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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611. nash28
10:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Nevermind.... I see no invest as of yet...

Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
608. KoritheMan
5:57 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
generally when they say "development if any will be slow to occur", it means they are interested and its a step up from "development not expected", which is what they had at the 1130am outlook

Exactly, jp. Thanks, man. ;)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
607. pottery2
6:56 PM AST on July 19, 2007
Formerflorida, its the way you put things. Its annoying people, man.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
606. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:55 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
ya DVORAK num. droppin too n28 tops nearing -70
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
605. WPBHurricane05
6:55 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
sorry, the NHC mentions nothing forming. I suggest you read the 530 EDT update. "Development-if any"-does not mean anything is forming. It's a disorganized cluster of t-storms.

FormerFloridian- I'm glad to see there is another point of view on the wave. Even though I may not agree, its great to have two different points of view. Now there is a chance that you may get yelled, screamed, or bashed out for not saying it will develop.

Summary: I hope that the two sides don't kill each other over a tropical wave.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
604. KoritheMan
5:57 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Otherwise, you're just crying wolf, which leads to complacency down the road.

True. I respect your words very much so. I try not to blobwatch, but it's hard when so many people are doing it usually.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
602. KoritheMan
5:55 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
sorry, the NHC mentions nothing forming. I suggest you read the 530 EDT update. "Development-if any"-does not mean anything is forming. It's a disorganized cluster of t-storms.

I know that, but it doesn't mean it WON'T, either. It's just a wait and see game. I'm not expecting anything significant right at this very moment though. We'll see.

And I posted a prog.

I didn't mean anything by what I said, StormW. Sorry man. :(
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
601. nash28
10:57 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Ok, will do.... I have had a very long, tiring and stressful day... I haven't had the time nor the gumption to look, but do we have 97L officially?
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
600. groundman
10:57 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Looks to me with the wind barbs on the latest Caribbean Imagery our blob isn't what it was. I hate to be stupid but here goes. Is the thing @ 25N 65W an ULL?? It's barbs are going the right way for forming although this has probably normal??
599. RL3AO
10:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
All of this for a wave. All hell will break loose if this becomes an invest and *gasp* a depression.
598. Thundercloud01221991
10:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
what about 990-1000
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
597. sporteguy03
10:55 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Yes Nash! Read the TWC outlooks about 5-10 them on the page, lol so you know something is up :)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5206
596. FormerFloridian
10:55 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: KoritheMan at 6:52 PM EDT on July 19, 2007.
by the way, how about that blob that off Africa everyone was so high on yesterday? another dud?

Complacency is always our downfall... This season will ramp up, very soon at that... Not every season is 2005. And not every season is 2006, so if we want them to or not, the tropics are going to get active.


I'm hardly complacent. When there is the possibility of something truly forming, I'll say so. Otherwise, you're just crying wolf, which leads to complacency down the road.
595. PalmHarbor
10:55 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
that's a pretty map, where I might be able to find out what it actually means?:)
594. nolasoci
10:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
oops thanks for pointing that out
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 95
592. nash28
10:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Hey guys... I have been away ALL DAY and am completely lost on what has happened today...

The wave near the Antillies.... Is that getting better organized?
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
590. FormerFloridian
10:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: KoritheMan at 6:50 PM EDT on July 19, 2007.
nothing is going to form. it's a cluster of thunderstorms, nothing more.

Um... no. The NHC even mentions it. If they do, you know something is up. Don't wishcast, please.


sorry, the NHC mentions nothing forming. I suggest you read the 530 EDT update. "Development-if any"-does not mean anything is forming. It's a disorganized cluster of t-storms.
589. KoritheMan
10:52 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
nolasoci: I posted the steering currents for a 1000 to 1010 mb low. 1000 is a TS. Take a look.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
588. Tazmanian
10:52 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Interpolator your welcome
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114785
587. KoritheMan
10:52 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
by the way, how about that blob that off Africa everyone was so high on yesterday? another dud?

Complacency is always our downfall... This season will ramp up, very soon at that... Not every season is 2005. And not every season is 2006, so if we want them to or not, the tropics are going to get active.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
586. nolasoci
10:51 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Does anyone have any models on this new wave?? What are the steering currents for a TS??
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 95
585. KoritheMan
10:50 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
nothing is going to form. it's a cluster of thunderstorms, nothing more.

Um... no. The NHC even mentions it. If they do, you know something is up. Don't wishcast, please.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
584. KoritheMan
10:49 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Which direction will the steering currents likely take this disturbance? Anybody have guesses?

Steering currents for 1000-1010 mb lows:

Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
583. FormerFloridian
10:49 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
by the way, how about that blob that off Africa everyone was so high on yesterday? another dud?
582. FormerFloridian
10:46 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: Tazmanian at 6:36 PM EDT on July 19, 2007.
Statement as of 5:30 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico...

a large area of cloudiness and showers over the eastern Caribbean
Sea and the Lesser Antilles is associated with a tropical wave.
Although surface pressures are falling in the area...the
thunderstorm activity remains disorganized. Development...if any...
should be slow to occur as the wave moves west-northwestward.
Elsewhere...tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the
next 48 hours.


nothing is going to form. it's a cluster of thunderstorms, nothing more.
580. Interpolator
10:45 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Taz,
Thanks for the repost I just jumped on and hate to have to go back an HOUR ago.
579. stormpetrol
10:44 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Anyone has any idea if it forms into a TD/TS where it may track, will it move W or a little N of due west or more WNW? Will it be influence and move in tandem with the ULLs, the one to west over the Caymans or the one N of PR.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7717
578. HurrMichaelOrl
10:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Which direction will the steering currents likely take this disturbance? Anybody have guesses?
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1080
576. KoritheMan
10:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
so once this system becomes 97L or TD3 it will most likely keep going and going. and become a hurricane.

So very true. I've always noticed this regarding tropical cyclones. It's awesome how they can sustain themselves once they get going, even in the face of significant adversity. Georges and Mitch are both good examples of this.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
575. KoritheMan
10:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
a large area of cloudiness and showers over the eastern Caribbean
Sea and the Lesser Antilles is associated with a tropical wave.
Although surface pressures are falling in the area...the
thunderstorm activity remains disorganized. Development...if any...
should be slow to occur as the wave moves west-northwestward.
Elsewhere...tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the
next 48 hours.


Note that they did say this:

Development...if any... should be slow to occur as the wave moves west-northwestward.

They always say that though, doesn't mean it won't form.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 560 Comments: 20030
573. LSU
10:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Nice, reposting what was posted 3 times over an hour ago.
Member Since: July 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 100
572. Tazmanian
10:36 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Statement as of 5:30 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico...

a large area of cloudiness and showers over the eastern Caribbean
Sea and the Lesser Antilles is associated with a tropical wave.
Although surface pressures are falling in the area...the
thunderstorm activity remains disorganized. Development...if any...
should be slow to occur as the wave moves west-northwestward
.
Elsewhere...tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the
next 48 hours.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114785
571. Thundercloud01221991
10:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
look at all the watches
Link
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
570. bobw999
10:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Max Mayfield has a blog Link
567. Bonedog
10:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
nothing on the 22:04UTC pass of QuickSCAT

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
565. RL3AO
10:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I hope the quikscat hits it.
564. IKE
10:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: MrNiceville at 4:50 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.
Ike -

the link says that - mattrix just repeated it. Guess they have a Magic 8 Ball????


Thanks...okay...sorry mattrix.

Zero percent chance of rain today in Defuniak Springs, Fl...and it's pouring outside!!!

Rain/thunderstorm and 76.1 degrees.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
563. TropicalNonsense
10:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Good Water Vapor/Infared Image For This System.
Blob will Most Likely Struggle To Develop over
The Next Few Days. Something to Watch!

blob
Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524

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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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