WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

California fires could reach record levels in 2008

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 9:42 PM GMT on June 25, 2008

An unusually early and dangerous fire season has hit California, where at least 33 fires burning over a total of 190,000 acres are active, according to the Interagency Fire Center. The fires were sparked over the weekend when an unusually far southward-moving storm system brought numerous thunderstorms to central and northern California. Over 8,000 lightning strikes hit the region. Most of these strikes were not accompanied by rain, since a very dry atmosphere at low levels caused much of the thunderstorm rain to evaporate before reaching the surface. The lightning strikes ignited an unusual number of fires, due to exceptionally dry vegetation in California. This year, the state experienced its driest spring season (March-April-May) since record keeping began in 1895, and much of the state is in moderate to severe drought.

Figure 1. Visible satellite image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft on Monday, June 23, 2008, showing smoke from hundreds of wildfires sparked by lightning in California. The red regions show where the satellite's sensor detected fires burning. The smoke has created air pollution levels in excess of the federal standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) over much of California's Central Valley. Image credit: NASA.

The forecast
With the dry season only beginning, it could be a record fire year in California. Even before last weekend's lightning storms, California had already seen an unusually large number of destructive wildfires, according to CalFire--90,000 acres had burned, compared to 42,000 acres during the same period last year. It is not unusual for large portions of the state to receive no rain at all in July and August, such as occurred last year (Figure 2). The jet stream typically moves far enough north in summer that the migrating low pressure systems that bring California most of its rain only hit the northernmost portions of the state. With high fuel levels due to a century of misguided fire suppression efforts, moderate to severe drought gripping the state, no rain in sight for months to come, and an above-normal chance of warmer than average temperatures forecast this summer for the state by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, expect a record fire season in California.

Figure 2. Observed precipitation over California during 2007. Much of the state received no rain at all during July and August, which is a common occurrence. A little bit of thunderstorm activity did make it into the easternmost portion of the state, thanks to moisture flowing north-westward from the Arizona Monsoon. However, the Sierra Mountains block this moisture from reaching the central and western portions of the state. Image credit: NOAA.

It's quiet in the tropical Atlantic. There are no threat areas to discuss, and none of the models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the next seven days. Beyond a week from now, the GFS is hinting that the region off the coast of Africa could see some development, but it is still probably too early for this too occur, despite warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the region.

Jeff Masters
San Bruno Mountain Fire - Cresting the Ridge
San Bruno Mountain Fire - Cresting the Ridge
Photo taken as the fire crested the ridge of San Bruno Mountain


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

I notice there isn't a tropical wave associated with that convection near 35W. It's probably just some ITCZ convection that will be gone by later today or tomorrow.
Yeah Extreme, I just noticed that...I'm still waiting for a visible SAT to confirm this, though...
Morning StormW!
Well I will BBL
MOrning Everyone - morning StormW!
if this area of convection is not a wave ---it was not mentioned in the 8.05 tropical disussion then it is a pertabation from the ITCZ
1007. DestinJeff 8:01 AM EDT on June 27, 2008

Well, if we can talk about fires, floods, tornados, et al, why can't we talk about the north pole too? I actually think it's interesting, since the last genuinely warm period up there nobody from our culture was around measuring things.
back later off for a medical revieuw. by that time the blog will be very interesting.
Oh Well...my Java won't let me get satellite loops from the SSD Tropical Satellite Imagery, so I can't confirm if there is a surface low, with this CATL ''disturbance''...
1013. DestinJeff 8:10 AM EDT on June 27, 2008

. . . it is the comments that are excruiating sometimes.

Yeah, that part's true. I think people are getting a bit better about the tone of their comments, though.

That, or all the trolls are being fended off by WunderYakuza's troll gate . . .
Is this that last Twave that went through the ECar last weekend, or has that already gone through to the EPac?

Thats a wave passing over the yuc and then the boc
1020. Patrap
Its easy here.All the rules are above the comment box.
As the season ramps up and it gets busy in Here,
Expect a Lot of "boing"!

If ya get my drift.
very impressive looking
To answer my own question and that of stoormfury/stormdude:




different perspective showing the waves...

1025. Patrap
sun continues to be quiet....

good morning everyone!

Wow the EPac is active, 2 Invest and one TD? Thank goodness not a lot of land in the way for them to hit anytime soon.

How's our Atlantic wave coming along?
good morning all

A nice flare up near 35 West but at the moment no vorticity at either the 850 or 700 mb levels.

Although the quikscat pass missed it given the vorticity readings in the upper levels I would not expect any type of a surface low at this time either. It is very low in latitude and embedded in the ITCZ. Probably a rain maker for South America.

There is an anticyclone to its immediate West so let's see what happens when it gets there, assuming the high is still around
actually one of those invests became two-E WU just doesn't update that well so one invest and one Depression
the red circle is the invest notice the only other thing out there is the depression
NHC not expecting much of TD 2-E


INITIAL 27/0900Z 12.0N 108.8W 25 KT
12HR VT 27/1800Z 12.4N 109.7W 30 KT
24HR VT 28/0600Z 12.7N 111.0W 35 KT
36HR VT 28/1800Z 13.0N 113.0W 35 KT
48HR VT 29/0600Z 13.5N 115.0W 35 KT
72HR VT 30/0600Z 13.5N 118.5W 35 KT
96HR VT 01/0600Z 13.5N 122.0W 30 KT
120HR VT 02/0600Z 13.5N 126.0W 25 KT


Good morning everyone! TGIF indeed!

So how long can all that convection continue to fire up near the Yucatan and the GOM before something finally says screw the odds and develops? Or better yet just moves far enough North to bring some rain to my portion of the NWF Panhandle.
1031. i think your second supposition is more plausible! LOL
1032. pearlandaggie

I agree and the Fort Walton Beach area would be happy with it that's for sure. We've had a couple 60% chance of rain days now and no rain. Today is another 60% chance so I guess we'll see.
1033. we've been fortunate and had four or five rain days out of the last ten or so. it was really dry before then. i sure hope you guys get some of that moisture in the form of precipitation (as opposed to humidity!).
1036. TayTay
Navy site has 2E as Boris.
not a whole lot of vorticity associated with that patch over the yucatan...

1038. Drakoen
Good morning everyone. I see the GFS is still calling for development in the EATL.
1035. DestinJeff

Just a brief light shower, enough to wet the roads but not even enough to create any puddles. That sure was a nice cell that moved North through Niceville though, I saw it on radar. Maybe today.....
1040. Kibkaos
It looks like the Gulf may be waking up today. What do you guys think?
we have a new TS and that name is BORIS in the East Pacific i saw it on the navy site

has for 95E can you say RIP
There is still a Low pressure spin about 100 off shore the west coast of Florida.....due west of Hernando County
The Low off the West coast of Florida should make lots of moisture coming to the SE panhandle.
Morning everyone. The ECMWF, GFS, and CMC continue to predict tropical activity in the East Atlantic next week. None of the other models have caught on.
1045. SBKaren
Sure looks like California could use some of the rain that the east coast is getting (midwest section too). Isn't it weird how sometimes you never get what you need, and then sometimes you get too much of a good thing. Just can't control that mother nature gal.

1042. TampaSpin 8:28 AM EST on June 27, 2008
There is still a Low pressure spin about 100 off shore the west coast of Florida.....due west of Hernando County

That's most likely an eddie caused by rising convective currents, like the one we saw yesterday. Buoy/Surface observations don't show a circulation and the surface charts and 500mb heights don't indicate that a trough is forming in the area.
Wow, the EPAC is certainly below average. Only on the B Storm. Were currently Above Average, we don't usually see a storm till July, and we had already Arthur.
Morning Folks.....Looks to me like my chances (Tally/Big Bend Area)for some substantial rain from that "low" in the Gulf went poof overnight....But, there's a 60% shot at the normal afternoon pop-up showers so I'll see what happens in the afternoon....That area around 5N 33W (in the ITCZ) looks interesting this am....Seems too low for development but it will "moisten" the road for a little bit as it is otherwise pretty dry out there in the MDR right now....
1046. TerraNova 9:46 AM EDT on June 27, 2008

You might be correct....it has moved further North since yesterday.
I found this interesting this morning...

642 AM CDT FRI JUN 27 2008




I didn't realize there were any models spinning up something in the western gulf. Does anyone know which ones they are?
Well, call me slow - I just connected 69Viking and FWBHS.

You in Niceville now?

Just a brief light shower, enough to wet the roads but not even enough to create any puddles. That sure was a nice cell that moved North through Niceville though, I saw it on radar. Maybe today.....

Morning 69Viking and Destin Jeff. Still not a drop here in PCB yesterday. Surely we will see some precip today and into the weekend.
If that ULL in the western gulf can finally move its rear end out of there like forecasted than maybe something can finally get interesting out there. There certainly is enough energy and SST's support it.
1053. OUSHAWN 9:57 AM EDT on June 27, 2008

805 AM EDT FRI JUN 27 2008


Looks like that ULL will drift around for the short term and keep things quiet in the Gulf..
1051. F1or1d1an

Look closer at my Avatar, that's not a FWB Viking. I'm just west of FWB on the south side of why 98 a stones throw from the sound. You?
Off to do chores...BBL
Well, call me slow - I just connected 69Viking and FWBHS.

Rats, I was hoping he had a 69 foot Viking Sportfisher and was going to the us all fishing.
1034. LOL Pearland speak for yourself. We've had maybe two days of rain at my house. We didn't get a drop yesterday :(
SHAWN - I want the blob to come here!!
1058. captainhunter

LOL! Need to win the lottery for that first! Nope, just have a 20ft. Nautic Star Center Console, gets me where I need to go. Love getting out on the water but I'll gladly sacrifice that for some rain this weekend!
1060. txalwaysprepared

No, bring the blob here!
Split all blobs into 4 pieces. One for texas, one for florida, one for the carolinas (NC needs rain. Not sure about SC), and one for california.
1062. It actually looks like the storms are moving straight north this morning.. whereas all blobs lately have sent rain east into Florida. But I may just be seeing things. But that would mean neither of us get the rain :(
Here in Brevard County we've had plenty of rain for the past few days and more expected for the weekend. From the looks of the sky, it is on the way! Nice lighting shows too!
1061. 69Viking

The 20ft center console gets a little better gas mileage as well! LOL.

Agreed, I too will gladly sacrifice sailing this weekend for some much needed rain.
Hello all, so what does the tropics look like? Is the tropical Atlantic still sleeping? If we could just get the rain we all need all of the future TS,Hurricanes can just be fishy's. We still need a couple of yrs to get things right.
1068. tillou
The blob in CATL looks interesting this morning. If it was about 10 degrees further north I would give it a chance, its a little to far south for me to give it a chance.

O well, at least there is something to watch today.
HK make it 5 pieces and 1 for Bama. That'll work. We got a good shower yesterday. I have never felt the rain so cold. It was kinda weird. But nice since the rain settle the dust at out boat repair shop.
1070. 786
Hey everyone, I know its a bit long, but a really interesting article for those who like me are trying to learn about tropical weather and put all the diff. terms together:

"In many cases, TCs in the NA are developed associated with African easterly waves (e.g., Landsea and Gray 1992; Goldenberg and Shapiro 1996; Thorncroft and Hodges 2001). The activity of African easterly waves intensifies (weaker) when the rainfall amount over the western Sahel region exceeds (below) normal. Namely, TC activity in the NA seems to be increased during wet years of the westernSahel. Based on the statistics of the tracking of vorticity centers connected to African easterly waveactivity, Thorncroft and Hodges (2001) showed that the 850-hPa easterly wave at the West African coast between about 10°N and 15°N is highly correlated to TC activity in the NA. This correlation isparticularly strong for the period 1994−1998. This indicates that Atlantic tropical cyclone activity is not influenced only by the total number of African easterly waves but also by the number of African easterlywaves that leave the West African coast, which have significant low-level amplitudes. The western Sahel rainfall is well correlated with ENSO events. Hence, most parts of the interannualvariation in the TC activity in the NA would also be understood by an eastward shift of warm SST regions to the eastern Pacific and corresponding changes in the large-scale convection associated withENSO (e.g., Shapiro 1987; Goldenberg and Shapiro 1996; Tang and Neelin 2004). The ENSO−TC relation results from changes in the vertical wind shear—an enhanced divergent outflow from deepcumulus convection during El Nino years results in an increase in westerly wind in the upper troposphere over the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic; however, variations in the lower tropospheric easterly winds are relatively small. Combining these different influences on zonal wind in the upper andlower troposphere, the vertical wind shear over the NA increases during El Nino years as compared toLa Nina years (Gray and Sheaffer 1991); consequently, the number of TCs and their duration arereduced during El Nino (Landsea et al. 1999). Tang and Neelin (2004) suggested that the anomalous tropospheric temperatures arising communicated the Pacific due to wave dynamics influence the TC development by affecting column stability relative to equilibrium with NA SST. Bell and Chelliah (2006) further investigated into the tropospheric circulation and SST changes that are linked to Atlantic tropical cyclones, both on interannual and interdecadal timescales. Larson et al. (2006) indicated that the AO (and/or NAO) has also acquired a strong influence on theinterannual and intraseasonal variability of TC activity in the NA—an enhanced (decreased) TC activityduring the positive (negative) phase of the AO. In the positive phase of the AO, the subtropical ridge inthe NA is enhanced; a weakening of the Hudson Bay low in the eastern United States and astrengthening and westward extension of the Bermuda high in the western NA. The westerly wind shear is weakens over the main developing region and the tropical easterly jet intensifies over Africa.All of these characteristics provide favorable conditions for TC development. Interestingly, large-scalecirculations for the positive (negative) phase of the AO appear to be similar to those for La Nina (ElNino). Namely, during La Nina years, large-scale circulation is more conductive to TC developmentduring the AO-positive phase than during the negative phase and, during El Nino years. Therefore, it isless conductive to the TC development during the AO-negative phase than during the positive phase. The influence of the QBO on the TC activity is known to be pronounced in the NA than in the other ocean basins (e.g., Gray 1984; Gray et al. 1992; Elsner et al. 1999). During the westerly (easterly) phase of the QBO, the strong TC genesis (i.e., hurricanes) frequency is above (below) normal. It is hypothesized that the ventilation processes in the horizontal wind across the top of the TC are apossible physical mechanism of the QBO-related change. The speed of the zonal wind in the tropicalstratosphere is weak during the westerly phase of the QBO. In this case, there is relatively less ventilation resulting in a positive effect on the TC development. In addition, Shapiro (1989)demonstrated that the largest correlations between storm activity in the NA and the 30 hPa wind areobserved in June. This indicates that the TCs tend to attain a higher intensity when the QBO is in its westerly phase in the tropical lower stratosphere. Recently, however, it is noted that at least in the Atlantic, the QBO is no longer being utilized for

seasonal hurricane forecasting.. The QBO−Atlantic hurricane relationship that Gray (1984) identifiedfrom 1950 to 1983 disappeared from 1984 to present date. Thus, NOAA does not consider the QBOphase for TC forecasting (Landsea, C., personal communication) Maloney and Hartmann (2000a) suggested that the MJO is the strongest influencing factor on theintraseasonal variation of TC activity in the NA. During the westerly phase of the MJO, stronganomalous westerlies are observed in the eastern Pacific extending to the western Caribbean beingaltered by the southwesterlies, resulting in cyclonic circulation anomalies over the Gulf of Mexico. Inthis period, greatly enhanced TC activity is observed over the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean due to the increased genesis frequency of TC over these regions. During the easterly phase of the MJO,the TC genesis is significantly suppressed because anticyclonic circulation anomalies are formed overthose regions."
Folks Tropical Depression 2E is going to be upgraded to Tropical Storm Boris at the next advisory...The NHC's floater is labeled Boris.
North Pole Could be Ice-Free This Summer

Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
Thu Jun 26, 10:55 PM ET

Arctic sea ice could break apart completely at the North Pole this year, allowing ships to sail over the normally frozen top of the world.

The potential landmark thaw - the first time in human history the pole would be ice-free - is a stark sign of global warming, according to an article Friday on the web site of the The Independent, a London newspaper.

"Symbolically it is hugely important," said Mark Serreze of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. "There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water."

Last year, the fabled Northwest Passage opened as Arctic ice retreated more than ever before.

There is no land at the North Pole, but as long as anyone has looked, it has remained a giant block of ice year-round. Scientists have been watching Arctic sea ice melt more and more each year. But each summer in recent years, the amount of ice has gotten thinner and thinner. Each winter's freeze, therefore, results in a thinner pack that, this summer, could melt altogether.

"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice," Serreze is quoted by The Independent. "I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out."

Russia and other countries, meanwhile, have been arguing over who has rights to the region's resources, including potential oil reserves.

Several studies in recent years have predicted that the North Pole could be ice-free within a few decades. Alarm has ratcheted up every summer as the ice gets thinner and thinner. In a study released June 10, scientist said the rapid meltoff in the Arctic could threaten permafrost in continental soil elsewhere above the Arctic circle in a warm version of the snowball effect.

Last summer saw a record melt of Arctic sea ice, which shrank to more than 30 percent below its average. Around the peak of the melt, in September, air temperatures over land in the western Arctic from August to October were more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the 1978-2006 average.

"The rapid loss of sea ice can trigger widespread changes that would be felt across the region," said Andrew Slater, also of the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
1072. StormW 9:34 AM EST on June 27, 2008
CATL disturbance...mid level, possible LLC located 7N;36W based on RGB satellite loop.

Morning Storm!

Isn't the blob in the CATL ITCZ convection? It doesn't look like it's associated with a wave or anything of the sort and I don't see any evidence of a low pressure center forming.

Also, do you know where I could find upper level analyses (500mb, 700mb, etc.) for the whole Atlantic basin? I tried Unisys but all I could find there were charts for North America. Thanks in advance.
786- Nice article. what phase is the QCB in right know. I know they say they don't use it but i was just wondering.
1072. StormW 10:34 AM AST on June 27, 2008
CATL disturbance...mid level, possible LLC located 7N;36W based on RGB satellite loop.

that is where I saw it too. Quikscat also supported the formation of a LLCC. Its all on my blog.

1065. conchygirl

Quit bragging! LOL! Lucky you!
1074. Has to be somewhere on this site...just look.
1081. IKE
456...the central-Atlantic wave...I noticed on your blog you didn't give much indication of a movement. Is it moving west and at what speed?
1083. IKE
Appears to be moving west...definitely a circulation with it.
1084. Drakoen
We have a new tropical wave in the CATL along 36W.
1081. IKE 10:45 AM AST on June 27, 2008
456...the central-Atlantic wave...I noticed on your blog you didn't give much indication of a movement. Is it moving west and at what speed?

Despite a layer of Saharan Dust to its north, the area will be monitored as it meanders slowly within a weak steering environment.

I did not determine the movement becuz of that.
1086. IKE
1085. Weather456 9:48 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
1081. IKE 10:45 AM AST on June 27, 2008
456...the central-Atlantic wave...I noticed on your blog you didn't give much indication of a movement. Is it moving west and at what speed?

Remember its not a wave. Its the ITCZ and thus it is embedded within a very weak steering enviroment, so movement wasnt determined. Thats why the UKMET track is unusual.

See post above/below you by Drak?
Does this wave have a chance to develop??
Yea I correct it.
the nhc is now forcasting BORIS to have winds of 50kt with in the next few days
1090. 786
In summary for us to see this CATL wave develop in June the following conditions should be present:

1. The wave is at 10 -15N with a 850hPa Easterly vorticity
2. La Nina conditions are present
3. Positive Atlantic Oscillation
4. OBD is in the Westerly phase in the lower tropical stratosphere
5. The MJO is in the Westerly Phase

I myself don't fully understand what all the terms mean but google is a great tool ..
1087. Stormchaser2007 10:50 AM AST on June 27, 2008
Does this wave have a chance to develop??

1093. IKE
1087. Stormchaser2007 9:50 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
Does this wave have a chance to develop??

Looks pretty good on IR....


I believe you are correct in the storms moving more northerly today and I think it's because they are riding the edges of the ULL. As the ULL backs off to the west or sw it will bring those storms closer to us.
it's funny how rapidly the NHC has changed their minds on Boris' intensification forecast. LOL
1098. 786
Thanks Sheri, I have no idea...the boys on the blog would know...anyone?? Kay
1074. TerraNova

Forget my link. Look at 1097.
EDIT: nevermind...i found the right page! sorry about that!

1102. 786
Thanks StormW..well I guess then we have something to watch
Thanks for responding to my development question all!! Do you guys think that this might become an invest today?
1105. IKE
pearlandaggie....that's from March 07th, 2008!
1105. LOL...my bad...look at the header on their page:

Current Products Last Updated 2008 JUN 27 06 UTC

the date on the page header was correct, so i didn't even bother to look at the date on the graphic! sorry, folks!
1101. pearlandaggie 10:56 AM AST on June 27, 2008

March 7 2008.

2008 MAR07 00Z
1108. IKE
Now you're OK! LOL
1109. 786
Storm, whether the QBD is in a Westerly phase?
Boris is most likely stronger than the current forecast or estimates, I'd say morel ike a 55MPH tropical storm and Boris is strengthening auite nicely now with the presence of more convective bands developing aroung the circulation...interesting.

a convective band with cloud top temperatures to -80c has developed
around the center of Tropical Depression Two-E during the past
several hours. Satellite intensity estimates are 35 kt from both
SAB and TAFB...and re-examination of earlier scatterometer data
suggested 35 kt winds. Based on this...the depression is upgraded
to Tropical Storm Boris. The initial intensity is increased to 35
kt...and this may be conservative. The cirrus outflow is currently
good in the southwestern semicircle and poor elsewhere.
The initial motion is 295/8. Water vapor imagery and large-scale
model analyses show a mid/upper-level trough over the Pacific north
of 15n between 115-135w. The models forecast this trough to move
westward and weaken...with a mid/upper-level ridge building
westward from Mexico to the north of Boris. This evolution should
allow Boris to move west-northwestward for 24 hr or so...followed
by a turn toward the west as shown by the GFS GFDL and HWRF. The
forecast track follows this scenario...with the new forecast being
a little north of and slower than the previous forecast. It is
down the middle of the guidance envelope in best agreement with the
corrected model consensus. The ECMWF shows an alternate
scenario...with Boris becoming stationary or moving eastward after
96 hr due to the development of another tropical cyclone to the
east. While another cyclone is a distinct possibility...the ECMWF
may be making the system too powerful and too large. Thus...its
forecast track for Boris appears unlikely at this time.
Boris is currently in an environment of light to moderate
east-northeasterly vertical wind shear. The large-scale models
forecast this pattern to persist for 24-36 hr. After that...they
forecast a piece of an upper-level trough currently over the Gulf
of Mexico to move westward and pass near Boris...accompanied by
a significant increase in shear. This would likely stop
intensification...so the intensity forecast calls for Boris to
reach a peak intensity of 50 kt in about 48 hr. The shear is
forecast to decrease after 72 hr...but by that time Boris is
forecast to move over cooler sea surface temperatures. An
alternative scenario based on current convective trends is that
Boris could strengthen faster than currently forecast for the first
36 hr and reach a higher peak intensity.

Forecast positions and Max winds

initial 27/1500z 12.6n 109.3w 35 kt
12hr VT 28/0000z 13.0n 110.4w 40 kt
24hr VT 28/1200z 13.3n 111.8w 45 kt
36hr VT 29/0000z 13.4n 113.5w 50 kt
48hr VT 29/1200z 13.5n 115.2w 50 kt
72hr VT 30/1200z 13.5n 118.5w 50 kt
96hr VT 01/1200z 13.5n 122.0w 40 kt
120hr VT 02/1200z 13.5n 125.0w 35 kt

forecaster Beven

Pearl try this link.
1073. certainly there's no chance of a correlation between this and this.
1112. thanks, i found it! D@M#%%$( GOOGLE! LOL
that tropical genesis page keeps locking up FF3 on my machine?!?!?!
1116. Drakoen
Most of the convection is east of the wave axis. Tropical cyclone development is unlikely as the wave approaches unfavorable upper level winds and an increasingly subsident environment with the SAL.
1117. IKE
From the Atlantic discussion...on the high....

"The remainder of the Atlc is dominated by a
large ridge anchored on a 1028 mb surface high near 37n32w SW of
the Azores. A mostly dry and stable atmosphere is associated
with this ridge producing a wide swath of strong to moderate
easterly flow across the N tropical Atlc into the Caribbean Sea.
Surface ridge across the central Atlc is expected to gradually
strengthen during the next 24 hours."..........

That central-Atlantic wave may be west-bound.
1118. 786
IKE I agree, I would be suprised if it went North the way the GFS predicts it to
1119. IKE
1118. 786 10:15 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
IKE I agree, I would be suprised if it went North the way the GFS predicts it to

I'm talking about the wave near 8N and 36W.
There looks to be a spin going on in the southern BOC and the ULL in the western gulf looks to be weakening as forecasted. If this is the case and with all the energy in the GOM things could possibly get interesting soon out there in the gulf.
Uhhh-Ohhhhh!!!!!!! 92L SOON??????

1122. IKE
I don't see it on the Navy site?
1123. CJ5
Shear appears to be somewhat favorable for the CATL wave it could develop further over the next 24-48 it seems to me.
It looks to me like there is alot of dry air near the wave in the central atlantic. I think it's starting to choke into it.
i knew it..lol i called it yesterday asking what that was in the BOC..it was just below that ULL yesterday..yep this could get very interesting..viking, getting alot of rain today...you should be getting it also..
We were talking about the system in the BOC yesterday.
this might be some trouble.
i know i kept asking and never was getting a response then had to leave, so i'm sure ot was brought up after i left...no prob..just been waiting for something to fire up down there..
1129. IKE
1127. TheWeatherMan504 10:39 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
this might be some trouble.

Where? There's no invest anywhere in the Atlantic.
1130. jabjb2
Is there any models showing anything developing in the GOM.
1132. IKE
1130. jabjb2 10:41 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
Is there any models showing anything developing in the GOM.

IKE, look at the GOM loop it looks intresting.
1134. DocBen
It seems like that monster high over the Atlantic is doint TWO things - keeping any African waves so far south that they hit South America instead of getting up into the Carib and also keeping the Southeast in drought.

It also seems that these waves then traverse into the EPAC and might develop there.
1136. IKE
From the 8:05 am Atlantic discussion...


Gulf of Mexico...
an upper level low is pinching off in the west central Gulf near
25n93w. S to swly flow between this low and a ridge to its east
centered over the NW Caribbean extends northeastward towards
Cape Hatteras and is advecting deep layer tropical moisture
northward into the ern Gulf across Florida and the NW Bahamas.
Scattered showers are across the ern Bay of Campeche...Yucatan
Peninsula and the Gulf E of 93w. Isolated tstms are across the
central Gulf from 23n-26n between 88w-92w. At the surface a weak
ridge extending from the central Atlc is keeping a weak pressure
pattern in place across the Gulf. This is maintaining light se
10-15 kt winds across the Gulf. Expect scattered showers and
tstms to re-develop across the central Gulf Fri afternoon as
upper low is stagnant to move much and remain over the wrn Gulf

Nothing there.....
IMO...the only thing that has been stopping something from forming in the GOM the last few days has been that pesky ULL. If it is weakening than it will open the door for something to fire up out there.
none of them do. however i was taught to never worship the models. the models is just a second opinion. I was taught to make obsevations not just looking at the models.you need to look at whats going on now not in 72 hours or 384 hours.now is important.
1125. Nolehead

I mentioned it too yesterday but nobody responded, pretty much ignored my question when I asked about the convection SE of the Yucatan which is now that BLOB North of the Yucatan. No rain here yet but the radar is starting to pop and this time it looks to be more widespread and coming off the water so just maybe!
Ull suposed to somewhat weaken.but even if it doesent amount to anything the gulf coast and inland is going to get heavy rainfall.
The blob in the Gulf has no circulation at any levels and no models do anything with it.
1142. IKE
In the Atlantic basin...the wave w/circulation near 8N and 36W is the thing to watch. It is in a low shear area.....

CIMSS 1200UTC Shear Map
phill, just watch that little swirl inthe BOC..the temps in the GOM are a sauna..would not take much of anything to get going in that hot bath..just cause a model doesn't say so, don't mean anything...viking..thanks, we know about it..lol
1142. Well, we need the SAL to diminish before that thing has any real shot at developing...
true, but it wouldn't suprise me in the least bit..
1146. IKE
SAL doesn't look too bad......

1147. IKE
It looks like that mass of clouds in the GOM is slowly heading west...so much for the NAM and a cyclone forming in the NE GOM....not a tropical model.
1136. IKE

If it persists long enough you never know....
Why the Gulf blob won't develop: There is a huge ULL there and shear is marginal at best.

Well, the factor that is preventing the CATL blob from developing is latitude. If it moves north, it's in the SAL; and if it stays where it is, it'll still be too far south.
1151. Drakoen
The GFS still wants Cape Verde development and its pulled the time frame even closer.
1143. Nolehead

I've learned to never discount something so close to home when the waters are that warm.
1153. IKE
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Brownsville Texas
936 am CDT Friday Jun 27 2008

Discussion...the main features on the weather map are the ridge of
high pressure over northern Mexico and the upper level trough of low
pressure over the central Gulf.
At 300 mb the center of the trough is
located about 250 miles east southeast of Brownsville. Convection is
located to the east of the axis where the upper level flow becomes
more divergent between SW winds over the central Gulf and westerly
winds aloft over the eastern Gulf. By Sunday 00z the GFS depicts
an area of upper level divergence located north south just off the
coast of Brownsville from southern tamaulipas in Mexico to Corpus
Christi. This area of divergence will enhance the chance of
showers and thunderstorms in our County Warning Area for Saturday evening. The 12z
sounding from this morning shows a total precipitable water
content of 1.65 in. For Sunday at 00z the forecast precipitable
water is slightly above 2 inches which in conjunction with the
dynamical forcing expected for Saturday will produce scattered
showers and thunderstorms that could start in the late morning.
The grids were updated to reflect a 50 percent of precipitation
for Saturday afternoon along the coast with lower values inland.

For Monday the trough over the eastern US amplifies bringing northwest
winds at 200 mb over deep south Texas. This dissipates the area of
divergence aloft.
The rain chances decrease Sunday and only a
small risk of isolated showers is expected for Monday. The
precipitable water is forecast to stay between 1.70 and 1.90 for
the later part of the week with isolated showers possible."..............

viking, oh yeah we know...if any of the guys live on the GOM..then they understand what were saying...
1155. IKE
1150. philliesrock 11:05 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
Well, the factor that is preventing the CATL blob from developing is latitude. If it moves north, it's in the SAL; and if it stays where it is, it'll still be too far south.

Probably....like walking through a maze.
1156. IKE
1151. Drakoen 11:05 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
The GFS still wants Cape Verde development and its pulled the time frame even closer.

Has it forming by Monday/Tuesday....why am I telling you this? LOL.
there is an LLC in the BOC you can see the west wind on the visible loop!
1158. Drakoen
1156. IKE 4:10 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
1151. Drakoen 11:05 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
The GFS still wants Cape Verde development and its pulled the time frame even closer.

Has it forming by Monday/Tuesday....why am I telling you this? LOL.


The prospect of Cape Verde development is interesting.
1160. 786
What does it actullay mean when the MJO is in its Westerly phase and the QBD is in the Westerly phase please?
1161. IKE
Good afternoon.

1157. TheWeatherMan504 11:12 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
there is an LLC in the BOC you can see the west wind on the visible loop!

Looks like a ULLWater Vapor Loop
Hi all,
GOM blob barely moving... looks like it could be a heavy rainmaker.
Lastest ASCAT of the ITCZ pertabation in the CATL

1165. Drakoen
1159. StormW 4:16 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Afternoon Drak;Ike!

Hey StormW!
1166. surfmom
just back from the polo barns east of I75 --A wall of humity today - horses were slow, pokey, naughty and did not want to work out. Figured I wouldn't want to run in this either, so instead of the track we hit the trails. There the waves of mosquitos were just as bad as those nasty deer flies. Human and four-leggeds were delighted with a good hose shower. Rig the hose up after their bath so it showered down on the horses where they were tied up. They just loved it. Had to use the heavy duty cattle bug spray to keep the horses out of misery.

The blob in the Gulf, Nole I know what your thinking and I am on the same page, just big enough to get those buoys rocking so I can surf in 90 degree water and feel like I'm 14 again! So hungry for just a few decent rides....it's been way too long.
How can you tell from looking at the water vapor loop what a ULL looks like?
sorry this is ASCAT of the area

1169. surfmom
Hi stormw - looks like we are almost ready to rock and roll.

Nice having the kid out of school and not be working full time at the polo club. Gives me more relax time here. Starting to have quite an interesting notebook - and beginning to understand thing more quickly then last year.
1170. Drakoen
This is the 13th consecutive run on the GFS so we will see what happens. This morning long-range CMC also showed development as well.
1171. 786
I see the MJO has 8 phases. Right now it appears to be in phase 7, which shows enhanced rainfall (blue area) in the Atlantic. Is this why it is in a "Westerly Phase"?

GOM waters do feel like overly warm bathwaters! On the beach yesterday and was surprised at the water temps. Going out into Bay later today and checking water temps in a couple of areas. Seem warmer in Bay this year than past... *note to self ~ Must keep better records! LOL
1173. 786
and when you say the MJO is ascending, does that mean that it is more north therefore in the region of our tropical waves enhancing rainfall?
1174. Patrap
GOM IR Loop Link
1176. IKE

1167. saintsfan06 11:25 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
How can you tell from looking at the water vapor loop what a ULL looks like?

My non-met answer...counterclockwise spin in the northern hemisphere...usually void of clouds.
1177. surfmom
Hi Saintsfan - good to see you back. If I remember, yesterday you said you were shy to ask questions..... you have good ones and I learn from them --so don't hesitate. One thing I did when I started last year was to start a note book, when I don't understand something, or I learn something new I often send it over to the printed and file it. Then when I'm sitting in the car waiting for kids etc., I review and re-read. The re-read often helps me to sink the information deep and to better understand things. It also helps to print out the maps and then compare the picture to what StormW or who ever is writing about.
surfmom,lol...you know it..COME ON!! been way too long..but we also have been spoiled big time for the past few years...we have a thigh high swell right now, nothing to write home about but hey it's rideable!!
1179. surfmom
Beachfoxx, I have the same observations. It seemed to stay cooler a bit longer, but then it heated up like someone plug the cord in. It is hurricane soup out there.
StormW or Drak: In post 1149 is a beautiful map with all the colors. Can you explain, in plain english what the significance of the colors are?

I'm trying to learn how to interpet all the different images - and I'm never sure what this way tells you.

1181. surfmom
If I had a thigh high I wouldn't be sitting here, thats for sure --are you a long board or short board
1182. 786
Thanks Storm, much appreciated
1183. surfmom
thanks StormW - another page for my mjo section.
both, but i'm at work...so i gotta wait till this afternoon..can't seem to hit all 6 #'s in lotto dang it!!!
1185. IKE
12Z GFS is further west and south with the African wave(system?), on this run compared to the 6Z run.

1157. TheWeatherMan504 4:12 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
there is an LLC in the BOC you can see the west wind on the visible loop!

wow your right this thing looks like our next invest.


That's the 200mb vorticy. Where the bright colors are there are upper level lows/troughs. They cause shear for developing tropical systems.
StormW is the QBO responsible for the 3 systems that are in the pacific?
I have been lurking now for more then 3 years now, just came out of the closet hopefully a little smarter than 3 years ago.
I *really* think the blob in the GOM needs to be watched. I know there is an ULL, however they have been known to dissipate, form into a lower level circulation, and move closer to convection.

LINK to the visible still.
the ull is near texas the llc is in the BOC.
1193. Drakoen
1180. zoomiami 4:36 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
StormW or Drak: In post 1149 is a beautiful map with all the colors. Can you explain, in plain english what the significance of the colors are?

Those maps are showing vorticity within the atmosphere. The dark red colors are representative of strong positive vorticity maximum which is associated with low pressure systems. The lighter yellow colors are indicative of weak vorticity which may be associated with developing features. The blue colors represent negative vorticity associated with more anticyclonic features. With negative vorticity you have an atmosphere that's more stable and susident. That higher the negative vorticity the more subsident as there is no vertical upward velocity to support the building of thunderstorms in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere.
It is hurricane soup out there.

Yep, Surfmom it is...
My plans for checking water temps may have just changed. Have some serious thunder booming...

Hey Ike!
A couple of nasty storms this week... Did you know those young boys who lost their lives last Sunday during that T-Storm? So tragic.
Thanks Ike and great advice surfmom
Is anyone here from NOLA?
"The spin in the Gulf is an Upper Level Low, development is highly unlikely" JP If it is there tomorrow we are starting to see signs of persistance. With the models jumping on this earlier this wk these clouds need to be watched this wkend. No other threats.
I live in NOLA
1200. 7544
1091. StormW 2:51 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
1083. IKE 10:47 AM EDT on June 27, 2008
Appears to be moving west...definitely a circulation with it.

Slow WNW motion.

would you say the spin is around 7n/ 34 w with this wave
1202. Drakoen
1185. IKE 4:40 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
12Z GFS is further west and south with the African wave(system?), on this run compared to the 6Z run.

Yep which makes the forecast somewhat more believable since the storm won't be heading into those sub 26C waters. Waters above 26C are needed to maintain organized convection.
1203. IKE
1194. Beachfoxx 11:45 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
It is hurricane soup out there.

Yep, Surfmom it is...
My plans for checking water temps may have just changed. Have some serious thunder booming...

Hey Ike!
A couple of nasty storms this week... Did you know those young boys who lost their lives last Sunday during that T-Storm? So tragic.

Their grandfather has insurance with me. Tragic....yeah...it's clouding up here too...
cool, its scary to live here we arent safe anymore.
1206. IKE
1200. 7544 11:49 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
1091. StormW 2:51 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
1083. IKE 10:47 AM EDT on June 27, 2008
Appears to be moving west...definitely a circulation with it.

Slow WNW motion.

would you say the spin is around 7n/ 34 w with this wave

Close to there.
Thanks StormW.
We have had some good afternoon storms in Baton Rouge the last few days with lots of lighting and hail. Suppose to continue though Monday.
1208. Drakoen

Broke my heart for the family....

New blog up.
we had hail and lost power in metairie yesterday.
1211. pottery
Hello all.
Nice weather here at 11n 61w today.( Trinidad)
Showers, sunshine, clear sky, green vegetation, cool breeze.
Temp 90f
Humid. 66%
Press, 1013 falling.

And I dont work on Friday anymore.......
1194. Beachfoxx

I read about it, so sad. I have a 10 year old already shopping for his first boat. By the time he gets one I'll make sure he has a good understanding of the weather and how quickly it can change for the worse. Until then he can just remain the co-captain on my boat where I'll keep us both out of storms like the one that did those boys in.
Belated thanks for the answers - had to go back to work!
1214. 786
Okay here is what my understanding is thus far, I hope it helps those who are kinda confused like me:

Vorticity: the rotation of air in a horizontal plain. Positive vorticity means that the rotation is cyclonic (anti-clockwise). 850hPA represents the atmospheric pressure at the altitude of 1500m - the distance is measured from sea-level. The more positive the vorticity is, the stonger the cyclonic flow and at the 850hPa level higher positive vorticity = higher chance of unsettled weather.

MJO = Madden Julian Oscillation which is a 30-60 day cycle of flucuations in tropical rainfall. The wave starts in the Indian Ocean and travels East at 800km/day!! It is always in one of 8 phases. We are currently in phase 7 which shows that the Atlantic is within the "blue zone" of the MJO's = enhanced rainfall. When the "MJO is ascending" air is rising and therefore dry air is reduced, moisture can build up which is favourable for convection.

ENSO is the state of the Southern Oscillation. It ranges from El Nino, Neutral, La Nina. La Nina to Neutral produce the most favourable conditions for tropical development as wind shear is lower, temperatures in the Atlantic are higher etc.

NAO is the Northern Atlantic oscillation which is the difference of sea-level pressure between the Icelandic low and the Azores high (constants in the earth's atmosphere). It controls the direction and strength of Westerly winds and storm tracks. A positive phase NAO means that there are there is below normal height and pressure across high latitudes in the Northern Atlantic and above normal height and pressure in the Central Atlantic, Eastern U.S and Western Eurpope. In a positive phase temperatures in the Easter U.S. are above normal. Along with the following:

- subtropical ridge is stronger
- the Bermuda high is higher and more Westward
- there is reduced wind shear
- the Easterly jet is increased

During El Nino a negative phase NAO is more conducive for tropical development whereas during La Nina a positive phase is more conducive.

In conclusion from my limited understanding, my first ever attempted forecast:

seeing as we are in La Nina, MJO is producing enhanced rainfall in the Atlantic, we are in a positive phase of the NAO - over all climatology favours development at present.

For the wave at 36w there is limited positive vorticity, the wave at 21w is displaying better cyclonic turning (positive vorticity). Shear in front of both waves is favourable (5-10 knots) and the shear tendancy map (which shows how the shear pattern has been in the last 24 hours), shows that shear in front of both the 21w and 36w wave is decreasing or otherwise at 5-10 knots. SSTs are higher than 27 degrees celsius (anything above 26. celsius can develop a cyclone)b and thats it