A quiet Sunday in the tropics

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006

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It's another quiet Sunday for the tropical Atlantic. The impressive line of thunderstorms brewing off the coast of the Carolinas is associated with a cold front. An extratropical or subtropical low pressure system is expected to form along this front by Monday, then push slowly up the East Coast during the week. This system is not a threat to become a tropical storm today--there's too much wind shear, cold air, and cool water. However, the Hurricane Center is giving it the chance of slowly acquiring tropical characteristics if it can remain south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina for the next two days.

Wind shear is a very high 20 - 40 knots across most of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Shear is expected to stay high in these regions for at least the next six days, and none of the reliable computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the Atlantic during this period. Enjoy the quiet time!

I've linked a photo of an odd fog formation a wunderphotographer in Alaska took--I've never seen anything like this photo! It shows very graphically what strong wind shear can do to contort a cloud into strange shapes. The wind speed and direction are different at the bottom of this fog bank than at the top, creating a twisting, shearing effect on the cloud that bends it into strange shapes. Now imagine what strong wind shear can do to a developing tropical depression--ouch!

Jeff Masters

Fog bank in the high Arctic (CypressGrove)
After days of west and north-west winds and heavy fog in Prudhoe Bay Alaska, the wind changed to the south -east....and literally pushed the remaining fog into incredible formations such as the one seen here!
Fog bank in the high Arctic

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281. quakeman55
11:56 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Thank goodness ST hasn't used this lull in blog activity to make his usual ramblings though...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
280. quakeman55
11:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
OK that posted. Where is everyone? The outage scare them off?

Maybe they all found better things to do while losers like me sat there and waited for the site. Haha
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
279. quakeman55
11:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
testing...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
278. thelmores
11:08 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
this storm IS NOT forecasted to turn SE.....

but if it does, i think we may have td2.....

and if this plays out, cape canaveral looks like a likely target.....

ok, flames away! LOL
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
276. quakeman55
11:02 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Wow it was down for a whole hour. Now it's time to play catch-up with everyone!
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
275. quakeman55
11:01 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Finally the site is back! That was weird.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
274. thelmores
11:00 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
well, whatever it is, it looks like it is "still" heading SOUTH!!

looks to be almost due due east of jacksonville already!!! LOL
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
272. weatherguy03
9:57 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
I have seen the models slowly backing off on the high shear. The changes should begin this week.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29704
271. rescueguy
9:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
I thought Dr. M said that the models were not calling for anything for the next 6 days or so due to shear. Has something changed??
Member Since: September 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
270. weatherguy03
9:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Its gonna be close StormW. Right now it could go either way. This one may get interesting. I think for the first time in my life, I may actually agree with Bastardi!..LOL
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29704
268. quakeman55
9:54 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Well if the shear reduces significantly like all the models are showing, then the extra cyclones become more feasible.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
267. EdMahmoudHome
9:51 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Joe Bastardi has actually upped his July numbers, from 1 to 2 tropical cyclones in July to 2 to 3.


I don't normally find myself agreeing with Storm Top, but 0 or 1 seems the more likely number.

Of course, since I was here infrequently last year, and here less than a month this year, maybe I'll find myself agreeing with ST all the time.

Joe is counting on the Carolina's disturbance becoming sub-tropical or tropical, but that still would mean additional 1 to 2 cyclones in July.
266. Andrew92
9:47 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Yes, it is definitely confused. Maybe it needs some advil. lol
265. rescueguy
9:47 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
wg03, I agree with you about how these SE coast storms tend to stall for a few days, then move back to the west before getting pulled up the coast.

Member Since: September 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
263. weatherguy03
9:43 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Definately possible. Thats what has worried me a bit from the start.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29704
261. weatherguy03
9:43 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
What peaked my interest last night, is that more often then not when we get development off the SE coast like this, the models always over do these systems moving to the NE. They more often then not tend to move back to the West or SW. Well, we may have the first senerio going on, slowing down. Now we just have to back off the wind shear a bit.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29704
259. Tazmanian
9:41 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
its 106 right now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115072
258. weatherguy03
9:39 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Oh here is the link....Link
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29704
257. weatherguy03
9:39 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Latest NAM want to bring it back to the coast...
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29704
256. Andrew92
9:35 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
He hears all, sees all, says all, but knows nada.
255. quakeman55
9:35 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Plus he'd disappear until mid-August or something...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
254. quakeman55
9:34 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
If this thing does form it ruins stormtops forcast

And we'd finally have some ammo to throw back in his face :-P
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
253. Andrew92
9:34 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
wouldn't that be a surprise lol
252. pcolaFL
9:33 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Shhhhh! He can hear you!
251. Andrew92
9:33 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
hi taz, i'm doing good
250. weatherhunter
9:32 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
If this thing does form it ruins stormtops forcast
249. Tazmanian
9:31 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
hey 92 how are you
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115072
248. hurricane23
9:31 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Looks to me like this Mess is slowly drifting SW right now.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13786
246. Andrew92
9:29 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Hmmm, this is getting interesting. I'll tell you what, if it does, we wouldn't be sorry for the rain.
245. thelmores
9:25 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
"This system is not a threat to become a tropical storm today--there's too much wind shear, cold air, and cool water. However, the Hurricane Center is giving it the chance of slowly acquiring tropical characteristics if it can remain south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina for the next two days." -Dr Masters

Is it me, or does that seem to be an "add on" from this morning? LOL
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
244. thelmores
9:21 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
"THE SECOND LOW...CENTERED ABOUT 200 MILES SOUTH OF CAPE HATTERAS
NORTH CAROLINA...IS EXPECTED TO MOVE LITTLE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR
SO. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THE SECOND LOW IS POSSIBLE."

well, well, well....... looks like the scenerio of stalling may play out.....

nice to get a little recognition for MYB! :)
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
243. rescueguy
9:21 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
I wonder what we are gonna see later tonight with the diurnal max? Could really blow up good!
Member Since: September 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
242. thelmores
9:18 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
"I think there may be several vortices jumping around in there."

agreed, definately more than one.......

"It looks to be about due E of Sav. where the heaviest convection is."

maybe even farther south than that now......

and that leads to "Do you think there's a possibility that could come south into NE florida?"

not sure if anybody else thinks this is possible, but i certainly do..... it really depends if there are "two" main vortice's..... i see one to the ne of the convection, and all the large convection is being bown sw, or there could be another vortice near the high cloud tops which have been persistant.

i do think it is moving towards a little cooler waters.....



Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
241. rescueguy
9:18 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Looks like the the low off the SC coast has a little potential according the NHC 5:300pm update.
Member Since: September 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
240. guygee
9:09 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Thought I would stop in for a cold drink and a look at the loops. I see a few things that interest me...for example, if anyone want a good close-up of what a hybrid low pressure center looks like, go to the GHCC visible loop, set to animate and set map to Lat/Lon, then right click your mouse near 38.0 N, 67.6 W. Note the exposed LLC to the north and the convection to the south. Observe that the upper flow over the convection to the south of the system has a definite anti-cyclonic curl. A pure extratropical system would be a deep low and would not have anti-cyclonic upper-level flow nearby. The NAM seemed to initialize the location of this feature the most accurately amongst the current model runs, and the phase analysis shows a borderline shallow tropical low. The low-level center is exposed due to the northerly shear over the system. Since the system is moving NE now, I do not expect it to develop much.

Another interesting observation on the same GHHC visible loop can be seen by zooming in in the vicinity of 31.0 N, 77.0W, directly over the convective mass off of the South Carolina Coast. If you look at the flow of the upper-level clouds, it seems the shear may have slacked off somewhat over the system since yesterday, as you can see some degree of outflow towards the NE. The spokes of outflow on the south side seem to indicate stronger shear south of the system. It is also interesting to look at the direction of the low-level cumulus convergence bands over land during the heating of the day to get a good idea of the general surface flow in the vicinity.

There are so many arguments sometimes in this blog I wish I could make a graph of the diurnal cycle so I could avoid the times of peak heating of tempers;) I just want to point out that Stormy2day made a good point about people on dial-up being able to block images if their refresh times are getting too long. Mozilla Firefox is a very nice browser that makes this very easy to do: Mozilla.com provides Firefox for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in a variety of languages. To get Firefox 1.5.0.4, download it here.

After installing Firefox, to block downloading of images, open the drop-down menu named Tools, right click on Options to bring up the options dialog, right click on Content, then uncheck the Load Images box. Tools->Options->Content->uncheck Load Images.

Peace on Earth, goodwill to all of our blogging brothers and sisters ;)
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3167
239. WSI
8:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Lots of dry air off Africa and in the Atlantic Andrew92.


Here.

And here.

And here too..
238. Andrew92
8:50 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
A little off topic, but what do ya'll think of the wave that just moved off of Africa? As far as the models go, the shear looks lax ahead of the wave.
237. Andrew92
8:43 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
lol, it does jp
235. Andrew92
8:40 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Do you think there's a possibility that could come south into NE florida?
234. Andrew92
8:39 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
That's true, the models seem to all have it much farther north now.
233. StormJunkie
8:37 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
If this lower are of convection does develop in to anything the models never saw it coming this far S. It looks to be about due E of Sav. where the heaviest convection is.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16504
232. StormJunkie
8:35 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
I think there may be several vortices jumping around in there. The seem to form around the convection and then the convection either dies off or gets pushed off. There is the start of another ball of convection further to the W now.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16504
231. quakeman55
8:35 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Interesting post 23...but where does the connection with the heat in the Plains come from?
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276

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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.

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