Congressional NHC hearing tomorrow; Hawaii eyes Cosme

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:38 PM GMT on July 18, 2007

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There are no areas of interest to talk about in the tropical Atlantic today, and none of the reliable computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation during the coming week. We will need to watch the waters off the Carolina coast on Saturday, when a cold front is expected to push off the coast. The tail end of this front could serve as the focus for development of a tropical disturbance.

Hawaii eyes Cosme
Residents of the Hawaiian Islands need to keep an eye on Tropical Storm Cosme, which is headed towards the islands and may impact their weather by Saturday. Cosme is a not-too-impressive 40 mph tropical storm now, thanks to 15 knots of wind shear and ocean temperatures about 25 degrees C. However, satellite imagery of the storm shows that it is maintaining a solid amount of heavy thunderstorm activity despite the wind shear and cool SSTs. I expect Cosme will be a tropical depression or weak tropical storm on Saturday when it passes close to the Hawaiian Islands, since SSTs are expected to increase and wind shear should decrease over the storm on Friday.

Figure 1. Sea Surface temperatures beneath Cosme were about 25 C (78 F), just below the 26 C threshold favorable for tropical cyclones. Cosme will be traversing a region of 24-25 C SSTs through Friday, then SSTs will warm to 25-26 as it reaches the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday.

Congressional hearing on the National Hurricane Center
On Thursday, July 19, from 10am until 12pm EDT, the House Committee on Science and Technology is holding a hearing called, "Tracking the Storm at the National Hurricane Center". You can check out some of the press releases and listen to a webcast of the hearing at the Committee web site. The Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, and Houston Chronicle have interesting stories on the upcoming hearing. The list of people testifying include Bill Proenza; QuikSCAT expert Dr. Robert Atlas; an emergency management official from the Gulf Coast states; and the head of NOAA, Admiral Lautenbacher. There may be others testifying, including Dr. Jim Turner, deputy director of the federal agency NTIS (National Technical Information Service), who led the inspection team that showed up at NHC without notice on July 2. Dr. Turner's report was scheduled to be completed this Friday, July 20, but is now scheduled to be released to the Congressional panel tomorrow. Notably absent from the list of people called to testify thus far: anyone from the National Hurricane Center, and a QuikSCAT science expert besides Dr. Atlas, who has thus far not addressed in his public comments--that I have seen--the very high uncertainties surrounding the impact of QuikSCAT data on track forecasts of landfalling hurricanes. I'll be sure to present a full analysis of the science presented--and the science left unsaid.

Jeff Masters

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567. Wishcasterboy
12:46 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
That is to say; have there been any sightings?
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566. PalmHarbor
12:44 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
I just spoke with my daughter in North English Ia
tornadoes to the east and north of them, they were headed to the basement. NE is about half hour south west of of Iowa City
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565. Wishcasterboy
12:44 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Have any of those cells produced any tornados yet?
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564. Drakoen
12:43 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
good call IKE. looks interesting. It maybe associated with the next wave of Africa or something fron the ITCZ.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
563. Chicklit
12:42 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Houston Chronical excerpt on Proenza debacle:

Despite rumors that the staff was coerced by NOAA management into signing the complaint the letter from Lampson and other congressmen suggests the staff might have been "pressured" Franklin said nothing of the kind happened.
In fact, forecasters were increasingly eager for a change in leadership, Franklin said, because Proenza had little experience in forecasting hurricanes and the peak of hurricane season, from August to September, was coming soon. In the past, Franklin said, forecasters would often use the director as a final check on a forecast before sending it out.
There was never any thought of doing the same with Proenza, as he wasn't a tropical cyclone expert, Franklin said

Looks like "The Peter Principle" was in effect here and Proenza was promoted to his level of incompetence.

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562. moonlightcowboy
12:43 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
A Cat 1 or 2 landfalling storm on the MS coast, or at NO could be as devastating as a Cat 3, or 4 storm.

a. Storm surge would be even greater, as waters are shallower from sediment produced by Katrina.

b. Surge would also go further inland, as the resistant areas of land/buildings were blown away, leaving holes for surges to effect life and property further inland.

c. Number of people from other areas there working, living that have little or no hurricane experience

d. Number of people still, now living in FEMA trailers post Katrina.

e. Cat 1, 2 "won't evacuate" apathy.

info was from some report I read a month or so ago-to validate it, I'd have to go back and look for it; but, that's the theory. So, no, we DEFINITELY, don't want ANY storm.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
560. LadyMacbeth
12:39 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
My friend just called; she's about a half an hour away from Iowa City and said her sister called from Cedar Rapids to give my friend her insurance information because they had three tornados on the ground in the immediate area.

This is a dangerous storm system; if you have friends or family in the path of the storm you should check in with them.
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559. IKE
7:42 PM CDT on July 18, 2007
I notice the latest GFS run has a system make it all the way across the Atlantic...I know it's 1 to 2 weeks out, but that's the first time I've seen that this season....

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558. moonlightcowboy
12:38 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
557. PalmHarbor
12:42 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
My daughter is in the middle of that mess just south of of I80 :(
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556. Drakoen
12:40 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
if it doesn't gain some latitude in the next few hours its gonna run into South America.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
554. JLPR
12:37 AM GMT on Julio 19, 2007
Even if it doesn't have a circulation it sure looks better that 96l.
i wonder what would have happed if 96l had this much convection.
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549. scwindsaloft
12:32 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
The way I see the Proenza issue is that you cannot create a major disconnect amongst the troops and still work as a team.
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548. Drakoen
12:31 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Maybe tommorrow's Quicksat will show something if it gains more latitude. High winds though...
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547. JLPR
12:31 AM GMT on Julio 19, 2007
yup that too ike
no circulation
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546. Bamatracker
12:31 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
diffently some winds in that rotation at all.
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545. moonlightcowboy
12:31 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Nope, StormW...DEFINITELY, don't need another one. Some theories, say NOW, that a Cat 1, or 2 storm would be as devastating as a Cat 3, or 4 storm!!!

...and Patrap, I said, "comparatively." Certainly, Camille was a badass, too!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
543. IKE
7:30 PM CDT on July 18, 2007
I see wind, but no closed circulation.
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542. charley04survivor
12:30 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Punta Gorda doesn't need another one either!
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539. JLPR
12:29 AM GMT on Julio 19, 2007
that's some good wind there drakoen
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538. Bamatracker
12:28 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
oh yea...those neighborhoods over by the ole theme park. Just sad.
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534. kylejourdan2006
6:22 PM MDT on July 18, 2007
Looks like this disturbance approaching the Antilles is gaining latitude pretty quickly. It appears to be riding 10N now, although it may just be a little below.

I've been watching this area for a little while now and it appears to be going more north than ever in its lifespan. Definitely worth watching (mainly because it's the only thing out there)...
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533. Drakoen
12:26 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
What do you guys make of this QuickSAT?

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
532. Bamatracker
12:24 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
driving out of new orleans today it was crazy how many neighborhoods are still completely in ruins.
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529. Drakoen
12:22 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
interesting Jeff.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
528. moonlightcowboy
12:21 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Patrap, know Camille was bad, was young, but saw it. Also, there were SEVERAL apts, houses left after Katrina with just slabs. The rat seal bolts were just completely sheared smooth at the surface at my bro's apt there. Camille was a baby compared to Katrina.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
526. charley04survivor
12:23 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Why do you dislike Proenza so much? I think he had a good point, but he went the wrong way about making it.
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525. Bamatracker
12:20 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
here is a link for a katrina double eye wall study. Link

Dr. Blackwell is leading the hurricane research at USA
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524. stormybil
12:22 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
hello jeff nice to see you
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522. JeffMasters (Admin)
8:17 PM EDT on July 18, 2007
More revelations on the turmoil at NHC:

Among the revelations:
Proenza never applied for the NHC job, and at one point he had accumulated 2000 unread emails from his staff.

Jeff Masters
520. Drakoen
12:19 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
519. Drakoen
12:16 AM GMT on July 19, 2007
It need to get above 10N, MLC. Its does have nice upper level divergence and lower level convergence, but there is still on LLC. I don't see any evidence of a LLC.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589

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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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