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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311. weatherguy03
2:49 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
A rather vigorous wave though. But right now no organization.
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310. weatherguy03
2:48 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
There is no LLC. Pressure falls that are being seen are typical for a tropical wave moving through that area.
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309. IKE
1:46 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 1:14 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.
Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 80 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 1.9 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 3.9 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 4.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.2 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.91 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.06 in ( Falling ) Air Temperature (ATMP): 81.0 F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 83.5 F
Dew Point (DEWP): 75.6 F
Heat Index (HEAT): 87.1 F


Pressure has fallen off at that buoy in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday at this time it was at 29.98.
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308. Acesover8s
2:46 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Not a good day to be in the windward or leeward Islands.
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307. RL3AO
1:46 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Cosme won't die. It will be interesting if it can hold together long enough to get back to warmer water and try to make its way to the WPac.

Whats up in the Atl?
304. stormpetrol
6:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I think a low level swirl might be just North of the ABC Islands, therefore though lots of convection that looks symmetrical, its actually more of an asymmetrical system, could be completely wrong though.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
303. Thundercloud01221991
6:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Here is the region's weather
surface pressure- Link

current conditions- Link

Winds -Link
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
302. Tazmanian
6:30 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
looks like the low is somere where in her

Link
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301. Thundercloud01221991
6:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
svr weather watches starting to blossom again

Link
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
299. hurricane23
2:27 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
NHC-2:05 Discussion...

EASTERN CARIBBEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS SLIGHTLY TILTED ALONG 21N64W
12N66W 4N66W MOVING W 15-20 KT. THIS IS ANOTHER BROAD WAVE WITH
LOW/MID LEVEL INVERTED-V CURVATURE. CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED
MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION ARE FROM 11N-14N BETWEEN
61W-64W...AND FROM 15N-19N BETWEEN 58W-70W.


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298. Bonedog
6:27 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
oops didnt notice the date of the mm5. But the UKM does initialize it. Nothing big or deep but shows something coming from the Carolinas at 86hrs
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297. Patrap
1:25 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
CAt-3plus Power Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
296. weatherblog
6:24 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
So, where is LLC in this big blob??

Is it near the antilles or PR?

Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
295. Tazmanian
6:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
looks like it has be come more
organize but not march

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294. MrNiceville
6:12 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
stormybil - are you saying that the CMC is not on crack, but rather, a parallel universe that is identical to ours, but six to seven days in the future?!?!

I can almost buy the S. Flordia scenario - that's not unheard of. Tropical (or extratropical) storms hitting NE at this time of year - that's unheard of.

Where are you guys getting your MM5FSU runs? the http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/ link has data from October 2006...

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292. Patrap
1:18 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
GOES WV Loop of Tropical Basin

Link
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291. Tazmanian
6:16 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
can i have a link too the mode runs thanks
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290. FormerFloridian
2:15 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 2:11 PM EDT on July 19, 2007.
Here's accuweather's take on the Caribbean wave...kinda conflicts w/the NHC....

"The second wave along 61 west and south of 18 north. This wave is moving off to the west at 15-20 knots. There is some moderate convection associated with this wave, including some gusty showers and thunderstorms. However, drier air is also wrapping around this feature, and no further development is likely."


sounds right. that's what appears on the water vapor images for the Carribean.
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289. gthsii
6:14 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
wow...does anybody else see "dry air" wrapping around that system? I think in addition to the CMC, Accuweather has been at the crack pipe a bit too much lately.
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288. Patrap
1:14 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
4-panel GOM WV



Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
286. Drakoen
6:12 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 80 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 1.9 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 3.9 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 4.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.2 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.91 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.06 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 81.0 F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 83.5 F
Dew Point (DEWP): 75.6 F
Heat Index (HEAT): 87.1 F
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285. IKE
1:12 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: Bonedog at 1:09 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.
WOW anyone see the UKM and MM5FSU runs?


Bonedog....the MM5FSU hasn't had a run since October of 2006.
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284. bobw999
2:10 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
MM5FSU hasn't been updated since October last year
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283. gthsii
6:10 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Patrap hasn't been around since early this morning and then he mentioned his "new meds" were putting him in a fog...perhaps he's sleeping them off
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282. IKE
1:10 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Here's accuweather's take on the Caribbean wave...kinda conflicts w/the NHC....

"The second wave along 61 west and south of 18 north. This wave is moving off to the west at 15-20 knots. There is some moderate convection associated with this wave, including some gusty showers and thunderstorms. However, drier air is also wrapping around this feature, and no further development is likely."
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281. flaboyinga
6:06 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Has anyone heard from Patrap lately?
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280. WeatherfanPR
6:07 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
this wave is trying to develop!!!97L soon.
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279. Bonedog
2:07 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
WOW anyone see the UKM and MM5FSU runs? both develope something from the frontal system Dr. M talked about around 86 out and drive it into New England.

I dont know how to grap the exact pic but just go and take a look. Not hard to see at all.
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278. gthsii
6:06 PM GMT on July 19, 2007

No snow in Florida,

Well, I grew up in Massachusetts, so it was an early one for me to learn :-)
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277. Tazmanian
6:06 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
well bill Proenza new that showing off the of QuikSCAT latter was classified data
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276. IKE
1:05 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Pressure continues falling off at Grenada....

"Observed at: Point Salines, GD
Elevation: 23 ft
[Mostly Cloudy]
82 F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 77 F
Wind: 14 mph from the South
Pressure: 29.92 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 91 F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 8 out of 16
Clouds: Few 1900 ft
Mostly Cloudy 25000 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
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274. bobw999
2:04 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
N'ah, that is life lesson number 2, right after "Don't eat the yellow snow"

No snow in Florida, my number 1 is don't run from the cops.......
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273. gthsii
6:02 PM GMT on July 19, 2007

Life lesson #23: Don't trust politicians.

N'ah, that is life lesson number 2, right after "Don't eat the yellow snow"
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272. charley04survivor
6:03 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I feel bad for Proenza.
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271. tampabayfish
6:01 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Agreed, despite most of the convection being to the south and east, the most visible swirl on the visible sat and PR radar is NE of PR.
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268. Drakoen
5:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
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267. benirica
5:57 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
FLOOD WATCH FOR ALL OF PUERTO RICO
* THROUGH 400 AM AST...FRIDAY MORNING

* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE OVER
THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS EARLY THIS AFTERNOON ARE EXPECTED TO
MOVE WEST NORTHWEST ACROSS THE EASTERN SECTIONS OF PUERTO RICO
EARLY THIS AFTERNOON AND OVER THE WESTERN SECTIONS OF PUERTO
RICO LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND THIS EVENING. THE SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ARE MOVING VERY SLOWLY TO THE NORTHWEST WHICH
INCREASES THE CHANCES FOR HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS PUERTO RICO AND
THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.

* WITH THE HEAVY RAINFALL THAT FELL ACROSS THE REGION IN THE
RECENT DAYS...AND THE EXPECTED RAINFALL THIS AFTERNOON...THIS
EVENING AND OVERNIGHT...FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ON A NUMBER OF
RIVERS IN PUERTO RICO AND GUTS IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.
ALSO...THE POTENTIAL FOR MUDSLIDES REMAIN HIGH AS MODERATE TO
HEAVY RAINFALL CONTINUES TO FALL ON THE ALREADY SATURATED SOILS.
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266. benirica
5:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
FLOOD WATCH FOR ALL OF PUERTO RICO
* THROUGH 400 AM AST...FRIDAY MORNING

* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE OVER
THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS EARLY THIS AFTERNOON ARE EXPECTED TO
MOVE WEST NORTHWEST ACROSS THE EASTERN SECTIONS OF PUERTO RICO
EARLY THIS AFTERNOON AND OVER THE WESTERN SECTIONS OF PUERTO
RICO LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND THIS EVENING. THE SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ARE MOVING VERY SLOWLY TO THE NORTHWEST WHICH
INCREASES THE CHANCES FOR HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS PUERTO RICO AND
THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.

* WITH THE HEAVY RAINFALL THAT FELL ACROSS THE REGION IN THE
RECENT DAYS...AND THE EXPECTED RAINFALL THIS AFTERNOON...THIS
EVENING AND OVERNIGHT...FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ON A NUMBER OF
RIVERS IN PUERTO RICO AND GUTS IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.
ALSO...THE POTENTIAL FOR MUDSLIDES REMAIN HIGH AS MODERATE TO
HEAVY RAINFALL CONTINUES TO FALL ON THE ALREADY SATURATED SOILS.
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264. Drakoen
5:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
lol bob.
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263. charley04survivor
5:55 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I agree bob. I voted Democrat last time around too thinking they could get us out. The real problem is they don't have enough control in Congress, so Bush can veto anything they pass.
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262. bobw999
1:52 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
The problem with the US is, we are waisting money in some worthless war in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is money that could go to the NHC, NOAA, Social Security, etc...... The reason I voted for the Democrats was to get out of Iraq, yet we are still in there.

Life lesson #23: Don't trust politicians.
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261. tampabayfish
5:50 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Yes, we are very fortunate thing are relatively quite in the tropics during this bureaucratic mess... A couple of years ago this was the week of Dennis/Emily/Franklin/Gert...
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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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