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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111. kmanislander
3:41 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
There is rotation at the 10,000 ft level in the area of the heavy convection just to the W of the islands

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110. IKE
10:42 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
I hear you. LOL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
109. benirica
3:39 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
o no im sure the CMC is wrong, it has been sneaking into daddy's juice cabinet since the end of June... completely crazy, but if something like that ever happened
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108. IKE
10:37 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: benirica at 10:36 AM CDT on July 19, 2007.
could you imagine if this wave is what the CMC develops into a storm that goes into New England...
whoa I hope not, it would be something HUGE... I sure hope it doesnt develop into this, because a little west of that track and that huge system would go into New York City (completely one of those It Could Happen Tomorrow episodes)


The water temps up there are UNDER 70 degrees. The CMC is out-to-lunch.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
107. kmanislander
3:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Convection on the increase now but no surface low. The ABC islands have winds from the E. For there to be a surface low the winds would have to be from the W

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106. flaboyinga
3:20 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I have been lurking for years and opted to stay out of some of the sometimes "hot and humid" environment I noticed. Besides that, I'm ususally amazed at there resources now available. (I worked with sling psychrometers, teletype, thermal facsimile recorders, radiosond balloons, etc. in the early sixties in the USN). I lived thru Donna making landfall over my home and watched (from a distance) as Charlie did the same thing. I do enjoy the wealth of info that I find in this blog and I'll be lurking in the pantry like the La Choy Dragon.
If this turns out to be a repeat, sorry I'm new to this.
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104. Drakoen
3:35 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
looks like is fanning out.( at least we have something to watch)
Link
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
103. benirica
3:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
could you imagine if this wave is what the CMC develops into a storm that goes into New England...
whoa I hope not, it would be something HUGE... I sure hope it doesnt develop into this, because a little west of that track and that huge system would go into New York City (completely one of those It Could Happen Tomorrow episodes)
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102. IKE
10:35 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: kmanislander at 10:34 AM CDT on July 19, 2007.
Drak

Both buoys 42057 and 42058 are out of service and awaiting repair. The only Buoy still working in the C and NW Caribbean is the one near the Yucatan channel


And that suxs...they've been out for weeks...maybe months! There's no excuse for that. Maybe Proenza should have gotten on someones ass about that!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
100. guygee
3:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Thank you very much for that link bobw999! Watching right now, with Bill Proenza on the frying pan. I agree with you Chicklit, follow the money. gthsii that is a plausible hypothesis.

How our government spends our tax dollars on advancing science is an issue that greatly effects us all.

Proenza on the NTIS inspection: "when the team came in, it was so extraordinary"..."it was unprecedented"..."it triggered concern for their careers" (speaking of NHC staff).


Posted By: bobw999 at 3:15 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.
Never mind. Watch him here for the last 45 minutes.

Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3188
99. IKE
10:33 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
This may mean nothing or be just because the wave is moving through...but, the pressure at San Juan,PR has been falling slightly the last few hours...

"Observed at: Reparto Metropolitano, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Elevation: 58 ft
[Light Rain]
87.4 F
Light Rain
Humidity: 67%
Dew Point: 75 F
Wind: 2.0 mph from the ENE
Wind Gust: 11.0 mph
Pressure: 29.96 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 97 F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 9 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 3500 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
98. kmanislander
3:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Drak

Both buoys 42057 and 42058 are out of service and awaiting repair. The only Buoy still working in the C and NW Caribbean is the one near the Yucatan channel
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97. IKE
10:30 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
The John Hope theory...if it hasn't developed by the time it gets to the eastern Caribbean...it won't, if at all, until it gets to the western Caribbean. Got a trough coming down into the SE this weekend...curious to see if it survives the ULL to it's west and if it heads into the GOM.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
96. kmanislander
3:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: benirica at 3:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

what exactly of the Caribbean wave would the be looking at for some "possible slow development"


Perhaps a surface low developing in the next 24 to 36 hrs. would be my guess
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95. Drakoen
3:29 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: benirica at 3:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2007.

what exactly of the Caribbean wave would the be looking at for some "possible slow development"


I don't know what they are looking for. But i am guessing they are watching to see if pressure drops at the buoys and if that mid level spin can get down to the SFC. Also increase in convection.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
94. hcubed
10:28 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
And now they've got the experimental graphic TWO...

GTWO
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93. benirica
3:25 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
what exactly of the Caribbean wave would the be looking at for some "possible slow development"
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92. Drakoen
3:27 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Graphical out look.
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91. wederwatcher555
3:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
if the NHC noticed something, it is definitely something to keep an eye on. of course they did they development would be slow to occur if it occurs at all
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90. Drakoen
3:23 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
700mb vorticity
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
89. Drakoen
3:22 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
yea Ike it is lol. in order for this to be 97L it needs a SFC low. there is probably a mid level low now.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
88. IKE
10:18 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 10:15 AM CDT on July 19, 2007.
i see the NHC has taken notice of the wave very interesting.


That's the first time they have mentioned anything in weeks on the TWO.

97L?????
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
87. Drakoen
3:18 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
the upper level low to the north is helping with the outflow. It looks stationary almost.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
86. snotly
3:12 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
lookes like the CMC (stands for: Can't Model Climate) is taking the flare up north of the Winwards and developing something out of it. Isnt the ULL north of it going to block development?
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85. Drakoen
3:15 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
84. Drakoen
3:15 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
i see the NHC has taken notice of the wave very interesting.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
83. bobw999
11:14 AM EDT on July 19, 2007
Never mind. Watch him here for the last 45 minutes.
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81. Drakoen
3:12 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
the upper level low does not appear to be drawing moisture from the lesser Antilles wave by looking at the rainbow loop. the shear that it is creating to the north is actually helping the wave.
The forecast track from the CMC isn't of, its what its forecasting for.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
79. TexasRiverRat
3:14 PM GMT on July 19, 2007

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


000
ABNT20 KNHC 191507
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1130 AM EDT THU JUL 19 2007

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS OVER THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE LESSER
ANTILLES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOVING TROPICAL
WAVE. THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION AT THIS TIME...AND ANY
DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN




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78. gthsii
3:01 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Its been discussed b4, but the Bush admin seems so intent on promoting manned space flight that earth observing science missions are hurting from it. couple that with fewer budget dollars going to NASA and we prolly have our answer.
77. Chicklit
3:09 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
Baha: Proenza's bombastic style appears to have alienated those in his institution. Since this has become political, I would look deeper into pockets to see who is standing in line to build the next satellite.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11410
76. ryang
11:13 AM AST on July 19, 2007
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1130 AM EDT THU JUL 19 2007

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS OVER THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE LESSER
ANTILLES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOVING TROPICAL
WAVE. THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION AT THIS TIME...AND ANY
DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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74. bobw999
11:10 AM EDT on July 19, 2007
Is Proenza going to be on CSPAN?
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73. Skyepony (Mod)
3:04 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
What the CMC is calling for looks even more feasable to me today. It's calling for the ULL that is N of PR to suck in the moisture from the antillies wave (500mb {midlevel} CMC). The ULL isn't all elongated like it was yesterday, nice & round now, started tapping into the 1st bit of the blob now. Also what's to the east of it has cut off that stream where the ULL was strewing energy when it shred that last blob, instead of sucking all the energy up. The next day should be the telling time. Easy loading WV 24hr animation
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39098
72. quante
3:10 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
From NHC Tropical Weather Discussion:

THE FIRST VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES OF THE DAY
CONTINUE TO SHOW A LARGE SURGE OF AFRICAN DUST OVER THE E ATLC S
OF A LINE FROM JUST S OF THE STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR ALONG 32N18W
24N42W TO 22N55W WITH CLEARING S OF 16N E OF 35W. THE REMAINDER
OF THE ATLC CONTINUES TO BE DOMINATED BY A SURFACE RIDGE
ANCHORED BY A 1031 MB HIGH CENTERED N OF THE REGION TO OVER THE
N GULF OF MEXICO.
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71. Drakoen
3:09 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
lol yea IKE.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
70. LarryJS
2:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
As a resident of Florida, I find this whole affair unsettling. Whether or not the QuikSCAT satellite is of concern or not, the fact that at this crucial time of the year there is such vociferous dissonance at the TPC is of great concern. We in hurricane prone locals, such as Florida, depend greatly upon the TPC. To have the experts arguing back and forth in public in this manner is like a patient in the hospital watching his doctors fighting among themselves over personal matters in public. It does not do much to bolster confidence. This entire affair should be ended quickly with a competent director in place. I thank you, Dr. Masters, for providing a clear and rational explanation of the nuances involved in the debate. It is of some comfort to have a rational and clear voice that rises above the fracas.
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69. IKE
10:06 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
I think what the CMC is picking up on is....found this in the Miami,Fl. extended....

"upper flow will continue to amplify across
the Continental U.S. Through the weekend as upper ridge over The Rockies
continues to build slowly northeast into the upper plains...allowing
a strong shortwave to dive into the mean eastern Continental U.S. Upper trough
and close off a strong upper low in the middle Atlantic region."....

It's a ULL that's going to develop in the NE USA.

The CMC needs to quit inhaling!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
67. Drakoen
3:02 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
I haven't bothered to look at the CMC forecast. The model is done for the season imo. Just keeps forecasting storms that don't form.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727
66. weathersp
10:57 AM EDT on July 19, 2007
Good Morning All!

I See that the CMC is still on the case of the Great Northeast Storm of 2007.
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65. ryang
11:00 AM AST on July 19, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 10:57 AM AST on July 19, 2007.

ryang, i am saying it is our best chance to see something in the short term although i am not anticipating development. That wave of Africa is also interesting.

We'll see what happens...
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64. IKE
10:00 AM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: ryang at 9:55 AM CDT on July 19, 2007.
Ok, So you are saying it has a chance to develop?


If you're asking me...I don't know. Probably not.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
63. gthsii
2:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
looking at the gfs 850Mb vorticity java animation the last few frames has a few blobs moving west to east as they get drawn into a bigger system. The blobs are between 5-9N and aprox. 20-35W. Seems like a strange motion.
62. BahaHurican
10:05 AM EDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: bobw999 at 9:59 AM EDT on July 19, 2007.

Why was there such a depth of dissatisfaction over Proenza's focus on a particular satellite?

Because they knew when the satellite's life expectancy was going to be over. They should have a replacement up already.


What I don't understand is why the next-new-thing, higher-quality, multi-purpose scatterometer type satellite isn't already ready. Why this gap in science? If someone had been able to say, "Oh, we haven't replaced it yet because we're still refining and finetuning the latest new thing," we might have been less struck by the concerns expressed by Proenza. Perhaps Proenza's comments didn't highlight so much NHC's forecasting inabilities as it did NOAA's inability to advance the technology in a proactive manner. From this perspective, Proenza may have been carrying on a campaign that he had started (or at least been thinking about) even before he was "demoted" to NHC. (I know most of us can't imagine a move to the leadership position at NHC as a "demotion" LOL)

All this is aside from other issues raised by Dr. M and by NHC staff members. To me these issues are separate and apart from the scatterometer issue and focus on individual personality and character rather than on science.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22687
61. Drakoen
2:56 PM GMT on July 19, 2007
ryang, i am saying it is our best chance to see something in the short term although i am not anticipating development. That wave of Africa is also interesting.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30727

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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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