Alberto in 10-15 Days!

By: Levi32 , 4:22 PM GMT on May 07, 2006

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Ok everyone, WAKE UP! Hurricane season is much closer than I expected, and my guess for Alberto on May 15 might actually turn out to be right. I have been blind this past week! There are rapid changes occurring in the tropics that I have almost completely ignored (I am sure you all saw them but if not then stay with me). Have you all noticed the ITCZ lately?? My gosh it has gotten much stronger and convection is firing all across the Pacific and Atlantic. Also it has been sneaking north over South America right under our noses! Look at the satellite. There is a blob of convection over the extreme SW Caribbean. That means the ITCZ is finally starting to move north!

Heres the deal, I have been monitoring the GFS long range shear forecasts (144-384 hours). I have noticed the last two days that the GFS is forecasting light shear to overtake much of the Caribbean, the western Atlantic, and at times the gulf. Due to the data I have seen, I am forecasting a complete failure of the sub-tropical westerlies within a week. After that, the GFS has tropical waves and bursts of convection moving into Puerto Rico and all of the Caribbean. Last night the GFS forecasted a tropical storm near Jamaica at 240 hours. Today the GFS still forecasts tropical waves, lows, and possible depressions moving through the Caribbean. This mornings run has a TD moving through the Caribbean, crossing Cuba, and into the Bahamas in two weeks.

ALL OF THIS IS ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY! It has been sneaking up on us. The shear will break, the ITCZ will come north, and Alberto will be on the doorstep. This is serious here. The shear is supposed to completely collapse from the Carolinas to South America. Trust me things are going to start rapidly changing very soon. We will see what happens. My normal links and images are below:



AVN 72-hour Atlantic Shear Forecast

Tropical Forecast Models for the Atlantic (including shear forecasts out to 6 days)

SSD Tropical Formation Probability and lots of other charts.


Coolwx Buoy Data

Penn State Atlantic Tropical Page

Atlantic SST's, Heat Potential, and other products

CPC Atlantic Hurricane Products

CIMSS Atlantic Satellite Analysis

NASA Interactive Satellite

GOES Tropical Satellite Sectors (has all regions, satellite enhancements, and 4-5 more floater satellites that are never used on other sites)

RTOFS SST Analysis and Forecasts for the Atlantic



This is SST's overlayed on Satellite for the Atlantic:



This is the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)Index:


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

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44. Levi32
3:34 PM GMT on May 11, 2006
Good morning Shera! You bet they update! Otherwise I would be stuck here doing it myself.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
43. Sheraqueenofthebeach
2:38 PM GMT on May 11, 2006
I meant to ask...do your map links automatically update?

Good morning!
Member Since: August 2, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 3140
42. atmosweather
12:39 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Sorry David, I must go and study for my AP Biology exam tomorrow morning. Its been great talking with all of you, and I hope you all have a great evening!
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
41. Snowfire
12:38 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
QuikScat on the wavelet near Panama:

Member Since: June 29, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 308
39. BlizzardBeach
12:38 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
hey atmosweather you want to come to my blog
38. BlizzardBeach
12:37 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
hmmm how is that low doing
37. atmosweather
12:36 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Have a great evening Levi!

Here are 12-week animations for SST's and anomalies.

Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
36. Levi32
12:35 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Also, I will be gone in Anchorage tomorrow for piano lessons and grocery shopping. Therefore I will probably not be able to post until Tuesday. Again I am sorry about this, I hate all these interuptions in my discussions with you all, but life must go on. See you all later!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
35. Levi32
12:31 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Guys, I am sorry this keeps happening but I have to go again. I get really frustrated that there is so much to do whenever you come talk to me. Now I have to build a fire, do things for Papa, and we were planning a family movie for tonight. I really wish I could stay and chat but not tonight. Please feel free to talk and discuss during my absence. Thank you all for your links and contribrutions to this blog.

I hope you all have a blessed evening!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
33. atmosweather
12:23 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Thanks WSI
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
32. BlizzardBeach
12:23 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
atmosweather i see that you like my new id
31. WSI
12:23 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
*that should read MJO.
30. WSI
12:22 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
29. BlizzardBeach
12:21 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Levi32 yes the last one was not a boy name so i ues this one
28. atmosweather
12:20 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Hey David, I like the new name! I have been to Blizzard Beach in Orlando many times, its a great water park! Levi probably goes there all the time in Alaska LOL :)
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
27. atmosweather
12:19 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Oh, and I am sorry about your misfortunes in the competition :( Hopefully you'll be prepared next time so you can ace it :)
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
26. Levi32
12:17 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
David my gosh another ID?!?!

Rich I just now started learning about MJO myself. I don't know much about it exept the basics.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
25. atmosweather
12:17 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
This is a great illustration of how the ITCZ is becoming more active and is moving north. This is over the past 4 days. Look at the intensity of that convection in the last couple of frames that is lining up in western Africa north of where it was a few days ago!

Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
24. BlizzardBeach
12:15 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
hey atmosweather it me david how are you
23. atmosweather
12:13 AM GMT on May 08, 2006
Ahh ok. Thanks Levi! I really am STUPID when it comes to that stuff! You know and understand these patterns a lot more than me. I wish I could grasp these things as well as you can; it would make hurricane forecasting for me a lot easier.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
22. Levi32
11:05 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Here is a great world satellite image to illustrate the MJO. Look at the ITCZ. See the absence of any convection over the Indian Ocean? Watch in a week or two the convection will fire again over there. Right now the MJO is in phase #7, which means it is just now getting ready to move into the Atlantic, if it hasn't already.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
21. Levi32
10:47 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Rich, unfortunately I butchered the competition. I completely forgot the left hand part in three places, and multiple mistakes in between. Oh well, I knew I wasn't prepared for this as well as I would have liked to be. It wasn't the most important competition I have ever done.

As for the MJO, simply put it is fluctuations of convection/precipitation intensity and coverage around the ITCZ. A region of enhanced rainfall travels from the Indian Ocean east across the Pacific and then across the Atlantic and Africa. It continues around the earth in this fashion in 30-60 day cycles. Obviously when it is over the Atlantic the hurricane activity is increased due to the active ITCZ

The MJO phase diagram is divided into the 8 MJO phases. Each corresponds to a different area around the equator. For example, phases 8 and 1 are when the enhanced area of rainfall is over the Atlantic and Africa. I am not sure what the numbers on the side and bottom of the diagram are, but I think they are the strength of the MJO. The line in the middle of the diagram shows the current phase and intensity of the MJO Index. It is updated every day. A much better and official discription can be found here.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
20. Levi32
10:35 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Hey everyone sorry I couldn't be here I was gone at church and church youth group all morning. Just a second and I will clarify the MJO question.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
18. atmosweather
9:49 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
You may be right, as I said, I don't use it.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
17. atmosweather
9:49 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
ITCZ AXIS IS CENTERED ALONG 8N13W 4N20W 2N30W 2N40W EQ50W

Its certainly moving North. Last few weeks the northern range of the ITCZ has been 5-6 N, now it is at 8N.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
15. atmosweather
9:44 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
I believe the MJO index is a measure of SST anomalies in different global regions? And I think that that diagram indicates that there are negative SST anomalies in Region 7 (west Pacific). I may be wrong though, as I only tend to use El Nino 3.3, 3.4 and 4.0 indices to gauge the strength of ENSO.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
14. atmosweather
9:44 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
I believe the MJO index is a measure of SST anomalies in different global regions? And I think that that diagram indicates that there are negative SST anomalies in Region 7 (west Pacific). I may be wrong though, as I only tend to use El Nino 3.3, 3.4 and 4.0 indices to gauge the strength of ENSO.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
12. DenverMark
7:25 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Hi Levi,
My guess for Alberto is May 20. This is all real interesting and a bit scary. If something forms easily later this month, what's going to happen later on in the season?

I think people in Florida are doing a great job of getting prepared for 'cane season. But everyone all the way up the East Coast should be watching out this year, too. Meanwhile, we don't even want to think about another major hurricane hitting New Orleans.





















Member Since: February 11, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 6988
11. atmosweather
5:58 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Hey Levi,

I hope the piano competition went well! Once again, a great blog full of information. You are so incredibly smart my friend! I have noticed over the last 5 days that the ITCZ has been very active for early May, and also that many shallow and undeveloped tropical waves have actually travelled across the coast of Africa and into the eastern Atlantic. Although long range models that far out that you are quoting are usually in error, I do expect to see our first true tropical wave in about 10 days. Then, it will all depend on the strength of the westerlies and how much instability the Atlantic will have in the middle and upper levels. The water is warm enough, the shear will be low enough, but we will have to see if there is enough upper level divergence to get the waves spinning and developing.

Have a great day, and I hope to talk with you soon!

Rich
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
10. Levi32
4:45 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
David no it is not a low. If it was then it would probably be warm core. That area is not a threat but down the road we will be looking at more serious stuff. That area of convection is just a sign that the ITCZ is moving north.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
8. Levi32
4:36 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Hard to say any one of those waves could become one if they hit low shear. We are looking at our first possible TD anywhere between 7 and 15 days, but don't count on one forming just because waves are coming through. We still might have to wait until June but the favorable conditions will be there in a week.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
6. Levi32
4:32 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
The low in the link I posted is the first of a few that are forecast to enter the Caribbean starting in a week.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
5. Levi32
4:30 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
It is odd to have something this early, but a hurricane is almost out of the question at this point. The waters are warm enough though so if it gets low enough shear there is a chance, but we can't determine that until a TS forms.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
4. Levi32
4:28 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
Look here. The GFS has a low east of South America that will move northwest and avoid land. Link
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
2. Levi32
4:26 PM GMT on May 07, 2006
It may follow soon after but hard to tell.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647

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Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

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