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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760. weatherguy03
8:48 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
SJ. You mean will a system form along the front?
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
759. IKE
7:48 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: philliesrock at 7:48 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.
Barometer Bob said it won't not develop! But he didn't say it will develop, either.


That narrows it down.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
758. weatherguy03
8:47 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Yeah I got it StormW. Just been doing a million things here at home and trying to get my workout in..LOL I agree. Thanks for the explanation.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
757. philliesrock
12:47 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Barometer Bob said it won't not develop! But he didn't say it will develop, either.
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754. StormJunkie
12:45 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
MT, hit the link button and paste that address in it.

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752. StormJunkie
12:41 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
So bob, although extreme speculation on my part, what do you think about the OBX scenario, plausible or not?
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750. weatherguy03
8:43 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
I use the Penn St site as well StormW. Yes I see that one. That one could be a wonderful outlow channel.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
749. WPBHurricane05
8:44 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
No Barometer Bob until 9 PM. Gotta watch Keith Olbermann first.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
748. SLU
8:40 PM AST on July 19, 2007
I'm I seeing things or is there a spin developing near 17n 63w with this system.

Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 8:28 PM AST on July 19, 2007.

do we have anyone here from the islands?


how is the weather?


Yeh i'm in St. Lucia. It is very calm now.

- sky completely cloudy but I can see the moon peeking through the thick cirrus clouds.
- wind from the SE - S 0 - 5mph.
- no rain for a couple hours now.
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745. MelbourneTom
12:38 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
SW, I still like:

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/winds-dlm.html

for steering charts. How do I make this a link? I thought I would just have to select and click link>
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744. ryang
8:39 PM AST on July 19, 2007
So i guess no LLC yet, but convection is increasing in coverage(This reminds's me of Ernesto last year).
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 329 Comments: 12453
743. Skyepony (Mod)
12:32 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Ike~ the ULL we were discussiong was the one in the Atlantic

"IN THE UPPER LEVELS...A WELL
DEFINED UPPER LEVEL LOW REMAINS NEAR 26N67W"

Taz~ cause an ULL can't go warm core when a front is hitting it? Like Bob says we need a LLC or we got nothing. I can see the whole scenario of that if that ULL weakened moved away & let a low develop on that wave could form something. Just watching the WV loop seems like that ULL might do more to the wave than provide good upper level divergance throught the night.
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741. ryang
8:39 PM AST on July 19, 2007
And Canefield Airport, Dominica is roporting East winds...
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 329 Comments: 12453
740. weatherguy03
8:38 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Also this trough is going to be in and then out rather quickly.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
739. ryang
8:34 PM AST on July 19, 2007
JP i'm in the islands... but in Barbados...
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 329 Comments: 12453
737. weatherguy03
8:35 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Not sure the trough is gonna make it that far Adrian. Again three things to watch. Will it get a LLC and some consolidation of T-storms, what will that ULL do South of Bermuda, and then what will the trough coming down the East Coast do.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
735. StormJunkie
12:34 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
right jp, and granted this is all extreme speculation on my part, I would think that would put whatever it is in or near the OBX
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734. IKE
7:34 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
JP...you're right....this from the Tallahassee extended...

"Long term...frontal boundary will slide south into the northern
County Warning Area by Sunday...allowing some drier air to move in and keeping the
best rain chances confined over Florida. Beyond Sunday...eastern
trough expected to deamplify and allow ridge to build back in at
surface and aloft."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
733. stormpetrol
12:30 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Convection is moving NE from what I can see, I wonder if it will colocate with what I suspect is a developing LLC just south of PR, If it doesn't I suspect by this time tomorrow this blob will be a memory, if it does shift back more SWD, then I'll give a chance to become a TS.
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732. hurricane23
8:31 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
SJ If the trof is slower it could not pick it up and yea once the high builds back i think there a possibilty it could come back west.Overall once we get a better defined area of low pressure it will be easier to track.If that happens at all cause as skye pointing out that ULL could indeed swallow the wave whole later tonight into tommorow.Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
731. StormJunkie
12:33 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Not sure sp, just kept/keep hearing the past week or so that the high would build back in after the front stalled and dissipated.
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729. AdamGirard
8:33 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Can we please move on from the internal politics of the NHC? This is getting to be such old news.
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728. MelbourneTom
12:29 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Even though we have all had a good laugh at the CMC model IMHO it has more accruatly predicted the present sate of the TW in the CARB then any other. I still can not see this getting to NE with any strength but it has given me better respect for the CMC as a short term model.
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727. weathersp
8:32 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
I am not seeing anything SJ... Is it past 144 hrs?
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726. Tazmanian
5:30 PM PDT on July 19, 2007
why that sky?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
725. KoritheMan
7:28 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
I think either way it should help turn what ever is there out.

What do you mean by this? Recurve it our help it develop? Please elaborate, Adrian.
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724. StormJunkie
12:29 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
23, would the high building back in not push it back to the W
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723. StormJunkie
12:27 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
18z GFS is crazy
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721. hurricane23
8:24 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Yea 03 the trof from what i saw this afternoon is forcasted to move into northern florida and not make it that far south.I think either way it should help turn what ever is there out.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
720. StormJunkie
12:25 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Thanks 03 and skye ☺
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719. IKE
7:26 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
According to the latest NHC discussion..the ULL to the west of the strong wave is.....

"UPPER LOW OVER THE
NW CARIBBEAN NOTED ABOVE WAS MOVING W 10-15 KT."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
718. Skyepony (Mod)
12:15 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Junkie~ 1st we gotta see if the ULL feeds on that wave through the night. It's come down to the midlevels some over the last few days. That DR blob it 1/2 ate & 1/2 shreaded the other day helped. So if it does consume the majority of the energy from the antillies blog (which it looks more primed for eating than shredding tonight, just need the interaction) then the front would come into play. If it's quick the whole thing gets front smacked before it develops, if the front is slower than it may have time to go warm core.
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717. weatherguy03
8:17 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
If trough slows down, then it could still have a chance to get left behind and move more westward. I believe we need that ULL to its NNW to weaken, and for that trough to stay farther North for it to have any chance. Oh and also we need a LLC somewhere!!..LOL That trough will create Northerly shear along the East Coast.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
716. IKE
7:19 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Posted By: texascanecaster1 at 7:16 PM CDT on July 19, 2007.
very important nhc favors it:


They sure do!!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
714. IKE
7:17 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
STRONG EASTERN CARIBBEAN TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 66W/67W

That's as far west as Puerto Rico.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
713. StormJunkie
12:19 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Good to see ya NP
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712. eye
12:16 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
STRONG EASTERN CARIBBEAN TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 66W/67W IS BECOMING
ACTIVE WITH NUMEROUS MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION DEVELOPING
OVER THE NORTHERN WINDWARD ISLANDS...ANTIGUA...ST MAARTEN AND
ANGUILLA. SURFACE PRESSURES HAVE FALLEN 2-3 MB OVER THE PAST 24
HOURS OVER PUERTO RICO AND THE ADJACENT WINDWARD ISLANDS AND
UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONIC OUTFLOW IS EXPANDING AND BECOMING
BETTER DEFINED WITH TIME. IN ADDITION SOUTHERLY WINDS ARE NOTED
OVER THE PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN LESSER ANTILLES. ADDITIONAL
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY WAS OCCURRING OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC
FROM 18N-22N BETWEEN 61W-66W.
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711. guygee
12:14 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 12:09 AM GMT on July 20, 2007.
They strengthen if they can continue to move air through their circulation.A surface high right underneath could help with that,I guess.

Thanks Kris, that actually makes a lot of sense. I am also wondering about interactions between neighboring upper-level systems and how they may work to strengthen or weaken each other. Things that make me go hmmm...
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