New NHC revelations; Atlantic tropical update; Hawaii watches Cosme

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on July 19, 2007

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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811. Patrap
8:20 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Thats a rerun from the other week
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810. philliesrock
1:12 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
StormJunkie is on the Barometer Bob show.
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809. WPBHurricane05
9:19 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Get some rest Storm.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
808. WPBHurricane05
9:17 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Too funny Patrap......
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
806. Patrap
8:15 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Nova hates the Trailer too...Link
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805. StormJunkie
1:14 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Me too SW, couple=good too many=bad morning

Just goes to show why you should never make assumptions ☺
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804. hurricane23
9:11 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
The wave appears to be moving WNW-NW if you ask me and right not much to be concerned about as persistence is always key with everything.If its there tommorow at this time then we might have something.
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802. texascanecaster1
1:13 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
i am less crazy now nash PLEASE! come to stormchat we miss you.
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801. StormJunkie
1:11 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
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800. Patrap
8:11 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
About 60,000 households affected by Katrina remain in trailers.
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799. nawlinsdude
1:10 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
hey WPB-When i go in my trailer after being away for a couple days, the stench of formaldehyde is overwhelming. I get dizzy, my nose burns, its bad.
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797. StormJunkie
1:08 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Or do some shooters! LOL!!!

lmao I never would have suspected SW :~)

Thanks 03, great to have your analysis ☺
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795. WPBHurricane05
9:06 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
FEMA lawyers nixed trailer tests for toxicity
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
794. hurricane23
9:02 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
That ULL to its north might put the clamp on it .
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793. eye
1:05 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
TMPI(too much personal info) going on in this blog tonight....
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792. texascanecaster1
1:05 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Patrap formaldhyde has been found in many fema trailers and has caused many deaths already. You need to get your trailer checked be very careful.
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789. nash28
1:05 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
I will... Thank you.
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787. sporteguy03
1:03 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Although it appears a centralization of the convection is just South of Virgin Islands
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786. weatherguy03
9:03 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
SJ. Climatology goes a long way in forecasting. Good analysis.
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785. nash28
1:01 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
By the way, thanks StormW for offering yourself to talk...

I really appreciate that, more than you know..

We DO need to get together after work one of these days (when you are feeling better) and shoot the breeze! Or shoot the huuricane winds:-) Whichever comes first:-)
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784. StormJunkie
12:59 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
lol 03, thanks, I really don't have a whole lot of basis for that other then seeing similar scenarios in years past and just felt like taking a guess. Wait and see as usual ☺

Guess it all depends how the high builds back and IF anything is there
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783. msphar
1:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
SLU - that blob looks like a lot of cirrus, but I think I could see a line of thunderheads going off this afternoon just West of the islands. Could you see that ?
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
781. eye
1:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
you must be watching a different blob
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779. nash28
1:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Yeah, not gonna be on much myself...

Getting late and too much going on family wise, but I can't stay away from you guys.

This is family too:-)
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778. sporteguy03
12:58 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Why Eye? It already appears to have cloud tops warming
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777. nash28
12:59 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Give Adrian a break.

He's a good guy.
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776. BahaHurican
8:53 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: bobw999 at 6:29 PM EDT on July 19, 2007.
Max Mayfield has a blog Link

I think that local ABC station struck a gold mine weather-wise with Max.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 20 Comments: 24933
775. weatherguy03
8:59 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Hey Nash. Gotta workout. BBL.
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774. eye
12:59 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
*however, I would prefer it to be further S at this time....might do a Ernesto.
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773. nash28
12:58 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Good evening Bob, JP, StormW.
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772. nash28
12:56 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Ok, I am on for a limited few minutes...
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771. weatherguy03
8:56 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Tough one SJ. I honestly cant answer that..LOL Its possible if something forms off that front that as that trough quickly lifts a system may get left behind and move back west. We have seen that happen many times before off the Southeast coast.
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769. philliesrock
12:55 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Wow...eye and Adrian say this has a chance! This will develop people...LOL.
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768. nash28
12:55 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Hey Texascanecaster- No disrespect here, but putting 97L as the beginning of your blog title is misleading.
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767. eye
12:53 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
the last three blow ups the past three days I have said would die and they have....i think this wave has a chance and will be around this time Friday
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766. StormJunkie
12:51 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Let me add to that, the GFS at 168 shows four areas off the E coast at 168hrs
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765. texascanecaster1
12:51 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
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764. philliesrock
12:49 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
LOL Ike. But thst does mean it still has a chance.
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763. StormJunkie
12:49 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
No, I guess I mean will the high building back in push whatever is there back toward the OBX, or will it likely be further N or S. Not trying to pinpoint anything, just trying to get a feel for the possible scenarios, be it the front or the Carib blob.
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762. groundman
12:49 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Barometer Bob said it won't not develop! But he didn't say it will develop, either.

I agree completely with Bob. LOL

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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