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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525. TampaCat5
9:18 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Freak rainstorm over my house this am. Can you spot it? (hint: its heading ENE) What's wierd is the IR shows nothing in my area. poop
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524. Randyman
9:09 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
I think this year everyone needs to be very watchful...the worse-case scenario is a Alicia-type/Charlie-type situation or strengthing tropical system as it approaches the coast or a system which turns a little unexpectedly before landfall...
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520. Randyman
9:02 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
For real info go to Jackson, Austin, and sometimes Mobile...
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519. Randyman
9:00 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Jacksonville does...Houston doesn't...don't think Houston will be ever ready for a 'Rita type' situation, can't speak for Jacksonville...
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515. Randyman
8:53 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Another site which has many helpful links...

Link
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514. Randyman
8:50 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
I think Jackson is the best overall...Mobile is ok from time to time...Lake Charles has it moments for sometime they can be too brief and state the obvious
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511. Randyman
8:43 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
I only do that when there is tropical system in the Atlantic or Carribean...I want to see what every office is thinking...
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509. Randyman
8:40 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
I know one met that works there....he'll tell anyone the same.

When will they have '04 and '05 ready?
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507. Randyman
8:33 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
ImpactWeather...

Link

I notice everyone has their strengths and weaknesses...what I always do is go around and read AFD's from Fort Worth, Austin, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Lake Charles, and New Orleans including here in Houston...I get a better overall picture of whats going on and what to expect...Houston is no different from any of the other offices...after being burned a few times in the past most of them are fairly reserved in their verbage...
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503. Randyman
8:31 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
FLboy I find this link very helpful in reviewing storm intensity with respect to date and time...

Link
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502. Randyman
8:26 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Posted By: FLBoy at 8:15 AM GMT on June 24, 2007.

Houston always has a protective Cap! And after that....they turn things over to the SPC!
That's the only "predictable" part of the Houston NWS!


The last forecast I posted was from ImpactWeather...
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499. Randyman
8:07 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Posted By: FLBoy at 7:33 AM GMT on June 24, 2007.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX

EVEN AFTER MONDAY AND TUESDAY...THE AREA LOOKS TO STILL RESIDE IN A
WEAKNESS ALOFT BETWEEN RIDGING FROM THE EAST AND RIDGING FROM THE WEST.
HAVE LOWERED RAIN CHANCES JUST A LITTLE EACH DAY WEDNESDAY THROUGH
FRIDAY IN CASE RIDGING FROM EITHER SIDE MANAGES TO TAKE CONTROL.

Hello? Houston......

Should be interesting, we shall see...



Issued: 2:04 AM Sunday, June 24, 2007

Discussion:
The upper low over Central Texas has strengthened slightly the last 24 hours. This will keep a good chance of showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for today. Deep tropical moisture is expected to move into the region tomorrow. Locally heavy rain is possible today, but widespread heavy rain is possible tomorrow and Tuesday

Meteorologist: C. Reed

2007 ImpactWeather Inc./All Rights Reserved

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493. RL3AO
9:33 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
The remnants of 03B have entered the Arabian sea and convection is building.
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492. CrazyC83
2:32 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Yeah, that cell reminds me of Greensburg...
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491. Melagoo
2:24 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
What a report ... storm shelters
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490. Melagoo
2:24 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Storm reports I'm sure will be plentiful in the morning ... Manitoba gets pounded
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489. CrazyC83
2:16 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
800
WWCN11 CWWG 240211
SEVERE WEATHER BULLETIN
ISSUED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA
AT 9:11 PM CDT SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
WATCHES/WARNINGS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHERN MANITOBA...

TORNADO WARNING FOR:
R.M. OF BRENDA INCLUDING WASKADA, MEDORA AND GOODLANDS
R.M. OF WINCHESTER INCLUDING DELORAINE
R.M. OF MORTON INCLUDING BOISSEVAIN AND TURTLE MTN PROV PARK
R.M. OF TURTLE MOUNTAIN INCLUDING KILLARNEY AND LENA
R.M. OF RIVERSIDE INCLUDING NINETTE, MARGARET AND DUNREA
R.M. OF WHITEWATER INCLUDING MINTO, ELGIN AND FAIRFAX
R.M. OF CAMERON INCLUDING HARTNEY
R.M. OF ALBERT INCLUDING TILSTON AND BROOMHILL
R.M. OF PIPESTONE INCLUDING OAK LAKE FN AND PIPESTONE
R.M. OF SIFTON INCLUDING OAK LAKE AND DELEAU
R.M. OF GLENWOOD INCLUDING SOURIS.

A TORNADO HAS BEEN REPORTED 5 KM NORTHWEST OF PIPESTONE AT 7:45
PM. A SECOND TORNADO WAS REPORTED EAST NORTHEAST OF PIPESTONE
AT 7:50 PM. ANOTHER TORNADO WAS REPORTED AT 7:45 PM AT OAK
LAKE. THE STORM IS TRACKING EAST SOUTHEASTWARD AT 40 KM/H.

THIS IS A WARNING THAT SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH TORNADOES ARE
IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER
CONDITIONS. TAKE IMMEDIATE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS.

NOTE..A SUMMARY OF ALL WARNINGS AND WATCHES FOR SOUTHERN
MANITOBA IS AVAILABLE IN THE WWCN11 CWWG BULLETIN ISSUED
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS BULLETIN.

PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST PUBLIC FORECASTS FOR FURTHER
DETAILS.

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488. CrazyC83
2:12 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Hearing reports that there have been several massive, violent, long-tracked tornadoes (Greensburg-like) in southwestern Manitoba tonight. That cell IS nasty, it could be putting down an F4 or F5 easily.
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487. hjweather
1:46 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
I finally sold my storm damaged house in New Orleans. Closing is on Tuesday. I am in Houston now and moving again, with pack and load Wednesday and Thursday. How much trouble am I in, weatherwise, next week?
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485. Patrap
8:29 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
ISS sighting PASS New Orleans

ISS
Sat Jun 23/ 9:22 PM CST
2

53
27 above NNW 37 above E
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483. Melagoo
1:19 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
Cool animation Thanks Patrap

That image of Katrina is awesome and frightening at the same time
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482. StormThug
8:18 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
yeah rain can cause problems but stormsurge of cat3-4 strength along with wind gusts between 100-115 mph is what causes major problems in n.o.
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481. Patrap
8:15 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
Heres a good animation showing how the water came in that morning as KAtrina made landfall. Some clock errors..but the sequence is correct..Link
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480. Melagoo
1:14 AM GMT on June 24, 2007
I thought the rain would be enough to cause major problems ... it must be a pretty complex system with all the water that must be dealt with even with regular storms
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479. Patrap
8:14 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
But just 7 weeks later..this one did the nasty on the System...Link
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478. StormThug
8:13 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
yeah cindy was a little storm with a big punch but nothing like katrinas 10-15ft surge in neworleans that breached the levees.
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477. Patrap
8:12 PM CDT on June 23, 2007
Cindy in no way challenged any New Orleans Levees. It wasnt a surge bringer of that magnitude...Melagoo
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476. weathermanwannabe
9:04 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Will be back tommorow, but, interesting to note that Cindy formed from a wave coming off Africa in late June; we certainly have not had that set-up yet this season so I would expect that any storm threatening the US in July (as usual unless an anomoly occurs which we never know)would come from remnants in the Carr or GOM.....Have a nice one folks...
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.