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Upgraded HWRF and GFDL Hurricane Models Excelled During Hurricane Arthur

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 12:04 PM GMT on July 11, 2014

Today's guest post is by Dr. Morris Bender of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey, and Dr. Vijay Tallapragada of NOAA's National Center of Environmental Prediction Environmental Modeling Center (NCEP/EMC), with help from GFDL's Timothy Marchok. They outline some very encouraging news on the ability of the latest versions of the GFDL and HWRF hurricane models to significantly improve hurricane track and intensity forecasts.

- Jeff Masters


The landfall last week of Hurricane Arthur, the first named tropical system in the Atlantic for 2014, brought a quick start to this year’s hurricane season. Perhaps lost in the predictions and preparations for Arthur’s landfall was the fact that there have been major upgrades this year to the two operational National Weather Service (NWS) regional hurricane prediction systems, the GFDL and HWRF models. Here we will provide background on each of those models and highlight the forecast improvements achieved from recent upgrades to both models.

Since 1995, the GFDL hurricane model has been an official operational product of the NWS, providing forecast guidance on track and intensity for the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The model was originally developed as a research tool, by scientists at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton (GFDL), to help understand the behavior and structure of tropical cyclones, including hurricane formation, decay and intensification. To adequately represent the structure of the hurricane and its inner core, the GFDL hurricane model required high resolution (distance between the individual grid points where the atmosphere equations of motion are solved), compared to other models of the atmosphere that define processes over the entire globe (typically called general circulation or global models--for example, the GFS and European models). Also, advanced physics were required to correctly reproduce the processes that occur in the hurricane core, as well as the interaction with the ocean below (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Inner core structure of Hurricane Katrina of 2005 simulated from the GFDL hurricane forecast model. Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) are denoted by the color shading, with the darker colors of blue showing the cooling of the SSTs due to the hurricane winds mixing the cooler waters from below to the surface.

In the early 2000s scientists at the NWS National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) began to develop a new state of the art hurricane model using the most advanced numerical techniques available, to more accurately solve the mathematical equations that represent the processes of the atmosphere. This model (named HWRF, or Hurricane Weather Research Forecast model) became operational in 2007, as an official product of the National Weather Service. Since then, improvements have been made to the HWRF modeling system every year, resulting in a steady reduction in track and intensity forecast errors. The recently upgraded HWRF model implemented for the 2014 hurricane season has shown much reduced track forecast errors compared to the 2013 version of HWRF for a large sample of North Atlantic basin tropical cyclones, with performance comparable to the NHC Official Forecasts (Figure 2).


Figure 2. Track forecast errors from 2014 HWRF upgrades (H4FI, red) compared to previous year’s operational HWRF (2013 version, H3FI, blue) and NHC Official Forecasts (OFCL, purple) shown for a large sample of North Atlantic storms from 2008 to 2013.

A major accomplishment is the significant reduction of intensity errors from the HWRF model in the past three years since the model was upgraded to run using cloud-permitting, 3 km resolution nests (see Figure 3), making it a primary model for intensity forecast guidance for NHC. Much of the increased skill seen in the HWRF model over the past 3 years was due to the successful collaboration between agencies within NOAA (GFDL, NCEP, AOML, ESRL) and partners within the academic community (such as the University of Rhode Island), that was made possible through the coordinated efforts and support from NOAA’s Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP). Apart from providing operational forecast guidance to the NHC for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins, the HWRF model is also run in real-time for all global oceanic basins, providing forecast guidance to the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). All real-time forecast products can be accessed from the HWRF website.


Figure 3. HWRF model intensity forecast improvements from 2011 to 2013 for North Atlantic basin. The intensity errors shown here are collected from hundreds of retrospective simulations for each upgraded HWRF configuration since 2011. The 2011 version of HWRF (blue) was run at 9km resolution, while the model was upgraded to run at 3km resolution in 2012 (purple). The 2013 HWRF (red) was able to meet or exceed the HFIP intensity error baseline whereas the 2014 HWRF (green) further reduced the intensity errors, approaching the HFIP 5-year intensity error goal.

At the same time, scientists at GFDL have also upgraded the GFDL hurricane modeling system, with major improvements made operational in 2014, particularly to improve the prediction of hurricane intensity as shown in Figure 4. Note that the improvements made to the GFDL hurricane model reduced the error in the prediction of the storm maximum wind by about 15% in the 3 to 5 day forecast time period, for a set of forecasts rerun from the 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 Atlantic hurricane seasons, using both the 2013 version of the GFDL model and the newly upgraded model.

The National Hurricane Center continues to support both of these operational regional hurricane models (HWRF and GFDL) since the forecast error of both models is often not correlated (individual model errors often go in different directions). Numerous scientific studies suggest that the average forecast from models that are well behaved produce errors that are less than those from the individual models. This has led to an increase in the use of model ensembles (models with slightly different initial conditions or different physics). For example, as shown in Figure 5, a consensus made up of the average of the intensity forecasts from the 2014 versions of the GFDL and HWRF (solid black line) results in an intensity forecast error that is significantly less than either the HWRF or GFDL model at every forecast lead time. Note that the average intensity forecast error of the 2-model consensus at days 4 and 5 is even less than the HFIP 5-year goal established in 2009.


Figure 4. Comparison of the intensity forecasts errors (in knots) from 12 to 120 hours in the future, for Atlantic storms rerun from the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Plotted are the forecast errors for the version of the GFDL hurricane model used in 2013 (black line), compared to the version recently made operational in 2014 (red line).


Figure 5. Intensity forecast errors at hours 12 through 120, for the 2014 versions of the GFDL (blue) and HWRF (red) models for over 800 forecasts from the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Atlantic hurricane seasons, compared to the forecast error for the consensus model made up of the average intensity prediction of GFDL + HWRF.

Both the upgraded GFDL and HWRF modeling system did well for track and intensity forecasts for Hurricane Arthur, the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season (Figure 6). The new GFDL and HWRF had very low track errors although the sample size was small, with the average intensity errors comparable to the other two top NWS intensity prediction models (Decay SHIPS and the LGEM).

With continuous advancements to the NCEP hurricane models supported by HFIP, and enhanced computational resources available for operational models, we anticipate further improvements in track and intensity forecasts through improved hurricane physics, advanced inner core data assimilation, and increased horizontal and vertical resolutions. Apart from coupling the atmospheric model to the ocean model, future efforts also include coupling to wave, land surface, hydrology, and surge and inundation models for improved prediction of land falling storms.



Figure 6. Average track forecast error (top) and average errors in the forecast maximum surface winds (bottom) for the upgraded GFDL model (green), the upgraded HWRF (red), compared to the official forecast of the National Hurricane Center (black), and other NWS operational models, for all forecasts of Hurricane Arthur (2014).

Morris Bender and Vijay Tallapragada

Hurricane

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

big warm up
1002. sar2401
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
DOOM

Just kidding, it's a potent upper-level low...or piece of the polar vortex. Whichever you prefer. :)


If only it would get down here. I just got back from taking Radar Dog for his walk. It's still 83 and so humid I could almost swim through the air. Now it looks like the front is slowing down and weakening even further as it goes south. The high was 101 today so, if we're lucky, we might "cool down" to 95 on Wednesday. I don't ever recall a period of this much heat and humidity with no rain. A small group of thunderstorms parked over Birmingham early this evening and there was enough rain for BMX to issue an areal flood warning. I thought it was a mistake at first but there they were. Little tiny cells that were good enough for 2-3" of rain. I can only wish for something like that.
1003. beell
Quoting 994. TropicalAnalystwx13:

DOOM

Just kidding, it's a potent upper-level low...or piece of the polar vortex. Whichever you prefer. :)



Probably see quite a few daily low records broken/tied/near-record this week. Especially true farther south across the mid-section of the central/eastern US. Not "smashed" records but record events all the same.
Risky post, and very random.

So I have been thinking to myself, and if you consider many issues these days - the economy, foreign relations, the very threatening changing climate, demographics, the national infrastructure, the dying middle class, and natural resources - the conclusion is that the fate of the world essentially rests in the hands of my generation.

Unnerving, to say the least.
I'm just graceful I got my dose of a storm for this year no matter what. Hurricane Arthur made up for everything the past few seasons for me.
Quoting 1005. Bluestorm5:

I'm just graceful I got my dose of a storm for this year no matter what. Hurricane Arthur made up for everything the past few seasons for me.


As long as I'm next, okay?
Quoting 1006. KoritheMan:



As long as I'm next, okay?


Seriously next big landfall we should all go, me, you, cody, kyle, and who ever else im missing.
Quoting 1007. VAbeachhurricanes:



Seriously next big landfall we should all go, me, you, cody, kyle, and who ever else im missing.


I actually have no problem calling in for work in the event of a hurricane. I'd just rather it be near the end of my four-day rotation (Thursday through Sunday) rather than during the start of it. That's why I didn't go for Arthur.

P.S. Get prepared for extreme weirdness if we ever meet. :)
Rammasun has a weird shape to the center as it tries to wrap around..



1010. sar2401
Quoting beell:


Probably see quite a few daily low records broken/tied/near-record this week. Especially true farther south across the mid-section of the central/eastern US. Not "smashed" records but record events all the same.

I was looking at some of the July 15-16 lows in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Looks like the lows will be within a degree or two either way. It doesn't look like this front will bring cold enough air to make any month of July low temperature records though. As you say, it doesn't look "smashing". Further north, most of the low records are too low to be threatened and further south, it looks like the front will wash out before it brings enough cooler air to make much difference. It's nearly impossible for a cold front to make it intact to the Gulf in mid-July although I sure wish it would.
1011. sar2401
Quoting Skyepony:
Rammason has a weird shape to the center as it tries to wrap around..




Maybe it's the "cloud cliff" thing again?
Quoting 1008. KoritheMan:



I actually have no problem calling in for work in the event of a hurricane. I'd just rather it be near the end of my four-day rotation (Thursday through Sunday) rather than during the start of it. That's why I didn't go for Arthur.

P.S. Get prepared for extreme weirdness if we ever meet. :)


We both know thats impossible hahaha
Quoting 1009. Skyepony:

Rammasun has a weird shape to the center as it tries to wrap around..





What looks weird about it? Looks like a banding eye with deep thunderstorms to the east of the center.
Quoting 1012. VAbeachhurricanes:



We both know thats impossible hahaha


Meeting's not impossible. All of us meeting at once is, but on a general level it's a matter of complaisance and circumstance than anything.

I actually have someone I might meet from the Internet next year. I've already met one guy from GameFAQs that lived in Baton Rouge before he moved back to Austin.
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #4
TROPICAL STORM GLENDA
11:00 AM PhST July 14 2014
====================

Tropical Storm "GLENDA" has intensified further as it continues to move westward threatening Bicol Region.

At 10:00 AM PhST, Tropical Storm Glenda [RAMMASUN] [987 hPa] located at 13.3°N 130.6E or 620 km east of Virac, Catanduanes has 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 14 knots.

Signal Warning #2
-----------------

Luzon Region
===========

1. Camarines Norte
2. Camarines Sur
3. Catanduanes
4. Albay
5. Sorsogon

Signal Warning #1
-----------------

Luzon region
==========
1. Masbate including Burias
2. Ticao Islands
3 .Marinduque
4 .Quezon including Polillo Islands
5. Batangas
6. Cavite
7. Laguna
8. Rizal
9. Bulacan
10. Pampanga
11. Bataan
12 .Zambales
13. Tarlac
14. Nueva Ecija
15. Pangasinan
16. Southern Aurora
17. Metro Manila

Visayas region
============
1. Northern Samar

Additional Information
====================
Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under signal #2 & #1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal #2 are alerted against storm surges.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 7.5–25 mm per hour (moderate to intense) within the 400 km diameter of the tropical storm.

Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the Eastern seaboards of Luzon and of Visayas.

The public and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 PM today.
Quoting 1014. KoritheMan:



Meeting's not impossible. All of us meeting at once is, but on a general level it's a matter of complaisance and circumstance than anything.

I actually have someone I might meet from the Internet next year. I've already met one guy from GameFAQs that lived in Baton Rouge before he moved back to Austin.


I meant being prepared for your weirdness :p
Quoting 1016. VAbeachhurricanes:



I meant being prepared for your weirdness :p


Oh. XD
Yeah, no one tops my weirdness. I'm one of a kind. Which is why I'm adorable.

Anyone who disagrees is just in denial.
Quoting 1018. KoritheMan:

Yeah, no one tops my weirdness. I'm one of a kind. Which is why I'm adorable.

Anyone who disagrees is just in denial.


Its okay you can just stay on a different floor than us :P
Quoting 1019. VAbeachhurricanes:



Its okay you can just stay on a different floor than us :P


Or I can get drunk and force my way in. And be even weirder after I do so. :)
Quoting 1013. TropicalAnalystwx13:


What looks weird about it? Looks like a banding eye with deep thunderstorms to the east of the center.

The north side looks collapsed or a cloud cliff.. Looks better now. Overall it hasn't been a pretty storm pulling together the last few days.

1022. sar2401
Quoting wxgeek723:
Risky post, and very random.

So I have been thinking to myself, and if you consider many issues these days - the economy, foreign relations, the very threatening changing climate, demographics, the national infrastructure, the dying middle class, and natural resources - the conclusion is that the fate of the world essentially rests in the hands of my generation.

Unnerving, to say the least.

This is the lament of every generation. Since I'm a baby boomer, and my generation is taking the blame for much of this mess, let's look at what was handed to us:

1. Economy. We were just recovering from the longest depression and worst war in history. Many of our parents worked two jobs to put food in our mouth. We had 20% inflation, several mini-crashes, the dot com bubble that wiped out some people's retirement and the real estate bubble that finished off some more 401k's.

2. Foreign Relations. We spent most of my life dancing with country with the means and desire to turn us all to glass. You haven't had to do Bert the Turtle drills under your desk at school to prepare for inevitable death. The Cuban missile crisis happened on a weekend. I was sure it would be my last one on earth. Terrorism is bad but not as bad as instant annihilation.

3. Demographics. If you mean illegal immigration, guess which generation is fighting it compared to others who see it as nice to let these people in who "just need a break".

4. National Infrastructure. My generation built what we have now. Succeeding generations decided it would be nicer not have to pay so much taxes. Almost every school in America was built with bond money that we passed. Succeeding generations didn't seem to understand you have to save some money for when the bonds come due.

5. Natural Resources. We are in far better shape now than when I was young, even with an increasing population. Cars that used to average 12 mpg now average 27 mpg. We are using less gasoline per capita than we have since WWII. Everything we have now - LED lights, air conditioners, refrigerators - runs many times more efficiently than they did 30 years ago. We have wind, solar, and hydro power in ever increasing amounts. If it's done right, your will be the first generation that lives in a time when we don't burn any fossil fuel to produce electricity.

6. Dying Middle Class. There was no middle class in 1946, the year I was born. I don't believe the middle class is dying now, especially compared to other countries. Many of the so called middle class jobs were shipped overseas. They can be bought back by your generation but you have to pay the price. Do you think your peers are willing to do so?

7. Climate Change. We worried about climate change, just not in the same way we do now. Look at a picture of any industrial city in 1950. Look at a picture of Los Angeles in 1950. Look at almost any river or the Great Lakes in 1950. An awful of of pollution (much of which produced CO2) has been cleaned up. You are being left with a much cleaner world than I had.

So, yes, your generation is going to face many challenges. We now have technology and knowledge we didn't have 50 years ago to continue to make the world a better place. I have total confidence that young people today are going to find the answers to overcome these challenges, just as we did when we were young. There is a great future ahead of you. Don't let the problems of the world convince you otherwise.
Quoting 1018. KoritheMan:

Yeah, no one tops my weirdness. I'm one of a kind. Which is why I'm adorable unbearable.

Anyone who disagrees is just in denial.

FTFY.

Quoting 1021. Skyepony:


The north side looks collapsed or a cloud cliff.. Looks better now. Overall it hasn't been a pretty storm pulling together the last few days.



Oh ok, didn't see that the first time. We've seen it in a lot of tropical cyclones in the West Pacific the past year, not sure what's causing it.
1024. sar2401
Quoting KoritheMan:


Or I can get drunk and force my way in. And be even weirder after I do so. :)

OK, that's it. The invitation to stay at my house is off. :-)
Quoting 1024. sar2401:


OK, that's it. The invitation to stay at my house is off. :-)


THANKS KORI
Thank you so much Sar. You have no idea how much I value your opinion. You are living proof that wisdom comes with age.

On the topic of no middle class, what was there without socioeconomic status?

Our infrastructure is in serious need of help, especially given climate threats. A lot of fuss has been made over a bridge that has been closed down in Delaware. This has received national attention, though I hear about it very often because that area of Delaware is part of my media market/metro (Philly).

As for demographics, the shift is happening in my once little happy town and all over the state of NJ. I'd like us to be the big family everyone wants, but I don't see them feeling the same way. It's uncomfortable to say the least. Landmine topic, I should probably avoid.

I do think Western countries should be concerned about groups in the Middle East, but I have learned of the drills in school. Most of us laughed, but I can imagine how scary it must have been at the time.

As for climate change, I REALLY think as weather geeks we have an obligation to open the eyes of the public. If anyone living in the Mid Atlantic hasn't noticed the absurd spike in heavy precipitation events the last few years they are living in cuckoo land.
1027. SMcQ
A layperson's question about figure 5. How can an average of the red line and the blue line result in the black line lower than both of them? My simplistic assumption is that the average would lie between the red and blue. You must mean by "consensus model" something more sophisticated than the use of arithmetic averages. Please explain!
1028. bappit
@1027 Simple.

One model predicts this way. The other model predicts that way. Where does the storm go?

Not to the left, not to the right, but right in the middle.
Quoting 1024. sar2401:


OK, that's it. The invitation to stay at my house is off. :-)


LOL come on. I was just joking!
1030. JRRP


favorable region
Quoting 1027. SMcQ:

A layperson's question about figure 5. How can an average of the red line and the blue line result in the black line lower than both of them? My simplistic assumption is that the average would lie between the red and blue. You must mean by "consensus model" something more sophisticated than the use of arithmetic averages. Please explain!


It means that the average of the forecasts by two models, when shown against actual occurrences, is closer than either model on its own.

Quoting 1022@sar2401:

This is the lament of every generation. Since I'm a baby boomer, and my generation is taking the blame for much of this mess, let's look at what was handed to us:

1. Economy. We were just recovering from the longest depression and worst war in history....
Thanks sar,

Nice synopsis of the age we both grew up in and fortunately survived. I was born in 1950 so I can relate to a lot of what you've written here.

While I do recall our concerns about pollution, particularly after the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, I don't personally recall getting too concerned about the climate until reading Al Gore's 1992 book, "Earth In The Balance". At about this same time, I got introduced to Edward Abbey's books like "Monkey Wrench Gang" and "Desert Solitaire" and I got concerned about the stunning transformations occurring in the West as mankind seemed to disregard any limits to the transformation of the Earth into a gargantuan gas station and plastics plant. And then there was Marc Reisner's amazing eye-opener about the Cadillac Desert and humanity's stupendous desire to fool Mother Nature with the world's most expensive plumbing system. 

Fast forward to today and our 19 year old inventors are not creating the next new plastic game consoles or water diversions. They're trying to figure out how to efficiently retrieve the old game consoles from ocean gyres. But I digress. And the pollution problems just keeps morphing.


1033. sar2401
Quoting wxgeek723:
Thank you so much Sar. You have no idea how much I value your opinion. You are living proof that wisdom comes with age.

On the topic of no middle class, what was there without socioeconomic status?

Our infrastructure is in serious need of help, especially given climate threats. A lot of fuss has been made over a bridge that has been closed down in Delaware. This has received national attention, though I hear about it very often because that area of Delaware is part of my media market/metro (Philly).

As for demographics, the shift is happening in my once little happy town and all over the state of NJ. I'd like us to be the big family everyone wants, but I don't see them feeling the same way. It's uncomfortable to say the least. Landmine topic, I should probably avoid.

I do think Western countries should be concerned about groups in the Middle East, but I have learned of the drills in school. Most of us laughed, but I can imagine how scary it must have been at the time.

As for climate change, I REALLY think as weather geeks we have an obligation to open the eyes of the public. If anyone living in the Mid Atlantic hasn't noticed the absurd spike in heavy precipitation events the last few years they are living in cuckoo land.

Thanks. Very few would call me wise, but I have lived long enough to recognize what me and my generation did right...and wrong. I'm not sure I understand you question about the middle class but, in 1946, you really a farmer, poor, the working poor, or rich. The growth in the middle class was directly related to industrial production, technology production, and consumption. These jobs saw the growth in high paid union jobs and middle management, something that was almost unknown in 1946. We have shut down almost all out industrial capacity and moved it overseas. Our technological production is following the same path. Without the high paying union jobs and production here, middle management becomes less and less needed. The suburbs grew because people could afford cars and a house. That's all changed and will be the biggest economic challenge your generation faces.

Just like building all the infrastructure we have now, like freeways, bridge, and schools cost my generation money, your generation has to come up money to fix things that should have been maintained and weren't. Taxes have to rise to do this but that's gong to be resisted by your generation because your biggest problem is - ME - seriously. I'm the leading edge of the tidal wave of baby boomers. We are all getting old at once. We need to be taken care of. Guess who's going to pay for that? Our hope is that technology, in the long run, can lower the cost of health care by introducing more efficiency. Your generation has to make this work or you're going to be taxed to death. That's a great incentive for innovation.

I don't know the answer to immigration except that we have laws and immigrants should follow them. How this all plays out I'll be watching from a different place. If we can continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil we won't have to worry as much about terrorism since the groups doing it won't have any money.

Climate change is real but it's also the bogeyman for your generation that nuclear war was for my generation. I never thought I'd make to old age but I did. You guys are going to fix these problems. I don't know how but I also didn't know how we were going to escape worldwide nuclear war and the end of the human race. Have faith. You will succeed.
1034. sar2401
Quoting KoritheMan:


LOL come on. I was just joking!

OK, you can stay here, but I'm going to lock you in garage if you get drunk! :-)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #29
Typhoon Warning
SEVERE TROPICAL STORM RAMMASUN (1409)
15:00 PM JST July 14 2014
==================================

Sea East Of The Philippines

At 6:00 AM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm Rammasun (980 hPa) located at 12.9N 129.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 60 knots with gusts of 85 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 14 knots.

Storm Force Winds
===============
40 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
==============
140 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T3.5

Forecast and Intensity
==================
24 HRS: 13.2N 124.2E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Sea East Of The Philippines
48 HRS: 15.0N 120.4E - 60 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) Overland Luzon Region (Philippines)
72 HRS: 17.2N 115.9E - 60 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) South China Sea
1036. sar2401
Quoting rayduray2013:

Thanks sar,

Nice synopsis of the age we both grew up in and fortunately survived. I was born in 1950 so I can relate to a lot of what you've written here.

While I do recall our concerns about pollution, particularly after the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, I don't personally recall getting too concerned about the climate until reading Al Gore's 1992 book, "Earth In The Balance". At about this same time, I got introduced to Edward Abbey's books like "Monkey Wrench Gang" and "Desert Solitaire" and I got concerned about the stunning transformations occurring in the West as mankind seemed to disregard any limits to the transformation of the Earth into a gargantuan gas station and plastics plant. And then there was Marc Reisner's amazing eye-opener about the Cadillac Desert and humanity's stupendous desire to fool Mother Nature with the world's most expensive plumbing system. 

Fast forward to today and our 19 year old inventors are not creating the next new plastic game consoles or water diversions. They're trying to figure out how to efficiently retrieve the old game consoles from ocean gyres. But I digress. And the pollution problems just keeps morphing.



It was quite a time in history, wasn't it? At least young people today don't have to face some of that. Since I grew up in Cleveland i knew really bad pollution firsthand. The Cuyahoga River fire that became famous was just the biggest in a series that had been happening for years. Lake Erie was a huge sewer. You could tell which steel mill was making what in the winter because the snow turned different colors. Now the air is cleaner than ever in Cleveland, the river and lake are almost pristine, and no one has jobs. Pretty tough tradeoff. I remember reading Desert Solitaire as well and the effect it had on me. I think a lot of spent a lot of time trying to help clean up the big problems in front of us but the whole concept of what CO2 alone might do was pretty far down the road. Now it's here.

I really do have a lot of faith in young people today. They are smarter and more energetic about doing the work in front of them than I ever was. With that, as Taz would say, it's time for me two go to bed. :-) Goodnight all.
XX\AOI\XXL
1038. FOREX
Quoting 1037. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

XX\AOI\XXL



Was just looking at that on visible. I wonder what shear is like ahead of it?
1039. FOREX
Quoting 1037. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

XX\AOI\XXL



Nothing yet about it from the NHC. I guess conditions ahead of it are not favorable.
This one is going to be a little hard to explain: Link
1041. MahFL
Quoting 1030. JRRP:

favorable region

The only problem with formation at 40 W is the current high shear at 50 W.
Quoting 1041. MahFL:


The only problem with formation at 40 W is the current high shear at 50 W.


At least the islands will get a nice dose of rain
1044. MahFL
On Fri and Sat we had combined 4.67 in of rain at my house in Orange Park.
1045. ncstorm
Good Morning All..

wave approaching Leeward Islands


Quoting Climate175:


I'm in Gateway in Fort Myers and my Vantage Vue weather station has only received .96" for the month of July.
While at the same time there has been been over 8" of rain in the past week in surrounding areas. A couple day ago the official reporting station in Fort Myers received 3.3" in about 1 hour.

But I guess this is God's way of helping us out. We have a leak in our roof that needs to be repaired. So we're hoping the rain stays away from our house until we can get it fixed.

To make it half way through July (during rainy season) and only have .96" is pretty remarkable for my area.
Good morning. Rammasun organized considerably last night and is now a minimal typhoon heading for a landfall in the Philippines in 12-18 hours. It still doesn't quite have everything wrapped around, but if it can do that it may strengthen a bit more before landfall. Heavy rains and their associated hazards will certainly be the biggest threat.

1048. KalainH
.
Polar Vortex!!!!
Sunny with highs in the upper 60s - low 70s for the Midwest.

St. Louis
Highs mid to upper 70s.

Oklahoma City
Highs in the mid 70s

That just sounds terrible. I hope they can survive the Arctic outbreak.

1050. FOREX
Quoting 1041. MahFL:


The only problem with formation at 40 W is the current high shear at 50 W.


The wave is already between 55 and 60W.
1051. pottery
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
XX\AOI\XXL


That's beginning to look rather like a Grotharism to me.
Not sure if it will pass just north of us, but we will know later today.
Glorious Morning here now, though.
1052. FOREX
?
1053. beell
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT MON JUL 14 2014

TROPICAL WAVE EXTENDS FROM 10N60W TO 19N57W MOVING W AT 15-20
KT. THE WAVE IS MOSTLY EMBEDDED WITHIN THE DRY SAHARAN AIR LAYER
INHIBITING ANY SIGNIFICANT DEEP CONVECTION OUTSIDE OF THE ITCZ
REGION.

CARIBBEAN SEA...

PERSISTENCE OF FRESH TO STRONG TRADES GENERALLY
OCCURRING S OF 17N BETWEEN 68W-82W. THIS AREA OF TRADES IS
FORECAST THROUGH THE UPCOMING WEEK AHEAD AS STRONG HIGH PRESSURE
ANCHORS ITSELF ACROSS THE CENTRAL ATLC.

Moderate to strong easterly boundary layer flow coupled with 20-25 knots of 200 mb westerly flow may keep shear on the high side for this wave as it gets into the Caribbean proper. The dust does not seem to be affecting the shallow convection too much at present as it clips along near the ITCZ. Maybe some better conditions wrt to shear at the wave approaches Central America while it is still over water.

But if brings pottery some rain...!
1054. MahFL
Quoting 1050. FOREX:



The wave is already between 55 and 60W.


The shear is not on 50, it starts at 50W and goes to 86W.
1055. LargoFl
hmmmm.............................................t hursday..................
1056. MahFL
Quoting 1055. LargoFl:

hmmmm............................................. t hursday..................


DOOM !!!!!. ha ha ha.
Quoting 1054. MahFL:



The shear is not on 50, it starts at 50W and goes to 86W.



he said wave not shear learn two read some one post be for responding two them
too close to s america forget about it next week maybe
1059. FOREX
Quoting 1054. MahFL:



The shear is not on 50, it starts at 50W and goes to 86W.


Correct. The wave has no chance.
Quoting 1058. islander101010:

too close to s america forget about it next week maybe



we may not see march of any thing in tell mid AUGS i dont think will see march of any thing for the rest of july
1061. MahFL
Quoting 1057. Tazmanian:




he said wave not shear learn two read some one post be for responding two them


His post inferred the wave was past the shear. I wanted to make it clear it was not.
Quoting LargoFl:
hmmmm............................................ .t hursday..................


GFS does show the front stalling out across the northern GOM.
At the very least, it should bring some heavy rain to Northern Florida.
Out there in time but the "New" GFS (bottom image) develops a weak system out in the Atlantic.


Another sloppy, soupy day for the riders of the Tour de France.
1066. MahFL
Quoting 1065. rayduray2013:

Another sloppy, soupy day for the riders of the Tour de France.



The drugs will keep them dry.
2014 July: Record Cold Weather on the Way to U.S.

In 2004 It was the 4th coldest Meteorological summer (June 1st to August 31st) in Rochester, MN with an average temperature of 65.3 degrees. La Crosse, WI had their 8th coldest.
July
High for the month: 97 / 15th
Low for the month: 55 / 26th
Average monthly temperature: 75.9 / 2.3 below normal
Monthly precipitation: 3.01" / 0.33" above normal
Record: Lowest Maximum Temperatures
69 (tie)on 24th
65 on 25th (ties for 6th coldest day ever in the month of July)
Absolute Minimum 55 on 26th

July 2004 was the coolest July since 1976 and the 26th coldest July on record. Episodes of severe weather and above normal rainfall continued, however no widespread or significant damage occurred.

1068. hydrus
Rammasun is starting to intensify rapidly..
The water is around 90, the good stuff for T.C.s .
1069. FOREX
Quoting 1068. hydrus:

Rammasun is starting to intensify rapidly..



Are we talking RI Gentlemen?
Quoting 61. rayduray2013:


Kamloops, British Columbia has a forecast high of 102 F. on Monday.

Makes even more perfect sense, eh? :)



Reportedly, Kamloops airport recorded its record all-time hottest temperature yesterday of 40.7 C / 105.3 F.
Quoting 1046. Sfloridacat5:



I'm in Gateway in Fort Myers and my Vantage Vue weather station has only received .96" for the month of July.
While at the same time there has been been over 8" of rain in the past week in surrounding areas. A couple day ago the official reporting station in Fort Myers received 3.3" in about 1 hour.

But I guess this is God's way of helping us out. We have a leak in our roof that needs to be repaired. So we're hoping the rain stays away from our house until we can get it fixed.

To make it half way through July (during rainy season) and only have .96" is pretty remarkable for my area.


Yeah the weird thing about this year, is that its been a lot more hit in some areas and a lot more miss in others than usual. Precip distribution has been weird this year, convective patterns "unfairly" keep moving over the same areas while avoiding others. We always see this to some degree, but its been much more dramatic this year than usual.


The other weird thing about this year is that we haven't gotten any major ran events this rainy season yet. Outside of the typical sea breeze thunderstorms each day, we normally get a least a couple very heavy rain events each month over a widespread area. We haven't had any yet. Usually such events help balance out rains to the less favored areas by sea breeze convection.
1072. GatorWX
Morning all. Big blowup of thunderstorms presently in Rammasun. Looks like an eye trying to form as well. Doesn't have too long, but things on the up at the moment.

1073. beell
Low level cloud does not seem to be turning in/towards the mid circulation associated with the ULL centered at 22N 63W

1074. hydrus

Quoting DCSwithunderscores:


Reportedly, Kamloops airport recorded its record all-time hottest temperature yesterday of 40.7 C / 105.3 F.
Thanks for the foilow up. They expect 100 F. today and 102 F. tomorrow. Very unusual, to say the least.

Here in Central Oregon we had about 3,500 lightning strikes yesterday resulting in about 70 wildland fires.
1076. hydrus
Now forecast to pass directly over Manila as a strong tropical storm.



He's still moving really fast and has accelerated from 15 knots to 17 knots this morning. That rate of forward speed should keep him check.
1078. ricderr
good morning.....officially we received 0.19 inches of rain this weekend.......almost a half inch at my house from a brief downpour.......

CPC has not yet released their weekly update.....enso 3.4 region has climbed up to almost the 0.5c threshold once again....the big news will be tomorrow when the aussies issue their update
1079. ricderr
notice that once we've left the spring barrier for ENSO models they've been consistant.....cfsv2 still showing a moderate event.....

1080. JRRP

1081. ricderr
i find it hilarious....that both the climate scientists and the climate deniers are using el nino as their battle cry.....two months ago all the twitter feeds and blogs were filled with super el nino......earth at its hottest....and at the time deniers were saying....you can't use el nino to tout your claims....now...it's the deniers saying...see....el nino is either not going to happen or will be weak.....i won't argue that there's science involved...but all this hype...regardless of side...is not science...purely agenda driven
1082. JRRP
Quoting ricderr:
i find it hilarious....that both the climate scientists and the climate deniers are using el nino as their battle cry.....two months ago all the twitter feeds and blogs were filled with super el nino......earth at its hottest....and at the time deniers were saying....you can't use el nino to tout your claims....now...it's the deniers saying...see....el nino is either not going to happen or will be weak.....i won't argue that there's science involved...but all this hype...regardless of side...is not science...purely agenda driven

you are right
1083. etxwx
Good morning...a little local weather news via KJAS:

NWS unveils new SAILS radar system
The National Weather Service in Lake Charles, LA on July 10 announced the implementation of a major upgrade to their radar system, which meteorologists say will provide them with twice as many radar scans in the lowest elevation during severe weather.
It’s called SAILS, which stands for Supplemental Adaptive Intra Volume Low Level Scan. Forecasters say it will help them to see a potentially developing tornado, and also to more closely monitor an active tornado or thunderstorm.
According to meteorologists, the radar starts a volume scan at the lowest elevation and then moves upwards in elevation. Once the radar has reached the middle elevation, it drops back down to the lowest level and scans again. Then the radar moves back up to the middle elevation and continues the rest of the volume scan. Meteorologists say this means they can potentially get a new radar scan every 2 minutes, compared to the current scans which last 4-6 minutes.
Currently, the radar at nearby Fort Polk and also in Galveston and Shreveport scans every 4 minutes, while the radar in Lake Charles scans every 5 minutes.
Quoting 1075. rayduray2013:


Thanks for the foilow up. They expect 100 F. today and 102 F. tomorrow. Very unusual, to say the least.

Here in Central Oregon we had about 3,500 lightning strikes yesterday resulting in about 70 wildland fires.



Kamloops is often one of the hot spots of British Columbia. A temperature of 100 F is not unusual there. 105 F is unusual.
Quoting 1078. ricderr:

good morning.....officially we received 0.19 inches of rain this weekend.......almost a half inch at my house from a brief downpour.......

CPC has not yet released their weekly update.....enso 3.4 region has climbed up to almost the 0.5c threshold once again....the big news will be tomorrow when the aussies issue their update

Nino 3.4 down to 0.3C
1086. SLU
Quoting 1064. nrtiwlnvragn:

Out there in time but the "New" GFS (bottom image) develops a weak system out in the Atlantic.





"Develops" might be too strong a word to use but yes it's nice to see some signs of life out there. When is the new GFS coming on stream?
It is raining in July here in L.A. Only a few widespread drops, but still highly unusual.
Quoting 1077. ILwthrfan:

Now forecast to pass directly over Manila as a strong tropical storm.



He's still moving really fast and has accelerated from 15 knots to 17 knots this morning. That rate of forward speed should keep him in check.
All the Filipino people will go to work as usual... :o/ Biggest problem should be freshwater flooding, and hopefully the fast forward speed will minimize that.

If the Philipines have to get hit right now, this is about the best case scenario.
Quoting 1085. Tropicsweatherpr:


Nino 3.4 down to 0.3C
I wonder what the value for the ONI will be for the MJJ period? It will be interesting to see if this is following the 2009 event. Right now for the AMJ period it stands at 0.2 which was the same for 2009.
Quoting 1007. VAbeachhurricanes:



Seriously next big landfall we should all go, me, you, cody, kyle, and who ever else im missing.

Me!!!! Jk. There's no way I'd be able to do it this year. Have way too much going on, but maybe next year ;)
Quoting 1014. KoritheMan:



Meeting's not impossible. All of us meeting at once is, but on a general level it's a matter of complaisance and circumstance than anything.

I actually have someone I might meet from the Internet next year. I've already met one guy from GameFAQs that lived in Baton Rouge before he moved back to Austin.
Internet book reading club I frequent used to meet annually for a confab / vacation in Hilton Head. It's doable if enough people are interested and one of the group is organizationally oriented.

I don't think I want to imagine the Wunderground WXgeeks mtg.... lol... talk about massive weirdness... from 8-year-olds to octogenarians.... lol....
1092. ncstorm
El Nino..

Quoting sar2401:

If only it would get down here. I just got back from taking Radar Dog for his walk. It's still 83 and so humid I could almost swim through the air. Now it looks like the front is slowing down and weakening even further as it goes south. The high was 101 today so, if we're lucky, we might "cool down" to 95 on Wednesday. I don't ever recall a period of this much heat and humidity with no rain. A small group of thunderstorms parked over Birmingham early this evening and there was enough rain for BMX to issue an areal flood warning. I thought it was a mistake at first but there they were. Little tiny cells that were good enough for 2-3" of rain. I can only wish for something like that.


I took the three dogs out at about 9:15PM and it was still 88F. However a weakening line of thunderstorms to our northwest put out a strong gust front and I got a refreshing 8F temp drop in a few minutes along with 25 knot breezes and a dewpoint drop (unmeasured). The dogs were definitely happy the last half of the walk. Its a struggle to get them out the door to do their business in this heat.

The Mid Atlantic has dried out in the past few weeks. Some areas have gotten lucky with clusters of thunderstorms, others are dry. Nobody is in serious agrigultural drought yet but I did see corn wilting a little on my drive to a point 15 miles ENE of Harrisburg to drop boyscouts off at camp. The northern part of my drive and the camp got hit by heavy rain last night though but this was after I'd passed through.. I didn't get the free car wash. My own rental garden in the DC area is just getting dry enough to be worrisome.

Quoting 1091. BahaHurican:

Internet book reading club I frequent used to meet annually for a confab / vacation in Hilton Head. It's doable if enough people are interested and one of the group is organizationally oriented.

I don't think I want to imagine the Wunderground WXgeeks mtg.... lol... talk about massive weirdness... from 8-year-olds to octogenarians.... lol....

It'd be a sight for sure. I'd like for this to happen one way or another. Even if it's just 5 to 10 of us, I think that it'd be a good experience and a way for us to all connect other than through the internet. :)
1095. Grothar
Nice wave moving into the Windwards. I bet Doc will be on with a new blog. He always does as soon as I post.

JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Caribbean Precipitation Forecast:

Quoting 952. sar2401:


Yes indeed. I don't know if most people realize that Katrina was weakening at landfall while Camille was intensifying. If the situation had been reversed I can't even imagine the death and destruction that would have taken place. Every type of storm that is possible will be experienced at least once. We don't even know what the "worst" hurricane looks like yet. The Seminoles have a legend of a mighty storm hitting south Florida at some time in their past that didn't leave anything standing taller than a mans knee.


Interesting, didn't know about that one. I knew some October hurricane apparently wiped out colonies in the Caribbean early 1700's but when surrounded by water who knows what the wind damage was.