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 washingtonian115:
Remember Taz when you said Gordon was dissipating yesterday?.



Gordon has likey peaked
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114048
Hmmm...maybe the CMC and FIM(S) aren't off their rockers.

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
230 PM EDT SAT AUG 18 2012

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA
AND TROPICAL N ATLC...AND SOUTHWEST NORTH ATLC S OF 31N W OF 55W.

GULF OF MEXICO...
WESTERN EXTENSION OF ATLC RIDGE ALONG 27N REACHES FROM CENTRAL
FLORIDA TO SOUTHERN TEXAS. LIGHT TO MODERATE ANTICYCLONIC FLOW
PREVAILS ACROSS MOST OF THE GULF. TROPICAL DEPRESSION HELENE
CONTINUES TO WEAKEN OVER SOUTHERN MEXICO...WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS
AND TSTMS LOCATED E OF THE CENTER OVER THE SW GULF. A WEAK COLD
FRONT WILL ENTER THE NW GULF MON...AND DRIFT SLOWLY EASTWARD
ACROSS THE NORTHERN GULF THROUGH WED. A BLEND OF THE GFS AND
ECMWF WAS USED FOR THE FRONTAL POSITION. A BROAD AREA OF LOW
PRES IS EXPECTED TO PERSIST OVER THE NW GULF MON THROUGH THU.


and...

FOLLOWED BY A
STRONGER AREA OF LOW PRES ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE ALONG
27W EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY...AND COULD BE A TROPICAL CYCLONE AS
IT REACHES THE TROPICAL N ATLC WED AND APPROACHES THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS ON THU. THE GFS IS VERY AGGRESSIVE DEVELOPING THE SECOND
WAVE NEAR 27W WHILE THE ECMWF MODEL IS MUCH WEAKER...MAINTAINING
THE SYSTEM AS A STRONG WAVE. THE UKMET IS THE PREFERRED SOLUTION
IN BOTH INTENSITY AND LOCATION...BETWEEN THE OTHER TWO EXTREMES.
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Quoting Dakster:
Where is the 'recurve' or 'curve' on that run Gro?


Just to the east of Puerto Rico. However, even though I have been in the camp of a strong recurvature (that I wrote in my blog 3 days ago) many models are insisting on a further westward track for a little longer. I simply do not know at this point.
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Quoting Hurricanes4life:
they went up only to 105MPH.


Gordon is strengthening quickly enough that I can understand putting it there. The Azores will be alarmed by the next full update.
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Quoting Grothar:


You're beginning to sound like Mrs. Grothar!!!


LOL!!..

well..before the islands??
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Well then lets see what the southern side does.



Cause the northern looks very impressive.
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Quoting ncstorm:


before the islands?


You're beginning to sound like Mrs. Grothar!!!
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Where is the 'recurve' or 'curve' on that run Gro?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9679
Quoting Tazmanian:
vary un likey that are G storm will be come a major in fac it has likey peaked now and it will start weaking from here on out
Remember Taz when you said Gordon was dissipating yesterday?.
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I understand, the NHC went with 18z satellite estimates, which were around 5.0 then.
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18z is out

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Quoting Grothar:


94L.


before the islands?
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Quoting Felix2007:
WHY IS 94L STILL ONLY 50%????



next update comes at 8pm
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114048
vary un likey that are G storm will be come a major in fac it has likey peaked now and it will start weaking from here on out
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114048
WHY IS 94L STILL ONLY 50%????
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Quoting Grothar:


How do you spell doofus again?
grot.....lol
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Remember a couple of days ago when the ships models had Gordon as a Cat 4 and people scoff at that idea??
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Quoting ncstorm:


Gordon or 94L?


94L.
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Quoting Hurricanes4life:
they went up only to 105MPH.
Only? That is a 25MPH increase. Will go up further if Gordon keeps on with his burst.
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10 more mph from major status.
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Gordon not doing bad at all... quite a bit of abnormally warm waters to sustain such a system in that latitude, but should be entering cooler waters soon so between now and tonight it should be its peak.
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The Azores in for some storm, possibly a Major, though it would likly weaken back to a cat 2 by the time it passes through the Islands.
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they went up only to 105MPH.
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Wax em up....in the Azores....
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BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON ADVISORY NUMBER 13
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
500 PM AST SAT AUG 18 2012

...GORDON STRENGTHENS MORE AS IT HEADS FOR THE AZORES...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.1N 36.4W
ABOUT 590 MI...950 KM WSW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...105 MPH...165 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 85 DEGREES AT 21 MPH...33 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...969 MB...28.61 INCHES
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Quoting weatherman12345:

ASCAT caught the eastern side of the circulation a few hours ago. I saw a few very weak west winds but considering its organization over the past few hrs i bet its fully closed


Wouldn't it be nice if will still had quickscat around?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9679
TROPICAL DEPRESSION HELENE FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 13
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072012
2100 UTC SAT AUG 18 2012

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION CENTER LOCATED NEAR 22.6N 98.8W AT 18/2100Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 30 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 295 DEGREES AT 4 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1010 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 25 KT WITH GUSTS TO 35 KT.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 22.6N 98.8W AT 18/2100Z
AT 18/1800Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 22.5N 98.7W

FORECAST VALID 19/0600Z 22.9N 99.2W...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
MAX WIND 20 KT...GUSTS 30 KT.

FORECAST VALID 19/1800Z...DISSIPATED

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 22.6N 98.8W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 19/0300Z

$$
FORECASTER BERG
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Quoting allancalderini:
If Gordon becomes a major hurricane it will be what happen to Daniel in the Eastern North pacific that he was just predict to be a cat 1 and become a cat 3 before encountering an unfavorable environment.
At first, it was only supposed to top out at 70mph.
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175. Gorty
Quoting evilpenguinshan:
lol I hadn't even noticed that.



well, there have always been, and will always be, anomalies from year to year - but the trend is your friend, or in this case, our worst enemy...





That is a nice trend that shows over the years, a lot bigger populations a lot more roads and everything else which can make things hotter. But I do believe global cooling will come someday. I mean, to have a historic snowstorm in October in these days cannot possibly mean we have global warming.

From year to year, its all about what the pattern want folks! And it seems like the pattern wants there to be more warmer days more often these days.
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Some good news. :)

SOLUTIONS ARE MIXED IN THE EAST... SEEN SINCE AT LEAST
YESTERDAY... AS TO THE EXACT EVOLUTION/PLACEMENT OF THE TROUGH.
MODEL SCENARIOS ALL APPEAR PLAUSIBLE BUT TRENDED TO A 00Z
GEFS/ECMWF BLEND GIVEN THEIR GOOD MATCH OVER THE PAC NW.
REGARDLESS... A STATIONARY FRONTAL BOUNDARY SHOULD FOCUS UP TO
SEVERAL INCHES OF RAIN ALONG THE EASTERN GULF COAST AND PORTIONS
OF THE SOUTHEAST.


and...

THE REMNANTS OF HELENE /OR A REINCARNATION OF
ITS ENERGY/ MAY LINGER SOUTH OF SOUTHERN TEXAS TUE-WED/D3-4 WITH
MINIMAL AFFECTS.
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Quoting Grothar:
I never make predictions on storm intensity, but as I said yesterday, I do believe this could really try for a Cat 4.


Gordon or 94L?
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172. Skyepony (Mod)
12ZCMC deserves a doom award. Click pic to animate.
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Quoting Grothar:
Don't show that Gro.
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Good Afternoon,

Since I looked at it at 8am until just now, 94l is on it's way. Looking at all Sat. loops, it is slowly working on it's structure and is getting that "S" look to it.

One thing is for certain, when the first HH aircraft gets in the storm, there will be plenty of West winds and impressive structure from the top down to the surface.
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Gordon should have a sufficient amount of time to intensify into a major hurricane before thermodynamic conditions begin to deteriorate.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


what you have a blog on here

:)


How do you spell doofus again?
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Quoting gustavcane:
Gordon wll be bad for the Azores island. Even if Hurricane Gordon is not a Hurricane and is Ex Tropical  ( which i doubt will be the case being how strong it is right now ) it will bring a very strong and destructive and very high storm surge to the coast of the Azores Island. Please I hope they  evacuate to higher ground or off that Island as soon as possible.
There is plenty of high land there. Great surfing too!!
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Hurricane Gordon.

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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'm waiting for today's blog. : )
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163. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
wait.. they updated it at 18:00 PM but the message is still 15:00 PM..
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Quoting Skyepony:


That would turn Phish's tour through the southeast into a storm chase tour.
:) At least they won't be Phish storms....
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161. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
HURRICANE GORDON 34.1N 38.6W AT 18/15 UTC, 983, MOVING EAST AT 16 KT, EXPECTED NEAR 34.3N 35.5W BY 19/00 UTC, THEN 36.1N 27.8W BY 20/00 UTC.

ACORES, IRVING : CONTINUING TO 20/00 UTC AT LEAST :
CYCLONIC 10 OR 11 LOCALLY 12 ( 75 KT ) WITHIN 40 NM OF CENTER OF GORDON, GALE 8 OR 9 WITHIN 130 NM OF CENTER. SEVERE OR VIOLENT GUSTS. LOCALLY HIGH SEA.=

-----
I figured Meteo-France would use their own warnings.. guess not. =/
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Quoting Grothar:


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


what you have a blog on here

:)
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159. Skyepony (Mod)
94L
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lol I hadn't even noticed that.

Quoting RobDaHood:

I know, just teasing the big guy over a typo in the title.
:o)


well, there have always been, and will always be, anomalies from year to year - but the trend is your friend, or in this case, our worst enemy...



Quoting Gorty:


So much for global warming, you would think it would be the warmest globally every year...
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If Gordon becomes a major hurricane it will be what happen to Daniel in the Eastern North pacific that he was just predict to be a cat 1 and become a cat 3 before encountering an unfavorable environment.
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155. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting RobDaHood:

Are you calling this a Phish storm?


The one that hits LA from the gulf..Helene remains, if it gets Pelham, AL 8/24 - Atlanta, GA 8/25 - 8/26 Charlotte, NC.. Phish storm:)
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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.