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First off, I’d like to mention that in my nearly four years in Dothan, I have never seen such widespread Heat Advisories and Heat Warnings as I have seen today. The temperatures we are experiencing this week are not extremely far from Average, but the humidity levels are. This is what creates a Heat Index. As mentioned in previous blogs, the Heat Index is a scale of what a hot temperature feels like when combined with humid air, or High Dew Points. A temperature in the 90’s with  dewpoints 70+ can create a significant Heat Index!

So today 90% of Alabama, all of the Florida Panhandle, portions of South Caroina, all of Mississippi and portions of Arkansas & Louisiana are under some form of heat issuance. All of Mississippi and Southwest Alabama, New Orleans and the western panhandle are under Heat Warnings. The rest of Alabama and the Panhandle are under Heat Advisories.

A Heat Advisory is issued in advance of the day expected to see extreme Heat Indeces. A Heat Advisory means dewpoints and high temperatures create UNCOMFORTABLE conditions, generally a Heat Index between 108-110 degrees. This is generally not hot enough to pose a life threatening risk to the average person. This of course does not include people exercising outside, the elderly or small children… as they are all more prone to Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke CAN certainly happen during Heat Advisory days.

A Heat Warning is more serious. This is when Heat Indexes rise to 110-120 degrees. Often the actual air temperature is into the  triple digits. Heat Warnings indicate that it feels hot enough to cause bodily harm or even death (including pets!)

A good example of an area experiencing this is Dallas, Texas. Dallas has had over 25 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees, topping out at a record for Tuesday, August 2nd, at 110 on the thermometer. Their heat index is skyrocketing. This has forced schools who are going through preseason sports training to practice during the pre-dawn hours. They are required to take water breaks every 20 minutes and are weighed before and after practice to assure they havn’t lost too much body weight (generally water weight).

A coach of a Plano, Texas football team recently died due to complications from heat, as well as nearly a dozen others over the past few years.

During periods of extreme heat like this, temperatures often don’t go below 80 degrees at any point during the day. It is imperative that people stay hydrated, and actively drink non-caffienated, non-sugary drinks such as water, and sports suppliments, that include electrolytes that replenish the body.

If you’re not sweating, that’s a problem. You are dehydrated and your body will overheat. This is very dangerous. Be sure you don’t forget about those outdoor pets, too. Large chunks of ice in their water bowls can be very helpful. I always throw some ice cubes in a bowl of water for the stray cat that lives in our neighborhood as I can tell she is being affected, too.

TROPICAL STORM EMILY DISCUSSION NUMBER   6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL052011
1100 PM AST TUE AUG 02 2011

THE AREA OF COLD CLOUD TOPS HAS EXPANDED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS IN
A CDO-LIKE PATTERN...HOWEVER A 2157 UTC SSMIS PASS SUGGESTED THAT
THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER REMAINS DISPLACED TO THE WEST OF THE DEEPEST
CONVECTION.  DVORAK CURRENT INTENSITY ESTIMATES WERE 3.0...45
KT...FROM TAFB AND SAB AT 00Z...THAT THAT WILL REMAIN THE INTENSITY
FOR THIS ADVISORY PACKAGE.  ANOTHER AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE
HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE EMILY OVERNIGHT.
UW-CIMSS SATELLITE ANALYSIS SHOWS ABOUT 12 KT OF WESTERLY SHEAR
OVER EMILY...WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE TILTED STRUCTURE OF THE
CYCLONE AND THE LOCATION OF A MID-LEVEL CIRCULATION SEEN IN VELOCITY
DATA FROM THE SAN JUAN DOPPLER RADAR.  OVERALL THE ENVIRONMENT
APPEARS FAVORABLE FOR SOME CONTINUED STRENGTHENING UNTIL THE
CYCLONE REACHES HISPANIOLA IN ABOUT 24 HOURS...AND THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED UPWARD A BIT IN AGREEMENT WITH THE IVCN
INTENSITY CONSENSUS THROUGH THAT TIME.  IF EMILY SURVIVES ITS TRIP
ACROSS THE HIGH TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA...THE ENVIRONMENT APPEARS
SUPPORTIVE OF RE-INTENSIFICATION LATE IN THE PERIOD.  THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED UPWARD A LITTLE FROM THE PREVIOUS
ADVISORY...BUT REMAINS BELOW THE GUIDANCE GIVEN THE UNCERTAINTY IN
HOW EMILY WILL FARE AFTER LAND INTERACTION.

THE CENTER HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO LOCATE THIS EVENING GIVEN THE LACK
OF AIRCRAFT AND MICROWAVE DATA.  BASED ON THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SSMIS
PASS...THE CENTER IS ASSUMED TO BE WEST OF THE COLDEST CLOUD TOPS...
YIELDING AN UNCERTAIN INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE OF 285/12...TOWARD THE
WEST-NORTHWEST.  THE SYNOPTIC REASONING REMAINS UNCHANGED...AS A
MID-LEVEL TROUGH WILL REACH MAXIMUM AMPLITUDE OVER THE WESTERN
ATLANTIC IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS...ALLOWING EMILY TO TURN
NORTHWESTWARD AND MOVE ACROSS HISPANIOLA AND INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN
BAHAMAS IN THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS.  AFTER THE TROUGH LIFTS OUT A
MID-LEVEL WEAKNESS IS EXPECTED TO PERSIST OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN
ATLANTIC THROUGH THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD...AND EMILY SHOULD
TURN NORTHWARD INTO THE WEAKNESS AND EVENTUALLY ACCELERATE
NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD BY DAY 5 AS A RIDGE REBUILDS TO THE SOUTHEAST
OF THE CYCLONE AND A BROAD TROUGH MOVES INTO THE EASTERN UNITED
STATES.  THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN THE GUIDANCE FOR THIS CYCLE IS THAT
THE GFDL AND HWRF NOW SHOW A LITTLE MORE RIDGING EAST OF EMILY LATE
IN THE PERIOD AND HAVE SHIFTED THEIR TRACKS WESTWARD...ESPECIALLY
AT DAYS 3 AND 4.  THROUGH THE FIRST 36 HOURS...THE NEW NHC FORECAST
IS ALONG THE OLD TRACK...BUT A LITTLE FASTER AS IT TRENDS TOWARD
THE FASTER MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS.  FROM 48 TO 96 HOURS...THE NEW
NHC FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED A LITTLE TO THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS
PACKAGE...AND NOW LIES TO THE RIGHT OF THE MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS. 
GIVEN THE LARGE CYCLE-TO-CYCLE VARIABILITY SEEN IN THE TRACK
GUIDANCE...UNCERTAINTY IN THE TRACK FORECAST REMAINS LARGER THAN
USUAL BEYOND 48 HOURS.

BASED ON THE INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED WITH THE NEW TRACK FORECAST
...A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE SOUTHEAST
BAHAMAS AND TURKS AND CAICOS.

WWUS72 KTAE 021935
NPWTAE

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
335 PM EDT TUE AUG 2 2011

ALZ065>069-FLZ007>015-026-108-112-114-115-032300-
/O.NEW.KTAE.HT.Y.0006.110803T1800Z-110803T2300Z/
/O.CON.KTAE.HT.Y.0005.000000T0000Z-110802T2200Z/
COFFEE-DALE-HENRY-GENEVA-HOUSTON-INLAND WALTON-CENTRAL WALTON- HOLMES-WASHINGTON-JACKSON-INLAND BAY-CALHOUN-INLAND GULF-
INLAND FRANKLIN-LIBERTY-SOUTH WALTON-COASTAL BAY-COASTAL GULF- COASTAL FRANKLIN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ENTERPRISE…OZARK…FORT RUCKER… DALEVILLE…HEADLAND…ABBEVILLE…GENEVA…HARTFORD…SAMSON… SLOCOMB…MALVERN…TAYLOR…ASHFORD…DOTHAN…KINSEY…
COWARTS…WEBB…COTTONWOOD…REHOBETH…DE FUNIAK SPRINGS… HUDSON…BONIFAY…CRYSTAL LAKE…CHIPLEY…FIVE POINTS…
MARIANNA…GRACEVILLE…MALONE…SNEADS…YOUNGSTOWN…
BLOUNTSTOWN…WHITE CITY…WEWAHITCHKA…SWEETWATER…FREEPORT… SANTA ROSA BEACH…PANAMA CITY…PARKER…PORT SAINT JOE…
APALACHICOLA…CARRABELLE
335 PM EDT TUE AUG 2 2011 /235 PM CDT TUE AUG 2 2011/

A Heat Advisory Remains in Effect Until 6 PM EDT /5 PM Cdt/
This Evening…

…a heat advisory is now in effect from 2 PM EDT /1 PM cdt/ to 7 PM EDT /6 PM cdt/ wednesday…

* temperature, air temperatures will range from 93 to 101
degrees, with heat index values reaching 109 to 112 degrees.

* impacts, prolonged exposure to this heat can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

precautionary/preparedness actions…

a heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is
expected. the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and
neighbors.

&&

Emily is the fifth named storm of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but it is getting massive attention because it will be the first storm in the season, and first in several years to have an impact on the United States.

The $64,000 question is…how much? Being that this storm developed so close to numerous islands, it will be a little slower to intensify than a storm in an open water area. However, the water temp around this storm is very warm, and makes us Meteorologists think she will strengthen.

There are a lot of scenarios that COULD evolve over the next several days, and they all depend on the environment in front of Emily, and the environment in which is over us now.

A large area of high pressure over the united states is helping steer Emily west, but if that High weakens, could allow the storm to move more northwest. As of Tuesday morning, the cone of uncertainty, that is the margin of error the storm will be somewhere within, is rather large, and could potentially effect South Florida and make landfall, or come close to Florida but stay located in the Atlantic and turn out to sea.

It must be noted that with the high level of uncertainty that the gulf cannot be ruled out either, but as this current time looks unlikely. Emily has a ways to go before gaining wind speeds worthy of hurricane status, but tropical storms can produce just as much rain and still be devastating.

Locations being affected in the near future include Puerto Rico, Haiti (which is still significantly barren after the earthquake) and the US Virgin Islands. Flooding rains will be the main problem for these areas and can cause serious mudslides.

For right now I choose to look at Emily as a precursor storm…one that will probably not deal the United States a devastating blow, but one that reminds us that we are getting into the busier months of a potentially very active hurricane season. It is important to stay vigilent and prepared!

WWUS72 KTAE 020711
NPWTAE

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
311 AM EDT TUE AUG 2 2011

ALZ065>069-022200-
/O.EXA.KTAE.HT.Y.0005.110802T1700Z-110802T2200Z/
COFFEE-DALE-HENRY-GENEVA-HOUSTON-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ENTERPRISE…OZARK…FORT RUCKER… DALEVILLE…HEADLAND…ABBEVILLE…GENEVA…HARTFORD…SAMSON… SLOCOMB…MALVERN…TAYLOR…ASHFORD…DOTHAN…KINSEY…
COWARTS…WEBB…COTTONWOOD…REHOBETH
211 AM CDT TUE AUG 2 2011

Heat Advisory is In Effect From noon Today to 5 PM CDT This
Afternoon…

the National Weather Service in tallahassee has issued a heat advisory, which is in effect from noon today to 5 PM CDT this afternoon.

* temperature, air temperatures will reach 95 to 100 degrees, with heat index values reaching 108 to 113 degrees.

* impacts, prolonged exposure to this heat can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

precautionary/preparedness actions…

a heat advisory means that heat indices are expected to peak between 110 and 114 degrees. the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air- conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on
relatives and neighbors.

&&

TROPICAL STORM EMILY SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER   1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL052011
730 PM AST MON AUG 01 2011

DATA FROM THE AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT
INVESTIGATING THE SYSTEM OVER THE LESSER ANTILLES SHOW THAT A
WELL-DEFINED CIRCULATION CENTER HAS FINALLY FORMED NEAR THE ISLAND
OF DOMINICA...MARKING THE FORMATION OF TROPICAL STORM EMILY.  THE
INITIAL INTENSITY OF 35 KT IS BASED ON FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS OF AROUND
45 KT IN DEEP CONVECTION NORTH OF THE CENTER.  AS EVIDENCED BY THE
AMOUNT OF TIME IT TOOK THIS SYSTEM TO CONSOLIDATE AROUND A SINGLE
CENTER...THE ENVIRONMENT IS ONLY MARGINALLY FAVORABLE FOR
STRENGTHENING IN THE SHORT TERM.  THE MAIN INHIBITING FACTOR
APPEARS TO BE MID-LEVEL RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES OF 50 PERCENT OR
LESS AS SEEN IN THE SHIPS MODEL OUTPUT.  THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
FOLLOWS THE SHIPS MODEL THROUGH 36 HOURS...AND THEN ASSUMES THAT
EMILY WILL WEAKEN AS IT ENCOUNTERS HISPANIOLA IN 48 HOURS OR SO. 
BEYOND THAT TIME...IF EMILY SURVIVES THE INTERACTION WITH THE
RUGGED TERRAIN ON THE ISLAND...GRADUAL STRENGTHENING IS SHOWN NEAR
THE END OF THE PERIOD...AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE
IVCN CONSENSUS BY DAY 5.  NEEDLESS TO SAY...THE INTENSITY FORECAST
IS OF VERY LOW CONFIDENCE GIVEN THE PRESENT ORGANIZATION OF THE
SYSTEM AND THE POTENTIAL LAND INTERACTION IN 2 OR 3 DAYS. 

THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION HAS BEEN MOVING QUICKLY WESTWARD...AND THE
INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS A HIGHLY UNCERTAIN 275/15. EMILY IS
CURRENTLY SITUATED TO THE SOUTH OF A WEAKENING MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER
THE SUBTROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC. THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE IN
GENERALLY GOOD AGREEMENT SHOWING THIS RIDGE WEAKENING OVER THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS AS A MID-LEVEL TROUGH DIGS SOUTHWARD OVER THE
WESTERN ATLANTIC. THIS SHOULD ALLOW EMILY TO TURN
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AND SLOW DOWN A LITTLE IN THE FIRST 48 HOURS.
BEYOND THAT TIME...THE TRACK FORECAST IS HIGHLY UNCERTAIN AND
DEPENDS ON WHAT SHAPE EMILY IS IN AFTER IT MOVES PAST HISPANIOLA
AND HOW MUCH THE RIDGE RE-BUILDS TO THE NORTH OF THE CYCLONE OVER
THE WESTERN ATLANTIC TOWARD THE END OF THE PERIOD. THERE IS QUITE A
BIT OF SPREAD IN THE TRACK MODEL GUIDANCE...WITH THE ECMWF TAKING A
WEAKER CYCLONE FARTHEST TO THE WEST SHOWING A TRACK NEAR SOUTHERN
FLORIDA...WHILE THE GFDL AND THE NEW 18Z GFS ARE FARTHEST TO THE
RIGHT WITH A TRACK NEAR OR EAST OF THE BAHAMAS. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST IS A LITTLE SOUTH OF THE GUIDANCE IN THE FIRST 12 TO 24
HOURS TO ACCOUNT FOR THE MORE WESTERLY INITIAL MOTION AND LIES
CLOSE TO THE TVCA MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS BEYOND THAT TIME. GIVEN THE
SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE LATE IN THE PERIOD...THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO
REMIND EVERYONE THAT THE AVERAGE ERROR OF THE OFFICIAL NHC TRACK
FORECAST IS ABOUT 250 MILES AT 5 DAYS. 

GIVEN THE FORECAST PARTICULARS...A VARIETY OF TROPICAL STORM WATCHES
AND WARNINGS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LEEWARD
ISLANDS...THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS...PUERTO RICO...AND HISPANIOLA.  

NOTE...THIS SPECIAL ADVISORY WILL TAKE THE PLACE OF THE STANDARD
0000 UTC INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC ADVISORY.  THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL THE
THE FULL ADVISORY ISSUED AT 0300 UTC/1100 PM AST/EDT.  

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