Postcards from the Orlando Hurricane Conference

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:41 PM GMT on April 28, 2008

Share this Blog
1
+

I'm in Orlando this week for the 28th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, sponsored by the American Meteorological Society. The conference, held once every two years, brings together the world's experts on hurricane science. A few snapshots from this morning's talks:

HWRF hurricane model improvements for 2008
Naomi Surgi of NOAA oulined the progress with the new HWRF model, which debuted last year. The HWRF model outperformed the GFDL model in the Atlantic last year for forecasting hurricane tracks. The GFDL had consistently been the best-performing model for forecasting hurricane tracks in recent years, so this is good news. The HWRF model is intended to eventually replace the GFDL model. However, neither the HWRF or GFDL model performed as well as the GFS model last year, so there is room for the HWRF to improve. New for 2008 for the HWRF model is the ability to include real-time Doppler radar data from the NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft for initialization of the model. There are also upgrades to the equations governing the model's physics, plus improvements in how the model is initialized. These improvements should make for much improved intensity forecasts beyond 48 hours, Dr. Surgi showed. That's good news, because intensity forecasting has shown very little improvement over the past 15 years, despite a near doubling in the improvement in track forecasts.

Dust from Africa
Amato Evan of the University of Wisconsin showed that dust blowing off the coast of Africa has a very strong impact on Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Atlantic, amounting to 0.1°C to 1.0°C annually. Dr. Evan showed that most of the warming of tropical Atlantic SSTs in recent years can be explained by variations in the amount of dust coming off the coast of Africa. In particular, 2005 had very little dust, resulting in unusually high SSTs that help lead to the record breaking Hurricane Season of 2005, with its record 28 named storms.

Influence of Gulf Stream Loop Current on Katrina's intensity
Hurricane Katrina explosively deepened when it passed over an unusually far northern extension of the warm Gulf of Mexico Loop Current, and a Warm Core Eddy that had broken off from the Loop Current. Richard Yablonsky and Isaac Ginis of the University of Rhode Island showed that if the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current had been in its normal position, and no Warm Core Eddy had been present, Katrina would have had a pressure more than 20 mb higher and maximum sustained winds at least 20 mph lower. The study was done using the GFDL model.

I'll have more postcards from the Orlando hurricane conference every day this week. One other highlight from this morning: seeing the 5-year old daughter of one the participants entertain herself by setting up a little diorama complete with ponies, unicorns, and fairies on the floor outside of the main session this morning. Who needs Disney World to entertain a kid in Orlando!

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 310 - 260

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Blog Index

310. Cavin Rawlins
7:52 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
I have been monitoring this area for the past few days incase in showed any signs of development. Except for some increase in convection, little is expected from this. This area of low pressure is located near 33.8N-47.9W moving off to the east-southeast. Satellite derived winds from CIMSS showed the disturbance is embedded within a broad upper level low pressure system. Quickscat show the low pressure area is producing gale force winds well away from the center. The system remains baroclinic in nature and conditions do not appear conducive for subtropical development. The forecast calls for the system to be absorbed into a larger low pressure area by Sunday and race off towards the far NE Atlantic by the following Wednesday.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
309. Cavin Rawlins
7:36 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
The SST Factor Updated
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
308. pearlandaggie
5:41 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
NOAA to modernize climate data collection network:

Link

Unfortunately, the modernization effort will do little to address the poor siting issues that have plagued the datasets, necessitating the need for "corrections".
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
307. HIEXPRESS
5:30 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Shrimp named Charlie
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
306. aspectre
5:29 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
New blog
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
304. pearlandaggie
5:27 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
It's interesting to note, though, that Congress never seriously talks of cutting the gasoline taxes to give consumers a break.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
303. pearlandaggie
5:22 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
I believe the whole gasoline problem is a mix of pinched refining capacity, inability to drill domestically, and the weak dollar. Couple this with ridiculous biofuels subsidies that encourage the production of corn for ethanol over corn for food and average consumers are getting hit on all sides: higher energy and food prices coupled with a devalued dollar.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
302. HIEXPRESS
5:22 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
294. GainesvilleGator 1:03 PM EDT We sell about 15 million new vehicles per year in the US. I don't know how many of the old vehicles go out of circulation. With more vehicles coming online due to the population increasing, demand for gas will only go up.

My car gets twice the mileage of the one it replaced - same thing with the boat. I do find myself putting a few more miles on though.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
301. Patrap
5:22 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Prepare Now..
worry when a Threat develops.
Take action when told to do so.
Anticipate evacuations and be ready to do so when asked.

Rant over..LOL

CAT-5 Shrimp from the GOM

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
298. Patrap
5:18 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
The 2005 Shrimp June Forecast was spot on..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
297. HIEXPRESS
5:16 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
GFS - Global Forecasting Shrimp
Our recreational shrimping (inshore, with lights & dip nets) seems to be ending early this year, like '06 &'07, but unlike '04 & '05. The weather (wind driven currents, rain/salinity, water temps, etc. maybe even African dust - who knows) have a lot to do with it. Do the shrimp know something we (Dr. Gray - LOL) doesn't?
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
295. moonlightcowboy
5:04 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
"Sustainability" - hhhhmmm, wonder where I've heard that word before? lol
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
294. GainesvilleGator
5:03 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
StormW, part of the problem with high gasoline prices is the fact that no new refineries have been built over past 30 years. We sell about 15 million new vehicles per year in the US. I don't know how many of the old vehicles go out of circulation. With more vehicles coming online due to the population increasing, demand for gas will only go up.

Lets hope Hurricane activity in the GOM is at a minimum this year.
Member Since: September 11, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 745
293. Patrap
4:58 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Refineries are at capacity.Its the Regulatory agencies that are making it impossible for a permit to expand.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
292. Patrap
4:57 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
I see the same folks bringing zero to the table here.


Except their intimate knowledge of nothing.. or skirting around what they really want to say and to whom. LOL!!!!!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
291. pottery
4:55 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Aaaah, MLC.
I've been wanting to post a similiar thing for some time. But good manners prevented me doing that. I still feel that I am an outsider, in an American forum here. Good one.
But note, there are some freaks on here that will probably hit you with an 'ignore' for that one. heheheheh
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24801
290. TexasGulf
4:54 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
At $110 per 42-gallon barrel, crude oil market price is $2.61/gallon. Transport, pipelines, refining, storage and shipping costs money. Gasoline prices at pump are $3.50-$3.75. Thats only roughly $1.00 mark-up per gallon including tax.

Don't blame the refineries. They are doing everything possible to increase production and maintain flow of product at reasonable prices.

Regarding the TROPICAL WEATHER (hint), we all need to hope the Houston, Freeport, Baytown and Port Arthur, Texas areas are hurricane free this year. If crude oil supply has driven prices this high... shut down a few refineries for a month and watch what happens to the pricing.

A major hurricane impact to the Houston ship channel or Baytown may not be as dramatic as Katrina... but it will affect this nation as much or more. Forget pricing... can we say "Gas Rationing"? No kidding.
Member Since: April 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 354
289. tornadofan
4:53 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Same ole know-it-alls stirring up controversy. Dr. Gray has forgotten more weather knowledge than you critics will ever know. LOL

weatherboyfsu - good observation. LOL.
Member Since: April 5, 2007 Posts: 83 Comments: 12345
288. moonlightcowboy
4:48 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
I'm going to try to keep my comments in Doc's blog limited to just weather-related info; but, with just this one comment.

The government can not continue to print money and interject it into the economy - that multiplies inflation - it's Economics 101. The stimulus money being issued is reportedly only going to help grocery stores and discounters to help folks buy meat and eggs - not TV's, clothes, etc.

Oil prices, largely, are at the mercy of the dollar's value. A weaker dollar, simply means that it takes more dollars to buy oil.

However, it's going to be a sad state when a wheelbarrow full of money still can't buy anything - and there's also little to buy.

Lean times - I expect 2009 to be even leaner. It'll be interesting to see how we "weather" this storm.

Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
287. pottery
4:45 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Well, that just proves it . Nobody knows what he did, LOL
It's a media thingy.........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24801
285. Patrap
4:35 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Dr. Gray been round long time. He will weather the storm, a lot better than Bill Proenza did with lasts years controversy du jour.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
283. weatherboyfsu
4:31 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Good afternoon,

I see that this blog hasnt changed much......Same ole know-it-alls stirring up controversy. Dr. Gray has forgotten more weather knowledge than you critics will ever know. LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
282. pottery
4:31 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
It's not unusual to see that Dr. Gray is now the subject of some scorn and ridicule. Happens to prophets all the time.
We believe what makes us comfortable, all the time.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24801
281. GainesvilleGator
4:25 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Help4u
"Global warming will be the biggest cash in for poloticans the world has ever seen.With taxes on fuel and fines the poor will be poorer and those in polotics will be wealthy.What a crime and a hoax.Open your wallets and do and think what those in power tell you."

Didn't the price of crude make a run at $120 a barrel last week? Gasoline is $3.60 per gallon nationally. I think we are paying off the wrong people, which are the energy companies such as Exxon Mobile. Wasn't the whole logic behind all these tax breaks to the energy companies to provide us with commodities at a reasonable price?

It looks to me that the Bush energy policy is a total bust.
Member Since: September 11, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 745
280. Patrap
4:03 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
I believe that the conference is in session on the 07 retired names. But since there were no major Deaths recorded..even with the Landfalls.I'd personally expect no names will be retired.

2007 at a glance Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
279. Beta
3:56 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Have they retired any Hurricane Names from the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season yet?
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 20
278. moonlightcowboy
3:51 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Photobucket

Shear doesn't look that strong, but it doesn't look as tightly would with good banding features as it did yesterday evening.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
277. Patrap
3:42 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Seasonal Hurricane Forecasts are like ones Dog,Opinions and Cars.
Every one has one and theirs is the best.

They serve NO purpose other than controversy.


And an Oilman President rants within this Hour about how a Refinery hasnt been built in the US since 78-79.

I should know.Shell built it here in Norco. La.along with a Ethylene Plant we did the furnaces for too.We Being Pullman /Kelloggthen.Now Its another entity.
Non-union.Kellogg Brown & Root

EPA regulations, and Govt permitting processes have kept America hostage to the Saudis.
Not Congress.One can have a Billion BBLs of oil from Domestic or Foreign imports,but you can refine it all at a fixed,finite known rate.
Best learn and google the term,Catcracker, or Cataltyic Crude Oil Processing. Its going to get a lot of media play the next few weeks.

Oh,and the Saudi Big Robes are coming for another vist.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
276. JRRP
3:36 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
GFS show a TC in east pacific near Mexico mayo 13
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
275. sporteguy03
3:35 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Help4u,
I think the fuel prices are hurting more then just the poor, aviation for instance is hurting.
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5417
274. pianomahnn
3:29 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
@help4u

It's generally not the ones in politics who are wealthy, it is those who have the politicians in their pockets.
Member Since: June 1, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
273. pearlandaggie
3:23 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
help4u, don't forget the implications of this...

Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
272. benirica
3:19 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
come on... do you all need a storm out there or something to prevent you from going blood thirsty?
dr gray, as everyone in the business has to do a lot of guessing, weather is never 100% accurate.
and like it or not, his guessing is or was better than anyone else's and that is why every time he decides to say how many storms there will be a season everyone pays attention.
if you consider your talent to be better developed than his, be my guest and start sending your annual predictions to the nation.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
271. help4u
2:57 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Global warming will be the biggest cash in for poloticans the world has ever seen.With taxes on fuel and fines the poor will be poorer and those in polotics will be wealthy.What a crime and a hoax.Open your wallets and do and think what those in power tell you.
Member Since: September 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1301
270. TexasGulf
2:54 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
TC Nargis projections were just updated. Seems path shifted slightly to the South later in this week, with projections now weakening the storm to a Cat-2 rather than Cat-3. Lets hope it doesn't drift any further South or Rangoon (pop. 6 Million) and surrounding floodplain farmland is going to get it.

Why the weakening projection? Sea surface temps are almost ideal for tropical development, and very little wind shear is present. Nargis' forward speed will increase as it moves to the East, but not enough to impede strengthening. Why the downgrade projections (from Cat-4 two days ago, Cat-3 this morning, Cat-2 latest)?
Member Since: April 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 354
269. Tazmanian
2:43 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
good news for ca i hop this strong El Nino is w little more nic then the one we had in 2006 the 2006 El Nino was dry has a bone for ca so whats up this strong El Nino is a little ore nic this time around
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115439
268. Tazmanian
2:35 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
do we no yet how strong the Tornadoes where on monday??
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115439
267. louisianaboy444
2:27 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
I think La Nina will last another month or two giving way to netural conditions around the heart of the season but a moderate to strong El Nino should be in place for 2008-2009 winter season....so enjoy the heat this summer because if a strong El Nino would persist into the winter expect another cold and wetter than average winter....
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
266. TexasGulf
2:27 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
TC Nargis is projected to affect a relatively unpopulated area of Myanmar (Burma) by this weekend. This is fortunate for Myanmar and Bangladesh, who don't need another strong TC so soon after last season. This area of the country does not have large coastal flood plains or coastal cities. It is also not a major food producing region.

After hitting the coast, Nargis should move East over the inland hills of Myanmar. It will be a rain-maker and we may read about flooding and mudslides in some areas. Hopefully, Nargis stays on the projected path.
Member Since: April 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 354
265. Patrap
2:24 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
If Im being quoted..

Im reaching too..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
264. Patrap
2:23 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
LOL..you mistake Humor for opines.
Get a Blog..do an entry.
Jackonsville isnt that scary is it?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
263. Cavin Rawlins
2:23 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Through the forecast period conditions are not expected to be favorable for development.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
262. afcjags03
2:22 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Really?

Re # 260 I give no Personal Opinion on it

Re: #251 Dr.Gray needs to exit stage right along with his Forecasts.

Sounds like an opinion to me.

Member Since: August 16, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 147
261. Cavin Rawlins
2:19 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
The image Taz posted appears to be a warmcore system but shallow in nature. Maybe subtropical to tropical. A weak system tho.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
260. Patrap
2:17 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
Marines arent sheep.
Im a free thinker.

I post Dr. Grays view...and the recent controversy around it.I give no Personal Opinion on it

You just post..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454

Viewing: 310 - 260

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
25 °F
Overcast