Utor Pounds China; Japan Breaks All-Time Heat Record; Caribbean Disturbance

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:23 PM GMT on August 13, 2013

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Category 2 Typhoon Utor is closing in on Southeast China, where it is expected to come ashore near 08 UTC (4 am EDT) on Wednesday, about 150 miles southwest of Hong Kong. Widespread heavy rains are already falling across much of Southeast China, as seen on Hong Kong radar and China radar. Satellite imagery shows that Utor is a large typhoon, and will dump torrential rains capable of causing deadly flash floods and mudslides over much of Southeast China and Northern Vietnam over the next three days; a wide swath of 6+ inches of rain is predicted over a 24-hour period for Southeast China using satellite estimates of the typhoon's current rainfall intensity. Unfortunately, the heaviest rains will fall just south of an area of extreme drought responsible for $6 billion in damages so far in 2013 (Figure 2.) Utor has drawn in some dry air and is slowly weakening, and should make landfall as a Category 2 storm.


Figure 1. Radar image of Typhoon Utor from August 13, 2013 taken at 17:12 local time (10:12 am EDT.) Image credit: Meteorological Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality.

A rough summer for extreme weather in China
China has already experienced five billion-dollar weather disasters so far in 2013. This is the most of any nation, according to insurance broker Aon Benfield. Utor is likely to the be sixth such disaster. The five Chinese billion-dollar weather disasters have all hit this summer:

1) Drought, Central and Eastern China, 1/1 - 7/31: $6.0 billion
2) Flooding, nationwide, 7/7 - 7/17: $4.5 billion
3) Flooding, Sichuan Province, China, 7/7 - 7/11: $1.6 billion
4) Flooding, China, 6/29 - 7/3: $1.4 billion
5) Flooding, China, 7/21 - 7/25: $1.4 billion

The most expensive of the these disasters, the $6 billion drought that hit Eastern China, helped intensify a remarkable and historic heat wave that assaulted Eastern China in July and August. In his latest post, wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt writes:

Virtually every possible heat statistic has been broken for most sites in eastern China (as well as central and southern Japan, and South Korea). I cannot think of any other heat event that has affected so many people for so long (including those that plagued the U.S. in the mid 1930s, Russia in 2010, and Western Europe in August 2003). Obviously, the Chinese authorities are keeping the fatalities from this ongoing event under wraps.

The Eastern China heat wave moved northwards and eastwards over Korea and Japan over the past few days, and brought Japan its all-time national heat record on August 12, 2013, when the temperature peaked at 41.0°C (105.8°F) at the Ekawasaki site in Shimanto. The previous record of 40.9°C (105.6°F) was recorded at Tajima and Kumagaya on August 16, 2007. the record heat wave also brought stiflingly hot weather to Tokyo, which on August 11 endured its warmest daily minimum temperature ever recorded: 30.4°C (86.7°F). This was also the 2nd warmest minimum on record for Japan.


Figure 2. Widespread drought over Eastern and Southeast China has caused at least $6 billion in damage, according to Aon Benfield. Image credit: Beijing Climate Center.

The Philippines clean up after Utor
The Philippines are cleaning up after Typhoon Utor powered ashore on the northern Philippine Island of Luzon on Monday near 3 am local time (3 pm EDT Sunday), as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. At least 3 deaths are being blamed on the storm, and 54 people are missing, mostly fishermen. Damage was heavy in Casiguran (population 24,000) near where the typhoon made landfall, with 80% of the infrastructure of the town reportedly destroyed.

Utor is a Marshallese word for squall line, and has been used for three tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific--in 2001, 2006, and 2013. Utor reached super typhoon status with 150 mph winds on Sunday, making it the strongest tropical cyclone globally so far in 2013. Earth's previous most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 was Typhoon Soulik, which reached Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds on July 10. Soulik weakened to a Category 2 storm before hitting Taiwan on July 12.


Figure 2. Typhoon Utor approaches the Philippines in this 375 meter-resolution IR image taken by the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi satellite at 04:34 UTC August 11, 2013. At the time, Utor was a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds. Image credit: Dan Lindsey, NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Fort Collins.

Caribbean tropical wave may develop when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico
A tropical wave in the Central Caribbean is kicking up disorganized heavy thunderstorms over Jamaica today, and this activity will spread westwards into the Cayman Islands by Wednesday, and into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba by Thursday. Wind shear is a very high 30 - 40 knots over the the wave, making development very unlikely through Wednesday. However, once the wave reaches the Western Caribbean on Thursday and pushes into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, the wave will find a region with lower wind shear, and a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical storm could form. If a tropical depression or tropical storm does form, and its circulation extends high above the surface, a trough of low pressure over the northern Gulf of Mexico would likely steer the storm northwards to a landfall between Eastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. This is the solution presented by the Navy's 00Z run of the NAVGEM model, which shows a landfall on Saturday of a moderate-strength tropical storm. The other reliable models for genesis--the GFS, European, and UKMET--do not develop the system, or show very weak development. The European model takes much of the wave's moisture west-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, but the other models show the main moisture heading northwards into the Southeast U.S. Soils across the Southeast U.S. are already saturated, and tropical moisture from this storm system will be capable of dumping a large area of 4+" of rain, potentially causing significant flooding over the weekend. In their 8 am EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the system a 30% of developing by Sunday, and a 10% chance of developing by Thursday. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the system on Thursday.


Figure 4. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. Tropical moisture flowing north and northeastwards over the Southeast U.S. is expected to create a broad swath of 4+ inches of rain, capable of triggering damaging flooding. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Resilience to Extreme Weather panel discussion being livestreamed today (Tuesday)
The 6th annual National Clean Energy Summit is today, Tuesday, August 13, and will be livestreamed here. Of particular interest may be the 6pm EDT panel on Resilience to Extreme Weather, featuring:

- Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce, Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Maria LaRosa, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
- Patricia Mulroy, General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority
- Chris Taylor, Executive Director, West Coast Infrastructure Exchange

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8229
Quoting 252. Neapolitan:
But that's not how science works. In actuality, all methods are to be questioned and explained. And the more novel or disruptive a hypothesis or theory is, the more questioning--and answering--there needs to be before it gets anywhere close to acceptance.


Really?..calling yoboi???..

you and your counterparts dont have this same thinking when a "denier" raises doubts to your GW thinking..

Nea, you have been nothing but contradictory today..lows are usual but heatwaves are "unprecedented"..my my my..
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No sort of reflection from the lower-levels up towards the mid-levels currently associated with the Caribbean AOI. Just as expected, development, if any, will be very gradual...extremely gradual as a matter of fact.

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Quoting 276. MississippiWx:


Just curious. How much research have you done for the SPC? Just wanted to know since you seem to be so critical of everything he posts.


Didn't say I was critical.... I supported him cause he said he wasn't questioned. I stated that they probably didn't question him cause they had No facts to prove he was wrong.

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Quoting 260. GTstormChaserCaleb:
However, the ensembles do show a system in the Central Atlantic in 5 days and if you take a look at the NHC they did mention it in there TWO. So stop taking the GFS operational as gospel, ok? CMC, NAVGEM, and FIM are also on board with something in the Central Atlantic.
As previously mentioned due to TUTT and the dry air across the entire MDR and adjacently waters there will be no signifcant developments through at least mid-September. The system in the mid-Atlantic will once again be encountering dry air in the western Atlantic and the TUTT that will cause the system to dissapate or stay very weak.
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Quoting 267. scottsvb:


Well you just posted earlier that nobody questioned your methods and not even the SPC...


They didn't. They questioned most of the group extensively, but I was not one of those people.
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Quoting 267. scottsvb:


Well you just posted earlier that nobody questioned your methods and not even the SPC...


Just curious. How much research have you done for the SPC? Just wanted to know since you seem to be so critical of everything he posts.
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Quoting 263. TylerStanfield:
The PDO has flipped back to a full negative phase, and there is a very cool tongue of water in Nino Regions 1+2.


Invests for The Caribbean Wave and African Wave should come soon, considering both have a good chance of Development.


Thanks for reminding me; forgot to post today's Aussie Met ENSO Outlook:

Negative IOD remains the key Australian climate influence
Issued on Tuesday 13 August 2013 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO

The El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) clearly remains in the neutral phase despite some indicators (e.g. eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures, Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and cloudiness near the Date Line) approaching La Niña thresholds at times in recent months.

Climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate further cooling of waters in the tropical Pacific is unlikely. Hence, the current ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue through the austral spring and into summer.

Weekly sea surface temperatures:
The anomaly map for the week ending 11 August 2013 shows near-average SSTs across the central tropical Pacific, cool anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific and along the South American coast (from Ecuador to northern Chile) and warm anomalies in the western Pacific and around the SPCZ. Warm anomalies around the Maritime Continent have weakened slightly during the past two weeks while those along the southern coast of Australia have strengthened. Cool anomalies have also strengthened in the far eastern tropical Pacific with much of the ocean surface east of 110°W more than 1.0 °C cooler than average.


ENSO Neutral for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season; generally could mean tracks towards the Greater Antilles and Florida for some of our pending Cape Verde hurricanes when you consider the Neutral Phase climatology (Trofs notwithstanding that might turn a Florida bound storm before landfall if the timing is right).
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20% carribean and now 10% off Africa.............
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273. NCstu
Weather experts:

What conditions lead to supercells in the context of tropical cyclones?
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Looks like the outer bands of Utor to its northwest are already reaching far inland (which would be good, concerning the drought, I guess).
Loop.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 56 Comments: 6082
Quoting 261. Camille33:

Gfs is a bad model and it shifts run to run lets wait for ecmwf ! I don t like model hugging at all!!



GFS is the best model out there. I'll take it over the EURO...BUT the EURO is a close 2nd. Some will think the EURO does better though, it's a difference in opinion but I'll take the GFS first in the short term up to 72hrs then the EURO on days 4-5.
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Contradictions

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30578
Quoting 247. washingtonian115:
Mmm it seems that who ever you don't like you encourage them to kill themselves or have them be killed?.Like how you encouraged me to kill myself last year...

And did you take his advice? ;)
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Quoting 259. Levi32:


Actually, we (the REU student group) were questioned and corrected extensively during most of our presentations. I can tell you the PhDs in there were not shy in expressing their opinions and making corrections or suggestions for improvement. I was pleased to receive comparatively little of that, but the project I was tasked with could obviously use more effort that I was able to give in only a 2-month period.


Scientists always question, if Levi received little but positive response, and encouragement to publish the results, Levi did a bang up job! nothing short of what we expected, of course.
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Quoting 259. Levi32:


Actually, we (the REU student group) were questioned and corrected extensively during most of our presentations. I can tell you the PhDs in there were not shy in expressing their opinions and making corrections or suggestions for improvement. I was pleased to receive comparatively little of that, but the project I was tasked with could obviously use more effort that I was able to give in only a 2-month period.


Well you just posted earlier that nobody questioned your methods and not even the SPC...
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Issued: Aug 13, 2013 8:00 am HST

For the central north Pacific, between 140W and 180.

1. An area of low pressure located about 850 miles southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Development, if any, will be slow to occur as this system moves westward at about 15 mph over the next couple of days. This system has a low chance, 10 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

2. Disorganized showers and thunderstorms continue in association with a low pressure system located about 1375 miles east-southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for development before upper-level winds become more unfavorable on Thursday. This system has a medium chance, 30 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours while it moves westward at 15 to 20 mph.

Elsewhere, no tropical cyclones are expected through Thursday morning.

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Quoting 257. wunderweatherman123:
12z GFS shows nothing in the atlantic up to august 29th. 0 storms in august boy that would suck


It's likely wrong, we will have our first named storm this month in the next five days, either the African easterly wave develops under mostly favorable atmospherc conditions, with MDR temps still somewhat cooler than average that will put a lid of some sorts on potential intensity of the AEW before 55w. We could have two storms by August 23rd, if both disturbances one in the Caribbean Sea develops and the eastern Atlantic wave develops as well.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
Quoting 109. seminolesfan:



There is a blog for that, too.

We are speaking of the tropics in this one.


Yup it is called Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog not Jeff Masters Tropical weather blog. I am heartily sick of these comments which shout down anyone who wants to discuss the extreme weather that Jeff Masters writes about in his blog. If you are so offended that Jeff Masters writes about an unprecedented heat wave and drought in China in HIS blog, why don't you send him an email and complain to the man himself that he can't remain on the topic you dream appropriate in HIS blog.
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The PDO has flipped back to a full negative phase, and there is a very cool tongue of water in Nino Regions 1+2.


Invests for The Caribbean Wave and African Wave should come soon, considering both have a good chance of Development.
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Quoting 254. Eyewall07:


Cool. Thought I saw someone on I-10 :)

How are things with you?


Very good, spent a wonderful time with the fam in SoFl. Hit the beach several times - I miss the coast. :(



And it actually was cooler in SoFL than here in OK - at that time - although this summer has been a breeze here in OK as opposed to the previous ones. I still insist Levi brought the relatively cooler weather with him from Alaska. ;)
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Quoting 257. wunderweatherman123:
12z GFS shows nothing in the atlantic up to august 29th. 0 storms in august boy that would suck

Gfs is a bad model and it shifts run to run lets wait for ecmwf ! I don t like model hugging at all!!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1521
Quoting 257. wunderweatherman123:
12z GFS shows nothing in the atlantic up to august 29th. 0 storms in august boy that would suck
However, the ensembles do show a system in the Central Atlantic in 5 days and if you take a look at the NHC they did mention it in there TWO. So stop taking the GFS operational as gospel, ok? CMC, NAVGEM, and FIM are also on board with something in the Central Atlantic.
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Quoting 242. scottsvb:

They shouldn't question your methods unless they knew 100% that they were wrong.


Actually, we (the REU student group) were questioned and corrected extensively during most of our presentations. I can tell you the PhDs in there were not shy in expressing their opinions and making corrections or suggestions for improvement. I was pleased to receive comparatively little of that, but the project I was tasked with could obviously use more effort that I was able to give in only a 2-month period.
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Quoting 252. Neapolitan:
But that's not how science works. In actuality, all methods are to be questioned and explained. And the more novel or disruptive a hypothesis or theory is, the more questioning--and answering--there needs to be before it gets anywhere close to acceptance.


They can't determine if he is wrong cause they have no proof that he is. Sure they can question it but they can't deny it unless they know it's wrong.. is my point
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12z GFS shows nothing in the atlantic up to august 29th. 0 storms in august boy that would suck
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@Levi

LOL - you know what this means - we in the Plains are going to be looking for tornado as well as tropical "seasonal" forecasts from you now :D
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Quoting 245. daddyjames:


Do it, do it! That would be a fantastic! And happy to hear that the credit will be properly bestowed upon you! Kudos to you!

A follow up, does the - for lack of a better term - depth of the troughiness/ridging present allow for discrimination of where the activity will be most prevalent geographically? The greater the trough the further south the activity is geographically centered?


Since we focused exclusively on Oklahoma, which is a small area relative to the scale of Rossby wave forcing, I wasn't able to determine that. If I did the same analysis across all of tornado alley, it might yield some interesting results.
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Quoting 250. daddyjames:


Hey EW07, how are things there? Travelled through your areea just recently. Waved as I went by ;).


Cool. Thought I saw someone on I-10 :)

How are things with you?
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Quoting 241. Levi32:
Keep in mind that the anchoring monsoon low is well expected to move inland over Nicaragua/Honduras during the next day or so while moving northwest, meeting up with our wave axis. The question is whether low pressure will try to develop closer to the monsoon circulation in the Gulf of Honduras, or farther north along the wave axis like the GFS, CMC, and NAVGEM show. My gut feeling is still farther south, but we'll see.

700mb winds in 24 hours:


I think it going to yucatan and then west into the boc and mexico!!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1521
Quoting 242. scottsvb:

They shouldn't question your methods unless they knew 100% that they were wrong.
But that's not how science works. In actuality, all methods are to be questioned and explained. And the more novel or disruptive a hypothesis or theory is, the more questioning--and answering--there needs to be before it gets anywhere close to acceptance.
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Quoting 242. scottsvb:

They shouldn't question your methods unless they knew 100% that they were wrong.


This, especially for seemingly basic research.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30578
Quoting 238. Eyewall07:


Good afternoon DJ.


Hey EW07, how are things there? Travelled through your area just recently. Waved as I went by ;).
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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8229
Quoting 224. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z FIM-7 still showing Northeastern Gulf Coast, stronger on this run:




Need to look at surface wind to see what it feal like!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1521
Quoting 237. Rmadillo:
Poll time:


How many ChiComs is Utor gonna wash out to sea?

A: None
B: <100
C: <1000
D: >1000
Mmm it seems that who ever you don't like you encourage them to kill themselves or have them be killed?.Like how you encouraged me to kill myself last year...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17164
Quoting 222. Levi32:


I actually took the project in a new direction and found a significant relationship between spring OK tornado activity and antecedent winter 500mb height in the Pacific Northwest region. It turns out that troughing (ridging) there during Nov-Feb tends to lead to enhanced (reduced) tornado activity during the subsequent Mar-Jun period in Oklahoma. The Rossby wave configuration actually serves as a possible explanation for the precipitation pattern we observed, which is why I investigated 500mb height in the first place. It ended up connecting really well.


Levi, that makes sense. Ridge in the west, typically results in there being a trough in the east... this causes colder air to dive into the eastern US, keeping the Gulf Coast region cooler, therefore keeping the Gulf cooler. The Gulf being the source region for severe weather in the Plains in the spring, cooler waters make the airmass more stable (less buoyant) than if there were to be warmer waters. Inversely, a trough west, ridge east, would tend to keep the weather warmer in the east and along the Gulf Coast, and keep Gulf waters warmer. It seemed as if the Gulf was cooler this spring than usual, thanks to an abnormally cool spring across the southeast (here in central Florida, March was colder than January and February).
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Quoting 239. Levi32:


Actually yes. Nobody, even from the SPC, questioned my methods during my presentation, and they seemed to find it very interesting. There's actually very little research that has been done on seasonal-scale tornado prediction, so I had the rare opportunity to essentially perform brand new research. I was told that I could even publish the paper to AMS Journal of Weather and Forecasting with my mentors from NWS Norman if I want to.


Do it, do it! That would be a fantastic! And happy to hear that the credit will be properly bestowed upon you! Kudos to you!

A follow up, does the - for lack of a better term - depth of the troughiness/ridging present allow for discrimination of where the activity will be most prevalent geographically? The greater the trough the further south the activity is geographically centered?
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Quoting 216. FOREX:


So does it sound to you that the NHC is leaning towards a much weaker storm for the gulf?


YES!
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Quoting 227. NasBahMan:


That's good news, I know you guys can use the rain, just hope you don't get too much one time as that is never good!

Yeah, we also had very dry conditions in early 2010, but we had well above normal rainfall by the end of the year. This was mostly due to the effects of TS Nicole. We had in excess of 37 inches in Negril, Jamaica.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8229
Quoting 239. Levi32:


Actually yes. Nobody, even from the SPC, questioned my methods during my presentation, and they seemed to find it very interesting. There's actually very little research that has been done on seasonal-scale tornado prediction, so I had the rare opportunity to essentially perform brand new research. I was told that I could even publish the paper to AMS Journal of Weather and Forecasting with my mentors from NWS Norman if I want to.

They shouldn't question your methods unless they knew 100% that they were wrong.
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Keep in mind that the anchoring monsoon low is well expected to move inland over Nicaragua/Honduras during the next day or so while moving northwest, meeting up with our wave axis. The question is whether low pressure will try to develop closer to the monsoon circulation in the Gulf of Honduras, or farther north along the wave axis like the GFS, CMC, and NAVGEM show. My gut feeling is still farther south, but we'll see.

700mb winds in 24 hours:

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222. Levi32 1:51 PM EDT on August 13, 2013

Good deal; some of the most recognized work in meteorology is making these type of antecedent correlations.........Dr. Gray made the initial correlations in the 70's between Sahel rainfall and subsequent Atlantic tropical storm activity in his research.....................Good for You if this correlation has not been noted before.
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Quoting 230. daddyjames:


Fantastic! Well received among the meteorologists there? Well, now we have something to look at over the winter to see if we need to sweat it out during the spring. Thanks for the info.


Actually yes. Nobody, even from the SPC, questioned my methods during my presentation, and they seemed to find it very interesting. There's actually very little research that has been done on seasonal-scale tornado prediction, so I had the rare opportunity to essentially perform brand new research. I was told that I could even publish the paper to AMS Journal of Weather and Forecasting with my mentors from NWS Norman if I want to.
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Quoting 230. daddyjames:


Fantastic! Well received among the meteorologists there? Well, now we have something to look at over the winter to see if we need to sweat it out during the spring. Thanks for the info.


Good afternoon DJ.
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Quoting 232. Stormchaser2007:
Puzzles me as to why the ECMWF OP doesn't develop anything in the Atlantic with this kind of MJO setup.




Maybe because of high wind shear still across the Atlantic. just my take
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Quoting 225. stormpetrol:
Link

Low in link this appears to drifting Northwards
IMO.


The low appears to be just on the NE edge of the cloud complex offshore the Costa Rica / Nicaragua border
close to the center of this image.

I ran the loop and could not tell whether there was a slow drift to the N or not but this is the general area where it is now

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1247 PM CDT Tue Aug 13 2013

... Cluster of strong thunderstorms moving east affecting upper
Jefferson Parish... upper Plaquemines Parish... Orleans Parish... upper
St. Bernard Parish... lower St. Bernard Parish...

At 1242 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
cluster of strong thunderstorms over upper Jefferson... Saint Charles
and Orleans parishes... moving east at 15 mph.

The cluster of strong thunderstorms will affect areas in and
around... Westwego... Marrero... New Orleans... Harvey... Gretna...
Terrytown... Timberlane... Belle Chasse... Chalmette... Violet and
Yscloskey

The primary threat from these storms is wind gusts to near 40 mph...
which could down tree limbs and blow around unsecured small objects.
Seek shelter in a safe home or building until these storms have
passed.

These storms could produce rainfall amounts of one to two inches in a
short period of time... resulting in ponding of water around low lying
roadways. Remember... do not drive your vehicle into water covered
roadways. The depth may be too great to allow a safe crossing.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128887
Quoting 228. clwstmchasr:


For which system?
the Caribbean system.
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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.