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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776. louastu
12:25 AM GMT on June 25, 2007
Sorry... I missed that question before. Yes, I believe that you are correct.
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773. louastu
12:15 AM GMT on June 25, 2007
If by near future you mean the next week, then chances are likely that nothing will form. Past that, and it is very difficult to say (though I personally don't think anything else will form at least until mid-July).
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771. mermaidlaw
12:08 AM GMT on June 25, 2007
Thanks for that info Michael!

What are the thoughts here for tropical weather, in the near future?
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768. louastu
11:59 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
My guess is that there were several posts at the same time and yours was the first of those several posts. When you posted and refreshed, your post was on the screen with the other posts that were made at the same time below yours.
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766. mermaidlaw
11:55 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
Thank you michael! That makes alot of sense to me!!
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763. Alec
7:54 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
caster, Thats the primary reason why I even came to WUG and sign up.....to debate his forecasts.....Emily was my first storm on here.
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757. Alec
7:50 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
caster....I have been debating w/stormtop since 2005...know his online personality...
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756. mermaidlaw
11:48 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
Silly some are!! Will the SAL be a problem again this year? Any thoughts?
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754. franck
11:46 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
Wind shear may reestablish, but three days out upper level winds should be pretty much gone.
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753. mermaidlaw
11:42 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
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752. weathermanwannabe
7:33 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
Does anyone notice what appears to be an ULL swirling due east of Florida/NE of the Bahama in the Altlantic?....You can see it on the RGB/Water vapor loops where is clearly shows that it is an extremely dry airmass surrounded by moisture....Might be nothing (It is not discussed at all by NHC) but you never know this time of year as it slowly drifts east of the next 3-4 days...Might be something to watch in about a week if a) it it still there, b) it deepens, c) and convection can begin to develop.....On second thought, I might be grasping for straws here after having had a few beers with dinner!........See everyone tommorow...
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750. Patrap
6:43 PM CDT on June 24, 2007
Sig on The Tonight Show...Link
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748. Alec
7:41 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
texas, you will get to know the good ones in here if you're around long enough....
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744. pottery2
7:34 PM AST on June 24, 2007
I'm Sorry for the deja vu post. This machine does me that
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743. Patrap
6:36 PM CDT on June 24, 2007
Sig rules on the Northwestern

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740. pottery2
7:12 PM AST on June 24, 2007
Or hows about The Shear And SAL Show. ( Dont say it ,you will bite off a piece of yr tongue )
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738. Alec
7:31 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
Wow...you remember that time when all thought I was stormtop?LOL
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737. pottery2
7:27 PM AST on June 24, 2007
AleC, sorry about that, my dear fellow. A slip of the index . I take it that you are somehow related to the illustrious Stormtop, himself ?
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736. Alec
7:28 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
I guess so...

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735. Patrap
6:28 PM CDT on June 24, 2007
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734. pottery2
7:24 PM AST on June 24, 2007
I'm missing something here, right ??
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733. ryang
7:25 PM AST on June 24, 2007
LOL... He was around today...
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732. Alec
7:24 PM EDT on June 24, 2007
Posted By: pottery2 at 7:20 PM EDT on June 24, 2007.

Alex, yr. wrong

First of all, call me by my name and second of all Michael is right!LOL
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731. RL3AO
6:17 PM CDT on June 24, 2007
Has anyone else noticed that Montana and Idaho seem to have had alot of severe weather this year?
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730. pottery2
7:22 PM AST on June 24, 2007
Hey, where did it go ?
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729. ryang
7:22 PM AST on June 24, 2007
Stormtop AKA stormkat Pottery??
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727. pottery2
7:20 PM AST on June 24, 2007
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726. pottery2
7:15 PM AST on June 24, 2007
Alex, yr. wrong. Everything a certaian person says on this blog, is written in stone. Fortunately, he has not been around lately. 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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