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Chile's volcano not likely to affect the climate

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:01 PM GMT on May 19, 2008

It's been a busy month for natural disasters, and I haven't found time to talk about Chile's Chaiten volcano, 760 miles (1,220 km) south of the capital Santiago. The volcano started erupting on May 2 for the first time in thousands of years, spewing ash, gas and molten rock into the air, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Did this mighty eruption have a cooling effect on the climate?


Figure 1. This May 5, 2008 image from NASA's Terra satellite caught Chaiten erupting. Image credit: NASA.

Many historic volcanic eruptions have had a major cooling impact on Earth's climate. However, Chaiten is very unlikely to be one of them. To see why this is, let's examine recent volcanic eruptions that have had a significant cooling effect on the climate. In the past 200 years, Mt. Pinatubo in the Phillipines (June 1991), El Chichon (Mexico, 1982), Mt. Agung (Indonesia, 1963), Santa Maria (Guatemala, 1902) Krakatoa (Indonesia, 1883), and Tambora (1815) all created noticeable cooling. As one can see from a plot of the solar radiation reaching Mauna Loa in Hawaii (Figure 2), the Mt. Pinatubo and El Chichon eruptions caused a greater than 10% drop in sunlight reaching the surface. The eruption of Tambora in 1815 had an even greater impact, triggering the famed Year Without a Summer in 1816. Killing frosts and snowstorms in May and June 1816 in Eastern Canada and New England caused widespread crop failures, and lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania in July and August. Volcanic eruptions cause this kind of climate cooling by throwing large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas into the stratosphere. This gas reacts with water to form sulphuric acid droplets (aerosol particles), which are highly reflective, and reduce the amount of incoming sunlight.

You'll notice from the list of eruptions above that all of these climate-cooling events were from volcanoes in the tropics. Above the tropics, the stratosphere's circulation features rising air, which pulls the sulfur-containing volcanic aerosols high into the stratosphere, where the upper-level winds circulate them all around the globe. These aerosol particles take a year or two to settle back down to earth, since there is no rain in the stratosphere to help remove them. However, if a major volcanic eruption occurs in the mid-latitudes or polar regions, the circulation of the stratosphere in those regions generally features downward subsiding air, and the volcanic aerosol particles are not able to penetrate high in the stratosphere and get carried all around the globe. Chaiten is located near 40° south latitude, far from the tropics, and thus is unlikely to be able to inject significant amounts of sulfur aerosols into the stratosphere. Furthermore, the character of Chaiten's eruptions so far has been to eject a lot of silica and not much sulfur into the air. The total amount of sulfur ejected has been only about 1/10000 of what Mt. Pinatubo put into the air, according to NASA.


Figure 2. Reduced solar radiation due to volcanic aerosols as measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

Realclimate.org has a nice article that goes into the volcano-climate connection in greater detail. One interesting quote from the article: There can be some exceptions to the tropics-only rule, and at least one high latitude volcano appears to have had significant climate effects; Laki (Iceland, 1783-1784). The crucial factor was that the eruption was almost continuous for over 8 months which lead to significantly elevated sulphate concentrations for that whole time over much of the Atlantic and European regions, even though stratospheric concentrations were likely not particularly exceptional.

My next blog will talk about new research regarding the hurricanes/global warming connection.

Jeff Masters

Climate Change

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

Is he N or S of the jetties?
I don't think any of you should be complaining about rain when your not in the Mideast. this month we've had around fifteen inches at least and major flooding, school canceling,we got another inch or two of rain today good think I live on a hill, still our driveway became inaccessible for about two days about a week ago
yea storm...it's the same boat as mine...there's a lot less to run into out there....
he's coming from Wilmington...so he's headed into it...it's certainly a rough ride...but not Godawful...
1505. Patrap
Advise the local C.C. & get a Fix.

Ask Him if he has an Epirb.
Unreal!!! Even the pretty pictures did not bring any takers...
That is a good thing press. He should miss the worst of it. If he was coming up from the S it would be worse.

I am sure he has a great view of some lightening though.
he has an epirb...I called the CG...they're listening in...he's sailing solo...oh well...good news is this moved thru pretty quickly...
see y'all later...I'm gonna go over to the City Marina and take this dude a bottle of scotch....
1510. Patrap
Okay Press,figured they were Monitoring.

Wish Him well.
Y'all enjoy that Scotch press!
...this guy offshore is absolutely freaking out...

May be right to do so. The wave forecast for right now is for 3-4 meter waves driven by 30 knot winds.



How far out is he and what is he driving?

Sheesh...been building all day...what is he still doing out there?

Island Packet 31...pretty sturdy boat....
And a lot of times what gets you in trouble on the water is panic, which can lead to poor decision making.
Nasty atmo. Hope folks across the SE have stayed safe tonight. And I would expect more red triangle to show up on that map tomorrow.

The outlook is fairly light for severe WX tomorrow (as light as it can be for late May)...

atmo, I was talking due to verification. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Let me try this again...144hrs cutoff low trying to form...

we will see it here first jfv on thurs
it will be sure thing
1520. Drakoen
1442. StormJunkie 11:54 PM GMT on May 20, 2008
Drak, how do you know that initial L is not just part of the normal Panama low? And I was going mostly on 216hrs looks to be when something actually starts to pull away from the Panama low.


Moisture advection and 850mb vorticity tracking.
If you look at the shortwave loop of that area in the southern Caribbean it looks like there is a bit of rotation with that convection, however the convective activity has decreased right now.
JFV,
I do not see anything wrong in saying a somewhat active season? How they are falsely estimating the season? I'm confused can you explain?
atmo, I was talking due to verification

I see. Some could disappear too, though. All of the downed trees in the same direction, for example, they would classify it as a likely downburst and take off the nado.
Gang, please read the following phrase that I copied and pasted from the folks at flhurricane.com website. ''We'll be ready for the coming season with more news updates and commentary as we watch the Atlantic Basin. I expect another somewhat active year''. Sounds like these folks are falsely underestimating the upcoming hurricane season a little bit, wouldn't you guys think so? LOL!!!

I also expect a "somewhat active" year as well... as in 2006-2007, NOT 2005. Whether it will be like 2006-2007 or 2004 for the U.S. is another matter and will depend on storm tracks (also remember 1985).
Let me try this again...144hrs cutoff low trying to form...

Those are always fun...for building the waves.
To me, its very well possible we could have a somewhat active season, or a very active season. We don't know yet. But we do know, that we have some potential for the first storm of the season in the Caribbean if the conditions do play out the way the CPC says they will.
Thanks Drak, pretty sure I see what you are talking about. I forgot to look at the upper air graphics, and was only looking at the surface stuff. Good thing to remember to check all variables.
And depending on the setup atmo, a outside chance it gets invest status before it exits stage N.

I always like watching these stalled fronts as they usually pop off at least one early season invest.
many will say many things of 2008 season
but it will be whatever it will be
good or bad one must wait and see
There were at least two really good, umm...bad, hooks on the SC radar today, and several reports of nados on the ground, so I don't see how a current count of 2 tornadoes could be accurate.
Whoa.... a system forming to the East of Fl is NOT good for us... it will simply pull in more dry air from the North. What we need is a TS coming right across the state from West to East
1532. K8eCane
SJ
when is the east coast low supposed to form?


(ps YOU ARENT GOING TO GET A WHOLE LOT OF COMMENTS ON HERE ABOUT AN EAST COAST LOW)
236 i will say may 29 338 am nw carb s of yuc west sw of cayman isl.
K8e, that image was at 144hrs, past that it shows it try and get a little more circular shape to the vorticity then it does in that image. That said, it looks like it starts trying to break away from the front around 110hrs or so.
lol K8e..wink wink
they'll wait till first light to survey the damage i figure sj get a better report tomorrow
RE:
1518. StormJunkie 1:36 AM GMT on May 21, 2008



Watching the satellite loop from Tropical RAMSDIS for the SW Caribbean disturbance, it seems like a new low-level circulation has become very evident at around 12.5N 79.5W and may have been hidden by the intense convection that existed for a large part of the day. Could anyone else verify this?
so I don't see how a current count of 2 tornadoes could be accurate.

True. I have also seen instances where spc took hours to post nado reports. I do not mean that the forensic crew added them, but that public reports took hours to get posted.
That is what I was thinking KOTG.

Hades, You bring up a good point about the phase never showing it making warm core. TN mentioned that earlier.



But the phase also ends before the system is done and there is at least some chance that changes over the next few days depending on what type of feature develops and where. Also how long it manages to get over the Stream.
1543. Drakoen
1518. StormJunkie 1:38 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
atmo, I was talking due to verification. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Let me try this again...144hrs cutoff low trying to form...

Its not cut-off looks more like a baroclinic low. The low is embedded within a 500mb longwave trough and you can see the trailing frontal boundary attached to the area of low pressure. The wind vectors also support the Cool air advection behind the low and the warm air advection ahead of the pre-frontal trough
atmo, it can take a while to get the information out when folks are trying to figure out what the hell just happened to them.
The Gulf Current has warmed up allot the passed few days.
1541. JFV 10:02 PM EDT on May 20, 2008 Hide this comment.
Good observation Weatherman! Could this potentially be what the CMC and some of the other models have been hinting at during the last several days?


yes, it could be, but we have to continue watching it to see if it heads north. If it does, then yes, we should watch it and hope it turns into a gint system to provide Florida with some rain and meteorological excitement- It hasn't rained in so long!
True Drak, and that is why I posted the phase. That said, it moves closer and closer to warm core the further out in time it goes, and it is at least possible that the model could be slightly inaccurate this far out :~)

Just saying it will be an interesting feature to watch that has at least a slight chance of gaining some tropical characteristics.
And just to be clear Drak, I never said it was cut off, just saying it is trying to cut off.
Hey guys. I find the GFS long range forecasts interesting, although unlikely to come exactly true. Some tunes for you all...

1550. Drakoen
1547. StormJunkie 2:07 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
True Drak, and that is why I posted the phase. That said, it moves closer and closer to warm core the further out in time it goes, and it is at least possible that the model could be slightly inaccurate this far out :~)

Just saying it will be an interesting feature to watch that has at least a slight chance of gaining some tropical characteristics.


The GFS takes it out to sea with high pressure ridging to the east.
be careful what you wish for it just may come true
more than what you bargin for
Drak and StormJunkie,
Could you offer your opinion on my observations regarding the Southwest Caribbean feature? Would love to hear your input. Thanks.
1546. FLWeatherFreak91

No much chance...this mess is moving WNW and will like as not end up in the EPAC.
1555. Patrap
ISS Pass , groundtrack.
Houston to New York
Beginning at 9:16 CDT Link
True Drak, but it only takes a slight stronger high to put it back on the OBX, but again, that is not really what I am talking about. Also back to minor inaccuracies in models at that time frame.

Just saying I think this is the closest thing to a tropical system we will see in the next 168 hrs. Then the Panama area could be starting to take a life of it's own and that will likely be our next area to watch, but 168 is still a long long way off imho, and I need a couple grains to go with something that far out.
1557. pottery
Greetings all.
Some good ITCZ activity going on now. Heavy showers at 50w, and a large area around.
Complex upper level and mid level winds along the ITCZ and north of that. Wind directions too numerous to mention., but generally bringing in dry air from north and west, and blowing cloud tops back to the northeast. Wind direction over the ITCZ is tending easterly now, for the first time.
It all looks to be setting up the way it should be, minus the Dust.
1558. Drakoen
cch, I don't think much of the Caribbean system.
I hope you weren't referring that comment to me StormChaser since there was no wishcasting at all in my post; just a simple observation.
thats where its going too sj out to sea big low over ont can backdooring pushing everything se an e until it stops movin west and goes east no change pattern stays the same
out to sea it goes
cchs, just my take on things and what I have learned by trying to watch features from too far out, we need to wait until we have an actual feature start to form down there, and right now the GFS is looking at the 168hr time frame for that.

I think what you are looking at may just be part of the normal Panama low.
No,no,no Im so sorry cch If you misinterpreted me, I was simply stating (in general) that FLweather freaks comment shouldn't be taken as wish-casting a storm on Florida that is was just simply wishing for rain.
KOTG- First I think it is just too far out to state that as fact. Second, we may not even have anything there. Third, and what I am basing my "things could change slightly" theory on is what the GFS is forecasting the high to do over the next week. It goes from 1020 to 1030, and it starts to build E late in the forecast period. Depending on the speed at which it builds will ultimately decide if this thing grazes the OBX, NY, or NE area.

See for yourself...Watch the high. Not the low feature.
1565. K8eCane
SJ wink wink
Not wasting my time K8, I am still learning, so it can not be a waste of time. Not to mention it is good practice for refreshing the tracking hand after the off season :~)

Not to mention, I kind of like debate, and at least now there are some folks debating it with me, instead of me just jabbering to me! ☺
i notice pottery how that ne sa area sw of trinny is void of convection strange
also dry air east of windward and trinny seems to be pushing down on the itcz from your area east to east cen atlantic
with a push n on both ends of the itcz over east atlantic to east africa and nw sa nw sw carb and yuc
Drak and Storm Junkie,
I know that you don't think much about this feature, but I just want verification that there is a low-level circulation at the coordinates I posted since you both seem to have very keen eyes. I'm not expecting any development, but would just like to watch this feature just in case.
Night K8, keep your head down depending on where you are. Looks like we may have another round of weather headed in to the LC.
1572. Drakoen
Photobucket
Based upon the latest imagery over Africa, we may see the ITCZ jump above 10N tomorrow as there is a long line with moderate to strong convection moving across West Africa, all at or north of 10N.

CCH is the ITCZ more south than usual this year??
1575. Drakoen
Cch, I see nothing at your coordinates. The only twisting I see is moving on shore which matches up with the 850mb vorticity product.
1576. pottery
Hi Keeper.
Yeah, some interesting weather going on around the ITCZ now.
I have only been looking at loops and images for 2 yrs, so I dont know the norms. But looking at how this is setting up, is fascinating to me.
1577. pottery
cchs @ 1573. Good point too.
k8ecane was i talking to you
sj iam not sayin any thing about models used for guidance only current observations go a long way your not one of its my way or highway guys are ya
1572.

You know me Drak, always learning and need some repeating some times! So what point are you making with that graphic?

I understand what the model is showing now, and I do not expect much out of the E Coast low, but I also know models are far from perfect that far out. Slight variations could make some difference in whatever this feature turns in to right?
11 n is the magic num cchs
To answer your question StormChaser, the ITCZ remains further north than average over Africa, but further south than average across the entire Atlantic. But, that will change over the next two weeks as disturbances over Africa are developing further north, causing the ITCZ to rise in the Atlantic.

Good night everyone. Look forward to the models tomorrow Drak and StormJunkie as I will spend more time analyzing the possible East Coast storm tomorrow morning.
the reason the ITCZ is far south is because it is may it isnt even Hurricane Season.It will move north in the coming months.
1584. Drakoen
1579. StormJunkie 2:38 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
1572.

You know me Drak, always learning and need some repeating some times! So what point are you making with that graphic?


Its kind of self-explanatory (lol) but I am showing the different kinds of lows and how to differentiate them when looking at a model.
wm504
head on applied directly to your forehead
No hell no KOTG. I am always open for good debate that includes information. That said, the feature does move back to the E some per the model which is exactly the type of thing you said you did not see in post 1560. You over exaggerated the no E component a little bit, and I responded with a model run of a building high.

Again y'all, I enjoy these frontal systems as there always seems to be one every year that does something that was not expected. Is this it? I doubt it, but still an interesting feature.
Mostly self explanatory to those of us that have some knowledge of what you were getting at.

That said, do you not agree that minor variations in the actual conditions as they occur could change what the model is showing?
1588. Patrap
They Blinded me With Science!!!

1585. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 2:41 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
wm504
head on applied directly to your forehead


Ugggggghhhhhhh i hate that commercial it gives me a headache.

1590. Drakoen
1587. StormJunkie 2:44 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
Mostly self explanatory to those of us that have some knowledge of what you were getting at.

That said, do you not agree that minor variations in the actual conditions as they occur could change what the model is showing?


Yes. But this system in particular appears very cold core and frontal-natured.
1591. pottery
STL, would you be able to post an image, comparing the position of the ITCZ over the Atl. and S. America for now, and may 07 ?

Would love to see that, and cant figure out how to find 07.

Thanks.
STL, would you be able to post an image, comparing the position of the ITCZ over the Atl. and S. America for now, and may 07 ?

I am not sure where to find that either, it would have to be somebody who happened to save a satellite image from back then.
1542...oops, I had the wrong image in there...




But the phase also ends before the system is done and there is at least some chance that changes over the next few days depending on what type of feature develops and where. Also how long it manages to get over the Stream.
1594. pottery
OK, STL. No problem.
And I don't disagree that it seem mostly frontal and cold core. But I also don't put a whole lot of stock in 168hrs one way or another.

Again folks, just saying I think this will be the closest thing to a tropical entity and likely the most interesting feature to watch over the next week in the ATL.
Jeez...Slapping myself around...ok, the phase image is up now!!!
of coarse sj weather is a continually evoling and changing force with any possible outcome

as my grandfather used to say
weather can change in the blink of a eye
dont rule anything out
1598. Drakoen
SJ its ok. I have no problem with remedial students

:~)
lol Drak, thought I would never get that image up. Just went back looking for it to refer you back to that post and I was like "Where the hell did the phase I posted go"...lmao @ myself...
hi
1593..

Wasn't that how STS Andrea got started exept directly over the Gulf Stream.
And on top of all of that I had a vorticity map linked to the FSU GFS pressure map when it was all suppose to be the phase...I think I finally have it right in that last post....

:c)
1603. pottery
Hi, Taz.
wsp, I wasn't going to bring that up, because I feel like it is deja vu all over again. No one thought that would amount to anything either....
Evening Taz :~)

1581. And, Pottery, I don't think the storms over Africa have anything to do with the position of the ITCZ in the central or western Atlantic at all.

The ITCZ, imo, and from what I've read and seen others say, hasn't moved further north just yet because of what has been slightly less than normal surface temperatures. In the ITCZ, SST's and convergence activity go hand-n-hand. As the SST's warm further north, so will activity.

The mid-latitudes have had several deep moving troughs in recent months that have aided the "cooling" of SST's in those areas. That's all about to change as they continue to warm and climatology will find the ITCZ right where it normally should be....where water is warm and the seasonal pitch to the sun takes place.

From my "ITCZ" blog earlier this season.


MYSTERY of the ITCZ
What Keeps the ITCZ North of the Equator?

It is a long-standing mystery that the ITCZ stays north of the equator over the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans despite that the annual-mean solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is symmetric with respect to the equator. This article reviews recent progress that has shed new light on this old puzzle.

(excerpt in part)...The ITCZ problem thus involves a circular chicken-and-egg argument. The ITCZ stays north of the equator because SST is higher; and the SST is higher north because the ITCZ stays there. The positive WES feedback is at the center of this circular argument. In a coupled ocean-atmosphere model, the WES feedback destabilizes the symmetric climate, leading to an asymmetric steady state with a single ITCZ on only one side of the equator (Xie and Philander 1994). A condition for this spontaneous development of latitudinal asymmetry is the equatorial upwelling that prevents the ITCZ from forming at the equator. This necessary condition thus explain why climatic asymmetry only develops over the eastern Pacific and Atlantic where the equatorial upwelling is observed.
(Complete article here.)

I'll see if I can find you a couple of comparisons.

hi pot and . StormJunkie


what do you think about the severe weather thats comeing up this weekend???
1608. Drakoen
Everyone knows the egg came first...
In history has a hurricane ever formed and struck North America before the start of Hurricane season?
1610. Patrap
History of pre-June named storms

Subtropical Storm Andrea is hardly the first pre-June 1 named storm of any hurricane season on record, said Greg Romano, a spokesman for the National Weather Service.

“[Early storms] are not rare, but they’re not common," he said. "It’s fair to say they’re uncommon.”

As recently as 2003, Tropical Storm Ana formed on April 20.

Eighteen tropical storms and four hurricanes have formed in May since 1851, and six storms have formed before the June 1 start since 1951. The earliest observed hurricane in the Atlantic formed on March 7 in 1908.
Link
The mid-latitudes have had several deep moving troughs in recent months that have aided the "cooling" of SST's in those areas. That's all about to change as they continue to warm and climatology will find the ITCZ right where it normally should be....where water is warm and the seasonal pitch to the sun takes place.

- Drak, lol. That's what my old boss used to say, too. I told him we needed the equipment first to produce the egg! LOL
1612. Drakoen
1611. moonlightcowboy 3:09 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
The mid-latitudes have had several deep moving troughs in recent months that have aided the "cooling" of SST's in those areas. That's all about to change as they continue to warm and climatology will find the ITCZ right where it normally should be....where water is warm and the seasonal pitch to the sun takes place.

- Drak, lol. That's what my old boss used to say, too. I told him we needed the equipment first to produce the egg! LOL


The egg is basic and it creates life need to produce more life.
1613. pottery
AAAAAAAAAAhhhh. MLC Much obliged man. I've bookmarked that for further perusal in the morning.
Also your ITCZ blog was read by me recently too. Thanks for that as well.
95 Allison came close, but landfall was a TS and it was active 6-3 to 6-11

I'll keep going and see what I can find boat
Interesting..thanks for the answer Patrap
1616. Drakoen
The high SST position and ITCZ are dependent on one another and move with each other.
Cool..thanks SJ.
1618. Patrap
Yvw..anytime.
Interesting the first storm here was included in the 78 season.
Alma 70 Cane, Mex landfall

Having a hard time meeting all of your criteria Boat :~)

Back to the list
1624. pottery
You're doing fine SJ !
Pretty darn close SJ...
Taz, that's a killer avatar
1629. StormJunkie

The problem with 1 in '52 is that I'm not convinced that it IS part of the '52 season...closer to the '51 season, you think, SJ?
1632. pottery
On another note completely.....
I met the current EU Ambassador here the other day. He says " which hill over there is the hill that they are installing the new radar on ?"
Was news to me, but it turns out that the European Union is funding a weather radar here, just 2 miles south of me, and it should be up and running in June !

Will keep you posted.
boatocar in 1908 cat 2 on march the 6 of that year
Another thing, Pottery, it stands to reason that the ITCZ would be running higher over Africa as land heats up faster than water. Just off the African coast the ITCZ has been running higher, but look at the SST maps, temps have been above normal there. And, the maps also have reflected lower SST's towards sAmerica, until now as they're really beginning to heat up.
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CA
600 PM PDT TUE MAY 20 2008

ALONG WITH LOW PRESSURE AROUND 990MB
INLAND WILL CREATE INTENSE PRESSURE GRADIENT. NOT OUT OF THE
QUESTION SOME AREAS WILL ENTER HIGH WIND WARNING CRITERIA BY THU
AFTERNOON...BUT WILL WAIT ANOTHER 24HRS TO MAKE CALL ON THAT. BY
00Z FRI...GFS PLACES BULLSEYE OF 135KT 250MB JET RIGHT OVER HEART OF
THE BAY AREA
WITH WINDS JUST OFF THE DECK AT 70KT IN NEAR-SHORE
COASTAL WATERS



will this be the same storm that will have severe weather this weekend???
It feels like the blogs are still having trouble. Anyone else noticing?
Wow..so much info! I almost feel guilty for asking...
Apparently not back then flood..There was another similar storm in one of those years.

08 made landfall as TS though

Same issue here flood
its a little clitchly
Thanks KEEPER.....good work SJ...i feel very informed on early systems now!
OK, but has there ever been a recorded Cyclone in the Atlantic Basin before hurricane season?
just a ocean storm in 1908 affecting only sea traffic sj none the less still a hurr mar 6
1639.
SJ, that one has a very inteseting path for a storm at that time of year...you'd expect a west to east path, huh?
march 6 1908 cat 2 hurricane mid atlantic
1646. pottery
MLC. I was looking at that combination of land/water temps myself. And yes, the SST ofshore S. America have been lower than ofshore W Africa.

Perhaps the reason the ITCZ has remained low inland S.America, is that there has been consistent heavy rainfall there for a couple months, keeping land temps down ?

Just a thought.
posts are lagging...didnt they perform maintenance on the server today?
Yes, TexasGulf; see the above posts from SJ
Pottery, I think that's a solid conclusion. But, as the ITCZ exits sAmerican west, it's been higher and running higher in the ePacific that in the wAtl. I really think those lingering mid-latitude troughs have been what's caused the seemingly delayed northward movement of the ITCZ in the wATL. But they'll be up and you'll be getting wet soon enough, I'm sure. I've been watching for you down there to see if it was raining! Florida needs rain. Georgia needs rain. Oh, the trials and tribs we have!
1647. Boatofacar 3:36 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
posts are lagging...didnt they perform maintenance on the server today?

===
Yes around 1730 UTC (earlier today)
No problem Boat, I was board anyway!

No going to watch this weather for a few. Great light show!

See y'all in a minute :~)
Notice the longitudinal (pressure-like) waves in the clouds (in the satellite photo) which suggest electromagnetic transmissions of some kind...
Thought I'd check in breifly and see who was in...off to bed ladies and gents...back in the AM
1654. pottery
OK MLC. I'll have to do some more work on that hypothesis myself.
Now, it's 11:39. where I am......
See you all on the morrow.
Keep safe.
1655. Patrap
Some Maintenance Problems are regional I believe.
No probs here tonight in nola.
Have a good sleep, Pottery, Flood!
good sleep pottery flood
Well..my Advil PM has caught up with me..got an early start tomorrow..thanks for the info everyone, Seacrest..out.
1659. pottery
....and thanks for a good evening.
Respect.
later boat
clearing out fast
Pottery, I thought you were on "island time" anyways? lol ;P
1652. illchemist 10:39 PM CDT on May 20, 2008
Notice the longitudinal (pressure-like) waves in the clouds (in the satellite photo) which suggest electromagnetic transmissions of some kind...


Uh-oh...
un oh what STL
lol stl
Alright, that is it all the way back to 1851 and none of them met all of Boat's criteria.

Pre-season hurricane landfall in the US. Never happened.
Some people believe in things like HAARP (weather modification, that is). At least that is what I read in that post about "electromagnetic transmissions".
That's some heckuva research, SJ! And, fast, too. WTG!
SJ..would you mind doing my taxes next year?
1670. Patrap
PRESEASON HURRICANE TIPS Link
ok
1672. Patrap
April 18, 2007
Dr. Steve Lyons
The "Man-Made" Atlantic Hurricane Season


Dr. Steve Lyons, Tropical Weather Expert


As many of you know the Atlantic Basin hurricane season officially starts June 1 and runs to the end of November. Nature has its own climate clock; that clock never draws hard lines and says meteorological winter starts on this date and summer on that date. Atlantic Basin hurricane season is no different. The man-made hurricane season start and end dates are sharp lines drawn on the calendar; they were derived based on the fact that a very high percentage of tropical storms and hurricanes form within this six-month window. But not all of them do!

I know you're thinking, "So what's the big deal hurricane season starts June 1, and besides June is usually very quiet." You are correct, but sometimes it's fun to go down memory lane and look at a few tropical cyclones that violated man-made timelines and formed outside of the official "hurricane season," so here is a list to tease or trick your friends with. I will limit this list to the satellite era 1965 onward, with a few other noteworthy events. At least we know what was out there during this period because we could see the ocean from space.

Below is a list of eight pre-season and seven post-season subtropical storms, tropical storms and hurricanes. I include "subtropical storms" here because in years past the National Hurricane Center designated them as such, but these days they are more likely to classify subtropical storms as tropical storms.

The most recent early event was Tropical Storm Ana, which formed on April 18, 2003. The most recent late event was Tropical Storm Zeta which formed on December 30; it put a finishing exclamation point on the record-shattering 2005 hurricane season as it persisted as a tropical depression all the way to January 7, 2006!

Of particular note in years prior to the satellite era is Hurricane Alma, which formed on June 4, 1966. Although this date is within the official hurricane season, Alma is often listed as the earliest U.S. hurricane landfall on record. Alma made landfall in the Florida panhandle with CAT 1 intensity on June 9, 1966.

If you dare to go way back in the records you will find that a CAT 2 hurricane moved through the NE Antilles on March 7, 1908. We will never know for sure whether that low pressure system was a warm core hurricane or not, but it gave a big blow to that area 99 years ago!

Another infamous hurricane from the record books is Hurricane Alice; it could be considered one of the latest to form in the Atlantic. Alice formed on December 30,1954 and continued into early January 1955. Way back in our records there are indications a no-name hurricane struck near Tampa, Fla, on November 30, 1925. This is considered to be the latest U.S. hurricane landfall on record.

EARLY EVENTS
Tropical Storm Ana April 18, 2003
Subtropical Storm 1 April 21, 1992
Tropical Strom Arlene May 6, 1981
Subtropical Storm 1 January 18, 1978
Subtropical Storm 1 May 21, 1976
Subtropical Storm Alpha May 23, 1972
Hurricane Alma May 17, 1970
Hurricane Alma June 4, 1966
Hurricane No Name March 7, 1908

LATE EVENTS
Tropical Storm Zeta December 30, 2005
Tropical Storm Peter December 9, 2003
Tropical Storm Odette December 4, 2003
Hurricane Lili December 12, 1984
Subtropical Storm 2 December 9, 1975
Hurricane Alice December 30, 1954
Hurricane No Name November 30,1925

The underlined storms separate the pre- and post-satellite era.

So the take-away here is that nature loves to violate man-made barriers, which are to nature just imaginary lines drawn on paper. Although rare, and even rarer when they bother the U.S., pre-season and post-season storms and hurricanes have occurred and will continue to into the future.
Posted at 5:25 pm ET
1668. Not so bad when you are only looking for the first couple storms of any season. Was a lot of years though!

Let me think about that Boat.....Ummm NO! ☺
Ok..so Im almost asleep now..just had to read that article Patrap posted...now stop with the interesting stuff, i gotta sleep!
1675. Patrap
Nitey folks far and near..

Sleep well..

Yep, me too, night y'all!
Have a good sleep, gentlemen!
Morning all. I notice TPC is predicting both the waves on the board right now to ride pretty high - in fact across the Caribbean rather than the continent tothe south . ..

I was just looking at the stuff near panama Baha. Pressure is back to dropping at Campeche. and there are some persistent areas of showers.
The GFS is still at it...the date of the appearance of the disturbed weather that may form it has fallen into the medium range.

150 hours:

Looks like the SW Carib. is getting alittle more favorable. Im looking for some development in the EPac within a couple days. Why? Climatology
These maps only show the possibility of tropical or extratropical cyclogenesis in a one week time frame. Here is the precursor of the possible disturbance on the 06Z GFS Model run. Intialize time/date is 00Z/26 but the track only goes to 06Z/27 becuz remember it only shows storms in a one week time frame and one week from 2day is the 27th. This is beneficial since I dont look beyond 168 hrs.

If anyone is interested...updates are posted in the comment section of my blogwhen I see no need to update the entire blog.
Just watching WSVN Channel 7 News here in South Florida and they have begun mentioning the forecast models developing a low in the NW Caribbean by Memorial Day and bringing some deep tropical moisture by the beginning of June. Rather rare for a news station to mention something in the medium-range.

Nothing much to report today as in the current conditions, so I will not be posting a Tropical Update today, unless something gets going quickly.
Rather early to see you here on the blogs JFV. To answer your question, I still am not sold on the model since it has been very erratic in track and intensity. It just can't seem to get any handle on this potential system, but that is expected this far in time. We will have to wait for the other models to start detecting this before we can start talking about any possible system as this could still be a typical "GFS" ghost system, although environmental conditions would tell you that tropical development is favorable to occur in the NW Caribbean.
1690. Patrap
Things are getting vary interesting.
Based upon analyzing the GFS model, it has seemed to struggle with activity occuring in the Pacific as it continues to show a broad low that stretches out into the Pacific. Beyond that, it also can't figure out the effect passing troughs will have on the system. I just don't buy this model just yet due to the erratic nature of its output thus far.
1692. hydrus
PATRAP-What has gotten your attention that you call interesting?
Hey Patrap and 456,
Just wondering if you could offer your opinion on this potential situation. Certainly looks interesting, but it just seems too erratic to be believable.
1694. Patrap
Conditions at Buoy 42002 as of
(5:50 am CDT)
1050 GMT on 05/21/2008:Link

Graph: Link

OuickSCAT Link

5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.6 F





Quite a dramatic pressure drop at that buoy location there Patrap. Thats in the central GOM, right? That could be a sign that the Caribbean and GOM could become active in the near future. Great observation Patrap.
1696. hydrus
ahh -the pressure is dropping in the B.O.C.
Hurricane wonks are big on sea surface temperature. So can anybody tell me if they have seen heat plooms from subsurface volcanoes on the surface? I imagine it would look something like a smoke ploom but with heat. There are supposed to be 100x more active volcanoes under water than above it (I misquoted yesterday when I said 20x, he said by 2 orders of magnatude.) With our global records, I'm a bit surprised nobody has. Do you suppose they might get deleted as anomolies?
1698. Patrap
The climatology now comes into Play as we Lean into the season.
Im a firm realist believer that seasonal changes are running 2 weeks ahead of the calender,as most farmers will tell you in the Southeast.

So,in my personal view.The season for Tropical Cyclone formation,is upon us now.
1699. hydrus
PATRAP-I think you are right,and this type of climate change is happening around the earth.I would not be at all suprised to see tropical cyclone development with in this week.
hey i am floridastorm

this year may be a active year
the tropical waves look very impressive
Good Morning Everyone.

What's the latest on the Western Caribbean and GOM? I haven't, nor will have time to look. Can someone help me out with that info? It's greatly appreciated.
1702. surfmom
Patrap - based on my observation of my different fruit trees & flowering trees - I am in total agreement of the two week (if not more) ahead in schedule thought...observations from the past two years
1693. cchsweatherman 8:07 AM AST on May 21, 2008
Hey Patrap and 456,
Just wondering if you could offer your opinion on this potential situation. Certainly looks interesting, but it just seems too erratic to be believable.


Thats true...but i discounted this feature until this morning when it entered the 7day time frame. There is still no model consensus except for maybe for a weak disturbance seen on the 00Z CMC
1704. surfmom
Got work this afternoon,house is clean and there's small waves out on the GOMEX/SRQ/Tampa/St. Pete thanks to a trof swell. Looking at knee/waist high waves at the right spots. Best time high tide (this am) flat by friday. Have a good day ALL - I am outta here
Good morning all... what's new?
1706. Patrap
Im interested in those kinda observations big time Surfmom.
Im hoping that Dr. Jeff Masters sheds some light in his upcoming blog entry ..about Climate Change and its effect,if any on Atlantic Hurricane Intensity.

If the Seasonal Warming is observed sooner and latent heat stored Longer,.well,as you can see..the relationship may be a interesting subject.
1693. cchsweatherman 8:07 AM AST on May 21, 2008
Hey Patrap and 456,
Just wondering if you could offer your opinion on this potential situation. Certainly looks interesting, but it just seems too erratic to be believable.


The model appears to be confuse. If u notice in 348 hrs time, there is blocking ridge stretching from the Atlnatic to the SE USA but at 300 mb there is an upper trough digging across the Gulf of Mexico. These are two opposing factors. The trough wud normally sweep system towards the NE due to the southwesterly flow ahead of them but at the same time....a blocking high or bridging high retrograde systems, that is, turn then towards the west.
1708. Patrap
348 hours?

MAn..thats like looking into July almost..LOL
1709. surfmom
Definitely an interesting subject. the latent heat is one that interests me, It's what I found so taxing on the horses last summer --it just didn't cool off enough at night. I am not text book science savvy, but my work, interests, and lifestyle have made me very observant of the plant and animal worlds --the clues...msgs....changes I see are not influenced by corporate grants or someone's personal bend - horses are very honest - they don't fall for placebos or a vested interest on an outcome, pretty much the same with plants and trees. The migration of many of our birds to S.America/Costa Rica and settling there is another. Catch you all later after I nail a few waves.
Hey everyone! Havent posted here in a while, but thought ya'll might find this interesting.

Appearently 6 tornadoes were confirmed by the NWS on Thursday in south central Louisiana within an hour and a half time frame.

Gueydan: 5:20 a.m.
Maurice/Scott: 6:15 a.m.
River Ranch in Lafayette: 6:35 a.m.
Theall (8 miles southwest of Abbeville): 6:35 a.m.
Oil Center in Lafayette: 6:40 a.m.
Breaux Bridge: 6:45 a.m.

All of these places are within about 20 - 30 miles of each other.

For the full story click HERE
Where have you been hondaguy? Great to see you back on board now. Looks like we got almost everyone back and ready for the upcoming hurricane season.
Thanks cchs! It's good to be back. I've been lurking, just not much posting.

Something worth checking out is the pictures that have been sent to a local TV station in the Baton Rouge area. There are 157 pictures of the storm damage in our area from the recent storms. All about 25 miles from where I live.

Check them out HERE
1707. Weather456 8:56 AM EDT on May 21, 2008
1693. cchsweatherman 8:07 AM AST on May 21, 2008
Hey Patrap and 456,
Just wondering if you could offer your opinion on this potential situation. Certainly looks interesting, but it just seems too erratic to be believable.

The model appears to be confuse. If u notice in 348 hrs time, there is blocking ridge stretching from the Atlnatic to the SE USA but at 300 mb there is an upper trough digging across the Gulf of Mexico. These are two opposing factors. The trough wud normally sweep system towards the NE due to the southwesterly flow ahead of them but at the same time....a blocking high or bridging high retrograde systems, that is, turn then towards the west.


You know what I just realized? The Upper Air Graphics from the GFS model at the top of the screen. No wonder why it has been so hard to disect this model. Thanks for indirectly making me aware of the upper level information. Now, I will go back and review everything again and then I will have a much better idea on what exactly the GFS is thinking. If you are correct (and most of the time you are) 456, then it will come down to which is more powerful: the upper-level trough in the GOM or the ridge.
1711. cchsweatherman 9:08 AM AST on May 21, 2008
Where have you been hondaguy? Great to see you back on board now. Looks like we got almost everyone back and ready for the upcoming hurricane season.


It isnt complete until "eye" comes back...lol that guy cud downcast like there's no 2mr.
1715. Weather456 9:14 AM EDT on May 21, 2008
1711. cchsweatherman 9:08 AM AST on May 21, 2008
Where have you been hondaguy? Great to see you back on board now. Looks like we got almost everyone back and ready for the upcoming hurricane season.

It isnt complete until "eye" comes back...lol that guy cud downcast like there's no 2mr.


Can't believe that I forgot about "eye". Made things very interesting on the blogs. By the way, where is Bonedog? I haven't heard anything about him and seen any posts from him since last hurricane season.
1717. Patrap
One can use the wu-mail to inquire.
CCh, u can use the 4 panel charts on the front page if it feels tiresome going back and forth between the surface and upper levels, but they dont loop so u can go through the time-line by changing the url by every 12 hrs in the address bar

For example:

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/carib/gfs/06/fp1_348.shtml

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/carib/gfs/06/fp1_360.shtml

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/carib/gfs/06/fp1_372.shtml
Even though I only have a basic understanding on how the GFS model depicts upper level data, you can clearly see there is a strong upper-level trough that comes into the GOM right around the time the potential tropical system has moved into the NW Caribbean. You are correct 456, the GFS model has become very confused about what will happen when you have a strong surface ridge versus a strong upper-level trough. In my experience, upper-level troughs are more powerful than surface ridges and can move them away. Thus, if this tropical system (since the model is confused, you can't even determine the strength) does form and move into the NW Caribbean, it would most likely move either over or nearby South Florida. This is by no means "wishcasting", but simple observation and analysis.

OT I think that I'm going to try to get "wishcasting" to become an official word in the dictionary one day.
1720. Patrap
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Morning y'all :~)

I see the GFS is now parking the Carib low on top of Cuba for days on end, and it looks like it is pushing the E Coast front further off shore now which if it plays out that way should pretty much prevent anything from forming along it and getting anywhere near warm core. Will be interesting to see how all of it plays out.

Ok, y'all have fun, got to run...Have to finish getting the starter out of the car and then get the new one in. Got dumped on before I could finish that up yesterday....Arghh
Even if that is a low or not in the Carib, the GFS might still be hinting at a lot of moisture available for rainfall, which the SE desperately needs. Hopefully, instead of stalling over Cuba, the system can move into the gulf and over the southeast US here in the early season while the gulf is still relatively cool. That way we can get the rain and not the destruction.
cchs, No offense, and I do understand it is fun to test ones skill at forecasting, but....Stating where something will be in 384hrs = wishcasting no matter how you look at it :~)

And to me, it looks like the GFS wants to push this thing back in to the GOM or dissipate it near Cuba....Sorry pat! No matter, 384hrs = worhtless
1719. cchsweatherman 9:24 AM AST on May 21, 2008


That maybe true...but it will depend on how deep the system is which I expect to be deep enough to be affected by the upper trough, so i discount that...but if u also notice the high pressure system to its north and east is not only a surface feature it extends upwards to the same level of the trough.....further matching with the forces the trough...that ts why its not that simple for this feature to go directly out to sea but drift back westward
If you cant really trust a model out 2-3 days...how can you trust 348 hrs...or a climate model which is forecasting years into the future...???
1725.

Exactly !~)
Morning SW, great to see ya.

Ok, really off to finish up this starter...
1725. mississippiwx23 9:42 AM AST on May 21, 2008

1 week has a reasonable range of accuracy.....also.....computer models cannot be 100% right but can be use as a general guide. Computer models have come along way (like much of ur weather forecasts u look at to plan a fishing trip were derived from computer models.) But a true forecaster, incorporates other weather forecasting tools....I always view numerical models as the "last tools" on the list.
good mornin SW
http://www.ecmwf.int/products/forecasts/d/charts/medium/deterministic/msl_uv850_z500!Wind%20850%20a nd%20mslp!216!North%20America!pop!od!oper!public_plots!2008052100!!/

Yes, I just said you cant trust models this far out...but look at the European 216 hours out. And compare that with the GFS. Both have storms, just on the different side of central america. Maybe they are both noticing something, its just a matter of which side it forms. The European is also showing some energy in the Carib.
456,

Yes, they are reasonably good up to 4-5 days out, but they are still way off at times. There is a reason why the SPC rarely puts severe weather forecasts out over the 4-8 day time frame. Right now, the European, CMC, and GFS are in reasonable agreement with the flow through day 6, so they do have outlooks, but this does not happen very often.

Numberical models are all we really have in the long term however, and looking at them for general trends can give you a lot of information on what might happen in the future. Looking at what happens in Asia 7-10 days ahead of time is also very helpful in forecasting tropical storm track.
Well, I shouldn't say ALL we have...but most of it. We can also look at correlations between past years and teleconnections.
There is a reason why the SPC rarely puts severe weather forecasts out over the 4-8 day time frame.

Is it becuz severe weather in the mid-latitudes is more dynamic that tropical weather?

morning all!
interesting discussion brewing here...and weather related! awesome!

I think that blob in the BOC is really the remanents of Karen. LOL!

Seriously though..there are a few observations I had:
the blob in the Pacific, West of Central America...looks to be blowing up a bit and also looks like it could get steered back into the GOMEX...and along the African coast what appears to be a big trough with some impressive convection coming up behind it.

looks interesting. I agree that the summer season has a 2-week jump...just not in the N.E. :o(
New Blog
Good Morning Everyone!!

I see we're getting everyone back and ready for another busy season (so Dr. Gray says).

When will the next predictions come out from Dr. Gray? Isn't it usually the end of may. If it's out already does anyone have a link for me?

Looking forward to watching this blog over the next several months. Take care everyone and have a great day!
Hi JP