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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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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260. WeatherfanPR
5:47 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
big thunder!!!
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259. Prgal
5:48 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
A thunderstorm in Carolina! Here we goooo!
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258. weatherblog
5:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Jp--that's more like it.

Just maybe I'd change the percentages for a hurricane a little higher...if this were to become a tropical storm, it could easily mantain hurricane status from the warm waters.
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
257. Stormy2day
5:45 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
yea! ...you know, I was reading your predictions and until I read the message telling me not to pay attention - I had packed my bags, scheduled vacation from work and was plotting my driving route to Michigan...

and...if that were really the case - I would certainly hope that you called me the fool - not the folks posting their speculations.

speculate away!

stormy
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256. WeatherfanPR
5:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
heavy rain in Carolina where I live!!!
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255. Drakoen
5:46 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I am not suprised by what i am hearing, at all. Like i said a few weeks ago politcs goes deeper than what the public sees.
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254. bobw999
1:46 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Theres Ron Klein, my congress guy person.
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253. bobw999
1:46 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Bill Proenza on "trial" Link
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252. JFLORIDA
5:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
They should separate the QuickScat and Director issues before they move on. People are projecting personal feelings on both from different sides and itís a total circus.

"Leaders" now always miss the nuance and aim straight for the political. The disturbance is more interesting.

Stormy2day - HHAHAHA - no kidding its a weather blog. If some one has boarded up their house cause we're blob chasen - well thats just silly.

If you're just parroting the NHC bulletins. Why even come here?
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
251. texascanecaster1
5:43 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
this is very bad. operator of noaa and many other people are now on the verge of being fired. they are kissing buts to try and save their jobs and now the commite at the hearing is very close to getting all of them fired. someone could even be thrown in jail. very very bad i would worry alot more bout this then about that disturbance right now althought it needs watching should it converge as previously said it will be a problem.
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249. stormybil
5:41 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
from july 12 take a look whats playing out now a little late but what the hay



Link
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247. Drakoen
5:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I agree with JP prediction.
The wave still needs to converge at the lower levels. its appears that there two parts.
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246. leftovers
5:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
North of Puerto Rico is my call.
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245. charley04survivor
5:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I am glad the tropics are quiet with all the mess with the NHC. It is certainly a distraction.
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243. kmanislander
5:38 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Folks, I would discourage speculation as to the chances of one thing or another happening. All that is likely to achieve is to unduly alarm some people who take too much of what they read here as the gospel
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242. texascanecaster1
5:13 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
guys there has been a major issue come to light in the nhc congressional hearing and now it is lynching not a hearing. it is very possible that the forecasters and proenza could all be removed. even more possible the operater of noaa lautanbacher is now in trouble as well and somebody just lied big time. i will issue a blog this afternon concerning this hearing baraometer bob may have a show this evenin on this. also that disturbance look good except it isn't organized yet if it gets organized then watch out.
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241. JFLORIDA
5:36 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Im not going to give numbers but the ducks are lined up (water temp, atmospheric conditions, not much dry air)

- well what the hey 97L (by tomorrow midnight) SE of PR -> 85% chance!
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
240. benirica
5:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
jaja ya pa que... ya me cogio. pero sigue viniendo bn....
by the way, were under a flood statement now
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239. stormybil
5:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
ok here it is just for fun check it out from july 12 you decide
Link

REMEMBER THIS RUN !
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238. kmanislander
5:36 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Drak

From the 8:05 discussion:

"Tropical wave is slightly tilted along 20n61w 14n64w 6n64w
moving W 15-20 kt."

The wave axis is not oriented N to S.
The N edge trails the southern edge hence the wind shift and pressure fall will not be uniform N to S
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237. DaytonaBeachWatcher
5:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I would hope most people looking for information will hang around the site a little while and get an idea who you might want to listen to who to laugh at and who not to give much credence to. The best thing is to read the NHC's website.
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236. hurricaneman23
5:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
so lets take a look at the differences in prediction here. we got someone saying 100 percent chance of an invest and another saying 30 percent. can we come to a closer agreement
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235. Chicklit
5:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
What about that spin to the north of it? Won't that tear it apart?
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234. WeatherfanPR
5:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
benirica, pues avanza qe te coge el aguacero!!!
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233. charley04survivor
5:32 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
You have got to be kidding me. These predictions are dangerous.
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232. benirica
5:31 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
WeatherfanPR, ya lo mande a buscar!!
jajaja a ver si le doy una visitita a mi abuela a buscarme un poco de sancocho... o un mondonguito
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231. stormpetrol
5:27 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Though no evidence of a llc that wave south of PR, it appears to be organizing and exploding over the Eastern Caribbean.
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229. Tazmanian
5:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
ch of make land fall 100%

ch of being a cat 5 25%

ch of it haveing a pine hole eye 15%
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228. WeatherfanPR
5:24 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
a hacer el sancocho o la sopita que esto va estar de a galon!!!!!thunder
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227. hurricaneman23
5:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
whoa, % of a pinhole eye, thats a pretty intensly hardcore to the max prediction to make wouldnt u say
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226. stormybil
5:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
just for fun if this does form then the cmc was right 6 days ago that bring a ts into fla . but days latter . would that be a joke or what . i did save the link to that if anyone wants to se it . its playing out now
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225. benirica
5:27 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
hmmm... i dont know i think that maybe we are getting a tad be too worked up over this.
60% of getting a hurricane?
it still in a way seems like a random flare up?? where would you all look at and say it is organizing THERE?
i dont underestimate you guys, im just wondering if you could clear things up.
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224. Drakoen
5:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
ok then. We can use buoy 42059 which is in the same area as the mid level low. It has pressure dropping.
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223. kmanislander
5:26 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 5:26 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

Kman true, but pressure dropping maybe an indication that the mid level low is working its way to the SFC.


Pressure falls are typical of a wave's passage. The mid level low is off to the NE of there
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222. MichaelSTL
12:26 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
i give this 100% of be comeing 97L

80% of be comeing a TD

70% ch of be comeing a name storm

60% ch of a hurricane


You left this out:

__% ch of getting into the Gulf

__% ch of having a pinhole eye

__% ch of becoming a Cat 5

__% ch of making landfall
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221. hurricaneman23
5:24 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
wow those are pretty strong odds, would everyone agree we have a 60 percent chance at a hurricane?
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220. Tazmanian
5:25 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
some in sure is going on down there
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219. Drakoen
5:25 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Kman true, but pressure dropping maybe an indication that the mid level low is working its way to the SFC.
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218. cantstopme15
5:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
nothing is ever 100% taz. lol
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217. JFLORIDA
5:16 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Yea we need a surface low and wind pattern before I get really excited -

Like a strong pressure drop and a good wind direction change then intensification here - Station 42059 - Eastern Caribbean
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
216. kmanislander
5:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Aruba wind is ENE and surface pressure is 29.85 ( 1010.8 ) and falling. No surface low N of there at this time
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215. Drakoen
5:21 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
LOL taz.

the pressure in aruba is at 1011mb and is falling.
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214. Tazmanian
5:19 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
i give this 100% of be comeing 97L

80% of be comeing a TD

70% ch of be comeing a name storm

60% ch of a hurricane
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213. stormybil
5:17 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
its seems to be gaining more convection i think in 12 hours we will find out . but its trying its best right now to form .
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212. Tazmanian
5:16 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
you can the spin vary well her but is it at the sfc

Link
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211. MichaelSTL
12:15 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
The CMC still has something hitting New England, though not as strong as the last few runs (it also develops a strong hurricane in the East Pacific). It also develops from the current area of intrest, which may lend it some credibility (not that I really trust it right now).
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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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