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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961. weatherblog
4:29 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Can someone please tell me where you think this wave's low is??

lol..if I actually know where the low is, I can have a better understanding of how this system is organizing...well, if at all.
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960. weatherblog
3:58 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Yeah, still very disorganized. And will probobaly stay that way. Though becoming 97L or a ts isn't out of the question...just a few factors will have to come to play.

Like a the ULL letting the system develop and convection mantaining around a sfc low.
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959. JadeInAntigua
4:17 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
We had a bit of a drought back in May, but have had steady rainfall since then. Just hadn't seen any thunderstorms in that many months. The lightning really lit up the sky tonight from about 6:30pm on...
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957. franck
4:05 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Jade...so that means you've been really dry there.
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956. JadeInAntigua
4:01 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Hi all... Quick update from the eastern Leewards. A massive thunderstorm passed over us tonight - first one I've seen here in 6 months and it lasted for hours. Still raining at the moment, but the worst of the storm has hopefully passed.
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955. cantoriesnumber1fan
4:03 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
15 N 70 W, looks like some low level clouds starting to get it's act together...
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954. skibrian95
3:58 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
night all.
it's midnight.

time for sleep sleeps
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953. ustropics
3:56 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
I'm on but not seeing much in terms of organization tonight
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952. hornfan
3:53 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Hey guys - it is a long way out - just see where it decides to come - then we can go crazy. Nite guys - take care
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949. skibrian95
3:49 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
6'5" lock

i play for orlando RFC
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948. moonlightcowboy
3:50 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
L8R, SJ, Jp!
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946. Thundercloud01221991
3:49 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Hey I just signed up for a free Domain redirect to my page here http://yourweather.co.nr/ If you want to link to a specific page inside my website right-click and select show only this frame and then you will have the URL to link to that page
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945. StormJunkie
3:50 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Mee too, night all

Night jp
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943. StormJunkie
3:48 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Wait and see TM07, get used to it, it is the theme for the tropical season
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941. moonlightcowboy
3:47 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Sorry, geo was wrong, meant St. Martin, St. Kitts
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940. StormJunkie
3:45 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
See wb, around here there is only one meaning of hye and it is the first one you posted. So ther may be a better word to describe what we are doing.

On a side note, I have found except for the sick few, the folks that do hype are usually only doing so due to lack of understanding.
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939. weathers4me
3:46 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
I just love this time of year.
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938. hornfan
3:45 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
I hope that y'all are right but the funny thin about steerin current is that they change - the lows are still in the deep gulf and unless a high drops to protect us - we are kinda at the steering currents mercy
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936. weatherblog
3:44 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: TropicalMan07 at 3:43 AM GMT on July 20, 2007.

Could'nt get to sleep for some reason.....even though this thing is nothing...that is yet...i think i cant sleep because of the hype of development...so whats the scoop everyone?

TropicalMan07.....PLEASE don't bring up the word "hype"! lmao
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935. hornfan
3:41 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
yeah horn fan...check it out. great game. especially in the summer when we all lay back for the "7s season". Ft. Myers is the end party hosted by Naples RFC. "Beerfoot 7s Tournament". Barefoot rugby on the beach.
Sounds awesome - never got the chance to play on the beach - played in college and club 6year after that till knee went - sounds really cool. O- I was a scrumhalf
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933. weatherblog
3:42 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Rofl, TCW..
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932. weathers4me
3:41 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
jphurricane: I hope you are right. I have heard that too. But the local weather station said that the steering currents will push it out to sea. Then again, they are always on the conservative side.
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930. skibrian95
3:40 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
yeah horn fan...check it out. great game. especially in the summer when we all lay back for the "7s season". Ft. Myers is the end party hosted by Naples RFC. "Beerfoot 7s Tournament". Barefoot rugby on the beach.
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929. StormJunkie
3:40 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
w4me, isn't the high supposed to build back early next week?
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928. Bamatracker
3:40 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
oh...talking about big hurricanes again?!! Sorry thought we were talking about candies :/
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927. weatherblog
3:39 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Yes, StormJunkie..lol..that's what I ment. We all are "hyping" it in the good way. :-P
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925. moonlightcowboy
3:39 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Have a good sleep, Jp!
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923. weathers4me
3:34 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Doesn't matter much what forms out of this one. The BH is situated too far east which will create a weakness and thus the system will be turned north and out to sea. Sorry to say. Things do look like they are getting ripe though.
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922. TheCaneWhisperer
11:32 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Man! That's a big ULL in the C-ATL! Looks like it wants to take over the US or something, sheesh.
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921. hornfan
3:35 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
rugby on the beach in Ft Myers this weekend.
Nice - No JP - I know that no one wants a big cane - just worried about the saturation - it could get really bad if something pops up or that wave comes in -- now as a cane. sorry if it was offenseive
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920. Bamatracker
3:36 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
i want a big cane!!!! Candy canes are great!!!
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919. StormJunkie
3:35 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
See wb, I think most of us associate hype with that first definition you posted. The second sounds more like debate and discussion. Now, when Chantel does arrive I am sure there will be some hype, but lumping us in that catagory is where I think many of us take exception to it.

No fight, just healthy debate ☺
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918. moonlightcowboy
3:36 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Definitely getting some good cloud tops. Looks more like the lift is over the Virgins.

...and thanks Sailor.
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917. weatherblog
3:32 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
What?!?....I never said there was anything wrong with having an in-detail discussion...lol

I even said, that's good if we're "hyping" in that way. lol...I mean, at least we are paying attention to the wave, and, not "under-hyping" it. So I'm glad we are "hyping" the wave in that sense.

So, let's just drop the "hyping" thing, becasue you guys are having a great discussion, and letting a lot of people learn a lot...and keeping everybody a wary eye on that wave; well, if anything were to develop out of it.
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916. skibrian95
3:31 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
well...florida has her rain. that's what matters down here. any TS activity will leave us flooding.

goodnight all. rugby on the beach in Ft Myers this weekend. looks like weather will be ripe to give me a nice tan...
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914. CaicosRetiredSailor
11:31 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
moonlightcowboy at 11:23 PM
...no floater on it yet?
SEE:
Link

IR & Vis Floater CRS
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913. hornfan
3:31 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
I know that y'all want a big cane - but if this wave skirts the streams and finds it want not the gulf --- it could be a major problem in south Texas as saturated as we are - it doesn't need to be more than a wave.
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911. RL3AO
10:30 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
what is wrong with an in-detail discussion about a wave the NHC is talking about in the TWO?
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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.