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Roads and trains were shut down across the New York area Monday night and into Tuesday, and for what? It snowed in New York, but only 9.8 inches fell in Central Park after predictions of a foot and a half or more. What went wrong? Forecasters, including yours truly, decided to go all-in on one weather model: the European model (or Euro).

And the Euro was way off. Other models had this storm pegged.1

Update after update, the Euro (produced by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting) kept predicting very high snow totals in New York. As of Monday morning’s run, the Euro was still projecting a foot and a half in the city. This consistency was too great for forecasters to ignore, especially because the Euro had been the first to jump on events such as the blizzard of 1996 and Hurricane Sandy. It also was one of the first to predict that a March 2001 storm was going to, like this one, be a bust. The Euro had a good track record.

That consistency, though, hid a great sense of uncertainty. The SREF (or Short-Range Ensemble Forecast), produced by the National Weather Service, collects 21 models (shown below). And Sunday night, the SREF indicated that the storm could be very different. Five of the 21 models in the SREF had (on a 10:1 snow-to-liquid ratio) less than 10 inches of snow falling. Nine of the 21 predicted a foot or less. Only eight could have been said to support 18 or more inches of snow in New York City.

screen-shot-2015-01-27-at-12-55-57-pm

In other words, 57 percent of the SREF members Sunday night suggested the forecasts were far too gung-ho. By Monday afternoon, 11 of the 21 members were on the 10-inches-or-less train. Eight of the 21 still supported big-time snow, but they were a minority.

The SREF members were not alone in being suspicious of so much snow. In Sunday’s 7 p.m. run, all of the other major models were against the Euro.

  • The American Global Forecasting System (GFS), which was recently upgraded, had only about 20 millimeters (or 8 inches of snow on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling for the storm. Although the GFS is considered inferior to the Euro by many meteorologists, the difference is probably overrated. Both models perform fairly well over the long term, as was pointed out in The New York Times this week. The GFS was showing the storm would stall too far northeast for New York to get the biggest snows. Instead, as we are seeing, those larger totals would be concentrated over Boston.
  • The GFS solution probably shouldn’t have been ignored given that it was joined by the Canadian’s global model, which had only 25 millimeters (or about 10 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling as snow. The Canadian’s short-range model was slightly more pessimistic than the global. It predicted only about 20 to 25 millimeters (or 8 to 10 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) of snow.
  • The United Kingdom’s model, which typically rates as the second-most accurate behind the Euro, was also on the little-snow train in New York. It had only 20 millimeters (or 8 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling as snow.
  • Even the United States’ short-range North American Mesocale (NAM) model was on board with smaller accumulations, though it would change its tune in later runs and agree with the Euro for a time. On Sunday night, the NAM went with the 20 millimeters of snow.

Put it all together, and there was plenty of evidence this storm wouldn’t be record-setting in New York. Of course, forecasters are going to miss on occasion. Forecasting weather is very difficult. Models aren’t perfect, and forecasters should be practicing meteorology and not “modelology.”

That said, there are a few lessons to be learned:

  1. I’m not sure forecasters (including amateurs like myself) did a good enough job communicating to the public that there was great uncertainty in the forecast. This has been a problem for media forecasters who have historically been too confident in predicting precipitation events. A study of TV meteorologists in Kansas City found that when they predicted with 100 percent certainty that it would rain, it didn’t one-third of the time. Forecasters typically communicate margin of error by giving a range of outcomes (10 to 12 inches of snow, for example). In this instance, I don’t think the range adequately showed the disagreement among the models. Perhaps a probabilistic forecast is better.
  2. No model is infallible. Forecasters would have been better off averaging all the model data together, even the models that don’t have a stellar record. The Euro is king, but it’s not so good that we should ignore all other forecasts.
  3. There’s nothing wrong with changing a forecast. When the non-Euro models (except for the NAM) stayed consistent in showing about an inch or less of liquid precipitation (or 10 inches of snow on a 10-to-1 ratio) reaching New York and the Euro backed off its biggest predictions Monday afternoon, it was probably time for forecasters to change their stance. They waited too long; I’m not sure why.

Meteorology deals in probabilities and uncertainty. Models, and the forecasters who use those models, aren’t going to be perfect. In this case, there was a big storm. It just so happened to be confined to eastern Long Island and southern New England. But that’ll do little to satisfy New Yorkers who expected a historic blizzard.

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Tropical Storm Dolly ramped up from a depression overnight to a full-fledged tropical storm. Located in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico, Dolly is heading northwestward to impact Mexico just south of Brownsville, Texas.

Tropical Storm Dolly

Tropical Storm Dolly – visible image (night infared)

Tropical Storm Dolly – Aviation (AVN flase colour) image

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DOLLY ADVISORY NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052014
400 AM CDT WED SEP 03 2014

…CENTER OF DOLLY MOVING FARTHER INLAND OVER EASTERN MEXICO…

SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT…0900 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…21.8N 98.4W
ABOUT 40 MI…70 KM SW OF TAMPICO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 265 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1004 MB…29.65 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE GULF COAST OF MEXICO FROM CABO ROJO TO BOCA DE CATAN

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 400 AM CDT…0900 UTC…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DOLLY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 21.8 NORTH…LONGITUDE 98.4 WEST. DOLLY IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 8 MPH…13 KM/H…AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF DOLLY WILL MOVE FARTHER INLAND OVER
EASTERN MEXICO TODAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 40 MPH…65 KM/H…
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ADDITIONAL WEAKENING WILL OCCUR DURING THE NEXT
24 HOURS WHILE DOLLY MOVES INLAND. THE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO
DISSIPATE BY THURSDAY.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES…220 KM
MAINLY OVER THE WATER TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1004 MB…29.65 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
RAINFALL…DOLLY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 5 TO 10
INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES ACROSS MUCH OF
TAMAULIPAS AND NUEVO LEON…AS WELL AS NORTHERN VERACRUZ AND EASTERN
SAN LUIS POTOSI MEXICO THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING. THIS RAINFALL IS
EXPECTED TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES IN
AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

WIND…TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN PORTIONS OF THE
WARNING AREA FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS.

TROPICAL STORM DOLLY DISCUSSION NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052014
400 AM CDT WED SEP 03 2014

Satellite imagery, surface observations, and data from the Mexican
radar in Altamira indicate that Dolly has moved onshore between
Tampico and Cabo Rojo. The initial intensity is decreased to a
somewhat uncertain 35 kt, with these winds most likely occurring in
convective bands over water to the northeast of the center. Dolly
should continue to weaken as it moves farther inland, and the system
is expected to dissipate in 24-36 hours over the mountains of
central Mexico.

The initial motion is 265/7. Dolly is forecast to continue moving
generally westward to the south of a mid-level ridge until it
dissipates.

The primary threat from Dolly will come from heavy rainfall, with
precipitation totals possibly approaching 15 inches in a few
locations. These rains will likely cause flash flooding and
mud slides in regions of mountainous terrain. This threat will
continue during the next day or so.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 03/0900Z 21.8N 98.4W 35 KT 40 MPH…INLAND
12H 03/1800Z 21.8N 99.5W 25 KT 30 MPH…INLAND
24H 04/0600Z 21.8N 100.8W 20 KT 25 MPH…POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 04/1800Z…DISSIPATED INLAND

Tropical Depression One became the Atlantic’s first named storm this afternoon – Tropical Storm Arthur.
UPDATE 2014-07-03: Now upgraded to a category 1 hurricane.
UPDATE 2014-07-06: Once Arthur reached the maritimes, its strength as a hurricane diminished and will now slowly dissipate over the north Atlantic and into the Davis Strait.

___________________________________________________

COASTAL WEBCAMS:
While atill operational, shoreline views from popular surfing areas along the ‘Banks Coastal Webcams
___________________________________________________

Advisories and discussions:
For more recent advisories, if available, CLICK HERE.
For more recent discussions, if available, CLICK HERE.

BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE ARTHUR ADVISORY NUMBER 19
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012014
1100 AM EDT SAT JUL 05 2014

…STRONG WINDS AND HEAVY RAINS TO CONTINUE OVER PORTIONS
OF SOUTHEASTERN CANADA THROUGH TONIGHT…
…THIS IS THE LAST NHC ADVISORY ON ARTHUR…
…CANADIAN HURRICANE CENTRE CONTINUES TO ISSUE STATEMENTS ON THIS
SYSTEM…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…45.0N 65.5W
ABOUT 95 MI…155 KM WNW OF HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…60 MPH…95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 24 MPH…39 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…983 MB…29.03 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* NOVA SCOTIA INCLUDING CAPE BRETON ISLAND
* PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
* NEW BRUNSWICK FROM THE U.S./CANADA BORDER TO GRAND-ANSE

IN ADDITION…HIGH WIND WARNINGS…FOR WINDS IN EXCESS OF 40 MPH…
ARE IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF EASTERN MAINE.

FOR FUTURE INFORMATION ON WARNINGS IN CANADA PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS
ISSUED BY THE CANADIAN HURRICANE CENTRE AT…
WEATHER.GC.CA/HURRICANE/INDEX_E.HTML …IN ALL LOWER CASE.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…THE CENTER OF POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE
ARTHUR WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 45.0 NORTH…LONGITUDE 65.5 WEST.
THE POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 24 MPH
…39 KM/H…AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH A DECREASE
IN FORWARD SPEED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. ON THE FORECAST
TRACK…THE CENTER OF ARTHUR WILL BE MOVING NEAR OR OVER THE
NORTHWESTERN COAST OF NOVA SCOTIA IN THE NEXT FEW HOURS…AND
OVER THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE TONIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 60 MPH…95
KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

GALE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 205 MILES…335 KM
FROM THE CENTER. A WIND GUST TO 61 MPH…98 KM/H HAS RECENTLY BEEN
REPORTED AT YARMOUNTH NOVA SCOTIA.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 983 MB…29.03 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND…GALE FORCE WINDS ARE OCCURRING OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN
CANADA. THESE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO SPREAD NORTHWARD OVER NOVA
SCOTIA…SOUTHEASTERN NEW BRUNSWICK…AND PORTIONS OF NEWFOUNDLAND
DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. IN ADDITION…WINDS IN EXCESS OF 40 MPH
ARE EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN MAINE THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON.

STORM SURGE…COASTAL FLOODING IS POSSIBLE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE
COAST OF SOUTHEASTERN CANADA IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WINDS THROUGH
EARLY SUNDAY.

RAINFALL…RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE EXPECTED
OVER FAR EASTERN MAINE…WESTERN NOVA SCOTIA…AND NEW
BRUNSWICK…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 6 INCHES POSSIBLE.

SURF…SWELLS GENERATED BY ARTHUR ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE AFFECTING
PORTIONS OF THE NORTHEAST UNITED STATES AND SOUTHEASTERN CANADA
DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THESE SWELLS ARE EXPECTED TO CAUSE
LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENTS. FOR MORE INFORMATION…
PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST
OFFICE.

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON THIS SYSTEM. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION…INCLUDING
WARNINGS…CONSULT PRODUCTS ISSUED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA AT:
WEATHER.GC.CA/HURRICANE/INDEX_E.HTML …IN ALL LOWER CASE.

STATEMENTS ON THE POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE ARE ALSO BEING ISSUED BY
ENVIRONMENT CANADA UNDER WMO HEADER WOCN31 CWHX AND IN FRENCH AT
WOCN41 CWHX.

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE ARTHUR DISCUSSION NUMBER 19
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012014
1100 AM EDT SAT JUL 05 2014

Surface, satellite, and earlier NOAA reconnaissance aircraft data
indicate that Arthur became an extratropical cyclone by 1200 UTC
this morning. The earlier aircraft reports and recent wind
observations show that the cyclone continues to weaken, and the
initial intensity is lowered to 50 kt. The post-tropical cyclone
should continue to weaken during the next day or so and winds are
expected to be below gale force in 48 to 72 hours. The cyclone is
now forecast to dissipate by the end of the forecast period.

The cyclone is moving north-northeastward at about 21 kt. A
north-northeastward to northeastward motion at a slower forward
speed is expected during the next day or so. A turn toward the
north and a further reduction in forward speed is forecast in a few
days. The lastest track forecast is similar to the previous
forecast through 48 hours, but has been adjusted westward
thereafter to be in better agreement with the latest track guidance.

This will be the last NHC advisory on Arthur. For additional
information, including warnings, consult products issued by the
Canadian Hurricane Centre at: weather.gc.ca/hurricane/index_e.html

Statements on the post-tropical cyclone are also being issued by
the Canadian Hurricane Centre under WMO header WOCN31 CWHX and in
French at WOCN41 CWHX. For marine interests, additional
information can be found in High Seas Forecasts issued by the
National Weather Service under AWIPS header NFDHSFAT1 and WMO
header FZNT01 KWBC.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 05/1500Z 45.0N 65.5W 50 KT 60 MPH
12H 06/0000Z 47.0N 63.5W 45 KT 50 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
24H 06/1200Z 49.0N 60.0W 40 KT 45 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
36H 07/0000Z 52.0N 56.0W 35 KT 40 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48H 07/1200Z 56.0N 53.0W 35 KT 40 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 08/1200Z 60.5N 54.0W 30 KT 35 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
96H 09/1200Z 60.5N 52.5W 20 KT 25 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 10/1200Z…DISSIPATED

Hurricane Amanda, in the eastern Pacific, is this season’s first hurricane for the E-PAC and the Atlantic regions. Intensified quickly to Category 4, no risk to landfall expected. More info available at EWR’s 2014 Hurricane page.

[Ed. Note: Cross posted from WUWT. This is a large, valuable, albeit technical discussion about the validity of the Global Warming meme so righteously promoted by mainstream media, and variety of catastrophic climate scientists advocates. The comment stream is also worthwhile for the links and discussions within. ]

A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – “Extreme Weather” Update

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

Recently there have been increased efforts to link “Climate Change” and “Extreme Weather” e.g., NOAA links extreme weather to climate change CBS – July 10, 2012, “NASA scientist links climate change, extreme weather” CNN – August 6, 2012 and Get used to ‘extreme’ weather, it’s the new normal The Guardian – September 19, 2012.  Per the Guardian article, “Scientists have been warning us for years that a warmer planet would lead to more extreme weather, and now it’s arrived”. These “Extreme Weather” efforts have shifted into high gear with Sandy. Yesterday United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “one of the lessons from Superstorm Sandy is the need for global action to deal with future climate shocks.” “He told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that it is difficult to attribute any single storm to climate change, but the world already knows that “extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal.” U.N. leader: Sandy a lesson in climate change CBS – November 9, 2012

All of these claims and “extreme weather” rhetoric seems to be predicated on the assumption that “Earth’s Temperature” has increased recently, thus causing “extreme weather” to arrive and become the “new normal”. However, does the observational data support this assumption? Let’s take a look…

 

Global Surface Temperatures:

Generally, when referring to Earth’s “climate” warming, proponents of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) narrative refer to Earth’s Surface Temperature, e.g. “Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.” NASA Earth Observatory

As such, here’s NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Global Monthly Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly – 1996 to Present:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) – Click the pic to view at source

Looking across the last 16 years, Global Surface Temperature do not appear to have increased much at all.

For a longer term view, UK Met Office’s – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Annual Global Average Land Temperature Anomaly – 1850 to 2011;

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

and the UK Met Office – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Monthly Global Average Land Temperature – 1850 to 2011

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

Unless the arrival of “extreme weather” occurred in 1997-1998 with the well documented “very strong El Niño”, and the media is just realizing it, there does not seem to be a basis for the “extreme weather” claims in Earth’s recent Land and Surface Temperature record. There does not appear to be much recent change, and if anything the trend is down in the last few years. However, the surface temperature record is burdened with issues of questionable siting, changes in siting, changes in equipment, changes in the number of measurement locations, modeling to fill in gaps in measurement locations, corrections to account for missing, erroneous or biased measurements, and the urban heat island effect. Thus to see the big picture on the temperature “Earth’s Temperature”, it also helps to look up.

Atmospheric Temperatures:

Since 1979 Earth’s “temperature” has also been measured via satellite. “The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time.” NASA

Here is RSS Global Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and this is the University of Alabama – Hunstville (UAH) Global Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomalies – 1979 to Present:

University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) – Dr. Roy Spencer – Click the pic to view at source

Note: Per John Christy, RSS and UAH anomalies are not comparable because they use different base periods, i.e., “RSS only uses 1979-1998 (20 years) while UAH uses the WMO standard of 1981-2010.”

The September UAH Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomaly was .33 degrees C above the 30 year average and RSS Global Global Lower Troposphere shows a .133  degrees C increase per decade. “Earth’s Temperature” varies naturally by numerous degrees and has been significantly warmer than it is today:

NOAA – National Climate Data Center – Click the pic to view at source

Are we to believe that 3 or 4 tenths of a degree C warming over the last 30 years has brought us to the precipice of “extreme weather”? Seems implausible. Maybe there are significant regional variations that portended the arrival of “extreme weather”?

Looking at the RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

neither seem indicative of warming that would have caused “extreme weather” to arrive.

Furthermore, RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

is currently negative and shows a .013 K/C per decade decrease. Should we assume that Antarctica is experiencing less “extreme weather” at the moment?…

To this point we’ve only addressed the Lower Troposphere Temperatures, but one never knows where this “extreme weather” might be coming from, the following Temperature Anomaly plots from RSS will increase in altitude as is illustrated here:

Here is RSS Temperature Middle Troposphere (TMT)- Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

According to Remote Sensing Systems, “For Channel (TLT) (Lower Troposphere) and Channel (TMT) (Middle Troposphere), the anomaly time series is dominated by ENSO events and slow tropospheric warming. The three primary El Niños during the past 20 years are clearly evident as peaks in the time series occurring during 1982-83, 1987-88, and 1997-98, with the most recent one being the largest.” RSS

Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to show slow warming overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including several comparatively large El Niño events. Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of a recent change in Earth’s Temperature that could cause “extreme weather” to become the “new normal.

Moving higher in the atmosphere, RSS Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been flat since 1987, with a trend of just -.008 K/C per decade. Perhaps this is the “new normal”?…

The 1997-98 and 2009 – 10 El Niño events are still readily apparent in the Troposphere / Stratosphere plot above, as is a spike from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Note that the effect of Mt. Pinatubo is the opposite in the Lower and Middle Troposphere versus the Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS), i.e. “Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere; the gases convert into submicron particles (aerosol) with an e-folding time scale of about 1 year. The climate response to large eruptions (in historical times) lasts for several (2-3) years. The aerosol cloud causes cooling at the Earth’s surface, warming in stratosphere.”
Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

It is interesting that, incorporating the impact of three significant surface driven warming events, Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperatures (TTS) have been quite stable, however there is a bit of regional variation here, e.g.:

RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been increasing by .044 K/C per decade, whereas the RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been decreasing by -.061 K/C per decade. However, Southern Hemisphere Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperature does show a significant increase in 2012, perhaps it is this increase that caused “extreme weather” to arrive? Or maybe not…

Moving higher still in the atmosphere, the RSS Temperature Lower Stratosphere (TLS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

“is dominated by stratospheric cooling, punctuated by dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS

The eruptions of El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo are readily apparent in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation at Mauna Loa, Hawaii:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) – Click the pic to view at source

“The stratosphere” … “in contrast to the troposphere, is heated, as the result of near infrared absorption of solar energy at the top of the aerosol cloud, and increased infra-red absorption of long-wave radiation from the Earth’s surface.”

“The stratospheric warming in the region of the stratospheric cloud increases the latitudinal temperature gradient after an eruption at low latitudes, disturbing the stratospheric-troposphere circulation, increasing the difference in height of the troposphere between high and low latitudes, and increasing the strength of the jet stream (polar vortex, especially in the northern hemisphere). This leads to warming during the northern hemisphere winter following a tropical eruption, and this warming effect tends to be larger than the cooling effect described above.” Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

The Lower Stratosphere experienced “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS “The long-term, global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere stems from two downward steps in temperature, both of which are coincident with the cessation of transient warming after the volcanic eruptions of El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo.” … “Here we provide observational analyses that yield new insight into three key aspects of recent stratospheric climate change. First, we provide evidence that the unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures is dependent not only upon the trend but also on the temporal variability in global-mean ozone immediately following volcanic eruptions. Second, we argue that the warming/cooling pattern in global-mean temperatures following major volcanic eruptions is consistent with the competing radiative and chemical effects of volcanic eruptions on stratospheric temperature and ozone. Third, we reveal the contrasting latitudinal structures of recent stratospheric temperature and ozone trends are consistent with large-scale increases in the stratospheric overturning Brewer-Dobson circulation” David W. J. Thompson Colorado State University

Above the Stratosphere we have the Mesosphere and Thermosphere, neither of which have I identified current temperature time series for, but of note is that on “July 15, 2010″ “A Puzzling Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” occurred when “high above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.”

“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.

The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons from the sun before they can reach the ground. When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. (This heating can raise temperatures as high as 1400 K—hence the name thermosphere.) When solar activity is low, the opposite happens.” NASA

In summary, Earth’s Lower and Middle Troposphere appear to have warmed slowly, overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including four comparatively large El Niño events, and tempered by the cooling effects of the eruption of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991). Lower and Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of changes that could be causing “extreme weather”. Tropospheric / Stratospheric temperatures appear to have been influenced by at least three significant surface driven warming events, the 1997-98 El Niño, and the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mt Pinatubo in 1991, but have maintained a stable overall trajectory. Stratospheric temperatures appear to have experienced two “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).”, and “unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures” which has resulted in a significant stratospheric cooling during the last 30 years. Lastly, “during deep solar minimum of 2008-2009″ “the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years” occurred and “The magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.” Unless someone can demonstrate a causative relationship between “Climate Change”, the collapse of the thermosphere and “Extreme Weather”, there does not seem to be any support with the atmospheric temperature records for “extreme weather” arrival and “new normal” rhetoric.

Ocean Temperatures:

“The oceans can hold much more heat than the atmosphere. Just the top 3.2 metres of ocean holds as much heat as all the world’s air.” Commonwealth of Australia – Bureau of Meteorology

As such, changes in Ocean Heat Content are important in understanding “Earth’s Temperature”. Here is NOAA’s NODC Global Ocean Heat Content from 0-700 Meters – 1955 to Present;

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) – Click the pic to view at source

and here is the same from Ole Humlum’s valuable climate data site Climate4you.com, NODC Global Ocean Heat Content – 0-700 Meters – 1979 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

It seems apparent from the plots above that Global Ocean Heat has increased over the last several decades, however Global Ocean Heat does not appear to show a recent increase that could lead to “extreme weather”. Furthermore, in his recent article Bob Tisdale demonstrated that “sea surface temperatures for Sandy’s path haven’t warmed in 70+ years” WUWT.

Sea Level:

“Global sea level is currently rising as a result of both ocean thermal expansion and glacier melt, with each accounting for about half of the observed sea level rise, and each caused by recent increases in global mean temperature. For the period 1961-2003, the observed sea level rise due to thermal expansion was 0.42 millimeters per year and 0.69 millimeters per year due to total glacier melt (small glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets) (IPCC 2007). Between 1993 and 2003, the contribution to sea level rise increased for both sources to 1.60 millimeters per year and 1.19 millimeters per year respectively (IPCC 2007).” Source NSIDC

Global Mean Sea Level Change – 1993 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Mean Sea Level Change Map with a “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)” – 1993 to Present:

University of Colorado at Boulder – Click the pic to view at source

It seems doubtful that “extreme weather” arrived because of the 5.5 Centimeter increase in Sea Level since 1993. Sandy’s storm surge topped “out at 14 feet (4.3 meters)” Huffington Post, would Sandy have been less extreme if the surge had only been 4.245 meters?…

Snow and Ice:

A proxy often cited when measuring “Earth’s Temperature” is amount of Snow and Ice on Earth. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “The vast majority, almost 90 percent, of Earth’s ice mass is in Antarctica, while the Greenland ice cap contains 10 percent of the total global ice mass.” Source USGA

However, there is currently no generally accepted measure of ice volume, as Cryosat is still in validation and the accuracy of measurements from Grace are still being challenged. Sea Ice Area and Extent are cited as proxies for “Earth’s Temperature”, however there is significant evidence that the primary influences on Sea Ice Area and Extent are in fact wind and Atmospheric Oscillations. With this said, here are

Global, Arctic & Antarctic Sea Ice Area from 1979 to Present;

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly – 1979 to Present:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Arctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – click to view at source

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or Greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – Click the pic to view at source

There appears to have been a negative trend in Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent and a positive trend in Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent, thus the resultant Global Sea Ice Area trend appears to be slightly negative.

In terms of land based data, here is 20 Year Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover with 1995 – 2009 Climatology from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies 1966 – Present from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Extent – 1967 to Present from Rutgers University;

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

 alt=Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Fall Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

While none of the Snow plots offers a global perspective, when looking at the Northern Hemisphere, there appears to have been a slight increase in Snowcover and Winter Snow Extent, a decrease in Spring Snow Extent and no change in Fall Snow Extent over the historical record.

Based on the limited Global Ice and Snow measurements available, and noting the questionable value of Sea Ice Area and Extent as a proxy for temperature, not much inference can currently be drawn from Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements. However, there does not appear to be any evidence of change in Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements indicative of the arrival of “Extreme Weather”.

Conclusion:

There is no evidence of a recent increase in “Earth’s Temperature” due to “Climate Change,” which could have caused “Extreme Weather” to arrive and become the “new normal”. Claims and rhetoric that recent “Extreme Weather” is caused by or associated with “Climate Change” are not supported by the observational data.

Additional information on “Earth’s Temperature” can be found in the WUWT Reference Pages, including the Global Temperature Page and Global Climatic History Page

Please note that WUWT cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data/graphics within this article, nor influence the format or form of any of the graphics, as they are all linked from third party sources and WUWT is simply an aggregator. You can view each graphic at its source by simply clicking on it.

2012-10-17: We have discontinued updates of tropical Storm Paul, now degraded to a tropical depression.

2012-10-16: Update: Hurricane Paul has slowed and weakened back to tropical storm intensity as it reached the coast.

2012-10-16: Hurricane Paul has dropped back in intensity to a category 2 hurricane, and is moving quickly toward Baja. Wind shear aloft is expected to reduce its intensity as it gets to Baja, but still remain as a hurricane. The expected track is a turn to the north, then northwest once it reaches the Baja coast.

2012-10-15: Update: Hurricane Paul, in the eastern Pacific, has intensified and reached major hurricane strength (category 3). Tracking modeling has placed the path of the hurricane further inland along the Baja coast.

2012-10-15: TS Paul in the eastern Pacific, west of Baja Califorina has reached hurricane strength (category 1) and continues to strengthen. It’s expected to begin to side-swipe Baja beginning Tues night, but storm surge will be felt well before then. Developing.

[For general monitoring of the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricane season, follow our post at Atlantic and eastern Pacific Hurricane activity 2012)]

Forecast track for Hurricane Paul

GOES West Satellite.- Vissible image Hurricane Paul – Image is linked to loop

GOES West satellite – AVN presentation, Hurricane Paul. Image is linked to loop.

WTPZ31 KNHC 172036
TCPEP1

BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE PAUL ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
200 PM PDT WED OCT 17 2012

…PAUL DEGENERATES TO A REMNANT LOW…

SUMMARY OF 200 PM PDT…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…27.7N 115.3W
ABOUT 15 MI…25 KM WSW OF PUNTA EUGENIA MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1004 MB…29.65 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 200 PM PDT…2100 UTC…THE CENTER OF POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE PAUL
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 27.7 NORTH…LONGITUDE 115.3 WEST. THE
CYCLONE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H…AND
THIS GENERAL MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY. THE CENTER
OF THE POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE IS FORECAST TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE BAJA
CALIFORNIA PENINSULA THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH…55 KM/H…WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. WEAKENING IS FORECAST…AND THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO
DISSIPATE COMPLETELY THURSDAY OR THURSDAY NIGHT.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1004 MB…29.65 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
RAINFALL…THE REMNANTS OF PAUL ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF UP TO 1 INCH OVER THE CENTRAL BAJA CALIFORNIA
PENINSULA. ISOLATED MAXIMUM STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES ARE
POSSIBLE IN ASSOCIATION WITH PAUL.

SURF…SWELLS ALONG THE WEST COAST OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA
AND THE COAST OF SINALOA SHOULD SUBSIDE TONIGHT AND THURSDAY.

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON PAUL. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE REMNANT LOW
PLEASE SEE HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE…UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFEPI AND WMO HEADER FZPN01 KWBC.

WTPZ41 KNHC 172036
TCDEP1

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE PAUL DISCUSSION NUMBER 18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
200 PM PDT WED OCT 17 2012

PAUL HAS BEEN WITHOUT ORGANIZED CONVECTION FOR MORE THAN 18 HOURS…
WITH ONLY WEAK AND DISORGANIZED SHOWER ACTIVITY OCCURRING AT THIS
TIME. IN ADDITION…THE CIRCULATION HAS BECOME LESS DEFINED IN
SATELLITE IMAGERY. BASED ON THESE FACTORS…IT IS ESTIMATED THAT
PAUL HAS DEGENERATED INTO A REMNANT LOW. A RECENT SHIP REPORT AND
ASCAT DATA SUGGEST THAT 25-30 KT WINDS ARE PRESENT SOUTH AND
SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER…SO THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS SET AT 30 KT.
WHILE SOME WEAK CONVECTIVE BURSTS MAY OCCUR…PAUL GENERALLY SHOULD
CONTINUE TO WEAKEN…AND THE SYSTEM IS LIKELY TO DISSIPATE IN 24-36
HOURS AS IT IS ABSORBED INTO A TROUGH WEST OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS 310/10…AND A GENERAL MOTION TOWARD THE
NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED UNTIL THE LOW DISSIPATES.

THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON
PAUL. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE REMNANT LOW PLEASE SEE
HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE… UNDER
AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFEPI AND WMO HEADER FZPN01 KWBC.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 17/2100Z 27.7N 115.3W 30 KT 35 MPH…POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
12H 18/0600Z 28.7N 117.0W 25 KT 30 MPH…POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
24H 18/1800Z 29.8N 119.0W 20 KT 25 MPH…POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 19/0600Z…DISSIPATED

2012-10-17: This is out last update of Rafael, now a post-tropical cyclone.

2012-10-15: UPDATE: Tropical Storm Rafael has just been upgraded to a category one hurricane as a result of NOAA/NHC surveillance aircraft overflights.

2012-10-15: Name updated from Raphael to Rafael to match the NHC terminology. Rafael is expected to reach hurricane strength later today. While it appears it will miss Bermuda as a hurricane, it will be felt as a tropical storm on the island.

2012-10-14: Storm tracking for Bermuda is now setting the storm east of Bermuda. Storm surge should still be a factor but rain impact likely will be lessened if the storm stays true to course. High seas and heavy rains are still forecast for the Virgin Islands, Culebra and Vieques. Rafael is projected by the NHC to reach hurricane status tomorrow.

2012-10-13: Tropical Storm Rafael pounded portions of Trinidad and Tobago and the lower Carribean and continues to cause strong seas and rain as it moves northward along the inside of Leeward Islands. Bermuda places Rafael as passing over The Virgin Islands Sunday morning, and Bermuda Tuesday night, and is holding it as a tropical storm (SS cat 0)

[For general monitoring of the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricane season, follow our post at Atlantic and eastern Pacific Hurricane activity 2012)]

EWR currently monitoring: none
___________________________________

Tropical Storm Rafael, as tracked by the Bermuda Weather Service

Model Tracking of Rafael, from Weatherbell Models, Dr. Ryan Maue.

GOES East satellite – visible – Hurricane Rafael – image links to loop

GOES East satellite – AVN presentation – Hurricane Rafael. Image links to loop.

WTNT32 KNHC 172049
TCPAT2

BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE RAFAEL ADVISORY NUMBER 21
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172012
500 PM AST WED OCT 17 2012

…RAFAEL NOW AN EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE…
…THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…40.2N 56.5W
ABOUT 475 MI…760 KM SE OF HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 35 MPH…56 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…972 MB…28.70 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…THE CENTER OF POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE
RAFAEL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 40.2 NORTH…LONGITUDE 56.5 WEST.
THE LOW IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 35 MPH…56 KM/H. A
TURN TOWARD THE EAST-NORTHEAST WITH SOME INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED
IS EXPECTED ON THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH…120 KM/H…WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. GRADUAL WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS…
HOWEVER THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN A STRONG EXTRATROPICAL
LOW OVER THE NORTH ATLANTIC DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 80 MILES…130 KM…
FROM THE CENTER…AND GALE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 310
MILES…500 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 972 MB…28.70 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
SURF…SWELLS GENERATED BY THE CYCLONE ARE EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE
COAST OF EASTERN CANADA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THESE SWELLS ARE
LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENTS. PLEASE
CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON RAFAEL. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM CAN BE
FOUND IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE…UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC.

WTNT42 KNHC 172050
TCDAT2

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE RAFAEL DISCUSSION NUMBER 21
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172012
500 PM AST WED OCT 17 2012

ALTHOUGH SOME WEAK CONVECTION HAS REDEVELOPED NEAR THE CENTER OF
RAFAEL THIS AFTERNOON…THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE CYCLONE HAS
BECOME THAT OF AN INTENSE EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE. EARLIER ASCAT
DATA SHOWED A FRONTAL BOUNDARY IMPINGING ON THE NORTHWESTERN
PORTION OF THE SYSTEM…AND AS OF THIS AFTERNOON…THE FRONT IS
ANALYZED INTO THE CENTER OF THE CYCLONE. THEREFORE…RAFAEL
HAS BECOME EXTRATROPICAL…AND THIS WILL BE THE FINAL NHC
ADVISORY ON THIS SYSTEM. THE ASCAT DATA INDICATED A LARGE AREA
OF 50-60 KT WINDS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN PORTION OF THE
CIRCULATION…SO THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 65 KT. SOME
GRADUAL WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS…
BUT THE LOW IS FORECAST TO REMAIN A LARGE AND POWERFUL SYSTEM OVER
THE NORTH ATLANTIC FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

RAFAEL HAS TURNED NORTHEASTWARD. THE TRACK FORECAST REASONING
REMAINS UNCHANGED FROM THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY. THE CYCLONE SHOULD
TURN EAST-NORTHEASTWARD DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO…AND THEN
COMPLETE A CYCLONIC LOOP AROUND A DEEP-LAYER LOW OVER THE
NORTH-CENTRAL ATLANTIC IN 2 TO 3 DAYS. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND IS BASED ON A BLEND OF THE
GFS AND ECMWF MODELS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 17/2100Z 40.2N 56.5W 65 KT 75 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
12H 18/0600Z 42.9N 50.9W 60 KT 70 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
24H 18/1800Z 46.0N 41.8W 60 KT 70 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
36H 19/0600Z 49.0N 33.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48H 19/1800Z 52.0N 29.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 20/1800Z 54.0N 33.0W 50 KT 60 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
96H 21/1800Z 47.6N 33.0W 45 KT 50 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 22/1800Z 43.0N 28.0W 35 KT 40 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

What is the Saffir-Simpson Scale of hurricane categories?

Visible image. Image switches to infared view at night. Click on image to go to loop.

Aviation Colour Enhancement – click for loop

For additional satellite imagery, go to the Tropical Floaters page and select the specific storm (Gordon).

BULLETIN
HURRICANE GORDON INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 15A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
800 AM AST SUN AUG 19 2012

…GORDON MOVING QUICKLY EASTWARD TOWARD THE EASTERN AZORES…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…35.1N 30.7W
ABOUT 340 MI…550 KM WSW OF SAO MIGUEL ISLAND AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…100 MPH…155 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…E OR 80 DEGREES AT 23 MPH…37 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…973 MB…28.73 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE EASTERN AZORES

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA…IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24 HOURS.
PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO
COMPLETION.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE GORDON WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 35.1 NORTH…LONGITUDE 30.7 WEST. GORDON IS
MOVING TOWARD THE EAST NEAR 23 MPH…37 KM/H. A TURN TOWARD THE
EAST-NORTHEAST IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE
CENTER OF GORDON WILL BE NEAR OR OVER THE ISLANDS OF THE EASTERN
AZORES EARLY MONDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 100 MPH…155 KM/H…
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. GORDON IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE
SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. ADDITIONAL WEAKENING IS
FORECAST…BUT GORDON IS STILL EXPECTED TO BE A HURRICANE WHEN IT
PASSES NEAR OR OVER THE EASTERN AZORES.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES…55 KM…FROM
THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 125
MILES…205 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 973 MB…28.73 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND…TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO FIRST REACH THE
EASTERN AZORES LATE TODAY…WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED
TONIGHT AND MONDAY.

RAINFALL…GORDON IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3
TO 6 INCHES OVER THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN AZORES.

SURF…SWELLS GENERATED BY GORDON ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE CENTRAL
AND EASTERN AZORES TODAY…CAUSING DANGEROUS SURF AND RIP CURRENT
CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE
FOR MORE INFORMATION.

HURRICANE GORDON DISCUSSION NUMBER 15
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082012
500 AM AST SUN AUG 19 2012

GORDON REMAINS A WELL ORGANIZED HURRICANE BUT IT APPEARS TO HAVE
WEAKENED A LITTLE. THE LATEST DVORAK CLASSIFICATIONS FROM
TAFB…SAB…AND UW-CIMSS HAVE FALLEN SLIGHTLY FROM THE PREVIOUS
VALUES LIKELY DUE TO A SLIGHT COOLING OF THE EYE AND A THINNING OF
THE CONVECTIVE CLOUDS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE CIRCULATION. THE
INITIAL WIND SPEED IS ESTIMATED TO BE 90 KT…IN AGREEMENT WITH THE
SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES. THE HURRICANE HAS NOW MOVED OVER
SUB-26C WATERS AND CURRENTLY LIES IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF MODERATE
WESTERLY SHEAR. SINCE THE SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES DECREASE
FURTHER ON THE EXPECTED TRACK AND BECAUSE GORDON IS ANTICIPATED TO
MOVE INTO EVEN STRONGER SHEAR…STEADY WEAKENING IS FORECAST.
POST-TROPICAL TRANSITION IS ANTICIPATED TO OCCUR IN 2 TO 3
DAYS…WHEN THE VERTICAL CIRCULATION IS EXPECTED TO BECOME
SIGNIFICANTLY DECOUPLED. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST SHOWS THE
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE DISSIPATING BY DAY 4…FOLLOWING THE GLOBAL
MODEL GUIDANCE.

GORDON CONTINUES TO MOVE SWIFTLY EASTWARD AT ABOUT 20 KT. A SHORT
WAVE TROUGH SEEN IN WATER VAPOR IMAGES NEAR 40N/40W IS SWINGING
SOUTHEASTWARD TOWARD THE HURRICANE. THIS FEATURE SHOULD CAUSE THE
CYCLONE TO TURN EAST-NORTHEASTWARD…TAKING GORDON VERY NEAR SANTA
MARIA AND SAO MIGUEL ISLANDS IN THE EASTERN AZORES IN 18 TO 24
HOURS. AFTER PASSING THE AZORES…THE WEAKENING CYCLONE IS
FORECAST TO SLOW DOWN SUBSTANTIALLY AND TURN BACK TO THE EAST
BEFORE IT DISSIPATES. THE TRACK MODEL GUIDANCE REMAINS TIGHTLY
CLUSTERED…AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST LIES VERY NEAR THE
MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 19/0900Z 34.9N 31.6W 90 KT 105 MPH
12H 19/1800Z 35.7N 28.6W 80 KT 90 MPH
24H 20/0600Z 37.2N 25.0W 70 KT 80 MPH
36H 20/1800Z 38.6N 22.0W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 21/0600Z 39.4N 19.4W 50 KT 60 MPH
72H 22/0600Z 39.7N 16.0W 30 KT 35 MPH…POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
96H 23/0600Z…DISSIPATED

The mechanism of formation of tornados is still matter for discovery by science. There are presently several hypotheses, and probably, there isn’t one single mechanism. One of the more popular is the formation by the rolling of air under the strength of the gust front out of a supercell, and its twisting up into the updraft of the storm cell. Yet, when you view a tornado like the one below, recently shot May 25 in Kansas, its truly hard to conceive how these actually get built. How this one stayed together is a natural wonder to behold…

(view this full screen to really see it)

by Anthony Watts (originally posted April 29, 2011 on WUWT).

In times of tragedy, there always seems to be hucksters about trying to use that tragedy to sell a position, a product, or a belief. In ancient times, tragedy was the impetus used to appease the gods and to embrace religion to save yourselves. In light of this article on the Daily Caller Center for American Progress blames Republicans for devastating tornadoes it seems some opportunists just can’t break the pattern of huckster behavior in the face of disaster.

I can’t think of a more disgusting example of political opportunism that has occurred such as we witnessed today from The Center for American Progress via their Think Progress blog, as well as the New York Times op-ed piece that suggests predicting severe weather is little more than a guessing game. Certified Consulting Meteorologist Mike Smith of Wichita, KS based WeatherData Inc. said of the NYT piece:

The cruelty of this particular April, in the number of tornadoes recorded, is without equal in the United States.

This may or may not be true. The statement is at least premature. The NWS Storm Prediction Center March 8th changed its methodology which allows more reports of tornadoes and other severe storms to be logged (see first note here). We don’t know yet whether this is a record April.

Tornadoes in particular, researchers say, straddle the line between the known and the profoundly unknowable.

“There’s a large crapshoot aspect,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

To add to the mix, Peter Gleick says at the Huffington Post  “More extreme and violent climate is a direct consequence of human-caused climate change (whether or not we can determine if these particular tornado outbreaks were caused or worsened by climate change).”

In the Think Progress piece, again, Dr. Trenberth is quoted:

“Given that global warming is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.’”

It should also be noted that during that AMS conference in January, Dr. Trenberth called people who disagreed with that view “deniers” in front of hundreds of scientists, even after being called out on the issue he left the hateful term intact in his speech. Clearly, he is a man with a bias. From my perspective, these articles citing Trenberth are opportunistic political hucksterism at its finest. Unfortunately, many from these bastions of left leaning opininators don’t bother to cite some inconvenient facts, leaving their claims to be on par with superstitions that were the part of our dark past.

First, let’s look at the claim of tornadoes being on the increase, in parallel with the climate change that is claimed. In my previous essay Severe weather more common? Data shows otherwise I cited this graph from the National Climatic Data Center:

Obviously, when NCDC tallies the number of F3-F5 tornadoes from this recent outbreak, and gets around to updating that graph, there will be an uptick at the end in 2011 that is on par or even higher than the famous 1974 tornado outbreak. The point though is that despite the 1974 uptick, the trend was down.

The NYT article says:

The population of the South grew by 14.3 percent over the last decade, according to the Census Bureau, compared with 9.7 percent for the nation as a whole. Of those states hardest hit by tornadoes this year, some were among the fastest growing, notably Texas and North Carolina.

Let’s look at trends of tornado related deaths with population. From Harold Brooks. a research meteorologist with the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. we have this graph:

Source: NOAA’s US Severe Weather Blog, SPC, Norman Oklahoma

Let’s look at other figures. Today, Dr. Roger Pielke Junior got an updated graph from Harold Brooks at NOAA to bring it to 2010:

That graph is a testament to the improved lead times, accuracy, and and dissemination of severe weather warnings by the National Weather Service, whose members did an outstanding job during this severe weather event. CCM Mike Smith, in his book Warnings The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather talks about the vast improvements we’ve witnessed since the early days of severe weather forecasting. He writes today of the recent outbreak:

There is no question that the current storm warning program, a collaborative effort of the National Weather Service, private sector weather companies like AccuWeather, broadcast meteorologists, and local emergency managers have saved hundreds of lives during these recent storms through excellent forecasts and warnings.  This image shows the tornado warning (red hatched area) for Birmingham that was issued more than 20 minutes before the tornado arrived.

Can the warning program be improved? Certainly. The National Weather Service’s new dual-polarization radar will improve flash flood warnings and will incrementally improve warnings of tornadoes that occur after dark.

But in the immediate aftermath of these tragic storms we seem to have learned two things:  People need to respond to today’s highly accurate warnings. For some reason, the media (see examples here and here seems determined to downplay the quality of the warnings which may have the effect of driving down response rates.

Second, they must have a place to take shelter. Most mobile home parks and many homes in the South do not have underground shelters or safe rooms. Mobile home parks and housing developments should look to constructing these in the future.

With 30 minutes of advance warning in this case, and many other advance warnings during this outbreak, plus the supersaturation of live television coverage, plus the fact that weeks in advance, my colleague Joe D’Aleo, co-founder of the Weather Channel and now at Weatherbell LLC,  discussed the likelihood of a super-outbreak of severe weather occurring due to the juxtaposition of cold air from snowpack in the northern plains with warm moist air in the south, it would seem Dr. Trenberth’s claim of “a large crapshoot aspect” doesn’t hold up. The death toll issue seems to be shelter, not lack of forecasts, warnings, or awareness. People knew the storms were coming, they just had few options for shelters that would survive at F3-F5 category tornado intensity.

The attempts at linking the tornado outbreak this week to “global warming” have been roundly criticized in the meteorological community. Just yesterday there was a denouncement of the tornadoes to global warming link in this story from Physorg.com

“If you look at the past 60 years of data, the number of tornadoes is increasing significantly, but it’s agreed upon by the tornado community that it’s not a real increase,” said Grady Dixon, assistant professor of meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University.

“It’s having to do with better (weather tracking) technology, more population, the fact that the population is better educated and more aware. So we’re seeing them more often,” Dixon said.

But he said it would be “a terrible mistake” to relate the up-tick to climate change.

Anticipating this sort of nonsense in the current political climate that seeks to blame humans for the weather, last month, the National Weather Association, representing thousands of operational meteorologists, forecasters, and television-radio meteorologists in the United States adopted their first ever position statement on climate change and severe weather events. They state:

Any given weather event, or series of events, should not be construed as evidence of climate change.

The NWA emphasizes that no single weather event or series of events should be construed as evidence of a climate trend. Daily weather is subject to extreme events due to its natural variability. It is only the occurrence of these events over decades that determines a climate trend.

No clearer statement could be rendered. It mirrors what a NOAA scientist at the Storm Prediction Center said yesterday to Fox News:

Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said warming trends do create more of the fuel that tornadoes require, such as moisture, but that they also deprive tornadoes of another essential ingredient: wind shear.

“We know we have a warming going on,” Carbin told Fox News in an interview Thursday, but added: “There really is no scientific consensus or connection [between global warming and tornadic activity]….Jumping from a large-scale event like global warming to relatively small-scale events like tornadoes is a huge leap across a variety of scales.”

Asked if climate change should be “acquitted” in a jury trial where it stood charged with responsibility for tornadoes, Carbin replied: “I would say that is the right verdict, yes.” Because there is no direct connection as yet established between the two? “That’s correct,” Carbin replied.

Historically, there have been many tornado outbreaks that occurred well before climate change was on anyone’s radar.  Here’s a few:

1908 Southeast tornado outbreak 324 fatalities, ≥1,720 injuries

1920 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak ≥380 fatalities, ≥1215 injuries

1925 Tri-State tornado ≥747 fatalities, ≥2298 injuries

1932 Deep South tornado outbreak  ≥330 fatalities, 2145 injuries

1952 Arkansas-Tennessee tornado outbreak 208 fatalities

1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak 256 fatalities

April 3-4 1974 Super Outbreak 315 fatalities

All of these occurred before “climate change” was even on the political radar. What caused those if “global warming” is to blame? The real cause is La Niña, and as NOAAwatch.gov indicates on their page with the helpful meter, we are in a La Niña cycle of ocean temperature in the Pacific.

Here’s what it looks like on satellite measurements. Notice the cool blue:

The US. Climate Prediction Center talks about the reason for such outbreaks in relation to ocean temperature cycles:

What impacts do El Niño and La Niña have on tornado activity across the country?

Since a strong jet stream is an important ingredient for severe weather, the position of the jet stream helps to determine the regions more likely to experience tornadoes. Contrasting El Niño and La Niña winters, the jet stream over the United States is considerably different. During El Niño the jet stream is oriented from west to east across the southern portion of the United States. Thus, this region becomes more susceptible to severe weather outbreaks. During La Niña the jet stream and severe weather is likely to be farther north.

Note the collision zone in the US southeast during La Niña patterns.

Finally, Let’s examine the claims of global warming being linked to the tornado outbreak. If this were true, we’d expect the globe to be warmer, right?

Thunderstorms (and all weather for that matter) form in the troposphere, that layer of the atmosphere that is closest to the surface, and extends up to the stratosphere.

Image: weatherquestions.com – click for details

Dr. Roy Spencer, climate scientist from the University of Alabama, Huntsville, tracks the temperature of the troposphere. The university system that he tracks the temperature daily with is inoperable, due to the storms. People who have been watching it prior to this event know the current global tropospheric temperature is lower in April than the norm, but we can’t show it today. The last global value he plotted showed this:

https://i0.wp.com/www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Mar_2011.gif
The global temperature anomaly of the troposphere today is about the same as it was in 1979. If there’s any global warming in the troposphere, it must be a figment of an overactive imagination on the part of people who seek to link it to the recent tornado tragedy.

Dr. Roy Spencer sums it up pretty well on his blog today:

MORE Tornadoes from Global Warming? That’s a Joke, Right?

It is well known that strong to violent tornado activity in the U.S. has decreased markedly since statistics began in the 1950s, which has also been a period of average warming. So, if anything, global warming causes FEWER tornado outbreaks…not more. In other words, more violent tornadoes would, if anything, be a sign of “global cooling”, not “global warming”.

Anyone who claims more tornadoes are caused by global warming is either misinformed, pandering, or delusional.

The people that seek to link this tragedy to the political movement of climate change should be ashamed of themselves. The only “deniers” here are the ones who deny all the long established counter evidence of their bogus claims for political gain.

——————

For those who wish to help with this tragedy there are options:

There’s a service called safeandwell.org which can help you get status on relatives and friends who may be affected.

There are several ways to register or look for messages from those affected by a disaster:

  • From a computer, visit www.redcross.org and click on the “List Yourself or Search Registrants” link under “How to Get Help.”
  • From a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell.
  • Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register.

There is of course financial help needed for the relief efforts of the American Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to relief efforts from your cell phone bill. Or visit the main website.

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