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Congressional NHC hearing tomorrow; Hawaii eyes Cosme

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:38 PM GMT on July 18, 2007

There are no areas of interest to talk about in the tropical Atlantic today, and none of the reliable computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation during the coming week. We will need to watch the waters off the Carolina coast on Saturday, when a cold front is expected to push off the coast. The tail end of this front could serve as the focus for development of a tropical disturbance.

Hawaii eyes Cosme
Residents of the Hawaiian Islands need to keep an eye on Tropical Storm Cosme, which is headed towards the islands and may impact their weather by Saturday. Cosme is a not-too-impressive 40 mph tropical storm now, thanks to 15 knots of wind shear and ocean temperatures about 25 degrees C. However, satellite imagery of the storm shows that it is maintaining a solid amount of heavy thunderstorm activity despite the wind shear and cool SSTs. I expect Cosme will be a tropical depression or weak tropical storm on Saturday when it passes close to the Hawaiian Islands, since SSTs are expected to increase and wind shear should decrease over the storm on Friday.

Figure 1. Sea Surface temperatures beneath Cosme were about 25 C (78 F), just below the 26 C threshold favorable for tropical cyclones. Cosme will be traversing a region of 24-25 C SSTs through Friday, then SSTs will warm to 25-26 as it reaches the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday.

Congressional hearing on the National Hurricane Center
On Thursday, July 19, from 10am until 12pm EDT, the House Committee on Science and Technology is holding a hearing called, "Tracking the Storm at the National Hurricane Center". You can check out some of the press releases and listen to a webcast of the hearing at the Committee web site. The Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, and Houston Chronicle have interesting stories on the upcoming hearing. The list of people testifying include Bill Proenza; QuikSCAT expert Dr. Robert Atlas; an emergency management official from the Gulf Coast states; and the head of NOAA, Admiral Lautenbacher. There may be others testifying, including Dr. Jim Turner, deputy director of the federal agency NTIS (National Technical Information Service), who led the inspection team that showed up at NHC without notice on July 2. Dr. Turner's report was scheduled to be completed this Friday, July 20, but is now scheduled to be released to the Congressional panel tomorrow. Notably absent from the list of people called to testify thus far: anyone from the National Hurricane Center, and a QuikSCAT science expert besides Dr. Atlas, who has thus far not addressed in his public comments--that I have seen--the very high uncertainties surrounding the impact of QuikSCAT data on track forecasts of landfalling hurricanes. I'll be sure to present a full analysis of the science presented--and the science left unsaid.

Jeff Masters

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

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69. hurricaneman23
4:36 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
is there anything out there that has a chance for development in the future?
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67. Tazmanian
4:31 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
: texascanecaster1 the 1st wave i say for get about it the 2nd wave looks a lot stronger then the 1st wave andthe 2nd wave dos have a spin to it but the ? is it at the SFC?

hers a loop of the 2nd wave it is stronger then the 1st wave and the 2nd wave dos have a spin

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66. benirica
4:31 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
ok the local met here in PR is telling us that the wave over the Lesser Antilles is going to make for quite a wet day here in Puerto Rico by tomorrow morning untill late friday to saturday. then by next week the second tropical wave (monday) will be bringing more rain...
so much for the droughts we had
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62. Tazmanian
4:28 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
the 3dr wave looks like it has a spin to it has well
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58. Tazmanian
4:23 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
the 1st wave is moveing WNW but the 2nd wave looks like it has a spin to it and moveing W and there is a 3dr wave

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55. mgreen91
11:22 AM CDT on July 18, 2007
Signs Still Point To Big Storm Season
By Hayley Hanson
July 17, 2007

The meteorological unit of a reinsurance brokerage said its latest research still finds that this years hurricane season will be above average.

Those findings were contained in the July climate update released by London-based Carvill and ReAdvisory, a Carvill service.

Unlike other forecasting outlets, however, Carvill is unwilling to predict the number of strikes that can be expected on the U.S. shoreline.

Steve Smith, ReAdvisory senior vice president, who holds a doctorate in meteorology, said that while the season is expected to be above average, it is impossible to predict the possibility of landfalls. The problem with prediction of storms is that it depends so much on history, said Mr. Smith.

Hurricanes are very random events, but what were saying is that were thinking there will be storm formation in the Caribbean Sea and near the Bahamas so landfalls are more likely, he said.

According to the Carvill study, increased storm activity is indicated by current sea surface temperatures, the presence of the La Nia cooling effect and steering currents.

While sea surface temperatures are warmer than those in 2006, they have not reached the heights of the water temperatures in 2005. However, the Gulf of Mexico and near-Bahamian Atlantic sea surfaces have reached temperatures near the levels of the Hurricane Katrina season in 2005, which poses a risk for the US coastline, Carvills study has found.

According to the report, La Nia, a cooling of Pacific waters which facilitates the formation of hurricanes, is anticipated to strengthen, as evidenced in models provided by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

La Nia will be a factor in the expected increase of hurricane activity late in the season, said Mr. Smith.

Steering currents will be determined by the destination of the Bermuda High, a high pressure point that forms over the mid-Atlantic, he said.

The Bermuda High, explained Mr. Smith, doesnt move the second half of the season. Hurricanes cant go through it, so they have to go around it, he said. In a Bermuda High formed in the east, the hurricane moves around it nowhere near land. In a Bermuda west, hurricanes move around to land, said Mr. Smith.

It is too early to tell where the Bermuda High will sit, but its position should be established by late July or early August, according to Carvill.

2007 Dow Jones Business Interactive LLC (trading as Factiva). All rights reserved.

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54. Patrap
11:20 AM CDT on July 18, 2007
Another view,enhanced look..Link
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53. Chicklit
4:00 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Interesting, the not so funny brou-ha-ha stirred up by the Proenza debacle has turned partisan with Democrats now behind the ousted head of NHC.
The solution to this storm, as Dr. Masters has intimated, lies with the scientists, who paradoxically are probably apolitical by nature and for whom 'it is what it is' and sometimes 'what it isn't'...
I admired Proenza for speaking out in defense of more funding for his department, although it looks now as if he didn't have the whole story and perhaps had a hidden agenda in a 'power grab.'
The bigger issue here is the damaged credibility of NHC smack dab in front of a potentially lethal hurricane season. This puts added pressure on the meteorologists, of course. Therefore, Proenza can be faulted for 'speaking before thinking' on such an important issue as satellite tracking of hurricanes at such a critical time.
Because of the time of year and most likely overtime duty, it's as if the crew of the space shuttle is being distracted by internal strife just before taking off.
No one at the NHC can afford to be distracted with political infighting just as the hurricane season is starting to 'ramp up.'
So for what it's worth,(two cents), I officially change my position about Proenza. What I thought was bravery before now appears to be 'bad judgement.' Even if he was right, which it now appears likely he wasn't, his timing for such an announcement compromised the department he was entrusted to lead. And for that alone it was correct he be replaced.
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51. 0741
4:17 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
why did you post that sat pic?? patrap it donot show wave over islands
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50. wederwatcher555
4:17 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
with the steering forecasts the Dr. talked about, these waves off Africa are scaring me!!
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49. Patrap
11:12 AM CDT on July 18, 2007
GOES-12 Channel 3 Loop Link
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48. initforwaves
4:12 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
looks like the two waves we're looking at have really knocked back the SAL...favorable conditions for the next waves off Africa?
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47. Buhdog
4:08 PM GMT on July 18, 2007

What up man? I have no java avail...I am on an old computer. What does it show?
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46. StormJunkie
3:55 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Look this over w4me
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45. StormJunkie
3:53 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Afternoon all ☺ well almost

Good to see ya Buhdog

w4me, give me just a minute, I think I have something that may help you. Also clearing the cache for your browser might help.
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43. Buhdog
3:47 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Any predictions on a new invest?
That CV wave is impressive looking considering the SAL. I would like to see this hold up for another 12 hours, if it does..I think we have an invest.
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42. gthsii
3:46 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
I like those wide shots but for now they are aprox four hours older than the none wide shots
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41. lilmax
3:47 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
I feel deja vu. That wave in the caribbean looks extremely similar to the one earlier this week.
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40. benirica
3:49 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Drakoen the one over the Lesser Antilles or the one out under 5N ?
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39. benirica
3:48 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
never mind
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37. benirica
3:46 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
is it at all possible that the low west of the Cape Verde Islands is or could manage to get some moisture and convection and actually do something? also, is this low in the upper levels?
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35. gthsii
3:36 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
man that SAL in the eastern carib, that moved in a few days ago and seemed to be persistent, really dried up fast
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34. weathers4me
3:35 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Does anyone have a fix for the Java run time error? Can't open any sat loops. Also what is the BH doing and are we in for another 2006 as far as steering currents go?
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33. stormpetrol
3:28 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Is it me or if the "reliable computer models are not forcasting any development" then we can be rest assured there will none. To be honest I'm sick of hearing about forecast computer models, while I'll admit they are useful is forcasting the tracks fairly accurately and in some cases in developing storms, it appears to me that sometime man is relying too much on something he himself made/developed that has really no intelligence of its own.
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32. Drakoen
3:34 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
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30. nash28
3:32 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
Looks like the African wave train may be gassing up for the trip across the pond....
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29. weatherguy03
11:30 AM EDT on July 18, 2007
Thanks 23. Missed that this morning.
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28. hurricane23
11:31 AM EDT on July 18, 2007
Hey 03 did you see the new wide view sateliite images from the NHC?I posted a link above.
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27. benirica
3:29 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
hey drak, any thoughts on how the Atlantic looks this morning?
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26. weatherguy03
11:29 AM EDT on July 18, 2007
Political posts not "weather-related" are considered "off-topic" to the blog

Congressional NHC hearing tomorrow. Hmmm, I must of read Dr. Masters topic wrong.
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25. Drakoen
3:26 PM GMT on July 18, 2007

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24. hurricane23
11:26 AM EDT on July 18, 2007
Very nice....

New atlantic wide satelitte view.


More here
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21. hurricane23
11:15 AM EDT on July 18, 2007
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20. jeanri2000
3:13 PM GMT on July 18, 2007
The wave out by the lesser antilles. Is that anything to look at or is just not favorable for development
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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