Gordon's remains trouble Ireland; Helene generating big waves; 96L no threat

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:18 PM GMT on September 21, 2006

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A strong tropical wave with a well-defined surface circulation is near 12N 34W, about 700 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. This wave was officially designated as "Invest 96L" by the Hurricane Center yesterday. The storm is under about 10 knots of vertical wind shear and is over warm ocean waters of about 28C, so some slow development is possible over the next few days as it moves northwest over the open Atlantic. Shower activity has decreased with the system this morning, though, and the models are less enthusiastic about developing it than they were yesterday. This morning's QuikSCAT pass shows winds of just 15-20 mph surrounding the low. The long range GFS model predicts that this system will turn north and recurve out to sea in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is pretty unlikely 96L will ever be a threat to any land areas. The next wave that emerges off the coast of Africa this weekend has a better chance of making it across the Atlantic to threaten the Lesser Antilles Islands, though, according to the latest runs of the GFS model.


Figure 1. Preliminary model tracks for Invest 96L.

Hurricane Helene headed out to sea
Hurricane Helene has begun her expected turn towards the north, and is on track to recurve harmlessly out to sea. Helene has weakened more, thanks to wind shear from a trough to her west. However, Helene's winds have blown long enough and strong enough over a vast area of ocean to cause large swells that have arrived along the East Coast of the U.S., prompting the issuance of rip current advisories from Florida to Maryland. Bermuda is also seeing some impressive huge waves today along its shores. The animation of the wave forecast from the Global Wave Model shows that these waves should die down beginning Sunday.

Gordon is gone, but don't tell the golfers that!
Hurricane Gordon degenerated to potent extratropical low yesterday, bringing heavy rain and high winds to Spain. The remnants of Gordon are headed to Ireland today, where the storm's wind and rains will play havoc with practice rounds for golf's famed Ryder Cup tournament. The tournament begins Friday. Radar imagery from the Irish Meteorological Service shows plenty of heavy rain over the island, and storm warnings for sustained winds of 50 mph, gusting to 75 mph have been issued for the waters off the west coast of Ireland. However, the tournament is being played in Straffan on the eastern end of the island, where the weather should be considerably better. Winds at Dublin Airport near Straffan were 26 mph at 9:30am local time this morning. The golf course where the tournament is to be played was closed this morning, due to wind gusts of 40 mph. Several trees were blown down on the course by the winds.


Figure 2. Hurricane Gordon as a Category 1 hurricane at 18:15 GMT, Sept. 17, 2006, as seen from the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Image credit: NASA.

Second warmest summer on record for the U.S.
Temperatures in August in the U.S. cooled down a bit compared to July, but were still well above average. According to the National Climatic Data Center, August 2006 ranked as the 11th warmest August on record. The record warmest August was 1983. The summer of 2006 (June, July, and August) ranks as the second warmest summer ever recorded. Only the summer of 1936 was hotter, by just 0.2F. The summer heat wave this year killed more than 200 people, 160 of them in California. For the period January through August, 2006 beats out 1934 as the warmest year on record in the U.S. by a huge margin, nearly 3F. With weak El Nino conditions expected to keep temperatures warmer than average across the northern 2/3 of the country this winter, it appears likely that 2006 will be the warmest year on record in the U.S.

Nationally, precipitation was above-normal for August, ranking as the 17th wettest August in the 112-year record (1895-2006). This year's January-August precipitation ranks it as the 26th driest period in the 112-year record.

Third warmest summer on record globally
June-August marked the third warmest summer globally, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The summer of 1998 was the warmest on record, 0.64C (1.15F) warmer than 2006. For the year to date, January-August, 2006 ranks as the 6th warmest such period globally.

Arctic sea ice recovers a bit
June and July saw the record lowest amount of Arctic sea ice ever recorded for those months, due to unusually warm conditions near the North Pole. However, temperatures near the pole were 1 to 2C cooler than average in August, which slowed down the melting rate. Arctic sea ice extent for August was slightly higher than the record low August coverage measured in 2005.

Tonight: the Barometer Bob Show
I'll be a guest once more tonight on the Barometer Bob Show. Bob will be interviewing me about my flight into Hurricane Hugo with the Hurricane Hunters 17 years ago. I'm lucky to be alive to tell the story!

Jeff Masters

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124. MTJax
4:01 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
StormW THANK YOU. Now I need antoher cup of coffee. I Cant even find 29W. Sheesh. Thats what I get for not reading before hitting the post button.
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123. WPBHurricane05
12:03 PM EDT on September 21, 2006
new reading....were now down to 97!! the cool front did make it!
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122. fran1983
12:00 PM EDT on September 21, 2006
Does anyone know how they name tropical systems in the different basins? ex 99L or 6-C, etc.

thanks,
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121. Melagoo
4:00 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
That isn't a front it's a hurricane broom ... I think the USA bought from HAARP LOL!
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118. WPBHurricane05
11:56 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
from that picture MTJax posted i see that "cool" front made its way past here, right now my thermometer is reporting a very cold temperature of 98, temperature and pressure according to it is riding, nice "cool" front here
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117. ILoveHurricanes
3:56 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Does anyone think that Helene could possibly "weather" this front and then restrengthen and head back NW to the NE coast of the US? Has that ever happened? Considering she did move a little west this last update....
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116. MTJax
3:44 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Here is the 12UTC surface analysis. The wave in front of 96L is marked as DSIPT now. That is updated from the 06UTC.

Before we write everything as going north, please review the location of the ITCZ on the analysis. The GFS very well could be right in taking the next one (97L?) to CONUS

12UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS
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115. Melagoo
3:53 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Looks like Yagi is going to be closer to Japan than they expected

Link
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113. ricderr
11:49 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
ok.....plane delayed.doing the great military hurry up and wait...dang good at it by now...but..i wanted to post ST's record for the week of 9/17:
gordon to be a fishstorm...0 for 1
helene to be fish storm...inconclusive at this time but probably right...we'll give it 1 for 2
helene to travel north on monday...oops..1 for 3
helene to pass no closer than 600 miles to bermuda...another oops..1 for 4...
helene to be dead on tuesday.....real stupid..1 for 5
so..conclusion...1 for 5 is a good week for stormtop...he's offered to teach class...
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112. WPBHurricane05
11:53 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
no Zaphod lol,

i can watch the space shuttle launch, it doesnt launch in my front yard
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109. Melagoo
3:50 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Yagi is very Powerful 130+ knots

yagi
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107. WPBHurricane05
11:48 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
ive been to KSC, and seen numerouse launches in my front yard
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106. Zaphod
3:45 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
It was my 18 b-day we went there casue i like space i dont work there

Well, that would be a cool place to visit. I've been to the center in Houston, and the space museum in Huntville, but not KSC.

Zap
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104. WPBHurricane05
11:44 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
am I the only one from Florida this afternoon/late morning, gosh only 15 minutes till noon
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103. ILoveHurricanes
3:43 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Does anyone think that Helene could possibly "weather" this front and then restrengthen and head back NW to the NE coast of the US? Has that ever happened? Considering she did move a little west this last update....
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101. WPBHurricane05
11:42 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
Cybr you work at KSC??

how was the shuttle landing there?
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100. CybrTeddy
3:42 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: Zaphod at 3:41 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

Hmmm....I find the dialog here disquieting. Today I learn that Cybr works at KSC. Yesterday it was cyclonebuster or somebody working in a nuke plant control room. I'm not sure this increases my sense of the world being secure and orderly.
Zap

It was my 18 b-day we went there casue i like space i dont work there
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99. WPBHurricane05
11:41 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
i know how to make him re-appear

StormTop StormTop StormTop
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98. WPBHurricane05
11:40 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
Must be still gargling with Kerosene to get the crow taste out...

LoL
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97. Zaphod
3:27 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Hmmm....I find the dialog here disquieting. Today I learn that Cybr works at KSC. Yesterday it was cyclonebuster or somebody working in a nuke plant control room. I'm not sure this increases my sense of the world being secure and orderly.
Zap
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96. jake436
3:39 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
I already let him know, and surprisingly, he hasn't responded since....

Must be still gargling with Kerosene to get the crow taste out...
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94. jake436
3:34 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 3:34 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

here you go ST:

AT 1100 AM AST...1500Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE HELENE WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 29.6 NORTH...LONGITUDE 56.9 WEST OR ABOUT 505 MILES...
810 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA.

looks closer than 600 miles to me



I already let him know, and surprisingly, he hasn't responded since....
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91. jake436
3:33 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: saddlegait at 3:31 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

WPB - please let me extend an invitation for you to come to Brundidge, AL with your little squirter thingee.


Do what?!
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90. WPBHurricane05
11:33 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
here you go ST:

AT 1100 AM AST...1500Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE HELENE WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 29.6 NORTH...LONGITUDE 56.9 WEST OR ABOUT 505 MILES...
810 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA.


looks closer than 600 miles to me
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88. WPBHurricane05
11:31 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
and Alabama, and everyone else i forgot
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87. WPBHurricane05
11:29 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
and Mississippi and Ft. Lauderdale, and Key West

sorry Jake i was just trying to sum it up real quick, easiest thing for me to type was NOLA and Miami, trust me I know how it is, i know somebody who has familly in Miss.
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84. WPBHurricane05
11:27 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
if the WPB stands for West Palm Beach

yes it does
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83. jake436
3:27 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
although poor Miami, and NOLA

Yeah, I guess we didn't get anything in Mississippi....
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81. jake436
3:23 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 3:22 PM GMT on September 21, 2006.

the August cold front of '04 that preceded Ivan, Jeanne, and Frances

i can tell you it wasnt so cold, those where the days, now i have a generator with an AC unit, hasnt really gotten a run since it was cold after Wilma


That front didn't quite make it to you, if the WPB stands for West Palm Beach. But I know a lot of people after Katrina and Rita would've loved that A/C. I had a generator dedicated to the window unit from my shed which we placed in the den.(the window unit, not the generator, no generators inside please.)
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80. Zaphod
3:22 PM GMT on September 21, 2006
Impressive, we've gone from wishcasting to delusion of grandeur. Are we sure we're all psychologically healthy this morning?

I've given up on having the weather match my daily moods (though the converse still seems attainable). I do wish I had appropriate mood music follow me around -- not elevator music, but epic music like in Wuthering Heights.



"Because he was human
Because he had goodness
Because he was moral
They called him insane
Delusions of grandeur
Visions of splendor
A manic depressive
He walks in the rain"

Zap

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76. WPBHurricane05
11:23 AM EDT on September 21, 2006
Cybr,

thanks for the SW jog! you spared me!! it was suppose to go right over my house but when you did that, all i got was a little rain, although poor Miami, and NOLA
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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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