Three Tropical Cyclones in the Atlantic Basin

August 29th, 2016

GOES-13 Water Vapor Infrared (6.5 µm) Imagery, 2345 UTC 23 August - 1945 UTC 29 August [click to animate]

GOES-13 Water Vapor Infrared (6.5 µm) Imagery, 2345 UTC 23 August – 1945 UTC 29 August [click to animate]

The hourly water vapor animation above over the Atlantic Basin shows the evolution of a strong tropical wave that moved through the Greater Antilles during the week of 23-29 August 2016. (GOES-14 viewed this system on 25 August and 28 August). There are many areas of convection, including Hurricane Gaston, which storm enters the domain from the east. Gaston is no threat to land, however.

Of more interest to the United States are Tropical Depression #8, a small system just southeast of Cape Hatteras, represented as a circular cluster of thunderstorms at the end of the animation, and Tropical Depression #9 near western Cuba. (Click here for an annotated water vapor imagery identifying the storms) Tropical Depression #9 has emerged from the system discussed here. Interests along the coast of North Carolina and Virginia should pay close attention to forecasts on Tropical Depression #8, and those on the Gulf Coast from Louisiana eastward should monitor Tropical Depression #9. For the latest information, see the webpages of the National Hurricane Center.

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water, below, for the 72 hours ending at 1800 UTC on 29 August (from this site), shows that Tropical Depression #8 and Hurricane Gaston, are near regions of dry air that might influence their evolution. In contrast, Tropical Depression #9 is embedded within an atmosphere rich in moisture.

The next two names for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic are Hermine and Ian.

Total Precipitable Water, 1900 UTC 26 August - 1800 UTC 29 August 2016 [click to enlarge]

Total Precipitable Water, 1900 UTC 26 August – 1800 UTC 29 August 2016 [click to enlarge]

Typhoon Lionrock in the West Pacific

August 27th, 2016

Track of Typhoon Lionrock [click to enlarge]

Track of Typhoon Lionrock [click to enlarge]

Typhoon Lionrock (12W) in the West Pacific Ocean briefly intensified to Category 4 during the northeastward motion segment of its rather unusual track (above) — the intensity estimate from the Advanced Dvorak Technique peaked at 112.4 knots from 2140 UTC on 26 August to 0630 UTC on 27 August (plot | text).

During this period of intensification, 2.5 minute interval rapid-scan Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below; also available as a large 85 Mbyte animated GIF) revealed complex patterns of cloud-top radial and transverse banding. Surface mesoscale vortices were also seen at times within the open eye feature.

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

A few hours later, the Category 3 intensity typhoon continued to exhibit a well-defined eye structure in both DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images around 18 UTC (below).

DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]

During the nighttime hours preceding the intensification to Category 4, a comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below; courtesy of William Straka, SSEC) showed the eye of Lionrock at 1631 UTC on 26 August.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

===== 28 August Update =====

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Typhoon Lionrock again intensified to a Category 4 storm on 28 August; a comparison of 2.5 minute interval rapid-scan Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images is shown above (also available as a large 68 Mbyte animated GIF).

GOES-14 SRSO-R: Tropical Disturbance near the Caribbean

August 25th, 2016

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animated gif]

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animated gif]

GOES-14 SRSO-R Imagery is being produced over the Greater Antilles on 25 August 2016 to monitor a tropical wave (Invest 99L) that is moving towards Florida and the southeast United States. The visible animation above shows a highly sheared system: a low-level circulation center (LLCC) is evident north of Hispaniola and east of the Turks and Caicos, but strong convection (overshooting tops are readily apparent) is displaced well to the east of the system. There is also considerable convection over Hispaniola.

A 2-panel comparison of GOES-14 Visible and Infrared Window images, below (also available as a large 200 Mbyte animated GIF), provided a slightly closer view of the LLCC feature.

GOES-14 0.63 µm Visible (top) and 10.7 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 0.63 µm Visible (top) and 10.7 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Wind shear analyses from the CIMSS Tropical Weather site, below, show the surface circulation is within a small ribbon of relatively strong shear. Development chances will increase if the wind shear relaxes. A GOES-13 Visible image with overlays of satellite winds and wind shear is available here.

Wind Shear Analysis, 1200 UTC on 25 August 2016 [click to play animated gif]

Wind Shear Analysis, 1200 UTC on 25 August 2016 [click to enlarge]

Metop-A overflew the system at about 0200 UTC on 25 August (link to orbit path), and winds near Tropical Storm Force cover a wide swath of the southwestern Atlantic. Even if this system does not develop into a Tropical Depression, gusty winds and abundant moisture (see the animation of MIRS Total Precipitable Water from this site, below) herald a weekend when it’s appropriate to pay attention to the weather because of the potential for rain and winds.

Morphed Observations of Total Precipitable Water from MIRS, 0000 UTC 24 August - 1500 UTC 25 August [click to play animated gif]

Morphed Observations of Total Precipitable Water from MIRS, 0000 UTC 24 August – 1500 UTC 25 August [click to play animated gif]

===== 28 August Update =====

GOES-14 0.63 µm Visible (top) and 10.7 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 0.63 µm Visible (top) and 10.7 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Invest 99L developed into Tropical Depression 09 around 21 UTC on 28 August. A comparison of 1-minute GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, above (also available as a large 94 Mbyte animated GIF), showed the tropical depression as it moved westward through the Florida Straits.

Tornado outbreak in Indiana/Ohio

August 24th, 2016

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to play animation]

An outbreak of tornadoes (SPC storm reports) occurred during the afternoon/early evening hours of 24 August 2016 from central Indiana to northwestern Ohio (NWS Indianapolis | NWS Northern Indiana | NWS Cleveland). In terms of forcing mechanisms, while the supercell thunderstorms developed well in advance of a cold frontal boundary (surface analyses), GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images (above) showed a mesoscale convective vortex or MCV moving eastward across northern Illinois which may have played a role in helping to initiate convection. Moisture was also abundant across the region, with Total Precipitable Water (TPW) values as high as 53.1 mm or 2.1 inches on the 1200 UTC Lincoln IL rawinsonde report and 60.7 mm or 2.4 inches just east of the convection developing over central Indiana on the 1941 UTC Aqua MODIS TPW product (below).

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) image and Total Precipitable Water product [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) image and Total Precipitable Water product [click to enlarge]

A closer view of the 1841 UTC Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images (below) showed the thunderstorm complex over central Indiana just after the time of the first EF2-rated tornado in Montgomery County — the coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperature was -80º C (violet color enhancement) over the southeastern portion of that county. In addition, an “enhanced-V” cloud top signature was evident over northeastern Clinton County — the next EF3-rated tornado formed just to the northeast in Howard County at 1920 UTC.

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The GOES-13 (GOES-East) satellite had been placed into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) mode, providing images as frequently as every 5-7 minutes — in the Visible (0.63 µm) images with plots of preliminary SPC storm reports of tornadoes (red) and hail/wind (cyan) shown below (also available as an MP4 animation), numerous overshooting tops can be seen. These overshooting tops were often in the vicinity of the parallax-corrected SPC storm reports (assuming a mean cloud top height of 12 km).

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports of tornadoes in red and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports of tornadoes in red and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

The corresponding GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (below; also available as an MP4 animation) revealed cloud-top IR brightness temperatures as cold as -67º C (darker black enhancement) over Indiana at 1845 and 1855 UTC; the location of parallax-corrected preliminary SPC storm reports of tornadoes (white) and hail/wind (cyan) are also plotted on the images.

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports of tornadoes in white and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports of tornadoes in white and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]