Unusual Chantal Disorganized, but has 65 mph Winds

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:06 PM GMT on July 09, 2013

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Unusual Tropical Storm Chantal has strengthened a bit more as it speeds west-northwestwards at 26 mph away from the the Lesser Antilles Islands. Sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 52 mph, were observed at Martinique at 10 am AST as the storm passed. However, an automated weather station at the airport measured sustained winds of 60 mph, gusting to 78 mph, according to an official with Meteo-France. The Associated Press reported that Chantal ripped the roofs off of several homes on neighboring Dominica. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft measured top winds at their 1,000' flight level of 89 mph at 12:55 pm AST. Top winds seen by the aircraft's SFMR instrument were about 65 mph, in a small area east of Chantal's center. The Hurricane Hunters have departed Chantal, and the next plane is due in the storm at 8 pm EDT. Chantal's winds are unusually high considering the storm's high central pressure of 1006 mb and disorganized appearance on satellite imagery. Chantal is fighting dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), as seen on water vapor satellite loops. This dry air is creating strong thunderstorm downdrafts that are robbing Chantal of moisture and energy. Visible satellite loops show the outflow boundaries of these thunderstorm downdrafts at the surface, spreading to the northwest of Chantal. Martinique Radar shows a large area of heavy rain that is not well-organized, lying mostly to the west of the Lesser Antilles Islands.


Figure 1. MODIS image of Chantal taken at approximately 1 pm EDT Tuesday, July 9, 2013. At the time, Chantal had top winds of 65 mph, but looked very disorganized, due to high wind shear and dry air. Dry air is creating strong thunderstorm downdrafts that are robbing Chantal of moisture and energy. Outflow boundaries from these downdrafts are spreading out to the northwest of Chantal, as seen on this satellite image. Image credit: NASA.

An small-scale easterly jet creating high shear in Chantal
Chantal is not very impressive on satellite images, with a modest amount of heavy thunderstorms that are not well-organized. Only a small amount of upper-level outflow is visible. The reason for Chantal's rather disorganized appearance can be found by looking at this morning's balloon sounding from Guadaloupe. This island was just northwest of the center of Chantal when the balloon was launched at 8 am EDT. The sounding showed typical easterly trade winds at the surface of 12 knots (14 mph.) However, the winds rose quickly aloft, with a jet of easterly winds of 35 - 53 knots between 800 - 600 mb (about 7,000 - 15,000'.) But, by the time the ballon hit 500 mb (18,000'), the winds had died down to 15 knots. A change of wind speed from 12 knots to 53 knots and back down to 15 knots from the surface to 500 mb is a tremendous amount of wind shear, which will make it very difficult for a tropical storm to keep the surface center aligned with the upper level center. The traditional measure of wind shear, the difference in wind between 200 mb and 850 mb, was 44 knots in this morning's Guadaloupe sounding, but was a much higher 56 knots from 200 mb to 700 mb. The powerful easterly wind jet was not apparent at any of the other balloon soundings this morning at adjacent islands (Barbados, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin), and demonstrates that there is a lot going on the atmosphere at small scales we cannot see which makes intensity forecasting of tropical cyclones very challenging. Thanks go to Jason Dunion of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division for pointing out this morning's interesting Guadaloupe sounding.

Forecast for Chantal
Chantal will have difficulty intensifying much more before hitting Hispaniola on Wednesday afternoon. In their 11 am EDT wind probability forecast, NHC gave Chantal a 29% chance of becoming a hurricane before hitting Hispaniola. Working against intensification will be the high wind shear from the strong mid-level easterly jet discussed above, plus the fast forward speed of the storm--tropical storms moving faster than 20 mph in the deep tropics usually have trouble intensifying. In addition, the Eastern Caribbean is an area where the trade winds accelerate, helping drive sinking air that discourages tropical storm intensification. Dry air will also slow down the intensification process. Interaction with the high mountains of Hispaniola and high wind shear may be able to destroy Chantal by Thursday. The 2 pm EDT Tuesday wind shear forecast from the SHIPS model calls for shear to rise to the high range, 20 - 35 knots, Tuesday night through Friday. On Saturday, when Chantal is expected to be in the Bahamas, moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots is predicted. If Chantal survives until Saturday, it will then have the opportunity to re-strengthen. The latest 12Z run of the European model (ECMWF) dissipates Chantal as it crosses Hispaniola. The 12Z run of the American GFS model has Chantal barely surviving.

Chantal's fast west-northwest forward speed of 26 mph will slow to 20 mph by Wednesday morning and then 10 mph by Thursday night, as the storm "feels" the presence of a trough of low pressure over the U.S. East Coast. This trough will steer Chantal to the northwest and then north-northwest across Hispaniola and into the Bahamas. The trough of low pressure pulling Chantal northwards is expected to lift out the the northeast over the weekend, leaving Chantal behind off the coast of Florida. High pressure will likely build in, potentially forcing Chantal westwards into the Florida or Southeast U.S. coast, with a possible Sunday landfall.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 1479. HurricaneAndre:


Nice!!!!
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Quoting 1520. cchsweatherman:
Given how filled with obvious errors and suppositions this advisory is, I really can't trust this advisory and am calling bs on this advisory.


This has to be one of the most controversial Recon/Advisory update I have seen ever.
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
As I said, Venezuela has been doing this a while.

ZCZC MIATCDAT5 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM EARL DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT SUN AUG 15 2004

IF NOT FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA THIS PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN
THE LAST ADVISORY ON EARL...AT LEAST FOR NOW. THE RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE EARL THIS EVENING WAS DENIED
ACCESS TO VENEZUELAN AIRSPACE.
HAD THEY BEEN ABLE TO GET TO THE
STORM...I DOUBT THEY WOULD HAVE FOUND A CLOSED CIRCULATION...AS THE
QUIKSCAT AMBIGUITIES AT 22Z LOOK MORE LIKE AN OPEN WAVE.
HOWEVER...THERE IS ENOUGH DOUBT TO KEEP ADVISORIES GOING UNTIL THE
NEXT AIRCRAFT ARRIVES TOMORROW MORNING...AND INDICATIONS ARE THAT
THAT MISSION WILL BE ALLOWED TO PROCEED.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS AN UNCERTAIN 280/19...AS QUIKSCAT AND
MICROWAVE DATA SUGGEST THAT THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER OR WAVE AXIS MAY
BE MOVING OUT SOMEWHAT AHEAD OF THE CONVECTION. GLOBAL MODELS ARE
IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON ENHANCED MID-LEVEL RIDGING OVER FLORIDA AS THE
TROUGH CURRENTLY OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES LIFTS OUT OVER THE
NEXT DAY OR TWO. THIS IS EXPECTED TO KEEP EARL...OR ITS
REMNANTS...ON A WEST TO WEST-NORTHWESTERLY TRACK FOR MUCH OF THE
FORECAST PERIOD. NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD...A MORE
NORTHWESTERLY TRACK IS POSSIBLE AS EARL REACHES THE PERIPHERY OF
THE RIDGE. MODEL GUIDANCE SO FAR HAS TENDED TO BE TOO FAR NORTH
WITH EARL...AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED A LITTLE TO
THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK.

THE CLOUD PATTERN OF EARL IS LESS IMPRESSIVE THAN IT WAS EARLIER IN
THE DAY...WITH THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW PATTERN SEEMINGLY BEING
REPLACED BY A MORE UNIFORM EASTERLY FLOW...AND THE CONVECTION IS
CURRENTLY MEAGER. THE RAPID FORWARD SPEED ALSO CONTINUES TO BE A
NEGATIVE FOR INTENSIFICATION. THE ENVIRONMENT AHEAD OF THE SYSTEM
IS FORECAST BY GLOBAL MODELS TO BE FAVORABLE...HOWEVER...AND BOTH
THE SHIPS AND GFDL MODELS CONTINUE TO ANTICIPATE EARL BECOMING A
HURRICANE. THIS COULD HAPPEN EVEN IF THE SYSTEM DISSIPATES INTO AN
OPEN WAVE TOMORROW.

FORECASTER FRANKLIN

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 16/0300Z 12.7N 65.4W 40 KT
12HR VT 16/1200Z 13.4N 68.6W 40 KT
24HR VT 17/0000Z 14.3N 72.9W 45 KT
36HR VT 17/1200Z 14.9N 76.5W 50 KT
48HR VT 18/0000Z 15.5N 80.0W 60 KT
72HR VT 19/0000Z 17.0N 85.0W 65 KT
96HR VT 20/0000Z 19.0N 89.0W 60 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 21/0000Z 21.0N 93.0W 70 KT...OVER WATER


$$
NNNN
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Can't wait to see what the models will show now, in some ways this has been comedic :D
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8422
1532. ncstorm
Dear Speculation,

Please stop!

Signed WU bloggers
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1531. LBAR
I questioned why the wave was even named. Fast-moving, er, storms just don't do well. They just don't.

Am I the only one thinking that HAARP was the air space issue?

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Quoting 1509. Bluestorm5:


Snowden saga? Venezuela and USA are fighting over that.


That sucks this is why I hate Politics this is about a storm. Why don't the NHC sign a treaty with all countries in the Caribbean explaining that their Recon flights are there to collect data on systems.
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
I don't know much, but does it not look like the flareup of convection is just typical pulsing of a storm trying to strengthen while dealing with some limiting factors? She hit a lull this afternoon and evening, but that ball of convection firing is impressive. Maybe the COC is there and they just couldn't find it? I don't doubt that she weakened today, but don't think it is unrealistic that she could be right back to 65-70mph TS by tomorrow.
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1528. ncstorm
interesting that the 18z Ensembles spread show a GA/SC landfall even increasing as it makes landfall..possibly showing a stronger storm




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Well, it's a shame if the Snowden ordeal has anything to do with this flight being so poorly executed.

My 2 cents on him, btw.

I figure he's some inexperienced scrub who automatically assumed the law was being violated, when it in fact wasn't. All he's accomplished is ruining his own life and that of his girlfriend, and of course giving potential enemies information which could compromise U.S. national security. In my view, I think he should be extradited to the U.S, but the Russians are playing a cold war card and while they aren't directly opposing the U.S. they aren't cooperating either.

Of course you all know, I want more government surveillance, and I want corporate surveillance so people will have potential counter-evidence in trial. I'm sick of guilty going free, and innocent going to prison.

Ok, enough of that.

Anyway, the entire scenario is a shame if it turns out the snowden situation is what influenced these decisions.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting 1512. centex:
just a possibility, no telling with this situation, rules no longer apply.


'Some' paranoid people think Chantal is a threat to intercepting Snowden, and I don't mean us or the HHs.
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3273
1525. Patrap
Miami
NEXRAD Radar

Base Reflectivity 0.50° Elevation
Range 248 NMI

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
Quoting 1510. ncstorm:


00z GFS showed 5 possible storms last night in its run..and then the 06z run brought the GFS back to reality..reliable?..I dont think so..


Not the GFS in particular, the 00z model runs tends to be more better than some of the earlier runs.
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OK, two things guys, one shes poping new convection, but second Ill bet any1, when we wake up this morning she"ll have an exposed LLC like thoose classic storms do.
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1177
Do you think we will have a new AOI in the next TWO.
A YES
B NO
C MAYBE
MINE IS A OR C.
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Quoting 1513. washingtonian115:
Venezuela you retards their are lives to save and yet they let the wool cover their eyes...


They certainly are messing with the US in more ways than one. Screw them and Snowden
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Given how filled with obvious errors and suppositions this advisory is, I really can't trust this advisory and am calling bs on this advisory.
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All this fuss about Chantal. Soulik has sustained winds of 145 mph gusting to 175 mph. (maybe stronger by now) I am humbled by this and it truly puts a bit of perspective on things.
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Tonight's tornado in Tampa Bay has damaged 13 homes and left 6 or 7 a total loss.

Meanwhile, Chantal continues to look weaker and weaker, strangely high pressure and moving at 29 mph doesn't bode well for this system.

In fact, the 60 mph winds may due to a combination of the quick forward speed and pressure gradient... I don't think it will dissipate yet, but it certainly could if it doesn't slow down soon. Chantal will be fighting against physics if it doesn't slow down, and we all know that doesn't work out too well.
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Am I the only one here happy and smiling? : )


Results for Provo, TCI (21.78N, 72.27W):
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 19.8N, 74.2W or about 183.9 miles (295.9 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the center of the storm will be at that location is in about 1 day, 7 hours and 13 minutes from now (Thursday, July 11 at 6:24AM AST).
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Also don't forget Isla Aves, an island that belongs to Venezuela at 15.7 N 63.7 W
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Quoting 1500. FIUStormChaser:
Waiting for the reliable 00z models to come in....


Dont hold your breathe those models don't have a good fix on any COC right now.
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
1514. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
Venezuela you retards their are lives to save and yet they let the wool cover their eyes...
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1512. centex
Quoting 1493. Hurricane12:


None of the major news sites are reporting that Snowden is on any plane at the moment, but I digress.
just a possibility, no telling with this situation, rules no longer apply.
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1511. Patrap
Other than the Main Burst, not much overall symmetry here tonight.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
1510. ncstorm
Quoting 1500. FIUStormChaser:
Waiting for the reliable 00z models to come in....


00z GFS showed 5 possible storms last night in its run..and then the 06z run brought the GFS back to reality..reliable?..I dont think so..
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Quoting 1494. RTSplayer:


That's odd. Are the U.S. government having a dispute with any SA nations, I mean above normal?

They flew in Felix and Dean without any problems, at least I don't remember anything other than icing issues on one flight.


Snowden saga? Venezuela and USA are fighting over that.
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What will happen to the schedule flights for Wednesday???
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
Quoting 1468. Bluestorm5:
THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF CHANTAL BECAME LESS ORGANIZED DURING
THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING...BUT THERE HAS BEEN A BURST
OF DEEP CONVECTION RECENTLY NEAR THE ESTIMATED CENTER. THE PLANE
HAS HAD DIFFICULTY FIXING A CENTER...WITH THE WIND FIELD RESEMBLING
AN OPEN WAVE RATHER THAN A CLOSED CIRCULATION. HOWEVER...AIR SPACE
RESTRICTIONS PREVENTED THE PLANE FROM SAMPLING THE AREA FARTHER
SOUTH...SO IT IS INCONCLUSIVE AS TO WHETHER A CLOSED CIRCULATION
STILL EXISTS.
AIRCRAFT DATA ALSO SUGGEST THAT SOME WEAKENING HAS
TAKEN PLACE...WITH PEAK 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL AND BIAS-CORRECTED SFMR
WINDS OF 50 AND 42 KT...RESPECTIVELY. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS
LOWERED TO 50 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY...WHICH COULD BE GENEROUS.

But Venezuela isn't even close to 15 N line? Was the area south of 15 N Venezuelan air space? Snowden mess must be worse than one would thought...


There may be military operations in the area, perhaps an aircraft carrier?
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I guess there is 200 miles limit... HH's closest position was 200 miles away from nearest island of Venezuela.

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ok I think next recon flight is to be around 5am EST so we watch till then
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Quoting 1474. WPBHurricane05:
Thunderstorms warmed. Lights are dim, crowd is settled, and the fat lady is ready to appear from stage left.

Might be a Cat 1 one in AM--never know.
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It was stated in the 11pm discussion...
"THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF CHANTAL BECAME LESS ORGANIZED DURING
THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING...BUT THERE HAS BEEN A BURST
OF DEEP CONVECTION RECENTLY NEAR THE ESTIMATED CENTER. THE PLANE
HAS HAD DIFFICULTY FIXING A CENTER...WITH THE WIND FIELD RESEMBLING
AN OPEN WAVE RATHER THAN A CLOSED CIRCULATION. HOWEVER...AIR SPACE
RESTRICTIONS PREVENTED THE PLANE FROM SAMPLING THE AREA FARTHER
SOUTH...SO IT IS INCONCLUSIVE AS TO WHETHER A CLOSED CIRCULATION
STILL EXISTS. AIRCRAFT DATA ALSO SUGGEST THAT SOME WEAKENING HAS
TAKEN PLACE...WITH PEAK 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL AND BIAS-CORRECTED SFMR
WINDS OF 50 AND 42 KT...RESPECTIVELY. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS
LOWERED TO 50 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY...WHICH COULD BE GENEROUS."
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1502. ncstorm
Quoting 1496. bappit:

Melt down. Hopes were high.


um humm..I worry about some of our bloggers sometimes..
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I almost certain without even looking that past storms that came through below 15N in that area we were allow to fly around. What about Dean and Felix didn't they come in that low?
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8422
Waiting for the reliable 00z models to come in....
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Quoting 1474. WPBHurricane05:
Thunderstorms warmed. Lights are dim, crowd is settled, and the fat lady is ready to appear from stage left.


You can't call it quits every D-min, if Chantal looks ratty tomorrow then the fat lady prepare her part
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Quoting 1484. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Such a shame for real that we still have these problems.


Reminds me of the Galveston Hurricane where we couldn't/wouldn't accept the information from the Cubans. Sucks when politics gets in the way of weather forecasters who are trying to keep people informed and potentially save lives and property
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1497. bappit
Quoting 1493. Hurricane12:


None of the major news sites are reporting that Snowden is on any plane at the moment, but I digress.

That's what they want you to think.
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1496. bappit
Quoting 1481. ncstorm:
LOL..I thought Chantal was a hot mess but this blog beats her by a landslide..

Melt down. Hopes were high.
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1495. Patrap
.."Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full"..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
Quoting 1455. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Wait what air space restriction from who?

HOWEVER...AIR SPACE
RESTRICTIONS PREVENTED THE PLANE FROM SAMPLING THE AREA FARTHER
SOUTH.


That's odd. Are the U.S. government having a dispute with any SA nations, I mean above normal?

They flew in Felix and Dean without any problems, at least I don't remember anything other than icing issues on one flight.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting 1477. bappit:

Snowden on a plane near there?


None of the major news sites are reporting that Snowden is on any plane at the moment, but I digress.
Member Since: August 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 10th day of the month at 00:18Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)

Storm Number: 03

Storm Name: Chantal (flight in the North Atlantic basin)

Mission Number: 3

Observation Number: 02

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Wednesday, 0:06Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 15.2N 65.4W
Location: 226 miles (364 km) between the SSE and S (169°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
Turbulence: None
Conditions Along Flight Route: Impossible to determine, either due to darkness or some other cause
Pressure Altitude: 1,520 meters
Flight Level Wind: 5 knots (~ 5.8 mph) (Bearing was unavailable.)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 17°C
Flight Level Dew Point: 13°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Unknown, either due to darkness or some other cause
850 mb Surface Altitude: 1,530 geopotential meters

Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...

Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 15 knots (~ 17.3mph)

Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...

RADAR FIX PSBL CENTER 14.9N 65.25W. POOR RADAR PRESENTATION, MET ACCURACY 10NM

anybody notice this from earlier?
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1491. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
What they meant to say was "We don't see any reason to continue to waste gas at this particular time", lol.

Maybe the President or other high level officials are flying through the area.
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1489. centex
Quoting 1455. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Wait what air space restriction from who?

HOWEVER...AIR SPACE
RESTRICTIONS PREVENTED THE PLANE FROM SAMPLING THE AREA FARTHER
SOUTH.
Snowden, he accepted?
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Quoting 1475. stormpetrol:
Shameful! Total BS IMO.


It moved south, but they "fudged" the heading, under the assumption that it will resume WNW right away. They do this sometimes. Sometimes it works out in the end, sometimes it doesn't.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting 1468. Bluestorm5:
THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF CHANTAL BECAME LESS ORGANIZED DURING
THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING...BUT THERE HAS BEEN A BURST
OF DEEP CONVECTION RECENTLY NEAR THE ESTIMATED CENTER. THE PLANE
HAS HAD DIFFICULTY FIXING A CENTER...WITH THE WIND FIELD RESEMBLING
AN OPEN WAVE RATHER THAN A CLOSED CIRCULATION. HOWEVER...AIR SPACE
RESTRICTIONS PREVENTED THE PLANE FROM SAMPLING THE AREA FARTHER
SOUTH...SO IT IS INCONCLUSIVE AS TO WHETHER A CLOSED CIRCULATION
STILL EXISTS.
AIRCRAFT DATA ALSO SUGGEST THAT SOME WEAKENING HAS
TAKEN PLACE...WITH PEAK 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL AND BIAS-CORRECTED SFMR
WINDS OF 50 AND 42 KT...RESPECTIVELY. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS
LOWERED TO 50 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY...WHICH COULD BE GENEROUS.

But Venezuela isn't even close to 15 N line? Was the area south of 15 N Venezuelan air space? Snowden mess must be worse than one would thought...


Yeah that's crap.. maybe Russia has a few military ships north of Venezuela and didn't allow the US plane flying within a certain area....... only guess I can think of cause they can fly down to 12N
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Venezuela didn't want the hurricane hunter's to find Snowden.
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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.