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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411. hurricane23
4:44 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
As of the 2:05pm NHC discussion the wave was moving at west at 15-20mph....If that persists shear looks favorable all the way to the western caribbean.About 5-20kts of shear in its path.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13626
410. GetReal
8:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
BBL... Errands to go run....
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409. caneman
4:38 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Death to all tropical blobs.
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408. GetReal
8:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Thanks IKE for taking a look... I would still like to have a third, or more opinions...
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407. weatherguy03
4:32 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
GetReal. I can fit you in tomorrow at 10AM!!
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 590 Comments: 29698
405. franck
8:24 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Just look at the thing on infrared after the Sun sets. That will tell pretty much everything about its future development.
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404. IKE
3:23 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: GetReal at 3:15 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.
Look closely at RGB loop, and zoom in... There are some low level clouds moving towards the west... A LLC may be trying to form near 16N and 63W??? Would some of you take a look, and see if you see the same thing???


I see what you're saying.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
403. msphar
8:20 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
not really Taz. look to the north and northeast of PR you can see it in action.
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402. Wishcasterboy
8:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I would say, given the information, that this perfect spot Isn't so perfect.
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401. Tazmanian
8:19 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
huh? wind shear is low all the way up to the gulf of mx
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400. Wishcasterboy
8:12 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
All I'm sayin' is that that wave won't stay in the same "perfect spot" forever.
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399. msphar
8:14 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
weatherblog - I watch the visible loops alot. as well as the radar out of San Juan.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
398. GetReal
8:13 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Look closely at RGB loop, and zoom in... There are some low level clouds moving towards the west... A LLC may be trying to form near 16N and 63W??? Would some of you take a look, and see if you see the same thing???
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397. IKE
3:13 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
If it continues to go west to WNW...the shear, for now, is low.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
396. msphar
8:11 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
wind shear to the north of PR is not too low.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
395. BahaHurican
4:05 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
On the dust and dry air:

While the extent of the dust may/may not be as great as in the first part of July, the VOLUME of dust seems lower. Regardless of graphic used, the shading indicates that there are lower levels of dust across the ATL. To me this suggests less dry air and more available moisture.

And I agree with those who say the wave W of the Lesser Antillies is looking a lot more depression-like than anything else we've seen this season, except maybe 93L way back in early/mid June . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
394. weatherblog
8:05 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
msphar--you said you are basing that information off of a radar from PR. Most of the convection with this wave isn't on PR.

Most of the convection is NE and SE of the island. And based off the visible and infrared loop, the convection is expanding, and deepening.

Look at that visible shot up above that Taz posted; you can easily tell by that.
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393. msphar
8:09 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
that sounds like a corollary to me, RL3
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392. Tazmanian
8:09 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
wind shear is vary low





























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391. RL3AO
3:07 PM CDT on July 19, 2007

but keep in mind one cardinal rule

just becuase conditions are right, doesnt mean it will do anything


And the second cardinal rule

just because conditions are not right, doesn't mean it won't do anything
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389. msphar
8:02 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
are you sure about that ??
what is your evidence.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
388. Tazmanian
8:02 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
look at GetReal post he tells you what is going on

Posted By: GetReal at 7:57 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

This E. Carib wave is currently perfectly positioned, with an ULL over the W. Carib and the ULL to north of the wave both combining to assist in the ventalation and subsequent expansion of the deep convection associated with this wave. Continued further development under these conditions is likely, IMO
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387. RL3AO
3:03 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
The system down around the islands is in the breading grounds of both Dennis and Charlie.

And about 250 weak tropical storms.
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386. WPBHurricane05
4:02 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
I don't see as much dry air as 96L had. And I agree with GetReal, it seems that the ULL is enhancing convection.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
385. FloridaRick
7:53 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
The system down around the islands is in the breading grounds of both Dennis and Charlie.
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384. Thundercloud01221991
8:02 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
How about this the chances are as follows
Invest 1-100%
TD 1-100%
TS 1-100%
H1 1-100%
H2 1-100%
H3 1-100%
H4 1-100%
H5 1-100%
pin hole eye 1-100%

:)
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383. weatherblog
8:00 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
It is not weakening, it's getting stronger.
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382. RL3AO
3:01 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
We have entered the last part of July so we are nearing that time where systems like these do start to develop more often.
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381. Wishcasterboy
7:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Afternoon,

the wave from yesterday died before it could hit South America- go figure! As for that Antilles wave I mentioned yesterday, I don't see anything significant in it. There are two ULL's to the north and east, dry air on both sides of the system, and it's going to move out of that area of low shear sooner or later. It will probably become scrap moisture for one of the ULL's.

Lastly, the wave that just came off AF has a lot of dry air to contend with. It has already started to degenerate.
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380. msphar
7:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I think the Caribbean blob is weakening as it is moving NW out of the Caribe towards the Bahamas. San Juan Radar doesn't indicate much heavy rainfall.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
379. GetReal
7:51 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
This E. Carib wave is currently perfectly positioned, with an ULL over the W. Carib and the ULL to north of the wave both combining to assist in the ventalation and subsequent expansion of the deep convection associated with this wave. Continued further development under these conditions is likely, IMO.
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378. weatherblog
7:49 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
The big blob from last night, did dissipate. Well, not totally, the big blob that seemed to be crashing into South America, actually didn't totally.

That blob, "dissipated", with some of the convection going into SA and the other mixing in with the wave near the Antilles.

And now we have this...
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377. WPBHurricane05
3:55 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Just checking in real quick.

Will we see 97L out of the East Caribbean tropical wave?


Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
375. kmanislander
7:52 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Will BB later
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374. charley04survivor
7:51 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I give the system a 100% chance of being a tropical wave.
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373. bobw999
3:50 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Working fine now for me too.
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371. kmanislander
7:49 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: RL3AO at 7:46 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

it looks pretty good...where is quikscat?


Still E of the W coast of Africa. I doubt it will pass over the E Caribbean before about 7 or 8 tonight ( 8 or 9 your time on the E coast of the US ) ( the descending pass)
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370. RL3AO
2:48 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
I'd give it a 20% chance ema.
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369. charley04survivor
7:48 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
The site wouldn't load for me there for a long while...now its working just fine again.
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368. emagirl
7:46 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
anyone think this system is going to develop into a td or more??
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366. islandtimeholidays
7:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Thunder, Arnos Vale airport is at the South coast of St. Vincent. Normally there is no wind there, it is pretty much enclosed. Their met office gives the report for planes, it is a tricky airport.
I am on an island 9 miles South of there, we get the real Southern Windwards conditions here.
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365. RL3AO
2:46 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
it looks pretty good...where is quikscat?
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363. Tazmanian
7:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
has any one noted that this wave is geting more and more organization and its geting biger

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362. groundman
7:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: MichaelSTL at 7:36 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.
Posted By: bobw999 at 2:09 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.

I wanted to know if anyone else was having trouble loading the blog?

.........................

The site is incredibly slow for me - ....................


It was slow before 2 but has been OK for me now?
361. Thundercloud01221991
7:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Take a look at the pressure readings in the area

Link
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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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