Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike a Bad Memory

For many Ike will be a very bad memory. Ike in the Gulf was not a good Candidate for Seeding. The consistent big wind field and very big eye that had been sheared off at mid levels by Cuba probably yielded a system that would not have been treated. It was not close to modification by the original Stormfury Hypothesis at the time it was in the Gulf.


The next storms up for the 2008 season probably have at least 10 days [September 25th or so] for a chance at development because of the upper level shear over the tropical waters. We also had a rule in the 53rd that once a front cleared the Gulf of Mexico chances of a good Hurricane landfall at Keesler were slim to nil.

That can always change with the very warm water and PERSISTENT rapid intensification area we have experienced the last few years—-The area just South of Cuba. Rita, Wilma and Katrina have permanently rewritten the record book.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Landfall

The eye presentation on satellite data continues to look impressive. The overdue strengthening and transport of the wind speed from upper levels to the surface continues to be difficult to impossible for the Hurricane to achieve.

Pressure reading from the 17:21 z fix was up a little at 957 MB, but like always it’s difficult to be sure the drop makes it to the exact center of lowest pressure from 10,000 feet. Max temperature was up to 19 degrees C, which is the highest it has had for several days.

A Wall Street Journal display of the forecast from about 1 week ago displays how really lucky we are to have a good forecast and good team here in the U. S. The forecast was for the most part spot on.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stormfury Revisited

An effort is needed to re-establish the Stormfury project in Guam with private money. The applied science project will take about 375M. This sounds like an onerous sum but the politics are right and there is a virtual frenzy of environmental interest in governmental circles right now—up to and including both Presidential candidates. There are also huge energy aspects both solar and wind to environmental studies this project would enhance and lead in—including airborne weather radar and the affect wind farms are having on land based radar.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research [NCAR] has recently published advice to the “transition teams” for both political parties making the case for a 9B increase in the funding for environmental issues over the next 5 years. This is over and above the current multi-billion dollar annual spending for hardware, personal and software to man the U. S. government’s wide-ranging weather and environmental programs.

We applaud this effort. The Federal Government funding of such programs has actually decreased from proposed numbers in recent years highlighted by the non-funding of 17 key satellites systems.

However, the project we envision is the “premiere” top of the food chain environmental issue that should be done primarily by the private sector with the Government, both state and local, working to the degree they can to help speed the project. This is for several reasons:

· The Federal Government gave up on the project—they will be slow to add the issue to any new and budget strapped program
· Global warming issues are now real. They can best be investigated and addressed with satellites and aircraft. Having reconnaissance aircraft operating in the Western Pacific would do this—and make it available now—ground truth is essential.
· Hurricanes and Cyclones, for whatever reason, seem to be on the increase
· Cyclones—in particular—have been stronger and now occur in a vast area from the Philippines to Africa
· Eye data, wind field data, and pressure reading from the eye are an essential forecasting tool. They are not available to most of the oceans meteorological services. Deaths in these areas cause a huge burden on the U. N. and its refugee organizations.

Governmental involvement can be a help and a curse. The private implementation proposed can move faster because there is the prospect for a service that could generate 1B in revenues annually—for each Cyclone affected ocean.

Details of the aircraft plan and budget are available to interested parties. Sponsors and donors can reach the project at

Thursday 11 am Ike Discussion

Vortex Data Messages Thursday

And the 11 am Ike Discussion

A historical note from the Pacific. Ike’s eye and surface wind speed activity, although not perfectly paralleling “the PI storm” probably is very close. The Pacific storm [PI for now] occurred the Western Pacific in 1969 and plagued flight crews throughout its life.

It started as the “Double Eye Dumbbell storm” that persisted in having a figure 8 eye with a small lens shaped cusp between two distinct and equally powerful eyes. Navy flight crews called this eye memory.

In this case the two eyes were persistent and rotated around each other and a mid point. This required skill to fix. Which one do you choose? Ike has presented a very small eye and an oblong eye at times.

At any rate this Pacific storm had central pressure well down to the 900 MB level and probably a little below. It had presented this unique eye feature from its first development of a West wind and cut off circulation.

The very unique thing it did was to move over the mountains of the Philippines and get sheared off. Then the oblong eye had unusual surface presentation of a 40 mile by 80-mile eye but with a huge area of high winds outside the large rotating eye. In this storm the upper level circulation was never able to build back down to the surface.

This sounds very similar to what happened to Ike and the ideas mentioned by the 11 AM Thursday discussion of the low pressure “not yet” being transported to the surface. Ike went over most of Cuba and it’s mountains. Storm dynamics of this shearing effect of the mountains are acting like a “memory” to Ike and restricting its transport of higher speed upper level winds to the surface.

Ike is a different storm and has presented at times a very small storm. The surface pressure in the eye and the aircraft tracks and Vortex Data Messages need to be watched closely. Hurricanes and Typhoons don’t read the textbook.