New NHC revelations; Atlantic tropical update; Hawaii watches Cosme

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on July 19, 2007

There are no areas of interest to talk about in the tropical Atlantic today, but 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. The UKMET model is forecasting the development of a low pressure system here on Sunday. This low may be an ordinary extratropical storm, though, due to the presence of high wind shear.

Large amounts of dry air and African dust cover the eastern Atlantic, and this dusty air is moving westward towards the Caribbean. Tropical storm development is unlikely in this region for the coming five days. Thereafter, as a major shift in the Northern Hemisphere weather pattern puts a ridge of high pressure in place over the Eastern U.S., the Saharan dust outbreaks may decrease. Additionally, wind shear over the tropical Atlantic is expected to decrease substantially by next week, and chances of tropical storm formation are much higher next week than they were this week.

Hawaii eyes Cosme
Residents of the Hawaiian Islands need to keep an eye on Tropical Depression Cosme, which is headed towards the islands and may impact their weather by Saturday. Cosme is struggling with 10-20 knots of wind shear and ocean temperatures of about 25 degrees C. Satellite imagery of the storm shows that the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity has decreased some this morning, and it is possible that the unfavorable shear and SSTs will kill the depression before it encounters warmer waters and lower shear on Friday. If Cosme does survive the next 24 hours, it could re-intensify to a weak tropical storm and brush the Big Island of Hawaii on Saturday.

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 approaches the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday.

More on the National Hurricane Center controversy
In an article published in the Houston Chronicle yesterday, senior hurricane specialist James Franklin said that employees of the center were not coerced by NOAA management into signing the July 5 letter of no confidence against director Bill Proenza. This view was echoed by NHC's top administrator in an Orlando Sentinel article. Franklin outlined a variety of reasons why the staff lost confidence in Proenza--Proenza lacked experience in hurricane forecasting and showed little interest in learning the science, ignored his employees to the tune of 2000 unread email from them, and lied to the press about his employees' reaction to his reprimand from NWS chief Mary Glackin.

Also in the Houston Chronicle story is the revelation that Proenza never applied for the position of director of NHC. He was demoted into it, according to Daniel Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. This raises the question, who put Proenza into the job? Why did they do it? Hopefully, this will get answered at today's congressional hearing. The list of people testifying include Bill Proenza; QuikSCAT expert Dr. Robert Atlas; emergency management officials who worked with Proenza; and the head of NOAA, Admiral Lautenbacher. With the exception of Lautenbacher, all these witnesses are likely to be allies of Proenza. Also testifying will be 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 today. Notably absent from the list of people called to testify is anyone from the National Hurricane Center. Also absent is 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. In fact, in comments published in the Orlando Sentinel, Dr. Atlas claimed that Proenza's statement that loss of the loss of QuikSCAT could reduce the accuracy of hurricane-track forecasts by as much as 16 percent represents "the consensus of the scientific community." Well, that is not the case, as myself and senior hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center will attest to. I'll be sure to present a full analysis of the science presented--and the science left unsaid--at today's hearing.

The hearing charter for today's hearing raises these questions:

Why was Proenza chosen to be Director of the highest profiled Center at NOAA?

Beyond the items listed in the Glackin memorandum--which NOAA stresses was not a reprimand document and was not placed in Mr. Proenza's personnel file--are there any other actions that better justify the action to place Proenza on leave?

Why was there such a depth of dissatisfaction over Proenza's focus on a particular satellite?

What is needed to properly equip the Tropical Prediction Center, and are those resources available at this time?

Was the Tropical Prediction Center incapable of carrying out its core task of identifying, tracking and predicting hurricanes before the evaluation team was dispatched by Admiral Lautenbacher?

Jeff Masters

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911. RL3AO
10:30 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
what is wrong with an in-detail discussion about a wave the NHC is talking about in the TWO?
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910. weatherblog
3:22 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
lol...I seriouly don't want to fight with you guys...I'm sorry if I'm starting a bad discussion.

I guess, to me, there are two definitions of "hype":

1. Saying this will become Hurricane in the next 36-48 hours...and saying then, it will explode to a cat.5 hurricane in the GOM>

2. Having a very in-detail discussion about a wave in the caribbean, with the news and everything all over it. Though I guess, in this meaning, it's like having a discussion.

Well, anyways, I was reffering to the second meaning...

Also, to be more on topic, it seems to be losing some of its steam right now. Though, probably in the next few hours it'll fire up again. Not to mention, the ULL is becoming more of a threat to this system. And there is simply no low at the most of you guys have pointed out.

Anyways, tomorrow it's either dead with no convection or looking better than how it goes with most

Wait and see game..and btw, sorry for the post being a bit too
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1625
909. moonlightcowboy
3:29 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
lol, SJ, these old, tired eyes trying to zoom in to check on a hint of an
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908. StormJunkie
3:28 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
More wait and see sb95

As jp said, if it threads the needle and everything tracks exactly right it could easily develop, but there are a lot of variables that could impede any development.
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907. StormJunkie
3:28 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Who needs a floater when you have the GHCC?
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906. skibrian95
3:26 AM GMT on July 20, 2007 consensus is, not much happening with the lesser antilles blob? that's what i thought. thanks y'all for the confirmation.

looked interesting on satellite to be sure...not wicked though.

quiet season....thus far...
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905. StormJunkie
3:25 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Night sc ☺
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903. sccoastarea
3:18 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Those are some great pictures. I especially like the ones of the Mt. Pleasant lightning. I would also like to thank you and hurricane91 for answering my question so quickly.

Good Night all, and hopefully I will get a chance to follow the blog tomorrow.
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902. moonlightcowboy
3:23 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Thanks, floater on it yet?
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901. BahaHurican
11:08 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Good illustration, TCW.

Even if it doesn't develop further, the potential WNW movement means the Bahamas is likely to get some heavy rains this weekend and early next week.
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900. StormJunkie
3:19 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Though I am not ruling out any development, it would be very slow, if so...not to mention, the ULL's would have to be out of the way and there has to be a sfc low.

wb, this is what 90 percent of the comments have been saying for most of the say, and I am having a hard time understanding what is hype about this. Mike Vick is hyped, not the folks who enjoy discussing weather.

As RL said, there were a couple that threw outlandish predictions out though.
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899. StormJunkie
3:15 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Good analysis TCC and mlc :-)

And pretty much the wait and see that the NHC and everyone else is going with. This is a very fluid situation with quite a few players to say the least.
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897. RL3AO
10:16 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
there wasn't that much hype

only a few nutcases going

80% TD
70% TS
50% Hurricane
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896. weatherblog
3:10 AM GMT on July 20, 2007 has been a lot of hype of this caribbean blob. The NHC, Media and this blog has been all over it.

All I was saying is that the chances of development are diminishing, and all that "hype" was really for nothing. Though it is good people are watching carefully throughout the that spreads better awareness. And, I, myself had hyped over this blog too, just like you guys also...nothing wrong with that though..just excited. Though none of us are "wishcasting".

Though I am not ruling out any development, it would be very slow, if so...not to mention, the ULL's would have to be out of the way and there has to be a sfc low.
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1625
895. moonlightcowboy
3:12 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Been away all day; but, in the last few minutes, I'd say the there is a chance for some slow development.

ULL is far enough away. Not going to erode the high. In fact high should get stronger in that area just ahead of it.

Should begin to slowly move west, or maybe wsw. Haven't looked at shear yet; but from last night don't remember expecting it to be very high. So, within just a minute, I'd say we have a chance at 97; but, it's gotta start moving west I think. IMHO.
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894. StormJunkie
3:12 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Just down the road from you, Goose Creek. Check out these lightning pics. I will be posting some more from the storms we had in this area last night.
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893. RL3AO
10:10 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
If Cosme can hold on about 5 more days, maybe even strengthen over the warmer waters it will make it into the WPac and be a system in all three basins.
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892. sccoastarea
3:10 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
I live near the canal between Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. And what part of SC are you from?
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890. Thundercloud01221991
3:08 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Weather Watches much quieter tonight then last night well I have to go to bed now

Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
889. StormJunkie
3:07 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
What area sc?
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888. TheCaneWhisperer
11:08 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Satellite Presentation does not show a system in distress, timing is everything.
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887. StormJunkie
3:05 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Welcome aboard sccoast, from another SC coastal native :-)

There is a front that will push through our area tomorrow and Saturday morning and then it will stall off shore. there is a slight chance it could form a cutoff low that could develop in to a tropical system. Very hard to predict and only a outside chance right now. I think this is very similar to how Gaston formed a few years ago.
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885. hurricane91
3:05 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Posted By: sccoastarea at 3:02 AM GMT on July 20, 2007.

Ok, I am a newbie here, and I was wondering what is Dr. Masters talking about reguarding the Carolina coast? (Or is that old news already?) I read alot of the posts tonite, but no one is talking about it.

He was meaning that, a cold front is pushng off the carolinas coast line this week, and there could be possible development out of it

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883. sccoastarea
2:59 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Ok, I am a newbie here, and I was wondering what is Dr. Masters talking about reguarding the Carolina coast? (Or is that old news already?) I read alot of the posts tonite, but no one is talking about it.
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882. moonlightcowboy
3:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Good evening, gang! Nightshift clocking in!

What's the scoop? See some of you think we could get 97 in the Caribbean? Whoa!!!
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880. Patrap
9:58 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Hyper Hype...Mr.Sulu!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140058
879. sporteguy03
2:56 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Its all good but if that ULL were to get any closer to that Convection it would make it rough.
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878. StormJunkie
2:54 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Who hyped what wb? Most of what I have heard today is talk of a somewhat interesting wave that has a slight chance to develop given time in a very complex situation. Along with talk of the stalled front that has a outside chance of having a cutoff low form.

Don't sound like hype to me. What i find most interesting is the hype about hypers ☺

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877. sporteguy03
2:54 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
There is still a chance one never knows, right now its ok but 24 hours out is a long time.
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875. weatherblog
2:52 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
lol...i guess all this hype was for nothing...ummm, once again lol.
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1625
874. StormJunkie
2:51 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
As several have noted the ULL is venting the wave right now. The big question will be if it stays far enough ahead of it to allow this to continue.
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873. CaicosRetiredSailor
10:48 PM EDT on July 19, 2007
Chinook computer checkers champ now king forever By Stan Beer

It took up to 200 computers working simultaneously since 1989, but computer scientists at the University of Alberta have solved the game of draughts, known in the US as checkers, meaning that humans no longer have any possibility of beating the program called Chinook.

The Chinook program was developed by a team of 10 computer scientists from the University of Alberta and a weather prediction modeller in Australia, who acted as the checkers expert whose knowledge was input to the artificial intelligence program.

...computers working in parallel had to examine the outcomes of every possible move, a search space of 5 by 10 to the power 20 (5 followed by 20 zeroes).

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872. louisianaweatherguy
2:43 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
i agree... the ULL does look like it wants to rip this wave apart - if this wave can make it through tomorrow we might have something to talk about this weekend... TD3??? I really don't think so at this point, but what do I know?
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866. Thundercloud01221991
2:32 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Maybe not closed but at least 3/4 in my opinion what looks to me like some "banding" is starting to form

Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
865. louisianaweatherguy
2:29 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
As of 10:30pm EDT from the NHC:

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863. Patrap
9:29 PM CDT on July 19, 2007
Hey SJ..low cloud product,Bobs rerunning the podcast now.Were in chat
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140058
861. sporteguy03
2:26 AM GMT on July 20, 2007
Storm is right JP that ULL to the North is getting too close to it for it to survive.
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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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