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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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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660. weatherguy03
7:29 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Wishcasting??..LOL I guess you dont me. Just observing what is happening.
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658. Patrap
6:28 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Terra-1 MODIS swath today..hi angle..Link
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656. Thundercloud01221991
11:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I think that a low is trying to form just north of the islands

Link
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653. Patrap
6:20 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
August 2005 Loop Current High SSts.

..Track and more Link
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652. Miamiweather
11:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
hey storm you got mail
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650. msphar
11:17 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
still fading as I see it.
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649. groundman
11:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: nash28 at 11:03 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.
................................
Just really disconnected from everything since finding out about my mother in law..

...........


Don't know what's wrong with your MIL Nash but feel for ya. One good thing, we've stuck to weather almost all day for discussions!!
648. Tazmanian
4:16 PM PDT on July 19, 2007
: KoritheMan dos this wave have a spin and its at the sfc?
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647. nolasoci
11:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
it looks like the storms are clustering together more at this time. Does anyone notice or is it just me??

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646. Patrap
6:17 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Goes IR GOM loop..Link
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645. Skyepony (Mod)
11:14 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I think the ULL south of bermuda eats the antillies blob, & goes warm core on the energy~ if the ULL doesn't get front smacked before it finishes.
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644. nolasoci
11:13 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Its getting interesting to see how things change in a matter of hours. This morning, all was quiet and now its getting a little more interesting as the hours progress.
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643. KoritheMan
6:12 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
20kt. to 30kt. shear just North and NW of the system. That is being created by that ULL.

You're hoping for dissipation of something that probably won't even become a hurricane if it forms at all?

20-30 knot shear is high, but a WNW heading, not a NW (shear is to the NW, correct?) heading, is what the wave is doing now.... It could develop if it slides between those two upper-level lows (the one north and south of it). That's what Chris was forecast to do, and it probably did help it some. If that happens with this, wishcasting it away won't do anything. I'm not saying you are wishcasting, but that would provide excellent outflow, and with the diurnal max approaching later on, it may become at least an invest.

I am not overly worried with it, though.
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642. RL3AO
6:15 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
I fixed the alert system and added another step. We are at blue.
641. guygee
11:04 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Right now what I see are a lot of disorganized storms popping and a lot of big storms along boundary collisions.

Now, if a LLC would form somewhere near the center of the ULH and start to pump it up...but that is pure speculation at this point.

We may see an upgrade to "conditions are favorable" if the convection persists through the night, as that may promote a LLC to form and begin to help build the ULH that is currently protecting the system from getting sheared from the strong ULL to the north.

That is a whole lot of "ifs" there. As usual time will tell.
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640. Patrap
6:13 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
GOM Atlantic WV Loop Link
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639. hosweather
11:05 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
nash: what is a help now becomes a hindrance when they get closer together over the next 24 hours
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638. KoritheMan
6:08 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
As sick as some may think this sounds, I really want cyclogenesis right about now to take my mind off of some of this....

I only would want cyclogenesis to study the storm. Not for it to strike land.

But people (not talking to you on this part nash, so I won't make you mad; you seem upset, so I'll leave you be) need to understand how the tropics will get active soon even if we wish against it.
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637. weatherguy03
7:10 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
And then if that isn't enough. As that trough digs down towards the Southeast, there will some Northerly shear to contend with between Bermuda and the East Coast.
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636. Tazmanian
4:10 PM PDT on July 19, 2007
so right now we are at yellow
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635. weatherguy03
7:09 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
20kt. to 30kt. shear just North and NW of the system. That is being created by that ULL.
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634. Tazmanian
4:03 PM PDT on July 19, 2007
by 3 am or so we sould have 97L
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633. RL3AO
6:09 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
yellow
632. weatherguy03
7:08 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
The Cuba one isnt in the equation. I still believe the one South of Bermuda could hinder development.
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630. RL3AO
5:59 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
The NHC TWO Alert Scale

GREEN: AREA OF CLOUDS BLAH BLAH DEVELOPMENT IS NOT EXPECTED

BLUE: AREA OF CLOUDS BLAH BLAH DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY WOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR

YELLOW: AREA OF CLOUDS CONTINUES TO GET BETTER ORGANIZED

ORANGE: A TROPICAL DEPRESSION MAY FORM IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS

RED: A TROPICAL DEPRESSION MAY FORM TODAY OR TOMMORROW
627. Patrap
6:05 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Evening StormW..How goes the recovery upstairs.You not pushing it to much eh?
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626. weatherguy03
7:05 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Nash. The one near 30N 50W is. Not the one South of Bermuda.
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625. nash28
11:03 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Again, been completely away from this all day, but I thought the ULL was far enough away that it was actually helping to ventilate good outflow rather than tear it apart....

Am I mistaken?
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624. Patrap
6:03 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
No threats..just 1 area of lil interest..geeez.Get some legos and build a freaking storm in your own blogs.This willy nilly wish,westcasting can drive a man to drink..LOL
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623. tspree15
11:02 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
wow, huge blow up in the last few frames
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622. nash28
11:00 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Hi StormW. I have had better days my friend...

Just really disconnected from everything since finding out about my mother in law..

As sick as some may think this sounds, I really want cyclogenesis right about now to take my mind off of some of this....
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620. weatherguy03
7:02 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Development of the system is hindered first by proximity to the upper-level low north of PR and later by proximity to the storm forming off the Carolinas.

Excellent analysis!
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618. Patrap
6:00 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Its going to crush Florida!..NOW.Everyone happy? Get ready.Itza coming. Evacuate..board up. Do your prepared plan. Is that what ya wanna hear? ..hear it.
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617. PalmHarbor
11:01 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Thank you StormW.
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615. hosweather
10:57 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
CMC, UKMET and NOGAPS all show a low developing off the Carolinas in about 48 hours. The low then moves up the coast and sits off of or impacts the NE coast at about 96 hours. The GFS has a similar scenario but a later time line. The CMC also has the wave near PR splitting into two parts. The southern part takes a NW track and ends up dying over Hispaniola. The northern part heads NNW and impacts the NE coast at the same time as the storm that forms off the Carolinas. Note that CMC is now showing a much weaker system than it had in earlier runs. Development of the system is hindered first by proximity to the upper-level low north of PR and later by proximity to the storm forming off the Carolinas.

If the CMC is correct, the splitting of the wave into two parts should soon become evident. So far, the CMC has done very well with this wave.
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613. PalmHarbor
10:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
oh ok FF, then i guess we should all leave the blog and not pay attention until you say so

Before y'all leave can someone tell me where I can go read about all these maps?:)
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611. nash28
10:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Nevermind.... I see no invest as of yet...

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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.