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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511. StormJunkie
9:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
No kidding GR, but if you have the extra cash, that is more information then you could shake a stick at...

Alright y'all, gonna take a little nap. Rough day at work, plus this may really be worth keeping an eye on tonight.

Some great preparedness and imagery links here as well as much more.
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510. gthsii
9:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
mattrix-wow, was that story irresponsible or what?
509. kmanislander
9:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
TropicalNonsense

There is very heavy convection near that buoy. Wind gusts are probably coming from squall lines
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508. charley04survivor
9:38 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
The blob is beginning to look less impressive to me.
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507. mattrix
5:38 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
97L what ???

Why do news outlets do this?
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506. gthsii
9:38 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Ugh! meteosat site is not looking good. almost all the animations are blank, stating "No data available for winds" anyone know whats up with them?
505. RL3AO
4:40 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
if the low develops north of Puerto Rico, do you know how bad the CMC would have pwned us?
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504. kmanislander
9:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
If something is trying to spin up it would be near 15N 65W IMO based on the cloud field I am seeing

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503. TropicalNonsense
9:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Buoy (41043) Just To The North of the Carribean Disturbance is
reporting 25mph Winds with Gusts Near 30.

5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): ESE ( 110 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 19.4 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 23.3 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 6.2 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 9 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 5.5 sec
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.99 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 76.5 F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 83.1 F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 72.5 F
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502. GetReal
9:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
SW those are great programs to have, but they are a little pricey for most individuals to afford!!!

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500. RL3AO
4:37 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
so true gainsville
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499. StormJunkie
9:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I think that is it SW, thanks!
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498. guygee
9:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
StormJunkie - Right back at you man. Good to see you!
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497. StormJunkie
9:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Actually amazin, I think it is designed for state and local officials. Great damage estimates, as well as fairly precise surge prediction specific to an area. Along with a host of other goodies. It looked worth it imho if you can afford it or if you are in a local government.
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496. GainesvilleGator
9:26 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY... SHOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS THE WAVE MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD

We have seen this statement a few times already this year. What we look for next is whether or not the NHC changes their bias. Next up is for the NHC to state that a tropical depression may form within the next day or so. This reminds me of the Homeland Security Advisory System: Green -->Blue-->Yellow-->Orange-->Red. We are now at Blue.
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494. guygee
9:32 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: amazinwxman at 9:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.
question to whoever wants to answer it but if the low forms under the heavy convection will it be able to become a TC I mean can they form over/on top of islands?

I think no-go over the Greater Antilles - too large, too mountainous. A LLC will have to form over water.
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493. kmanislander
9:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Quikscat will probably not pass over the E Caribbean until around 8 or later tonight
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492. Bamatracker
9:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
evening sj
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491. kmanislander
9:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: amazinwxman at 9:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

question to whoever wants to answer it but if the low forms under the heavy convection will it be able to become a TC I mean can they form over/on top of islands?

The islands of the E Caribbean are too small to prevent a tropical cyclone from forming over them. Larger mountainous islands like Hispaniola would deter formation and have been known to completely disrupt the circulation of even a mature system
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490. Bamatracker
9:32 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
what time will quikstat be by this area?
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489. amazinwxman
9:32 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
StormJunkie software thats 2-3 thousand it better predict when a storm will form and the exact path as well as strength for the next 3 hurrican seasons thats alot for tracking software!
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488. StormJunkie
9:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Great to see ya guygee and BT :~)
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487. WPBHurricane05
5:32 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
I saw some professional software a while back, can not remember the name of it. Looked really sweet. I think it was 2-3 thousand though. Really cool stuff though!!!

I think I know what your talking about. Can't remember the name either.
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486. StormJunkie
9:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I saw some professional software a while back, can not remember the name of it. Looked really sweet. I think it was 2-3 thousand though. Really cool stuff though!!!
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485. amazinwxman
9:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
question to whoever wants to answer it but if the low forms under the heavy convection will it be able to become a TC I mean can they form over/on top of islands?
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484. Bamatracker
9:30 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
stormW....you still think wait and see?
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483. WPBHurricane05
5:29 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
And hurricane tracking software that you can add your own forecast track to it?/

Both of the links I provided you can. The WINK one is free, and easier to make up storms. The Eye of The Storm cost 40 bucks but you can see the wind field of the storm.
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482. eaglesrock
5:28 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
The one I just showed you...you can add your own track.
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481. Bamatracker
9:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
it will be interesting to see if it sustains itself tonight. If so that will be a good 24 hours of convectino.
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480. guygee
9:27 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Large upper anticyclonic "envelope" + good outflow. I am jumping on the blob-watching bandwagon tonight.
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479. eaglesrock
5:28 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
I use TrackingTheEye.Net...works really good
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477. texascanecaster1
9:25 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
storm junkie i am checkin on that cmc is bs i no longer use it. also theere is this which is probabaly 97l in the carrib it has low wind shear and no dust so it could develop. it has become better organized since this morning but it is still not quite there yet.

475. kmanislander
9:26 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
amazinwxman

I know what you mean. Its much more fun to try my hand here where I cannot be fired LOL
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474. tornadofan
9:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
now i need a favor from you wonderful people is there any recommended hurricane tracking programs? name them please.

Save your money - just read this blog, Taz's blog, StormW's blog, 03's blog and read what Adrian says.
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473. kmanislander
9:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: KYhomeboy at 9:16 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

LMAO Kmanislander!!!! Your probably right.


Hi there KY. After a while you get to figure these guys out LOL
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472. WPBHurricane05
5:23 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
If you want a free system, I recommend this. Click on the WINK Hurricane Tracker System.
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471. StormJunkie
9:20 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Afternoon all, just walked in from work.

From a first look, I agree it looks very disorganized. Interesting that the pressures are falling though. Is there any model support for it other then the then the always playful CMC?
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470. amazinwxman
9:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Kmanislander I would say yes but anyplace that can get their "leader" kicked out during their active working time I would be apprehensive about working for them especially trusting any of them.
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469. texascanecaster1
9:24 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
tropic freak you just wishcasted.
467. texascanecaster1
9:19 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
it is very hard to tell what it will do at this point as it isn't organized yet however if present trend continues during the night by morning it should be much easier to tell. however convection may shut down during the night and we may ahve to wait yet again but the system is certainly more organzied than it was this morning.
465. WPBHurricane05
5:22 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
now i need a favor from you wonderful people is there any recommended hurricane tracking programs? name them please.

Eye of the storm 3000 Link
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464. kmanislander
9:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: amazinwxman at 9:20 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

LOL you about called it Kmanislander


Should I apply for a job there you think ROTFL
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463. amazinwxman
9:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
thanks kmanislander was starting to feel ghost in here lol.
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461. kmanislander
9:16 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: amazinwxman at 9:16 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

someone what are the exact coordinates for this tropical wave in the caribbean that has potential? I want to draw it in on my tracking map.


There are no coordinates as this is not a system with a low center ( as far as we are aware anyway ). The lat and long of the wave can be found in the 2:05 discussion
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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.