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 Clearwater1:
If it makes it to Cuba, then your'e right. A bad scene. A recurve there could mean a Charlie type track. But it's not even a storm yet. However, the weaker it stays now, the better the odds are for the above.
whew watching it closely..say we got some great rain today huh
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo...most don't know. I listen to the pros... I used to listen to everyone and it really upset me. Now I take 99% with a grain of salt...BUT, there are a few I listen to.
thanks, Im waiting til at least monday or tuesday and then see where it is and how strong etc, right now everyone is guessing
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
I'm with Dak, where's the recurve?


The recurve is between 50W AND 80W.

:)
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try again - borrowing more money is cheap - Check out T-Bill yields (the measure of how much it costs the government to borrow) - after you adjust for inflation, it's practically a negative interest rate. despite what the corporate media tells you, the sky isn't falling, and our government is having no trouble borrowing. FEMA will be just fine (funding wise, I make no promises in the way of efficacy) if we get a major landfall.

Quoting dartboardmodel:
I think the people at FEMA are going to start sweating bullets because they know their funds are dry. If we do have a monster hit the coast where is the money going to come from?? They would have to raise the debt ceiling again. $16 trillion in debt folks, that is just sad. There is no way they will be able to fund a Katrina "like event". That's why a country should avoid taking on debt in the first place because when you finally do need it for a "noble cause" it won't be there.
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Quoting LargoFl:
guess the real question will be...does 94L make it to Cuba..IF it does..big trouble ahead for us
If it makes it to Cuba, then your'e right. A bad scene. A recurve there could mean a Charlie type track. But it's not even a storm yet. However, the weaker it stays now, the better the odds are for the above.
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42 hours; strong Bermuda blocking high in position.

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Quoting tennisgirl08:
I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and make some people mad....haha.

I think future Isaac will be a fish storm, may hit Bermuda....and low chance the northern leewards.
Cape Verde storms are fun to track and look beautiful out in the Atlantic...but I just don't think they will hit the East coast this year.

I think the only chance for a CONUS strike this year will be from homegrown mischief....mostly in the GOMEX.

You can quote me on that....I'm a big believer in climatology and precedent. The analog years must be taken into consideration.



I will have to respectfully disagree. I can definitely see where you are coming from... but every season is different. This time the troughs will be weak... stronger ridging in place. Sorry!
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6874
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Unfortunately for me the Storms in Texas are moving East or Northeast that is why I am so dry, there isnt much of a south push of the storms so far


Something has gotta form over the Gulf, but where the rain goes is beyond me. Talking dry air with dewpoints in the 50s and 60s in SE TX behind front, but with possible tropical entity down the road over Gulf, remains to be seen how all this unfolds.

Situation like this a North movement is in the cards

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Quoting Chicklit:


On satellite it doesn't look very healthy right now. Earlier it was symmetrical but smaller.
If you look at 850 mb vorticity, it's getting bigger and a little bit all over the place. Remember there was a wave in front of it when they first ID'd. Would they be consolidating?

Yeah..that wave has pretty much been absorbed.
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Quoting LargoFl:
gee most say cat-3 huh
Largo...most don't know. I listen to the pros... I used to listen to everyone and it really upset me. Now I take 99% with a grain of salt...BUT, there are a few I listen to.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Convection is waning some because of DMIN. It is that time over there.


On satellite it doesn't look very healthy right now. Remember there was a wave in front of it when they first ID'd. Would they be consolidating?
Link WV Loop Floater
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
24 hours
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I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and make some people mad....haha.

I think future Isaac will be a fish storm, may hit Bermuda....and low chance the northern leewards.
Cape Verde storms are fun to track and look beautiful out in the Atlantic...but I just don't think they will hit the East coast this year.

I think the only chance for a CONUS strike this year will be from homegrown mischief....mostly in the GOMEX.

You can quote me on that....I'm a big believer in climatology and precedent. The analog years must be taken into consideration.

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting RitaEvac:
You can see the activity moving from SW to NE...but




The activity upstream in N TX has a southward direction as the individual cells move W to E. In other words the motherload front is coming down for the gulf

Unfortunately for me the Storms in Texas are moving East or Northeast that is why I am so dry, there isnt much of a south push of the storms so far
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30 hours west he comes.

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting Chicklit:

Look at the satellite photos on floater.
It's getting punched in the stomach with dry air.


I see what you mean, but it isn't a punch in the stomach so much as a minor setback. Probably a combination of some dry air intrusion as you said and the added factor of DMIN. However, 850mb vort is rather impressive on the system. Still generating convection to the north, so it's making fair progress.
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And 850 mb vorticity is elogated instead of rounder as it was this morning when it was looking better, whatever that means.




Granted, it's getting bigger.
Just looks ill on floater.
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Quoting Chicklit:

Look at the satellite photos on floater.
It's getting punched in the stomach with dry air.


Convection is waning some because of DMIN. It is that time over there.
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Quoting palmasdelrio:


How accurate are intensity models at 72 or more hours from now?


Not very...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Helene reemerges.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6874
There's the massive trough to the NE of TX with a new low from Helene or mix of it from convection over Western Gulf,

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We may get two majors in August from Gordon and Isaac
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Quoting Chicklit:

Look at the satellite photos on floater.
It's getting punched in the stomach with dry air.




its your own eyes 94L is doing nothing but organizeing
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSON MS
430 PM CDT SAT AUG 18 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN JACKSON HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
LAUDERDALE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...MERIDIAN STATION...MERIDIAN...

* UNTIL 515 PM CDT

* AT 431 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR MEEHAN MOVING NORTHEAST AT
30 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
NELLIEBURG...SUQUALENA AND COLLINSVILLE BY 440 PM CDT...
MERIDIAN AND ZERO BY 445 PM CDT...
MARION BY 455 PM CDT...
MERIDIAN STATION BY 510 PM CDT...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WINDS OF 60 MPH CAN BRING DOWN TREES...POSSIBLY RESULTING IN INJURY
AND PROPERTY DAMAGE. ROOFS OF MOBILE HOMES AND OUTBUILDINGS COULD BE
DAMAGED...AND MINOR ROOF DAMAGE TO WELL BUILT HOMES AND STRUCTURES
COULD OCCUR.
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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?
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I think the people at FEMA are going to start sweating bullets because they know their funds are dry. If we do have a monster hit the coast where is the money going to come from?? They would have to raise the debt ceiling again. $16 trillion in debt folks, that is just sad. There is no way they will be able to fund a Katrina "like event". That's why a country should avoid taking on debt in the first place because when you finally do need it for a "noble cause" it won't be there.
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323. ARiot
Quoting rescueguy:
While we still have time to think before things really get heated by mid next week. My thoughts turn to how well FEMA will respond to a Major Hurricane hitting a heavily populated area.

I am not wishcasting a US landfall just wondering since it has been quite sometime since Katrina and I am curious as the preparedness of FEMA and local governments.

Local governments I am not so worried about, it's the Federal Response that has me concerned.


It may help to understand what FEMA is, how it's organized and what it does.

Once you do, you realize that FEMA has few resources and people, but those people are trained to "manage" coordinated response efforts from multiple agencies and the private sector (contractors).

So once FEMA is turned on, the response will be anywhere from adequate to awesome. Why the range? Because in some disasters, adequate is all they can do, then the government sets up a long term solution and pulls FEMA back, as planned.

Post Katrina, no governor or president will dare delay response to a populated area hit by a hurricane. They'll start leaning forward 3 days out on a metropolitan track.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Response_Fr amework

Remember, FEMA is tiny. 55 billion a year. 7500 or so people.
That's by design. They're the managers for temporary response.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
..houston we may have Blast-off
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
West he goes.



A track like the AEMI shows looks good to me.
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60 : I think today Gordon underwent RI.

18August6amGMT 34.0n41.5w 60knots 990millibars
18August6pmGMT 34.0n37.5w 90knots 969millibars

An increase of 30knots(35mph)56km/h in MaximumSustainedWinds along with a decrease of 21millibars in MinimumPressure within the span of 12hours easily fits inside the parameters defining RapidIntensification.
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18 hours

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12 hours
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Quoting palmasdelrio:


How accurate are intensity models at 72 or more hours from now?


If the NHC was issuing advisories, that would probably be similar as to what their intensity forecast would look like. So, I'd say fairly accurate.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
West he goes.


gee most say cat-3 huh
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Struggling? Not sure where you get that. It has done nothing but organize since this morning.

Look at the satellite photos on floater.
It's getting punched in the stomach with dry air.

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Depending on how strong the Mid Level Vortex is with 94L will ultimately determine how far NW it goes, and when the recurvature should occur. The Mid Level Ridge to the north of 94L has been trending stronger and stronger, making an OTS scenario seem less likely.

A CCKW is over 94L, which should aid it in its development over the next couple of days. Depending on how rapidly it intensifies will ultimately determine where it goes. Where it goes, however, is still up in the air.

SAL is to the north and to the northwest of 94L, which could pose a problem later in 94L's life.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Not sure what all the confusion is for the W/NW Gulf is about. It's been said for a week and even by Masters to watch the GOM. Models have been showing it for a week about the front stalling over the Gulf and with a low pressure system spinning up on the tail end near Brownsville. Remnants of Helene, stalled out frontal boundary with a high pressure ridge to the NE is a classic cyclogenesis setup.


I agree....as i discussed in today's update i believe leftover energy from Helene will combine with the front and bathwater water temps and voila!! LOL
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting CybrTeddy:
West he goes.




How accurate are intensity models at 72 or more hours from now?
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Quoting lottotexas:
Finally got some rain in my part of Houston. Nearly 1" in an hr. Hopefully more on the way this week.


I've only received 1.74 inches in the past 90 days. Normally, I get 7.5.

We're heading into water restrictions once every 14 days from 8-10 pm or 3-5 am.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
You can see the activity moving from SW to NE...but




The activity upstream in N TX has a southward direction as the individual cells move W to E. In other words the motherload front is coming down for the gulf

wow thats some good rain for texas right now
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commence 18z run

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hurricane Gordon.


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.6 / 953.3mb/104.6kt

If the next round comes out from the TAFB/SAB with anything higher than 5.0, we'll probably see Gordon declared a major hurricane.


At this point, he will probably hit the Azores with some sort of Strength.
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Quoting Chicklit:
94L Water Vapor


Short Wave


Doesn't look like it's doing to shabby to me.
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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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