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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176. TheCaneWhisperer
10:58 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Rain! Your Lucky. Dry as a bone here today and yesterday and the day before.
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175. TheCaneWhisperer
10:57 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Evening Boynton!
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172. sporteguy03
2:51 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Mine is easy there will be a hurricane between now and November, not a hybrid or sub tropical but a pure tropical hurricane :)
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170. lightning10
2:43 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Not a drop of rain since April 20th where 1.00 inch of rain fell. Total rain fall from July 1st of 06- Today 3.53 inches. Not expecting any for the next 10-15 days. Monsoon well east of even the local mountains and deserts, as a parade of weak fronts push any moisture well into AZ and New Mexico.
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169. BoyntonBeach
2:41 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Jedkins ! Mine was short lived ! But RAIN nevertheless !!!!

hey Cane !
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168. lightning10
2:39 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Well if this La Nina doesnt kick up then there might be hope afterall for rain this Winter in the Southwest. The only good thing La Nina brings is one or two cold snaps.
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167. sporteguy03
2:39 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Thanks Michael
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166. TheCaneWhisperer
10:31 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 9:47 PM EDT on June 22, 2007.
Either way i think 10-15 named storms sounds reasonable to me.Whether or not they strike land will be the issue therefore we must prepare no matter what the predictions say.

So 50% chance of above normal and 50% chance for below normal! Don't get any splinters from the fence.
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165. highndry1
2:35 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Anyway, as I posted before, for those of you interested in the othedr two elemental forces, fire and earth - which evidenntly includes me and only me but I digress - the continuing eruptioon at Kilauea has stopped and another eruption has started halfway up the mountain. Just trying to send some prope to the HGVO.
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164. Jedkins
2:36 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
torrential rain and nonstop lightning with wind gusts 30 to 40 mph range now
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162. highndry1
2:32 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Hey Wilkes-Barre is a fun town. I enjoyed a really good cigar there while the missus was antiquing.
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161. sporteguy03
2:31 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Wilies-Barre, PA? Thats in the NE Corner flooded out as well as Scranton and Hazleton
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160. Hellsniper223
2:29 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
03, that's 'cause next month we'll see a cat 6 in the gulf... Most likely on track for New orleans.

It's written in stone!

Trust me on that.
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159. Jedkins
2:29 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
thousands of lightning strikes here, impressive classic Florida thunderstorms, they have also produced flooding just to my east as well.

I'm lovin this.
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158. BahaHurican
9:50 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
This week marks the anniversary of horrific hurricane "Agnes" in 1972. This was a very interesting tropical cyclone not to mention very damaging. In the end, there were 117 deaths & $3.1 billion of damage -- the costliest U.S. hurricane up to that time -- primarily due to massive inland flooding after landfall in the Florida Panhandle (Florida: 9 dead, $8 million in damage). The hurricane's circulation was huge over the Gulf of Mexico & the system remained very well organized upon landfall &, in fact, all the way up the Eastern seaboard until it made a slow loop right over Pennsylvania where some of the worst flooding occurred.

Interesting. I recently read a piece about the extensive flooding in the Wilkesboro, PA area that resulted from this storm.
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157. sporteguy03
2:29 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
yeah I know that but there was some other study done...I thought and Tom Terry was right on Barry
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156. sporteguy03
2:27 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
It seems too quiet in both the EPAC and ATL
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154. sporteguy03
2:26 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Isn't there a study that if there is less EPAC storms more ATL storms happen?
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152. sporteguy03
2:25 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Why no Activity in the EPAC?
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151. Jedkins
2:22 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
massive thunderstorm headed right for me, third thunderstorm of the day with 20% rain chances, go figure! LOL
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150. Jedkins
2:21 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
getting tons of lightning just to my east
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149. BoyntonBeach
1:58 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
and it's RAINING !
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144. hurricane23
21:50 EDT le 22 juin 2007
On another note the report for barry came out earlier today and its winds were increased to 60mph and a weak TD undergoing extratropical characteristics at landfall.

Full report here.

In my opinion there's no doupt this was a pure tropical cyclone at one time the main questions to me were at landfall.
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141. hurricane23
21:44 EDT le 22 juin 2007
Either way i think 10-15 named storms sounds reasonable to me.Whether or not they strike land will be the issue therefore we must prepare no matter what the predictions say.
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137. hurricane23
21:40 EDT le 22 juin 2007
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
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136. BoyntonBeach
1:40 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Temperature dropping....
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134. hurricane23
21:38 EDT le 22 juin 2007
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129. hurricane23
21:20 EDT le 22 juin 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 21:17 EDT le 22 juin 2007.

why would you say that Adrian?

Check your mail JP...
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128. BoyntonBeach
1:18 AM GMT on June 23, 2007
Cell approaching....lots of lightning happening...
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126. hurricane23
21:12 EDT le 22 juin 2007
Actually its looking less likely were going to see a nina at all this season to be honest.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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