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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276. TheCaneWhisperer
11:02 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
First time I seen that FLBoy! Makes sense.
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275. Patrap
10:08 AM CDT on June 23, 2007
Tropical Basin WV loop..

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128259
273. Patrap
10:03 AM CDT on June 23, 2007
The GFSx shows the scenario of concern...
Link
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272. Patrap
10:02 AM CDT on June 23, 2007


Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
432 am CDT Sat Jun 23 2007


Short term...
from today on...we should see more moisture gathering beneath the
upper Montana high centered near NE Mexico. A weak upper trough is
located over the eastern Gulf.


The deep moisture line located from the northwest Yucatan to the fla Keys is
moving this way at about 15 knots. The line will reach our
shoreline early Monday. Heres the kicker...a convective middle to low
level circulation developed yesterday over the northwest Caribbean. This
can be seen with the 3.9-11um Sat imagery located at about 19.2n
84.2w. The very weak circulation was in an area conducive to
development yesterday and early this morning. But today it will
move northwest into a very inhospitable area as it subducts the upper
trough over the eastern Gulf. We should then see this large area
circulation fairly well as it harmlessly move northwest across the Gulf.
The line of deep moisture and the small circulation are headed northwest
at about 15 knots with the little swirl around 12 hours behind.


The reason we are mentioning this is due to the GFS solution in
developing a large area of quantitative precipitation forecast over the btr mcb areas by Monday
evening. The GFS has been showing this as a trend for three
consecutive runs and when looking where this disturbance is
coming from...it looks to be the little disturbance behind the
leading moisture line. The GFS is showing the leading edge of deep
moisture moving ashore Monday morning and 12 hours later brings
the small circulation into shore. The problem is that for the most
part of its path across the Gulf...the atmosphere is hostile and
shear profiles do not support development. But this changes as the
area begins to subduct the upper Montana high which by that time will
have ridged well into the central Gulf Coast. The GFS shows this
very well in trying to quickly develop the system as it is barely
offshore by Monday morning through afternoon. But all is too late
as the area moves onshore before significant deepening can occur.


Model solutions change quite a bit over time and this will be no
exception. But the GFS is initializing fairly well this morning.
The biggest concern by Monday evening and Tuesday is with rainfall
amounts if this scenario occurs like advertised. The fact is the
system is several days out and a lot can change by then so we will
simply slip pop numbers up by 10% for Monday night for this. But
will leave any categorical probability of precipitation to be determined by later shifts
as we get closer to the time.
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271. kingstaggi
2:52 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
flboy-
where did you find that nws report from lake charles? link please
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270. kmanislander
2:57 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
The odd thing though is that even with all that dust around there is still a lot of moisture in the atmosphere in the C and E ATL.

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268. kmanislander
2:50 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Good morning all

It looks as if the wave that just came off Africa is about to be stifled by SAL.
It does look impressive though for June
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267. TheCaneWhisperer
10:44 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
Usually by the 28th of July Gainsville but, could happen sooner. Most of the posts your reading are based on models. When Dr. Masters made that comment and right now, the high is in it's normal position. The models are predicting this to change dramatically over the next week or two. This time of year, once a pattern sets up, it is hard to break. It would take a significant event , like the model pressure forcast next week, to change things. On the flip side, it would take a significant trough to change things back if the high does set up that way, neither of which are a for sure thing.
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266. TheCaneWhisperer
10:38 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
I would think so STL but, there are so many other factors that go into the equation.
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265. Patrap
9:40 AM CDT on June 23, 2007
Purdue/UNISYS
NORTH ATLANTIC IMAGERY

Link
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264. GainesvilleGator
2:33 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Hey CanWhisperer, would you say the Bermuda High will be locked in about 3 weeks from now? That would be July 14th. Dr. Masters said a few weeks ago in his post that the Bermuda High was in its normal position for this time of the year. Most of the posts I have seen on here have commented that is is further South & West of the normal position.
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263. TheCaneWhisperer
10:30 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
Ha Ha! I know, right. I don't like to see it either but, not much we can do about it except be prepared. Pretty far off in the models, I like to see it to believe it or at least be able to look at a satellite loop and anticipate the changes.
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262. nash28
2:34 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Cane- I was commenting a couple of weeks ago that it appeared that our pattern was beginning to look similar to 2004. Bridging of the Highs and flanked further SWWD, basically blocking any recurvature out to sea. I hope that doesn't come to fruition.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
258. TheCaneWhisperer
10:24 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
Almost looks like the atlantic high wants to bridge with the west coast high, hopefully that doesn't happen. I was reading, that happened in 2005 and caused the picture perfect conditions.
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257. TheCaneWhisperer
10:13 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
GFS is now on board with the massive takeover of High Pressure! Say adios to the semi-permanent troughs on the east coast and the weakness in the C-Atl if this happens! This time of year, it would be hard to break that pattern. Looks like the beginning of our set-up for this season IMO.
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256. pottery2
10:15 AM AST on June 23, 2007
Thats a good editorial comment. It shows that, from time to time, the media can indeed cut throuhg the sensational dross, and get to the relevant aspect of the thing.
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254. MisterPerfect
2:14 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Yessir CaneWhisp, high shear over Florida is chopping the heads off anything from organizing...looks like a clean week.
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253. TheCaneWhisperer
10:09 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
Yes MP! There is a low pressure system inland over central mexico kicking up the winds in the Caribb, ripped it apart! Looks like the low starts to clear out towards the run, relaxing the shear a bit.
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250. MisterPerfect
2:08 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Big deal, so the guy opens his yap too much. He's not a puppet like Mayfield and Sheets from the past. I haven't even seen him in action yet! Not that we want to be threatened by a biggie... Let Proenza do his job for God's Sake!!!
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249. ryang
10:06 AM AST on June 23, 2007
did that carribean blob break up last night?

Yes MP
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248. seflagamma
10:05 AM AST on June 23, 2007
has anyone posted the latest info about the on going NHC & NOAA? This was in our editoral section this morning:

Storm Season




South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

June 23, 2007



ISSUE: Weather officials debate satellite.

Here's what federal officials ought to really focus on: Does Bill Proenza run the all-important National Hurricane Center effectively? When storms whip up in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, does Proenza guide his staff, and civilian populations, through those tempests?

Because, in the final analysis, that's what really counts, at least for South Floridians and others in the tropics.

Right now, however, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials are spending way too much time worried about what Proenza says publicly.

The ruckus basically started when Proenza spoke out about the need to replace a weather satellite, QuikSCAT. Proenza says the satellite needs to be replaced to give storm forecasters the best possible data and analysis.

NOAA officials, however, say that while QuikSCAT is a valuable tool, it's not completely indispensable. Mary Glackin, acting director of the National Weather Service, points out there are myriad other gauges and instruments that can help supplement hurricane charting if QuikSCAT fails.

OK, so, he said, she said.

It's a healthy debate, and the fact that it's been carried out in public is the democratic way. However, when the debate careens toward speculation about Proenza leaving his post, or being fired, things start getting out of control.

Folks in the general public at least those following this give-and-take might be wondering if all this indicates that NWS people don't have enough to do when there aren't hurricanes. They do, of course, because they must keep their eyes on lots of different weather and climatological patterns.

Sure, debate the need for a satellite, quietly and not so quietly. But Proenza's job security must depend on how well he does when the storms are swirling and headed for cities and towns in harm's way. That moment may soon be upon us all.

Everything else is, well, politics.

BOTTOM LINE: What matters most is how Proenza runs the hurricane center.


Copyright 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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247. pottery2
10:04 AM AST on June 23, 2007
LOL Caymanite. Have a good one........
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246. MisterPerfect
2:03 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
BTW, did that carribean blob break up last night?
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245. MisterPerfect
2:02 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Awesome bro, I'm gonna make my tee time then..thanks!
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244. TheCaneWhisperer
10:00 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
Not for a while Mister Perfect! Mid 90's, MUGGY and dry as a bone all weekend. No rain to speak of until the middle of next week.
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243. MisterPerfect
1:59 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Whats up weatherheads!

How are we looking in South Florida today?

Any rain in sight
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242. TheCaneWhisperer
9:59 AM EDT on June 23, 2007
Morning All! Interesting feature coming off Africa! Not much help in the way of moisture out there, even in the ITCZ. SHEAR ahead of it, in the near term, isn't to bad but, as you get further into the C-ATL is degrades quickly. Another "POOF" on the horizon, climatology favors this, and so do I.
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241. Caymanite
1:53 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Hi Pottery, you should know that we islanders are a tough lot and dont run and sell out easily. Good try though. ROMAL
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240. ryang
9:50 AM AST on June 23, 2007
No problem StormW!!
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239. ryang
9:48 AM AST on June 23, 2007
Pottery, we had rain yesterday evening, an upper level trough is forecasted to enchance the actvity associated with the wave pottery, enjoy the rain...

I will...
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236. moonlightcowboy
1:44 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Good morning! Eyes not open good yet. Is the Caribbean blob doing anything, or did it wind up fishin'? Anything, anywhere?
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235. pottery2
9:42 AM AST on June 23, 2007
Hi Ryang. We have not had a shower of rain for 10 days, and the combination of dust and sun is drying the place up again.
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233. weathers4me
1:33 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Jed: Still no rain here S of you in Brad. Glad you guys got soaked last night.
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232. ryang
9:34 AM AST on June 23, 2007
Hey All...

Yes pottery, that wave at 46 west will enchance showers and thunderstorms...
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231. pottery2
9:29 AM AST on June 23, 2007
The forecast for Trinidad is for thunderstorms from Sunday evening, through tuesday. Looking forward to that !
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230. Patrap
8:22 AM CDT on June 23, 2007
The GFSx shows the moisture in Louisiana ..Link
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229. pottery2
9:20 AM AST on June 23, 2007
FLboy, its from spending all those years watching lumps of clay go round and round and round......
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227. Randyman
1:09 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
FXUS64 KLIX 230932
AFDLIX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
432 AM CDT SAT JUN 23 2007

.SHORT TERM...
FROM TODAY ON...WE SHOULD SEE MORE MOISTURE GATHERING BENEATH THE
UPPER MT HIGH CENTERED NEAR NE MEXICO. A WEAK UPPER TROUGH IS
LOCATED OVER THE EASTERN GULF.

THE DEEP MOISTURE LINE LOCATED FROM THE NW YUCATAN TO THE FLA KEYS IS
MOVING THIS WAY AT ABOUT 15 KNOTS. THE LINE WILL REACH OUR
SHORELINE EARLY MONDAY. HERES THE KICKER...A CONVECTIVE MID TO LOW
LEVEL CIRCULATION DEVELOPED YESTERDAY OVER THE NW CARIBBEAN. THIS
CAN BE SEEN WITH THE 3.9-11UM SAT IMAGERY LOCATED AT ABOUT 19.2N
84.2W. THE VERY WEAK CIRCULATION WAS IN AN AREA CONDUCIVE TO
DEVELOPMENT YESTERDAY AND EARLY THIS MORNING. BUT TODAY IT WILL
MOVE NW INTO A VERY INHOSPITABLE AREA AS IT SUBDUCTS THE UPPER
TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN GULF. WE SHOULD THEN SEE THIS LARGE AREA
CIRCULATION FAIRLY WELL AS IT HARMLESSLY MOVE NW ACROSS THE GULF.
THE LINE OF DEEP MOISTURE AND THE SMALL CIRCULATION ARE HEADED NW
AT ABOUT 15 KNOTS WITH THE LITTLE SWIRL AROUND 12 HOURS BEHIND.

THE REASON WE ARE MENTIONING THIS IS DUE TO THE GFS SOLUTION IN
DEVELOPING A LARGE AREA OF QPF OVER THE BTR MCB AREAS BY MONDAY
EVENING. THE GFS HAS BEEN SHOWING THIS AS A TREND FOR THREE
CONSECUTIVE RUNS AND WHEN LOOKING WHERE THIS DISTURBANCE IS
COMING FROM...IT LOOKS TO BE THE LITTLE DISTURBANCE BEHIND THE
LEADING MOISTURE LINE. THE GFS IS SHOWING THE LEADING EDGE OF DEEP
MOISTURE MOVING ASHORE MONDAY MORNING AND 12 HOURS LATER BRINGS
THE SMALL CIRCULATION INTO SHORE. THE PROBLEM IS THAT FOR THE MOST
PART OF ITS PATH ACROSS THE GULF...THE ATMOSPHERE IS HOSTILE AND
SHEAR PROFILES DO NOT SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT. BUT THIS CHANGES AS THE
AREA BEGINS TO SUBDUCT THE UPPER MT HIGH WHICH BY THAT TIME WILL
HAVE RIDGED WELL INTO THE CENTRAL GULF COAST. THE GFS SHOWS THIS
VERY WELL IN TRYING TO QUICKLY DEVELOP THE SYSTEM AS IT IS BARELY
OFFSHORE BY MONDAY MORNING THROUGH AFTERNOON. BUT ALL IS TOO LATE
AS THE AREA MOVES ONSHORE BEFORE SIGNIFICANT DEEPENING CAN OCCUR.

MODEL SOLUTIONS CHANGE QUITE A BIT OVER TIME AND THIS WILL BE NO
EXCEPTION. BUT THE GFS IS INITIALIZING FAIRLY WELL THIS MORNING.
THE BIGGEST CONCERN BY MONDAY EVENING AND TUESDAY IS WITH RAINFALL
AMOUNTS IF THIS SCENARIO OCCURS LIKE ADVERTISED. THE FACT IS THE
SYSTEM IS SEVERAL DAYS OUT AND A LOT CAN CHANGE BY THEN SO WE WILL
SIMPLY SLIP POP NUMBERS UP BY 10% FOR MONDAY NIGHT FOR THIS. BUT
WILL LEAVE ANY CATEGORICAL POPS TO BE DETERMINED BY LATER SHIFTS
AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE TIME.

.LONG TERM...
UPPER MT HIGH WILL STAY OVER THE AREA THROUGH MUCH OF THE WEEK
KEEPING A DAILY CHANCE OF SH/TS.

&&

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226. pottery2
9:03 AM AST on June 23, 2007
Re; my post on losing 7 points, it does seem that the Carib system was the result of a wave that passed through Trinidad earlier, and I did say then that if it got to 70w it would be interesting to see what it did. I just got back my 7 points. I'm thinking of going into politics.......
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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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