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

Hurricane help on the way

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 5:49 PM GMT on May 03, 2006

The National Hurricane Center will be getting some much-needed help this coming hurricane season. The agency has received permission to add four new hurricane forecasters, thanks to a special requisition championed by Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida). The four new forecasters--Eric Blake, Dan Brown, Michelle Mainelli, and Jamie Rhome--all come from within the NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (which analyzes satellite imagery) and Technical Support Branch. They join the six Senior Hurricane Specialists--Lixion Avila, Jack Beven, James Franklin, Richard Knabb, Richard Pasch, and Stacy Stewart--to make a total of ten forecasters for this season. An eleventh forecaster--Dr. Chris Landsea, NHC's Science and Operations Officer--will also be pitching in as needed. The four new hurricane forecasters all wrote advisory packages last season under the supervision of one of the Senior Hurricane Specialists, which should speed the transition to working independently this year.

With another active hurricane season likely this summer, the NHC certainly can use the help. I talked to Senior Hurricane Specialist James Franklin at the American Meteorological Society's Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology in Monterey, California, last week, and he confided that it was looking dicey whether or not he would finish all his work from last season before this season starts. It took until March to finish all the summaries of the 28 storms from 2005, and the task of writing the annual summary article for Monthly Weather Review and Weatherwise magazines has not been completed, nor have the official verifications of the NHC and model forecasts been done. The NHC hurricane forecasters start rotating shift work on May 15th when the Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins, so there is not a lot of time left. Additional shifts begin on June 1st, when Atlantic hurricane season officially begins.

I asked James if the National Weather Service's plan to offer early retirement to up to 1000 of its 4700 employees in order to cut costs would significantly affect the NHC. The plan, called the Voluntary
Early Out Retirement Authority (VERA) Implementation Plan
, is preliminary, and still needs approval from the Office of Personnel Management. Under the plan, 13 of the National Hurricane Center's 42 employees would be offered early retirement, and would potentially be replaced by lower-paid entry level meteorologists. James thought that if the plan was offered, few, if any, of the 13 elgible employees would take the offer, since they all enjoy what they are doing too much to retire now! With many more years of busy hurricane seasons likely to come, this is good news--along with the addition of the new hurricane forecasters.

My next blog will be Friday, when I plan to talk about the fading of La Nina, the slackening of the Atlantic trade winds, and other factors that may affect the upcoming hurricane season.

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.

Reader Comments

Well thats good news and I bet the rest of the staff is feeling some relief from this. You would think that this would be common scense after last year.
Good to hear that the experienced weather gurus are sticking with it at the NHC. I fear they will be needed more and more in the years to come to make early preparations for the bad storms.
Also praise for the forecasters here (NHC Forecasters) I live in Wilmington NC and was here last hurricane season blogging away!
Also Praise for Dr Jeff of course!!
There were 150 severe weather reports yesterday. Today looks to be another stormy day for people living in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

The primary threat appears to be large hail.
Well hello everyone-
Have not posted since the exciting hurricane season of '05 but I've been browsing thru.

I see our fearless leader StormTop has returned as well as Lefty. Yippee! As always he was right on with Katrina and I look forward to all his accurate predictions this year.

I hope my fellow Floridians are ready this year for another adventure....


Here are my personal views on STORMTOP'S contributions here:

1. He will spend hours of his time giving us detailed analysis and minute-by-minute updates on storm progress, sometimes getting very little sleep for himself in the process. I'm guessing that, like some of you, during hurricane season he "has no life". Heheheheheh

2. He goes into detail about his meteorological reasoning - similar to the NHC "discussions", but to a much greater degree, and much more frequently.

3. He has many years of experience analyzing weather in the gulf and knows the idiosyncrasies that can't be programmed into the models.

4. He incorporates information from sources that others don't get - for example, live reports from ham radio operators in the Caribbean.

Whether or not his predictions come true, I know a lot more about what's going on with a storm after reading the blog with his posts than a blog without them. I also learn a lot from the debate that goes on between him and others who have differing opinions, as long as the others are also expressing their meteorological reasoning.

STORMTOP is not the only one - there are MANY here whose opinions and insights are invaluable, and not just for hurricane prediction. Insurance adjusters who have posted here have made great contributions.

I'd certainly like to express my gratitude to him, to you, to Jeff Masters, and to all the others who are willing to spend their time educating and informing us for so little in return.
The P-3 is here at the Mobile Regional Airport(3 -5pm) and I hope to get over there and take a few pictures...:0) Maybe even meet a few of the Crew....

I'll be back on here in a little while hopfully with some Pics

Chat with yall later
My opinion is that stormtop is on a power trip...my reasoning?
1. He gets angry and calls you names when you disagree
2. Every TD and storm and hurricane was going straight into louisiana according to stormtop
I was a blogger last season and these are the things i remember about ST
I am going to have to get StormTop's autograph. It is not often that I get to meet a celebrity, and StormTop is apparently the biggest one of them all. No one seems to be able to stop talking about him.
Am guessing by the lack of news that the Earthquake in Pacific near Tonga fortunately did NOT in fact produce a Tsnunami. Given an arrival time in Tonga of 1:13 Eastern Standard and an arrival time in New Zealand of just before 3:00 Eastern Standard time that all is ok - and it was "just" an 8.0 earthquake?

I keep looking for Stormtop's name on that list...Hmmmm. I guess he didnt get the job..LOL
After that letter I thought they would of hired him. Anyway, thanks for the update Dr. Masters!!
That tsunami warning was cancelled. There was a 6 inch water level rise in 1 of the areas that was under the tsunami warning, but that is the worst I have heard.
Six days till Alberto. This is the date that I forecast over a month ago on weatherguy03's blog, and I am sticking by it.

*starts praying that Alberto forms on May 9th*
Even if Alberto doesn't form by May 9th, some models are suggesting that there will be a storm in the East Pacific, such as this (notice that it is moderate-deep warm core and the very warm water under it).
16. Alec
STORMTOP has yrs of experience analyzing the Gulf? He relentlessly said Emily last yr would curve north and hit NO as a doomer(when I tried reasoning with him there was a high anchored over the n Gulf). He even said as it hit the Mexican mountains it would turn back into the Bay of Campeche and take a B-line for the central Gulf coast. He would not back down till it dissipated in the mountains....I dont remember ONE person who thought it would curve north...the one thing to note is his ENDLESS doomer CAT 5 forecasts that would hit the central Gulf coast(even Katrina and Rita were not Cat 5 when they hit the coast)...I want to make the case clearer, I'm not trying to discredit everything he said, but he has overdone the Gulf many times....it offends me though that he would blame NHC and brag about his forecasts because the NHC is the best we got....
I'm really looking forward to Dan Brown's The DaVinci Hurricane.
My next blog will be Friday, when I plan to talk about the fading of La Nina, the slackening of the Atlantic trade winds, and other factors that may affect the upcoming hurricane season.

What is the atlantic trade
As far as retirement, hopefully thier is a good budget so next year the retirement package is not a requirement not a option
20. WSI
I agree with Alec. Not here to discredit anyone, but almost every hurricane prediction from Stormtop involved a CAT 25 storm slamming into the central gulf and obliterating everything. Like I said earlier, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. I am not an expert by far, but ST overplayed the gulf and strength many times. Emily was a prime example as pointed out. He predicted the storm to do impossible things, in light of all the evidence and analysis from the true experts. In the end, the NHC was always the most accurate and deserves praise for doing a tough job really well.

That being said, I find all the forecasts here enlightening to extent or the other. You always learn something, even if it's to ignore some and pay more mind to others.
I believe the trade winds are the winds that blow from Europe over to the U.S. If they slacken, that would mean less shear, less shear, better chance for some development.

However with the La Nina fading... couldn't that help keep the hurrycane season in check.

I do remember some of STORMTROPs stuff. While it was fun to read, alot of what he said was wrong, but he was correct on Katria and Rita. Remember, even a dead clock is right 2x a day.


-Ryan (SODQ)
StL:Even if Alberto doesn't form by May 9th, some models are suggesting that there will be a storm in the East Pacific

Doesn't the E Pacific usually ramp up about a month or two before the Atlantic/Gulf does?
The trades are the prevailing easterly winds that blow over the tropical oceans. During the age of sailing vessels they were a reliable wind to helped ships transit the ocean and they became known as the Trade Winds.
Dobson we had the first EP storm at the end of MAy last year didn't we. I seem to remember a discussion on if it would cross it the Atlantic.
Mid-May, actually...then the first Atlantic storm in early June. Not too bad a predicition for this year, I'd say.
For what it is worth:

Not really very impressive, at least yet.
Yes, 2005's Hurricane Adrian made an attempt at crossing central america, which is quite rare for an EPAC system. The cyclone phase diagram posted earlier looks good for a TS or Cat 1, and I see at least some rotation on the QuickScat.

Here we go!
oh boy what a year this is going to be
1014 mb low formed this morning
just NE of Puerto Rico near 19n65w. This low sits on a sfc
trough which extends into the central Atlantic. San Juan Doppler
radar indicates scattered showers across Puerto Rico with
possibly a few mesoscale lows just offshore of the island. The
deepest moisture appears to be a couple hundred nm to the N of
the island. Trade winds have increased slightly today to 15-20
kt as sfc high pres digs swd in the Gulf. GFS suggests that the
unsettled weather across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands may
press slowly sewd but will remain in the general vicinity to
enhance showers and tstms thru Friday.
The Atlantic Ocean...
a trough/ridge/trough upper level pattern covers the Atlc basin.
An upper trough extends from a low near 34n62w swd to 28n69w. A
swly jet runs on the S side of the upper low from 25n62w to
beyond 32n54w. Enhanced subsidence caused by upper level
confluence lies to the W of this axis. At the sfc...a cold front
enters the area along 32n54w 24n58w then as a sfc trough to the
Virgin Islands. A 1014 mb low sits on the trough near 19n65w.
Global Warming Weakens Trade Winds Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
Wed May 3, 2:00 PM ET

The trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are weakening as a result of global warming, according to a new study that indicates changes to the region's biology are possible.


Using a combination of real-world observations and computer modeling, researchers conclude that a vast loop of circulating wind over the Pacific Ocean, known as the Walker circulation, has weakened by about 3.5 percent since the mid-1800s. The trade winds are the portion of the Walker circulation that blow across the ocean surface.

The researchers predict another 10 percent decrease by the end of the 21st century.

The effect, attributed at least in part to human-induced climate change, could disrupt food chains and reduce the biological productivity of the Pacific Ocean, scientists said.

The study was led by Gabriel Vecchi of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and is detailed in the May 4 issue of the journal Nature.

Humans to blame

The researchers used records of sea-level atmospheric pressure readings from as far back as the mid-1800s to reconstruct the wind intensity of the Walker circulation over the past 150 years. A computer climate model replicated the effect seen in the historical record.

Some of the computer simulations included the effects of human greenhouse gas emissions; others included only natural factors known to affect climate such as volcanic eruptions and solar variations.

"We were able to ask 'What if humans hadn't done anything? Or what if volcanoes erupted? Or if the sun hadn't varied?'" Vecchi said. "Our only way to account for the observed changes is through the impact of human activity, and principally from greenhouse gases from fossil fuel burning."

Earth's average temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past century and many scientists believe greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions from human activities are to blame.

"This is evidence supporting global warming and also evidence of our ability to make reasonable predictions of at least the large scale changes that we should expect from global warming," Vecchi told LiveScience.

By extrapolating their data and combining it with results from other models, the researchers predict the Walker circulation could slow by an additional 10 percent by 2100.

Driving force

The trade winds blow from the east at an angle towards the equator and have been used by sailors for centuries seeking to sail west. Christopher Columbus relied on the Atlantic's trade winds to carry him to North America. The winds get their name from their reliability: To say that a "wind blows trade" is to say that it blows on track.

The overall Walker circulation is powered by warm, rising air in the west Pacific Ocean and sinking cool air in the eastern Pacific.

This looping conveyer belt of winds has far-reaching effects on climate around the globe. It steers ocean currents and nourishes marine life across the equatorial Pacific and off the coast of South America by driving the upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water from ocean depths to the surface.

The Walker circulation is also primarily responsible for transporting water vapor that evaporates from the ocean surface west, towards Indonesia; there, the moisture rises up into the atmosphere, condenses, and falls back to Earth as rain.

The effects of global warming

Several theories on the effects of global warming predict a weakening of the Walker circulation. Scientists think it works like this:

To remain energetically balanced, the rate at which the atmosphere absorbs water vapor must be balanced by the rate of rainfall. But as temperatures rise and more water evaporates from the ocean, water vapor in the lower atmosphere increases rapidly. Because of various physical processes, however, the rate of rainfall does not increase as fast.

Since the atmosphere is absorbing moisture faster than it can dump it, and because wind is the major transporter of moisture into the atmosphere, air circulation must slow down if the energy balance is to be maintained.

A drop in winds could reduce the strength of both surface and subsurface ocean currents and dampen cold water upwelling at the equator.

"This could have important effects on ocean ecosystems," Vecchi said. "The ocean currents driven by the trade winds supply vital nutrients to near-surface ocean ecosystems across the equatorial Pacific, which is a major fishing region."

her is some in in the news evere one is talking aabout sorry for the long post
The Navy has a curious counterrotating pair of invests in the W. Pacific, one on either side of the Equator.....
Global Warming May Play Role in Hurricane Intensity
By Michael Schirber
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 16 June, 2005
2:00 p.m. ET

Climate change could make future hurricanes stronger, but whether the effect is measurable is still a matter of debate. It is also unknown whether it will change the total number of storms.

Kevin Trenberth from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) claims that warmer oceans and increased moisture could intensify showers and thunderstorms that fuel hurricanes.

"Trends in human-influenced environmental changes are now evident in hurricane regions," Trenberth said. "These changes are expected to affect hurricane intensity and rainfall, but the effect on hurricane numbers remains unclear. The key scientific question is how hurricanes are changing."

Sea-surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic the breeding ground for most U.S. hurricanes have been the warmest on record over the last decade. Across the globe, the amount of water vapor over the oceans has increased by about 2% since 1988.

Computer models show that these climate changes will push hurricane intensities toward extreme hurricanes, Trenberth said. Moreover, the added moisture in the air will produce heavier rains and increased flooding when the hurricanes make landfall.

The Names & Numbers
Deadliest, costliest, busiest months, worst states, plus this year's storm names

How & Where Hurricanes Form
The science of monster storms.

Storm Paths in 2004
Where the hurricanes hit.

Busy 2005 Season Predicted
The official season forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

The Deadly 2004 Season
Officials say lessons learned will save lives in the future.

Rare Backward Hurricane
Do you know who imaged it and where it was?

Rare One-Two Punch
A pair of tropical storms are imaged at once.

Image Gallery


Related Stories

Billion Dollar Weather Disasters
Nature's Wrath: Global Deaths and Costs Swell Global
Disaster Hotspots: Who Gets Pummeled

Swamped data

There is uncertainty, however, about how well the models account for all the inputs that might affect hurricane strength.

In the models, an increase in sea surface temperature could make more intense systems, said Philip Klotzbach, who was not involved in the present work. But the models do not account for changes in wind patterns that might tend to tear apart hurricanes.

Klotzbach said that the effect of global warming on hurricanes may end up being small. He said it is hard to notice any difference because the signal gets swamped by year to year variability.

According to Chris Landsea of NOAAs Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, there is evidence for natural swings between high and low hurricane activity that extend for 25-40 years.

The last ten years have been busy for the U.S. similar to what we experienced between the 1920s and 1960s, Landsea said.

He thought that global warming could have an impact on hurricanes, but he quoted one study that predicted in 80 years only a five percent change in wind speeds due to increases in heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

It doesnt mean there is zero effect, he said. But thats hardly measurable.

Storm tracks

Even with large swings in one region, the total number of big storms across the globe each year does not change by much. Historically, when hurricane activity increased in the Atlantic, there was a corresponding decrease in typhoon activity in the Pacific, and vice versa, so the global hurricane frequency has remained steady over the years.

Klotzbach and William Gray, both of Colorado State University, have made hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic. The current 2005 predictions are 15 named storms (up to the letter O), of which eight are expected to become hurricanes. Four may become major hurricanes.

Not all of these storms will reach land. Predicting how storms will move is highly uncertain and may have little to do with global warming.

"There is no sound theoretical basis for drawing any conclusions about how anthropogenic climate change affects hurricane numbers or tracks, and thus how many hit land," Trenberth said

In 2004, four hurricanes struck Florida and 10 tropical cyclones or typhoons hit Japan. These unprecedented numbers were at least partly due to large-scale circulation features that drove the events toward land.

The current work appears in the June 17 issue of Science.

Uhhh... David, that article is outdated... this is the most current article on hurricane intensity and why they are getting more intense.
MichaelSTL ooops sorry all i did not no that sorry
MichaelSTL i got that up in my blog if any one like to look at it if they want too
well guys i just want you to know everything is just fine in the tropics.....
I noticed this in your post:

The Deadly 2004 Season
Officials say lessons learned will save lives in the future.

Unfortunately, that did not happen (Katrina).
any one this ?

how come the 2 hurricane season can not start on my 15th like the Eastern Pacific hurricane season cant the Eastern Pacific hurricane season and the Atlantic hurricane season start the same time on may 15th
ill be checking back periodically to let you guys know what my opinions will be...you all have a great day now ..i will leave you with one thought the temps down in the caribbean and sw gulf are hotter then this time last year..im sure you guys know what that will=to...later
I already knew that the Gulf is a lot hotter than normal; that is one of the reasons for this.
I dunno ST, they look cooler than last year on this, still warmer than normal though.

May 2, 2005 SST

May 2 2006 SST
Hey what do I know, I'm just an accountant, yawn!
Crane, that's the available energy. Surface temps are warmer than '05, but less actual heat exists (presumably colder subsurface waters)
Those are heat potential maps, not temperature (heat potential is not the same as temperature because it also takes the depth of water into acount as well). The Gulf is far hotter this year than last:

May 3, 2006

May 2, 2006

In fact, the Gulf was below normal last year and this year it is above normal. As for the rest of the Atlantic, some areas are cooler and others are hotter when compared to last year.
Thanks Colby still learning.

Isn't the actually energy held in the water more important, than the surface temp, in terms off fuel for a hurricane.
(ie a warm top layer would quickly get mixed up in a storm)
I predict NO named storms in the Atlantic before the summer solstice :)
any one see my link yet
By the way, David, your hurricane season (East Pacific) may start in just a few days (see one of my earlier links).
Oh yeah, no storms in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico before the summer solstice either :P
MichaelSTL tell me more in my blog and post that link in there as well thanks
Given that the Gulf is far, far hotter this year than last year (see earlier post), I would not be surprised to see a Category 4-5 in the Gulf in June. In fact the Gulf is as much as 4*C hotter in some areas this year than last year!
Temps in Gulf

This year

Last Year

A little hard to interpert due to the difference in the color scale. 06 color scale tops out at 32 and 05 at 30. Not sure how much of a difference I can tell from that, but they are nice maps.
Look at my post earlier at 4:48 PM CDT; it uses the same scales.
A Cat 4 in the Gulf in June? I'd be surprised at that. I'd say first named storm in June but no major storms until late July, maybe August.
Mike, both of your post are labeled 06??? one the 2nd and one the 3rd?

Anywho it looks like the gulf has actually cooled a litte in the past 10 days or so. Check it.

Current SST Loop
Concerning Trophical Cyclone Heat Potential (like the maps that Cregnebaa linked earlier). There is a cosniderable drop in TCHP in the western Caribbean between May 1st and May 2nd:

May 1st

May 2nd

Any idea how did this happen? I checked the Caribbean satellite and there is no cloud coverage over that region lately.
Uh... Remember "2005 disease", well, it seems to have spread around the world (if you have been following tropical storms in other oceans, you will know what I mean). It should now be "2006 disease" because of this. Also, the Gulf is far hotter (up to 4*C) than it was last year, so I am saying that a major storm in June is far more likely this year. Also, when was the first Atlantic Invest last year? April?; I bet not...
Ooops... it should be May 3, 2005 and May 2, 2006 (the links are correct; look at the dates on the maps).
The gulf is colder because of the cold front that brought a lot of rain last week. If you check the SSTs on april 20th, the gulf was warmer than it is today.
Here are the maps for those who don't want to click on links:

May 3, 2005:

May 2, 2006:

Click on maps for full size (shown at 1/2 size)
It is only a pice of the Gulf, but temps are clearly warmer this year even with the cooling show in the loop.

It also looks like the whole region is a little warmer then last year.



Same color scale.
From my maps, it looks like there was an El Nino last year, at least as of May... If this year has a La Nina, what will it do (El Nino = less activity, La Nina = more activity)?
Is the consensus that SSTs are warmer but TCHP lower?

Overall, the Gulf considerably warmer, the Atlantic warmer than usual but cooler than last year?
After September 2005 we had La Nina.
I don't know if the Atlantic as a whole is cooler; look at the anomolies of almost 5*C in the northern Atlantic for this year; this could mean more mid Atlantic storms.
I am asking this again... Whan was the first Invest last year (there was one just a week ago this year).
The Atlantic is not cooler then last year. At least not from what I can see in those last two links I posted.
Last year also had more below normal water off the East Coast, although the tropics were warmer (but how many storms actually formed there; the answer? only a few).
Maybe Mike. Shear will play a lot in to where storms develop, but it looks like they will have the capability of developing anywhere and maintaining themselves just fine unless they turn up too much cool water in one place.
Everything seems to be hotter then last year. Look at the lakes on the links in my earlier post.

Not sure anyone can find out. I checked the NRL and could find a record of invests from last year, they only show named storms.

However, it's not that important. The invest last week, imo, never had a chance to go tropical. There's even been rumor that it was a test. Either way, it wasent trying very hard to develop and to me doesn't say anything about the season to come.
Oops, typo.

"I COULDN'T find a record of invests."
I don't think that it was a test; look at this graph of formation probability for the East Coast:

Where did that likely hood of formation map come from Mike?
You can find it ans well as many other maps and graphs here.
you got me by a minute STL!
The NHC test

This was that TD1 that appeared on friday
That test had nothing to do with Invest 91L (which was off the East Coast); in fact, it is Arlene's first advisory (does this look familiar?).
Posted By: rwdobson at 10:18 PM GMT on May 03, 2006.
A Cat 4 in the Gulf in June? I'd be surprised at that. I'd say first named storm in June but no major storms until late July, maybe August.
Report As: Obscene | Spam | Copyright

See: Audrey; June, 1957

I think that the lower total heat content in the Gulf is primarily due to the huge amount of upwelling from the combo of Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Gert, Jose, Katrina, Rita, Stan, and Wilma.
how do you post images and size them? thanks
Use the following to post images:

img src="put URL of image here" width=size

Put a left arrow before img and right arrow after size; size is a number that determines the width (use 600 or so to prevent the image from getting to wide if it is wider than 600). Note that width is optional, and you can also make a link with an image by highlighting the img code and clicking the link button.
86. Inyo
hmm, interesting.

Looks like most of the east pacific is at or below normal.

I was hoping the active hurricane season would switch to the East Pacific this year, hurricanes that form there are much less likely to destroy anything or kill people, and often bring rain to the Southwest. California is near average or above average depending on where you are, but Arizona has had a miserably dry winter, and a strong monsoon season would help a lot. However, i have heard that a lot of the monsoon moisture actually comes from the Gulf of Mexico.

In any event, the weakening of trade winds is a big thing... the upwelling is, to my understanding, the only thing that keeps El Nino at bay most of the time... as the trade winds weaken we might expect to see more numerous El Ninos rather than la Nina... but the system is so complex, that may not be the case at all.
So how would you post a sat image from this site. Link

BTW, look at the visible or infrared for invest 98W. It's only around 4 or 5 degrees north, but it has some convection going.
Right-click on an image and select properties; it will show the address (URL) and you can then copy it and paste it into img code (only the thumbnails should be used as they are 500 pixels wide; also, even if you resize, the fils size does not change, so a 400 K image is still 400 K even if you reduce the displayed size).
Hmmm... for some reason, it starts with this blog's URL:


(I have never experienced this; I have no idea how this happens unless the user puts Dr. Masters' blog URL into the code along with what they wanted to post)...
where is 98WINVEST at?
Here ya go David....Link
is this going to pop up in to some in and where is this ar is this overe neare FL or overe her neare MX
I beieve this a system in the Western Pacific. It is no threat to the United States.
98W Invest is thousands of miles away from the U.S; it is in the West Pacific (W); the East Pacific uses E and the Atlantic uses L to identify the ocean basins.
Yes, we know that Michael. David was just asking for it.
Why "L"? Why not use "A"?
David asked if it would hit Florida or Mexico, so I told him that it was nowhere near those places.
Posted By: Lucky13 at 5:25 PM PDT on May 03, 2006.
is this overe neare FL or overe her neare MX
: weatherguy03 how are you
Cool. I couldnt understand that..LOL Sorry.
ok thank you for yeting no that would be good now and that all i this want to no
A is used for the Arabian Sea (North Indian Ocean west of India). As for why the Atlantic does not use A instead and the Arabian Sea something else, I don't know (why is the North Indian even split in half; India does not completely divide it).
David, just bookmark this page....Link...It divides all of the invests and systems for you.
All good questions. Is it possible that someone just plain enjoys making things difficult?
In any case, it is only a matter of time before something forms in the East Pacific, thus starting the season there; some models have been indicating warm-core systems forming for the last couple days and the SSTs near Mexico are hotter that those in the Atlantic. Also, shear is considerably less.
What do the different colored squares represent on that map?
Weatherguy - notice that the pages on the NRL site are valid for only a short time (it says that at the top; bookmark the main page.
The colors respresent the probablity of tropical cyclone formation within 24 hours in percent; here is the main page.
Thanks. I always forget that. That drives me crazy with them sometimes!!
That is what I was thinking but I wasn't 100% positive. The part where it jumps from 12 to 99 kind of threw me off.
can someone explain what an invest is?
Invest stands for investigational area - an area where a tropical cyclone may form (this does not mean that a system will form).
116. RL3AO
They will give an invest to anything that has the potential to develop. There will be alot more invests than actual storms. They don't issue public advisorys for invests. It's basically a way for weather geeks to get giddy.
117. RL3AO
If you like to follow tropical weather, bookmark this page!!!


It has every invest in the world with great satellite pictures for every one.
118. RL3AO
Posted By: RL3AO at 12:06 AM GMT on May 04, 2006.
So how would you post a sat image from this site. Link

BTW, look at the visible or infrared for invest 98W. It's only around 4 or 5 degrees north, but it has some convection going

wow, I'm stupid, you don't have to right-click properties, it's listed right above the image on the Navy site. :)
Uhhh... the entire URL is not listed above the image; you need to right-click to the entire address.
Glad to hear the NHC forecasters are getting some relief. They did get a bit loopy by the time they were posting their last few updates!
For example:

Listed above image:

Actual URL of image:

See? The bold part is not listed above the image.
122. RL3AO
it is if you open up the thumbnail
123. RL3AO
well, shows what I know...anyway to NW TX

Tornado Warning
827 PM CDT WED MAY 3 2006

827 PM CDT WED MAY 3 2006





LAT...LON 3339 10105 3307 10105 3306 10057 3338 10061


Hey Everbody,

I have had a great day...:0) Lockheed WP-3D Orion named Miss Piggy was here in Mobile today. Not only did I get to meet the crew of her but got to sit in the cockpit too...
I have a few pictures of her and crew and are downloading them to my weather pics so they will be up soon... I did get to talk to the crew and they are a bunch of great guys that love going into Hurricanes...
While I admit I have not been paying very close attention to the NHC recently, this is the first time this year I have seen any mention of a possible tropical wave.

Can somone tell me again how to post a pic on here...

Thanks Taco:0)
Use this to post a picture; put left/right arrows around everything (like when you use the link button):

img src="put URL of image here"


img src="put URL of image here" width=number

"number" determins the size of the image; it should be around 600 to prevent the blog from being stretched out (to prevent scrolling left and right), although this does depend on the monitor resolution; 1024x768, which I have, can display more than 800x600.
128. RL3AO

I hope this image works. I think this is the possible tropical wave that Louastu was talking about. I messed around in MS Paint before uploading it to ImageShack. So, I hope this works. ;)
Hey Taco,

img src= "entire image URL, you have to use the address from the properties"

Then you enclose that whole thing with


img src= "www.pictures.com/big1" (enclosed with )

If there is a picture that is bigger than 600 pixels WIDE, leave a space after the end quotation mark and type width=600 and then the >
Yes RL3AO, thats the weak tropical wave. Models do not develop the system though.

I would say that the possible tropical wave is about 5-6 days away from the low pressure area to the NE of Puerto Rico. Do you think it is possible that they would interact, and produce a tropical storm?
Low pressure areas can greatly hinder tropical development. The wave would likely be absorbed by the low and develop frontal characteristics.
Taco, what is the URL of the image you are trying to post?
ok did not work I will try again
hey atmosweather how are you
137. RL3AO
Right now, I don't see anything developing. Shear near Puerto Rico are 30-50 kts.

139. RL3AO
***shear near Puerto Rico is 30-50 kts.***

Nice English by me!
Soory it took so long but the URL is taco2me61/44.jpg
Is that from a website?
Is there a site that has a shear forecast map that goes up to 6 days in advance?
All of the major global models do shear forecasts for up to 6 days out.

Here are the main ones, click on field and use 200-850 mb shear.
I'm sorry atmosweather it is from weatherunderground/my photos
By the way, those same wind shear maps can also be found at CIMSS, as well as a lot of other things.
whats see if i get it right the frist time
hmmm nop
taco - to post an image, the entire address has to be used, starting with the http:// part.

Hurricane Hunter

Ok, try doing this:

1. Type a less than sign (next to the M)
2. Type img src=
3. Leave a space, and put a quotation mark "
4. Type the entire URL
5. Add another quotation mark without leaving a space
6. Leave a space, and type width=600
7. Without leaving a space, type a greater than sign (next to the question mark).

This should work :)
153. RL3AO
to get the entire URL, right-click on the image and go to properties. The entire url is listed there under 'Type' and above 'Size'.
You don't have to type the URL; copy and paste it (right-click the image and select properties). Also, when looking at properties, check the width (the first number after "dimensions"; you don't need width=600 if it is less than that; I make some excaptions, such as radar images which are 640x480).
do I click the link first then put the URL in???
That's what I meant Michael. I was trying to illustrate the point more clearly.
Type the following HTML code in order to post a picture:

and type this code to post a picture in a specific pixel size (in this case, 600 x 800 pixels):

Right click the image after it is fully open (not thumbnailed), and copy the address in "Properties".
I just saw that you asked if you clicked the link button first; no, this has nothing to do with the link button unless you want to make a link.

ok what see if i did it rihght
161. RL3AO
no, type

put in left arrow (next to M)

type: img src= "Insert URL of image but keep quotation marks" width=600

Here's another hint: post a thumbnail image on the blog, then highlight the image HTML from the less-than sign to the greater-than sign, and link that to the URL of the full-size image.

That way, you won't take up excessive space on the blog.
165. RL3AO
168. RL3AO
dont press link, just type this (but put image url in quotations

169. RL3AO
sorry I screwed up

type this

dont press link, just type this (but put image url in quotations

Ok David, now put that URL in quotation marks ("URL").

Then, type img src= in front of the first quotation mark. Then, add a greater than sign (>) at the end.
img src=www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/ECI8.JPG640x480)
173. RL3AO
When you have the image url, put it in quotations. Then type EXACTLY this. Don't press bold, link, or italics.

now, change the height and width (which in your case would be...

width="714" height="495"

(img src=www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/ECI8.JPG640x480)
OK guys this is my problem I am having a BLOND-MALE-MOMMENT HERE it has been so long I have forgot how to do this so hang on here... Now where do I type
176. RL3AO
you forgot the less than/greater than arrows at the begining and end and you can't type 640X480, you have to type...

width="640" height="480"
I know; go to your blog and click on "modify comment" so that you can see the code.
Almost there. Change ( to an arrow pointing left, and ) to an arrow pointing right.
www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/ECI8.JPGwidth="640" height="480"
You don't need width or height unless you want to resize, which is only needed for images larger than 600-700 pixels wide.
: MichaelSTL i want it i want it can you give me the code
183. RL3AO
184. RL3AO
ha, now I can't do it! anyway, GL, I have to go to bed

I posted this image by using

img src="http://www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/ECI8.JPG"

with a left arrow before everything and a right arrow after; no width= is used.
It isn't necessary to type: width="600" height="800" unless you want to resize a large image.

If an image looks properly sized for the blog, just use its URL as is. You may copy and paste the image URL by right-clicking on the image and highlighting "properties."
img src="http://www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/ECI8.JPG"
David - look for a comment in your blog with an image in it and click on modify comment to see the code.
189. RL3AO
you forgot the arrows
BTW, only width is needed, unless you want to skew the image.
I have a question, and I hope this does not confuse anyone. Do you have to put the URL of all images in quotation marks, or just some?

I don't remember ever having used quotation marks when posting images from the SPC website.
Apparently quotation marks are not required.
There ya go David!!!

Yes louastu, put all URL in quotation marks.
Unless you don't leave a space between the = and the URL.

That's all it is taco. TAKE AWAY ALL OF THE PARENTHESES. The only space is between the = and the 1st " mark.
Oops...Sorry, its just impossible to post instructions in a comment on this site because it reads EVERY html mark.

The order:

Less than sign, no space, img src=, space, ", no space, imageURL, no space, ", no space, Greater than sign
ok the size is not the problem it is 640x480 the problem I am having is I still don't seem to get it to work... ok I am trying one more time...


1. Less than sign which is next to M on the keyboard
2. no space
3. img src=
4. space
5. "
6. no space
7. imageURL
8. no space
9. "
10. no space
11. Greater than sign which is next to ? on the keyboard

1. Less than sign which is next to M on the keyboard
2. no space
3. img src=
4. space
5. "
6. no space
7. imageURL
8. no space
9. "
10. space
11. width=
12. no space
13. 640 or whatever width you want the picture
14. no space
15. Greater than sign which is next to ? on the keyboard
You got it David!!!
: atmosweather i did it
Did you follow the instructions taco?

See here http://werbach.com/barebones/barebones.html for the barebones guide to html.

Here you can use anchors (<a href="...">some text to click on which links to the url in the href</a>), bold (<b>bold text</b>), images (<img src="http://.../foo.gif">) and a few other things. It is best if you try not to get too creative or you could mess up the blog potentially if you find a wrinkled in the html that the WU devs didn't think of stopping.
I have a question that bugs me alot:


What is up with the "http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/" in the image URL; many bad images that I see are caused by this; it it a problem with Wunderground?
Awesome inside info Dr Masters.

Yeah Lucky did it~ the red mess seems to be producing wind & hail ↑ to 1 3/4".

Ya'll should really teach & practice that in your own blog...
This is the URL I get when I go to properties on the, no offence, blown image.

I wonder how the Jeff Masters part gets there; it also happens on images not from Wunderground.
:\Documents and Settings\HP_Owner\My Documents\My Pictures\Hurricane Hunter Pics
It is bad because it is linking to 2 .com sites (wunderground.com and icons.wunderground.com). That is a problem in the URL.
Uhh... images from your computer can't be posted on a website without first uploading them (use something like ImageShack for non-weather related photos, which may not be approved; I use this for many of the images in my blogs)
Michael, that happens if you don't put the http:// in the url

eg if you use

img src="icons.wundergound.com/...."

you browser will treat that as being relative to the current address before the last / iin the url effectively putting on this page: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/ in front of the URL.

ok so what am I doing wrong here
Well, this is my last attempt.

taco - I posted an image in your blog so that you can use "modify comment" to see the code.

<img src="http://icons.wunderground.com/data/wximagenew/t/taco2me61/47.jpg">


I see. I dropped a few too many words in that address.
This is what I left out.

Heck it took long enough OMG
Lake Meredith near Amarillo, Texas reached a record low level on Monday, and continues to drop fast:

The previous record low was on June 17, 2004. This lake supplies drinking water for towns from Borger all the way to Lamesa.

We've been in level D3 "extreme" drought for a while, and the drought is forecast to persist.
I want to say Thank you all for trying to help a dumb Blonde LOL
sweet pics~ don't ya love it when a day turns out as planned?

Kept getting requests from the locals on the Brevard County fires, so I dug out my blog & updated it on the matter. Put in links so all can easily find out what's burning as well as if I-95, 528, 250, SR50 & what not is open or closed.
img src="http://www.goes.noaa.gov/GIFS/ECI8.JPG/Lucky13
Tulsa, which has been part of the Tx/Ok drought area, apparently is seeing relief. After over a week of daily rain parts of the city got drenched and are now flooding.

Unofficial reports of up to 8" of rain yesterday have been heard. I don't recall anything over about 3" in one day EVER in the past, so if 8" is true for any signficant area it would be amazing.

Dr. Masters has a wiki

That looks like a mesoscale cyclonic complex in the southern plains. 8" of rain from those is not uncommon, and 16" is not rare if they are slow-moving. In the 1940s in western Pennsylvania one dropped 31" of rain in 6 hours, I hear. Unfortunately for drought relief, most of that just hits the ground and goes sideways into the nearest creek--eight one-inch storms are much more effective than one eight-inch storm.
Hey Mike. Could you wunder mail me the image source code and I also have a few questions about putting a radar loop on a web page and what kind of code that would require. Thanks for the help.

Ya'll check out the links and Weatherboyfsu's Wilma clip that is on my site. Just go to Tropical links. That is really the only area I have done much work. Again this is a very basic site and is mostly intended to help people find links to add to their favorites. Let me know what ya'll think.

ll above storm occured during a El Nino. the number of hurricanes in a season is not a factor to me. Just one storm like the above is enough.

I am not a weather expert, but I understand the effect of La Nina and El Nino to an extent. Let's see, 1926 The Great Miame hurricane, 1965 Betsy, 1972 Agnes, 1992 Andrew. La Nina vs El Nino, I don't beleive anyone should relax just because either would be in effect. Just one of the above storms would be enough.

Dry air over Florida
Very dry in the south generally. Sad that one would have to wish for a storm just to bring moisture!
251. IKE
Wishing for a storm to bring moisture to the southeast...same scenario as last year at this time...probably another bad omen.
Gulf water temps already in the low 80's...another bad omen.
Finally, got caught up on this blog and the prev blog...Dr Master's great job as usual; thanks for all of the information!

And, as already noted on other blogs; we are now ready for the hurricane season because the "gang" is now all here!

Welcome back those of you that have been gone awhile!!!!
And Good afternoon everyone; have a wonderful Thursday. Hope the storms stay away for awhile longer.
Thanks gamma. Good to see you to.

Atlantic temps are warmer then last year also. Could be a bad year unless we get a lot of shear to hang around for awhile.
It looks like shear has been below normal for much of the past few months (this is for the tropical Atlantic only):

Also, shear in the Eastern Caribbean has dropped a lot in the past few days, although it will likely rise again:

More information here
Thinking of the new NHC specialists coming on board..it will be interesting to read their advisories. I remember in reading all last year, the others seemed to have their own style of crafting the advisories, and at times were somewhat amusing. We will see what this batch brings as far as unique writing styles.
I am thinking next week should be interesting in the Plains...

Rut Roh

And looking at the GFS 500 vort at 144 hr here, looks like a possible cut off low in S.Cali to support the outlook?

Screwed up the img..was referencing the SPC extended outlook.
No one liked my Dan Brown joke? FINE! I curse you all with cold seas and high shear. :D
Also...for what its worth..right clicking and doing a view source is also a good way to view how to do some html coding - [what I did when I started web dev]
That I how I found out how to post images and other stuff.
eastern Pacific Ocean

Strong convective clusters have become further enhanced
in the vicinity of the ITCZ between 121w-125w from 9n-12n due to
a possible surface trough. Will await satellite visible imagery
later today before marking trough feature on surface analysis
for 1800 UTC. Global models indicate this feature mostly as a
low and track it westward over the next few days towards the
western edge of the region.

td 1 E mat be her soon buy the look at it
Regarding the new forecasters
Happy to see a female among them,
Michelle Mainelli. You GO, Girl. It won't be easy.
Jamie Rhome? Maybe.
Dr. Masters, Do we have a picture of the group?
Best wishes to all of you.
We know your work is difficult.
Hope you enjoy it and
Continue doing it for many years.
Last night I saw the HBO special "To hot NOT to handle", I encourage everyone to watch this show. Tell ya what, I have a question about something I heard in the show!!
One of the guys said that if we lined up 100 miles of solar panels on each side of the Mojave desert, that would be enough to run the WHOLE country???? If this is true, then I do not see why this has not been at least explored BIGTIME
Warm/hot water temps, low shear, May 4th, uhmmmmm sounds like the makings of the right mixture to get things popping way too soon!
Well, well, well...I see a lot of the old hands are back on deck again. LOL. Sorry I missed y'all the other day with all the hugs and kisses...and fighting! More LOL. Tropical season must truly be near... Either that or we may get really bored waiting for Alberto in mid-August. Yeah, right...that's wishful thinking!

Dr. Jeff - Really good news to see reinforcements coming into the fold at the NHC. Even better to hear very few are interested in taking the early retirement. That kind of dedication is encouraging... and not surprising since, like most of us weather junkies, it's a lifelong interest.

Okay, the following is a repost from my blog, but ya might find notable -
Just thought of something wanted to share with ya - this being May 4th...Maybe today's the true anniversary of the start of last year's tropical season. If you recall, DaAntiCyclone gave us a tip a few months back the NHC was looking into an unnamed subtropical storm, but didn't know the date at the time. We all know now it was the Oct 4-5 system near the Azores, as shown here. (you can also note developing Tammy to the left, near the Bahamas)

Before we knew, I was searching for possibilities by reviewing the CRWS jet stream/sat view archives and came across this subtropical feature of interest that existed on May 4-5 2005, also near the Azores. Nothing came of it...but definitely had similarities to the Oct storm, as well as the late season Greek storms.

Who knows...if one like it were to spin up this year, it might briefly have a name. LOL.
jusy a freindly report guys theres and awful lot of shear out there and i would not expect something to develop in the gulf or caribbean for at least 3 weeks...i look for major changes in the atmosphere to take place and atmospheric conditions to change rapidly by ..im going to go with may 20 be watching the tropics then closely....right now you guys have nothing to worry about..tell my favorite fan TONY i hope he can sleep at night and tell him he does not have to worry right now...however like i said yesterday LANINA will cause and early and active season worse then last year....it will hang around to long this year to effect the tropical conditions...well you guys keep a watch however i did have something that caught my eye in the pacific at 123 degrees and 15 degrees...but i dont look for a very active pacific hurricane season because of la nina....
268. RL3AO
visible of the EPac where StormTop was looking at:

shear for EPac

Hope the pics work!
They did. Def looks like maybe TD1, though a bit far south.
Shelter In Place Warning for the United States

333 PM EDT THU MAY 4 2006




Good to see you Doc. Everybody is getting anxious.

Explanation of the visible:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
273. RL3AO
Colby, It's the ITCZ not the ICTZ!!! ;)
A possible East Pacific TD? It is not really suprising; I did say that models showed a possible tropical cyclone in the East Pacific. The only thing is, it is no longer shown, as of the 12Z run; in fact, it shows nothing at all in the East Pacific.
Arrr...curses on the typos. Intertropical Convergence Zone.
re: BarefootontheRocks
This Should Be New NHC forecaster, Jamie Rhome

Old Pic from 1998 www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu
277. RL3AO
Looking at TD Caloy forming soon in the WESTERN Pacific?


Looks pretty good.
That phase diagram looks like it could become a lot more than a TD... more like Monica.

By the way, you should really use the thumbnails (500x500) instead of reducing a 1024x1024 image to 600x600... the large image takes more than 4 times longer to download and too many of then will slow the blog (remember that file size is not changed with the width function).
280. RL3AO
I don't know if it will be another Monica, but it has it at 990 MB in 144 hrs
td 1 e
Is that 144 Australian hours?
Uhhh... don't use the pressure shown on those disgrams; they never show tropical storms that well; look at this archived diagram for Katrina. If you look at it, it says that Katrina had a pressure of 970 mb at the lowest! Here is one for Andrew that shows it at 1010 mb. More here
284. RL3AO
well, I'm not very good reading those charts, and Lucky13, are you projecting or making a joke?
The reason for the inaccurate pressure is due to the coarse resolution, the lowest pressure in a hurricane is found in a very small area and the models can only resolve features down to .375 degrees at the most (others may be 1 degree), which is a lot larger than a hurricane's eye. Here is an explanation; go about halfway down.
286. RL3AO
Quick question, does the blog accept all HTML codes? Like colored text?
You can only put things like colored text into the blog title; it shows what is allowed when you create a blog entry; the same applies to posts. However, several others have destroyed their blogs (Aaron can usually fix them) by doing stuff to the title (ask cjnew).
This is red

This is blue

This is green

This is maroon
Michael is right about the color ;)
290. RL3AO
got it
291. RL3AO
Lastest visible of Invest 90W.

The blog only accepts links, images, bold, and italics.
You forgot images and some other things I know of are allowed, such as align (useful to arrange things; see the NWS warning map and links in my blog). Also, you can put title="pop-up message here" in links so that when you make a link with an image, you can have it show something like "Click to enlarge" when you move the mouse over it.

Here is an example (see my blog for more examples); move the mouse over it:

294. RL3AO
so, STL, not including the less than and greater than signs, what exactly to you type to put in an enlargeable thumbnail?
I see that the weather patterns on Jupiter are shifting, with several storms merging in a manner different than we've seen in reliably recorded history.

Now who could be changing the weather on Jupiter? What diabolical force could be capable of such mischief? Could it be......

Could it be.......

global warming?

Nice Zap. LMFAO, but I think many would say the Bush's did it.
Yep. We thought Jupiter had WMDs, so we nuked them. Bad Bushes :)
As long as we don't launch them at targets on Earth, I don't care.
Maybe Russia will launch their nukes at Jupiter as well.
"Is that 144 Australian hours?"

I hope to god that was a joke.
Disclaimer: the views expressed below do not reflect the beliefs of this blog, the Wunderground sponsors, or even the author himself. They are merely intended to provoke thought and comment and should not be attempted at home.

Hey, without nukes what do you think is going to stop the population explosion? I don't think you can plan on Mother Nature handling it all herself......

I believe prime-time TV illustrates pretty well our chances of changing societal behavior before destroying the world. Just watch "Deal or No Deal" to see how well people understand statistics and "Unan1mous" to see how well they can put aside selfishness for the good of others. Toss in "Idol" for overall priorities and I think we're in for a pretty exciting ride. Easter Islander's didn't figure it out, and I'm not at all sure we will either.

Speaking of nukes, if we're going to have them why don't we at least build molten salts or breeder reactors? Surely there is a more efficient design that doesn't have half-spent fuel rods as waste? If it's that radioactive you'd think there would still be energy value, wouldn't you?

Nukes for hurricanes, nukes for power, and nukes for unpleasant people -- we'll solve all the nation's problems at once!

Heh - looks like we were late to the Invest 91L party: Link
Zaph, well Jupiter did just swallow up a comet. :P

If the same comet hit earth, man induced global warming would be the least of our problems.
Which comet? I hadn't heard anything about it.

Check out these cells over Texas...73dBz O_O

Once Haliburton gets done with those tunnels maybe you can get them to tunnel some of the methane rain on Titan to earth to address the hydrocarbon shortage?
In 1994 a comet named Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into Jupiter.

As for Jupiter, I think it can be blamed on that same group of aliens (illegal? monoliths?) that warned us to stay away from Europa. ;-)
I hope this works

Sorry about that I am still learning how to do this...:0)

312. RL3AO
nice pic, where is that?
Oh you mean their not going for horse trainers like they did with FEMA. Oh maybe their is hope yet for the Yanks!! But I don't think so!!

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