Quiet in the Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:29 PM GMT on August 23, 2013

A weak trough of low pressure over the Northern Gulf of Mexico has created a small area of heavy thunderstorms off the coast of Alabama, which are moving west at 10 - 15 mph. Surface pressures are high in the region, wind shear is a moderately high 15 - 20 knots, and an upper level low is centered over the Yucatan Channel is bringing some dry air to the Gulf of Mexico. These factors will discourage development, and in their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance just a 10% chance of development by Wednesday.


Figure 1. A weak trough of low pressure over the Northern Gulf of Mexico created a modest area of heavy thunderstorms on Thursday afternoon, August 22, 2013. Image crest: NASA.

A tropical wave that emerged form the coast of Africa on Thursday night could develop by Wednesday the 28th midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, according to this morning's 00Z run of the Navy's NAVGEM model. However, this forecast is dubious, as none of the other models is calling for tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic during the coming week. The tropical Atlantic is dominated by dry, stable air, and a new outbreak of dust and dry air is exiting the coast of Africa this weekend, which will keeping the Tropical Atlantic dry though at least Thursday, August 29. Another tropical wave will come off the coast of Africa on Monday August 26, and these two tropical waves may be able to prime the tropical Atlantic for higher chances of development by leaving a moister environment for a vigorous tropical wave predicted to move off the coast of Africa on Thursday, August 29.

In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Depression 9-E is headed northwards along the coast of Baja California. Cold waters off the coast of Baja California will likely keep TD 9-E from strengthening into a hurricane, and the storm is not expected to make landfall in Mexico. However, moisture from TD 9-E will stream into Northwest Mexico over the weekend, increasing the odds of flash flooding. The models predict formation of a new tropical storm that will follow a similar path to TD 9-E along the west coast of the Baja Peninsula during the last few days of August.

I'll have a new post later today on the hurricane flood risk from Florida's Lake Okeechobee this year.

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

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1448. cmckla
8:29 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Is the NHC planning a recon flight out to investigate thr blob of convection off the mouth of the mississippi river. It is showing outflow and a twist. Keesler AF base is only 50 miles from NOLA. Might be worth a look to see if the pressures are low at the surface.

I believe we may have Ferdiane.
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1447. Patrap
7:30 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Note the organization of the COC in the last few frames.

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1446. Patrap
6:15 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Also note the outer Band, a lil Vort embedded in the mean is swirling over the House jus now...in NOLA

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1445. TropicalAnalystwx13
4:21 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1443. airmet3:
So I have a question about the MJO. My understanding is that the MJO can promote convective activity in an environment that is suitable for convection. The MJO does not create a suitable environment where there is not one.

I read from folks here who state they are waiting, dare I say hoping, for the next MJO in a week or two and this will enhance tropical activity. However, the dry, stable air mass in the MDR will seem to win out since the MJO does not, in itself, change this to a moist unstable environment nor does it change the overall pattern to create a more unstable atmosphere.

Am I missing something?

Air is sinking across the Atlantic...that's why the air is stable. The upward MJO is associated with rising air, which supports convective activity. It should win out.
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1444. islander101010
3:30 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
andrew.was.a.freak.most.are.like.bonnie
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1443. airmet3
3:03 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
So I have a question about the MJO. My understanding is that the MJO can promote convective activity in an environment that is suitable for convection. The MJO does not create a suitable environment where there is not one.

I read from folks here who state they are waiting, dare I say hoping, for the next MJO in a week or two and this will enhance tropical activity. However, the dry, stable air mass in the MDR will seem to win out since the MJO does not, in itself, change this to a moist unstable environment nor does it change the overall pattern to create a more unstable atmosphere.

Am I missing something?
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1442. 900MB
3:02 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1438. LargoFl:


Sharknado come true?
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1441. daddyjames
2:54 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Top o' the morning from Central OK.

All is quiet here, as it is in the ATL. Summer has returned with temps in the low to mid-90's, and hardly any clouds in sight. My condolences to the folks south of me experiencing much higher temps, with much less rain.

Just got done with a "forced" upgrade - from basic cable (45 channels) to U-verse (with over 600 channels). Ugh!

Forecast:
Weakening of self-discipline will occur, with gradual subsidence into the recliner. This, almost horizontal feature, will remain stationary for hours on end, until an approaching wave of reality induces upward motion. Energy associated with this system is expected to remain disorganized, with no real focus, until slowly circulating back and subsiding once again in the same region. This pattern is expected to remain for the upcoming weeks.

Enjoy your day - will catch you later.
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1440. Sfloridacat5
2:42 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1435. GatorWX:


I went over with my dad to south dade to buy a sailboat. Damage was incredible. I'm not sure you made it over to the left side, charley was quite similar, just a very narrow footprint. I should say an incredibly narrow footprint. I went down to pg the following morning, I was in tears.


I've had people that lived in South Fl. tell me "I went through Andrew and it wasn't all that bad."
These are people that didn't go through the eye wall of Andrew. Most the people who actually experienced the eye wall of Andrew weren't sure if they were going to live or die. Simply incredible wind in Andrews eye wall.
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1439. etxwx
2:41 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1409. GatorWX:



"With hotshots and other elite fire crews stretched thin, U.S. fire managers will decide in coming days whether to seek U.S. military or international aid to check the roughly 50 large fires burning in the West."

Sad with the amount of wealth our country has.


Found a bit more on this in an article on The Voice of Russia/Reuters. Sounds like we may have some mutual aid agreements with Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

US wildfire managers weigh help from military, foreign countries
Excerpt: US fire managers this week opened the way to potentially seeking military aid and gaining firefighting resources stemming from agreements with Canada, Australia and New Zealand by raising the national wildfire alert index to the maximum level of 5 for the first time in five years.
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1438. LargoFl
2:40 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
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1437. hydrus
2:40 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
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1436. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:39 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1435. GatorWX
2:37 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1430. hydrus:
Krome ave, Cutler Ridge, Kendall, Florida City and Perrine..To this day, the worst hurricane wind damage these eyes have ever seen....I saw steel I beams that looked like the twist ties on bread bags.


I went over with my dad to south dade to buy a sailboat. Damage was incredible. I'm not sure you made it over to the left side, charley was quite similar, just a very narrow footprint. I should say an incredibly narrow footprint. I went down to pg the following morning, I was in tears.
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1434. Sfloridacat5
2:36 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
GFS at 216 hours (8-9 days and could be consider "fantasy land")the well established low impacting the Islands
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1433. LargoFl
2:35 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
well a front brings more(geez) rain to the panhandle and NO and Texas get rains too .............
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1432. GatorWX
2:35 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1428. GatorWX:

The late start and recent late endings indicate this and with the lack of activity, the heat hasn't moved much. I liked reading the theories yesterday regarding the lack of activity. What stuck out to me was how GW has caused heat to e distributed over a much greater area than historical records would show. I'm not sure this could be directly related to GW, but regardless it seemed very plausible. Instead of heat being concentrated in the mdr, etc. with less variation of heat in that region and by default more in air, wouldn't this limit instability? With that said, it was a good theory IMO.


I know the significance of the sal, but I'm not entirely sure that's the only issue.
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1431. hydrus
2:35 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
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1430. hydrus
2:33 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1426. PalmBeachWeather:
21 years ago today many of my Miami-Dade friends were going through hell after Andrew... Thank goodness my dear friend Suzan survived the worst ...She lived in Redlands at the time....So many stories
Krome ave, Cutler Ridge, Kendall, Florida City and Perrine..To this day, the worst hurricane wind damage these eyes have ever seen....I saw steel I beams that looked like the twist ties on bread bags.
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1429. GatorWX
2:32 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1427. Sfloridacat5:
Posted earlier
GFS at 189 hours. The low (that could threaten the U.S). has formed in the Southern Atlantic. Just have see if there is any consistancy in future runs.


Southern North Atlantic. Just saying. ;) I hate responses like that too.
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1428. GatorWX
2:28 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
The late start and recent late endings indicate this and with the lack of activity, the heat hasn't moved much. I liked reading the theories yesterday regarding the lack of activity. What stuck out to me was how GW has caused heat to e distributed over a much greater area than historical records would show. I'm not sure this could be directly related to GW, but regardless it seemed very plausible. Instead of heat being concentrated in the mdr, etc. with less variation of heat in that region and by default more in air, wouldn't this limit instability? With that said, it was a good theory IMO.
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1427. Sfloridacat5
2:28 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Posted earlier
GFS at 189 hours. The low (that could threaten the U.S). has formed in the Southern Atlantic approaching the Islands. Just have to see if there is any consistancy in future runs.
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1426. PalmBeachWeather
2:26 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
21 years ago today many of my Miami-Dade friends were going through hell after Andrew... Thank goodness my dear friend Suzan survived the worst ...She lived in Redlands at the time....So many stories
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1425. seer2012
2:26 PM GMT on August 24, 2013


It looks like Belize is getting soaked.
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1424. rmbjoe1954
2:25 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1393. CybrTeddy:


CMC, Navy, GFS are all showing development by around 168 hours or so of a system in the MDR. Here's the CMC at 240 hours.


NAVGEM (Navy) by 180 hours.


GFS by 180 hours, eventually trucks towards Florida as a strong TS.


I have a question- where and how strong will the Bermuda High be?
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1423. Sfloridacat5
2:24 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1414. LargoFl:
well in fantasy land..this one is OFF the coast of tampa bay not IN it....


As mentioned, that "fantasy land" low over Florida comes from an African wave due to leave the coast in the next couple days.
Begins getting its act together around 180 hour mark (about this time next week)
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1422. JRRP
2:23 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
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1421. GatorWX
2:22 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
I'll bet Oct is a doozy. I hate to speculate however. I'll simply bet words and not money on that.
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1420. LargoFl
2:22 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
well yes its fantasy land..BUT..sept IS the month floridians worry about..and its peak season in a few days...at the very least..you should already have..your hurricane kits made and stocked up..and maybe plans on what you will do and where to go if..you have to evacuate huh..all this should have already been done...no storm here yet..but being prepared is better than getting caught off guard.
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1419. AussieStorm
2:22 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
21 Years ago today.





Even I remember this one. It was all over the news here. Especially with the Miami Zoo and the possibility of the animals on the loose.
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1418. Sfloridacat5
2:21 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
The Low that forms around the 180 hour mark (GFS), comes from a wave coming off Africa in the next 48-72 hours.
Be interesting to watch to see if that materializes.
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1417. JRRP
2:20 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
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1416. GatorWX
2:19 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1413. JRRP:
GFS ENS


I like the ensembles....as far as long range model output
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1415. GatorWX
2:17 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1412. Doppler22:
we'll I think it was mainly Irene that devastated Vermont, but it was the Lee+ Irene combination for NY and PA


Yeah, but for the southern tier. That's what I meant. Forgot entirely about lee.
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1414. LargoFl
2:17 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
well in fantasy land..this one is OFF the coast of tampa bay not IN it....
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1413. JRRP
2:12 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
GFS ENS
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1412. Doppler22
2:11 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1410. GatorWX:


Forgot it was actually the combination of the two. Thanks
we'll I think it was mainly Irene that devastated Vermont, but it was the Lee+ Irene combination for NY and PA
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1411. Sfloridacat5
2:10 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
I wish I could remember what storm it was. A couple/few years ago the GFS predicted a hurricane hitting Florida 10 days out.
And 10-12 days later a hurricane tracked across S. Florida.

But as we know, thats rarely ever happens.
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1410. GatorWX
2:09 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1407. Doppler22:
From the standpoint of a Pennsylvania resident, I can agree with you there. Irene Lee = some if the worst flooding I've ever seen, I got a foot of rain from Lee. After 3 inches from Irene


Forgot it was actually the combination of the two. Thanks
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1409. GatorWX
2:08 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1403. etxwx:
Good morning all. Still whining...err..waiting for rain here in Texas. I washed the car, gonna do laundry today and am seriously considering washing the windows (but I'm not quite that desperate yet.)

These folks need rain worse than we do. Terrible fire situation in the West.
Fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite threatens power in San Francisco

Revisiting the Waldo Canyon fire
by Rick Wilking - Reuters
After covering dozens of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires, I have often thought about what happens to those places after the media says adios.



"With hotshots and other elite fire crews stretched thin, U.S. fire managers will decide in coming days whether to seek U.S. military or international aid to check the roughly 50 large fires burning in the West."

Sad with the amount of wealth our country has.
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1408. Sfloridacat5
2:05 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1399. centex:
Anytime I see post about 300 hour model output I get offline immediately. Bye


Because you wish the models went to 400 hours? Is that why you get upset?

It's almost like having confidence in Dr. Grays' seasonal forecast. His crystal ball hasn't been working too well the past few years.
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1407. Doppler22
2:04 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1347. GatorWX:
Irene was vermont's Floyd as I saw it. The southern tier of NY and northern PA were also affected pretty bad. I had spent the summer up near Binghamton two summers prior and made some friends up there that relayed a lot of what was going on locally back to me. Tropical systems do bad things in mountainous areas.
From the standpoint of a Pennsylvania resident, I can agree with you there. Irene Lee = some if the worst flooding I've ever seen, I got a foot of rain from Lee. After 3 inches from Irene
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1406. seer2012
2:03 PM GMT on August 24, 2013


Still?? I thought it was on its way to being gone.
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1405. PalmBeachWeather
2:03 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Gro....The Air Guitar championships were held this week....Not sure if you were in it this year or not..
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1404. 954FtLCane
1:56 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1367. belizeit:
All that training rain will cause flooding for some villages and citys

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1403. etxwx
1:53 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Good morning all. Still whining...err..waiting for rain here in Texas. I washed the car, gonna do laundry today and am seriously considering washing the windows (but I'm not quite that desperate yet.)

These folks need rain worse than we do. Terrible fire situation in the West.
Fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite threatens power in San Francisco

Revisiting the Waldo Canyon fire
by Rick Wilking - Reuters
After covering dozens of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires, I have often thought about what happens to those places after the media says adios.
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1402. 954FtLCane
1:53 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1370. nrtiwlnvragn:
Global Hawk off to meet SAL






Aircraft: Global Hawk AV6 (NASA872)
Last Update (utc): 2013-08-24T12:54:23Z
Last Update Delta: (About 15 seconds ago)
Latitude: 36.255 (36° 15' 18.35")
Longitude: -65.556 (65° 33' 20.88")
Pressure Altitude (ft): 54883.80 (16728.58 m)
Heading (deg): 105.80
Ground Speed (kts): 343.67
Total Temperature (c): -46.20 (226.95 k)


It doesn't sound nearly as sexy when a plane takes off to meet SAL when compared to it flying into an active storm. Somewhere there the sexiness get lost :-(
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1401. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:50 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
2013 Storms
Atlantic
green ball95L.INVEST


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1400. seer2012
1:49 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1395. hydrus:
Yep. An extremely large disturbance will move off the northern coast of South America and merge with a tropical wave. It will move slowly north steadily intensifying. As it moves into the gulf toward the Florida Panhandle, it intensifies further reaching category -5 status and continues to strengthen. The storm is now 750 miles in diameter with hurricane force winds extending 400 miles from the center and stalls just offshore Pensacola for 3 days, dumping 95 inches of rain on all Northern Florida, temporarily drifts south regaining cat-5 strength and makes landfall on P.Doug....Hope u stock your cooler with brew and the pantry with aspirin..:)..oh, Good morning.


You deserve a promotion to seer class 1!! Good call!! rolfl!!
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1399. centex
1:49 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Anytime I see post about 300+ hour model output I get offline immediately. Bye
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1398. PalmBeachWeather
1:46 PM GMT on August 24, 2013
Quoting 1369. Grothar:
There is a near 0% chance some bloggers will not ask the same questions and be given the correct answers and won't remember them.

There is a near 0% chance some bloggers will not embarrass themselves today.


But... But
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather