Dangerous Cyclone Mahasen gathering strength in the Bay of Bengal

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:25 PM GMT on May 11, 2013

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Dangerous Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is gathering strength over the Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal, and is a potential major threat to Bangladesh and Myanmar. The 11 am EDT Saturday advisory from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center put Mahasen's top sustained winds at 55 mph, with a motion northwest at 19 mph into the center of the Bay of Bengal. Satellite loops show that Mahasen has a large area of intense thunderstorms with very cold cloud tops that reach high into the atmosphere. The cloud pattern is not well-organized, with little spiral banding. However, the cyclone has developed respectable upper-level outflow channels to the north and east, which are ventilating the storm by carrying away air converging to the center near the surface. High wind shear of 20 - 25 knots is affecting the storm, which is keeping the system disorganized. However, wind shear has declined about 5 knots since Friday, and is predicted to fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Sunday. This should allow organization into a Category 1 storm on Sunday. Aiding this process will be Mahasen's motion away from the Equator, which will help the cyclone leverage the Earth's spin to get itself spinning faster. Also aiding the intensification process will be ocean waters that are an exceptionally warm 31°C (88°F). This is about 1°C warmer than average for this time of year.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Mahasen gathering strength over the Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal.

Forecast for Mahasen
The official forecast brings Mahasen to Category 1 strength before landfall occurs in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border on Wednesday. Comparative model forecasts of Mahasen from the GFS, ECMWF, UKMET, GEM, NAVGEM, and FIM models show wide disagreement on the future intensity and speed of the storm, though. It is possible that wind shear will keep the storm disorganized and below hurricane strength until landfall, as suggested by the GFS and ECMWF models. The 06 UTC forecast from the HWRF model brings Mahasen to Category 3 strength on Monday, but weakens the storm to tropical storm strength at landfall. The model predicts that the storm will dump a significant area of heavy rains of 32 cm (12.6") over Maynmar and Bangladesh. The storm surge, high winds, and heavy rains of Mahasen are a huge concern for the thousands of Myanmar refugees living near the coast in makeshift camps, as reported by the New York Times.


Figure 2. Double trouble: Tropical Cyclone Jamala (lower) and Tropical Cyclone Mahasen (upper storm) spin on opposite sides of the Equator in this in this MODIS image taken at 04:25 UTC May 10, 2013. Mahasen is the name of a King of Sri Lanka from the 3rd century. Image credit: NASA.

MJO pulse that spawned Mahasen headed towards the Atlantic
Mahasen spun up in response to an active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) that has been moving through the Indian Ocean during the past week. The MJO is a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days. The strong MJO pulse coincided with a convectively coupled atmospheric Kelvin wave (CCKW), a wave of increased heat and moisture propagating along the Equator, which helped increase thunderstorm activity. The active pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation is expected to reach the Western Caribbean sometime May 22 - 26, and there will be a heightened chance of an early-season tropical storm forming in the Eastern Pacific and Western Caribbean during that time period.

There is a small disturbance a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico today that has developed some spin and a bit of heavy thunderstorm activity. This system is over cool waters of 77 - 79°F, and will likely be torn apart by high wind shear on Sunday.

Resources
Comparative model forecasts of Mahasen from the GFS, ECMWF, UKMET, GEM, NAVGEM, and FIM models

India Meteorological Department's tropical cyclone page

Bangladesh Meteorological Department Warning

Myanmar Dept. of Meteorology and Hydrology Warning

Tutorial on Equatorial Waves in the COMET program's Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, plus their case exercise built around the May 2002 "twin twins" case, for use in a tropical synoptic course.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TomTaylor:
Nrt, I was talking to Maue on twitter and he mentioned a computer resource improvement for the EMC would allow for NOMADS to disseminate it's models at a higher resolution. You know anything about this?

He was saying 0.25 GFS res out to 240hrs (currently disseminated at 0.5 to 192hrs).


Probably in reference to WCOSS: Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing

Link


Right now looks like they go live with WCOSS late July. Once that happens product upgrades can start again (all product upgrades have been on hold). Hopefully they can get upgrades to HWRF done in August. They can also start the planning to upgrade GFS then, which may be when the resolution increase happens.
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Cute

Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8884
Quoting MississippiWx:


It's obviously going to be a little different when he uses 400mb temps and you use 500mb.
I was always confused by Bastardi's use of non-standard atmospheric levels, particularly 600mb and 400mb. Why not just use 500mb? Basically same thing.

Think I figured out why he does this though and it's because UAH AMSU global temperature traces in the mid-troposphere are only available at 400 and 600mbs. Link
Quoting MississippiWx:


Makes sense. The low level flow should be moving in that direction thanks to the big high. In other words, shear should be a problem lol.
Indeed
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267. SLU
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


I would agree with you if this were during the normal season when a Hurricane Specialist is on duty 24/7, no harm in declaring an invest to gather more information.

In this case, they should call in a Specialist that is not scheduled for work to start an invest, that the marine forecasters are looking at?


Forecast for the low has changed a little:

SYNOPSIS FOR THE SW N ATLANTIC INCLUDING THE BAHAMAS
456 PM EDT SAT MAY 11 2013

.SYNOPSIS...A TROUGH EXTENDS SW FROM 1012 MB LOW PRES AT 24N66W
TO 20N70W. THE LOW WILL DRIFT SLIGHTLY W AND OPEN UP TO A TROUGH
SUN.
IT WILL BEGIN TO LIFT N AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT
MON. THE RIDGE FROM BERMUDA TO S FLORIDA WILL RETREAT E AS A COLD
FRONT MOVES INTO THE NW WATERS ON SUN. THE FRONT WILL EXTEND FROM
31N73W TO SE FLORIDA ON MON AND REACH FROM BERMUDA TO THE SE
BAHAMAS ON TUE...MERGING WITH THE TROUGH. THE DISSIPATING FRONT
WILL EXTEND FROM 25N65W TO NORTHERN HAITI WED AND MOVE E OF AREA
THU.


lol.. let's see how it goes though. No sign of the low opening up yet.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Yeah it is reasonably stacked right now. I'm just saying the flow won't allow it to remained stacked.

Per NHC:

"THE LOW WILL DRIFT SLIGHTLY W AND OPEN UP TO A TROUGH SUN.
"

So low is drifting west and then you have the westerly upper level flow.
yeah agreed. Models sure didn't see it coming.


Makes sense. The low level flow should be moving in that direction thanks to the big high. In other words, shear should be a problem lol.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


It's obviously going to be a little different when he uses 400mb temps and you use 500mb.

"Little" being the operative word there.


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32824
Quoting MississippiWx:


Just going by satellite and CIMSS products which still have everything stacked and moving in tandem.
Yeah it is reasonably stacked right now. I'm just saying the flow won't allow it to remained stacked.

Per NHC:

"THE LOW WILL DRIFT SLIGHTLY W AND OPEN UP TO A TROUGH SUN."

So low is drifting west and then you have the westerly upper level flow.
Quoting MississippiWx:


The odds are still obviously stacked against any classification, but I still believe it to be more interesting than the NHC is letting on.
yeah agreed. Models sure didn't see it coming.
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there's something happening here..
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

He used those images in his forecast over a month ago. A more recent image shows anomalies aren't as impressive...though Joe was using a very low temperature interval (0.2C). I went with 0.5C.



It's obviously going to be a little different when he uses 400mb temps and you use 500mb.
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Quoting SLU:


Well I've seen several systems with a far worse looking low level structure than this get named by the NHC in my 14 seasons of following their forecasts for the Atlantic basin....






I would agree with you if this were during the normal season when a Hurricane Specialist is on duty 24/7, no harm in declaring an invest to gather more information.

In this case, they should call in a Specialist that is not scheduled for work to start an invest, that the marine forecasters are looking at?


Forecast for the low has changed a little:

SYNOPSIS FOR THE SW N ATLANTIC INCLUDING THE BAHAMAS
456 PM EDT SAT MAY 11 2013

.SYNOPSIS...A TROUGH EXTENDS SW FROM 1012 MB LOW PRES AT 24N66W
TO 20N70W. THE LOW WILL DRIFT SLIGHTLY W AND OPEN UP TO A TROUGH
SUN.
IT WILL BEGIN TO LIFT N AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT
MON. THE RIDGE FROM BERMUDA TO S FLORIDA WILL RETREAT E AS A COLD
FRONT MOVES INTO THE NW WATERS ON SUN. THE FRONT WILL EXTEND FROM
31N73W TO SE FLORIDA ON MON AND REACH FROM BERMUDA TO THE SE
BAHAMAS ON TUE...MERGING WITH THE TROUGH. THE DISSIPATING FRONT
WILL EXTEND FROM 25N65W TO NORTHERN HAITI WED AND MOVE E OF AREA
THU.
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Quoting caribbeantracker01:
Doc Mr Joe Bastardi made and interesting observation that is to do with the 400 mb temperature heights the other day on weather bell and he showed the difference between this yr and last yr and it is very interesting imo and currently we are beginning to see a more moist atmosphere indeed

THIS YEAR:



LAST YEAR:


He used those images in his forecast over a month ago. A more recent image shows anomalies aren't as impressive...though Joe was using a very low temperature interval (0.2C). I went with 0.5C.

It doesn't matter much right now anyways. The hurricane season of 2004 had negative anomalies all across the Main Development Region at this time.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32824
Quoting TomTaylor:
Wouldn't say this thing is moving in tandem. Low level flow is easterly. Hence, reason why models kill it (low can't stay under divergent side of trough axis/ULL).



The odds are still obviously stacked against any classification, but I still believe it to be more interesting than the NHC is letting on.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Wouldn't say this thing is moving in tandem. Low level flow is easterly.



Just going by satellite and CIMSS products which still have everything stacked and moving in tandem.
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255. SLU
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

there going to give it another six hrs or so
to see if it in fact turns out as forecasted under high seas forecast later tonight early sunday morning
if its still there by sunrise may get a invest declared
but not till after 9 am tomorrow morning EDT
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


NHC has taken a position through the Marine Forecast:

NAVTEX MARINE FORECAST
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1046 AM EDT SAT MAY 11 2013

...PLEASE REFER TO COASTAL WATERS FORECASTS (CWF) AVAILABLE
THROUGH NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND OTHER MEANS FOR DETAILED
COASTAL WATERS FORECASTS...

.SYNOPSIS...A TROUGH EXTENDS S FROM LOW PRES AT 24N66W TO THE MONA
PASSAGE. THE LOW WILL LIFT NE AND DISSIPATE TONIGHT. THE TROUGH
WILL DRIFT W ON SUN REACHING THE SE BAHAMAS ON MON. GENTLE TO
MODERATE TRADE WINDS WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE COASTAL WATERS
THROUGH THE EARLY PART OF NEXT WEEK.


Link


Well I've seen several systems with a far worse looking low level structure than this get named by the NHC in my 14 seasons of following their forecasts for the Atlantic basin....




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Quoting MississippiWx:


It's certainly part of an upper trough, but the upper low is clearly there. The models may have the trough part wrong and that could be why they do nothing with this system It seems to be moving perfectly in tandem with the upper low on water vapor.



Wouldn't say this thing is moving in tandem. Low level flow is easterly. Hence, reason why models kill it (low can't stay under divergent side of trough axis/ULL).

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Nrt, I was talking to Maue on twitter and he mentioned a computer resource improvement for the EMC would allow for NOMADS to disseminate it's models at a higher resolution. You know anything about this?

He was saying 0.25 GFS res out to 240hrs (currently disseminated at 0.5 to 192hrs).
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
3999
Now I wait. ;)
Haha, see ya in June ;)
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Well it's a trough on all the models, GOES derived upper level winds aren't very indicative of an ULL either. If it's there it's incredibly weak...effectively a trough since the ULL (if it's there) is still along an UL trough.


It's certainly part of an upper trough, but the upper low is clearly there. The models may have the trough part wrong and that could be why they do nothing with this system. It seems to be moving perfectly in tandem with the upper low on water vapor.



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Quoting dfwstormwatch:

Windows 8 is relatively good, I like Windows 7 better personally, still trying to get used to this new format.




i if you dont like window 8 then hp is still selling window 7 PC not sure if you like 15.6" or 17.3" srceen but i would see if you could re turn it for a refund and get a window 7 PC off the HP web site

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
3999


Bye!!!!! I see you in june first
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2169
come on come on 4000
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
3999
Now I wait. ;)

I will be making a blog on the last week of may to show off my final forecast for the Hurricane season, I will reveal my 4,000 comment That week.
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3998
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
He still haven't hit 4,000. 4 comments left for him.

eh, I thought why not? So yeah this is 3997
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Quoting SLU:
A very well defined low level circulation and a few unflagged 40 - 45kt wind barbs on the high resolution image in the convection ESE of the center. I think the NHC needs to take a position on this system one way or another.





there going to give it another six hrs or so
to see if it in fact turns out as forecasted under high seas forecast later tonight early sunday morning
if its still there by sunrise may get a invest declared
but not till after 9 am tomorrow morning EDT
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting MississippiWx:


Per the Tropical Weather Discussion from the NHC:

AN UPPER LOW HAS DEVELOPED ALONG THE TROUGH THAT WAS
AFFECTING WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN THE GREATER ANTILLES DURING
THE PREVIOUS DAYS. THIS UPPER LOW LOCATED NEAR 24N66W SUPPORTS A
1012 MB SURFACE LOW
PRES CENTERED NEAR 23N67W. SOME SHIP
OBSERVATIONS CONFIRMED THE PRESENCE OF THE SURFACE LOW THIS
MORNING.
Well it's a trough on all the models and GOES derived upper level winds aren't very indicative of an ULL either. If it's there it's incredibly weak...basically insignificant since this is effectively a trough since a ULL (if it's there) is still along an UL trough.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



you saide you where saveing your commets tell june 1st too hit 4,000 commets
He still haven't hit 4,000. 4 comments left for him.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




what kind of new laptop you got all so how you like window 8

Windows 8 is relatively good, I like Windows 7 better personally, still trying to get used to this new format.
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Quoting dfwstormwatch:

Thank you, I lost it because I recently bought a new laptop because the old one basically was fried.




what kind of new laptop you got all so how you like window 8
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

BLOB ALERT DECLARED
AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH COUPLED WITH A SURFACE LOW HAS FORMED NORTH OF HISPANOILA. BEWARE, THIS SYSTEM IS VERY BLOBBY IN NATURE BUT WILL LIKELY BECOME LESS BLOBBIER IN THE COMING HOURS DUE TO DRY AIR AND LESS FAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS.

GROTHAR


;)



you saide you where saveing your commets tell june 1st too hit 4,000 commets
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting Tazmanian:



plzs bookmark this link so that way we dont need too keep reposting the link evere time you ask


Link

Thank you, I lost it because I recently bought a new laptop because the old one basically was fried.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: July 18, 2010 Posts: 50 Comments: 1909
236. VR46L
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

PASCH "Man, the WunderGround bloggers sure want us to make that system an invest, what should we do?

KNABB "Set-up a drill for the TCFA and watch them squirm"
LOL


Ahem!!!

LOL!!!
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6997
Quoting dfwstormwatch:
can someone send me a link to the ACT page where they declare the invest with wind speeds?



plzs bookmark this link so that way we dont need too keep reposting the link evere time you ask


Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting Grothar:


Should I declare it a blob and really get them going?

BLOB ALERT DECLARED
AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH COUPLED WITH A SURFACE LOW HAS FORMED NORTH OF HISPANOILA. BEWARE, THIS SYSTEM IS VERY BLOBBY IN NATURE BUT WILL LIKELY BECOME LESS BLOBBIER IN THE COMING HOURS DUE TO DRY AIR AND LESS FAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS.

GROTHAR


;)
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I have never seen a pure cold core system look like this. It's very much hybrid and deserves invest status. Compared to some of the crap the NHC has designated in the past, this is beautiful.

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can someone send me a link to the ACT page where they declare the invest with wind speeds?
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Quoting SLU:
A very well defined low level circulation and a few unflagged 40 - 45kt wind barbs on the high resolution image in the convection ESE of the center. I think the NHC needs to take a position on this system one way or another.






NHC has taken a position through the Marine Forecast:

NAVTEX MARINE FORECAST
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1046 AM EDT SAT MAY 11 2013

...PLEASE REFER TO COASTAL WATERS FORECASTS (CWF) AVAILABLE
THROUGH NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND OTHER MEANS FOR DETAILED
COASTAL WATERS FORECASTS...

.SYNOPSIS...A TROUGH EXTENDS S FROM LOW PRES AT 24N66W TO THE MONA
PASSAGE. THE LOW WILL LIFT NE AND DISSIPATE TONIGHT. THE TROUGH
WILL DRIFT W ON SUN REACHING THE SE BAHAMAS ON MON. GENTLE TO
MODERATE TRADE WINDS WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE COASTAL WATERS
THROUGH THE EARLY PART OF NEXT WEEK.


Link
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
I'm gonna wait a couple hours for the NHC to make their call before getting all mad at them.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Not sure where ULL came from, this is a UL trough. As Levi mentioned, backside of trough will kill it with convergent flow. Below is the GFS in 12hrs, low firmly under the backside of the trough = death



Per the Tropical Weather Discussion from the NHC:

AN UPPER LOW HAS DEVELOPED ALONG THE TROUGH THAT WAS
AFFECTING WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN THE GREATER ANTILLES DURING
THE PREVIOUS DAYS. THIS UPPER LOW LOCATED NEAR 24N66W SUPPORTS A
1012 MB SURFACE LOW
PRES CENTERED NEAR 23N67W. SOME SHIP
OBSERVATIONS CONFIRMED THE PRESENCE OF THE SURFACE LOW THIS
MORNING.
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227. SLU
A very well defined low level circulation and a few unflagged 40 - 45kt wind barbs on the high resolution image in the convection ESE of the center. I think the NHC needs to take a position on this system one way or another.




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AOI/XX/XXL
MARK
23.33N65.11W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

PASCH "Man, the WunderGround bloggers sure want us to make that system an invest, what should we do?

KNABB "Set-up a drill for the TCFA and watch them squirm"
LOL


Should I declare it a blob and really get them going?
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Not sure where ULL came from, this is a UL trough. As Levi mentioned, backside of trough will kill it with convergent flow. Below is the GFS in 12hrs, low firmly under the backside of the trough = death


NHC using their Invest designations wisely this year ;)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA) 86L - EXERCISE

EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE
WTNT21 KNGU 111800
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
RMKS/1. FORMATION OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE
WITHIN 100 NM EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 11.7N 35.0W TO 11.7N 40.1W
OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY
ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME.
WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 20 TO 25 KNOTS. METSAT
IMAGERY AT 111800Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED
NEAR 11.7N 35.0W. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING WESTWARD AT 12 KNOTS.
2. REMARKS: CURRENT MODEL GUIDANCE IS SUGGESTING INTENSIFICATION OF
A TROPICAL DISTURBANCE THAT IS APPROXIMATELY 1400 MILES EAST OF
BARBADOS. THIS SYSTEM IS MOVING WEST AT APPROXIMATELY 12 KNOTS.
SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT THE FEATURE HAS BECOME BETTER
ORGANIZED WITH INCREASED CONVECTIVITY MORE CONCENTRATED NEAR
THE CENTER. THE SUB-TROPICAL HIGH IS FORECASTED TO BUILD
NORTHEASTWARD WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS PRODUCING A MORE FAVORABLE
ENVIRONMENT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS FEATURE. OBSERVATIONS FROM A
SHIP LOCATED NEAR 38N 13W INDICATES A SURFACE PRESSURE FALL FROM
1008MB TO 1005MB WITHIN THE LAST 24 HOURS. LOW WIND SHEAR VALUES OF
5 TO 10 KNOTS AND SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF 80 TO 82 DEGREES WILL
FURTHER AID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS TROPICAL FEATURE.
3. THIS ALERT WILL BE REISSUED, UPGRADED TO WARNING OR CANCELED
BY 121800Z.//
EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE


Repeat of the 2010 "Threaten every installation on the East Coast" exercise?


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Not sure where ULL came from, this is a UL trough. As Levi mentioned, backside of trough will kill it with convergent flow. Below is the GFS in 12hrs, low firmly under the backside of the trough = death

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