New NHC revelations; Atlantic tropical update; Hawaii watches Cosme

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on July 19, 2007

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There are no areas of interest to talk about in the tropical Atlantic today, but 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. The UKMET model is forecasting the development of a low pressure system here on Sunday. This low may be an ordinary extratropical storm, though, due to the presence of high wind shear.

Large amounts of dry air and African dust cover the eastern Atlantic, and this dusty air is moving westward towards the Caribbean. Tropical storm development is unlikely in this region for the coming five days. Thereafter, as a major shift in the Northern Hemisphere weather pattern puts a ridge of high pressure in place over the Eastern U.S., the Saharan dust outbreaks may decrease. Additionally, wind shear over the tropical Atlantic is expected to decrease substantially by next week, and chances of tropical storm formation are much higher next week than they were this week.

Hawaii eyes Cosme
Residents of the Hawaiian Islands need to keep an eye on Tropical Depression Cosme, which is headed towards the islands and may impact their weather by Saturday. Cosme is struggling with 10-20 knots of wind shear and ocean temperatures of about 25 degrees C. Satellite imagery of the storm shows that the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity has decreased some this morning, and it is possible that the unfavorable shear and SSTs will kill the depression before it encounters warmer waters and lower shear on Friday. If Cosme does survive the next 24 hours, it could re-intensify to a weak tropical storm and brush the Big Island of Hawaii on Saturday.


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 approaches the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday.

More on the National Hurricane Center controversy
In an article published in the Houston Chronicle yesterday, senior hurricane specialist James Franklin said that employees of the center were not coerced by NOAA management into signing the July 5 letter of no confidence against director Bill Proenza. This view was echoed by NHC's top administrator in an Orlando Sentinel article. Franklin outlined a variety of reasons why the staff lost confidence in Proenza--Proenza lacked experience in hurricane forecasting and showed little interest in learning the science, ignored his employees to the tune of 2000 unread email from them, and lied to the press about his employees' reaction to his reprimand from NWS chief Mary Glackin.

Also in the Houston Chronicle story is the revelation that Proenza never applied for the position of director of NHC. He was demoted into it, according to Daniel Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. This raises the question, who put Proenza into the job? Why did they do it? Hopefully, this will get answered at today's congressional hearing. The list of people testifying include Bill Proenza; QuikSCAT expert Dr. Robert Atlas; emergency management officials who worked with Proenza; and the head of NOAA, Admiral Lautenbacher. With the exception of Lautenbacher, all these witnesses are likely to be allies of Proenza. Also testifying will be 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 today. Notably absent from the list of people called to testify is anyone from the National Hurricane Center. Also absent is 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. In fact, in comments published in the Orlando Sentinel, Dr. Atlas claimed that Proenza's statement that loss of the loss of QuikSCAT could reduce the accuracy of hurricane-track forecasts by as much as 16 percent represents "the consensus of the scientific community." Well, that is not the case, as myself and senior hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center will attest to. I'll be sure to present a full analysis of the science presented--and the science left unsaid--at today's hearing.

The hearing charter for today's hearing raises these questions:

Why was Proenza chosen to be Director of the highest profiled Center at NOAA?

Beyond the items listed in the Glackin memorandum--which NOAA stresses was not a reprimand document and was not placed in Mr. Proenza's personnel file--are there any other actions that better justify the action to place Proenza on leave?

Why was there such a depth of dissatisfaction over Proenza's focus on a particular satellite?

What is needed to properly equip the Tropical Prediction Center, and are those resources available at this time?

Was the Tropical Prediction Center incapable of carrying out its core task of identifying, tracking and predicting hurricanes before the evaluation team was dispatched by Admiral Lautenbacher?

Jeff Masters

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711. guygee
12:14 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 12:09 AM GMT on July 20, 2007.
They strengthen if they can continue to move air through their circulation.A surface high right underneath could help with that,I guess.

Thanks Kris, that actually makes a lot of sense. I am also wondering about interactions between neighboring upper-level systems and how they may work to strengthen or weaken each other. Things that make me go hmmm...
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3141
710. NeverPanic
11:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Sa far as the CMC goes......
You have to know the Canuck mentality.....from one canuck to another......
"Blob.. I know Blob, He works at the K-Mart"
"Low... Time for my med's"
"High...Oh yeah..BC bud.. bin 242"
"LLC...Did someone say LSD?"
"Wave...Don't even know the guy"
"Dust...Gave it up years ago....."
"Front....Not a hope... Pay now"
"Shear....No, just a cut"
"Tropical wave....Good-bye"


"Who has another WOBBLY POP."

And i'm Canadian......lol
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708. hurricane23
8:14 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
NHC-8:05PM Discussion...

STRONG EASTERN CARIBBEAN TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 66W/67W IS BECOMING
ACTIVE WITH NUMEROUS MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION DEVELOPING
OVER THE NORTHERN WINDWARD ISLANDS...ANTIGUA...ST MAARTEN AND
ANGUILLA. SURFACE PRESSURES HAVE FALLEN 2-3 MB OVER THE PAST 24
HOURS OVER PUERTO RICO AND THE ADJACENT WINDWARD ISLANDS AND
UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONIC OUTFLOW IS EXPANDING AND BECOMING
BETTER DEFINED WITH TIME. IN ADDITION SOUTHERLY WINDS ARE NOTED
OVER THE PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN LESSER ANTILLES. ADDITIONAL
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY WAS OCCURRING OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC
FROM 18N-22N BETWEEN 61W-66W.

CLICK FOR LARGE IR ANIMATED VIEW
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707. weatherboykris
12:12 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Puerto Rico Frank.
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706. StormJunkie
12:11 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Skye, Charleston wx office is leaning toward the slower movement of the front/trough on the E coast per the GFS, as opposed to the NAM, how do you think this would play in?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15763
705. franck
12:08 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
weatherboykris...your radar is parked over Hispaniola isn't it? That's west of the action.
Convection is over Antilles.
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704. Skyepony (Mod)
12:04 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Tx~ So we are both about as unsure as the other if it will form (I give it a 20% chance). I stated earlier today that tommarrow things should be a lot clearer what will happen with it~ so we pretty much agree.
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703. weatherboykris
12:08 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
They strengthen if they can continue to move air through their cirsulation.A surface high right underneath could help with that,I geuss.
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702. guygee
11:54 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Here is a question, perhaps posed in a strange way: What exactly "fuels" ULL's in the tropics/semi-tropics. I know that you can get a "cut-off" ULL from a loop in the jet stream at temperate latitudes, but at tropical latitudes, what causes an ULL to strengthen or weaken?

Some background for this question: I can remember 1998 Hurricane Georges in the Gulf, while not so impressive at the surface having a huge ULH over it, so powerful that it completely filled in a strong ULL in the Western Gulf within about 24 hours.

So under what conditions do ULL's at tropical latitudes strengthen or weaken?
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3141
701. weatherboykris
12:04 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Taz...wrong wave,and that low opened up anyway.
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699. Tazmanian
5:01 PM PDT on July 19, 2007
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 PM EDT THU JUL 19 2007


ATLANTIC TROPICAL WAVE IS TITLED FROM 21N37W THROUGH A 1010 MB
LOW NEAR 12N40W TO 4N41W MOVING W 15-20 KT. THIS IS A VERY LARGE
AMPLITUDE WAVE CHARACTERIZED BY BROAD TURNING IN THE
STRATOCUMULUS FIELD. THE ITCZ IS BEING PULLED NWD IN THE WAKE OF
THE WAVE WITH SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION LIMITED TO A SMALL
CLUSTER NEAR 9N40W. THE LATEST QUIKSCAT PASS...2044 UTC SUGGESTS
THE SURFACE LOW HAS OPENED UP ALONG THE WAVE AXIS AND MAY BE
DROPPED ON THE 0000 UTC ANALYSIS.

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698. weatherboykris
12:03 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
.
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695. PalmHarbor
12:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Ummm...I was only kidding about that FEMA funds thing - the gov't doesn't scan this blog do they?

They do now:)
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693. IKE
7:02 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
The CMC has backed off some on a strong low heading into the NE USA...now shows a weaker one.
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692. Skyepony (Mod)
11:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Yeah 03, odds look better than yesterday but that front coming really makes it hard on it to try to get worked down into an actual storm. The cmc I think has more hope for it than I do but I can see the possibility of what it's been getting at.
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691. weatherboykris
11:59 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Overall,I think the ULLs are enhancing convection.As the NHC noted,pressures are dropping,and the Quikscat should be interesting.
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690. Skyepony (Mod)
11:51 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Tx~ check out the WV loop...You think there is no way that ULL could make a midnight, early morning snack of that wave? Even the gfs calls for that.
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688. weatherguy03
7:50 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Good observation Skye. I made mention of that in my blog that it could be working with that ULL and the wave. So hard to get a tropical system out of something like that.
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687. bobcane
11:49 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Profession? Ice Fishing and sometimes blog person I guess
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685. Skyepony (Mod)
11:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I guess I laid most my chips on the CMC. If you watch the 500mb (midlevel) animation you can see it call for it to form from the waves energy & the ULL's working down to the surface. Yesterday it looked less likely as that ULL was still an elongated shredding machine. Today it is much rounder & pulling everything it can in instead of sending it east. Though I'm a little leary on the CMC's timing of the trough, may be quicker, not giving it much time to go warm core.

Should be interesting to see what happens.
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682. bobcane
11:44 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I don't even live in Florida - Alaska actually. Yeah, way up north in Alaska
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680. KoritheMan
6:42 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
gthsii, yes, I will have to put up with hellish conditions... not from the tropics, but from wars.
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679. gthsii
11:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
hey, if we think the chatter here is bad now with all the wishcasting over blobs...imagine how bad it will be when a storm actually does form and all the trolls come out to prognosticate about where the storms are headed. I can see it now: "I'm tellin' ya its gonna hit SE FLA." "No way dude, it's heading for bama" "you're all wrong its a fish"

All I can say is it's gonna get alot worse before it gets better, and I am not taking about the storms.
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678. KoritheMan
6:41 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
As Nash pointed out, I am not always right, far from it. So if I screw up, make sure you point it out to me!!..LOL I learn something new everyday.

Not your fault, man. Weather is hard to predict, no? :)

Keep up the good work. You know more than me; I will admit that.
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676. weatherguy03
7:38 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Nah, its all good Korithe. Its hard to keep track of who is who around here. As Nash pointed out, I am not always right, far from it. So if I screw up, make sure you point it out to me!!..LOL I learn something new everyday.
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675. KoritheMan
6:37 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Lets not lose sight of the fact that for this to even become an Invest we need a LLC. There will be many strong waves throughout the course of a season that do not develop because they dont have T-storms consolidating around a LLC.

Thank you for this input. I agree with that completely.
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674. bobcane
11:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Ummm...I was only kidding about that FEMA funds thing - the gov't doesn't scan this blog do they?
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673. KoritheMan
6:37 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Wishcasting??..LOL I guess you dont me. Just observing what is happening.

Again jp and Bob, I apologize for that.
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672. weatherguy03
7:36 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
I been looking at the models today and the current steering flow. You can see that break between the A/B High that is developing as that trough from the Great Lakes digs South. This will push this thing WNW then NW the next 24 hours. Two ways this could go. Trough digs deep enough to lift this system North, between Bermuda and the East Coast. Trough does not dig South enough, system gets left behind and then moves more West towards Florida. Tough call right now.
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671. KoritheMan
6:36 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Koritheman lol you are saying Bob is wishcasting?

I never said that. I said I am not saying you are wishcasting in one of my posts toward him. Sorry if it sounded like that guys, I ask for you to forget it. I'll try and be better.
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670. nash28
11:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Ok, DAMN!!! I am addicted to this place!!!!

One last thing....

I believe the general consensus of most on here will state that we will have plenty of formed cyclones to discuss until we are blue in the face very soon. August will certainly produce some chatter on here that is more than a wave...

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669. Patrap
6:36 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Atlantic in WV enhanced Link
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667. Patrap
6:33 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
The Atlantic systems..Link
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666. nash28
11:32 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
My quick 2 cents....

Bob is certainly not wishcasting. He is a degreed professional. More than I can say for myself, but working towards that....


Now, even Bob can be wrong, but usually he's pretty on the ball.... So is StormW. Great analysis from both,...

Ok, I am out.
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665. Patrap
6:31 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Yucatan from Terra-1 MODIS Link
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664. weatherguy03
7:31 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Lets not lose sight of the fact that for this to even become an Invest we need a LLC. There will be many strong waves throughout the course of a season that do not develop because they dont have T-storms consolidating around a LLC.
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663. nash28
11:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Ok, time for me to unplug my brain and have dinner....

Have a good night.
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662. Patrap
6:29 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
S. FLorida today same hi angle Link
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661. bobcane
11:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Hey,

If you guys and the media don't over hipe this wave coming we won't get our FEMA funds down here in Florida. I need a pool and I could use some new screens on the windows.
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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.