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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76. nash28
7:38 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
I just got back to my desk. Have been away for a few hours. Looks like a new burst on convection has fired up on the northern side of the Caribbean blob.
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73. MarcKeys
7:23 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Glad to see all is quiet. Even more important that the track is the strength models. Any news on whether the strength forecasts will be improving?
Key Largo Fishing
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72. kmanislander
7:11 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Convection from the Caribbean disturbance now at 20 N
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71. Patrap
1:35 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
2:30 p.m. - With less than 15 minutes left to go before the deorbit burn, Mission Control is in constant communication with astronaut Scott Altman, who is flying the Shuttle Training Aircraft, regarding the weather at Edwards.

2:23 p.m. - There are less than 20 minutes until the deorbit burn for Atlantis. The orbiter is being reoriented so its tail is in the direction of travel.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
70. hcubed
6:27 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
I DID use the minus - but I think this is the same person that gets banned every two or three days. It can't be a paid member - no one who pays would risk being booted.
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69. Patrap
1:22 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
GOM IR loop

Link
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66. stormpetrol
6:12 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Weather has played a part is every space shuttle launch or landing so weather plays its part in that regard. Let's all wish the crew a safe return to Earth.
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63. weathermanwannabe
1:59 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Hey...Checking in today after being in a wait and see posture on the SW disturbance yesterday; I see from Dr. Master's report that the disturbance did fizzle out so to speak...The only point where I am a bit perpexed (and I apologize if you all discussed it this morning) is Dr. M's assertion that we may not see another potential threat until we see another strong "cold front" push off the US. I through this was supposed to be summer and that the "winter" trofs do not normally begin to drop down until August and September (when they often "sweep" threats away from the US)....Am I missing something?
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62. Patrap
1:07 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
NORTH ATLANTIC IMAGERY



Northwest Atlantic Infrared Satellite ImageLink
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61. Patrap
1:06 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group - Home
Space Shuttle Weather Shuttle/ELV Launch Landing Forecast



Link
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60. ClearH2OFla
2:01 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Hey all at work any thing of note out there
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58. Patrap
12:56 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
The Edwards landing opportunity is at 3:49 p.m.EDT , with the deorbit occurring at 2:43EDT p.m
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57. Patrap
12:51 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
Mid-range groundtrack for Edwards First attempt.Those in Southern California..may get the show.

Link

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56. Patrap
12:51 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
Atlantis has waved off for the KSC attempt.They now targeting Edwards....
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55. Altestic87
1:45 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
I'll give it a four percent chance of developing into a depression in the next 48 hours
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54. HurricaneGeek
1:47 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
I see very low shear in the GOM
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53. HurricaneGeek
1:46 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
THanks for the link kmanislander
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51. groundswell
5:23 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
System in Caribbean looks like it might just zip up into the Gulf in a developing state. Shear isn't too bad and water vapor imagery shows potential.
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50. Patrap
12:12 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
NASA landing blog....Link
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49. Patrap
12:11 PM CDT on June 22, 2007
Uncooperative weather at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., forced flight controllers to pass on STS-117s first landing attempt today. The crew and the Mission Control team have turned their attention to the next orbit, which has opportunities available in Florida and at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Kennedy is the primary site and the next landing opportunity at the Florida spaceport is at 3:55 p.m. EDT. If flight controllers select this option, Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault will perform the deorbit engine burn at 2:50 p.m. to begin the descent to Florida. The Edwards landing opportunity is at 3:49, with the deorbit occurring at 2:43.

Rain showers were the reason for the wave off of the first landing attempt at Kennedy. Flight controllers and forecasters with the Spaceflight Meteorology Group continue to monitor the weather at both landing facilities. Two more opportunities 5:23 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. -- are available today at Edwards.
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48. StormJunkie
5:09 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Bugs blog, paying respect to our fallen fire fighters...

Hard to keep the tears away here today...
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47. TheCaneWhisperer
12:58 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Very interesting Kris! Although the Bermuda High doesn't really lock in until early to mid-july, these could be signs of where it might want to call home.
46. MTJax
5:03 PM GMT 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. Interestingly, 1972 had a very low number of named storms -- just 4 -- & the next named storm, "Betty", did not develop until Aug. 22. Go to the USA Today for eyewitness accounts of "Agnes": http://www.usatoday.com/weather/hurricane/2002/6-20-agnes-revisited.htm
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45. Altestic87
12:45 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Last year the bermuda High was located way out to sea east of where it is now.
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44. StormJunkie
4:41 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Thanks mlc. Yep, Rusty is one hell of a man, and you could really tell he loved each one of those guys. As you said, the stories were great to hear. Make you laugh and cry all in one breath...
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43. weatherboykris
4:44 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
I know.
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42. Altestic87
12:42 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
By the way weatherboy, the big High off the east coast is called the Bermuda High. :)
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41. Jedkins
4:40 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
yep, storms are quickly firing on the sea bree here, ver dark with a few rumbles of thunder to my south and dark cumulous overhead right now.
40. Altestic87
12:39 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 12:38 PM EDT on June 22, 2007.

If that['s in place through August and September...


Then we'll have a very active hurricane season. :)
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38. weatherboykris
4:37 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
If that['s in place through August and September...
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37. weatherboykris
4:37 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
I find it interesting that both the Euro and the GFS show the parade of troughs stopping next week,with a big "H" right off the east coast.













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36. weathers4me
4:33 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
jed: I'm seeing a lot of stacking and thunder all around here. Thought it may have been the shuttle re-entering but saw that the first attempt was scrubbed today. Chances are better today for pops. That low moved away we can get back a little more to normal pattern.
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35. Jedkins
4:29 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Today looks better then yeterday for rain actually despite much lower rain chances, despite the subsidence inversion, storms are quickly developing around here, just had a cell drop a quick rain before it moved off to my southeast, now more dark cumulous are quickly forming over head
34. GainesvilleGator
4:15 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
It looks quite dead in the tropics & nobody is complaining. Per Dr. Masters blog, don't expect any action over the next 7 days. Take my advice WU bloggers & take the weekend off from watching the tropics. This may the the last weekend for a while that you relax & not worry about it.
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32. seflagamma
12:19 PM AST on June 22, 2007
Good morning Dr Masters,
Thanks for the info at the hurricane center. Yes this is usually in our local Ft Lauderdale newspaper all of the time also ... it is our "backyard" ... appreciate you keeping us updated and providing your thoughts.

Hi everyone, appears our little systems we were watching are about gone...or is one of them blowing up a bit this morning?
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30. Altestic87
12:17 PM EDT on June 22, 2007
Both disturbances have a spin, but the Caribbean one has more time to develop as shear relaxes. It's looking impressive today.
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29. Randyman
4:09 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
420 AM CDT FRI JUN 22 2007

.SHORT TERM...
MODELS ARE BEGINNING TO SHOW INCREASING POP NUMBERS BY SUNDAY BUT
THIS SCENARIO MAY BEGIN AS EARLY AS SATURDAY EVENING. THE GLOBAL
MODELS ARE HAVING THE TOUGHEST TIME AT HANDLING THE QUICKNESS OF
THE WAVE IN THE CARIBBEAN WHILE THE HIGHER RES MODELS ARE A
LITTLE FASTER. THE QUICKEST SOLUTION IS GIVEN BY THE LOCALLY RUN
ROS MODEL. IT BRINGS CHANCE POPS INTO MSY/BTR BY LATE SATURDAY.
THIS MAY BE A LITTLE TOO EARLY BUT IT IS SHOWING A TREND TOWARD
INCREASING POP NUMBERS SOONER THAT THE OTHER MODELS SHOULD BEGIN
TO SHOW AS WELL.

TWO UPPER MT RIDGES...ONE OVER MEXICO AND THE OTHER MOVING NW OUT
OF THE CARIBBEAN. THE UPPER RIDGE OVER MEXICO MOVES VERY SLOWLY
EASTWARD WHILE THE CARIBBEAN UPPER RIDGE QUICKLY MOVES NW. THIS WILL
CAUSE THE UPPER TROUGH BETWEEN THE TWO LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL
GULF TO GET SQUEEZED AND INTENSIFY FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
EVENTUALLY THE TROUGH KICKS OUT TO THE EAST AND THE ENTIRE GULF
COMES UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE MEXICAN UPPER HIGH WHICH BY
SATURDAY IS LOCATED ON MEXICOS EAST COAST.

A DEEP TROPICAL MOIST ATMOSPHERE IS LOCATED IN THE NW CARIBBEAN
BENEATH THE UPPER MT HIGH. EVENTHOUGH THE TROPICAL WAVE ASSOCIATED
WITH IT IS IN A FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT...IT DOESN`T STAY THAT WAY
LONG. THE MAIN PORTION OF THE WAVE MOVES WEST WHILE DEEP MOISTURE
IS FUNNELED RAPIDLY NORTHWARD TOWARD US. ON ITS JOURNEY...THIS DEEP
MOISTURE WILL SUBDUCT THE UPPER TROUGH MOVING EASTWARD AND THEN
THE OUTER EASTERN PERIPHERY OF THE MEXICAN HIGH BUILDING OVER THE
GULF. THESE AREAS WILL BE HOSTILE FOR ANY DEVELOPMENT.

THEN WE SEE THE AREA OF MOISTURE MOVE INLAND LATE SATURDAY
EVENING. A SHORT WAVE UPPER TROUGH WILL MOVE THROUGH THE
WESTERLIES BY LATE SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING. THE AREA
BETWEEN THE UPPER TROUGH AND HIGH WILL BE HIGHLY DIVERGENT AND
WILL HELP INFLUENCE TS DEVELOPMENT MONDAY.


.LONG TERM...
MOISTURE FROM THE GULF CONTINUES TO STREAM INTO THE AREA AFTER
SUNDAY. THE MEXICO UPPER HIGH WILL RIDGE FAR TO THE NE INTO THE
MID MISS RIVER VALLEY AND WILL EVENTUALLY CUT OFF ANOTHER MT HIGH
OVER NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI BY LATE TUESDAY. THIS HIGH SINKS SOUTH
OVER THE AREA AND HELPS TO KEEP THE DIURNAL MIX OF TS ACTIVE EACH
DAY.


&&
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28. kmanislander
4:03 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
HurricaneGeek

Here is the link. Sorry, but I was away from the computer

Link
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27. moonlightcowboy
3:57 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
95L.jpg

...fish? Likely, and we'll certainly have a better notion on Saturday.

STORM JUNKIE
--thanks for posting the memorial service. I tuned in on the web. CNN did carry some of it though. What a great story teller Cap't was....great stories of character of these great guys who fell. Was really good to hear about them!!!
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26. Caymanite
3:46 PM GMT on June 22, 2007
Caribbean "Blog"- Wow Meant Blob but too early in the day.LOL
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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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