Quiet tropics; update on Bill Proenza's doings

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on June 22, 2007

The tropical Atlantic is quiet today. The low pressure system over northern Florida that brought rain to the state Thursday has moved out to sea and weakened. Wind shear is high over this low, sea surface temperatures beneath it are cool, and I don't expect any development. None of the computer models are showing any tropical development over the next week. Our best chance of a new threat area to watch may not occur until the next strong cold front pushes off the U.S. East Coast. The long range GFS model forecast expects this to happen around Saturday June 30.

Bill Proenza news
In the absence of much to talk about in the tropics, we can always talk about the latest on new NHC director Bill Proenza. The View from the Surface blog is keeping up with the latest. Last night, I listened in to Proenza's comments on the Barometer Bob Show, an Internet radio show. I asked him where he got his numbers of 16% and 10% improvement for 72-hour and 49-hour hurricane track forecasts made using QuikSCAT satellite data (his boss, acting NWS director Mary Glackin, said "I'm not willing to stand by those numbers.") Proenza cited a study done of hurricane tracks from 2003 that showed these improvements, and Margie Kieper is working on getting a copy of this study for the View From the Surface blog. Margie came across a 2006 study which shows that for one storm studied (Hurricane Cindy of 1999), inclusion of QuikSCAT data improved track forecasts at 24 hours and 48 hours by 30-50% (Figure 1). There is also a 2007 study which showed improvements of 25%-50% for 24 hour - 48 hour model track forecasts of 2002's Hurricane Isidore using QuikSCAT data vs. no QuikSCAT data (Figure 2). We'll have more on the ongoing Bill Proenza hullaballo next week, with more info on just how important QuikSCAT is to hurricane forecasting.

Figure 1. Forecast error in the track of Hurricane Cindy (1999) with and without using QuikSCAT data. Image credit: NOAA. Data taken from the 2006 paper, The use of remotely sensed data and innovative modeling to improve hurricane prediction, by Robert Atlas, O. Reale, B-W. Shen, and S-J. Lin.

Figure 2. Forecast error in the track of Hurricane Isidore (2002) with and without using QuikSCAT data. Image credit: American Meteorological Society, "The Impact of Assimilating SSM/I and QuikSCAT Satellite Winds on Hurricane Isidore Simulations", by Shu-Hua Chen. Monthly Weather Review 135, issue 2, pp 549-566, February 2007.

Jeff Masters

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424. TheCaneWhisperer
5:35 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
I noticed some say how hot is was in West Palm today, ugg I agree! I stumbled across this last week, kinda interesting.

10 hottest cities
Average annual temperature, F
1. Key West, Florida 77.7
2. Miami, Florida 75.6
3. W Palm Beach, Florida 74.6
4. Ft. Myers, Florida 73.9
5. Yuma, Florida 73.9
6. Brownsville, Texas 73.6
7. Orlando, Florida 72.4
8. Vero Beach, Florida 72.4
9. Corpus Christi, Tx 72.1
10. Tampa, Florida 72.0

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422. pottery2
5:07 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Kman. I agree. Seems obvious to me too. The thing is, until you have sat under one of these dust episodes, you cant begin to appreciate how much dust is involved. the equivalent of a million cu. yds. of silica gel ??
Watching a sat. image does not do it justice man.
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420. kmanislander
9:08 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Got a little gardening to do. BBL
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419. kmanislander
9:02 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Pottery, just from looking at the SAL graphic it would certainly appear that the dust has adversely affected the wave.
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417. pottery2
4:57 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Kman, True indeed. I think at the end of the day, the research will probably show that the influence of the SAL is stronger than it is credited for. There is an understandable caution, on the part of everyone, while info. comes in, and before absolute conclusions can be made.
In a couple of years maybe.
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416. kmanislander
8:53 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Yeah I did read it. Sounds like the jury is still out on the subject. The conclusion seemed to be that it depended on what the atmosphere was doing at the relevant time ( ie. other factors at play )
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415. pottery2
4:53 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Yeah Kman, quiet. But you know this place can get real un-quiet at the drop of a hat..........
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413. pottery2
4:51 PM AST on June 23, 2007
Hi Kman. The discussion on that also had 2 good links on the subject. Go back and check them if you have not yet.
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412. kmanislander
8:51 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Hey Pottery

Quiet weekend in T&T ??
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411. kmanislander
8:48 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
There was a discussion earlier today that implied the dust was really not a problem for waves coming off Africa. Take a look at this. The wave is shaping itself around the dust !
It will be interesting to see if the dust suppresses the wave or whether it will survive to travel W

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410. pottery2
4:43 PM AST on June 23, 2007
There was this guy who's 2 friends went away. Each day he would go to the bar, and order 3 beers, one for him, one each for his friends. One day he went to the bar and ordered 2 beers. The barman noticed this, and his apparent distress, said " hey, did one of your friends pass on ?' " No, " he said, " I stopped drinkin' "
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409. dearmas
4:43 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Nash, tampa here too. Work at Baycare too
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408. pottery2
4:39 PM AST on June 23, 2007
That comment from Nash caused me to open another beer, in sympathy.
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405. watchinwxnwpb
4:32 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Hadn't thought about it that way TROPIC. You certainly are correct! lol
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404. pottery2
4:28 PM AST on June 23, 2007
I think not, Tropicfreak. If it had a chance to do anything, these guys would be on it like hungry cats to a sardine.
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403. nash28
8:30 PM GMT on June 23, 2007
Hey all. Here for a few minutes. Trying to stop sweating. Hotter than the 4th ring of hell in Tampa today. Yard work sucks on days like these.
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402. watchinwxnwpb
4:28 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Sorry tropic I have no idea, but you might try to direct the question to someone specific. Pat or MichaelStl usually give an answer with facts to back them up.
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401. tropicfreak
4:28 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
can someone answer my question?
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400. watchinwxnwpb
4:24 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Yes, thank goodness for pools! It is very hot here today!! Almost unbearable to be outside if your not in the shade or near water!
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398. WPBHurricane05
4:22 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Put the good old thermometer in the sun and got to 117!!!
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
397. WPBHurricane05
4:21 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
where is wpb

West Palm Beach, Florida
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396. tropicfreak
4:03 PM EDT on June 23, 2007

Heres a decent looking storm coming off of the coast of texas.Could that develop?
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395. watchinwxnwpb
4:16 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
LOL Pottery! I could agree with that right now! =)
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392. pottery2
4:13 PM AST on June 23, 2007
WPB stands for Way Past Beyond. Everybody knows that.
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387. watchinwxnwpb
4:12 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
HurricaneG~ yes, I actually live in Wellington. WPB is just a easily identified location in Fl for people who aren't from here.
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384. HurricaneGeek
4:11 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Yes, I live in Lake Worth
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382. watchinwxnwpb
4:06 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
Posted By: HurricaneGeek at 4:02 PM EDT on June 23, 2007.

U live in WPB???

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378. HurricaneGeek
3:59 PM EDT on June 23, 2007
U live in WPB???
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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