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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Ok so after days of showing a strong storm, one models show its weak and thats curtains for 94L?

Isnt that just as bad as the wishcasting?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7683
LATEST ON HURRICANE GORDON


for larger image: Link
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Lol what a joke the GFS shows
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yup t-storm!
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I suspect the disappointment will be high here when people check out the GFS runs, so I'm out.
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Quoting allancalderini:
Meanwhile Joyce and Kirk are preparing to batter the lesser Antilles.

"Batter"? Hardly, both are barely a TS. Seems like these long-tracked systems are staying WEAK all the way to 60W - which is good for the Islands, but one of them will blow up in to a Major past 75-80W...

Anyway, this 18Z GFS run is line with 12Z Euro run which also dissipates 94L in the W-Caribbean!
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Quoting a bit of :-381. Neapolitan

Its interesting that the really dark red bits are where you probably would not have guessed them to be. like in the arctic, the mountains of Croatia and even a splodge in Antarctica.

Here's Neas bit:-
"Lots and lots of reds, oranges, and yellows, no? Bottom line: it's warm, and getting warmer."

My bit is that some sort of clock is ticking here and we have no idea what its attached to?
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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.

Do we often see a "kill off" in the 10 - 7 day range with the GFS?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
two separate pieces of energy..one going west and one going NW?


171 hours
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Quoting BahaHurican:
So this is last year's Emily.

I'm convinced we are getting replays of past storms from the GFS .... lol



Don't think so, the problem is the dry air as Levi says with Emily was the shear,so lets see what happens
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Another possible Ernesto type system that will have to wait until it reaches the W. Carib to strengthen. Looking for the GOM?

It may track through the Caribbean as a TS.
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8871
Like I said earlier today, one must look at the bigger picture. Cape Verde systems develop into hurricanes this time of year, that happens every year without fail per norm. Climo is certainly for 94L.
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I think Gordon is definitely a Cat 3 now, hang tight Azores!
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Quoting Chiggy:
18Z GFS @ 156 hrs..., barely a TS nearing Jamaica!
Meanwhile Joyce and Kirk are preparing to batter the lesser Antilles.
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Seems like most Twaves that develop into hurricanes prior to crossing into the CAR travel at 10 - 15 mph... am I off with that thinking???

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
Quoting tennisgirl08:


No...not necessarily.


Really? Explain.

Whats left of 94L after its run-in with Hispaniola is just a weak/elongated vorticity mess moving into Cuba.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
Quoting Articuno:

Nobody answered..
If it clears the islands and there is no land mass in the way and the storm is strong enough then yes.
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i only post out to 144hrs
it goes further but useless
as far as iam concearn
this dipiction shows a weaker event

18z runs normally are weaker of the run set
00z run will be important
to see if the weakening continues
along with the possible track of this feature


as always stay tune

things can and will change in future runs
on this system
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
So, after days of strong model support, the GFS and ECMWF both decided to kill off 94L.

They're certainly consistently inconsistent.

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105 RTSplayer: This is the kind of **** I've been concerned about with AGW... Whoever heard of a strengthening hurricane with apparently category 3 intensity in this part of the ocean and with this track?!?

Look at this. If it stays relatively low in latitude, it could eventually hit that 2C anomaly near Europe. I doubt it would still be tropical by then, but it might be a big hybrid low or something...

I'd been thinking about that since Gordon turned into a Hurricane.
With Chris, that makes 2 TropicalCyclones this year that became hurricanes within the latitudes between the Azores and the CanaryIslands. What if that's the upcoming Norm?

The Sahara was once green. Paleoclimatologists assume that it was because the MonsoonBelt that crosses Africa was farther north at the time.
I use 'assume' because I haven't run across any climate-modeling concerning the earlyHolocene, when global temperatures were last comparable to those we'll be experiencing within this upcoming century.

What if, instead of more northern monsoons, the GreenSahara was the result of nearly all CapeVerde hurricanes recurving back to make landfall back in NorthAfrica as a regular feature of earlyHolocene climate? Maybe even nearly all recurving hurricanes.
Northern SeaSurfaceTemperatures are expected to go up... ?into the hurricane-supporting range?
Hurricanes hitting NorthAfrica would kill the hurricane-suppressing dust carried into the Atlantic by the SaharanAirLayer.
Just something to think about...
...for a publishable paper whether the modeling proves or disproves the SaharanHurricane hypothesis.
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The GFS decouples 94L over Hispañola.

In other words, for 94L to become a formidable cyclone it will have to intensify sufficiently to track north of the Greater Antilles into the southwestern Atlantic.

Personally, I don't find the Caribbean route likely whatsoever.
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18Z GFS @ 156 hrs..., barely a TS nearing Jamaica!
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We'll see what the 00z shows.

If that's also weak, then a "weenie suicide watch" may have to be issued for the blog.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
GFS shoots it due north into the DR.

This would kill the system.
So this is last year's Emily.

I'm convinced we are getting replays of past storms from the GFS .... lol

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
Quoting Felix2007:
Guess Isaac the Terrible might not be so terrible after all.
Maybe not for the Antilles, but past there, it may intensify. . . Or the ooz run will have it back as a monster storm. Way out there for now.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1547
Is the 18z the best or worst run of the day?
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GFS shows 3 storms but Issac is just a low pressure in the central carribean
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and less we forget..............
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
GFS shoots it due north into the DR.

This would kill the system.


No...not necessarily.
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Dissipated at 150 hours:

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475. JLPR2
Quoting txwcc:


He was already an established storm and not a developing entity.


Georges was moving west at 21mph when it developed into a TD.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8690
Quoting Tazmanian:





there is not going too be a recurve with 94L


Wanna bet a quarter?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5222
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Future Isaac, Joyce, or Kirk - which one will hit the mainland?? Place your bets. :)
Hopefully none.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
Guess Isaac the Terrible might not be so terrible after all.
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Quoting Articuno:
Alright, here's my question,

I am going to ocean all next week starting tomorrow, while I am on vacation could I see high surf if it takes a path north of the islands?

Nobody answered..
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Quoting allancalderini:
Maybe Joyce they like to form together an example was in 2004.



well see
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final 144hr

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting tennisgirl08:
DRY AIR, DRY AIR - but...better chances for current systems bc of the returning MJO.
we have seen really dry air. now not so much dry air
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GFS shoots it due north into the DR.

This would kill the system.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
final 144 hr

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting floridaT:
yes for the last 2 but this one has very little sal
Usually it's harder for weak systems to intensify/take advantage of their environment when they are moving fast.All though I agree that dry air isn't a problem as much as it was for the last few storms.
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Quoting tennisgirl08:




IF it keeps showing a weak system that doesn't dissipate....also not good (for Gulf Coast and FL)
I was just getting ready to post the same thought. In fact, as the 18 gfs progresses it hints at what you posted.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1547
DRY AIR, DRY AIR - but...better chances for current systems bc of the returning MJO.
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Quoting tennisgirl08:
Future Isaac, Joyce, or Kirk - which one will hit the mainland?? Place your bets. :)
if we make it to the S storm will that be Spock?
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53787
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Looks stronger at 126 hours than it did at 114 hours and 120 hours

also note, this is already further west than the other runs due to it being weaker


I'm using a source much faster than the "freebies"

If this actually moves due south of Shredderola like the GFS depicts you'll have topographical down sloping issues as well.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
Gordon lacks convection over his center.
Bust storm :P
JK
Gordon looks like a Cat 4
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...THE URBAN FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 630 PM EDT FOR
SOUTHEASTERN PALM BEACH AND NORTHEASTERN BROWARD COUNTIES...

AT 554 PM EDT...PALM BEACH POST NEWSPAPER REPORTED THAT THERE WAS
STREET FLOODING IN THE AREA OF MORIKAMI PARK AND WHISPER WALK THIS
EVENING FROM THE EARLIER THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON.
THEREFORE...THE URBAN FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 630 PM
THIS EVENING FOR SOUTHEASTERN PALM BEACH AND NORTHEASTERN BROWARD
COUNTIES.

MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO
AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY
DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS MAKE THE
SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

A FLOOD ADVISORY MEANS PONDING OF WATER IN URBAN OR OTHER AREAS IS
OCCURRING OR IS IMMINENT.
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Future Isaac, Joyce, or Kirk - which one will hit the mainland?? Place your bets. :)
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Quoting Tazmanian:
94L and look whats be hid it






all so thew wave be hid 94L looks a little more S then 94L is
Maybe Joyce they like to form together an example was in 2000.
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The problem for 94L in the near-term is the abnormally-dry air in the central Atlantic, some of which is already starting to wrap into the circulation in the NW quadrant. Let's not forget all of the very impressive waves we have seen near the Cape Verde islands so far this year that just petered out once they were on their own in the central Atlantic due to this dry air. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see 94L held under hurricane strength until west of 60W.

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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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