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HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS

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Post by sroc4 Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:49 am

So echos from my mother as a kid ring in my head this morning.

"We are all going to make mistakes.  The only way to make progress is to remember to learn from them.  You will never learn anything if you are right all the time."

So this was what I posted on my FB page describing the events leading up to what we know now about Joaquin.  Because most of the people reading it on my FB page are very new to the weather enthusiast world it is written in a language that everyone should understand.  The analogy I use about half way through I give credit to our very own rb on this board. (thanks)  Lets cont any further discussion about model runs etc regarding Joaquin here going forward.  I will pin this thread for today then after 12z if nothing is changed we will let it dift down into the bowels of the forum.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.  

So here is the situation regarding Hurricane Joaquin and an explanation why the forecast was the way it was this week. This will be a fairly in depth convo and will be a long read, so if you dont want to read anymore here is the spoiler alert. There is about a 90-95% chance that Joaquin's track takes it out to sea with no major landfall at all along the east coast. I will not update it any more unless drastic changes occur. Now lets look a little more in depth.

Image 1A is an image of north america and the atmospheric conditions as of about 6am this morning at about 18,000ft above sea level (AKA 500mb maps; AKA H5 maps). The wind pattern or movement of air at this level is typically used to see the direction that a system like Joaquin will go. The first thing to understand is that as of 3-4days ago not a single weather model had Joaquin develop into a category 4 major hurricane. Initially they had him as a Trop storm or Cat1 hurricane by this time. Thats important because if that were the case by this morning it would have been positioned further north and west than it currently is. Ill explain why thats important in a minute.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS <a href=HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z510" />

Now look at image 1B.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS <a href=HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z511" />

Same time frame as 1A. As of this morning you have two counterclockwise spinning areas of low pressure(LP) influencing Joaquin, one to the north west over the US and one to the north east over the Atlantic. In addition an area of high pressure(HP) with clockwise winds is building into a "block" NE of new England. The blue arrows indicate the direction of wind. If Joaquin was a bit further north he would get sucked into that alley and slam into the coast prob creating as bad if not worse conditions than Sandy because it prob would have been a stronger storm at landfall.

Pretend Joaquin is like a tennis ball sitting in the center of a mattress and the two areas of LP to the east and west are like two bowling balls that you place on the mattress on either side of the tennis ball. Both bowling balls will create an indentation in the mattress. Depending on how close the tennis ball is to either one will dicate if it rolls towards one vs the other. What models had a tough time seeing is that the LP to the NE over the Atlantic ocean had been tuging on Joaquin holding him back and forcing it further south than originally thought. As a result the center remained over VERY warm waters. As a consequence he rapidly intensified (which models didnt see) going from a tropical storm to a category 3 and now 4 hurricane in less than 36-48hrs. Again not a single model saw such intensification a few days ago.

Refer back to image 1B. Notice how the LP to the right has a little black line that wraps around the system indicated by the little yellow arrows. Imagine it like a tenticle. Thats the LP over the Atlantic tugging on Joaquin holding him back ever so slightly; preventing him from being influenced for the moment, by the LP sitting over the US.

Now shift to image 2 below.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS <a href=HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z512" />

The time frame for this image is Saturday afternoon. As you can see the LP to the east is no longer in the picture and the LP to the west now has now got a tentacle around Joaquin. The HP to the north of the system has strengthened into a formidable block, and the big white arrow up I added over Canada indicates that the entire pattern as a whole is shifting from west to east. Problem here is that by now Joaquin is too far east to be heavily influenced by the LP over the US and pulled into the coast. Again if he was not held back he would have been further west and you see the lane where he would have been sucked into and made landfall.

Enter the final image, labled #3.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS <a href=HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z513" />

By late Sunday night into early Monday because of the movement of the pattern as a whole from west to east the western edge of the HP block has eroded and shifted east now giving Joaquin an escape route northeast out to sea.

The European model was the first one to show this soln. Monday it still had a landfall near North Carolina. On Tuesday and most of Wed EVERY model, with the exception the European model had Joaquin making landfall somewhere on the east coast. With Sandy so fresh in everyones minds and so many models depicting a potential catastrophic outcome it had to be mentioned this week to get people prepared for the worst case scenario. By late Wed and Thurs the other models began shifting towards the out to sea soln, and now most agree its going out to sea. Until Joaquin is above the same latitude as Cape Hatteras North Carolina its not totally over but again an out to sea soln is more than likely at this time.

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Post by Frank_Wx Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:14 am

Nice write up Scott.

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Post by Guest Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:31 am

Good job Scott. The models continue to suck in the long term, especially the North American ones. It's a shame and frankly embarrassing that the most powerful country in the world can't have the most accurate forecasting computers.

EURO is king again. Let's keep that in mind come winter with all the model mayhem.

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Post by docstox12 Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:41 am

Doc, that write up is a grand slam home run, so concise and clear a meteorological dummy like myself can completely understand it.

Also,kudos to your Mom for such a wise statement about life.Absolutely true!

Great to see the site hitting on all eight cylinders again with the analysis of this hurricane the last few days.Kind of like spring training for the winter storm tracking to come.
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Post by HectorO Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:47 am

Look at this turn when floyd was headed my way http://www.lawrencevilleweather.com/storms/1999/atlantic/floyd.html It's like someone giving you directions and you have to turn the wheel right at the last minute. We still saw wind damage during this storm and the St Johns River in Jacksonville was very high, some low lying bridges were scary crossing over them. My sister's fenced was ripped off and ended up down the block.
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Post by Frank_Wx Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:41 am

syosnow94 wrote:Good job Scott.  The models continue to suck in the long term, especially the North American ones.  It's a shame and frankly embarrassing that the most powerful country in the world can't have the most accurate forecasting computers.

EURO is king again.  Let's keep that in mind come winter with all the model mayhem.

The EURO did poorly with winter storms last season. It's a superior tropical model, for sure.

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Post by SoulSingMG Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:54 am

The NAM just doesn't wanna give up lol. 12z strikes NC.
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Post by jmanley32 Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:55 am

Its moving NW lets see where he goes forget the models.
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Post by sroc4 Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:55 am

@Frank_Wx wrote:
syosnow94 wrote:Good job Scott.  The models continue to suck in the long term, especially the North American ones.  It's a shame and frankly embarrassing that the most powerful country in the world can't have the most accurate forecasting computers.

EURO is king again.  Let's keep that in mind come winter with all the model mayhem.

The EURO did poorly with winter storms last season. It's a superior tropical model, for sure.


The Euro is like Frank..when it speaks about the weather you listen. It doesnt mean it is going to always be right, but even when its wrong initially, it does a phenominal job at trending towards the right soln sooner than most....again just like Frank geek

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Post by Dunnzoo Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:00 am

Latest advisory it turned north..

8 am 23.4 N 74.8W
11 am 23.5 N 74.8W


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Post by jmanley32 Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:04 am

Yes it is Dunzoo, if it starts a easterly turn we know the ots models right. Lets see what happens.
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Post by Artechmetals Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:05 am

hey guys what time is the new info due in
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Post by Frank_Wx Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:07 am

Scott, another thing I would mention about the change of events with Joaquin is how poorly the models handled its exact position for Friday morning (today).

Here is the Wednesday run of the 00z GFS valid for Friday morning.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z500a_namer_10

Here was last night's 00z GFS run valid for this morning:

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z500a_namer_1

Joaquin is stronger. As a result, he's located further south and east. Wednesday's run had him north of the Bahamas and closer to the coast. These differences in miles are HUGE and obviously played a big role in the missed capture from the ULL. Like I mentioned yesterday, Ida and the amazing deepening of Joaquin to get him to a Cat 4 are the main reasons for these mile differences. The block in my opinion has always been there (though the flow is turning progressive a little quicker)

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Post by Frank_Wx Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:08 am

@sroc4 wrote:
@Frank_Wx wrote:
syosnow94 wrote:Good job Scott.  The models continue to suck in the long term, especially the North American ones.  It's a shame and frankly embarrassing that the most powerful country in the world can't have the most accurate forecasting computers.

EURO is king again.  Let's keep that in mind come winter with all the model mayhem.

The EURO did poorly with winter storms last season. It's a superior tropical model, for sure.


The Euro is like Frank..when it speaks about the weather you listen.  It doesnt mean it is going to always be right, but even when its wrong initially, it does a phenominal job at trending towards the right soln sooner than most....again just like Frank   geek

I approve of this analogy.

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Post by Frank_Wx Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:08 am

@jmanley32 wrote:Yes it is Dunzoo, if it starts a easterly turn we know the ots models right.  Lets see what happens.

About 1 hour

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Post by amugs Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:09 am

Excellent write up Scott - love the life lesson Mom taught you and shared with us - I tell this to my students and children ALL the time!! Thanks for sharing.

AS per the Euro, I have to say when it came out with the solution it did this past Monday afternoon 12z or was it Tuesday? with the OTS solution we all scratched our head due to the fact that you had a great ULL on the Coast and a huge 1032 HP over the Newfoundland region. For Monday there was no way this would escape - what we did not know at that time was how the Omega block was going to erode. frank nailed it and said if Waakeen takes to too long he can escape OTS. If he came up this way Sun into Mon as originally forecasted on the Monday we all discounted the EURO then that solution would IMHO been wrong due to the block holding its ground and being so strong.

Water over the dam, under the bridge, OTS..........................bring on the Nor'easters and winter.

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Post by Frank_Wx Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:10 am

NE movement last few frames - indicator the OTS solutions are correct

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS GifsBy12hr_06

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Post by amugs Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:26 am

All the subtle differences made a HUGE difference here peeps - too much debris that affected Phoenix! Look at the WV loop

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Post-1766-0-08764700-1443771159

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Post by sroc4 Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:35 am

@Frank_Wx wrote:Scott, another thing I would mention about the change of events with Joaquin is how poorly the models handled its exact position for Friday morning (today).

Here is the Wednesday run of the 00z GFS valid for Friday morning.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z500a_namer_10

Here was last night's 00z GFS run valid for this morning:

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS Gfs_z500a_namer_1

Joaquin is stronger. As a result, he's located further south and east. Wednesday's run had him north of the Bahamas and closer to the coast. These differences in miles are HUGE and obviously played a big role in the missed capture from the ULL. Like I mentioned yesterday, Ida and the amazing deepening of Joaquin to get him to a Cat 4 are the main reasons for these mile differences. The block in my opinion has always been there (though the flow is turning progressive a little quicker)


Couldnt agree more Frank.  I alluded to the same point in image 1A of my write up indicated by the thin black circle to the North of where Joaquin is currently.  I think my circle is slight further N than the image you show here but same principle applies. He is just too far south and east to be captured in time to impact land by the SE trough. Just goes to show how very minor changes can lead to very differerent outcomes.

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Post by SoulSingMG Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:59 am

@Frank_Wx wrote:NE movement last few frames - indicator the OTS solutions are correct

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS GifsBy12hr_06

Errr, check out that westward jog in the very last frame just now. I can't access it from phone but look at latest satellite imagery.
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Post by jmanley32 Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:03 pm

GFS is WAYYYY ots, lock it up he's done. Hoping we see a noreaster on horizon but GFS LR has nothing much at moment, dry conditions. It was rain pretty good this morning and breezy good weekend to stay inside and sulk lol
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Post by Abba701 Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:06 pm

@SoulSingMG wrote:
@Frank_Wx wrote:NE movement last few frames - indicator the OTS solutions are correct

HURRICANE JOAQUIN: Most Likely Track is OTS GifsBy12hr_06

Errr, check out that westward jog in the very last frame just now. I can't access it from phone but look at latest satellite imagery.

It's probobaly over

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Post by Abba701 Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:07 pm

That frame is not from today anyway

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Post by Dunnzoo Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:44 pm

@Dunnzoo wrote:Latest advisory it turned north..

8 am    23.4 N   74.8W
11 am  23.5 N   74.8W



2 pm advisory 23.8 N 74.8 W heading straight north now
130 mph winds and moving at 5 mph

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Post by jmanley32 Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:00 pm

Why are we continuing to monitor this? Is there still any slight chance it could pull a 180? I wanna hear some good news about nor easters and blizzards, this was our hurricane threat for this year, I highly doubt we get another threat, though its still possible there are other developments. I for one did not want Sandy distruction but am bummed we getting no action AT ALL, the wind meter continues to sit and collect dust lol. Sorry if this upsets some but its the way I feel. Yeah this is kinda banter sorry. I am going to continue to track until it is well away as anything is possible and its going to stay a hurricane surprisingly far north so you never know but I doubt very much we see any drastic changes from here on out. Any other insight into this I would love to hear it.
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