Quiet tropics; Space Shuttle launch weather

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on July 01, 2006

Share this Blog
0
+

An area of disturbed weather continues in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, southeast of Texas. The thunderstorm activity has little organization, and strong upper-level winds from the west are creating 20-30 knots of wind shear over the system. High wind shear will continue over the Gulf the next few days, making it very unlikely for this this system to develop. The disturbance will move slowly northwest and being welcome heavy rains to South Texas and Northeast Mexico. Extreme drought conditions prevail there.


Figure 1. Total precipitation over South Texas from the Gulf of Mexico tropical wave.

Elsewhere in the tropics, there is nothing of note happening.

Space Shuttle launch weather
The weather for today's 3:49 pm EDT launch of the Space Shuttle will probably be OK at the launch site, since an easterly sea breeze is expected to push today's thunderstorm activity inland. However, upper level westerly winds may carry the upper "anvil" portion of any thunderstorms that might develop west of the launch site back east over the Shuttle, creating high clouds that the shuttle cannot fly through. I give the Shuttle a 60% chance of good enough weather to fly today. Go, Discovery!

Jeff Masters

The Day Before Launch (Photo5150)
The sun sets the day before tomorrows launch of STS 121 space shuttle Discovery at 3:48pm EDT at the Kennedy Space Center. The shuttle will deliver supplies and a new crew member to the international space station. June 30,2006 Photo by Gene Blevins/LA Daily news©
The Day Before Launch

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 125 - 75

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

122. Hydrocvl
2:47 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
Good point weatherboyfsu. On top of that when directly impacted by hurricane, thay may become the worst season for that affected area regardless of records.
121. WSI
2:38 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
"if a rotation is evident on radar; does that mean its a the surface?"

Possibly, but not necessarily. A lot of it depends on the distance the storm is from the radar, and the tilt from the radar.

Here is more information
. Take a look at the graphics to get an understanding of how tilt and distance affects where the radar beam hits the system. Interesting stuff.

I also have more radar links on my blog.

weathercore.com
120. weatherboyfsu
2:29 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
Hello and good morning............

In case you guys forgot, last year set many records and we are just a little behind that so far this year. At this time last year we only had two tropical storms barely. This year we could of had two tropical storms but i dont know if there was any shuffling going on to lessen the mental stress of another extraordinary year. The NHC is aware of comparisons to last year and to what extent they will go to lessen any panic over this season by being a little hard nosed on declaring development. Its like anything else in this world, any other job in the world, if there is no need then there is less importance on creating jobs and resources to do your job. The NHC has been underfunded for years and now they are starting to see some welcomed resources and expanded employment.

The point is that this season is way too young for any kind of analysis. 1992 was one of the most deadly and costly hurricane ever. In all reality that hurricane season only lasted about a week. A week of hell for south florida and Louisiana. Out of all the hurricanes we had last year,none, were at their potential at landfall. We could this year have a 1992 season with one major storm with just the right path(tampa, houston, miami, new york)that could blow past last year. You never know and I'm still a firm believer that we havent even come close to see what mother nature is capable of. How about a storm like charley for instance in 2004 but greater with 165mph ramming Tampa Bay. Waves 18-22 feet high.

Finally, even with all the damage and death that we have had the past 2 years, it could of been much worse. Much, much worse!!! And as always time will tell.........Peace out!
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
119. Cavin Rawlins
2:09 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
July Predictions
After, the Atlantic has seen its first Tropical Storm in June-Alberto...What are your predictions on how many storms will likely form in July 2006?
leave answers at my blog or email me..

You can give reasons for your answers.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
118. StormJunkie
1:49 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
Good mornining all.

Just stopping in before heading off to do some yard work.

With all of the talk of this being a slower season, I am very concerned about the potential for some very dangerous landfalling systems this season. The temps in the Gulf, Carib, and E coast are already as warm and warmer in some location as they were last year on July 15th. My blog has year to year SST comparison maps. The warmer temps are surounding the coastal US and the entire Carib. These temps support rapid intensification, and if anything should get out there with favorable conditions it could be very bad. When systems are usually breaking apart at landfall, I would not be suprised to see a couple of landfalling systems that are actually intensifying right up to landfall. Please keep an eye on the sst data and understand what it means. I am also concerned that many have made it sound like ssts are actually cooler this year as opposed to last year, but that does not pertain to the areas talked about above.

Anywho enough of that for now. Ya'll have a great day, and don't forget to check out the Quick Links area on the website.

Have a great day all
SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16862
117. Tazmanian
12:54 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
: MichaelSTL so i am up want to talk i my blog
?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
115. Dakster
12:43 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
Ummm... Hurricane Andrew was August 24, 1992. If I remember correctly, Dr. Gray said that year only 4 hurricanes formed?

To me, being in So. Florida that was a very bad year for hurricanes.

It aint over till its over and you can't tell how bad for you the season will be until the season over on November 30 (and apparently in 2005 for a litle longer than Nov. 30).
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10434
114. vortextrance
12:26 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
Historicaly storms do not form in the Atlantic in
June
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
112. TampaCat5
11:33 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
IKE, I wouldn't call an above average June a dud for the atlantic.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 4 Comments: 445
110. IKE
10:26 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
This tropical season...both in the Atlantic and Pacific have been duds so far in 2006. I hope it continues. There is nothing out there. I'm glad...may the shear continue.

Day 33....150 to go and it's over.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
108. cajunkid
6:14 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
there might be some spin Link
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1279
107. Tazmanian
5:56 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
cajunkid do not go this yet i have send you a wu e mail
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
106. cajunkid
5:47 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
I think What I see is that L in Mexico pulling on the south end of the convection. It looks like its all about to die now. night all
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1279
104. Skyepony (Mod)
5:42 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 AM EDT SUN JUL 02 2006

...DISCUSSION...
GULF OF MEXICO...
WEAK SURFACE RIDGING COVERS THE GULF OF MEXICO WITH MAINLY 10
KT ELY FLOW. ABUNDANT SURFACE MOISTURE WITH CLUSTERS OF WIDELY
SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS OVER THE W GULF OF MEXICO W OF
90W. SCATTERED MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION IS OVER
THE W GULF FROM 22N-26N BETWEEN 94W-98W...AND FROM 19N-21N
BETWEEN 90W-93W. ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL MOISTURE WITH ISOLATED
MODERATE CONVECTION IS ADVECTING OVER S FLORIDA AND THE STRAITS
OF FLORIDA FROM THE ATLANTIC FROM 24N-27N BETWEEN 80W-83W. IN
THE UPPER LEVELS... A SMALL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION IS INLAND OVER
CENTRAL MEXICO NEAR 21N102W. CYCLONIC FLOW IS WITHIN 240 NM
RADIUS OF THE CENTER. A RIDGE IS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO WITH
AXIS ALONG 85W PRODUCING ANTICYCLONIC FLOW WITH UPPER LEVEL
MOISTURE AND BROKEN TO OVERCAST HIGH CLOUDS. EXPECT MORE
CONVECTION OVER THE ENTIRE GULF OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT 24
HOURS.

$$
FORMOSA
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38152
103. cajunkid
5:36 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
oh, if you guys haven't done so yet, you have to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7. Its ten times better similar to firefox
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1279
102. cajunkid
5:34 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
check this out Link
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1279
100. iahishome
5:30 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
What I guess is creeping me out more is the apparent movement of clouds to the West south of the center... That hasn't happened with any of our blobs recently.

Visible here:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/loop-avn.html


I'm interested to see what NHC is saying about it before bed, anyone have a link?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 501
99. ForecasterColby
5:28 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Radar means surface/low-level. It mostly detects precipitation.
97. cajunkid
5:26 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
We haven't seen this much flare-up this late, it also looks like some banding to the north and south. I hope it dies out like the last couple nights. We will just have to wait and see.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1279
95. iahishome
5:24 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Here's hoping that what appears to be spin is just shear on the north end of blob.

I couldn't see spin myself over 40 frames of radar animation.

Hopefully this is nothing and we're seeing things from watching it too much. Just rain on South Texas, I'm going to go to bed & hope it's gone in the morning.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 501
92. VancouverWX
5:11 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Starting to see some spin on the brownsville radar. I think we may have a depression forming in the next 12 hours.....

Garry
91. Tazmanian
5:00 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=398&tstamp=200607
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
89. watchingnva
4:38 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
ill be watching anything coming into the western carrib...over the next couple of weeks....hmm...should be an interesting july...night guys, have a good one.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
88. Skyepony (Mod)
4:36 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Yeah, cajunkid. That's the only scary part about it...it looks like it's organizing quick. Nice link:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38152
87. rwdobson
4:35 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
the dry air that was all around the gulf in may and june is starting to disappear. this is one factor that has been squashing development, and it looks like it's on its way out. i wouldn't be surprised to see a cyclone or two in the gulf in july.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
86. Skyepony (Mod)
4:31 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
This is more like the time of day when the convection gets fired up. The air temps are cooler than the water 83.1º/84º(Buoy 42002~ just NE of blob) winds are 15.5 kts gusts to near 20, from the ESE. The pressure is 30.04in & rising, so I wouldn't flip out. Looks like it has just come back over the water again, worthy of blob title again, for now, but that's about it. The convection coming off Yukatan into BOC, will most likely be gone by morning & it's closeness to blob should hinder blob.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38152
85. cajunkid
4:26 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Link Looks like we might have something, until it gets shredded I hope.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1279
84. iahishome
3:36 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
OK, I see the convection too. I agree, there is no rotation or low pressure. Isn't this the time that convection is supposed to lay down?

It unfortunately looks like the shear is starting to decrease in the gulf. With those SSTs, that can NOT be a good thing?

I hope that this blob in SW gulf goes on shore soon. I also see some convection coming off of the Yucatan into Campeche. That better lay down too.

Is anyone else nervous about the gulf over the next few days?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 501
83. MelS
3:32 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
My husband and I watched the event on NASA TV and was feeling rather bummed about the scrubbed mission....oh well. safety first for the lives of the crew. There will be another day to fly and reach the stars.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 62 Comments: 14
82. alaema
3:12 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
evening all.......anything up in the gulf tonight worth watching
81. bigdil
3:06 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
i noticed that Skyepony, can't find any rotation or lower pressures in that area though....might be just a flare up....

dil
80. Skyepony (Mod)
2:54 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Having a bit of convection blowing up in the western gulf tonight.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38152
79. hurricane23
2:40 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
good eveningguys....i just wanted to let u guys know i just updated my blog on my thoughts so far of whats bring going on in the 2006 atlantic hurricane season and also what i expect in july.Stop by and check it out leave me a comment.thanks adrian

ps!also added tropical storm EWINIAR.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
78. 2xRitaEvacuee
2:22 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
They launch in the afternoon because they want it to be daylight so they can take good pictures of the external tank and watch for foam loss.

The launch window is very small because they are going to rendezvous with the International Space Station. The ISS needs to be at a certain position in the sky when the shuttle launches in order for them to rendezvous and dock without it taking a long time and a ton of fuel.

Trust me, these decisions are not made lightly; there are methods to the madness. :)
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
77. txweather
1:13 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
On this line of reduced shear, looking at the gfs, there are areas that will be favorable for development after the 4th. Perhaps the gulf would be one of them, so if the CMC model did luck out and was right, something could intensify in the northern gulf. Not saying it will, but that the gfs shows favorable condition(strictly from a shear sense) if you get a preexisting low there. Still the atlantic seems to have much to fast air flow for much of anything except in a few areas.

Whats also amazing is how far south the favorable area in the epacifc is located. South of 11/12. That's also important, the Epacific is a counter indicator of the Atlantic.
Night all.
Tx
76. txweather
12:50 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
as WSI said, the CMC tends to overdo it. One thing to do is look at how realistic the solution is given where we are now(particularly look at the near future for example 48 hrs). In this case the answer is not very realistic. I for one can't see much of a wave intensifying in the current enviroment.

Remember models are not particularly useful in actually forecasting devlopment. Now they are useful in forecasting favorable conditions(relaxed shear etc, though we've all seen storms where the shear is forecast to weaken and that doesn't happen).

A person looking at satellite and charts still has a distinct advantage. This is one part of met that is still largely an art.
75. StormJunkie
12:43 AM GMT on July 02, 2006
Evening all. Just stopping in. Things are quite for the time being, but the SSTs are not looking good.

Quick Links

See ya'll later.
SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16862

Viewing: 125 - 75

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
55 °F
Mostly Cloudy