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 Chicklit:
94L Water Vapor


Short Wave


Doesn't look like it's doing to shabby to me.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
West he goes.


guess the real question will be...does 94L make it to Cuba..IF it does..big trouble ahead for us
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37063
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

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Quoting LargoFl:
there is a plume of dry air in front of it

Has it slowed down any yet?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11186
Quoting Clearwater1:


Well, if a major were to hit the US, you can bet, being an election year, and with election right around the corner, the response will be massive and very quick. Never waste a good disaster. Any political party's response.

Not only that - both the DNC and RNC are in the southeast (Charlotte, NC and Tampa, FL) now Charlotte isn't on the coast but think about Hugo - it can get hit. Tampa of course is on the Gulf Coast. What are the chances that one of these upcoming storms could hit during one of these conventions?????????
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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.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Looks like it's struggling to me.
This does not bode well for Antilles because according to the experts, the weaker it is the less likely the trough will pick it up.

Struggling? Not sure where you get that. It has done nothing but organize since this morning.
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I see Dr. Jeff Masters forgot to mention that other datasets like RSS and GISS were not the 4th warmest, but were the 7th and 13th warmest respectively.

Interesting.

HadCruT has not come out yet with the monthly reading for July 2012, but I think that will determine which dataset (NCDC or GISS) is closer to reality.

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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


I don't know Helene may be finished. What showed on that model may in part be her remnants. I'd say if anything does spin up could go from round Galveston to New Orleans with that front lingering. Just a guess though.
She is persistent she survive Wind shear dry air Central America and even trade winds maybe she can survive Mexico.
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West he goes.


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the 18z has started
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Quoting Chicklit:
Looks like it's struggling to me.
This does not bode well for Antilles because according to the experts, the weaker it is the less likely the trough will pick it up.
there is a plume of dry air in front of it
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37063
Looks like it's struggling to me.
This does not bode well for Antilles because according to the experts, the weaker it is the less likely the trough will pick it up.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11186
Quoting Grothar:


How do you spell doofus again?


LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, and large in size, (as I wrote in my blog 3 days ago which nobody read) :P



I read it and enjoyed it immensely.
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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.
yes and with all, eyes tuned into 94L..this new one will sneak up on us way before 94L gets even close..im watching it lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37063
94L Water Vapor


Short Wave
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11186
Quoting RitaEvac:
All the activity you see in N TX and S LA is all gulf bound
Send something this way LOL, 97 with Sunny skies and Humidity of 80 percent here, Showers did fall in parts of Austin 12 miles north of me. Still hoping for tropical rains for Texas but we may have to wait another year for those?
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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.


Well, if a major were to hit the US, you can bet, being an election year, and with election right around the corner, the response will be massive and very quick. Never waste a good disaster. Any political party's response.
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ROCKET FUEL!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JpwjnMFlJI

just to keep it on topic...
Helene still popping decent convection over water...


Quoting VR46L:


The Water in the Gulf is ROCKET FUEL!!!
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Quoting GetReal:



The remnant low that was Helene should start feeling the tug of that trough very soon (tonight sometime). There should be some evidence over the W GOM by daybreak tomorrow that Helene is attempting to regenerate.
..gee just look..at all that stormy weather coming into the gulf..just hope there is no Low with it..water temps are high 80's to 90 whew
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37063
Finally got some rain in my part of Houston. Nearly 1" in an hr. Hopefully more on the way this week.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
All the activity you see in N TX and S LA is all gulf bound
yes our local met said all that is headed for us here in florida tomorrow, another stormy day ahead..quiet here around Tampa bay now..sun finally came out..first time today
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37063
NHC will go with a red circle at 8 but my guess is 60%. I would prefer to see 80 or 90. And I'm thinking a 10% on the following wave.
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All the activity you see in N TX and S LA is all gulf bound
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The remnant low that was Helene should start feeling the tug of that trough very soon (tonight sometime). There should be some evidence over the W GOM by daybreak tomorrow that Helene is attempting to regenerate.
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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 hope you are right. We desperately need the rain. I just hope it stays weak and wet.
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278. VR46L
Quoting LargoFl:
What is the Boiling point for water?....check out just off the coast of corpus christi tx..getting closer to it


The Water in the Gulf is ROCKET FUEL!!!
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
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Because it killed 2 as TD7...we've been tracking this wave for like two weeks, and it just got named yesterday, so I wanted to be clear that we're talking about a seriously persistent tropical wave, not just a weak TD.

Quoting Tazmanian:




why would you ues the words EX TD 7 when on friday EX TD 7 be came Helene that PM
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Quoting palmasdelrio:


Thanks for all the information you and other bloggers give. It makes us more informed about all the possibilities regarding the future track of this disturbance. It reminds me of Hugo which devastated our island when it passed over the northeastern coast of PR.



welcome
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Quoting CaribBoy:


I will for sure. The coming week could be interesting :)



yep
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Quoting Tazmanian:



not yet but you really need too keep a eye on this


I will for sure. The coming week could be interesting :)
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winds in the carribean are picking up with that weak tropical wave passing thru there, see some rains with it
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37063
Quoting Tazmanian:





if any one lives in PR you need too keep a close tabs on 94L




Thanks for all the information you and other bloggers give. It makes us more informed about all the possibilities regarding the future track of this disturbance. It reminds me of Hugo which devastated our island when it passed over the northeastern coast of PR.
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Quoting evilpenguinshan:
Helene/Ex-TD7 has shown some remarkable perseverance, I wouldn't take my eyes off of her quite yet...





why would you ues the words EX TD 7 when on friday EX TD 7 be came Helene that PM
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Quoting CaribBoy:


Do I need to push the panic button ? :) More seriously, thanks for the advice Taz!



not yet but you really need too keep a eye on this
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Quoting MaryMichell46:
Is it just me or does it seem like whenever things are heating up in the Tropics lately Master's comes and starts a new blog incorporating some type of earth is hot - ice is melting stuff. Oh well at least this time he still mentions 94L. After all it his TWC's site and he works for them now. They must like that stuff....

...............................................


why don't you sent him an email
and make a suggestion for him to post about
something that would be of more interest to you

i don't know
maybe the fine art
of making smileys or something

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Quoting Tazmanian:



then i would really start geting thing ready has it looks like the Northern Leeward Island will be see more then this a little rain and a little wind i would be looking at a cat 2 or 3 comeing your way


Do I need to push the panic button ? :) More seriously, thanks for the advice Taz!
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Helene/Ex-TD7 has shown some remarkable perseverance, I wouldn't take my eyes off of her quite yet...

Quoting AtHomeInTX:


I don't know Helene may be finished. What showed on that model may in part be her remnants. I'd say if anything does spin up could go from round Galveston to New Orleans with that front lingering. Just a guess though.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




thats old


Yeah but I'm comparing them because Isaac is like Earl, Joyce is like Fiona, and Kirk looks like what Gaston did
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


I don't know Helene may be finished. What showed on that model may in part be her remnants. I'd say if anything does spin up could go from round Galveston to New Orleans with that front lingering. Just a guess though.

Something to keep an eye on for sure!
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1146
Quoting CaribBoy:


Don't worry I'll prepare for a storm just in case. I'm in the Northern Leeward Island.. so it looks like even with Levi's track we would feel some effects.



then i would really start geting thing ready has it looks like the Northern Leeward Island will be see more then this a little rain and a little wind i would be looking at a cat 2 or 3 comeing your way
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Quoting Felix2007:



Really in this case...
Isaac 12' is to Joyce 12', as Earl 10' is to Fiona 10'
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Quoting LargoFl:
What is the Boiling point for water?....check out just off the coast of corpus christi tx..getting closer to it


Who needs a hot tub when you have that LOL
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

Where do you think Helene is headed??


I don't know Helene may be finished. What showed on that model may in part be her remnants. I'd say if anything does spin up could go from round Galveston to New Orleans with that front lingering. Just a guess though.
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Quoting MaryMichell46:
WOW. I knew it had been hot here but did not realize this.

NWSHouston @NWSHouston
GLS has recorded only one morning this month with a temp under 80 degrees. Currently ranks as 2nd warmest August on record. #txwx #houwx
about 18 hours ago


i guess
it would kinda make you wish for
a underground room for you to hide out in
to keep cool and out of the heat
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Quoting Tazmanian:



so you are going too turst Levi and not the mode runs



i feel sorry for you has when 94L is knocking on the door and you have not got in any thing ready


Don't worry I'll prepare for a storm just in case. I'm in the Northern Leeward Island.. so it looks like even with Levi's track we would feel some effects.
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Quoting Felix2007:






thats old
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Quoting JLPR2:


I'll go with a more conservative 60%. :P


How about a more liberal 80% :P
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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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