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NHC director Proenza calls for new satellite

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 12:52 PM GMT on March 19, 2007

At a news conference last week, incoming National Hurricane Center director Bill Proenza issued a plea for new funding to replace the aging QuikSCAT satellite. Ocean surface winds measured by the QuikSCAT satellite are one of the most important sources of data used by hurricane forecasters, and losing the satellite would be a major blow. The QuikSCAT satellite's "SeaWinds" instrument emits a pulse of microwave energy that bounces off the ocean surface and returns to the satellite. The amount of microwave energy bounced back to the instrument is inversely proportional to how rough the sea surface is, and one can compute the wind speed and direction at the ocean surface based on this information. These measurements, performed twice per day over most of the Earth's surface, are the only reliable source of wind information for much of the remote ocean areas. As a result, this data is critical for the computer models that forecast hurricanes, since hurricanes typically move over data-poor ocean areas. Proenza estimated that without winds from the QuikSCAT satellite, two day hurricane track forecasts would be 10% worse, and three day forecasts 16% worse. I imagine that these increased errors would primarily affect weaker systems far from land, where we don't have data from the Hurricane Hunters. Still, the average cost of putting a single mile of the U.S. coast under a hurricane warning is about $1 million. These are the costs due to evacuation, preparation, and lost business before the hurricane's winds start to blow. Given that the average error in a two-day forecast was about 100 miles last year, even a 5% increase in hurricane track errors could add up to more than $100 million in false alarm costs in just a few years. Consider the case of 1999's Hurricane Floyd--2000 miles of coast were warned, resulting in over $1 billion in false alarm costs.

Figure 1. The NASA QuikSCAT satellite. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

The QuikSCAT satellite was launched in 1999, and was originally scheduled for a two-year mission. The satellite is now entering its 8th year of operation, and is down to its backup sensors. QuikSCAT could fail at any time. A replacement would cost about $400 million dollars and take at least four years to construct and launch, according to Proenza. No replacement is currently planned. Funding a replacement QuikSCAT satellite is one of the most urgent hurricane-related funding issues Congress needs to address, and I'm pleased the new NHC director is drawing attention to this need early in his tenure.

I'll have a new blog on Wednesday.
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

From Today's Editions Of The News-press
Hurricane eye may fail
Chief forecaster says satellite past life span

By Associated Press and Jacob Ogles, jogles@news-press.com
Originally posted on March 17, 2007

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That would mean longer stretches of coastline would have to be placed under warnings, and more people than necessary would have to evacuate.

Average track errors last year were about 100 miles on two-day forecasts and 150 miles on three-day predictions. Track errors have been cut in half the past 15 years. Losing QuikScat could erode some of those gains, Proenza said, noting he did not know of plans to replace it.

Farrell said the reason satellite technology is important is because images collected in space have a view of much of the Western Hemisphere.

"With one shot we have a pretty good view of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and most of the Atlantic Ocean," Farrell said.

That allows meteorologists to see the movement patterns for storms and better predict trajectory, he said.

Other concerns

Proenza, 62, also discussed a series of other concerns, naming New Orleans, the Northeast and the Florida Keys as among areas most vulnerable to hurricanes. Apart from working with the media and emergency managers to help vulnerable residents prepare, he proposed having students come up with plans at school to discuss with parents.

Gerald Campbell, chief of planning for the Lee County Emergency Operations Center, said local government relies on the National Weather Service during preparations.

"But satellite is just one of the tools in the toolbox," he said. "It is a very important tool, but it is not the only tool in the box."

He said he believes hundreds of millions of dollars is needed to better understand storms.

At the same time, he opposed a proposal to close any of the National Weather Service's 122 offices across the nation or have them operate part time, saying "weather certainly doesn't take a holiday."

Proenza took over one of meteorology's most highly visible posts in January. His predecessor, Max Mayfield, had held the top spot for six years.

Like Mayfield, Proenza stressed importance of preparedness, but he also set out slightly different positions. Global warming was one of them.

Last year, the Caribbean and western Atlantic had the second-highest sea temperatures since 1930, but the season turned out to be quieter than expected, Proenza said.

"So there's got to be other factors working and impacting hurricanes and tropical storms than just sea surface temperatures or global warming," he said.

His comments distinguished him from Mayfield, who had said climate change didn't substantially enhance hurricane activity, especially number of storms.
Proenza seems to be doing an ok job so far.As Dr. Masters said,at least he's mentioning important issues.
I wrote to my Congressman asking for him to look at a replacement for the aging QuikSCAT.

A small pebble in a big pond, but if enough people make a noise...
Then they'll get annoyed and won't run for re-election.
sounds good to me, weatherboy
Hopefully, those in Congress who control the purse strings, will recognize the importance of this remote wind data.....

add to that, from initial funding, to collecting data from a new satellite could take several years.... we need to get started now!!!

hate to be cynical, but I have little hope of a solution until Quickscat fails altogether! hope I am wrong! :)
strange how goverment works......let's see......quikscat was fastracked..only taking two years to become operational and the reasoning for this was nscat, quikscat's predecessor, was so vital....and quikscat was designed to be operational two to three years...and yet....something vital...to not only weather forecasting...but a whole lot more...and no one is forward thinking enough to address the need of its replacement until 8 years down the road...good job proenza for stating what should have been the obvious....here's a good read scat
penny wise and pound foolish pretty much describes this admin..
oh,you mean the Bush admin
actually....this started in '97.....we have 2 administrations to thank for letting this one slip under the rug
Hey look at the Dry Air Where did it all go?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Looks likes Its all gone pertty much
Bill Proenza will do an excellent job this season.
Posted By: weatherhunter at 2:54 PM EDT on March 19, 2007.

Hey look at the Dry Air Where did it all go?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Looks likes Its all gone pertty much.

The atlantic basin is now dominated by high wind shear.Quite a difference from a few weeks back as its been slowly increaseing which is quite normal for this time of year.
but you see a lot of dry air in the gulf


not march dry air her


oh one more thing the dust storm is ending


Are ADEOS-II and/or ERS-II still flying?
Looking at the overall situation currently and it seems that the cool waters seem to continue to rise across the pacific and a Neutral event in my opinion continues to look rather likely each passing day.Either way you slice it an active 2007 hurricane season is a good bet.

PS!Take advantage of this time and get your supplies and think about were you would go if your emergency manangment in your area asked you to evacuate.Create a hurricane plan and dont wait till june cause we again may face the reality of a significant event along a U.S. coastline and we have to be ready for that possiblity this season as all signs point to a busy season.Adrian
882MB, how high is the shear in that area? I would imagine it's pretty high, therefore any development is unlikely, unless the shear dies down. And also, I'm really concerned about the possible non-working QuikSCAT Satellite, since it could quit working at any time. We NEED Congress to replace it. That's all there is to it. It will help save lives and property.
23, plan is already in place. supplies I have most of them in storage from last year. Most of that is the military MRE's and some other non-perishable camp food. Other than that just need to get my battery supply going.
We need that satellite. Here in the Antilles, we are at a large risk because systems forms east of us and like Dr. Masters said sometimes the systems are far from land in a place that we dont have the data from the hurricane hunters airplanes.
without WindScat, accurate predictions on the storms can not be made.

On that topic, has anyone thought of making up a petition and posting it on a site like the petitionsite.com . Get the word out that way to those who are not bloggers in weather underground?
23 what are you doing
Posted By: HIEXPRESS at 8:53 PM GMT on March 19, 2007.

Are ADEOS-II and/or ERS-II still flying?

Posted By: LowerCal at 9:42 PM GMT on March 19, 2007.

ADEOS II - Orbit Data
ERS-2 - Orbit Data

Thanks LowerCal

Reading further on QuickSCAT:
The SeaWinds on QuikSCAT mission is a "quick recovery" mission to fill the gap created by the loss of data from the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT), when the satellite it was flying on lost power in June 1997. The SeaWinds instrument on the QuikSCAT satellite is a specialized microwave radar that measures near-surface wind speed and direction under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans"

So the Seawinds instrument on NSCAT is no longer providing data. Does anyone know about the Seawinds instrument on ADEOS-II, and how its data compares (coverage, rersolution, etc...) with that of QuikSCAT's sensor? Any others up or planned?

would some one take a way 23 post what evere 23 post is haveing some kind of password thing pop up where you have to sing in with a name or password and it comes up when you come to dr m blog
What is this pop-up on here about Weather-Tab?
I don't know.I'm getting it too.
I know what is causing it: Right-click on the red-X in hurricnae23's comment above and select Properties - the URL is the same one in the pop-up. If you want to get rid of it, just click on the ! a few times (I don't know where he is at the moment).
Judt flag his comment.Aaron will remove it.
Guys sorry about that i was upgradeing my Weathertap service and i posted that by mistake.Again sorry for the inconvenience.Adrian
no problem.How are you doing?
Nothing much kris...Have you seen how the cool waters continue to rise across the pacific?I think Neutral conditions across the atlantic this summer are a good possibilty.
Yeah,me too.The CPC says recent surface warming is only temporary.
Have you noticed the Eastern Atlantic is moistening up?
I dont know kris look at the cool waters rising on the latest subsurface graphic.

It's stuck on January 8th.
Iam off to bed kris gotta get for work in a couple of hours i'll drop by your blog in the morning.Take care and have a great evening.Adrian
if we are going to see Neutral conditions this year that mean bad news for FL i think we could see some in like 2004

by the way why is there a # 14 on that map

An unnamed storm Taz,that was found in post-season analysis.
Ok H23,I'll be leavin' soon too.I won't be back 'till early afternoon at the earliest.have a goodnight.
Such crap that we won't replace critical weather satellites on time. Why do you think this neglect is allowed to happen? It's not as if these satellites are expensive, in terms of a nearly $3 trillion dollar budget.
Three trillion. That is 3 with 12 zeros. Look.. $3,000,000,000,000, or three thousand, thousand million, or about $10,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. Imagine, all spent for our benefit.
$400mil costs the average taxpayer about 75 cents. I'm way below "average" and that's still "couch change" in my house.

But, y'know, gotta have those tax cuts so the Walton family can have an extra $35 billion to play with.
Posted by: JeffMasters, 8:51 AM EDT on March 19, 2007: ...The QuikSCAT satellite was launched in 1999, and was originally scheduled for a two-year mission. The satellite is now entering its 8th year of operation...
Posted By: StSimonsIslandGAGuy at 11:54 PM EDT on March 19, 2007. Such crap that we won't replace critical weather satellites on time.

It sounds like "on time" would have been six years ago. Doesn't common sense dictate that plans to replace the satellite should have been made long ago? Just like an ambulance ride, everything is more expensive when it is an "emergency".
NASAs Budget has been slashed ..for the Entire duration since the 99 launch.Its the Budget constraints dolled out by the Adminsistration that determines the Missions.Not the want.If that were the case, we would have the tools on Orbit now to replace the Quikscat system.One must understand Budgetery allocations before jumping to conclusions...on this subject.
Good morning. Just checking in briefly.......
I hate to get political with this, but if you consider how much has been spent on the Iraq War, the $400 million needed for this satellite is a drop in the bucket.

I think someone here posted this webbie once before but it's worth posting again. Its staggering when you think of what we could have done with all that money.
Budget constraints are unavoidable. Perhaps orbiting scatterometers were just an experiment at first, and the need to keep one in service at all times was not foreseen at the time. Still, the impression I get is that the ball was dropped somewhere with respect to requests, priorities, appropriations, unfeasible plans for manned missions to other planets... Sorry, didn't mean to go there.
$400 million in war is better than $1 billion in crude later on..
ummm....mp....LOL...my costs for gas..is nearly double today what it was before the war....and..the cost to pump it out the ground....transport it and refine it....has basically stayed the same...and most experts claim a major portion of the additional cost per barrel is based on unrest in the middle east.....iraq..iran....now...add in a gulf hurricane...and we got over 3 bucks a gallon...oh joy.......give me a quickscat please.....LOL
Remember, the current administration is all about privatizing governmental functions. Remember, Sen. Santorum introduced a bill that would have prohibited NWS from providing free weather information online if a pay-to-play private service was providing the same information. Is a private weather satellite system in the works somewhere?
Lets be honest, we really dont NEED this satellite. The device makes the weather professionals' jobs easier. Stop being lazy and fine tune your skills and stop relying on the darn computers and get out there and work. And stop bugging the air force and the coast guard! You hippies get in your VW Vans and converted VW Van/Submercibles with your legal pads and pencils and start doing your jobs!
I do my part by showing up everyday, and paying my taxes. I'm not going to lobby my boss for a flying carpool bus to make my ride to work easier, why should you get a billion dollar satellite. Oh wait, my taxes pay for blasting that 5 year warranty hunk of metal up there too... guess the "scientists" get the easy road...
They won't even give an injured soldier a chiropractor, what makes a glorified "Capsella & Leggo" toy in space to watch rain clouds more important?
LMAO>......thank you for my morning laugh MP....i do see your point even if i disagree.....well said...LOL......now..as a rebuttal......when they tell you to evacuate...and the storm misses you by hundreds of miles......you had better not complain...or...us hippies..will don our tie dyes...and toss the bong your way...peace out man
that was many years ago.....way past the statute of limitations.....and i would not knowing what i no now..justify that behavior......but MP caused a minor flashback...saw bluejays talking and tap dancing for a minute
Rain Cloud Watcher & Weather Satellite Planner's Meeting called to order.
why should you get a billion dollar satellite

This is why:

Consider the case of 1999's Hurricane Floyd--2000 miles of coast were warned, resulting in over $1 billion in false alarm costs.

That is more than 1/5 of the total "damage" caused by Floyd (I assume that the $4.5 billion in damages includes that unnecessary $1 billion)! Also, I wonder just how much the costs of the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 were from warnings that were misplaced, not actual damage? Whatever it was, it probably would have been far higher without the QuickScat.
I'm not necessarily against a QuikSCAT orbital device. Lets face it, officials are going to give an evacuation order no matter what, especially after Katrina, and the people are probably going to heed the warnings, especially after Katrina now. So this talk about saving money on evacuation cost is a Gordian knot. That's lawyer talk for a 'Catch 22'.
68. Inyo
how about if you don't like the satellites, your taxes go down 1% but you aren't allowed to ever hear any weather watches or warnings again. Better yet, how about my taxes go down 50% and i don't have to pay for that stupid useless war? The Republicans are the ones who wanted that garbage, why don't THEY pay for it in entirety? Us hippies can pay for less important things like disaster prevention, schools, and flood control.
psst...INYO......i'm afraid to say.....the go to war...was a bipartisan effort till things got ugly...then party politics raised its ugly head...not saying it was right...just da facts...LOL
70. Inyo
the democrats as a whole may have supported it but I didn't. Never did, never will, although I of course still wish the best for the troops serving our country (its just that in my opinion the best involves them not being there... also i'm talking about this IRAQ war not AFGHANISTAN which I did support)

but anyway on a more weather related note..

check the new Weekly ENSO UPDATE (pdf file) and you will see that the movement towards La Nina has ended, at least for the moment. it may just be a temporary fluxuation but it is interesting. As far as I'm concerned, I want this El Nino gone as it did nothing for so-cal and la nina would at least bring lots of fog and a decreased fire danger
inyo....i agree with that 100 percent.....now..as a florida resident....give me el nino...LOL
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Climate change, pollution, over extraction of water and development are killing some of the world's most famous rivers including China's Yangtze, India's Ganges and Africa's Nile, conservation group WWF said on Tuesday.

At the global launch of its report "World's Top 10 Rivers at Risk," the Geneva-based group said many rivers could dry out, affecting hundreds of millions of people and killing unique aquatic life.

"If these rivers die, millions will lose their livelihoods, biodiversity will be destroyed on a massive scale, there will be less fresh water and agriculture, resulting in less food security," said Ravi Singh, secretary-general of WWF-India.

The report, launched ahead of 'World Water Day' on Thursday, also cited the Rio Grande in the United States, the Mekong and Indus in Asia, Europe's Danube, La Plata in South America and Australia's Murray-Darling as in need of greater protection.

Rivers are the world's main source of fresh water and WWF says about half of the available supply is already being used up.

Dams have destroyed habitats and cut rivers off from their flood plains, while climate change could affect the seasonal water flows that feed them, the report said.

Fish populations, the top source of protein and overall life support for hundreds of thousands of communities worldwide, are also being threatened, it found.

Climate change, including higher temperatures, also means devastating consequences for fishery productivity, water supply and political security in Africa's arid Nile basin.

To Inyo,

This temporary warming was forcast months ago! Cooling will resume shortly!
This may indeed playout as a weak nina switching over to neutral during the meat of the season.
Catastrophe fund proposed

WASHINGTON --Florida's two senators Tuesday introduced what they said was a comprehensive package of legislation to control spiraling hurricane-related costs, but acknowledged the state's best shot at a federal backstop for hurricane insurance may be the creation of a commission to study the issue.

Republican Sen. Mel Martinez and Democrat Bill Nelson unveiled bills that seek to improve storm preparedness and response by calling for measures that include providing homeowners with tax credits for hurricane and tornado preparation, along with allowing homeowners to open tax-free savings accounts to be tapped in the wake of catastrophes.

Several of the bills have already been introduced by Florida House members, who last week suggested that support is building for a national catastrophe insurance fund.

The senators introduced legislation calling for a national relief fund, but Nelson suggested lawmakers are more likely to agree only on a commission to study the issue -- given pressure from some parts of the insurance industry and states not at risk for catastrophes.

''We realize just how difficult the political situation is and how the players are split up,'' Nelson said. ``What Mel and I run into from the senators from Montana and the Dakotas is they don't think insurance is a problem. We're going to try to find that elusive consensus.''

"A billion here, a billion there..pretty soon you're talking about real money." Quote from deceased US senator Everett Dirksen, speaking about the spending habits of the US government about a half century ago.
Gw on Gw?..LOL!
79. Inyo
Posted By: ProgressivePulse at 4:57 PM GMT on March 20, 2007.
To Inyo,

This temporary warming was forcast months ago! Cooling will resume shortly!

hmm.. well the forecasts haven't been too reliable this year. that being said, i too think there will be la nina conditions... but its a bit odd
Actually in opinion the possibility for Neutral conditions continues to go up.
poor FL
This satellite was sent up in 99 and it's ready to crash? I think they need to make these so they last longer.
LOL Wishcasterboy... we should have Toyota make it. Then it'll last 20 years and still have enough left over for another 100,000 miles.

*sigh* I miss that car... 310,000 miles and still going when I sold it to a high school kid.

Enough about cars, when does the next Atlantic basin hurricane forcast come out? All I've seen is the UK guys forcast. Will Colorado put one out soon? Or did they already and I missed it...
April 3rd or 4th I think
Check this out Link
and this
Check this out
On the ENSO discussion about 3 weeks ago the ESPI went slightly positive indicating we would have a little warming soon, the next week it dropped to like -.46 & this last week -.81, which signals cooling in the next few weeks. I see this little warming as being reassuring that we totally haven't left the relm of climotology. ENSO like many other things in climate go generally in an up or down fashion by taking a lot of little ups & downs to get there.
cajunkid~That OCSI prediction with nothing for east central Fl makes me nervous. This far out, odds are they got it all wrong.
Skyepony, probably so

it still caught my attention
OSCI? Pulleease!
witch doctor
That OCSI prediction is ridiculous as they have the entire eastern side of florida in blank with only 7 named storms and only 4 becoming hurricanes is a little unrealistic and could only give folks a false sence of security.Adrian
Orbiter in High Bay..click for High rez Link
Space Shuttle Atlantis, surrounded by service platforms in highbay 1 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, continues to undergo inspection for hail damage. Special scaffolding and access platforms have been erected around the space shuttle and repair methods and criteria are also being developed.

Repairs to the orbiter thermal protection system tiles are nearly complete and technicians are preparing to conduct non-destructive evaluation of the vehicle's reinforced carbon carbon panels on the left wing leading edge using thermography equipment.

NASA program managers are meeting this week to assess the damage and repair status to the external tank which was damaged Feb. 26 during a hail storm at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

A teleconference follows the meeting to review options for repairing the fuel tank and live audio of the event will be available. View of ET Hail Damage..click to enlarge Link
Out back, in sight of the VAB, in Haulover Canal, they say the shrimp are running well, but I can't go tonight. It's been better this season without tropical storms tearing up the grass beds last year.
That hail damage is ugly - I had a car that looked like that one time. I hope the repairs hold up. (The Shuttle, not the car).
My dad thinks this hurricane season may be worse then 2005. He feels this way because El Nino is gone, the barrier islands are gone, water temps are up and with the melting ice caps, he thinks that the sea level is rising...any comments?
I despise getting involved in discussions about GW, but I find your dad's concern about the ice caps melting and causing the sea level to rise to be interesting. He thinks that this hurricane season will somehow be worse because of that? First of all, since '05, any sea level rise, IF it were to actually happen, would probably be less than an INCH! Secondly, with that ice melting like it is, the water temps ought to be really cool this summer, right?

Actually, the first three concerns your dad has are legitamite enough, although they don't make a strong case for a WORSE season than '05. The water temps were high then, and there was no El Nino then. There was, however, a lot more barrier islands then, or at least they were in much better shape before the '05 storms. They are really struggling to rebuild themselves in certain areas, like the Chandeluer chain of islands off the LA/MS coast. Most of the sand base was washed away, and the marsh mud will not be able to stand even a minimal storm until some rebuilding occurs. However, even that doesn't make for a worse season...just a worse result, if at all possible, in that there is even less to slow down the surge. In all honesty, in retrospect, the islands didn't do much to slow down the surge anyway during Katrina. Nothing will slow down 30' surge with 20' waves on top.

I've been having a "bad feeling" about this season. I'm not sure if the season will actually have more storms, but I am more concerned about where the storms that DO form will end up. So far I haven't seen much in the way of steering pattern forecasting, but I'm really interested about 1) location of AB high / ridge, and 2) amount of SAL dust.

Currently in Nassau the winds are ridiculously high. Wind chill has prolly taken temps down as much as 10 degrees today / tonight. It's supposed to continue windy here for a couple of days, too. So I don't think we will get much in the way of a low sticking around here any time soon . . .

Actually according to satellite measurements, sea level worldwide has been rising by about 3mm/yr in recent years. If that is continuing (measurements for 2006 and 2007 are not yet available because it takes a long time to make sure that satellite calibrations are correct and to analyze the data) then sea levels will be about 6 mm higher. That is about 1/4". That is not helpful, but not significant either.
Good point CB.Not to mention the latent heat release from the water melting will warm surrounding water.
And surrounding ice.Which will melt more ice,release more latent heat,melt more ice,and release more latent heat.A positive feedback loop.
When ice melts, it actually absorbs heat, so a glass of water with ice in it would remain near 32*F until all of the ice melted - it is freezing water that releases heat.
Just out
MADRID, Spain - Global warming is likely to bring more tidal waves, floods and hurricanes, leading meteorologists said on Monday.

"What we know is that global warming is very likely to lead in the future to more frequent tidal waves," the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) told a news conference ahead of a meeting in Madrid on Monday.

"Heavy precipitation events are very likely to become more frequent ... and it's likely that hurricanes and cyclones will become more intense," Michel Jarraud said.

KABUL - More than 50 people have been killed and hundreds displaced because of heavy rainfall, avalanches and floods over the past few days in Afghanistan's southern and south-western provinces, officials say.
All I know for sure is that I am doing my best to rebuild my home in Pass Christian, MS...I want to go back so bad it hurts. I started rebuilding in October and my builder just has not come thru for me...I am meeting with a new builder on Friday...but, when I do get back, I have already decided...if another storm knocks me down anytime soon...I will leave my slab, put in a power and water hook-up and move in a nice RV.
Posted By: MichaelSTL at 2:36 AM GMT on March 21, 2007.

When ice melts, it actually absorbs heat, so a glass of water with ice in it would remain near 32*F until all of the ice melted - it is freezing water that releases heat.

Darn...got it backwards.
18Z GFS seems to keep insisting on development in about a week!Something to watch?Maybe.

H23 Hi, Nothing can form this early can it?Cause it's too early and the winds are to high. am I right?
We'll the GFS has been insisting on development that past few days and in all honesty the chances of it takeing place are rather low but its worth watching.00Z should be out in about the next our or so.
Ah, to the east of us, not directly over us.

This might be interesting, but only if it actually moves west . . .
112. Quark
hello 23 and evere one
We have had tropical sytems form, though rarely, in April. We're only 10 days from that.

That being said, so far there doesn't seem to be much of anything that would lead to this kind of early generation, besides the warm winter we have had.
Bahahurican if anything were indeed to form it should move in a ENE trajectory.Development this time of the year is quite rare for a reason and the chances of anything significant taking place are rather low but its happend in other occasions.
Weaker then the GFS but the Nogaps also seems to think we might see some development.

Looks like a spinoff from a front . . .

Hmmm .. ..
waiting on the 00Z GFS which is coming out.
Heavy precipitation events are very likely to become more frequent

I assume that they mean events like this:

Overnight: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a low around 49. Southeast wind around 10 mph.
Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly sunny, with a high near 73. South wind between 10 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.
Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 59. South wind between 15 and 17 mph.
Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 68. South wind 11 to 15 mph becoming west. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Thursday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Friday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67.
Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72.
Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 75.
Sunday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 74.
Monday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 54.

Flooding is already starting to become a problem and will likely only get worse... I assume that this is what 1993 was like...
H23 Hi, Nothing can form this early can it?Cause it's too early and the winds are to high. am I right?

Well, there was actually a Category 2 hurricane in March before (no, I am not talking about the South Atlantic hurricane).
Another version...

00Z continues with development but in a much weaker state.Maybe a hybrid type system.Goodnight

The shear's still too high. Could be subtropical, but I doubt it. It's our best shot so far this year, though.
until this shear drops considerably and sst's increase another few notches theres no way thats happening, 23. Once this shear dies down though, we're looking at a very active La Nina year.

In the 62 years of recorded hurricane history, only 4 systems have formed between the months of January and April

8 have formed in May

36 in June

59 in July

176 in August

228 in September

114 in October

33 in November

7 in December
Well, there was actually a Category 2 hurricane in March before (no, I am not talking about the South Atlantic hurricane).

Look at the direction, too. Running to the sun . . .lol

It would interesting to see what conditions in 1908 led to the development of this system.

More From The Times-Picayune | Subscribe To The Times-Picayune
Corps caused disaster, report says
State inquiry finds decades of blunders
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
By Bob Marshall

Decades of incompetence and neglect by the Army Corps of Engineers allowed Hurricane Katrina's storm surge to devastate New Orleans, according to a long-awaited report being released today, the state's only official investigation into the causes of the disaster.

In a sweeping indictment of corps stewardship, the report alleges that agency supervisors ignored increases in the threat level for their project, knowingly built levees and floodwalls lower than congressionally mandated, failed to detect or ignored glaring errors during the review process, underestimated the impact of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet on the city's defenses, and failed to properly maintain the system.

The report, conducted by Team Louisiana at the request of the Department of Transportation and Development, echoes many points made in other probes last year, including that of the Independent Levee Investigation Team, led by the University of California-Berkeley, and the interim report from the corps' own Independent Performance and Evaluation Team. But while those efforts focused largely on technical aspects of the structural failures, the LSU-based Team Louisiana sought to pinpoint the decisions that caused those failures.

"It's one thing to use modern, state-of-the-art computer modeling and determine what happened, and the other teams did a very good job of that," said Ivor van Heerden, a director of the LSU Hurricane Center who led Team Louisiana. "But the only way to really understand if mistakes were made was by relying entirely on using the (engineering) tools the corps would have used -- or should have used -- when they did their designs."

A spokesman for the corps' hurricane protection office in New Orleans said officials there have not yet seen the report and had no comment.

18-month effort

The 10-member investigative team, including seven Louisiana State University engineering and storm researchers and three private sector engineers, spent almost 18 months and $200,000 on the effort, including a $100,000 grant from its major backer, the state Department of Transportation and Development. Among the key findings:

-- By ignoring two increases in the severity of the Standard Project Hurricane -- the model storm the system was designed to thwart -- the corps knowingly failed its 1965 congressional charge to protect the city against "the most severe combination of meteorological conditions reasonably expected."

The original model was based on research through 1959. But the corps did nothing to strengthen the system in response to two increases in the projected strength of the model storm, in 1972 and 1979.

"The standard set by Congress in 1965 was very specific -- 'the most severe threat that could be expected,' " van Heerden said. "Our research shows very clearly that the standard was changed, but the corps just kept going about its business as if nothing happened." Katrina, a Category 3 storm when it made landfall, fell far short of the expectation of the most severe hurricane.

-- In 1985, the head of the project ordered his staff to ignore an official reduction in the elevation of the land they were building on, which meant the corps finished levees and floodwalls it knew were as much as 2 feet lower than claimed. That decision helped turn Katrina from an inconvenience into a catastrophe.

"Had the walls been built as high as called for, the floodwalls in the Lower 9th Ward would have been overtopped for 1.5 hours, but instead water poured over them for 4.5 hours," van Heerden said.

He said the extra three hours resulted in deep trenching on the protected side of the floodwalls, contributing to the collapse that sent a wall of water roaring through the neighborhood, killing more than 100 people and displacing an entire sector of the city.

Below-design walls and levees contributed to many of the more than 50 breaches the system sustained during Katrina, the researchers said.

More findings

-- Applying the corps' own design manuals in use at the time, Team Louisiana found instances where the agency missed glaring engineering mistakes by subcontractors, which led to breaches including those on the 17th Street and London Avenue canals.

In one instance, local firm Eustis Engineering botched a standard engineering formula in deciding that a thin layer of clay at the bottom of the London Avenue Canal could prevent water from seeping into highly porous sands below, the report said. During Katrina, water pushed through the clay, quickly traveling through the sand to the dry-land side of the sheet pilings, weakening the levee and leading to a catastrophic breach. Eustis Engineering has declined to comment in the past on the matter and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"Had the corps caught that error -- as it is supposed to -- and required the work to have been done properly, in all likelihood the design would have been changed, which could have prevented this failure," van Heerden said.

"We found several stances where (better) designs were originally proposed -- T-walls instead of I-walls -- and then changed for no apparent reason." -- The corps failed to maintain the parts of the system properly, including keeping pace with subsidence. Moreover, the agency ignored advances in engineering knowledge and technology that could have prevented the flood.

The system "was managed like a circa 1965 flood-control museum," the report reads, pointing out that the corps made no improvements to account for well-known changes in elevations, sea-level rise or even gaps left in the system.

Paul Kemp, who was part of Team Louisiana as an LSU storm modeler, said he was "struck by the fact that the corps showed no sense of mission on this project, even though it was involved with it for more than 40 years."

Instead, the agency showed "absolute adherence" to obsolete standards -- a 1959 model for the Standard Project Hurricane. And yet the corps seemed willing, Kemp said, to make other wholesale changes midstream, such as abandoning a proposal to install floodgates at the canals in the mid-1980s, which might have stopped the Katrina surge that broke through their walls.

"It looked like no one was really in charge," he said.

Calls for 8-29 panel

The report also calls for the state and Congress to hold "8-29 Commissions" for a full investigation of the disaster, passage of a "Katrina Recovery Bill" to ensure coastal restoration and flood protection are fully financed by the federal government, and more transparency on the part of federal and state authorities when discussing flood protection plans.

"Citizens of New Orleans were never told by those with both knowledge and responsibility just how vulnerable they were to flooding, or the public safety compromises made in designing and building structures," the report states
Sea level rise consequences -

Sea volume increases need to be measured horizontally as well as vertically.

Gradually sloping coasts (1'-2' per mile), such as in Delaware or the Gulf states, may see a shoreline loss up to 200 times the vertical rise in sea level. For every centimeter (10mm, or about the current 3-year average) in sea level rise, this could equal nearly seven FEET of shoreline retreat in these areas.

Whether hurricanes increase in average intensity or not, this would potentially increase the damage they can do.
06Z GFS continues to show some type of maybe hybrid development.

Current Visible satellite of the area.

00Z CMC has 2 areas of development!

If you look at the animated loop. I t seems that the shear it effecting those cloud tops.The shear may die down by next week, but that would be quite dramatic, though those shear charts prove unreliable. Kinda surprsing tosee there be a possible invest at this time of the year.
Drakoen that is correct development this time of year is very rare but the GFS has been pretty persistant on some type of sub-tropical or hybrid system developing in this area and moving in a ENE fashion.