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Hurricane research flights grounded

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:24 PM GMT on February 08, 2007

For the first time since NOAA began flying research aircraft into hurricane in the 1950's, there is no money to fund airborne hurricane research for an upcoming hurricane season. NOAA's state-of-the-art flying weather research laboratories, the two P-3 Orion hurricane hunter aircraft, may sit idle this hurricane season due to a lack of funding. NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (HRD) usually receives several million dollars each year to perform hurricane research using the P-3's. However, funding for HRD has steadily declined over the past decade, forcing HRD to reduce staff and cut back on hurricane research. Now, this key form of hurricane research has been zeroed out by NOAA. It is possible that the National Science Foundation will step in and fund one P-3 research project, though--there is interest in taking real-time P-3 Doppler radar data and putting it into one of NOAA's experimental hurricane research computer models (the HWRF model). It is also possible that if the President's newly-proposed budget gets approved (which contains an extra $2 million in funding for hurricane intensity research), some of that money will go towards keeping the P-3s flying. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) does have money to keep the P-3s flying this year, but not for reasearch projects. Flights done for NHC would be strictly operational--one altitude, one airplane at a time, with the intent of providing center fixes and surface winds estimates. HRD scientists would be allowed to take research data, but would not be able to fly both P-3s at once, or do custom flight patterns to use the P-3s' Doppler radar and other advanced instrumentation to gather state-of-the-art research data. No follow-up work on last years promising field study that examined the effect of African dust on suppressing hurricane activity will be performed. And with the Air Force C-130 hurricane hunters receiving the advanced SFMR surface wind measuring instrument this year, it is questionable how much flying time the P-3s will get from NHC.


NOAA's P-3 hurricane hunter research aircraft. Image credit: NOAA/AOC.

With zero money allocated to fund one of the most important types of hurricane research, one has to wonder--what are NOAA and Congress thinking? While improvements in computer models, better satellite data over oceanic regions, and better forecasting techniques are primarily responsible for the 43% improvement in hurricane track forecasts in the past 15 years, research flights performed by the P-3s are also a big reason. For example, the now routine flights by the NOAA high-altitude jet to sample the large-scale environment around a hurricane improves tracks forecasts by perhaps 20% on its own, when it flies. This advancement grew out of a multi-year research project conducted by the P-3s in the 1980s and 1990s. Continued hurricane research by aircraft is essential if we are to continue improving track forecasts, and do a better job at forecasting intensity--which has only improved 17% in the past 15 years. The National Science Board, in a report issued September 29, 2006, called for an increase of $300 million per year in hurricane research funding. The National Hurricane Research Initiative Act, was introduced in the Senate in September to fully fund the National Science Board's recommendations. I presented a long report on these initiatives in a blog in October.

Given the huge return on our investment the NOAA P-3s have already paid, and the critical need to improve our understanding of hurricanes, it is imperative that we not let NOAA's hurricane research aircraft sit idle. It's like signing Roger Clemens to get you to the World Series, then deciding to use him just to pitch batting practice. I urge you to write your Representatives to approve more funding for hurricane research, and ask your Senators to support S. 4005, the National Hurricane Research Initiative Act of 2006. The act is co-sponsored by all four of Louisiana and Florida's senators. When the bill comes before committee or the full Senate, I will be sure to post a follow-up blog urging you to write your Senators again.

My next blog will be Monday.

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

Thanks Dr masters.

(Climate prediction febuary update)

A transition from weak El Nio conditions to ENSO-neutral conditions is expected by March-May 2007.

Most of the statistical and coupled models, including the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), indicate that SST anomalies will continue to decrease and that ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to develop during March-May 2007 (Fig. 4). There is considerable uncertainty in the forecasts for periods after May 2007.

There forcasting Neutral conditions come spring time.

MORE HERE
"Given the huge return on our investment the NOAA P-3s have already paid, and the critical need to improve our understanding of hurricanes, it is imperative that we not let NOAA's hurricane research aircraft sit idle. It's like signing Roger Clemens to get you to the World Series, then deciding to use him just to pitch batting practice. I urge you to write your Representatives to approve more funding for hurricane research, and ask your Senators to support S. 4005, the National Hurricane Research Initiative Act of 2006. The act is co-sponsored by all four of Louisiana and Florida's senators. When the bill comes before committee or the full Senate, I will be sure to post a follow-up blog urging you to write your Senators again".... This is why we Blog.To get the correct information to the masses.So that YOU can make choices and influence the decisions Your elected officials make.I for one,will do as asked.Because its the right thing to do.Thanks for the Info Dr. Masters
I am sure this is very important to have the money to fly these planes to get all the statistical data, but doesn't the radar itself give us the same data as well? I know this is estimated data, but if there is no money to fund of fuel these plans, are we down to just radar estimated data or is there anything new to try?

I am new to the weather blogging by the way.
This is unbelievable, I think we should all create a WU petition to our Senators in support of S. 4005. This could take hurricane research and accuracy back many many years.
So, NOAA management decided to play the "hurricane card" and defund the P3 research program? How cute. This isn't to say that the NOAA budget doesn't have $$$ to fully fund the program, is it? It's probably safe to say that NOAA management's travel funding could have been zero'd out and freed up more than enough money to fully fund the P3 flying this year. But, priorities are priorities, aren't they?
cough up some money Congress!This research is as important as anything else.
Imagine this were to verify on 06Z GFS...



Waiting on the 12Z which is coming out.

Affects on florida?

Any guesses on Tuesday's snowfall totals for the DC/VA region? We haven't seen anything so far this year, a mear dusting or two.
I'd go with 5-8 inches Prowler.All depend son where the rain//snow line sets up,which seems to be just south of DC.
What is Congress Thinking?

They're thinking..."Jeez's George is sure spending a lot of money on the war. How are we going to fund Health, Education, etc for the citizens? We sure can't cut funding for "The Troops". I guess R&D has to go."
bump
Something else that we need to be concerned about is the declining state of weather satellites. A recent story from the AMS meeting in San Antonio:

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) -- The U.S. satellite system that monitors Earth's environment and climate needs an urgent upgrade or scientists will lose much of their ability to predict events like hurricanes, according to a report released by the National Research Council Monday.

The report said maintaining current observation and predictive abilities will cost about $3 billion a year from 2010 to 2020 if its recommendations are carried out, but action needs to be taken soon.

"This is only about $10 for every American. But it will probably save more money than it costs in the long run," said report co-chair Richard Anthes of the Colorado-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

There are 29 Earth observation "missions" run by NASA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Missions usually involve just one satellite but sometimes use more.

Stacey Boland of the Pasadena, California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory said if little or nothing was done the number of missions would fall to 17 by 2010 and to five by 2020.

"With our proposals there will be 19 missions in 2010 and 17 by 2020," she told Reuters.

Of pressing concern is the mission that measures sea surface roughness, which enables scientists to measure sea surface winds. This is a crucial tool in forecasting weather events like hurricanes or the El Nino phenomenon.

"That mission could become inoperable at any time," Anthes said.

Other missions that must be replaced include the "land sat," which measures changes in vegetation. It is used to track rates of deforestation and to calculate crop estimates.

The report said it is vital to have continuous records and data with no gaps.

"Say your blood pressure has been gradually going up month to month, and then someone took away your monitor as you were approaching a dangerous level -- that gap in your knowledge could be fatal," Anthes said.

The report was unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in San Antonio, Texas.

I am not shocked by the buget cuts. I wonder if this has something to do with Bush wanting his tax cuts he gave when he started to last for the next 20 years. I dont want to get to political...

Anyways it looks like some rain for So Cal. Even at best however if an inch falls it wont even make a dent.
No hurricane hunters and whats up with the buoys?

Station 42056 - Yucatan Basin - no recent observations

Station 42055 - Bay of Campeche - no recent observations


This one has been dead for a while:

Station 42036 - W. TAMPA 106NM West Northwest of Tampa, FL

Then there is the buoy grave yard out in front of Texas. Ill stop complaining but they need to fix 'em or haul 'em off to the dump.

ummmmmm ... I agree that everything we desire cannot be funded; but this makes no sense at all... unless certain individuals still consider our needs secondary to those of Iraq. But then again, global climate isn't really important as we still have 50-100 years before it all hits the proverbial fan (head-in-sand philosophy)
Above-average Atlantic hurricane season


forecast for 2007
Updated 12/8/2006 2:15 PM ET E-mail | Save | Print | Subscribe to stories like this


HURRICANE SCIENCE, HISTORY

Graphic: See inside a hurricane



Graphic: The Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale



Categories indicate storm intensity



Graphic: Record hurricanes





FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should have above-average activity, with three major hurricanes and a good chance at least one of them will make landfall, a top hurricane researcher said Friday.
Colorado State forecaster William Gray predicted 14 named storms and a total of seven hurricanes next year.

He and fellow researcher Philip Klotzbach said there is a 64% chance of one of the major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater coming ashore. The long-term average probability is 52%, they said.

Still, they said fewer hurricanes are likely to make landfall next year than in the devastating 2005 season, which had 28 named storms, including 15 hurricanes, four of which hit the U.S. The worst was Katrina, which leveled parts of the Gulf Coast.

The 2006 season had nine named storms and five hurricanes, two of them major. That was considered a "near normal" season but fell short of predictions by Gray and government scientists. None hit the U.S. Atlantic coast only the 11th time that has occurred since 1945.

Gray and Klotzbach said last month that a surprise late El Nino contributed to the calmer June-to-November hurricane season this year.

El Nino a warming in the Pacific Ocean has far-reaching effects that include changing wind patterns in the eastern Atlantic, which can disrupt the formation of hurricanes there, Gray said.

Gray's team said Friday those conditions are likely to dissipate before the next season but Klotzbach cautioned, "this is an early prediction."

Gray said he believes the Atlantic basin is in an active hurricane cycle, despite the calm 2006 season.

"This active cycle is expected to continue for another decade or two at which time we should enter a quieter Atlantic major hurricane period like we experienced during the quarter-century periods of 1970-1994 and 1901-1925," he said.

Tropical Storm Risk, a London-based consortium of weather, insurance and risk-management experts, on Thursday forecast an active 2007 season, with up to 16 tropical storms including nine hurricanes, four of them intense

Taz,that's from December.
oh i want some in talk about where 90L some in to talk about there no hurricanes to talk about not march going on in the U.S wish we can talk about where the high will set up but wont no in tell may
this is bad improvement can save lifes and disasters like new orleans
Hey kris!Did u get to see TPC'S febuary update on neutral conditions threw march-may?I posted the update a little up in the blog.In my personal opinion la nina will indeed be around come the heart of the 2007 hurricane season.Hopefully steerning patterns wont favor U.S. landfalls.My picks for areas seeing some activity this season are florida and north carolina.
Dutch P-3 Orion low fly-by. Link
Patrap awsome vid.
Thanks..they have lotsa P-3 vids..
I saw it H23.I think that we'll have a weak La Nina.
"While off the coast of North Carolina, a 26-man crew freighter was driven aground as the storm passed by it. The ocean caused waves up to 35 feet high, but all of the crew were saved."



45mph at max and produced 35ft waves?Must be an error.
What short sighted thinking on the part of the Fed. And, to think, I just filed my income taxes yesterday...

I wonder how this decision is going to play during the congressional hearings the next time we take a big hit from a hurricane...
Kris check your mail! thanks
Hi Everyone
I'll be back later
Well !!!!!! I certainly dont help fund these programs, but it would seem to me to be a pretty backward step in view of what it cost the taxpaying American last year , in State funding due to weather disasters. Strange stuff............
Hello.
I don't suppose that anyone is here...
Regaurding Adrian's 10:29 AM CST (11:29 AM EST) comment on February 08, 2007, The 12Z GFS is still predicting a major noreaster. It is still in the long range GFS, which is subject to very large error, but it is still worth noting. I have some graphics below. Click on them to make them larger.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Three things are screaming noreaster at me. First, the precipitation is unusually high. Snowfall is measured as melted water, so 1.2 inches of snow on the graph would equal 1 foot of unmelted snow. Second, it gets very windy in many of these places, with winds at Boston approaching 60 mph. Third, the pressure becomes low enough in some of these cities to be the pressures of a Cat 1 hurricane. In both NYC and Phillie, the pressure drops down to 984 mbs!
The ensembles are backing it up.The ECMWF isn't though.I'll be back later.
so 1.2 inches of snow on the graph would equal 1 foot of unmelted snow.


That's only for temps right at freezing.With temps in the 20s,you would use 15:1 ratios and in the teens 20:1.TTYL
That's only for temps right at freezing.With temps in the 20s,you would use 15:1 ratios and in the teens 20:1.

Right; a while ago when it snowed here, the NWS was using 25:1 ratios because it was very cold; the snow that fell was a rare (for here) dry powdery snow, unlike the wet snow that usually falls (very wet snow can have ratios of only 5:1 or lower).
I'm not buying this solution, the GFS has been ridiculously aggressive all winter. Two weeks ago they were forecasting negative teens for parts of the central Plains this week. I don't trust any model 10 days out and especially with the track record that the GFS has had this season. The most consistent model so far this winter has been the ECMWF and it doesn't buy it.
Do the cuts in hurricane research that Dr. Masters mentions mean there will be no advanced surveillance by aircraft of hurricanes nearing the US coast? Or are the hurricane hunter
missions different thatn the research missions?
I stand corrected. Still, that is an awful lot of snow!
LS - hurricane hunters are different planes, they will still be able to fly RECON missions into potentially threatening storms, but because of the widespread funding decrease, they will not be able to do as many center fixes and change altitude like they have been the last 10-15 years. The research missions use NOAA's own planes but they will be grounded this year, so the hope is that some of the radar technology will be able to be installed on the hurricane hunter aircraft.
Yeah,we'll still have recon,and if I read it correctly the IV steering currents planes,but no research.
I stand corrected. Still, that is an awful lot of snow!


It's even more than you had been saying originally,not less.
the GFS has been ridiculously aggressive all winter

LOL! If the long-range GFS had been right all the time this winter, I would have seen the second or third lowest temperature ever recorded here (depending on whether the unofficial record of -23 is counted or not), along with at least several feet of snow.
lol.bbl
Hey everybody, Models coming into better agreement on the BIG STORM after the VALENTINES STORM!LOOK AT WHAT ACCUWEATHER HAS TO SAY:LITTLE DADDY FOLLOWED BY BIG DADDY...OR IS IT BIG DADDY FOLLOWED BY BIG DADDY? IN ANY CASE, STORMS, STORMS, STORMS...

I am on the snow bandwagon and it's being driven by 12 cylinders of pure power! I looked at the Euro model and yes, it has the second Mega-storm on it. That to me is good news, considering that if the Euro does not show the storm, then I have doubts whether a storm will occur at all. Now I am coming to grips that I may not be sleeping very much for the next 10 days due to back-to-back storms. In the video, I look at all the possibilities outlined in the previous blogs.
Hello. Does anyone have a link to the SAL showing the dust in a vertical format ? i.e. What altitude is the Sahara dust at, at a given point ? Thanks.......
49. N3EG
If you like the Fujiwhara thing, check this out: FOUR low pressure areas moving around each other. Only in the Pacific Northwest.
50. N3EG
If you look closely, there's almost a fifth one.
Nice one, N3EG.................
Given the increasingly violent and unusual weather, cutting funding for hurricane research seems pretty foolhardy. I have written my senators and will write my congressman as well. They don't know what is important to us unless we tell them!
I checked that out earlier N3EG its 5 but its hard to see the fifth one. looks like these are the one that will change the weather pattern next week!
P-3 Orion on Low Beach Pass..Link
My cat coughs up sweeter smelling goo than this abomination of a budget. Always enough money for Link this though.
It is a shame how much money the government throws away each year (or day for the matter) on worthless projects that most people never hear of... a few million a year ain't that much...
Well, Jeff, what can I say? Providing limo service for members of Congress is more important than hurricane research. They haven't quite gotten it yet.
Who gives a flying #%@} about hurricane research or anything else that might actually do us some good. IT IS IMPERATIVE that we put people on the moon or mars ASAP!
Actually.The space race gave us the Best launch capability to put great Instruments to warn of Hurricanes and other Weather daily.Satelittes,Cant throw them up there.Its about funding NOAA.Not NASA.They cut again too in the Budget.
Takeaway The eyes on-Orbit.......many here would jump off a bridge.No Satellitte data?..Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!......Splash
Sorry NASA fans & supporters. Didn't mean to imply that they weren't important. Just not that particular mission IMHO. We here in Florida Love NASA.
Its all good express ,.your point well taken.Monies need to flow to the right places certainly.Noaa needs that funding.We can make a difference like the Doc says.We will.
The space race gave us the Best launch capability...
Kind of like saying that without top fuel drag racing, we would not have developed the technology to drive to work in the morning. One task is important, the other is just someone's area of interest for research.
Posts crossed. How's your weather Pat? It looks like ours will stay good for a while. I'm at work.
Changing here.Was Warm day..Hit 80.Now fronts dipping in and rains coming this weekend.But last 2 days were Gorgeous.
Same here, not expecting much of a change. Good for fishing though. Did you catch any?
N. HEMI temp anomily for JAN :O

Year Jan
2001 72
2002 126
2003 108
2004 73
2005 108
2006 75
2007 171

Yikes...

Looks like warmest Jan for the world too. EH2R updated, it's in my blog with the Monthly El Nio update that came out today.
Wait a minute - isn't this bill already dead? It's from the 109th Congress after all, and we're in the 110th. I don't see it listed at all as a 110th Congress bill: Only two bills have "National Hurricane Center" in it as a phrase.
AySz88, this is how I closed the letters to my two Senators.

Please support (or resurrect if necessary) S. 4005, the National Hurricane Research Initiative Act of 2006.
I wrote mine too. Research for intensity needs continued & the data they collect doing research goes in the models. Those runs are obviously more accurate & hold so much more wieght then the ones without.

Not all were terribly optimistic about actually recieving the funds recommended, cudos on the insite.
I just don't see the logic behind the funding cuts.Did Wilma and it's unexpected intensification teach people nothing?We need to be collecting more data.Not less.
I was wondering about that spot in the Gulf - the GFS seemed to show it moving into the Bahamas by now. Its probably a low surface feature - just under the shear feeding on a anomalously warm spot in that area.
That area us usually elevated anyway too I think.
Posted By: mrpuertorico at 4:58 AM CST on February 08, 2007.

anyone watching the warm waters spreading out from africas coast. It seems that those warm waters have finnaly reached the warm waters off of the coast of south america. And notice the ring around central america pacific side.

posted my micheal stl:
Not sure I follow you... there is no way water from Africa can cross South America into the Pacific. In any case, those warm waters off South America are going to cool big time - by like 6 degrees Celcius when this reaches the surface...

lol stl not what i ment i was pointing out the warm waters that spread from africa and south america (you can see it on this websites tropical page)i noticed that on wednesday those waters met up with each other (south american and african) now on the pacific side, a ring of warm water has also developed around central america.
North Florida has blue skies and backscatter on the radar.

What do the P3's funding have to do with the African Dust study?

I'm in Florida so my senators are covered.

If the P-3's have been flying since the 80's and before, isn't it time to upgrade the platform? How long have these birds been flying the big storms? They look OLD, like Aeroflot rejects might be an improvement.
What other hurricane research is congress funding this year and how much was set aside for P3 research last year? It sounds like they aren't specifically written into anything but are the best available platform for some forms of research. Are there other projects they could jump on? What are their limitations for other forms of aerial research?
The P-3 Orion Aircraft for NOAA and their Mission..Link
Not unlike many Military Aircraft.The P-3 has the capability to upgrade yearly.Many platforms are used for decades as the B-52 .has proved.The P-3 is an invaluable tool and asset that needs to be on station for the NHC to perform at 100%.To not fund and have them idle would be a terrible cut to the Overall Hurricane forcasting community.
I guess we will have to wait and see what effects this has on the big picture. If we have another monster like Katrina then they will talk about funding again. I suspect the lul of a season made hurricanes a lesser priority. Looking at things from a political perspective I can easily see why the money would be used elsewhere.
Wilma's intensification was truly a sight to see what a dramatic pressure drop.Once wilma began here NE turn towards south florida she crossed over the loop current which caused intensification to 100+ mph.If wilma would have made landfall a tad futher south the florida keys would have had serious problems with folks not wanting to leave the area.In my opinion if your local officals are evacuating your area its important the you leave cause not doing so may put you and your familys life at risk.The florida keys situation would probably have been very bad with many lives lost and miami and broward couties could have easily seen cat2-3 winds.People need to understand any hurricane is dangerous and if not taken seriously and proper plans are not a place it may end up costing you your life.Adrian
Florida Tornado update~ The victims of the Christmas Day Tornados are now available for Gov't aid. More in my blog (click on my name). Also I put up links to local benefits, concerts, buy a bracelet, donations, drop offs & any rich NASCAR fans your dream package awaits you.

NOAA SMART BALLOONS
Intrepid Explorers Gathering More Data than Ever Before

It's not the P-3 but~ In the future, these balloons may possibly be used to record never before captured hurricane data. The balloons would be launched from a strategic location allowing them to capture the hurricanes in-flow and collect, along with the myriad of other data, thermodynamic information from the storm that can be merged with data from reconnaissance aircraft providing a more complete and accurate picture of storm intensity and change. Also they can do trans atlanic research work including air quality studies, wasn't one of the P-3's pretty much on air quality studies?

In other NOAA News...NOAA Mets are gonna lend their services to Australia...it's still on fire.
When it all started for what would end up being the strongest hurricane the ataltic basin has ever seen.Wilma


It wouldn't make landfall in Florida for 9 more days.
Wilma at peak intensity (click for larger image):

From early on wilma looked like a clear threat to southeast florida...

12Z models on october 18,2005



was hurricane Wilma overe any loop eddy a the time it went from a TS to a cat 5 with 882mb i think the mb was 880
The Loop Current is only in the Gulf; it is just an extension of the deep warm water in the Caribbean; what Wilma was over was even better hurricane fuel and not just a (relatively) narrow ribbon or small pool of warm water. It did cross the Loop Current on the way to Florida when it was in the Gulf.
Wilma at peak intensity...



Intensifying over loop current before making landfall in south florida.

i see now STL
you dont want to see 3 loop eddys in a row in the gulf

www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_nlom32/navo/IASSP1.gif
Don't you know that it's more important to keep Haliburton well funded than it is to do hurricane research?

Who needs scientists when we have 'experts'?

;-)

I hope that, even if the P3's aren't flying, the researchers can remain employed in some manner. It would be a shame to lose them and their experience.

/David C.
Here is a pic of Wilma encountering the loop current and eddy vortex.Which caused here to intensify to 100+ mph before reaching south florida.

This particular model is forecasting a very strong La Nina to develop this summer. Here is the average of all 6 models, which is more conservative.
Dr. Masters comments about research flights being grounded in NOAAs proposed FY 2008 budget request are incorrect. NOAA aircraft and personnel will be ready for deployment throughout the hurricane season. Here is the accurate information:

The proposed 2008 budget includes a request for $2 million in increased funding for hurricane research plus an increase of $5.5 million for NOAA aviation operations. The additional requested funds for aviation operations will enable NOAA to operate and maintain its third P-3, which was acquired last year and is now undergoing retrofitting. This aircraft will allow NOAAs other two P-3s to be available solely for hurricane missions. Those P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft and the G-IV high-altitude jet are fully funded and will be mission-ready with instruments and personnel for hurricane surveillance, reconnaissance, and research during the hurricane season.

The NOAA budget request for 2008 was released Monday and is available online at http://www.noaa.gov
NOAApublicaffairs~ I assumed he was talking about 2007. For the first time since NOAA began flying research aircraft into hurricane in the 1950's, there is no money to fund airborne hurricane research for an upcoming hurricane season.

How does the 2007 budget look for P-3 research funding?
Given the fact that the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes were destructive beyond belief, and that Katrina was basically taking something the size of Texas, spinning it, and slamming it into the Northern Gulf, you would think that the Congresscritters would be all over funding hurricane research and forecast. After all, the people that suffered are the ones that elected them into office.

But it's the same all over again as when they tried to shut down the Hurricane Hunters claiming that satellite imagery was more than sufficient to fill the gap. Also, why do we need those pesky moored buoys out in the ocean when we have our beautiful shiny satellites to watch over us.

Well, guess what. The Hurricane Hunters are still with us and NDBC still puts buoys in the ocean even if their budget is a fraction of what it was when I worked there in the '80s.

Speaking of NDBC, they are still using payloads that I worked with back in 1984! They don't have much for R&D anymore so they make do the best they can.

All I can say this is a travesty with NOAA's budget being so impossibly meager and we are facing climate change. It's not an argument about global warming versus natural cycles - that's not the point here. The point is we need as much data as possible to properly understand, forecast, and protect lives and property.

If a single life can be saved isn't it worth it? How can a congressman sleep at night after he slashed the budget on research that directly affects the safety of the people who live along the coastlines.

Yes, I write with venom here. My daughter and son-in-law lost absolutely everything they owned in Katrina. I lived in Mobile, Alabama and saw areas scraped clean by tidal surge - over 125 miles from landfall!

Just because 2006 happened to be quiet doesn't mean that the danger is over. We're heading straight towards another hurricane season. We need every eye, every instrument, every scientist looking at the genesis of these storms, their paths, and their anatomy from cradle to grave.

Cut the pork-barrel programs. Cut waste. But don't hobble some of the most important research that we can do.
With the recent hightened, and scary hurricane seasons we ave had in the past 5 years, why the hell would they cut the funding now?
Could someone give me an update of the possible storm headed for the East? The Washington DC area? How many inches we possible looking at this point in time?

Thanks
Depression Extra-Tropical 07R
27.4S 60.5E - 50 knots 992 Hpa

Current Status
===================
Depression Extra-Tropicale 07R (Dora) has 10 min sustained winds of 50 knots with wind gusts of 70 knots and is reported moving southwest at 12 knots.

Storm is located approx. 830 km southeast of the coast of Reunion.
Trouper415 the 13th and 14th for you guys is looking busy on the GFS with the low passing south of you - but - the model has been changing significantly every day Ive noticed, with each run, so I wouldnt get too caught up in intensity predictions Yet.!?
Hurricane23, do you have a loop of Wilma like the one you had of Katrina in the previous blog?
108. N3EG
Wait 24 hours or rotate picture 90 degrees...same 4 low pressure areas. Only in the Pacific Northwest.
CaneAddict17 check your mail!Thanks adrian
110. ryang
Hello
Posted By: CaneAddict17 at 6:43 PM EST on February 09, 2007.

Hurricane23, do you have a loop of Wilma like the one you had of Katrina in the previous blog?

Depends what kind of loop your looking for?Check your mail.

Thanks for the mail. I realized that the loop I was looking for was in a comment by Patrap. (link) I live in north Broward and was just a baby when Andrew hit.
Why did NOAA not respond to Skyepony ?????????????????
114. ryang
Pottery come to my blog.
55kts for Enok with some intensification in the forcast.

Hi 23, is ENOK TC 13s ??
Yea 13S...
Another view of 13s



Track forcast

Its hard to believe that there will no P-3's flying this hurricane season due to lack of funding.Hopefully things will turn around for the better.
Henchmenlabs: Hi I'm from Satsuma right outside of Mobile,Al We have a boat repair shop @ Chickasaw Marine and after Katrina all you could see was the peak of the roof. But I agree with what your saying.
121. ryang
Hey all.
Reunion has 08R Enok becoming extratropical in three days.
Ryang, I went to your blog, but noboddy was'nt there . Except for you that is. But then all of you northern folks are under heavy manners with the winter chills. Brrrrrrr. Keep warm brother.........
The Storm system due around the 14 th has changed significantly again on the GFS - its further south AND note the stuff crossing south Florida originating in the gulf hot spot
l

Think it has a chance?
Hey, JFLORIDA, if you want some forecasts for the entire Carribean, here is a link.
128. ryang
Hello
Good Afternoon Everyone
130. ryang
Hi TS2.
Posted By: JFLORIDA at 9:57 AM EST on February 10, 2007.

The Storm system due around the 14 th has changed significantly again on the GFS - its further south AND note the stuff crossing south Florida originating in the gulf hot spot

Not sure what you seeing in the GFS for south florida as the 12z GFS shows some rain chances for us but thats about it.Or winter is practically over for us down here probably a couple of cool fronts left and were done.
132. ryang
Hey 23.
Hey ryang!
134. ryang
You realize the blog is dead these days.
I know but i ususally follow tropical systems world wide and also have a couple of things iam working on for this upcoming hurricane season.Also making plans on attending the florida national hurricane conference in Fort lauderdale in the broward County Convention Center to be exact.
Well, this blog may be dead now, but just wait and see how many people are here June 1st lol. I admit though this site is a lot quieter this winter than I'm used to.
137. ryang
Hey Levi.
Has it occurred to anyone that if we took the money in pensions we are paying ex-political leaders that have been convicted or resigned under accusation of corruption in office we would have more than enough to fund this research? Whats wrong with this picture?
139. ryang
Hey Beach.
140. adb42
Have written a blogpost on this issue, encouraging readers to contact their senator - across the whole of the USA.
Link
141. ryang
Hey 42.
23~ when is the confrence?
Hey guys wuts up..hopefully u guys remember me...... i havent posted in a while, theres alot of ppl in the chat i've never seen ... if u dont kno me im 15 and im in south Florida
144. ryang
Hey Hurricane.
This blog is dead not because there isn't anybody on; rather, nobody wants to post here anymore, instead doing so in their own blogs or other blogs.
NATIONAL HURRICANE CONFERENCE 2007 April 2-6 Link
Rain expected today 1-2 inches...

Rain in bucket 0.00

Man I sound like a brocken record all this season.

Rain fall for my season (since JULY 1st)0.78
149. ryang
Nice Links.Link
I have the slightest fealing traffic for this site goes up a lot durning the hurricane season.
winter is practically over for us down here

Posted By: hurricane23

I dont see it makes much difference - winter isnt what it used to be anyway. The gulf will remain the major influence on weather in the SE. Probably the first tropical and near tropical storms this season will come from there.

The worst storm Ive ever been in here came in March out of nowhere:


The Storm of the Century, also known as the 93 Superstorm or the (Great) Blizzard of 1993, was a large cyclonic storm that occurred on March 12March 15, 1993


Record low sea-level pressures included:
28.38 inches in White Plains, NY
28.43 inches in Philadelphia, PA
28.43 inches at JFK Arpt, NY
28.45 inches in Dover, DE
28.51 inches in Boston, MA
28.53 inches in Augusta, ME
28.54 inches in Norfolk, VA
28.54 inches in Washington, DC
28.61 inches in Raleigh-Durham, NC
28.63 inches in Columbia, SC
28.73 inches in Augusta, GA
28.74 inches in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC
28.89 inches in Asheville, NC




Thanks for the link CaneAddict17 ! I saved it.

Dont be too down cause its slow guys, StormTop will be back before you know it - I kinda like the pleasant conversation now.

There are always other blogs that you can go to. Futhermore, Dr. Masters told me that he is going to make some changes to this blog (this was after I emailed him about cyclonebuster a while ago). Right now, the East Coast Weather blog is a lot more active (possible storm; my blog is also about the same storm except in a different area), and Randrewl's blog gets often gets more comments in a hour than this blog sometimes gets in a day now.
Posted By: Skyepony at 6:41 PM EST on February 10, 2007.

23~ when is the confrence?

Hey skyepony sorry i didn't get back to you earlier but the conference is on may 14th-18th with registration on May 13 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

For complete info on conference click here
154. ryang
23 are you tracking the winter storm.
Thanks MSTL I didn't know that directory existed!!!
156. ryang
Hey JFloria.
You can get there by clicking on Blogs at the top where the Features are.
158. ryang
Hey STL.
Hey ryang not really but i try to stay informed on winter weather.Tropical systems are my thing.Enjoying the summer like temps down here.
160. ryang
storm

Not looking good no more!
161. ryang
Could this threnten land!

invest
162. ryang
The Atlantic look like a desert.

lol
163. ryang
No Moisture at all!
Could this threnten land!

If it develops - yes; land would mean the Philippines.



It would be unusual if 96W developed; February is the least active month for the West Pacific.
The Atlantic has been like that for weeks; here is another view of the Great Atlantic Desert (LOL):

166. ryang
LOL STL.
I was just looking at that but Hopefully that doesn't accur the philippines have had enough.Indeed february are slow times in the west pacific.
You can get there by clicking on Blogs at the top where the Features are.
Posted By: MichaelSTL

Thats really cool - youd think id have figured out by now that actually reading directions is sometimes helpful.

Hi rang.
169. ryang
Could the I.T.C.Z spread moist air,so that dry air won't be a major factor this year.

lol
170. ryang
This is in a week,notice below 5 north,lots of moisture.

wet down south
Here's another view of the bone dry air in place across most of the atlantic basin.Thankfully we still got a few months before even thinking about our first invest.


172. ryang
The Caribbean SEA looks bone dry.LOL
howdy y'all!
... Winter Storm Watch in effect from Monday morning through
Tuesday morning...

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a Winter
Storm Watch... which is in effect from early Monday morning through
Tuesday morning.

Heavy snow amounts are possible in the Terre Haute and Rockville
areas with total accumulations of 4 to 6 inches possible.

In the Vincennes area... a mixture of freezing rain and sleet will
occur on Monday morning then change to all snow by late Monday
night. Total ice accumulations will be less than a quarter of an
inch while total snow accumulation will be 3 to 4 inches.

A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant
snow... sleet... or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Any
change in the track of this system will cause snowfall amounts to
change. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts for any changes
to snowfall amounts.
This indicates that the Atlantic has ben much drier than usual; higher/lower values for brightness temperature indicate drier/moister air:



The Caribbean is so dry that it has gone off the charts:

This is pretty interesting:

176. ryang
Sea Temps

heat
Dutch P-3 Orion Low Level Pass..Link
**** THESE ARE TOTAL SNOWFALLS FOR THE LAKE EFFECT EVENT THAT BEGAN
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3 AND CONTINUED INTO THIS MORNING ***


LOCATION STORM TOTAL TIME/DATE COMMENTS
SNOWFALL OF
(INCHES) MEASUREMENT


NEW YORK

...JEFFERSON COUNTY...
WATERTOWN 34.0 800 AM 2/11 4" OVERNIGHT

...LEWIS COUNTY...
NORTH OSCEOLA 99.0 800 AM 2/11 4" OVERNIGHT

...OSWEGO COUNTY...
PARISH 115.0 800 AM 2/11 5" OVERNIGHT
MEXICO 103.0 800 AM 2/11 AVG OF 2 SITES
SCRIBA 94.0 800 AM 2/11 10" LAST 24 HRS
OSWEGO CITY 84.9 800 AM 2/11 10" LAST 24 HRS
OSWEGO EAST 74.0 800 AM 2/11 5" OVERNIGHT
WEST MONROE 65.0 800 AM 2/11 11" PAST 24 HRS
Thanks ya'll for the confrence update, 23 no worries, I hadn't even been here til now.

Enok ~death by shear

JFlorida~ if you ever make it back..lol. You can also click on our handles (in blue, at the top of our comments) to go to our own WU blogs. Click on your own & at least enter your location.
And Michael, I won't post any more images, but look at the East Pacific. It is also much drier than normal. Very interesting to have the entire tropics dry up lol.
Michael, that shear graph is pretty indicative of something to me. When will that cold pool of water in the C Pac make it to the surface? Judging by that graph, pretty soon.
Oh & the Atlantic shear values were interesting..

on to weather news...

Finally we get some rain in fire ravaged Aulstralia, of course it's in absolute downpour form, collapsed a mall roof.

Still looks bad in IndonesiaThe floods in Jakarta have killed 57 people and more than 250,000 people are still displaced from their homes, many of them sheltering under flyovers and plastic tents near graveyards and cemeteries

New York state braces for another meter of snow

LONDON (Reuters) - Airline tycoon Richard Branson (Virgins)announced on Friday a $25 million prize for the first person to come up with a way of scrubbing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere in the battle to beat global warming.


I wonder if the sharp drop in shear can be in any way attributed to El Nino weakening; it has been dropping pretty quickly and will likely rise in a few days, perhaps it is because of the current weather pattern (shear in the Gulf and subtropical Atlantic is above normal). It probably is - it appears to have dropped in the tropical Atlantic as the U.S. went into the current cold pattern.
Well if that shear drop starts happening farther west in the Caribbean or something, then I'll start getting worried. That is very interesting. Michael is there any kind of archive of wind shear data for the Atlantic somewhere? That's one of the links even I can't find lol.
I'll find it for you Levi...know I have it somewhere.
Here you go Levi.LinkCLick on the year,you want,then the wind shear map for the part of the Atlantic you want to see data for.
Here are archived wind shear graphs like the ones I posted above for 2004, 2005 and 2006 (it hasn't been updated since last August though and the link to 2003 doesn't work). CIMSS has maps of the monthly average shear in 2005 from May to December.
Thank you Kris that's perfect! Thanks so much :)
Thank you too Michael for digging that up, but Kris was faster lol.
The Caribbean seams to have been quite dry in January/February of 2005 as well.
A few days ago I was looking at the Atl WV loop that MichaelSTL put up a while back, and the Carribean was so dry that is was black. Not the transition from dry to moist, but the black and the far left after the brown. I think that may be why the Carribean WV charts were off the map.
192. ryang
dry

Super dry air!
2004 also had a lot of dry air in January and February; it was also mostly on the dry side during hurricane season (including the tropical Atlantic)... makes me wonder how many more storms could have formed if moisture had been at normal levels...
194. 04gtp
Dear Dr. Masters,

I have emailed both of my Florida senators, requesting they push to reinstate funding for the NOAA HRD.

Not having this valuable asset is like painting a cross-hair on the state!

Thank you for bringing this important issue into the light.

195. 04gtp
Dear Dr. Masters,

I have emailed both of my Florida senators, requesting they push to reinstate funding for the NOAA HRD.

Not having this valuable asset is like painting a cross-hair on the state!

Thank you for bringing this important issue into the light.

196. ryang
STL good point.
From the SPC!


...SYNOPSIS...
E PAC TROUGH HAS MOVED INLAND AND APPEARS TO HAVE SPLIT INTO TWO. MAIN VORT OF THUNDER CONCERN IS NOW OVER CNTRL CA AND SHOULD
CONTINUE E INTO THE SRN GRT BASIN LATER TODAY. SYSTEM WILL INDUCE
STRENGTHENING OF LEE CYCLONE ALREADY DEVELOPING OVER THE CNTR/SRN HI
PLNS...AND ASSOCIATED SLY LLJ OVER E TX/OK.
ryang its been very dry here in pr for about three and half weeks. The lack of rain is starting to show as grass turns brown.
199. ryang
Hey MP.
hi ryang, We had a few days of high level cloud cover which gave us a drizzle here and there but it has be very dry here and its been even longer scince we had a nasty storm with lighting and the such.
201. ryang
You got my mail?
I see where Western Texas has a High Wind Advisory - as this system clears the higher elevations we should see the NW Texas area light up -- if it moves, the maps are showing a stationary front over Texas -- But I think that will change.


West winds are expected to increase to 35 to 45 mph... with gusts
near 70 mph... in the Guadalupe Mountains and above 6000 feet in
the Davis Mountains.


This is going to be a good watch.

Station 42002 - W GULF 240 nm South-Southeast of Sabine, TX


On this side of the Gulf pressures have begun to drop rapidly. I think we may also see a change in the short term forecast for the SE.

Station KTNF1 - Keaton Beach, FL

I just confirmed that the bill is dead due to there being a new Congress - so even if you're from Florida or Louisiana, ask your representatives to resurrect (not just 'support') the bill!
A center of weak circulation seems to be at about 89 W 18 or 19 N over the Center Yucatan moving NE. (zoom in and rock the loop) - the gulf is really becoming active all of a sudden.
JFLORIDA, what you are seeing there is simply cirrus from the subtropical jetstream, nothing more.
Levi32 - Somebody is conscious here!

Hehehe - I am overreacting perhaps - a lot of it is cirrus clouds. Cancun, Cuban and S Florida radar is showing some activity however.


There is a little something on the surface - turn the surface winds on the loop on.
Lol yeah this blog is pretty quiet. Yes I see the t-storm activity on the radar but there isn't an LLC anywhere in the entire Atlantic and won't be for at least 2 months lol. If you want proof, just look at the wind shear and SSTs for the gulf this time of year. No storm in your wildest dreams could develop in there lol. I can't wait till our first real one though!
Cute extract from the Philadelphia wx office discussion this afternoon

WITH STILL A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY, WE WILL NOT ISSUE ANY WATCHES AT
THIS TIME BUT WILL BE RE-SENDING AN SPS. AS YOU KNOW, REAL ESTATE IS
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, WHEREAS STORMS ARE TRACK, TRACK, TRACK!

And also

THE QUESTION IS, SHOULD I
MAKE SUCH A DRAMATIC CHANGE FROM 10 INCHES IN PHL TO 1 INCH OF SNOW
NOW FORECAST BY THE GUIDANCE, OR REACH FOR ANOTHER PIECE OF
CHOCOLATE?
There will be absolutely no development in the basin for atleast the 2-3 months as conditions are extremely unfavorable for any type of tropical developement.I say early to mid may will be a time to start looking for our invest.Adrian
210. ryang
23 check my blog!
The Melbourne local was calling the clouds in the gulf a surface trough, then a weak low, now they expect it to make wave statues before crossing FL on the southern branch of the Jetstream. Timing has it just infront of the tail from the low forecasted to cross the SE on the West to East branch of the jetstream, nearly converging over Fl. Depending on other factors as well it's what's giving us a chance at possible severe storms Monday night & Tues. The 12Z Canadian GEM (which has had a bettter grasp on these SE winter storms imo) keeps deeping both as well with the wave now 1011mb over FL & the SE low at 979mb apon exit of NC.. To compare to the 00Z GEM run check the comments in my blog. Or check out the Gem model here.
thanks for the link Skye
Convection as a absolute, singular required source of storm growth, then yea, nothing till after May probably. There are still Lows, fronts, jets and hot spots that can combine to make some interesting storms.
214. ryang
Hey
Looks like some decent rain chances for florida in the next 2-3 days on the 18Z.
That "blob" of precip you're seeing is nothing tropical at all. It's part of the stormsystem, maybe some convective lift on the frontal boundary, but it is definately not tropical in nature. Sorry but we have to wait until May/June lol.
218. ryang
Hey Guys.
Indeed nothing tropical in nature but overall increasing rainfall chances for south florida.I say anywere between mid may to sometime in june we might see our first invest but nothing significant.Once we get into august i think we will have a much better idea on how steering currents will be setting up.My 2 picks for seeing some activity this season are florida and north carolina with florida being at the greatest risk.
220. ryang
The first invest should be late May.
Hello, this is really off the subject but I really need some help, or is anyone having this trouble with IE7? Like right know I'm in Dr M blog and reading and someone puts up a link in there When I go to it and look at it and finish and go to X out of it, it says blank page and then one of them boxes come up to send error report then I do and it shuts everything down and I have to log back on. I don't know what to do about it. It's been happening since last night and it's a pain. If someone can just help or tell me where to go. Thank You in advance. Sheri
catastropheadjuster - www.getfirefox.com - its free and IE just seems to have too many issues.

You may want to go to windows update and make sure everything has the versions it needs to work. If its a java/active X issue with, like weather loops or something, the update should help but firefox would be best. I hope it helped.
JFLORIDA: Thank you so much I'm gonna go try that but let me ask you something. I seen Firefox2, but is it good? How about bugs and stuff? Is that what u have and have you had any trouble with it? Sorry for so many questions. I'm not what u call computer smart.
Just a note to confirm that others on this blog are quite right, when they say the Caribbean is dry. The breezes blowing across Trinidad for the past 10 days or so are like a blowdryer. You can see the vegetation wilt as you look. We are looking at a bad fire season if this keeps up.
catastropheadjuster - I have Firefox 2 and it's the best. No bugs that I've found yet. Also a nice litte feature about it is it automatically spell-checks what you type on a webpage. Great for this site when you're writing blogs or comments. I highly recommend you get it.
catastropheadjuster - Levi32 is right and it is easy to install and I think it is less trouble and more secure.

I have some trouble with freeze up when i have more than 9 or so windows open. NOTHING like the problems I had on my comp with IE.

Firefox is self contained and seems to have a lot less problems.

I use IE for windows updates now and thats it. After you use it a bit you'll wonder why you didn't switch a long time ago.
I'm looking at the overall picture for the storm season this year, and my thoughts are:

La nina is proving to be coming on stream
So the Pacific is cooling nicely
Africa shows no signs of being anything but dry
The Atlantic is super dry (air ) right now
The ITCZ may not move north of the equator
Any tropical wave that comes off Africa will get eaten by all of the above
We are in for a pretty benign storm season in the equatorial Atlantic this year.
Wow. This blog is so quiet, I cant even start an argument ! heheheh
Levi~ who has been calling this tropical? I don't see where anyone's thought this was even gonna be an invest...lol. Surface lows are surface lows, the ones in winter just don't tend to have the convection & high winds in the center, though not tropical, there still called waves & lows.

SFC OBS/SAT PIX
MAY INDICATE SURFACE WAVE STARTING TO TAKE SHAPE OVER SOUTHERN GULF
ALONG OLD FRONTAL BAND.
Skye, JFLORIDA was hinting at it a lot lol. I don't mean to assume, but that's what I was picking up from him.
Hi again to everyone for 2007! I'm back early for the duration of the hurricane season as it progresses into the year. Are they still saying the weather pattern favors a mild hurricane season for the East Coast and Gulf or has something changed! Appreciate any comments or opinions!