Ernesto, John, Ioke

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:02 PM GMT on August 30, 2006

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Tropical Depression Ernesto steamed north across Florida today, crossing over Lake Okeechobee, headed for an exit from the Florida coast north of Cape Canaveral. The storm has maintained its integrity, as seen in satellite animations and radar imagery. Although Ernesto's winds have dropped below tropical storm force, its central pressure has stayed about 1002 mb, only a 1 mb rise from when it made landfall. The considerable blow-up of heavy thunderstorm this afternoon over Ernesto's center is due to the normal daytime increase in thunderstorm activity due to solar heating of the Florida landmass. Rainfall amounts over Florida have generally been below 4 inches, and Ernesto has not been much of a problem for the state.

Once Ernesto re-emerges into the Atlantic early Thursday morning, it will re-intensify over water. None of the forecast models or the official NHC forecast are calling for this to become a hurricane, though. The passage over Florida has weakened it to the point where it would take more time over water than Ernesto will have. It is possible that Ernesto will intensify very little, as happened when it popped off the coast of Cuba. The most likely intensity at its second landfall in South Carolina is 40-55 mph.

Hurricane John
Hurricane John strengthened into a very dangerous Category 4 hurricane this afternoon, and is already bringing tropical storm force winds to the Mexican coast. John is expected to move parallel to the coast over the next two days, but close enough to bring hurricane force winds to the coast at times. Any slight deviation towards the coast will bring the hurricane's dangerous core ashore, and would make John one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the Pacific coast of Mexico. The area of the coast that pokes out farthest into the ocean, just south of Manzanillo, is at highest risk of a strike, and the latest 12Z (8am EDT) runs of both the GFDL and NOGAPS models are calling for a strike here. Wind shear is light and forecast to remain low, and sea surface temperatures (Figure 1) are a very warm 30 C under the hurricane--about 1-2 degrees C above normal for this time of year.


Figure 1. Current sea surface temperatures along the Pacific coast. Temperatures in the Gulf of California may not be accurate, due to difficulties retrieving the temperature via satellite measurements in such a narrow body of water. The red line separating blue colors from yellow marks the 26 C isotherm--the critical temperature needed to sustain a tropical cyclone. Note the very cool waters extending from the California border southwards along the coast. This long stretch of cool water will make it difficult for John to hold together if it tries to approach California. Image credit: NOAA/AOML.

Is John a threat to the U.S.?
Eastern Pacific hurricanes are most likely to impact the U.S. in El Nino years, where the ocean along the Mexican coast heats up to much above normal temperatures and can fuel very intense hurricanes. This was the case in 1997, when Category 5 Hurricane Linda, the most intense hurricane ever observed in the Eastern Pacific, moved parallel to the coast and threatened California. The National Hurricane Center issued several advisories for Linda alerting San Diego to the possibility of receiving tropical storm force winds from Linda. The storm turned out to sea before reaching California, however.

This is not an El Nino year, but recent warming of the waters in the Eastern Pacific has led some El Nino experts wondering if a late-arriving El Nino might be on the way. Water temperatures along the Pacific coast of Mexico are 1-2 degrees C above normal all the way to the California coast, giving 2006 the possibility of allowing a tropical storm to reach California. It is very rare for an Eastern Pacific storm to move far enough north to affect the Arizona or California. Since 1900, only four tropical cyclones have brought tropical storm force winds to the Southwestern United States: an unnamed tropical storm that made landfall near Long Beach, CA, in 1939 (52 mph winds south of L.A.); the remnants of Hurricane Joanne in 1972; the remnants of Hurricane Kathleen in 1976 (76 mph wind gust at Yuma, AZ); and the remnants of Hurricane Nora in 1997. In addition, a hurricane just missed making landfall in October 1858 and brought hurricane force winds to San Diego and tropical storm force winds all the way to Los Angeles.

In order to affect California, a tropical cyclone would have to be moving quickly, so the the cold waters off the coast would not weaken it too fast. The alternative would be for the storm to barrel up the narrow Gulf of California, where water temperatures remain warm all the way to the end. To my knowledge, no such storm has ever been able to shoot more than half way up the narrow Gulf of California before dashing itself to pieces on the rugged terrain on either side. I'd be surprised if John manages to bring tropical storm force winds to the U.S.

Super Typhoon Ioke
The incredible Category 4 Supertyphoon Ioke continues to rumble towards tiny Wake Island in the Pacific. The entire population of the island has been evacuated to Hawaii. NOAA's National Ocean Service has a station on Wake Island, and the current conditions at 3pm EDT were sustained winds of 34 mph gusting to 44 mph, and the pressure at 999 mb and falling rapidly. It is expected that Ioke's storm surge may completely submerge the island. Ioke has a significant wave height of 50 feet, meaning that 1/3 of the waves in the storm are higher than that. Wow!

African tropical waves
A tropical wave near 12N 36W, a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, has changed little in organization today. Some slow development of this system is possible over the next few days.

The large spiral of low clouds near 18N 46W surrounded by a large cloud of dry air and African dust continues to spin, but the thunderstorm activity near the center remains near zero this afternoon. The wave has some potential for development if it can find a moister environment. This is not likely until Sunday at the earliest, when it may be near Puerto Rico or the Bahamas.

I'll be back Friday morning with a new update.

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1117. MahFL
4:08 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Here in JAX there is a nice breeze blowing, those folks in SC better watch out........
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3541
1114. HopquickSteve
2:53 PM GMT on August 31, 2006

AT 11 AM EDT...1500 UTC...A HURRICANE WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM
SOUTH SANTEE RIVER SOUTH CAROLINA TO CAPE LOOKOUT NORTH CAROLINA. A
HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1113. HopquickSteve
2:52 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
NEW ADVISORY
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1112. GulfGuy
2:35 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Guygee, I've just read your post. The first thing that came to mind was the 20/20 episode last night on the end of civilazation as we know it. The most likely disaster was Global Warming, in case you didn't see it. One point made was the increase in the number of Cat 4 and Cat 5 storms. While it does seem to me that there has been an increase, from a scientific viewpoint, not having a set standard kinda blows that right out of the water. Meterology as a science needs to sit down and agree on a standard. I know its not as simple as that, but it needs to be done.
1110. HopquickSteve
2:26 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Hmm...its looking like it wants to wobble to the east...but yes, hurricane 23...it is looking impressive. 25 more minutes and we should get the official info...
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1108. guygee
2:24 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Apologies for the long post, I just found the topic very interesting. Didn't mean to be a buzzkill LOL.

I'll be checking in later :-)
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3171
1107. hurricane23
2:22 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Guys i really feel the NHC needs to issue hurricane warnings out very soon for the carolinas.

SEE INFRARED LOOP HERE
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
1106. guygee
2:20 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Typo in last paragraph: USJTWC, Not USJTA. Sorry.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3171
1105. guygee
2:12 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Posted By: efallon28 at 1:50 PM GMT on August 31, 2006.
Just curious, is all of the information on IOKE done by satellite interpretation? I would imagine it is, and if so, how accurate would the estimates be? Don't get me wrong, I know that either way it's a monster, I'm just curious.

efallon28 - That is a very good question. Dr. Masters posted a blog on that a couple of weeks ago, noting the large differences in formualting Dvorak intensity estimates and wind-pressure realtionships that have evolved over time between the JTWC and the JMA, resulting in difference of intensity esimates a full 1-2 catagories lower by the JMA. In some further digging I did on the topic I found a paper that explains the differences that have developed between even the different bracnhes of the Australina BOM.

I was fascinated by Dr. Master's blog discussing the differences between the assessment of the intensity of Supertyphoon Saomai at landfall, with the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center rating it a Cat 4 and the Japan Meteorological Agency rating it a Cat 2. Quite a difference! I was even more disturbed by the paper Dr. Masters linked to by Kamahori et. al. of the JMA showing that this difference between the operational techniques for assessing tropical cyclone intensity between the USJTWC and the JMA has existed since 1991, with an average 1-2 category negative bias of JMA intensity measurements for Nothern West Pacific Tropical Cyclones as compared to the USJTWC. JMA shows more Cat2-3's than USJTWC, and USJTWC shows more Cat 4-5's than JMA. JMA has fewer Cat 2-5's overall. I read the paper by the JMA authors and they were very conservative on the significance of their findings:

"...the JTWC dataset shows an increase in extremely intense TC days, and the JMA dataset shows a decrease in extremely intense TC days and an increase in moderately intense TC days. A quality check of the two datasets has to be made before we attempt any physical interpretation of the changes in the intense TC days."

So the authors did not make the conclusion that the USJTWC record was flawed, but only say that more research is needed to find the reasons that account for the differences between the two datasets. In their conclusion they also stated:

"The JMA modified the original Dvorak technique to be consistent with surface observations near Japan (Osano 1989). In contrast, the JTWC adopted the original Dvorak technique, which was developed for north Atlantic hurricanes (Dvorak 1975). The different algorithms led to quantitatively different results for the same satellite imagery of the same TCs in the WNP."

The JMA authors seem to have misstated that the Dvorak technique was originally developed "for north Atlantic Hurricanes". There is a very good review on the evolution of the Dvorak technique written by Bruce Harper available online here. Harper notes that the original Dvorak technique was originally developed for NWP cyclones, and later modified for Atlantic Basin storms to account for the difference in mean ambient surface pressures.
Harper goes on to describe the evolution of the Dvorak technique in general and the modifications to the Dvorak techniques made by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for tropical cyclones near Australia.

So, the differences between the USJTWC estimates and the estimates made by other meteorological institutions are most likely due to the differences in the operational application of the Dvorak technique that have developed in different regions. For example, revisiting the JMA paper's conclusion quoted above, the differences between the JMA and the USJTA estimates for the period 1991-2004 are likely due to the changes made by the JMA in applying the Dvorak technique in 1989. Quite an embarrassment when even the world's top meteorologists cannot agree on what they are seeing! In that light I don't feel so bad about the days on Dr. Masters blog when we cannot even agree which way a tropical system is moving;) But the repercussions of this gap in the science are very important and crucial to understanding potential effects of climate change, so I hope the differences can be reconciled soon, preferably by funding reconnaissance flights for all typhoons and tropical cyclones once they reach hurricane intensity.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3171
1104. GulfGuy
2:05 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Posted By: MiamiFisher at 1:59 PM GMT on August 31, 2006.
...
Cuba did us a great service by knocking Ernesto down.


Don't tell Castro!! ;-)_
1103. Oreodog
2:04 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Morning all: Beautiful day here in Houston. Here's wishes for good luck, little wind and light rain to our Atlantic coast friends.
1102. hurricane23
2:03 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Good morning guys,

TS Ernesto has continued to get better organized this morning with the CDO developeing very nicely.Banding features are also very well defined on visible imagery.I expect ernesto to become a strong cat 1 before reaching the carolinas.


(Here is close up visible pic of TS Ernesto)

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
1101. TampaSteve
2:03 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Wake Island is toast...good thing there's nobody left on the island!
1100. tropicallydepressed
2:00 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
In all the excitement my post was obviously missed, so here goes again :

Hello everybody.

I'm noticing these disturbances in the Atlantic will not go away. Can one of you experts tell me what the forecast for these are please.
Member Since: August 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 137
1098. GulfGuy
1:55 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
HopquickSteve, FYI, for me the secret of passing Calc was finding a Prof or Teacher or Tutor or Friend who could explain it and who would work with me.
1097. ricderr
1:55 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
So much discussion about Ernesto, not much about other developments (e.g. John and Ioke are both cat 4, Ernesto isn't even cat 1).
MADDOG....seeing that most here live on the east coast...it's typical to talk about what will and may affect us...i would imaging that on some mexican weather blog someone just asked...dodnde se dirige john
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21751
1096. KRL
1:54 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Ernie is looking impressive again in the sat pics.

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1095. HopquickSteve
1:54 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Both Charleston and Jacksonville have had radial velosities over 100kts...
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1094. efallon28
1:50 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Just curious, is all of the information on IOKE done by satellite interpretation? I would imagine it is, and if so, how accurate would the estimates be? Don't get me wrong, I know that either way it's a monster, I'm just curious.
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 105
1093. HCW
1:50 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Seems like the hype for Ernie has really settled down. Think that it will pick up next hour when cane warnings are issued ?

HARDCOREWEATHER.COM



Link
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
1092. vortextrance
1:49 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
I am going to stick with my forecast from yesterday of 60mph. It could still get higher than that in the short term, but is entering much less favorable shear conditions now than it had throughout the night so I suspect the intensification will start to slow down. What if seen overnight continues to enforce my opinion that the computers are mostly useless with their intensity forecasts. It's confusing to my the NHC says the same thing but relies on them mostly for that forecast. Dr. Masters too for that matter.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
1091. Comatose
1:47 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
I agree MiamiFisher- got the day off for some beers and warcraft!
1090. littlefish
1:46 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
IOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Wake Island toast yet? I see gusts are down to 190MPH with IOKE!

LB is firing convection almost like an open wave but it still has closed surface circulation. It'll be interesting to watch for westerly convection that can cover COC. Looks like the other circulation just N of ITCZ is still going too... Both look fairly weak, but the latter has more moisture around it.
1089. Tazmanian
1:46 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
ncforecaster mail for you
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115235
1087. amazinwxman
1:44 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Hopquick it depends on the college and what kind of Met determines the classes you take. I am going to Miss. State U for broadcast meteorology and it requires math but not alot and not hard math.
1086. ncforecaster
1:44 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Exactly Guygee... that's why I can't bring myself to forecast it to be more than a 70 mph tropical storm. We shall see.:)
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1370
1085. ncforecaster
1:41 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Right now I feel 65-75 mph is a reasonable bet Amazin. It looks to be closer than most of us thought it would be late last night.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1370
1084. reeldrlaura
1:41 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Charlotte & Danville Counties under flood WARNING RIGHT NOW. 12 mile creek over its banks.
Member Since: July 31, 2005 Posts: 93 Comments: 6007
1083. guygee
1:40 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Actually 1000th+75.

Looks like Ernesto will spin up a little stronger than forecast last night, but it still seems to be sucking in some dry aor on the SE side and is still under soem SSW shear. My view is that these factors will inhibit development to below a Cat 1 unless it strays farther north over water than currently forecast by the NHC.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3171
1082. HopquickSteve
1:40 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
http://met.psu.edu/tropical/tcgengifs/ keeps coming up 403 (forbidden). Any one get through?
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1081. ncforecaster
1:39 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Right now, the 11 am advisory is the key to determining if it will achieve hurricane intensity and if so, how strong. If it's 65 mph at 11 am...I forecast a 75-80 mph hurricane. If 60 mph, I forecast a 70-75 strong tropical storm/possible hurricane. If its still 55 mph, I stick with my 65-75 mph forecast. These are my current thoughts. You have to keep in mind, I tend to be more conservative in intensity forecasts than most on here as well.:) All forecasts are subject to change is the motto I learned working in the field.:)

Anyone else want to offer their own best educated GUESS.:)
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1370
1080. reeldrlaura
1:38 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
OK friends, gotta get some work done......will check back later and see how things are going up in the Carolinas.....be safe, make good choices! LOL!
Member Since: July 31, 2005 Posts: 93 Comments: 6007
1079. HopquickSteve
1:36 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
I wanted to do meterology...couldn't pass calc. :(
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1078. kabraxis
1:35 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Well I will be back and forth to my computer. My band is practicing for a show. Keep me updated if any big news arrives! Ill be keepin an eye to the sky. Right now in Chesapeake, Va: Overcast w/ drizzle, winds moderate and picking up. Be back soon
1077. HopquickSteve
1:35 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
John will either freeze to death or turn out to sea. If it hits baja, it'll hit at cat 2 probably... If it makes a run for the US...I would be surprised to see anything bigger than a TS. The water currents off of the West Coast just don't support tropical ssts.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1076. guygee
1:33 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
1000th!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3171
1075. amazinwxman
1:33 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
My local met expects it to hit between Myrtle and Wilmington at 65mph late tonight and then travel straight up I-95 up to VA and beyond.
1074. category6
1:33 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
i have the utmost respect for someone pursuing a career in meteorology. I always wanted to do that, but then again, I also wanted to be a jet pilot at one point?!
1073. sonofwilma
1:33 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
maddog, Ioke, John, and Kristy are mostly threatening fish. Ernesto is strengthening and aiming to spoil the opening of college football season. It's a no-brainer, buddy.
1072. VegasRain
1:32 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Im betting on 65MPH at 11AM and 70-75MPH at 2PM. Once that Northwest Eyewall closes, it will start to strenthen, then I would be willing to bet that the eye will shrink as it nears the coast as most storms do, which will bump the winds up to about hurricane strenth possibly 75-85MPH. Which wont be a big deal..

I am more concerned about flooding. I know my name is VegasRain, but I now live in Eastern Ohio along the Ohio river, and I am VERY concerned about what happens to this storm after landfall. We were absolutely devastated by flooding from Hurricane Ivan, and I fear with all the rain we have already had that Ernesto will bring serious flooding to the Mid Atlantic/Ohio Valley.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 540
1071. ncforecaster
1:31 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
That' awesome Amazin...I wish you the best for its not exactly the easiest career choice.:)
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1370
1070. maddogsparky
1:30 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Any chance of interaction between the convection at 23N 66W and the ULL at 25N 64W?

So much discussion about Ernesto, not much about other developments (e.g. John and Ioke are both cat 4, Ernesto isn't even cat 1).
1069. HopquickSteve
1:29 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Charleston Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI...

The radar picked up a +95kt reading. That is improbable...but if a gust in this thing is close to that...we might be in trouble.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
1068. lightning10
1:29 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Hurricane John could get interesting. One of the local weather stations showed what if this where to happend. It brings some good rain down to So Cal.

The GFS continues to track Hurricane John up the Baja California coast early
next week. If the GFS solution was to verify...it would pull some
of the hurricane moisture and additional monsoonal moisture from the
southeast into Southern California. At this point...it looks like
Monday would be the earliest arrival of subtropical moisture into
the area...with the GFS holding onto this moisture through Wednesday.
The GFS does show a significant surge of moisture into our area...
with precipitable water values between 1.5 and 1.7 inches...with 850 mb dewpoints
in excess of 10 degrees celsisus. In addition...the GFS advertises
rather impressive k-indices of 35 to 40 during the Monday through
Wednesday time frame. At this point...have just introduced a slight chance
of afternoon/evening thunderstorms across the la/Ventura County mountains
and Antelope Valley for Monday through Wednesday time frame.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
1067. Rgraham
1:29 PM GMT on August 31, 2006
Rich here in Chesapeake VA.

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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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