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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723. Tazmanian
7:15 PM PDT on September 21, 2006
96L is makeing a come back tonight
96
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722. SemperScopusPrimus
2:15 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Great story Dr. Masters!
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718. iyou
2:12 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Hair-raising story Dr. Masters!
I can't wait to read the reporter's article now!!
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714. Skyepony (Mod)
2:06 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Another great show Jeff!
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713. 0741
2:06 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
their talking to ploit of that fight now on show
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712. jake436
2:05 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Yeah, great story Doc.
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711. Skyepony (Mod)
2:04 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Oh they got the piolet on the p-3 just call in to the show.
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710. Patrap
2:03 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
..Nice shots of the damage..and a great pic of the Funnel...saw them in the Gallery today earlier..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
707. ProgressivePulse
2:04 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Kudos Jeff! Great Site! Great Info! Write a book my friend, BESTSELLER!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
706. code1
8:52 PM CDT on September 21, 2006
Thanks Dr. M for the audio of your trip. Unbelievable that you all made it!!!
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704. jake436
2:00 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Posted By: hurricane23 at 1:58 AM GMT on September 22, 2006.

Jake436 i justed rated your pics a 10...Awsome pic on that waterspout. Adrian


Thanks Adrian, that was a fishing trip gone bad! Glad I got the shot, though, before hauling it out of there. the thing actually formed about 1/2 mile away. At first, we didn't know what it was, because no funnel existed. Just had white spray just above the surface. But once the funnel started building, we moved back, then stopped and took some pics, and left.
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700. ProgressivePulse
1:59 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
The Bamms do however spark my interest in the High pressure setup next week!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
699. jake436
1:58 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
I don't believe they had a chance if that plane went down. Waves had to be 40-50 feet or better. All the training in the world won't help you then.
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698. hurricane23
9:57 PM EDT on September 21, 2006
Jake436 i justed rated your pics a 10...Awsome pic on that waterspout. Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
697. ezmarelda
1:57 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Like I said... the music on this blog is GREAT!
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696. ProgressivePulse
1:55 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
The Bamms do spark my interest more in the modeled building high next week though!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
694. ihave27windows
1:55 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Ez, that's an old Charley Pride song....I also think Doug Kershaw recorded it as well.

It's called Lousiana Man.
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693. jake436
1:53 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Posted By: Patrap at 1:44 AM GMT on September 22, 2006.

..LOL.Jake..I got some Venice pics posted on the blog from 94...Tiger Pass


Hey Patrap. I posted some pics today. Go check them out and tell me what you think.
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692. ProgressivePulse
1:53 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Majors are tightly clustered, no worries there with Helene!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
691. ezmarelda
1:53 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
At first mom and papa called their little boy Ned...

That's a new one for me, IH27W. Can I get a title and artist?

I loves da cajun music.
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689. jake436
1:47 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Posted By: floridafisherman at 1:43 AM GMT on September 22, 2006.

hmm jake i wouldve thought that all the fresh water from the mississippi would kill the fishing in that area. u must fish the backbays then where the fresh water doesnt impact it as much


Redfish thrive in brackish water, and besides that, saltwater is heavier than fresh, and will actually flow UP the river, especially at this time of year, when river is low. This year, river has been low all year. I have seen green water in the river as far north as Luling, probably 120 miles by water up the river, and people frequently catch sharks further south in the river, as well as many other saltwater species. Don't forget that river pours nutrients, on which the fish thrive. Did you know that BASS tourneys in LA always see competitors headed to Venice? Like I said, Disneyworld for fisherman. A couple of years ago during a FLW redfish event in MOBILE, AL, the winner drove his bayboat all the was to Venice, which only left him about 2 hrs of fishing time. But he knew it was worth it.
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688. LowerCal
1:52 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Posted By: crazybowler at 1:36 AM GMT on September 22, 2006.

Ok why doesn't Helene just throw out the white flag and give up lol. Now why do i see new models turning her around? any reasons i would really like to know.


Maybe they want to recycle. ;-)

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685. ProgressivePulse
1:48 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
30 degrees sucks!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
684. 0741
1:47 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
what model show helene making loop?
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683. ProgressivePulse
1:46 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Captivated to say the least!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
682. CybrTeddy
1:46 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
My new blogs up come on over
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681. ProgressivePulse
1:44 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Well u mmmmmm duh!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
680. Patrap
1:45 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
..1 of crew Boat ..near the Dock..and 1 on the rig..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
679. sandcrab39565
8:44 PM CDT on September 21, 2006
OK nite all another work day tomorrow and to all a good nite.
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678. thelmores
1:43 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
wind speeds 170mph to 70mph in 7 seconds in a plane! and the "vortex" all at the same time!

wowsa!!!
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677. Patrap
1:43 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
..LOL.Jake..I got some Venice pics posted on the blog from 94...Tiger Pass
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
676. floridafisherman
1:41 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
hmm jake i wouldve thought that all the fresh water from the mississippi would kill the fishing in that area. u must fish the backbays then where the fresh water doesnt impact it as much
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675. jake436
1:42 AM GMT on September 22, 2006
Yeah this is better than just reading it on the blog. What a story.
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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.