Quiet tropics; update on Bill Proenza's doings

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on June 22, 2007

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The tropical Atlantic is quiet today. The low pressure system over northern Florida that brought rain to the state Thursday has moved out to sea and weakened. Wind shear is high over this low, sea surface temperatures beneath it are cool, and I don't expect any development. None of the computer models are showing any tropical development over the next week. Our best chance of a new threat area to watch may not occur until the next strong cold front pushes off the U.S. East Coast. The long range GFS model forecast expects this to happen around Saturday June 30.

Bill Proenza news
In the absence of much to talk about in the tropics, we can always talk about the latest on new NHC director Bill Proenza. The View from the Surface blog is keeping up with the latest. Last night, I listened in to Proenza's comments on the Barometer Bob Show, an Internet radio show. I asked him where he got his numbers of 16% and 10% improvement for 72-hour and 49-hour hurricane track forecasts made using QuikSCAT satellite data (his boss, acting NWS director Mary Glackin, said "I'm not willing to stand by those numbers.") Proenza cited a study done of hurricane tracks from 2003 that showed these improvements, and Margie Kieper is working on getting a copy of this study for the View From the Surface blog. Margie came across a 2006 study which shows that for one storm studied (Hurricane Cindy of 1999), inclusion of QuikSCAT data improved track forecasts at 24 hours and 48 hours by 30-50% (Figure 1). There is also a 2007 study which showed improvements of 25%-50% for 24 hour - 48 hour model track forecasts of 2002's Hurricane Isidore using QuikSCAT data vs. no QuikSCAT data (Figure 2). We'll have more on the ongoing Bill Proenza hullaballo next week, with more info on just how important QuikSCAT is to hurricane forecasting.


Figure 1. Forecast error in the track of Hurricane Cindy (1999) with and without using QuikSCAT data. Image credit: NOAA. Data taken from the 2006 paper, The use of remotely sensed data and innovative modeling to improve hurricane prediction, by Robert Atlas, O. Reale, B-W. Shen, and S-J. Lin.


Figure 2. Forecast error in the track of Hurricane Isidore (2002) with and without using QuikSCAT data. Image credit: American Meteorological Society, "The Impact of Assimilating SSM/I and QuikSCAT Satellite Winds on Hurricane Isidore Simulations", by Shu-Hua Chen. Monthly Weather Review 135, issue 2, pp 549-566, February 2007.

Jeff Masters

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375. watchinwxnwpb
3:54 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Thanks Texas! Not really knowledgeable about this stuff yet.
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374. HurricaneGeek
3:54 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Welcome!!
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370. ryang
3:50 PM AST on June 23, 2007
has anybody heard from wishcasterboy recently?

No... This was his last blog.
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368. HurricaneGeek
3:49 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Hey, you can tell that the convection from the wave off of Africa is taking the shape of the outline of the dust. Its interesting
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366. watchinwxnwpb
3:45 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Afternoon All! Question for anyone... of course I know the answers will be based on speculation, but, what if the A/B high locks in where it is now or doesn't move significantly East, what does this mean for the east coast or gulf states? Does anyone think we could see a repeat of '04 or record breaking '05? Thank You in advance!
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365. stoormfury
7:49 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Link
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
362. ryang
3:47 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Also what does this place have to do with the atlantic?

quebec fires
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360. ryang
3:44 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Look at floater 4... Why do they have test?
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359. stoormfury
7:43 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
THIS IS THE PICTURE OF THE AFRICAN WAVE.



href="http://www.meteo.psu.edu/%7Egadomski/SAT_TROPATLEAST/recentir.html" target="_blank">Link
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
357. Antivanity
7:28 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
here is a nice smooth loop of waves off Africa Link
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356. ryang
3:36 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Why do they have floaters up??

Link
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351. louastu
7:30 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Anyway, I have to go now. I might get on later.
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350. louastu
7:23 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Ok..... I can't imagine what international issue would prevent them from letting us see imagery from a weather sattelite every 30 - 60 minutes. If it had the resolution to see people going about their daily lives (or even just a few buildings), then I could understand it.
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344. louastu
7:20 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Here is a loop of the wave. I highly recommend excluding the first 7 frames and slowing the animation speed.

Link
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343. pottery2
3:13 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Looking at the latest Sahara Air Layer anaysis image, the cloud of SAL is moving west very quickly ??
Kind of hoping something pushes it north before it gets to 60w.!!
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342. louastu
7:11 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Yup, it worked. To me, the wave looks a little less organized than it did earlier. I really wish that sattelite imagery for that part of the world was an image every hour instead of an image every 6 hours.
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337. louastu
6:51 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
It would probably be easier not to use the image button. I have never used it to post an image (mostly because I could never figure it out... lol).

To post an image just type in (img src="image URL"). Remember to replace the parentheses with the left and right facing arrows. To see if it will work, use the "preview comment" button before posting.
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336. Patrap
1:54 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
This is the NWS on the view...Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
334. C2News
6:53 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
A new blog I have started
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332. Patrap
1:52 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
GOES-12 GOM IR loop
Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
330. Patrap
1:50 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
WAVCIS shows the wave crossing

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
326. ryang
2:42 PM AST on June 23, 2007
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.