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The failure of preseason predictions for the hurricane season of 2006

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:05 PM GMT on December 12, 2006

The preseason predictions of an extremely active hurricane season were spectacularly wrong. Only nine named storms and five hurricanes formed in the Atlantic, one below the average of ten named storms and six hurricanes. We ended up with the quietest hurricane season since 1997, much to the relief of regions ravaged by the unprecedented activity of 2004 and 2005. What happened to make the prognostications such a abysmal failure?



Dry air and dust
A significant reason for the failure appears to be the unusual amount of dry air laden with African dust that came off the Sahara Desert during July and August. Hurricanes need moist air at mid-levels of the atmosphere in order to form, and recent research suggests that the dust within the dry air may act as an inhibiting factor as well, through some not well-understood process. In addition, these dry air outbreaks are frequently accompanied by a strong jet of easterly winds that brings hostile wind shear over the Atlantic. As seen in a plot of the relative humidity at 500 mb (roughly 18,000 feet altitude) in August of 2006 (Figure 1), there was much drier air than usual over a large portion of the tropical Atlantic where hurricanes like to form.

Why was there so much dry air and dust? During the early part of the rainy season (May-July) in the southern Sahel region of Africa, precipitation was well below average (Figure 2). Rainfall was also below average in this region in 2005, and these factors could have contributed to more Saharan dust being blown out over the tropical Atlantic in 2006.

Figure 1. Departure from normal of relative humidity for the month of August, at 500 mb (about 18,000 feet altitude).

Figure 2.Departure of precipitation from normal for May-July 2006 for Africa. Note that the southern Sahel region (approximately 10-15N, 0-15W) had much below average precipitation, and this likely contributed to the dry air and widespread Saharan dust outbreaks observed over the tropical Atlantic this year. Image credit: Bill Gray and Phil Klotzbach's Summary of 2006 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity and Verification of Author's Seasonal and Monthly Forecasts at Colorado State University.

El Nio
The other reason the hurricane season of 2006 was so mild is probably due to the arrival of El Nio conditions in September. It is well known that when the warming of the Equatorial Pacific waters off the coast of South America brings about an El Nio event, the number and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes is sharply reduced. Conversely, action in the Eastern Pacific is enhanced, and we saw both of these effects in 2006. The reason usually given for this lack of activity in the Atlantic is an increase in wind shear. The warm waters of the eastern Pacific lead to more rising air than usual there, and when that rising air hits the top of the troposphere (the lower atmosphere), it spreads out and creates strong upper-level winds that blow from east to west towards the Western Pacific, and west to east over the Atlantic. These strong upper-level winds create hostile wind shear that tears apart developing hurricanes. However, in 2006, it appears that El Nio-induced wind shear was not a serious impediment to Atlantic hurricane formation. Wind shear was near average over the Atlantic during most of hurricane season (Figure 3). There are additional reasons El Nio suppresses hurricane activity, and foremost among these is the introduction of stable, sinking air over the Atlantic. It is likely that El Nio brought such conditions to the Atlantic during large portions of the 2006 hurricane season, significantly inhibiting hurricane formation.


Figure 3. Wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. Except for a big above-normal spike in October, wind shear in 2006 (blue line) was near normal (black line) over the tropical Atlantic during hurricane season. Image credit: NOAA/CIRA.

So why did the long range forecasts fail?
The long range seasonal hurricane predictions are statistical in nature--they look for early season patterns in winds, pressures, and ocean temperatures that occurred in years past that one can combine to make a skillful prediction of the hurricane season. One of the variables these prediction schemes typically do not include is the early season rainfall in Africa. If it is an unusually dry and dusty year over the Atlantic like 2006 was, then the forecast is going to be wrong. The other problem was the unusual nature of the El Nio event that developed this year. We went from La Nina conditions in March to a full-fledged El Nio in September. This was by far the largest percentage warming of SST anomalies between June-July and August-September in the tropical Pacific for a year that had El Nio conditions in August-September. In addition, the the timing was unusual--it is uncommon for El Nio events to start in the Fall. Since the historical record had very few cases mimicking the behavior of this year's El Nio event, it is no wonder that the statistical models which rely on past years' data to come up with forecasts of hurricane activity failed. El Nio behaved too strangely this year to anticipate, and the computer models had no idea it was coming until about March or April.

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

Dust ... I remember years ago reading about cloud seeding as a possible way to somehow break up hurricanes. I wonder if there would be a way to do something like that at the formative stages?
Thanks Dr. Masters!
docben dont talk about weather modification... you will be ridiculed unfortunatly.


oh why was the predictions wrong... cause weather and climate is an in-exact science. there are no guarantees. Expecially when our weather is modified daily :)

Very interesting Dr. I always thought warm sst's was the primary factor in trpoical development until I started reading this blog. Then I thought wind shear was the biggest inhibiting factor. Now I'm convinced it's the abundance or lack of dry air! I am so confued. Nah, I honestly thing wind shear has the greatest affect of development, followed by dry air with sst's being the least important of the three.
Well Dr. M ...tell me how off our global models are in TC forecasts.....then ask me if I believe the 30 year runs regarding global warming?
excellent point Randrewl ... certainly something to ponder.
Thinking back to 2005, there was alot of dust too. Seemed to keep them from forming in the mid atlantic, so they would wait, spin up & hit land. So I found the 2005 rh anamoly graphic for comparision. 2005 didn't have near the dry air in the mid atlantic as 2006. & the dry line was mostly below 10N in 2005 where 2006 it was all about the mid Atlantic.
Dang it Skye. You guys listen to her....she's the best!
Morning all. The Dust rears its grimy gritty head then. I've been saying so. But I'm not clear if next seasons predictions have taken African weather into account. Have they???? And further, I have been saying that historical models are totally irrelevant because we have never been in this situation before climate-wise. We need new models based on the situation as it pertains NOW, and somehow we need to factor in the effects of future climate changing phenomena. Until we do that, forecasts of longer than tomorow are boo.......
Until we do that, forecasts of longer than tomorow are boo.......

I'm all there with you on that Pottery.
pottery...Most forecasts after tomarrow are already poo. And maybe I'm just understanding you wrong, but they dont plug things into a model and get a sim of the year. They come up with analogous years and predict based off those.

Thanks for the information,Dr.Masters.
...........but has there been an anolgous year like this ????
pottery...you raise some very valid points...now....i guess though..and i hope someone vcan find out...this years dust event.....is it cyclical?.....is it an anomaly?...
Morning pottery (blushing)

how are you my friend...long time no blog?
Ricder, what we do know is that the Sahara is spreading south at increasing speed. More desert, less rain more dust, it is self perpetuating. This is but one factor that we dont understand, and there are more. Its what we dont know thats screwing up our predicts..........
Gator, how are you, you treasure. I'm as well as ever!!
pottery,a good analog year for 2007 would be a year following an EL Nino winter and a quiet hurricane season
I am well...just trying to stay out of trouble...lol...not succeeding but trying....
So the bottom line pottery ....is that I will be dusting my house more? bummer...
pottery...Dr. Grey/Klotzgbach said last December that

"There were five hurricane seasons since 1949 with characteristics similar to what
we observe in October-November 2005 and what we project for August-September 2006.
The best analog years that we could find for the 2006 hurricane season are 1961, 1967,
1996, 1999, and 2003."

Analogous years are based off what conditions they find in certain areas compared to those same conditions during the past 50 years and the hurricane seasons that followed. Still, early season forecasts are just a guess, and not even a good one.
Weatherboy, thats a good enough place to START. Now factor in all the current stuff.....shrink the ice caps, heat the Indian ocean, burn the Amazon, add a billion tons of Co2, you know all that irrelevant stuff...........
pottery...Mets still dont know how dust effects tropical systems, you want them to include things we arent even sure effect hurricanes?
were five hurricane seasons since 1949 with characteristics similar to what
we observe in October-November 2005 and what we project for August-September 2006.


HM...he was obvioulsy wrong...wasn't he?


pott....well stated...the fact is....that...there are so many variables..some..sst's...el nino...we've learend their cuase and affects..but...i think a rumsfeld..known knowns and unknonown knonwns..somes it up best...which leads me to say..these early predictions..are not just useless..but wrong to even be stated
Hello to all and to all a good day.
ricder...He wasent wrong, those 5 seasons had similar conditions during the late summer/early fall. It just goes to show you either A)Those conditions dont mean crap, which I highly doubt or B)Weather changes quickly and forecasts made even a day in advance can bust on some expected twist.
,........this is getting hectic..... my point is that whats the use predicting if we dont know what were doing. Hopefully the huge sum of $$$$$$$$ that is voted for weather reaearch will help. Till then, its safe to say that hurricane season starts in JUNE, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.....
Its what we dont know thats screwing up our predicts............


we dont know crap...this is funny. there are so many things to know and factor in that it is impossible to be perfect...or even close...

meteorologists would have more success throwing darts into a board and coming up with long term predictions...

lets start factoring gravities effect on the coreolis force and the fact that or magnetic field is changing... solar emmisions... what do we know about these things...nothing really

its all a shot in the dark
LOL, I love that rationalization. Why predict if its most likely going to be wrong. Same thing as when a kid says why must I clean my room when it will only get dirty again. People are doing the best they can. These early season predictions are almost always wrong but they are issued so that maybe they can get better in the future - until then they'll still be more wrong then right
AAAAAAAAAAgh. I have to go. See you all later. Nice one. Later Gator, keep well
hm.....there's a big difference..cleaning a room serves a purpose...i/e...health issues...appearance issues..safety..etc..etc..what purpose do the early predictions serve?
Gray's team, this year, has changed it's december areas to make their forecast from 5 areas that didn't include anywhere near africa to 3 areas, one of which is mostly the east atlantic, with a little peice of africa. The graphics are in the forecast.

So true climate change has thrown a wrench into the forecasting~

Our initial 6-11 month early December seasonal hurricane forecast scheme (Gray et al. 1992) demonstrated hindcast skill for the period of 1950-1990 but did not give skillful results when utilized on a real-time basis for forecasts between 1995-2001. This was due to the discontinuation of the strong relationships we had earlier found between West African rainfall and the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) with Atlantic basin major hurricane activity 6-11 months in the future. We did not expect these relationships that had worked so well for 41 years to stop working from 1995 onward. We do not yet have a good explanation as to why these relationships have failed. We have discontinued this earlier 1 December forecast scheme and have developed a new 1 December forecast scheme.

So they changed there sceme for a few years & it hasn't shown much skill either. For 2006~ blame the late forming El Nino & mention that high SST nomally cause weaker zonal wind (& a weaker NAO) well that didn't happen in 2006 & they are stumped as well on that. So this year they are trying a new approach, which is the 1st I mentioned in this post.
ricderr...Early season prediction is supposed to give everyone a general idea of what to expect next season.
It serves insurance & it use to serve it better. There was til 1995 some sort of skill in this. It wasn't all total poo, but things have changed in the atmosphere, a shift of some sort makes what they knew not work any more, now their dart boarding it with new scemes of prodiction....but insurance wants their numbers they got used too. Wonder how much last years forcast & reality of what actually came helped the insurance. Many rates were raised.
well some of you may have for got Typhoon UTOR well it now has a T # of 6.0


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.0 / 943.5mb/115.0kt


6hr-Avg T# 3hr-Avg T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.9 6.0 6.0 6.6


you can use and manipulate data any way you want to get to your desired conclusion... so this is probably the most unscientificly sound discussion in history. there is no way to predict the future...without a time machine.
Predicts may be neat..but its the Observation of the Individual storm that threatens a coastal Region that matters most.How well we know the Storm before impact ..can now, days out..narrow that region down and warn the interests.
CB, this page to get busy later Link
i would say 30 name storm for the 2007 hurricane season


this haveing fun this kinding to i dont think we see 30 name storms but that would be some coool if we did

i would say about 10 to 21 name storm for the 2007 hurricane season
My exit facing west ..Fronts a coming Link
patrap... that site is about a mile away from my house...lol

i posted last night about these fronts...they looked strange... three fronts stacked moving north... with a triple occlusion...quite odd


Today we will see the infamous Lake Ponchatrain SPLIT! ..maybe.This occurs sometimes this time of year as the fronts seem to sense the Warmer lake or some other effects that cause the line to Split and miss the City altogether.Good for some,..bad for others.
Forgot the link..Link
Your Close HAARP..I can see the Hospital from my Door..LOL
Early season prediction is supposed to give everyone a general idea of what to expect next season


and if we can't trust it..again..what does it do?
I generally believe that some Hurricanes will develop..and some may impact the US Coastline.Okay..can I cash the check at Wal-mart?
it serves to scare people and raise our insurance ... or make people feel at ease when they shouldnt...then when the big one hits its the nhc problem...


ricderr...Come on, the excact numbers are never correct, but you have to agree that when most predictions say that we have a good chance of a active season with around 14-16 storms that we ussually dont have an inactive season with 6 storms. It happens, but thier ussually not that far off.
Maybe the severe and heaviest rain will miss..Link
ok hm.........you brought it up...mind tracking first prediction accuracy percentages?
I'm not going to get all statistical on you, my semester is over until Jan 4, but here are the numbers as far back as I can get.


1999 - 14 predicted - 12 formed
2000 - 11 predicted - 12 formed
2001 - 9 predicted - 16 formed
2002 - 13 precicted - 12 formed
2003 - 12 predicted - 16 formed; 2 Dec storms
2004 - 13 predicted - 15 formed
2005 - 11 predicted - 28 formed; 1 Dec storm
2006 - 17 predicted - 9 formed

Not bad, I would say. 3 seasons of what you might call 'way off.' One of which('05) that no one could have predicted.
Cue the Jaws music!Link..lets zoom the next link...
The cells are growing as the Line slips East North eastLink
Nasty one in LakLinke Mauerpas .the Smaller lake to the west of Lake Ponchatrain..
We will see the rain come from this view.Maybe some thunder and winds too.Link
My position..9 oclock in the Crosshairs...Link
Is it me or does Bill Gray and his Colorado Hurricane Efficinados ( funny state for that anyway ) always seem to lead the charge in the number of named storms? Do they shark the phones and try to "one-up" NOAA? And last but not least, where in Nevada can you put a wager on each institute's prediction?
Vegas BABY!
I think ceasars palace has off the wall wager opportunities

Maybe not anymore tho
Frances from Orbit..
The 2005 season ..Note the GOM loop current before Katrina..The SSTs
ok...hm......4 years..out of 8...with a greater than 25 percent error rate..and that's assuming i would hope..that your predictions were the initial ones..not updated at a later month...now......and not to worry..when i have free time..i'll look it up...landfall predictions as to accuaracy....and i think my point..that it's not useful data is valid
The New Flood gate at the 17th St. Canal..a 3-D flyaround.The gates close and keep the surge out.The new pumps are supposed to keep the rain out the Hoods and pump into Lake during the storm.The Gates will only close if the water rise is Predicted to be so high as to stress the Canal walls as in Katrina.CAt 3 ..probably..or a slow moving cat-2 " width="425" height="350" alt="6" />
The Task Force overview with Engineering Interactive maps and more animation.Your Money..my money.See what the Corps Of Engineers are doing here..and see the Difficulties too. Link
exellent youtube pat....the area was ripe
Been looking for that one..Found dat sucker..LOL
This is what the new design is supposed to prevent..Surge in the Canals...this is the ONLY video around of the Breach happening
This is the Area August 30th..the day after the storm . click to enlarge. The New Floodgates are North of the Canal BridgeLink
Interesting...Link
Scroll down for another odd image
The line is almost here Link
Not much wind with the line.Link
at least 80f and light wind shear and not much dry air for a hurricane or tropical strom form if you have below 80f or heavy wind shear or a lot of dry air hurricanes or tropical stroms will not form
Tropicswatch,I can't remember where I read this, but past 83 degrees F,water temperature ceases to be a factor of hurricane intensity.I think it was in an article about global warming.
batten down the hatches Patrap. stay safe!
Here's a interesting article on dust I hadn't come across before.
Tornado Warning for Choctaw County, AL
Itsa Blowing pretty good fire16Link
Storms all gone...Link
Pretty strong winds just above the surface.Link
Looks pretty nasty on Sattilite

Link
any of this heading into Alabama severe?
Severe page..things settled down some..Link
Finally getting some rain out of the front coming up from the Gulf and Mississippi basin. Been cloudy here all day and it looks like we will be getting our share of rain from this system. I would rather rain any day than snow. Thanks to the warm air coming up from the Gulf with it. But just look at what is brewing in the West.
A significant rainfall event is possible in South Florida late week. Read more on

Florida Weather
Just read the Forecast Discussion for Miami: THE GFS CONTINUES TO SHOW A STRONG SHORT WAVE NOW COMING ASHORE IN
CALIFORNIA TODAY MOVING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES WEDNESDAY AND
INTO SOUTH TEXAS THURSDAY. IT DOES NOT CUT OFF BUT CONTINUES TO
MOVE STEADILY INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO THURSDAY NIGHT. SEVERAL
WEAKER SHORT WAVES ARE FORECAST TO MOVE ACROSS THE FLORIDA
PENINSULA THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT BEFORE THE MAIN SYSTEM
INCLUDING A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVES THROUGH ON FRIDAY.
UNLIKE YESTERDAY, THIS FORECAST SURFACE LOW IS VERY WEAK UNTIL IT
CROSSES THE FLORIDA PENINSULA INTO THE ATLANTIC. THERE STILL APPEARS
TO BE ENOUGH INSTABILITY AND MOISTURE FOR A DECENT RAIN EVENT ACROSS
MAINLAND SOUTH FLORIDA THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY WHICH HOPEFULLY WILL
PUT A DENT IN OUR DEVELOPING DRYNESS PROBLEM. HPC IS NOW FORECASTING
AS MUCH AS 2 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN ACROSS THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE REGION
BEFORE THE SYSTEM IS DONE AND THIS WOULD BE A BIG HELP. WE WILL
ACCEPT THIS SCENARIO FOR NOW. SOUTHERN STREAM SYSTEMS ARE SOMETIMES
NOT RESOLVED WELL ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE FAR ENOUGH SOUTH TO BE OVER
MEXICO AND THIS ONE APPEARS TO BE TAKING A RIO GRANDE ROUTE. IF THE
SYSTEM CUTS OFF THEN THE FORECAST WILL BE TOO FAST AND THE EVENT
COULD DELAY INTO THE WEEKEND. IF THE SYSTEM MOVES ACROSS THE
NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO THEN MAINLAND SOUTH FLORIDA PROBABLY WOULD
NOT HAVE NEARLY AS MUCH RAIN AND OUR DRYNESS WILL NOT BE IMPROVED.
STAY TUNED.
Posted By: cyclonebuster at 11:43 AM EST on December 12, 2006.
Taking bets on severe weather for the SE today. AL.FLA.SC.NC.TENN.MISS.


Are all bets off or on?
Kentucky, Virginia,and West Virgina need to watch out for this today,also!! Looks like the brunt of it may be between the hours 1pm untill 10pm!


Well Buster, looks like you could have lost a ton of money,eh?
Ello all dont froget about are Typhoon! Also
the 07 season Early Prediction i feel is Right.
It should be an advrage year then in 08 were screwed again.
Nice site,turtle
POSSIBLE MAJOR WINDSTORM FOR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST INCLUDING
NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON LATER THIS WEEK..
A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO DEVELOP IN THE EASTERN
PACIFIC WEDNESDAY AND INTENSIFY RAPIDLY AS IT MOVES TO THE
VICINITY OF THE WASHINGTON COAST SOMETIME BETWEEN THURSDAY
AFTERNOON AND FRIDAY MORNING.

VARIOUS COMPUTER FORECAST MODELS HAVE BEEN INDICATING THAT A
STRONG STORM COULD DEVELOP LATER THIS WEEK. THE TRACK AND
INTENSITY OF THE LOW REMAINS UNCERTAIN THIS FAR OUT IN TIME AND
WILL BE IMPORTANT IN DETERMINING THE EXACT IMPACTS FOR THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST.

THIS SYSTEM CERTAINLY HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE STRONGEST OF
THE SEASON AND COULD BRING SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGING WINDS TO THE
SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST...AND THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST
AND COAST RANGE
. LOWER...BUT STILL POTENTIALLY HIGH WINDS ARE
POSSIBLE ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND
NORTHWEST OREGON INCLUDING THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND THE CASCADES.

COASTAL AREAS WOULD BE EXPECTED TO RECEIVE THE GREATEST IMPACTS OF
THIS SYSTEM. IN ADDITION TO DAMAGING WINDS...HIGH SEAS IN EXCESS
OF 20 FEET IN THE COASTAL WATERS ARE EXPECTED FOR A PROLONGED
PERIOD FROM TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY. SEAS OF 30 TO 40 FEET ARE
POSSIBLE
THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY MORNING. THIS RAISES THE
POTENTIAL FOR COASTAL FLOODING. SIGNIFICANT COASTAL EROSION IS
LIKELY.

AS THE SYSTEM BEGINS TO DEVELOP WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT A
BETTER ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL OF THIS STORM WILL BE MADE. IF
THE TRACK AND INTENSITY OF THE STORM REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR DAMAGING
WINDS...HIGH WIND WATCHES WILL BE ISSUED ON WEDNESDAY OR WEDNESDAY
NIGHT WITH MORE DETAILED WIND SPEED INFORMATION.

LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL MEDIA FOR THE LATEST
UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION.

some of you that live up in in OR and WA may want to keep a eye on this big MAJOR WINDSTORM
Look at the 60 knot wind vectors off the coast!
Highest I've seen on the GFS
Bad resolution,here's the image above with a link
GFS with link
60 knots,that's fast
Cyclone,I doubt the line will get any stronger overnight.The 00z soundings will be interesting.In my opinion,they'll have to be VERY unstable for anymore severe weather.
Link
Dewpoints in the 20s and temps in the 40s are a stretch for severe weather.
Did I miss the winter outlook post by The Doc? Or has he not done one?
He hasn't done one.I don't think he did last year either.I could be wrong.
I posted a new blog on what I think was the overestimation of Charley's landfall intensity.Link
Good evening,

Looking at the lastest GFS and over all it looks like some good rains in the forcast for south florida.This event is likely to be non-tropical and more in line with an el nino type winter low.We have indeed been pretty dry down here across miami so any rain is welcomed.

For more south florida weather visit Adrian's Weather
As Taz pointed out,gusts up too 100 mph on Oregon coast on Thursday night

Link
Bill Gray's county wind probabilities forecast is out.Please note,they use a one hour sustained wind whereas the NHC uses one minute.
Link
Buster, there's very limited convection. None of which you could call orgnized, and it really looks more mid-upper lvl rather then surface. Not to mention theres a pretty strong front coming from the west to squash it if it were trying to develop at the surface. Chances...nil to none.
Cruzed the weather news

Southern Australia is on fire.

Kenya is having some exceptional flooding, killing hundreds. They expect the rain to keep up into January.

A Des Moines weather forecaster has received a National Weather Service award for developing an early warning system for severe hail.

Scientists study fishbone deforestation
A deforested patch is warmer than the neighboring forests, Roy explained. Warm air is lighter and rises, creating a localized low-pressure zone. Cool air then rushes in to fill the void. Because of that convergence, more cumulus clouds and rainfall occur over the deforested patch.

Again, weak, mostly mid-upper lvl convection. Plus CMISS shear analysis says 20-50 kt overhead. Thet's face it, the season's over and we're now left to ponder for the next 7 months.
Well it's dawn here where I am. There's a couple of roosters crowing, and the coffee is nearly ready. The map shows sunshine, and I'm on holiday until Jan. 2. What a life, its hard.............
.......so I'm going back to bed with this cup of stimulants.
Wow. Frances from orbit looks like she is gorging on the Bahamas . . .
Morning All!

From the NHC

THE CARIBBEAN SEA...
THERE IS SOME INSTABILITY IN THE WRN CARIB DUE TO A SFC TROUGH
WHICH EXTENDS FROM HONDURAS NWD ACROSS THE EXTREME NE YUCATAN
PENINSULA AND INTO THE SRN GULF. SFC OBS...SATELLITE IMAGERY
ALONG WITH LOW-LEVEL SAT DERIVED WINDS SHOW A BROAD AREA OF
CYCLONIC TURNING IN THE REGION. THERE IS EVEN SOME SIGNS OF A
SFC LOW DEVELOPING ALONG THIS TROUGH AS A SHIP OBS OFF THE COAST
OF BELIZE IS REPORTING A WEST WIND. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
ISOLATED TSTMS APPEAR TO BE CONFINED TO WITHIN 200 NM E OF THE
TROUGH AXIS BASED ON CLOUD TOP TEMPS ON IR IMAGERY. GFS SHOWS
THIS FEATURE PULLING NWD AND CLOSING OFF LATER THIS WEEK.


Probably not tropical Hurricane23 but, if the GFS pans out it will be a weak depression.
& the quickscat misses the W caribbean this morning.
Were the heavy rains if any occur still remain unknown.Here is the early morning discussion from the NWS in miami.

DISCUSSION...UPPER TROUGH MOVING THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES REGION CURRENTLY
DRAGGING A WEAK COLD FRONT INTO N FLA. HIGH PRESSURE THAT HAS BEEN
GIVING US BREEZY CONDITIONS ALONG THE ATL COAST FINALLY BEGINNING
TO MOVE EAST IN RESPONSE TO THE AFOREMENTIONED SYSTEM. DRIER AIR
ALOFT WILL KEEP POPS LOW FOR ANOTHER DAY AND THEN DEVELOPING LOW
OVER THE GOFMEX STILL FCST TO MOVE ACROSS S FLA ON FRIDAY. THE GFS
SHOWS IN ADVANCE OF THE LOW INCREASING MOISTURE AND INSTABILITY
FOR S FLA ON THURSDAY. EVEN THOUGH WE ARE GETTING CLOSER TO THIS
EVENT WE HAVE DISCUSSED THE PAST FEW DAYS, THE GFS AND UKMET
BASICALLY THE ONLY MODELS INDICATING IT
. THE NAM SHOWS NOTHING OF
THE KIND AND ONLY HAS THE WEAK FRONT CONTINUE TO MOVE SLOWLY S
THROUGH FRIDAY. SO IT HAS INCREASING POPS AS WELL (ALTHOUGH NOT AS
HIGH AS MAV) BUT FOR A TOTALLY DIFFERENT REASON. SO CONFIDENCE IN
HOW MUCH PRECIP WE END UP WITH AND ITS EXACT LOCATION REMAIN LOW.
ALL IN ALL, HAVE KEPT THE FCST THE SAME. BEYOND FRIDAY, THE WX
LOOKS DRY WITH SLIGHTLY LOWER NIGHTTIME TEMPS. SO LOOKING TO BE A
GOOD WEEKEND.
dust is good!
130. MTJax
WEAK FEATURE IS A SFC TROUGH WHICH RUNS FROM 25N87W SWD ACROSS
THE EXTREME NE PORTION OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND INTO THE WRN
CARIB. FAIRLY WELL DEFINED BUT BROAD LOW-MID LEVEL CYCLONIC
TURNING IS NOTED ABOUT THE TROF AXIS. CONSIDERABLE CLOUDINESS
AND SCATTERED SHOWERS ARE WITHIN 240 NM E OF THE AXIS. LOOKING
AHEAD OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...THE WEAK FRONT WILL BEGIN
TO SLOWLY PROPAGATE E AS A SHORTWAVE TROF CURRENTLY OVER THE
SWRN U.S. APPROACHES THE AREA. GFS DRIFTS THE TROUGH IN THE SRN
GULF NWD AND DEVELOPS IT INTO A WEAK LOW AND THEN TRACKS IT
ACROSS FL. THERE IS MUCH UNCERTAINTY IN THIS SCENARIO AS THERE
IS NOT MUCH AGREEMENT IN THE MODELS.
131. MTJax
In 48 hours

48 Hour Fronts precipitation
132. MTJax
Map legend

weather symbols
Reminder: (courtesy of www.spaceweather.com)

METEOR SHOWER: The Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight. Start watching around 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Dec. 13th. The display will start small but grow in intensity as the night wears on. By Thursday morning, Dec. 14th, people in dark, rural areas could see one or two Geminids every minute. [full story] [sky map]

Fullstory

Skymap

That is great....
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Oh my god!!!!!!!!!Not again. Someone please pull up the WEST CENTRAL PACIFIC satellite image, looks like LOW PRESSURE developing A COUPLE OF HUNDRED MILES WSW OF GUAM! LOOKS HUGE AND IMPRESSIVE!
Sorry to bother you all, but does anyone have a link I can go to for a weather summary and Xmas forecast for the Bahamas. My sister in Texas wants to know as they are planning a family Xmas there. I wish to thank you all in advance.
882MB, that is 96W:



It already looks pretty good... and all models develop it... ALL models...

CMC
GFS
NOGAPS
UKMET

I give it a 1000% chance of developing...
I will give it a 90% percent chance of developing. We don't know everything about these storms yet, and it is possible (though unlikely) for all the models to be completely wrong.

Assuming it does develop, what land areas might be in it's path (please don't say the Philipines)?
Well, here is the NOGAPS track...



The GFS, which develops it later...



etc... (the rest are in my last comment; notice that the times are also somewhat different, from 00z to 12z)
Note that the +18 hour NOGAPS forecast is now (1800z Wednesday); 96W already has visible banding and central convection and apparantly a LLC.
We will see how things turn out. Hopefully it won't be as bad as many of the others have been this year.
Posted By: Frozencanuck at 7:27 PM GMT on December 13, 2006.

Sorry to bother you all, but does anyone have a link I can go to for a weather summary and Xmas forecast for the Bahamas. My sister in Texas wants to know as they are planning a family Xmas there. I wish to thank you all in advance.


They have a forcast out to next Tuesday on this site, not as far out as Christmas Though. Type the city your looking for in the search box and it should bring up the forcast.
96W is looking healthy. Is there any chance of it veering off to sea?
probabaly won't. Look at the model tracks. They take it right into the phillipines once again. probably get super typhoon status like the rest of them did.
interesting area of moderate to heavy convection in the southwestern carribean. Probably will go inland though.
A significant rainfall event is still on tap for central and south florida, read more on my blog or

Florida weather
Hello Y'all! W.Pac. Invest certanly looks impressive.

Link
149. ryang
Hi 1900.
Hello ryang.
151. ryang
So that invest does look impreesive.
Gotta run! Just wait until Wednsday. Because my last day of school is Tuesday, I will be able to blog for as long as I want until school resumes in January! Have a great day!

: )
Dr. Jeff,

Any chance that global warming could introduce a variable into hurricane development that nobody has considered - specifically an increase in African dust? It would seem that if global warming increased drought in Africa, as many models suggest, then this inhibitor could be come more frequent, making hurricanes less frequent. Might help a bit if warmer SSTs lead to more intense hurricances.
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I knew something was gonna happen with 96W since I saw it developing on monday night! It covers a very large area, this tends to slow the strengthening process, like HURRICANE HELENE last year which was large in size when it came off of AFRICA it developed slowly due to its huge size.
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Yes we need the rain! Seems like the latest MODELS indicate that the heavy rainfall we can get here in S.FLORIDA can last more into the weekend: PARTLY CLOUDY CONDITIONS PERSIST ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA THIS
AFTERNOON...WITH A GOOD COVERAGE OF CUMULUS AND INCREASING AMOUNTS
OF HIGH-LEVEL CLOUD COVER COURTESY OF DEVELOPING CYCLONE BETWEEN
THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. SHORT TERM
MODELS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT ON A SLOW DEEPENING OF THE LOW-
LEVEL CYCLONE...AS WEAK HEIGHT FALLS GRADUALLY SPREAD EASTWARD
ACROSS THE GULF IN ADVANCE OF MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE TROUGH AND
ASSOCIATED UPPER-LEVEL SPEED MAX CURRENTLY MIGRATING ACROSS
NORTHERN MEXICO. AS THIS OCCURS...LOW-LEVEL FLOW WILL VEER TO THE
SOUTH...WITH RICH TROPICAL MOISTURE ADVECTED NORTHWARD ACROSS THE
FLORIDA PENINSULA. THE COMBINATION OF DEEP WARM ADVECTION AND
MODERATELY STRONG SYNOPTIC SCALE FORCING WILL RESULT IN
DEVELOPMENT OF A WIDESPREAD AREA OF RAINFALL/THUNDERSTORMS BY
THURSDAY AFTERNOON...
WITH THIS ACTIVITY LIKELY BEING MOST
CONCENTRATED ALONG SURFACE BAROCLINIC ZONE LOCATED SOMEWHERE
ACROSS THE CENTRAL PORTION OF THE FLORIDA PENINSULA. THUS...WILL
PLACE LIKELY POPS ACROSS THE NORTHWESTERN COUNTIES OF THE FORECAST
AREA...AND GRADUALLY TAPER THEM OFF TO THE SOUTHEAST...AS WEAK
UPPER RIDGING WILL BE MORE ESTABLISHED IN THIS AREA.

CURRENT INDICATIONS ARE THAT RAIN AND EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS WILL
CONTINUE FOR MUCH OF THE DAY ON FRIDAY AND FOR THE FIRST HALF OF
SATURDAY...BEFORE THE ENTIRE SYSTEM SLOWLY DRIFTS EASTWARD INTO
THE ATLANTIC. DESPITE FAIRLY CONSISTENT SOLUTIONS OFFERED BY THE
NAM/GFS...AS WELL AS THE UKMET/CMC...IT MUST BE EMPHASIZED THAT
THE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED UPPER LOW OVER NORTHERN MEXICO MAY TEND
TO CUT OFF AND MOVE SLOWER THAN CURRENT GUIDANCE IS INDICATING...
WHICH WOULD RESULT IN RAIN CHANCES LINGERING THROUGH MORE OF THE
WEEKEND.
THIS TREND IS EXHIBITED MOST BY THE LATEST RUN OF THE
ECMWF.
OVERALL THE MAIN THREATS FROM THIS ACTIVITY WILL BE
LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL...AS PWAT VALUES ARE PROGGED TO APPROACH
OR SLIGHTLY EXCEED 2 INCHES...AND CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING
STRIKES WITH ANY EMBEDDED CONVECTIVE CELLS.
TC report on Chris is out.
Southern Californa doesnt need more rain it needs more wind cause thats what it looks like. This is a photocopy of every other storm that looked good so far this fall and it turns out like this...

main concern is the drastic change of the 12z and 18z GFS and
European model runs for this weekend's storm. The latest model runs
indicate that the trough will not be as deep as once advertised. The
closed low is now well to the east over Arizona by Monday. Although this has
been just a couple of runs...confidence is greater that this will
become more of a wind event then rain event


This fall has been just like a La Nina more then an El Nino down here and this is just more evidence.
882MB lets if this potential heavy rain event for south florida actually materializes.Over all models are in pretty good agreement of a pretty wet scenerio coming into play.

Here is the CMC rainfall forcast showing some descent rainfall across the area.
The CMC almost always forecasts insane amounts of rainfall; a couple weeks ago, it said that I would get over 40 centimeters of rain; in actuality, I got about 9 cm (still set a daily record though).
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Just looking at the GULF OF MEXICO satellite loop shows a cluster of thunderstorms where the low pressure will develop cooling which means there strengthening!
Here is a piece from earlier from the miami NWS.

000
FXUS62 KMFL 140115
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
815 PM EST WED DEC 13 2006

LOW LEVEL EASTERLY WINDS...THOUGH WEAKENING...STILL ADVECTING
ISOLATED TO WIDELY SCATTERED LIGHT RAIN SHOWERS UPON THE E COAST.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE ONLY SHOWER ACTIVITY AFFECTING S FLA AS LIGHT
SHOWERS MOVING NE ACROSS THE SE GULF OF MEXICO FROM A DEVELOPING LOW
PRES SYSTEM JUST NW OF THE W TIP OF CUBA. IR SATL LOOPS INDICATE
COOLING TOPS MEANING STRENGTHENING CONVECTION. AS THE EVENING
PROGRESSES...CURRENT ISOLATED LIGHT SHOWERS WILL INCREASE AND BECOME
SCATTERED...AFFECTING MAINLY THE W COAST FROM NAPLES N AND INLAND
TOWARD LAKE OKEE AND PALM BEACH. CURRENT ZFP PACKAGE HAS THIS TREND
AND NO CHANGES ARE ANTICIPATED.
Five names were retired in the 2006 Pacific Typhoon Season

Chanchu, Bilis, Xangsane, Saomai, and Durian

Also the following names were replaced from the names retired in 2005

Longwang "Dragon King" was replaced by Haikui "sea anemone"

couldn't find info on the other two that were retired last year, must still be thinking of names.
If you compare the 00z GFS 6 hour forecast to current radar,it will verify too far north.
I think, accounting for the fact the latest forecast is already too far north,this will be mainly a south Florida event.Don't expect much in Central Florida.
Kris~ check out the rain rates on Nexsat, take it some clicks back in time. Whats headed toward S FL has decreased from 9.3 to 5.7mm/hr in just the last few hours...where there was nothing headed toward C FL a few hours ago there is rain. S FL may get more rain, but the rest of the peninsula looks to be still in this, sat loop. Right now the coldest tops of the convection looks to be going straight east, the lower clouds headed more NE.
Intense storm's coming to the Pacific Northwest.
175. WSI
LOL! Having Bastardi's dire statement for the Northeast in there is classic. I remember when he said that. He hyped it so much.
Good morning Patrap and all, it's freezing here man, got gown to 70 last nite. Had to reach for the blanket and turn off the ceiling fan..........
Forget satellite loops,its all in range of Cuban radar
Link
Much needed rain for south florida...Expected to get heavier towards late afternoon into the night time hours.

NWS discussion from 3am.

.DISCUSSION...MODELS CONTINUE TO BE IN DISAGREEMENT ABOUT THE WX
FOR S FLA NEXT 48 HOURS. THE GFS SHOWS SHORTWAVE TROUGH CURRENTLY
DIGGING INTO S TX/NORTHERN MEXICO AND THEN DEVELOPING A SFC LOW
OVER THE EASTERN GOFMEX WHILE THE NAM SHOWS NOTHING OF THE KIND.
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY DOES SHOW SUBTROPICAL JET MOVING INTO THE
WESTERN GOFMEX WITH SLIGHT CYCLONIC CURVATURE DEVELOPING SO WILL
LEAN TOWARDS THE GFS SOLUTION. AS THIS THEN TRAVERSES ACROSS THE
FL PENINSULA COULD BE A DECENT RAIN PRODUCER AND WE ARE IN DIRE
NEED OF THAT. THE HEAVIEST RAIN WILL TEND TO OCCUR THURSDAY NIGHT
INTO FRIDAY AS ALL OF THIS INTERACTS OVER S FLA. THE GFS HAD BEEN
SLOWING THE SPEED OF THE LOW DOWN BUT THE 00Z RUN NOW SPEEDS IT UP
AGAIN AND BY FRIDAY EVENING WILL BE EXITING THE SE CST. THIS IN
TURN WILL END OUR PRECIP EARLIER SO HAVE LOWERED THE POPS FOR
FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. AS THIS OCCURS STRONG SUBTROPICAL RIDGE
WILL BUILD ACROSS THE GOFMEX AND EXTEND ACROSS FLA AS A LARGE
SHORTWAVE DIGS INTO THE DESERT SW. AS THIS LOW THEN MOVES INTO TX
BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK, SOME OF THE MOISTURE COULD GET CAUGHT
BACK UP AND INCREASE OUR POPS AT THAT TIME. FOR NOW, HAVE NOT
CHANGED MUCH OF THE EXTENDED PERIOD.
It's on MLB Radar too. Rained here a good bit of the night.

According to the MLB Local all the models went with an open wave but the gfs.

Patrap~ everyday should begin like that.
HERE is a good radar link w/ visible
It appears as though it is still an open wave, although the morning Quickscat missed most of the area.
Much needed rain for south florida...Expected to get heavier towards late afternoon into the night time hours.

...great!
Overall alot of rain over southflorida for the next 24-36 hours.If a surface low were indeed to form it will be weak and will amount to much needed rain for south florida.

RADAR
Link
Water temps still 80F at this buoy,which is even further north of the wave...
And then just when I get my hopes up,the shear map crushes them
anyone have problems when they try to pull up the gfs model map for Canada? All I get is a little box with an X in it.
Here is a large view of the GOM...You can somewhat make out some cyclonic spin in the clouds.

24 FRAME VISIBLE LOOP OF THE GOM
No problems here.
Link
What site are you using?
Rainshowers seem to be coming up from the south and converging over south florida.


weatherboychris visit my website and go threw the navagation bar and click on tropical sites or if not click on radar.

Adrian's weather

WU model maps
Oh good, you crushed your own hopes, I was about to point out that shear...

Still got a long shot, outside chance of a freak, late season one over the Azores, nogaps, gfs, cmc (phase anylisis). The models have actually been leaning more toward it as the event approaches.
ANOTHER good radar view showing the convergence.