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Dean Main thread - Jason Moreland - 08-09-2007 09:10 PM

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Dean Main thread - jamesfrommaine2 - 08-10-2007 11:07 AM

UPDATED: 9:15 am EDT, August 10, 2007

Every major computer model that we look at for tropical cyclone development shows that we will have something to track within a few days. The GFS model has been showing this for several days and now other models, the UKMET, NOGAPS, ECMWF and others, show it too. The candidate is a strong tropical wave and surface low about to exit the west coast of Africa. When I see this kind of agreement among the suite of models, it is hard to dismiss as fantasy or model error. However, this certainly does not mean that development is certain but we should pay attention over the next several days as we are now entering the traditional rapid climb towards the peak of the hurricane season.

Elsewhere, some of these same models develop a system in or around the Gulf of Mexico early next week. Water temps in this area are some of the warmest in the entire Basin, so if anything does get going, it will have to be watched closely. But that's just it, IF anything gets going. I am talking about computer model forecasts and not reality right now. How reliable are these models? In the short term, pretty good. But after about five days out, they become more subject to subtle changes that can have huge impacts on what really happens. As I mention from time to time when talking about models, we look for A) consistency and B) concensus or agreement among several models. We are seeing both right now in varying degrees. If we do get development, it should be no surprise. Afterall, it is hurricane season and it is August- what else can we expect? Now is a good time to really make sure you are ready, what ever that means for you. We have been very fortunate since the last hurricane hit almost 22 months ago. When ever that good fortune runs out, be it this year or next, there is no excuse for not having some kind of plan in place for how YOU will deal with a hurricane in your area. I am seeing the signs that the real season is about to get started and we are probably going to be very busy over the coming weeks. Let's demonstrate that we learned from the recent historic hurricanes and be prepared. We cannot say we weren't warned. I'll have more here early this evening.


Dean Main thread - SevereWxEnthusiast - 08-10-2007 10:12 PM

The GFS brings a system to landfall on aug 23rd-ish very close to Katrina's path. What other models bring out a long range forecast like this, if any?

Dean Main thread - Fred Gossage - 08-10-2007 10:24 PM

Today's ECMWF run had a system over the Bahamas with a building ridge north of it...carrying the system west toward the Gulf of Mexico..... then a developing weakness on the west end of the ridge, over the Central Gulf Coast...... Pure speculation for at least another five or six days....but it's interesting, nonetheless. Today's NOGAPS run also had a strong tropical wave over the same area as the ECMWF had the system at the end of its run......

Dean Main thread - SevereWxEnthusiast - 08-10-2007 10:45 PM

Do the ECMWF and NOGAPS look out just as far as the GFS?....And by the way, Fred, I've enjoyed your level headed wording in past posts.

Dean Main thread - Fred Gossage - 08-10-2007 10:51 PM

I only have the data out until around 144-240 hours on the other medium range models. I don't have them past the system being in the Bahamas.....but the synoptic environment agrees that whatever would be over the Bahamas, would be moving west....as a ridge of high pressure builds in north of the system over the Western Atlantic......

Dean Main thread - Jason Moreland - 08-10-2007 10:59 PM

I'm late in posting tonight. Anyway this is the CV part of the disco..


What may soon become the main story in the tropics is the tropical wave exiting Africa this evening. Every global model, with the exception of NOGAPS, is very bullish on this system. The GFS has consistently depicted development for several days, and the latest runs are not backing off. Additionally, the CMC, UKMET, and ECMWF have become equally as aggressive over the last 24 hours. Based soley on the model consensus, it is not a question of if there will be development, but when the first advisories will be issued. Several models, most notably the GFS and UKMET, continue to show tropical cyclone formation almost immediately once the low level center enters the Atlantic. One must question if such immediate formation is realistic regardless of how favorable conditions in the eastern Atlantic may be. By day 6 and beyond, all of the aforementioned models show a significant hurricane due east of the Virgin Islands.

The synoptic setup in the eastern Atlantic does appear favorable for significant development. The Saharan Air Layer near the African coast is retreating northward along with much of the additional dry air or subsidence. the mid-level easterly jet to the south of the wave axis is very strong, and that is often a good indicator of a favorable upper air environment. The easterly flow south of the Cape Verde Islands is even a bit too strong at the moment, but the global model guidance shows those winds relaxing with time. All track guidance also keeps the wave in question well south of the 26ºC isotherm, thus making sea surface temperatures warm enough and favorable for development. We should know if all of this is hogwash or not very soon as we should begin to see signs of actual development within 72 hours at the latest. The three day mark even accounts for the possibility that the models may be developing this wave too rapidly. By Day 7, there's good reason to believe a significant hurricane will be looming in the central Atlantic.

Once the wave begins to strengthen, the evergrowing question will become where is it headed? For the next week or so, the GFS will likely provide interests between Texas and the Canadian Maritimes with a lot of entertainment as each 6 hourly model update shifts 2,000 miles give or take a few. The GFS simply cannot forecast whether the United States will be directly impacted by this storm just yet. It's not only the tropical cyclone that it will have a hard time forecasting, but also the entire global pattern that will be responsible for steering the storm in the first place. The GFS Ensembles are not immune to medium range errors either. Furthermore, even though the ECMWF is looked upon as the superior medium range model, it too often has trouble forecasting tropical cyclones with any high degree of skill beyond 5-6 days. A lot can happen. I only have two general ideas that I think are most probable. The best scenario is recurvature near 60ºW before a trough over the central Atlantic lifts out. Unfortunately, if that trough lifts out too early, then the ridge over the southeast United States and the Azores Ridge will merge. The potential hurricane would then bend westward toward the Bahamas, Florida, and Gulf of Mexico. The third scenario is an East Coast Carolinas landfall, but the ridge over the southeast should block any storm from recurving into that region. But even that cannot be ruled out at this time, because it is based on the assumption that the synoptic pattern provided by the models is at least halfway accurate.

With that said, the more immediate concern is what threat the northeast Caribbean could be facing within 6-10 days. I'm sure interests in the northeast Caribbean that keep up with the models will be looking for a yes/no answer soon as each model update makes them a bit more uneasy. There's no definite answer even for that region this evening. But now is not yet the time to become increasingly alarmed or concerned. There's still no tropical cyclone on the maps, and any storm is still 6+ days away. The 18Z GFS and 12Z ECMWF have trended closer to the Caribbean, but that is a trend that will have to be given another look over the next couple days. Until then, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate your hurricane preparedness plan.

Dean Main thread - Jason Moreland - 08-10-2007 11:00 PM

SevereWxEnthusiast Wrote:Do the ECMWF and NOGAPS look out just as far as the GFS?....And by the way, Fred, I've enjoyed your level headed wording in past posts.

The ECMWF is run through Day 10. NOGAPS is only available (online at least) out to 180 hours.

Dean Main thread - Jason Moreland - 08-11-2007 02:48 AM

Here we go....NHC TWD....



The wave is looking d**n good this morning too.

Dean Main thread - ROLLTIDE - 08-11-2007 11:09 AM

Abnt20 Knhc 111520
Tropical Weather Outlook
Nws Tpc/national Hurricane Center Miami Fl
1130 Am Edt Sat Aug 11 2007

For The North Atlantic...caribbean Sea And The Gulf Of Mexi

A Vigorous Tropical Wave Has Emerged From Africa Over The Far
Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Gradual Development Of This System Is
Possible During The Next Couple Of Days As It Moves Westward At 15
To 20 Mph.

Elsewhere...tropical Cyclone Formation Is Not Expected During The
Next 48 Hours.

Forecaster Knabb