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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1111. WPBHurricane05
9:17 AM EDT on July 20, 2007
All this political talking has given me a headache......
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1109. Chicklit
1:16 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Poof!
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11347
1106. Drakoen
1:14 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: charley04survivor at 1:13 PM GMT on July 20, 2007.

What killed our blob? Was it the ULL to the North?


Yes.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561
1104. charley04survivor
1:05 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
What killed our blob? Was it the ULL to the North?
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1103. Thundercloud01221991
1:07 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
please do not start a political discussion with this post:

you guys were talking about politics and the war in Iraq while I have been working on my website and I thought it was funny that I just added the city Bagdad, FL to the database just thought it was funny
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1102. Drakoen
1:11 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561
1100. Drakoen
1:08 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
yea it is kind of strong but it decreases as the wave moves towards the west.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561
1099. WPBHurricane05
9:08 AM EDT on July 20, 2007
Please aggie17, some people are already over heated.
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1096. WPBHurricane05
9:05 AM EDT on July 20, 2007
how is the shear and SAL looking out there?

NHC said SAL is weakening, shear kind of strong.
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1093. Drakoen
1:02 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Jp the SST by the nearest buoy is 80.1 F.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561
1091. stoormfury
12:56 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
july was a month of SAL and high wind shear. will we see chantal before end of month. carib wave is virtually dead. conditions for cyclogenisis should increase in the next few days
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1088. Skyepony (Mod)
1:01 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
As I suspected it looks like the ULL is gonna snack the energy off that Antillies wave.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 172 Comments: 38129
1087. Drakoen
1:01 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
can we stop talking about politics in the weather blog...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561
1085. Chicklit
1:00 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Michael, what do you mean by that?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11347
1084. emagirl
1:01 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
thanks JP
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1083. gthsii
12:38 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
...removed to stay on topic.
1078. emagirl
12:56 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
could we please talk about weather and not politics........please
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1077. Tazmanian
5:53 AM PDT on July 20, 2007



there is a 1009mb low with it

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1074. charley04survivor
12:56 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Agreed MahFL.
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1073. weathermanwannabe
7:55 AM CDT on July 20, 2007
Off to Work, but, Yall Have a nice weekend and enjoy the calm tropics........
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1070. Drakoen
12:53 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
interesting wave of Africa.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561
1069. emagirl
12:49 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
just to look for opinions... any on when a storm may form......
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1068. JeffM
12:46 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Good lord! The insurance knowledge on here is at a 3rd grade level. I hope some of you do not own a home.
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1067. charley04survivor
12:49 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
guygee, those are the people that have the government to "take care of them" I guess.
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1066. blogger4life
12:53 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Too many whiners on this blog
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1065. NCboy
12:44 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
I usually dont comment but this is getting rediculous...

Bush's war?...does he not have to get congress's approval? how many senators and representatives voted for this? durn near all of them, yeah a few didnt, but the senators that did and now say this is an illegal war are backstabbing this country...along with the myrmidons that follow them...
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1064. IKE
7:51 AM CDT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 7:50 AM CDT on July 20, 2007.
hello. Everyone it seems that wave is dead. back to blob watching lol.


Yup....that's one thing no one can predict with accuracy...the ULL's and how they'll effect storms .

2006 was the year of the ULL's in the Atlantic.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1063. Chicklit
12:49 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
Nash, what do you think is going to happen to the Caribbean disturbance? (There's a water vapor link above.)
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11347
1062. WPBHurricane05
8:49 AM EDT on July 20, 2007
Well SAINTHURRIFAN, I didn't vote for him. Most of South Florida is liberal. I can go on how Bush cheated in the 2000 election but this isn't the blog for it.
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1061. Drakoen
12:49 PM GMT on July 20, 2007
hello. Everyone it seems that wave is dead. back to blob watching lol.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30561

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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.