Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:03 PM GMT on August 10, 2006
The tropical wave that crossed through the Lesser Antilles Islands last night is now in the eastern Caribbean, south of Puerto Rico. While there is some substantial thunderstorm activity associated with the wave visible on satellite imagery and long range radar out of San Juan, there is no trace of a surface circulation anymore, and the wave is much less organized than it was yesterday. A good pass by the QuikSCAT satellite at 5:52am EDT this morning barely shows a wind shift associated with the tropical wave. The Hurricane Hunter mission scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled, and no more missions are scheduled. The wave is not a threat to develop. Wind shear is 20 knots over the wave and is not forecast to lessen significantly over the next three days, so this wave missed its best chance at developing.
Elsewhere in the tropics
There are no other threat areas to discuss in the Atlantic. The computer models are indicating that the frontal zone off the East Coast of the U.S. may spawn a tropical storm sometime in the period 2-5 days from now. Any development here would most likely be a threat only to Bermuda.
Supertyphoon Saomai hits China
Supertyphoon Saomai slammed into the coast south of Shanghai, China this morning. Saomai was a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph and a central pressure estimated at 910 mb at landfall. It's been an unusually tough typhoon season for China, which has endured five strikes by tropical cyclones, and much death and destruction. Saomai (the Vietnamese word for the planet Venus) is pounding the same region of China hit by Tropical Storm Bilis, which killed more than 600 people last month.
Figure 1. Supertyphoon Saomai at landfall in China. Image from the Japanese MTSAT satellite, 5:30am EDT Thu Aug 10 2006. Image credit: Navy Research Lab
Who wants a supertyphoon?
Who wants a supertyphoon? Apparently, Korea does. An excerpt from a Korean news story:
Nation Prays for a Typhoon in the Midst of Unbearable Heat
It appears as though Koreans will have no respite from the sweltering heat, with scorching weather set to continue for at least 10 more days and temperatures hitting a new high on Malbok--traditionally regarded as one of the three hottest days of the lunar year--on Wednesday.
Typhoon Saomai -- this year's eighth - held a promise of cooling off the Korean Peninsula, but has disappointingly veered off toward southern China. The Korea Meteorological Administration predicted that only a typhoon will be able to bring down the insufferable temperatures.
I'd say it's nuts to refer to a supertyphoon that "disappointingly veered off!" But then again--this summer's heat has been hot enough to scramble eggs on a sidewalk, not to mention one's brains. Almost all of the Northern Hemisphere has suffered through exceptional heat.
I'll be back Friday morning with the latest update.
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