Mile-wide tornado smashes Windsor, Colorado; plus, hurricane season commentary

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:23 PM GMT on May 23, 2008

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A mile-wide tornado swept through Colorado between 11am and noon yesterday, ripping the roofs off buildings, tossing cars into the air, and killing at least one person in Weld County, northeast of Denver. Hail up to 2.75" in diameter accompanied the storm, which took an unusual north-northwesterly track , parallel to the Rocky Mountains north of Denver. Hardest hit was the town of Windsor, between Fort Collins and Greely, where damage appeared to be at least EF3. A local TV station took some impressive live video of the tornado, and a wunderground web cam video in Windsor, Colorado (Figure 1) caught the funnel as it passed east of the camera.


Figure 1.Webcam view looking east at 11:45am MDT in Windsor, Colorado as the tornado passed by. Note the golf ball-sized hail covering the ground. Image credit: windsorweather.com.

The Weather Underground's tornado expert, Rob Carver, had this explanation of yesterday's tornadoes:

Two low pressure systems over the Western U.S. were the cause of the severe weather outbreak of May 22. A strong upper-level low over the Great Basin formed a surface low in the lee of the Rockies, and brought a strong southerly mid-level jet over the Plains of Colorado and Kansas. As the surface low formed, it brought warm moist air northwards, forming a warm front. This warm air moved westward, rising with the terrain, causing thunderstorms to form. Once these storms formed, the juxtaposition of easterly flow at the surface with southerly flow aloft (i.e., wind shear) produced significant spin in the horizontal direction, which was tilted by the storms to vertical spin, which triggered the formation of tornadic thunderstorms. This movement of the warm front up the slope of the Rockies to help trigger tornadic thunderstorms is a rare occurrence.



Figure 2. Radar reflectivity image (top) of the Windsor, Colorado tornado at 11:45am MDT May 22, 2008. Note the classic hook-shaped echo associated with the tornado. Bottom: Doppler velocity image of the tornado, showing a small core of red and blue colors right next to each other, denoting strong winds towards and away from the radar, the classic signature of a tornado vortex. For those interested, we've saved an animation of the reflectivity and Doppler velocity.

Severe weather forecast
Severe weather is expected today over Kansas, Nebraska, and surrounding states. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of this area under its "Moderate Risk" category for severe weather, one step below its highest level of concern, "High Risk". Yesterday was also a "Moderate Risk" day, which SPC later upgraded to "High Risk" once the tornadoes started pounding Colorado. More severe weather is expected Saturday and Sunday over the Midwest as the upper-level low pressure system responsible moves slowly eastward. The Weather Underground Severe Weather page and Tornado page and WebCam page are good places to go to follow the severe weather. Also, tune in to the chase accounts and awesome storm photos from Wunderblogger Mike Theiss, who was in Kansas yesterday, and has posted many spectacular photos of yesterday's storms. According to Mike's blog:

Today Cloud 9 Tours saw 4 tornadoes and ONE developing almost overhead. We experienced winds over 100mph from the circulation of the meso that passed overhead as a cone tornado developed. Stay Tuned....


Possible development in the Eastern Pacific late next week
The past four days, the ECMWF model has been predicting the formation of a tropical storm in the the Eastern Pacific, just off the coast of Guatemala, around May 29. The GFS model has also been predicting something might develop, but in the Western Caribbean near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The GFS has been rather inconsistent with its handling of this potential storm, and I am inclined to discount its forecast--especially since last night's long range runs of the NOGAPS, Canadian, and UKMET models all show development in the Eastern Pacific, not the Caribbean. All five models predict a northward shift in the jet stream and substantial relaxation in wind shear over the Eastern Pacific and Western Caribbean next week. It is common to see May tropical storms in the Eastern Pacific, and it would not be a surprise to see something develop there. I'd put the odds of something popping up in the Western Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico at less than 10%, though.

NOAA's seasonal hurricane forecast
NOAA issued its annual seasonal hurricane forecast yesterday, which I discussed in detail in yesterday's blog entry. Yesterday's forecast came out with a little more uncertainty attached to it than previous forecasts, which is a good thing. The media attention and fanfare that accompanies these forecasts is rather excessive, given the low skill they have. In fact, we don't even know if the NOAA forecasts have ANY mathematical skill, because they've never released a verification study of their forecasts. I doubt that the skill is very high--as Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle pointed out in a blog yesterday, NOAA has blown its forecast of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) each of the last six years. NOAA held its usual press conference to announce the forecast; this year, it was held at the home of the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft, MacDill AFB in Tampa. The NOAA dignitaries present said all the right things, preaching the need for preparedness regardless of the forecast for the upcoming hurricane season. Still, I wonder if NOAA might be hurting themselves by making such a public spectacle over the release of a forecast that no one knows the accuracy of, and has performed poorly by some measures in recent years. I do like the fact they are issuing public hurricane forecasts, as I expect their accuracy and value will improve in coming years, but they're definitely not worth the attention they're getting at present.

Jeff Masters

Tornado1 (kd7tda)
One of several tornados. This one was near Grainfield, KS
Tornado1
Tornado Damage 3 (jlg)
Damage from today's Tornado in Windsor, Colorado
Tornado Damage 3
()
Mean Looking Meso with Cone Tornado (MikeTheiss)
Photo os a wallcloud with a developing tornado passing just to the north of our location on May 22nd, 2008. Photo copyright Mike Theiss
Mean Looking Meso with Cone Tornado

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857. FLWeatherFreak91
10:10 AM EDT on May 24, 2008
854. HIEXPRESS 10:09 AM EDT on May 24, 2008 Hide this comment.
Fishing the Gulf Stream off Daytona today - Don't forget to duck
is that a dreaded pinhole eye? -radar


LOL
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
856. FLWeatherFreak91
10:09 AM EDT on May 24, 2008
So... I know accuweather is a joke, but I looked on the 15 day forecast for Tampa and on the 2nd and 3rd of June it says "windy".... oooohhhh I wonder how long it will be before AW goes off on it's 'omg a hurricane's coming thing'
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
855. StormHype
2:05 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Im Glad Im not him, that chaser is a rogue.

ANd not a very savvy one..LOL


Rogue or not, he got the money shot, which beats sitting in a blog regurgitating links all day IMO...

video link
http://www.lightningboy.net/content/052308bnvnquniterkstornadorawflv

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854. HIEXPRESS
10:06 AM EDT on May 24, 2008
Fishing the Gulf Stream off Daytona today - Don't forget to duck
is that a dreaded pinhole eye? -radar
Wo/Lu rking
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853. TampaSpin
9:59 AM EDT on May 24, 2008
It would be nice if a tropical depression would come up florida from the south and split the state. That would ease alot of water problems.

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
852. 1900hurricane
8:52 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
For what it's worth, this is pretty interesting...

000
FXUS64 KHGX 241128
AFDHGX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
628 AM CDT SAT MAY 24 2008

.AVIATION...
LOW STRATUS DECK SHOULD SCATTER OUT LATER THIS MORNING WITH SE
WINDS AROUND 10KTS. SHOULD SEE SCATTERED LOW CLOUDS DURING THE
AFTERNOON AND VFR CONDITIONS. MVFR CIGS MAY DEVELOP AGAIN TONIGHT
WITH ONSHORE FLOW IN PLACE. PATCHY FOG SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE WITH
SOME ONSHORE WINDS CONTINUING TONIGHT.

39

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 444 AM CDT SAT MAY 24 2008/

DISCUSSION...
SOUTHEAST WINDS 10-15 MPH WITH GUSTS 15-25 MPH WITH TEMPERATURES
STILL HOLDING AT 79-81 DEGREES AT 4 AM. STRATOCU HAS SPREAD ACROSS
THE REGION AND EXPECT THIS TO SCATTER OUT MID TO LATE MORNING. SO
DO NOT EXPECT MUCH IN THE WAY OF A DROP IN TEMPERATURES THIS
MORNING. WILL LIKELY SET A NEW RECORD HIGH MINIMUM AT IAH AND
POSSIBLY EVEN AT CLL.

MODELS AND ACARS SOUNDINGS INDICATE A STRONG CAP AROUND 850 MB
STILL HANGING TOUGH. LLJ THIS MORNING ACROSS HILL COUNTRY AND N
TX SHOULD RELAX TODAY SO AM EXPECTING THE SURFACE WINDS IN SETX TO
DROP OFF AS WELL. WITH THE LOWER 70 DEWPOINTS IN PLACE THIS SHOULD
MAKE FOR A HOT AND HUMID DAY AGAIN ACROSS SETX AS TEMPERATURES TOP
OUT AT 91-95 DEGREES INLAND. HEAT INDICIES OF 99-105 WILL BE
POSSIBLE FROM NOON THROUGH 5 PM. GIVEN THE MODEL SOUNDINGS AND CAP
DO NOT EXPECT MUCH IF ANYTHING IN THE WAY OF SHRA/TSRA TODAY AND
TONIGHT. THE UPPER RIDGE OVER THE WESTERN GULF TO IOWA WILL
CONTINUE TO BUILD NORTH AND SPREAD ITS INFLUENCE A LITTLE FARTHER
NORTHWEST. A SLIGHT SHIFT EAST ON SUNDAY AND A SUBTROPICAL JET
SPEEDMAX NEAR 23N/116W ARRIVING INTO SETX DURING THE LATE
MORNING/AFTERNOON HOURS TO COMBINE WITH THE SEABREEZE SUNDAY TO BE
ENOUGH TO HELP WEAKEN THE CAP AND GET A FEW SHRA/TSRA GOING...HAVE
CONTINUED WITH THE 20 POPS FOR NOW BUT THE 00Z GFS MEX NUMBERS ARE
SHOWING 30 POPS...AND THE POPS MAY NEED A NUDGE UPWARD BUT THE CAP
MAY NOT WEAKEN AS MUCH AS GFS/NAM ARE CURRENTLY INDICATING SO
HAVE STUCK TO THE 20 POPS FOR NOW. MEMORIAL DAY THE RIDGE HAS
WEAKENED BUT IS RETROGRADING SO EXPECT TO SEE A DIP OF 1 OR 2
DEGREES IN AFTERNOON HIGHS AND BUT WITH PLENTY OF SUNSHINE
NONETHELESS. THE CHANGES TO THE RIDGE OPEN THE DOOR FOR A CANADIAN
COLD FRONT (VERY HEAVILY MODIFIED/WARMED BUT CANADIAN IN ORIGIN
(TEMPERATURES CURRENTLY IN THE 40S WITH THIS AIRMASS)) TO DROP
SOUTH AND ARRIVE IN SETX (DKR-UTS-CLL AREA) WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
ABUNDANT MOISTURE AND WEAK SURFACE CONVERGENCE...SUBSIDENT AIRMASS
AT 700 MB CENTERED OVER N TX WILL LIKELY LIMIT THE PROBABILITY OF
SHRA/TSRA BUT WILL CARRY 20 POPS WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY
NIGHT...ALONG WITH MOSTLY CLOUDY SKIES AND COOLER TEMPERATURES.

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH THE 00Z GFS/ECMWF CONTINUE TO INDICATE
SOMETHING TROPICAL IN NATURE DEVELOPING OVER THE CARIBBEAN
WEDNESDAY AND DRAGGING IT WEST CLOSE TO THE YUCATAN PENINSULA BY
SATURDAY MORNING. FORTUNATELY FOR TX AN UPPER SHEAR AXIS WILL
DRAPED ACROSS THE GULF FROM NRN FLORIDA TO MATAMOROS MEXICO WHICH
SHOULD LIMIT ITS WESTWARD MOVEMENT TO THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OR
TURN IT OFF INTO CUBA. BUT AGAIN I WOULD STRESS THAT HOW WELL THE
GFS DOES AT INITIATING TROPICAL SYSTEMS THIS YEAR IS STILL IN
QUESTION BUT DEFINITELY WARRANTS A BEAR WATCH
.

45

MARINE...
WINDS AT CAUTION LEVELS ACROSS THE UPPER TX COAST WILL SLACK OFF
AGAIN TOWARDS MID MORNING. CAUTION FLAGS WILL RUN TILL 15Z AND
LIKELY NOT EXTENDED AFTER THAT. ONSHORE WINDS SHOULD CONTINUE
THROUGH THE EARLY PART OF THE WEEK WITH SOME NOCTURNAL INCREASES SUN
THROUGH TUE NIGHTS. GFS SHOWS A WEAK FRONT APPROACHING SE TX WED
WHICH WILL WEAKEN THE PRESSURE GRADIENT. LIGHT WINDS WILL BE
EXPECTED MID WEEK. SEAS RUNNING NEAR ROUGH LEVELS OFF THE COAST
SHOULD DROP TO MORE MODERATE LEVELS AND REMAIN AT THOSE LEVELS
THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.

39

AVIATION...
MVFR CIGS CONTINUE EARLY THIS MORNING AND SHOULD SCATTER OUT BY
14Z ACROSS MOST OF THE AREA. SCT/BKN CLOUDS SHOULD PERSIST IN THE
AFTERNOON WITH VFR CEILINGS. SE WINDS WILL CONTINUE AND SLOWLY
DROP OFF DURING THE DAY AS WELL. MVFR CIGS SHOULD RETURN AGAIN
DURING THE LATE EVENING HOURS AROUND 3Z.

39

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
COLLEGE STATION (CLL) 95 76 94 76 92 / 10 10 20 10 20
HOUSTON (IAH) 94 76 92 77 91 / 10 10 20 10 20
GALVESTON (GLS) 87 78 87 79 87 / 10 10 20 10 20

&&

.HGX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
TX...NONE.
GM...SMALL CRAFT SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION UNTIL 10 AM CDT THIS MORNING
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES: GALVESTON BAY...MATAGORDA BAY...
WATERS FROM FREEPORT TO THE MATAGORDA SHIP CHANNEL 20 NM TO
60 NM...WATERS FROM FREEPORT TO THE MATAGORDA SHIP CHANNEL
OUT 20 NM...WATERS FROM HIGH ISLAND TO FREEPORT 20 TO 60
NM...WATERS FROM HIGH ISLAND TO FREEPORT OUT 20 NM.

&&

$$

DISCUSSION...45
AVIATION/MARINE...39
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851. TerraNova
1:41 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Exactly Kman...look how dry the entire Caribbean is, and even in the entire GOM (Gulf of Mexico)...

Presumably the monsoon trough would move northward and displace that dry air. It looks like that stable airmass is associated with an upper level low located south of Jamaica. The ULL is moving southwest.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
850. stormdude77
9:32 AM AST on May 24, 2008
Exactly Kman...look how dry the entire Caribbean is, and even in the entire GOM (Gulf of Mexico)...

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849. Patrap
8:35 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
Im off to a morning graduation..later Kman
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848. kmanislander
1:34 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
I'm out for now

BBL
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847. Patrap
8:29 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
UNYSIS develops the GFSx and i think it used to go by another name. Not Quite sure.
Im just a hack blogger. Not a met atall. LOL
UNYSIS page Link

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
846. kmanislander
1:27 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
One thing is for certain and that is until the high that has dominated the Caribbean for weeks moves out and allows moisture to develop here there will not be any TS activity.

All that subsidence has put a lid on clouds forming. Earlier this week some rain clouds came up from the S but before we could even get a decent shower they were gone
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845. TheCaneWhisperer
1:27 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
I've noticed that in the links you provide Patrap. What is the difference in the GFS and GFSx?
844. Patrap
8:27 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
As for the GFS, I agree, this Carib system is going to be interesting to watch. Still not sure how I feel about the GFS handling genesis though.

Phil Collins had that problem in the late 80s too SJ.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
843. Weather456
9:26 AM AST on May 24, 2008
Terra,

Sure...but its a paid service

http://buoyweather.com/wxnav6.jsp?region=glo&program=Maps
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
842. Patrap
8:26 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
Its just a insight into what may occur.

But that area has been persistent in the GFSx for a few days now.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
841. StormJunkie
1:25 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Good point on the westerlies pat, but with the way these waves are rolling off, it would only take a short relaxing for us to see some minor development out there.

As for the GFS, I agree, this Carib system is going to be interesting to watch. Still not sure how I feel about the GFS handling genesis though.
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840. Weather456
9:23 AM AST on May 24, 2008
818. TerraNova 8:48 AM AST on May 24, 2008

Yeah

819. TheCaneWhisperer 8:55 AM AST on May 24, 2008

Yeah, the expected MJO pulse could ehance SWwesterlies south of the trough causing a northward shift.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
839. TheCaneWhisperer
1:24 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
It's hard to deny something you see day after day Patrap. We'll see come Wedensday.
838. Patrap
8:19 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
Morning SJ,Well..until those mid-latitude westerlies stop dominating the Atlantic,nada is to Form there.

Im leaning to the GFSx solution as thats the sweet spot come early June seems.

GFSx day 10, 3JUNE 0Z Link
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837. TheCaneWhisperer
1:15 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
When this season is behind us, I wonder if that will end up helping us come CV season. Allowing waves to develop further out in the Atlantic, increasing the chances of recurvature. I realize there are many more factors to consider but, a more developed storm would adopt a more poleward drag if given the chance.
836. Patrap
8:18 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
Im Glad Im not him, that chaser is a rogue.

ANd not a very savvy one..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
835. StormJunkie
1:15 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
830.

Morning pat

Hey would you rather us discuss the 384hr GFS?

And you should know that mama nature does not always play by climatology rules. I would not be at all surprised to see an earlier then normal CV system this year. Next week, not likely, 3-4 weeks, yea maybe.
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834. Patrap
8:17 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
Ive had to wash dust off the vehicles here from Africa,,those levels are way down for this year. And that also increases the SST's to an extent.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
833. StormHype
1:14 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
This video from Qunitar KS last night is one of the most incredible things I've seen in a long time. INSANE experience for this guy.

Insane Qunitar KS Tornado video
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832. kmanislander
1:13 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Pat

I agree the CV season is far out but the lack of dust is also important for the Caribbean as dust travels all the way to the islands.
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831. Patrap
8:13 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
Atlantic Basin GOES-12 WV Loop with Dry-Air ShadedLink

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830. Patrap
8:12 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
The CV season is way out.
Focus on the GOM, & the Caribbean,those are the early favored Climatological regions for development.
Not the Mid or eastern Atlantic.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
829. kmanislander
1:12 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Very true TCW

The last several years have all started out with lots of dust, especially 2006 if I recall
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828. extreme236
1:10 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
2005 had much more dust than whats out there now if I'm not mistaken. Thats one reason why there were very few CV storms.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
827. kmanislander
1:07 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Hi SJ

Almost that time of year !

It has been bone dry here now since the middle of March. This is the first year in as long as I can remember that the Caymans have not had heavy rain in May.
With hardly any cloud cover for weeks on end, the water temps in this area are rising quickly.

For the Caribbean to remain this dry for so long is very unusual.
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826. StormJunkie
1:08 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Morning TCW, good to see ya

Been quite some time.

05 even had more dust if I am not mistaken.

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825. TheCaneWhisperer
1:07 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Morning SJ.
824. TheCaneWhisperer
1:06 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Morning Kman.

I can't remember the last time I seen the ATL like that.
823. StormJunkie
1:04 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Morning all :~)

Good to see ya kman

Not a good sign there, but the dust issue was predicted due to well above average rainfall across Africa.
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822. kmanislander
1:03 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Atl virtually dust free

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821. kmanislander
1:00 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
good morning all

Have you noticed that unlike the past couple of years there is now hardly any dust at all over the Atlantic ?.

If other factors align this would contribute significantly to an early start for the CV season
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820. Dakster
12:59 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Did someone switch the GFS with CMC?? Last year the CMC seemed like it developed every rainstorm in a TS or Hurricane... So much so we joked it was Constantly Making Cyclones...

I hope this is not an indication of a 2004 type year... That would not be good. Look out for $6+ / Gal gas.
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819. TheCaneWhisperer
12:54 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Would the expected upward pulse of the MJO next week have anything to do with the position of the trough 456?
818. TerraNova
12:46 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Thanks W456; that would explain the apparent lack of suitable moisture in the SW Caribbean that the CMC and NAM are showing. So it depends on the position of the monsoon trough?
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817. weathersp
8:43 AM EDT on May 24, 2008
The EMCWF 0z still has the system but practically takes it down to a couple of thunderstorms and a 1010mb area of low pressure.

I still find this system hard to believe this early in the season.
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816. Weather456
8:37 AM AST on May 24, 2008
What the GFS has been predicting is the development of a low pressure area in the monsoon trough just south of Panama. This normally causes development in the EPAC, but occasionally the monsoon trough shifts northward into the SW Caribbean normally in the early part of the season (May/June) and the late part of the season (October/November) which causes development to occur there rather than in the EPAC. Any passing tropical waves normally enhances development. Now if one was to look at an infrared image...one would see the monsoon trough lies in the EPAC indicated by the amount of shower activity, but any northward shift could make a difference between the whether the CMC/UKMET or GFS/ECMWF is correct.

Past examples were Beta in 2005 and Mitch in 1998.
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815. TerraNova
12:29 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Morning TCW, CaneAddict, everyone!

The new 06z GFS has the SW Caribbean system forming on or by Wednesday (102 hours out) and eventually has it drifting off to the northeast and impacting the United States. However, the GFS may be encountering problems within the model initiation.
1) It may be handling moisture transfer between the two basins incorrectly. It gives too much moisture to the weaker low rather than the stronger EPAC low that the other models are developing.
2) There's not really much to bring the system northward with the agility of the GFS storm, other than a week trough extending south from near Bermuda.
The GFS has consistency on its side, but climatology and model consensus against it. I would say that the EPAC storms seems more likely; however, the SW Caribbean will become favorable for development (if it already isn\t) early next week. This still needs to be watched but I want to see more input from the ECMWF.

The ECMWF, while it develops the EPAC system, shows a developing low on the West Caribbean much in the same way that the GFS does. This is the first time the model has shown this. It is not nearly as aggressive as the GFS in intensity, which shows that at least the Euro is handling moisture better. It has the weak low (probably a TD or weak TS) over the Yucatan in the long range. Although track is very subjective this far out, I think the ECMWF is handling the system's path more correctly. The GFS has too much of a northward and eastward pull.

No other models develop this system. This includes the UKMET, NOGAPS, and NAM.
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814. Patrap
7:37 AM CDT on May 24, 2008
790. howarjo1943 1:02 AM CDT on May 24, 2008

The GFS is ridiculous, but I can already sense the panic in New Orleans




To be sure,folks here dont panic in a Hurricane,..we leave that to Folks who track Ghost,LOL
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812. MasterForecaster
12:35 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
I love how every hour I see a new picture of what one model "thinks" is going to happen. I will admit though, it kinda gets me excited for the season...
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811. Ivansrvivr
12:29 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
806, the steering pattern is expected to reverse after today. That will favor the west coast for the afternoon thunderstorms. Still, both coasts need rains to occur over the interior areas so evaporation over the everglades will help feed the daily afternoon rains or it will be a repeat of last summer. It never rained enough in the everglades to start the rainy season cycle so most of the state went dry. It is easy to forget just how much evaporation plays into our rainy season until a year like last year shows it.
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810. Weather456
8:09 AM AST on May 24, 2008


Total Cloud Cover

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809. MasterForecaster
12:27 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
Alright!! 60% chance of rain sounds good to me, thanks guys.

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808. TheCaneWhisperer
12:19 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
We're supposed to fall into our normal summer patterns next week FloridaRick. This pattern has been very nice to the east coasters in need of rain.
807. CaneAddict
12:04 PM GMT on May 24, 2008
790. howarjo1943 6:02 AM GMT on May 24, 2008
The GFS is ridiculous, but I can already sense the panic in New Orleans if that scenario comes to fruition. If it forms over the SW caribbean, slowly moves north toward a weakness over the SE U.S., it could well become a hurricane when it nears Cuba. If ridging then takes place and lets the hurricane slowly move WNW over very warm southern Gulf waters, it could reach cat 3 strength over deep, warm waters and favorable conditions aloft. But, it would weaken very rapidly as it neared the coast and came ashore. The SST's are very cool in the northern Gulf right now and will still be below par for a few weeks. A lot of things would have to happen. But climotology is not on the GFS side


It would be almost impossible for this supposed disturbance to become a Category 3 hurricane, This is primarily due to conditions not being all that favorable, Yes SST's can likely support it but wind shear is to high...
IMO
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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.