keep it at 50% however overnight into tomorrow mourning as DMAX sets in
and shear drops under 15 kts could allow it organize into Issac by Sunday evening.
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Hurricane Inez 1969
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Quoting isuxn2:
94L is gonna take this track.
Link

At the moment Frederick is the best analoge IMO
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Going to guess 115-120 at next advisory.

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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


and that ONLY goes back 11 years... how about those in the 90s or 80s etc...
Lower activity in the 80s means the I storm did not always feature as the "big named storm" of the season.
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What's bothering me about each of the last day's runs is that each time we're getting deeper and deeper into the CAR. While this may mean a weaker storm, it's confirming more and more the limited chance of this thing turning out to sea before it hits something. :o/
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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.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 701
Quoting GTcooliebai:
What do you think Baha, this run looks bogus to you, like maybe bad data fed into the computers? I mean correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it the 06z and 18z not have the full upper air data fed into them?


Someone said earlier that the 0z and 12z had upper air readings from balloons? But that didn't matter over the Atlantic because there aren't any. I think that's what he said.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
So, after days of strong model support, the GFS and ECMWF both decided to kill off 94L.

They're certainly consistently inconsistent.

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.
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Quoting windshear1993:
there talking about the i named storm in general and how many been retired!!


and that ONLY goes back 11 years... how about those in the 90s or 80s etc...
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Quoting washingtonian115:
TF!!!.Now I know they officially read the blog..
no its quite obvious the i named storm is infamous!!
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Quoting txwcc:


Correct. However, each of the three successive runs of the GFS (6Z, 12Z, and 18Z) after last evening's 00Z have been suggesting a weaker and weaker system up until the Lesser Antilles.


Not really I believe it was toning down intensity from previous runs. All models have trouble pinpointing intensity forecast.
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Quoting yoboi:


do ya have the disco ball app???



this is not the blog too be taking about this


off topic
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting washingtonian115:
TF!!!.Now I know they officially read the blog..
Quoting Felix2007:


Wait a minute... Irene wasn't a tropical system all the way out there!


yes, they must have read it...
Idk why they make that line so far out.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
What do you think Baha, this run looks bogus to you, like maybe bad data fed into the computers? I mean correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it the 06z and 18z not have the full upper air data fed into them?
00Z and 12Z get the data; 06Z and 18Z are extrapolated.

So something could be wonky.
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
525 PM CDT SAT AUG 18 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN DALLAS COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS
NORTHERN KAUFMAN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS
ROCKWALL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS

* UNTIL 830 PM CDT

* AT 523 PM CDT...DALLAS ALERT GAUGES HAVE MEASURED ONE INCH OF RAIN
IN 15 MINUTES IN NORTH DALLAS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE TO TRAIN
OVER THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE COUNTY. THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING
RAINFALL RATES OF OVER 2 INCHES PER HOUR WILL CONTINUE FOR AREAS
ALONG AND NORTH OF INTERSTATE 20 IN DALLAS...ROCKWALL AND KAUFMAN
COUNTIES. FLASH FLOODING OF LOW LYING URBAN AREAS IS LIKELY FROM
THIS ACTIVITY.

* LOCATIONS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE AFFECTED INCLUDE...GARLAND...
SACHSE...ROWLETT...MESQUITE...BALCH SPRINGS...SUNNYVALE...
ROCKWALL...HEATH...FATE...FORNEY...ROYSE CITY AND TERRELL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH WATER OF UNKNOWN DEPTH. TURN AROUND...DONT
DROWN. IT ONLY TAKES TWO FEET OF MOVING WATER TO CARRY AWAY MOST
VEHICLES...INCLUDING PICKUPS AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES. TAKE A
DIFFERENT ROUTE TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION OR WAIT UNTIL WATER
RECEDES. CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER PLAY AROUND HIGH WATER...DRAINAGE
DITCHES...STORM DRAINS...OR FLOODED STREAMS.

&&
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Quoting Felix2007:


Wait a minute... Irene wasn't a tropical system all the way out there!
there talking about the i named storm in general and how many been retired!!
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I have long feared the I storm...

so does TWC...
TF!!!.Now I know they officially read the blog..
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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..
12z and 00z runs are the "better ones"
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last frame
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568. yoboi
Quoting Tazmanian:



Good I use. It more then my window 7 laptop but I still use my laptop too


do ya have the disco ball app???
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I have long feared the I storm...

so does TWC...


Wait a minute... Irene wasn't a tropical system all the way out there!
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
Quoting BahaHurican:
This looks like the energy crosses Cuba and heads NE across the Bahamas... ???
What do you think Baha, this run looks bogus to you, like maybe bad data fed into the computers? I mean correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it the 06z and 18z not have the full upper air data fed into them?
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Looking back at the 12Z, the 18Z is really the first model run that is trending weaker

the 12Z GFS shows a strong storm moving into the Eastern Caribbean, past Cuba and Hispanoila, into the Bahamas, going up the East Coast of FL just offshore and then hitting SC
To be fair, this latest run does continue the westerly trend....
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Weather isn't climate.

We are still far from the records in the 1930s. The planet cycles between highs and lows and this is not a record year for anything so far as climate is concerned.

It is now seven years since the US was hit by a major hurricane.
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FYI Hurricane Gordon is like 2,700 miles from south Florida and Wannabe Issac is like 3,400 miles away.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
348 hours
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560. yoboi
i have had 3.2 inches of rain here in louisiana today and still raining....
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I have long feared the I storm...

so does TWC...
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Well see what the next set of mode runs. Shows
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting Hurricanes101:
Looking back at the 12Z, the 18Z is really the first model run that is trending weaker

the 12Z GFS shows a strong storm moving into the Eastern Caribbean, past Cuba and Hispanoila, into the Bahamas, going up the East Coast of FL just offshore and then hitting SC


Quite a change GFS notorious of weakening and dropping systems and pick it right back up right before its develops. Also I find that solution reasonable.
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Quoting isuxn2:
94L is gonna take this track.
Link


Hopefully not the intensity though.
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
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..
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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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