Quiet tropics; update on Bill Proenza's doings

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

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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575. nash28
2:50 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
What it may amount to 23 is that there has been a dramatic rise in the SOI, which is 10+. The equatorial Pacific is cooling rapidly, which is a sign of La Nina taking shape. Weaker trade winds across the ATL.
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571. hurricane23
10:42 AM EDT on June 24, 2007
The cooling that has occurred over the last week along the equator in the Pacific amazes me (I put this in an animation to make it easier to compare):

STL and you think this will amount to what?
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570. nash28
2:42 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
Guys, be happy it is June and quiet. The way the pattern is beginning to take shape, we may be in for an ugly August-September.
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560. bappit
2:22 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
I'll second that.
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558. bappit
2:20 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
That's the same low that was over by the coast. Supposedly moving out to sea, waters are cool. Lots of shear. At least that was true a couple days of ago.
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557. redagainPatti
9:14 AM CDT on June 24, 2007
swirly things get my attention too but when I try to bring up the area you are talking about, I only see high level clouds moving one way and some very low clouds moving the other way....in short.. somethings just crossing paths at different levels.. or it seems to me..
so.. NO swirly can I see but what you drew in there.
update later..oops.. my bad.. NOW i see more swirly there..
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556. Rainman32
10:02 AM EDT on June 24, 2007
Thanks WPB! didn't know that nor had I ever noticed the reference before
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555. StormJunkie
2:02 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
Morning all ☺

Good to see ya thel. Nice swirl you got there.

Can not believe we do not have the GHCC back yet. That hurts...
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554. WPBHurricane05
9:57 AM EDT on June 24, 2007
Thats a disturbance not a depression. They number depressions for historical references I think.
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553. Rainman32
9:42 AM EDT on June 24, 2007
Posted By: Randyman at 8:17 AM EDT on June 24, 2007.

the moisture from Tropical Disturbance 12 in the western Caribbean Sea

Uhhhmmm.. have I missed the last dozen TD's?
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552. thelmores
1:21 PM GMT on June 24, 2007

devoid of any significant convection, naked swirl, but definitely fun to watch! :)

swirly things get my attention! LOL
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551. Patrap
7:21 AM CDT on June 24, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137227
550. Randyman
12:10 PM GMT on June 24, 2007
Alright, we get the picture FLBoy, you hold the 'pro status' around here with all of the connections...Well, I'll go for now and I guess I'll be back later when I figure all this out...meanwhile, LA & TX make note of this...

Tropics Are Quiet

Though some computer models had indicated that some of the moisture from Tropical Disturbance 12 in the western Caribbean Sea might track across the Gulf toward Texas and Louisiana, most of the thunderstorms have tracked westward into the east Pacific. Satellite shows very few clouds across the northwest Caribbean Sea and southern Gulf of Mexico. No development is expected in this region.

2007 ImpactWeather Inc.

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549. Patrap
6:46 AM CDT on June 24, 2007
GOES WV Loop of Tropical Basin
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546. stoormfury
10:10 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
good morning
the itcz is migrating northward, as can be seen south of the island chain. this will interact with an approaching wave which will bring blustery conditions the the s islabds during the next 24hrs. meanwhile the Eastern ALT tropical wave continues it's weatward track across the open atlantic. there ia also a line of waves ready to exit the african .coast
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541. Randyman
9:53 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
OK Randyman....you're really belly-up right now in your amateur status.
Norman, Oklahoma is the home of severe weather in the CONUS.
Come on back when you get all this figured out.

No need for me to go anywhere, no I'm not belly-up and yes I've had this figured out for quite a while now...like I said I was just simply stating what was obvious so its not a whole lot to figure out...don't know anyone there personally, however...
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539. Randyman
9:43 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Norman NWS office appears to most effort in detailing weather events before and during the situation...its obvious they take their weather very serious...some other offices can get 'lazy' at times...when make my AFD rounds I always start with Norman's...
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536. Randyman
9:40 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
FLBoy, Lucky, Lucky, Lucky...

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534. Randyman
9:35 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Posted By: FLBoy at 9:35 AM GMT on June 24, 2007.

I track severe weather all over the US on other private localized forums. Mostly the Plains and SW Texas and new Mexico. I work every NWS office. I take what anyone is offering at the moment. But I have my reliable sources.
Tropics are usually easy after CONUS weather. Living in the Tropics all my life hasn't hindered me either.

So who is the most reliable source?
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532. Randyman
9:27 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Yea you can spot it...interestingly, I drove thru Tampa when in Florida...I didn't quite realize just how susceptible Tampa was to the storm surge of a major hurricane until I saw it with my own eyes...I've heard it talked about many times in the past but really don't get a good grasp until you actually see it for yourself...
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530. StoryOfTheCane
9:28 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Keep an eye on this one when it gets to the Caribbean..

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529. Randyman
9:23 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Minus the bickering and childish name-calling, many times I find this site very helpful regarding the tropics and its forecasts...nonetheless, there have many storms these past few years which has taken all of us totally offguard, regardless of our 24 hour a day watchfulness...
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528. Randyman
9:16 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Not really...Austin doesn't always state the obvious, they show some emotion regarding the weather pattern, they admit when their wrong and will explain why, they discuss possible weather patterns beyond the normal forecast extended period...for it was the Austin office which gave me the heads-up on the forthcoming favorable pattern which led to the 3 week surge of activity during the 2004 hurricane season well in advance of any other NWS Office around the US coastline...
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Dr. Masters (r) co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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