CSU predicts highly active hurricane season; Cyclone Phet approaching Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:00 PM GMT on June 03, 2010

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A very active Atlantic hurricane season is on tap for 2010, according to the seasonal hurricane forecast issued June 2 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU team is calling for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 185% of average. Between 1950 - 2000, the average season had 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. But since 1995, the beginning of an active hurricane period in the Atlantic, we've averaged 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes per year. The new forecast is a step up from their April forecast, which called for 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The new forecast calls for a much above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (51% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (50% chance, 30% chance is average). The risk of a major hurricane in the Caribbean is also high, at 65% (42% is average.) This is the most aggressive early June forecast ever issued by the CSU group; the previous most aggressive such forecasts were for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, when the CSU team predicted 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. Both of these forecasts did poorly, particularly the 2006 forecast, as only 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes were observed.

The forecasters cited four main reasons for an active season:

1) Weak La Niña conditions should develop by the most active portion of this year's hurricane season (August-October). The expected trend towards weak La Niña conditions should lead to reduced levels of vertical wind shear compared with what was witnessed in 2009.

2) Current SST anomalies are running at near-record warm levels. These very warm waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are very conducive for an active Atlantic hurricane season.

3) A weaker-than-normal Azores High prevailed during April-May. Weaker high pressure typically results in weaker trade winds that are commonly associated with more active hurricane seasons.

4) We are in the midst of a multi-decadal era of major hurricane activity, which began in 1995. Major hurricanes cause 80-85 percent of normalized hurricane damage.

Analogue years
The CSU team picked four previous years when atmospheric and oceanic conditions were similar to what we are seeing this year: weak El Niño to neutral conditions, well above-average tropical Atlantic SSTs, and above-average far North Atlantic SSTs during April - May. Those four years were 2005, the worst hurricane season of all time; 1969, the 3rd worst hurricane season of all time, featuring Category 5 Hurricane Camille which hit Mississippi; 1966, a relatively average year that featured Category 4 Inez that killed 1,000 people in Haiti; and 1958, a severe season with 5 major hurricanes. The mean activity for these five years was 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, almost the same as the 2009 CSU forecast.

How accurate are the June forecasts?
The June forecasts by the CSU team over the past 12 years have had a skill 19% - 30% higher than a "no-skill" climatology forecast for number of named storms, number of hurricanes, and the ACE index (Figure 1). This is a decent amount of skill for a seasonal forecast, and these June forecasts can be useful to businesses such as the insurance industry and oil and gas industry that need to make bets on how active the coming hurricane season will be. Unfortunately, the CSU June 1 forecasts do poorly at forecasting the number of major hurricanes (only 3% skill), and major hurricanes are what do 80 - 85% of all hurricane damage (normalized to current population and wealth levels.) This year's June forecast uses the same formula as the past two years, which did quite well predicting the 2008 hurricane season (prediction: 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 intense hurricanes; observed: 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 5 intense hurricanes) and 2009 hurricane season (prediction: 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes; observed: 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes.) An Excel spreadsheet of their forecast skill (expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient) show values from 0.44 to 0.58 for their June forecasts, which is respectable.


Figure 1. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August), using the Mean Squared Error. The British firm Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) will issue their outlook for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season on June 4. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

NOAA's 2010 hurricane season forecast
NOAA issued their forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season last week. As I discussed in my post on their forecast, NOAA is calling for very active and possibly hyperactive season. They give an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and just a 5% chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70% chance that there will be 14 - 23 named storms, 8 - 14 hurricanes, and 3 - 7 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) in the 155% - 270% of normal range. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal. A season with an ACE index over 175% is considered "hyperactive."


Figure 2. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Thursday, June 3, 2010.

Tropical Cyclone Phet the 2nd strongest Arabian Sea storm on record
Record heat over southern Asia in May has helped heat up the Arabian Sea to 2°C above normal, and the exceptionally warm SSTs helped fuel Tropical Cyclone Phet into the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea. Phet peaked at Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds yesterday, and has weakened slightly to 135 mph winds this morning. Only Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman, was a stronger Arabian Sea cyclone.

Phet is over very warm waters of 30 - 31°C, and is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots. However, the storm is wrapping in dry air from the Arabian Peninsula, which has caused weakening. Visible satellite imagery from this morning (Figure 2) shows that the heavy thunderstorms on the north side of Phet have been eroded away by dry air. Phet is a small storm, and could fall apart fairly quickly if dry air can penetrate into its core. This should happen later today, since wind shear is on the increase, and the shearing winds should be able to disrupt the circulation enough that dry air can force its way into Phet's eyewall. Phet is fairly small, will miss the most heavily populated areas of Oman, and will likely undergo significant weakening before landfall, so the storm is unlikely to cause the kind of catastrophic flooding that Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007 brought to Oman. Gonu killed 50 people and did $4.2 billion in damage. Phet's heaviest rains will be confined to a relatively sparsely populated region of Oman's coast. Rainfall amounts in excess of 6 inches in 18 hours (Figure 3) can be expected along Oman's coast today, which will likely cause extreme flooding.

After Phet's encounter with Oman, the storm will probably be at tropical storm strength when it makes its second landfall in Pakistan. Heavy rains from Phet will be the major danger for Pakistan, and serious flooding can be expected over southern Pakistan.


Figure 3. Forecast rain amounts for the 18-hour period ending at 2am EDT June 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Oil spill update
Onshore winds out of the south, southwest, or west are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico over most of the next week, resulting increased threats of oil to Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model show that these winds will generate a 0.5 - 1 mph current flowing from west to east along the Florida Panhandle coast Sunday and Monday. If this current develops as predicted, it will be capable of bringing light amounts of oil as far east as Fort Walton Beach, Florida, by Monday. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back Friday with an analysis of the new TSR hurricane forecast and a new forecast by a promising Florida State University model.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number TWENTY-SEVEN
VERY SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM PHET (ARB02-2010)
2:30 AM IST June 4 2010
=======================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phet over west central Arabian Sea moved northwestward and lays centered near 21.0N 59.0E, or 1050 kms west southwest of Naliya, Gujarat, 960 kms southwest of Karachi, Pakistan, 170 kms south southwest of Sur, Oman, and 70 kms north of Masirah Island, Oman.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 65 knots with a central pressure of 978 hPa. The state of the sea is phenomenal around the system's center.

The Dvorak intensity of the system is T4.0. Associated broken/solid intense to very intense convection observed over area between 17.5N to 24.5N and west of 62.5E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is about -75C in association with the system.

Vertical wind shear of horizontal wind over the region is low to moderate. The system lies to the south of tropospheric ridge, which roughly runs along 22.0N over the region.

The system is interacting with land surface. Ocean heat potential over the northwest Arabian Sea is relatively less, which is not favorable for intensification.

Considering all the above, the system would move slowly in a northerly direction and cross Oman coast near 21.5N by 06:00-12:00 PM IST, today. It would then weaken gradually, recurve northeastward and then emerge into northwest Arabian Sea by night and move northeastwards towards Pakistan.

Gale winds of 60-70 knots with gusts of 75 knots would occur along and off of Oman coast at the time of landfall.

Storm Surge Guidance For Oman Coast
====================================
Storm surge of about 2 meters above the astronomical tide would occur around the time of landfall.


Please post a satellite loop of Phet :O)!!
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1779. divdog
Quoting IKE:


Are you kidding with those comments?
God i hope he is kidding
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1767 LOL!
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1777. help4u
Joe Biden on Charlie Rose show said BP has done the best they could possibly do!LOL!
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1776. IKE
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity. And I'm not even sure about the Universe. --Albert Einstein


Amen to those comments.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:


Are you kidding with those comments?

He had best be or an angry WU mob is in his future, for sure.
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1774. Patrap
I'd like to dip The BP Head Dog in the Marsh slowly..from a Cane Pole..,like the worm he is.


The Atlantic Current can take him back to England the Long way..via the Loop.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
Quoting IKE:


Man is what caused what's going on in the GOM. It's man's fault. Greed included. I'm not so sure man is the smartest. In some ways were the dumbest.


Yep, we are pretty dumb. Animals get a long fine, we create messes time and time again.
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Hi Pat (#1740) -

It seems to me that no President since Harry Truman has had so much on his plate.
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1769. IKE
Quoting btwntx08:
who freakin cares about the oil spill we know whats happening with that cant u all just forget about that...now lets stay weather topics plz


Are you kidding with those comments?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:


Man is what caused what's going on in the GOM. It's man's fault. Greed included. I'm not so sure man is the smartest. In some ways were the dumbest.


Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity. And I'm not even sure about the Universe. --Albert Einstein
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Quoting Baybuddy:
In the oil leak vids is that a monkey head swaying in the foreground like a sort of water vane? Any sailor types out there?


No, it is a real monkey's head. Used for good luck by BP. Just didn't work out so good for them (or us)
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Quoting Bordonaro:
BP- Beyond Pathetic, this is a real freaking big, big, mess!!!! These folks should be forced to not only stop the leak, but they should be forced to clean the mess, pay all the claims, then they should be forced to sell their producing wells to their competitors, with a much better safety record!!

Then they should be forced into a CH 7 liquidation!!

I second that emotion.
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1764. Patrap
Quoting Baybuddy:
In the oil leak vids is that a monkey head swaying in the foreground like a sort of water vane? Any sailor types out there?


Current Babuska..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
1763. IKE
Quoting Nolehead:
yeah i know ike he's been trying the whole time to get that dumb ass CEO to go on live with him and he won't do it.....just unreal...


yeah...I've been watching almost nightly.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Bordonaro:
BP- Beyond Pathetic, this is a real freaking big, big, mess!!!! These folks should be forced to not only stop the leak, but they should be forced to clean the mess, pay all the claims, then they should be forced to sell their producing wells to their competitors, with a much better safety record!!

Then they should be forced into a CH 7 liquidation!!


BP: Bong Passers.
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Quoting btwntx08:
who freakin cares about the oil spill we know whats happening with that cant u all just forget about that...now lets stay weather topics plz


Uhhhhh....?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1760. IKE
Quoting leo305:


The loss of potentially 100 times the amount of fatalities in 911, is immoral, and I consider it worse.. I am open minded though.. an animal to me is very precious, a human being to me is very precious.. but in reality we are all animals, just we happen to be the smartest of them all.


Man is what caused what's going on in the GOM. It's man's fault. Greed included. I'm not so sure man is the smartest. In some ways were the dumbest.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting leo305:


The loss of potentially 100 times the amount of fatalities in 911, is immoral, and I consider it worse.. I am open minded though.. an animal to me is very precious, a human being to me is very precious.. but in reality we are all animals, just we happen to be the smartest of them


Well saidall.
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Quoting leo305:


The loss of potentially 100 times the amount of fatalities in 911, is immoral, and I consider it worse.. I am open minded though.. an animal to me is very precious, a human being to me is very precious.. but in reality we are all animals, just we happen to be the smartest of them all.

So what you are saying is this: you would rather have 1 person die, than 150 fish. You are a sick, sick, mind.
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1757. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number TWENTY-SEVEN
VERY SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM PHET (ARB02-2010)
2:30 AM IST June 4 2010
=======================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phet over west central Arabian Sea moved northwestward and lays centered near 21.0N 59.0E, or 1050 kms west southwest of Naliya, Gujarat, 960 kms southwest of Karachi, Pakistan, 170 kms south southwest of Sur, Oman, and 70 kms north of Masirah Island, Oman.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 65 knots with a central pressure of 978 hPa. The state of the sea is phenomenal around the system's center.

The Dvorak intensity of the system is T4.0. Associated broken/solid intense to very intense convection observed over area between 17.5N to 24.5N and west of 62.5E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is about -75C in association with the system.

Vertical wind shear of horizontal wind over the region is low to moderate. The system lies to the south of tropospheric ridge, which roughly runs along 22.0N over the region.

The system is interacting with land surface. Ocean heat potential over the northwest Arabian Sea is relatively less, which is not favorable for intensification.

Considering all the above, the system would move slowly in a northerly direction and cross Oman coast near 21.5N by 06:00-12:00 PM IST, today. It would then weaken gradually, recurve northeastward and then emerge into northwest Arabian Sea by night and move northeastwards towards Pakistan.

Gale winds of 60-70 knots with gusts of 75 knots would occur along and off of Oman coast at the time of landfall.

Storm Surge Guidance For Oman Coast
====================================
Storm surge of about 2 meters above the astronomical tide would occur around the time of landfall.
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yeah i know ike he's been trying the whole time to get that dumb ass CEO to go on live with him and he won't do it.....just unreal...
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Phet has made landfall in northeastern Oman.
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BP- Beyond Pathetic, this is a real freaking big, big, mess!!!! These folks should be forced to not only stop the leak, but they should be forced to clean the mess, pay all the claims, then they should be forced to sell their producing wells to their competitors, with a much better safety record!!

Then they should be forced into a CH 7 liquidation!!
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Quoting msgambler:
MrstormX, I hate to inform you of this, but if half the oil is going up the tube instead of in the water then that is 50% better than what we had 45 minutes ago.


I think it's going up the tube and exiting into the Gulf twenty feet from where it did 45 minutes ago. No more or less oil. Differant place and pressure
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In the oil leak vids is that a monkey head swaying in the foreground like a sort of water vane? Any sailor types out there?
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Quoting CaneWarning:


BP had better not survive this. Let them spend every last penny cleaning up our waters and shores. Then hold the executives responsible. Seize their assets and throw them in jail.


Agreed.
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1749. pottery
Quoting MrstormX:


Yes but the flow is doubled, im sure there is some going up the pipe but at most half the oil is. And if the flow is doubled, we are no better than when we started.

Not sure that the flow has doubled. 25% more was expected. Double that for error (or PR), and lets say 50% more.
Still a crazy amount....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
Yes, and it will reverberate across the country. People from every state own "investment properties" on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Many of these people depend on the small amount of positive cash flow derived from vacation rentals to help carry the mtg. on these condos or homes. They too will feel a loss of revenue. These same condos/home that are vacation properties provide jobs - reservation agents, marketing people, advertising, cleaning services, check-in agents, etc..... Businesses all along the coast, everything from the corner barbershop to the fine dining establishment will suffer impacts from the loss of vacationer revenues, the mom & pop businesses will feel it first, then the chain & franchise businesses; a vicious cycle has begun. The entire nation will be hurt by this, one way or another.
Quoting CaneWarning:


Gulf coast residents are already paying the price, even if the oil isn't on their shores yet. Watch the unemployment rates go up in these states.
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Quoting msgambler:
MrstormX, I hate to inform you of this, but if half the oil is going up the tube instead of in the water then that is 50% better than what we had 45 minutes ago.

exactly. Every drop out of the gulf that would have been there is an improvement. Looks bad, but theres nothing that proves it is a complete failure yet.
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See that spew from the side on rover 2
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4355
Be careful posting links, TampaSpin was banned for posting the video feeds from his website.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1742. leo305
Quoting Levi32:


No, you cannot compare the loss of unintelligent animals to the deaths of 2995 human beings.


The loss of potentially 100 times the amount of fatalities in 911, is immoral, and I consider it worse.. I am open minded though.. an animal to me is very precious, a human being to me is very precious.. but in reality we are all animals, just we happen to be the smartest of them all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


He said BP should have a spokesman explaining what is going on, like NASA does with the space shuttle flights. I agree.

BP is not going to survive this.


BP had better not survive this. Let them spend every last penny cleaning up our waters and shores. Then hold the executives responsible. Seize their assets and throw them in jail.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1740. Patrap


President Obama returns to Louisiana on Friday to see Gulf oil spill work
By Bruce Alpert, Times-Picayune
June 03, 2010, 7:45PM


Facing growing criticism that he has not shown enough urgency or passion about the 46-day-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama will on Friday make his third visit to Louisiana since the disaster began, and administration officials said he is likely to be back.

The visit, his second in a week, comes as the president and members of his administration are turning up the rhetorical heat on BP, the operator of the damaged deepwater rig that is spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

"I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people, but that's not the job I was hired to do," Obama said on CNN's Larry King show Thursday night. "My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn't about me and how angry I am. Ultimately this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they're able to salvage their way of life."

But just because the public hasn't seen his anger, Obama said, doesn't mean he doesn't feel outrage.

"You know, I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions," Obama told King. "It's imperiling not just a handful of people. This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years."

The criticism of the president has come from supporters and opponents alike.

On Sunday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who backed Obama's presidential campaign, said the president should have been more assertive during in the first days after the accident.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, said,"We are tired of them talking like John Wayne and acting like Pee-Wee Herman."

Robert Gibbs, Obama's spokesman, said he expects that the president will meet with state and local officials, residents affected by the spill and get updates from Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is directing the administration's response to the spill.

Gibbs said the president considered his trip to Louisiana last week successful because he was able to hear directly from officials about what they needed to deal with the spill.

"The president believed it was a productive atmosphere in ensuring that everybody's causes and concerns were heard, and ultimately met," Gibbs said.

Gibbs was asked about the other crises facing the president, including the harsh international reaction to Israel's flotilla raid, the controversy about the White House trying to induce two Democrats to drop primary races with the possibility of federal jobs, the ongoing problems with North Korea and Iran and the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"No White House, at any time, has the luxury of picking the events that it deals with, both on a domestic and an international ... and on the international scene," Gibbs said. "That's part of the job."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
1728. Acemmett90 2:18 AM GMT on June 04, 2010
Quoting Nolehead:
1666. IKE 2:03 AM GMT on June 04, 2010
Anderson Cooper is hammering BP as well.


he's been doing that from the gitgo....


well they do deserve it for cutting courners



oh absolutly and then some!!!!!
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MrstormX, I hate to inform you of this, but if half the oil is going up the tube instead of in the water then that is 50% better than what we had 45 minutes ago.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Is that it? Are they pulling away from it?
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Quoting btwntx08:
ok lets go back tropics here


Nothing of note, the oil spill is active and more important imo right now.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4355
1735. reveler
hey southAlwx where are you from in south alabama
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It all gives me a headache and makes me want to throw up.
You've all probably seen this.
I've been watching tapes of the women's semi-finals at the French Open after working all day...
THE GULF OF MEXICO...
AN AREA OF UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION IS OVER THE NORTHWEST GULF COAST NEAR 30N95W. FURTHERMORE...AN UPPER LEVEL SHORTWAVE IS FORMING OVER THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF. THESE TWO UPPER LEVEL SYSTEMS ARE SUPPORTING A VERY STABLE ENVIRONMENT OVER THE NORTHEAST QUADRANT OF THE GULF...NORTH OF 25N EAST OF 90W. DOPPLER RADAR IMAGERY INDICATES SCATTERED MODERATE TO HEAVY SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE THUNDERSTORMS OVER THIS REGION. SHORT RANGE COMPUTER MODELS INDICATE THIS AREA OF UNSETTLED WEATHER WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE EASTWARD OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS...BRINGING MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION WITHIN 100 NM OFF THE COAST OF MISISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND FLORIDA. AS FOR THE UPPER LEVEL LOW OVER THE NORTHWEST GULF...MODELS INDICATED THIS FEATURE WILL GENERATE MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION WITHIN 80 NM OFF THE TEXAS AND LOUISIANA COAST OVER THE NEXT 12 TO 18 HOURS. ELSEWHERE SOUTH OF 25N...FAIR WEATHER CONDITIONS PREDOMINATE WITH SOUTHERLY FLOW 5 KT TO 10 KT.

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...or,
Beyond the Pale
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.