Interesting sat view: A train of 5 tropical cyclones in the Central and Eastern Pacific

From NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and “Earth’s thermostat”

A train of developing tropical low pressure areas stretch from the Eastern Pacific Ocean into the Central Pacific and they were captured in an image from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite on August 1. The train of five tropical lows include the remnants of Tropical Storm Genevieve and newly developed Tropical Storm Iselle.

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This NOAA GOES-West satellite image from Aug. 1 shows a train of 5 developing tropical systems in the Eastern and Central Pacific (l to r): System 91C, Genevieve, System 96E, Iselle, and a tropical wave. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

NOAA’s GOES-West satellite captured an image of the Pacific Ocean on August 1 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) that showed post-tropical cyclone Genevieve’s remnants between three other systems. The GOES-West image shows the train of storms with a well-developed Iselle near the end of the train.

NOAA manages the GOES-West and GOES-East satellites. Data from the satellites are used to create images and animations from NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

System 91C

The western-most tropical low pressure area lies to the west of Genevieve’s remnants. That low is designated as System 91C. At 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT), the center of System 91C was located near 12.0 north latitude and 167.3 west longitude, about 850 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. 91C has a low chance of developing into a tropical depression over the next couple of days.

East of System 91C lie Genevieve’s remnants. NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) issued the final warning on Post-tropical cyclone Genevieve on July 31 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT). At that time it was centered near 13.0 north latitude and 151.1 west longitude, about 1,255 miles east of Johnston Island. It was moving west.

Genevieve’s Remnants

At 8 a.m. EDT on August 1, Genevieve’s remnant low center was located about 500 miles south-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. CPHC noted the atmospheric conditions are only marginally favorable for its redevelopment over the next few days as it moves westward near 10 mph.

System 96E

Continuing east, System 96E is tracking behind Genevieve’s remnants. System 96E is another developing low pressure area with a minimal chance for becoming a tropical depression. The CPHC gives System 96E a 10 percent chance of development over the next two days. It is located in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, about 1,275 miles east-southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Satellite imagery shows the low is producing minimal shower activity. CPHC noted that upper-level winds are currently not conducive for development, but they could become a little more favorable in a few days while the low moves westward at around 10 mph.

Tropical Storm Iselle

Behind System 96E is the only developed tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Iselle. Iselle is located east-northeast of System 96E. Tropical storm Iselle was born on July 31 at 2100 UTC (5 p.m. EDT). On August 1, Iselle’s maximum sustained winds were already up to 60 mph (95 kph). At 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT/0900 UTC).the center of Tropical Storm Iselle was located near latitude 13.5 north and longitude 124.6 west. Iselle is centered about 1,160 miles (1,870 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

Fifth Area of Low Pressure

The fifth tropical low pressure area is east-southeast of Iselle. That area is a tropical wave that is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. That wave is located several hundred miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. The National Hurricane Center noted that environmental conditions are conducive for gradual development of this system during the next several days while it moves westward at 10 mph. NHC gives this low a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next two days.

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181 thoughts on “Interesting sat view: A train of 5 tropical cyclones in the Central and Eastern Pacific

  1. How much heat does a “typical” pacific cyclone move into the upper atmosphere to assist in cooling the earth? Significant or not?

  2. that’ll certainly cool things off…..

    I wish they wouldn’t try to scare people and just say a “low”….instead of CYCLONE!!!

  3. Bob Tisdale talks about this sort of stuff a lot. Are these systems close enough to the equator to give a boost to El Nino?

  4. Like the ocean heat parasites they are, these systems are feeding off the dying remnants of Trenberth’s once-hoped-for Super ElNino. They transport the upper Sea surface heat via latent heat of evaporation and via convection transport and eject it as IR into space from the cloud tops in the stratosphere.

    Sayonara ElNino 2014-15. We hardly knew ya’.

  5. Gary Meyers says:
    August 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Lots of cooling clouds out there!
    ________________
    They’re much more than that. Each storm is effectively a heat escalator, transporting tropic heat skyward to be radiated quickly to space.

  6. Sorry, Gary Meyers,.My response to you was very poorly, sent accidentally while under construction and didn’t convey what I wanted to say.

    You are right, those are cooling clouds.

  7. … poorly worded… dang, did it again. i hate this “new” small footprint keyboard.

  8. also this is an example of a wavelet set on a large scale. just like the surfer learns to read much smaller wave sets coming in to shore in order to pick and position on a good one for a brief ride.

    their formation needed the right ocean atmosphere interacting conditions, a warmer than average SST and the atmospheric kickup. the SST kick may be a ElNino upwelling remnant, and the atmospheric kick would be an Easterly trade wind strengthening. The latter is not favorable for more ElNino strengthening.

  9. Have you sent this to Al? He would love it. With just a little bit of touch up, he could turn this into the spawning ground for his new and improved hurrmagedon! This could be just what he needs to resurrect his inconvenient truth.

  10. Thin Air said:
    “How much heat does a “typical” pacific cyclone move into the upper atmosphere to assist in cooling the earth? Significant or not?”

    Not

    Joel O’Brian said:
    “[Storms] transport the upper Sea surface heat via latent heat of evaporation and via convection transport and eject it as IR into space from the cloud tops in the stratosphere.”

    Ummm, if I may…-40F to -60F is not alot of heat to “eject it as IR into space” compared to what is at the surface. The tops of thunderstorms, especially tropical types (taller tropopause) are *COLD* not hot. The main thing these clouds do is wring out moisture and block the 80-90F heat at the surface from escaping to space. All the latent heat does is help the cloud to grow & wring out more moisture to fall as rain.

    Jeff

  11. Willis is there right now getting hammered and diggin it.
    Willis, do you have internet? How’s it going?
    Send pics.

  12. Beautiful image of the classic summer ITCZ releasing latent ocean heat atbthe tops of those storm clouds. A visualQQ reason this year will be an El Nada. All these storms are processing west with the prevailing trades, which have obviously neither weakened nor reversed, freeing ocean heat to escape as OLR as they go.

  13. Rud Istvan said:
    “[convection]…freeing ocean heat to escape as OLR as they go.”

    no…convection *blocks* ocean heat from escaping as OLR. convection are areas of *low* OLR not *high* OLR. The cloud tops are COLD (-40F to -60F). Refer to my post just above.

    All these ideas of latent heat and thunderstorms being ‘magical’ outlets of Earth’s heat needs to stop. It’s wrong and can be understood with a little critical thinking, basic knowledge of the atmosphere structure & understanding of Skew-T charts. Don’t let the colors of IR satellite pix fool you – the yellow/red of thunderstorm tops are COLD not hot.

    Jeff

  14. JKrob said, “Ummm, if I may…-40F to -60F is not alot of heat to “eject it as IR into space” compared to what is at the surface.”

    Maybe not, but compared to space, it certainly is. Lots of heat at the surface of the ocean; almost no heat at the surface of the atmosphere — that’s one helluva temperature gradient for heat to roll “down”.

  15. Steve Oregon says:
    August 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    > Willis is there right now getting hammered and diggin it.

    He better not be – “I’m going north to be first mate delivering a fishing boat from northern Vancouver Island to southern Oregon.”

  16. I recall that hurricanes leave a surface trail of cold water in their wake. If these things are doing a convoy across the Pacific, shouldn’t that take the steam out of the following systems?

  17. Bye bye El Nino, really? Don’t these cyclones spin against the trade winds, thereby directly contributing to El Nino (pushing warm water east in the equatorial Pacific)?

  18. mellyrn says:
    “Maybe not, but compared to space, it certainly is.”

    Maybe so, but compared to the surface (as I stated), there is alot LESS (loss of around 130F presuming surface around 80-85F & cloud top around -50F) due to expansion of the rising gas.

    “…almost no heat at the surface of the atmosphere”
    I have no idea what you mean…the atmosphere has no ‘surface’. However…at the top of the effective atmosphere (the tropopause), which is where thunderstorms max out at, is exactly what I said – “…-40F to -60F is not alot of heat” …which is exactly what you said -“…almost no heat at the surface of the atmosphere” in your argument against me. (!?!?!)

    The you state “…temperature gradient for heat to roll “down”.”

    I have no idea what that is supposed to mean either. My point was that latent heat has almost no role in “releasing heat to space” and the process of condensing water vapor to a liquid/solid is more effective at blocking the large amount of heat at the surface from reaching space.

    Jeff

  19. JKrob says:
    August 1, 2014 at 7:23 pm
    _______________
    I thought that daytime clouds provided a cooling effect and that tropical storms vented a lot of heat in the upper atmosphere, but what do I know.
    I’m very interested in what you are saying, primarily because it seems backwards from what I thought and I’m interested in the way the heat transport really works, so please do tell us more- you seem to be a meteorologist, or similarly educated.

  20. @JKrob: I have no idea what the temperature differential is, or how deep the cooling is, but if cooler surface temperatures are “seen” in the wake of a hurricane, then to where is it distributed?

  21. “I should have included: “heat” -i.e. “then to where is the heat distributed?”

  22. ThinAir says: “How much heat does a “typical” pacific cyclone move into the upper atmosphere to assist in cooling the earth? Significant or not?”

    I recall seeing effect of this kind of storm in temperature anomaly animations. I made some extensive notes on these “balls” of temp anomaly firing out from the mexican coast and the tongues of warm SST firing from west to east across the equatorial zone.

    I can’t recall the animation link but it was in one of Bob Tisdale’s articles. Two notable series were seen around sept-oct 2005 and may 2007. My intention was to see whether this was linked to ENSO and El Nino events.

    ENSO meter is dropping rapidly towards zero right now.

  23. No worry. Just the “drunkards” marching along a drunkards path … ha ha.

    Like Obama and his oligarchs these days.

  24. Mr Blobby departed … isolated son of blobby coming next as the southern high (now very elongated) folds and splits temporarily. Will likely spawn another [bigger] hoover at the head of that chain in a few days, depending on how big son of blobby gets before going the way of dad. Meanwhile keep navel gazing at SSTs in the 3.4 region … phhht.

  25. What could be more interesting than tropical cyclones?

    When you get them it means global warming.

    When you don’t get them it also means global warming.

  26. krob wrote “All these ideas of latent heat and thunderstorms being ‘magical’ outlets of Earth’s heat needs to stop. It’s wrong and can be understood with a little critical thinking, basic knowledge of the atmosphere structure & understanding of Skew-T charts. ”

    My comments to you Jeff,
    Please go educate yourself on thermodynamics of tropical cyclones as Carnot 2T heat engines before you embarrass yourself further. You obviously didn’t get taught in college the thermodynamics of what drives a TC (not your fault). You are being fooled by NOAA’s standard OLR anomalies dogma, i.e -tive OLR anom = convection (clouds), +tive OLR anom = suppressed convection (clear sky radiative release from troposphere, i.e night time cooling).

    The relevant temps of a TC are ~303 K sea surface waters and ~203 K at the tops of the clouds of a developed TC. That delta 100 K drives a lot of heat release into space when that water is eventually condensed high in those cloud tops, becasue as you mentioned, it is cold at those altitudes (230 K to 200K). They run at about 33% efficiency at those temps. That rising moisture on the way up, coriolis effect spins-up the cloud bands and the winds increase, all driven by latent heat release. Rain falls. Lots of it.
    Some simple calculations from college textbooks have calculations showing that a typical Cat 1 Hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson scale) releases/dissipates about 150 Megatons TNT equivalent energy every 1000 seconds. Typical sea surface temp drops in the top 10 meters after the storm passes is in the range of ~2 K for Cat 1-2 Hurricanes (about a 60 km wide core track) and >3 K in some of the Major TCs. Where does that tremendous amount of heat go? It goes to space under convection transport and condensation release. It is a 2T heat engine.

    On the issue that this TC band is at about 10N to 15N. Of course that is above NOAA-defined areas for ENSO SST anomaly analysis. But the warm water upwelling from the Kelvin Wave gets transported wherever nature takes it. In June the bulk of that wave upwelled to the surface off Ecuador, and it now in the last 30 days been transported northward and back west. From NOAA Weekly ENSO update 28 July slide 7 and slide 8 shows it is moving northward in the NH ITCZ while the SH ITCZ is rapidly cooling.

  27. JKrob says:
    August 1, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    =======

    Perhaps you should explain your understanding of the process of convection over the oceans. I interpret your understanding being that convection transports no heat energy to space while at the same time creates a “greenhouse effect” causing warming of the surface.

    Reading a Skew-T chart seems pretty basic from my viewpoint.

  28. Willis had a good post a couple of months back that included a graphic od the (annual I believe) IR loss to space. It showed a large concentrated loss to space focused along the ~10N that these systems are following. That was interesting and this system following the same general path (~10N) arouses my curiosity again. Why not the equator or 10S? Hummmm.

  29. I have noticed that typhoons can leave tracks in the daily sst frame. Watching typhoon Neoguri develop is when I first clearly saw it,s footprint develop day by day in the sst record. Neoguri was a good sized event.

  30. Paul 767 & Rick Werme,

    I was kidding about Willis.
    But from reading many of his tales of adventure I could imagined that seafaring guy taking on the string of typhoons and living to share his wild ride.

    Good luck with the delivery.
    .

  31. goldminor says:
    August 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    ===========

    Thanks for the link to earth.nullschool.net in your earlier post. Haven’t been there in a while.

    As for viewing the surface temps in the wake of a hurricane, I’ve been doing that for a few years now. Obviously there is a LOT of heat removed by convection in a relative short period of time and the cool wake remains for quite a while.

  32. eyesonu wrote, :That was interesting and this system following the same general path (~10N) arouses my curiosity again. Why not the equator or 10S? Hummmm.”

    The prevailing NH easterly trade winds provide the kick (disturbance) to initiate a strong rotation in the natural convection (the Coriolis effect can be thought of in the context of Conservation of Angular Momentum).

    Those easterly trade winds at 10-15N drive the TC across the Pacific.
    The winds at the equator are slack and irregular. 18th and 19th Century mariners who depended on wind power avoided the equator for this reason. The waters of 10 S in the E. Pacific are too cool to allow TC formation. Hence Chilean fishermen normally fish for anchovies in the cold, nutrient rich upwelling Pacific waters off their coast. When it gets “warm” during an El Nino, that is relative, warm meaning not as cold, but still way too cold for TC development.

    Indeed, we can see TS Genevieve is falling apart. The conditions, likely cooler water, could not sustain it, and forecasters see cool waters in front of it. In other words, it likely got out in front of the warm June Kelvin Wave remnants that is feeding this band. By mid-August, it will be done as there is no warm water in the Kelvin Wave pipeline coming to backfill and keep it going.

  33. eyesonu says:
    Willis had a good post a couple of months back that included a graphic od the (annual I believe) IR loss to space. It showed a large concentrated loss to space focused along the ~10N that these systems are following. That was interesting and this system following the same general path (~10N) arouses my curiosity again. Why not the equator or 10S? Hummmm.

    ITCZ ;)

  34. I wrote, “From NOAA Weekly ENSO update 28 July slide 7 and slide 8 shows it is moving northward in the NH ITCZ while the SH ITCZ is rapidly cooling.”

    I should clarify that: Slides 7 and 8 shows shifting SST anomalies. Those positive SST anomalies are moving into the surface areas UNDERNEATH the NH ITCZ at around 10-15N. This of course is the “petrol on the fire” that is helping to fire up these tropical storms. The sea surface area UNDERNEATH the SH ITCZ is cooling (negative anomalies) over the past 30 days.

  35. Ah , it wasn’t SST it was sea height anomalies:

    I’m guessing those red blogs firing out of central America are storm surge bulges but I have not checked.

  36. Thank you to Greg and Joel.

    I searched ITCZ and read through several sources. There’s much to learn when directed in the right direction. Repeated references to late morning through late afternoon storms resulting in increased convection that would support Willis’ research in the previously mentioned lead post.

    If anyone knows the link to that post it may benefit some who are new to discussions involving convection and energy transfer to space.

  37. With ref to the comments on outgoing long wave IR I wondered whether information from the Chinese met satellites (FY series, since 1988) might be useful or relevant.
    As a nation China has suffered more than most from natural disasters such as floods and cyclones and has a need for reliable, accurate atmospheric and land and ocean data- data not adulterated by ideological intrigue as suspected with US and EU data.
    China’s national meteorological website seems to have a considerable amount of data available and the following link refers to the measurement of outgoing longwave TOA (top of the atmosphere) IR. It is lower, at 220W/m^2 for cloudy scenes than for clear skies , 260W/m^2, which seems instinctively in the right order.

    http://www.nsmc.cma.gov.cn/NSMC_EN/Contents/100469.html

    There is a lot more information available , but I do not know how useful it is to the general themes of the threads on this site.

  38. RE: JKrob says:
    August 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    If the system was as closed as you envision the net effect of such storms would be warming. What goes up must come down, and the air that was cooled by rising would be warmed by sinking, but it would also contain all the latent heat released by precipitating the water out of humid air. In other words, a hurricane would have the effect of Chinook winds descending from a mountain range.

    I have actually read about meteorological conditions that do have this effect. In the dead of night you can get a down-burst of hot, dry winds. I read of an occasion out in the Great Plains where temperatures shot up into the 90’s around midnight.

    However that is the exception to the rule. In most cases the air descending from a thundershower is refreshingly cooler. Around here, during a heat wave, a single shower can briefly drop the temperatures from 95 to 75.

    Can you explain where the heat has gone, using your own vision of how things work? I actually confess to an inability to fully grasp why thundershowers are cooling and a Chinook is warming.

  39. I can recall a couple times when, in the Atlantic, a long string of innocuous-looking lows like this all became tropical storms. As a young man it seemed very exciting to have four or five storms rolling across the Atlantic from Africa towards the East Coast of the USA, because I was bored and thought life would be improved by a little mayhem. (My opinions have changed with aging.) I was bitterly disappointed when they all curved out to sea, and also competed with each other for the available heat.

    Some of the worst hurricanes have been loners, during seasons where there were not all that many storms.

  40. Greg Goodman says:
    August 1, 2014 at 7:58 pm
    “…ENSO meter is dropping rapidly towards zero right now….”
    /////////////////////
    It is good to point this out.

    A significant El Nino this year looks more remote. I guess that the Team is not liklng that one little bit.

    Even the UK Met Office are beginning to forecast that global temperatures will remain flat for the next 5 years (about 18 months ago, they were suggesting that the return to warming would be 2017), and last year Julia Slingo (their chief scientist), at a warmist conference, even suggested that they were not out of the woods yet, since warming might not return before 2030, ie., for about 16 or 17 years!.

    It appears that the warmist are begiining to acknowledge the existence of the pause, and eren that it may continue for some time (say through to 2019 or even through to 2030), but they are in denial as to what that implies regarding real world climate sensitivity.

    It looks like it will be an interesting ride ahead..

  41. Settled Science?

    As I read through this thread and observed that several people have wildly different ideas on what a tropical storm or a hurricane does with respect to heat, I was again reminded that mankind does not fully understand the atmosphere and its mechanics. There is no settled science on nearly anything having to do with climate. I am not even sure that we could get a consensus on what causes lapse rate.

    My point is that mankind’s understanding of how our weather system works is still in the dark ages and the IPCC is plain wrong to suggest that science has reached a point where we can project changes occurring from a vanishingly small change in the gas mixture of the planet.

    Side Note: I have to go to a meeting in Daytona on Tuesday just as this storm (what will it be then?) is projected to pass by. To exaggerate a bit, I’ll be driving into harms way! :-)

  42. And whilst these storms ravish, how much DWLWIR is prevented from entering the oceans?

    In these conditions, the very top surface of the ocean is skinned off, and becomes a divorced layer of water droplets ravinging above the ocean, and much of which is swept upwards into the clouds, never to directly return to the ocean below.

    These droplets (not water vapour) are more than a few microns in diameter, and since, due to the omnidirectional nature of DWLWIR about 80% of all DWLWIR is absorbed in just 3 or 4 microns of water, they act as an effective LWIR block, absorbing the DWLWIR before it has an opportunity to find its way into the ocean below.

    It would appear that the absorption of the DWLWIR by these droplets powers evaporation and helps carry the resultant vapour upwards to the height of the clouds.

    Whilst the effect of this may not be substantial when considring the globe on a 24/7 basis, it may be significant when looking for a small energy imbalance in ocean energy uptake. One reason why Trenbeth cannot find his missing heat in the oceans, may be because the energy that he thinks went into the oceans, in fact never went into the oceans. Some of that energy was absorbed by water droplets in storm conditions, and never found its way into the oceans, but instead remained in the atmosphere (indeed, it was carried to height help fueling the tropical cyclones and thunderstorms).

    .

  43. Joel O’Bryan says:
    “Please go educate yourself on thermodynamics of tropical cyclones as Carnot 2T heat engines before you embarrass yourself further.”

    Quaint…Oh – I have +40 years meteorological experience & I have 23 years experience with the GOES wxsat Imager/Sounder operations.

    “…The relevant temps of a TC are ~303 K sea surface waters and ~203 K at the tops of the clouds of a developed TC. ”

    That is what I said…fine. Oh, BTW – that temperature difference is because of the atmospheric lapse rate. It is present through most of the tropics & mid-latitudes. It’s even greater over the deserts…nothing special.

    “That delta 100 K drives a lot of heat release into space when that water is eventually condensed high in those cloud tops…”

    And there you go. The TC removes heat from the ocean/air & the result is wind and rain. The IR signature to space is nearly irrelevant when compared to clear sky. The tall cloud tops provide 100K of insulation. Also, the condensation process does not begin at the cloud top, it starts at the cloud base (Lifted Condensation Level) and ends at the cloud top (Equilibrium Level) as the parcel is rising…and cooling (loosing heat, BTW).

    Sorry, the rest of your post is quite irrelevant to the conversation of latent heat, LWIR, space & such.

    Let’s list a few facts concerning this issue;
    1) A dry air parcel being lifted through the atmosphere COOLS at 5.5°F/1,000 ft till it reaches it’s Dewpoint temp which is dependent on the amount of water vapor (gas) in that parcel. The dryer it is, the cooler (higher) it has to go till it reaches it’s condensation point (LCL).

    2) Once the LCL is reached, the air parcel being lifted through the atmosphere COOLS at 3°F/1,000 ft. This is where the latent heat process is a factor. It adds ~2.5F/1000 ft. to the cooling process…but the process is still COOLING.

    Through this whole parcel lifting process, the sensible heat that was the starting temp is exchanged for the parcel expansion & the converse is that, when the parcel descends (and it will to maintain the vertical pressure balance), the parcel will WARM. Also, if that parcel still has any liquid/solid water in it, as it descends & warms, the water will start to evaporate & the latent that process will work in reverse & cause ~2.5F/1000 ft. COOLING to the parcel (evaporative/dynamic cooling) till all the water has been transformed to water vapor (gas) the the dry lapse rate of 5.5°F/1,000 ft will be maintained as it descends (and warms) till the parcel reaches the surface or another warmer layer of air and it will stop.

    3) Back to the top of the cloud, once the Equilibrium Level is reached (usually the Tropopause), the parcel is at the same temp as it’s surrounding environment and the lifting (cooling) STOPS. This, of course, includes the latent heating process.

    4)Clouds, by their very nature being water/ice, BLOCK LWIR energy from passing through. The only IR energy you can detect with a cloud is it’s skin temp (the very surface). This does not matter if you are looking at the cloud base, the cloud side or the cloud top. THIS IS VERY IMPORANT!! If an airplane were flying in clear sky & trailing behind it on a long tether was a giant block of material glowing & maintained at 5000F, you could see that temp on an IR detector. HOWEVER, when that plane flies into a cloud…you can no longer see the LWIR signature of that extremely hot material because the cloud is blocking it.

    5)A satellite in space (my job, BTW) looking down to Earth with it’s LWIR detectors, see the warm surface through clear skies (note: this is ignoring the Water Vapor Channel which is looking at a narrow specific IR freq which is sensitive to water vapor IR absorption). Now, if there is a cloud over that warmer surface, the IR sensor (and the cooling of space), sees the temp of the cloud top and the IR/heat signature of the surface is blocked. This occurs even with very thin cirrus clouds which the Sun may shine through with relative ease. The lower the cloud top (stratus/fog), the warmer the IR temp & the taller the cloud top (cumulus,cirrus), the COLDER the IR temp.

    If you have stuck with me through all this, the take-away is;
    1)Clouds do not ‘dump LWIR/heat’ to space in a way that is better than clear skies – they block LWIR/heat from the surface below from radiating to space.

    2) The latent heat process is a small, temporary process whose only function is to help the parcel to continue to rise the help convert water vapor to solid/liquid water to fall as precip. or to cool the parcel as it descends while the liquid/ice evaporates. **NOTE** this evaporative cooling is *VERY* important in the winter when precip is falling through dry air that is close to freezing. It can cause a forecast to transition from rain to snow as the column cools from the evaporation.

    Regards,
    Jeff

  44. Caleb said:
    “Can you explain where the heat has gone, using your own vision of how things work? I actually confess to an inability to fully grasp why thundershowers are cooling and a Chinook is warming.”

    hey Caleb, I hope my post just above helps to explain. If you need more details, feel free to ask…just be specific ;-)

    Jeff

  45. JKrob says: Let’s list a few facts concerning this issue;
    1) A dry air parcel being lifted through the atmosphere COOLS at 5.5°F/1,000 ft till it reaches it’s Dewpoint temp which is dependent on the amount of water vapor (gas) in that parcel.

    Before I decide whether to read any more or what you post on this subject, could you define what you mean by “dry are” and remind me how much water vapour it contains?

    thanks.

  46. JKrob says:
    August 2, 2014 at 3:21 am
    //////////////////

    So the net take home is?

    Please bear in mind that the clouds stop solar from reaching the surface below; in particular they prevent the oceans from absorbing solar which would otherwise have warmed the ocean.

  47. I’m guessing that’s many, many hiroshimas worth of energy lost to space; one of many examples of Trenberth’s “missing heat”.

  48. richard verney says:
    “Please bear in mind that the clouds stop solar from reaching the surface below; in particular they prevent the oceans from absorbing solar which would otherwise have warmed the ocean.”

    Well…sort of. The blockage of clouds to SW light is dependent on the density of the cloud. The thicker the cloud, the more blockage. A thin Cirrus or Stratus cloud will allow a large percentage of SW energy through (it is still ‘bright’ below the cloud) where a cumulonimbus cloud (thunderstorm to laymen) will block a large portion of the energy (it is ‘dark’ below the cloud). Think of it as a dimmer switch on a light bulb.

    HOWEVER…in the LWIR, the mere existence of a cloud will block 100% of the surface energy from passing to space regardless of the clouds density. It is an on-off switch to a light bulb.

    Jeff

  49. Greg says:
    “…could you define what you mean by “dry are” and remind me how much water vapour it contains?”

    Hey, it was early (around 4:30 am) ;-)

    Jeff

  50. Greg,

    Sorry missed the jist of your post. As for “dry air”, maybe the more accurate term is unsaturated air. The amount of water vapor in unsaturated air is irrelevant to the adiabatic process. If the air is unsaturated, it behaves in the dry adiabatic mode ’till’ it reaches saturation, then it behaves in the moist adiabatic mode.

    Jeff

  51. JK at 3:21
    “Ignoring the Water Vapor Channel”
    Isn’t that the Elephant in the room ?

  52. Note that, in the article, only the two cyclones nearest to Mexico have a chance of further development. Atmospheric conditions are not favorable for development the other three.

  53. “JKrib As for “dry air”, maybe the more accurate term is unsaturated air.”

    OK, that would make more sense. Not quite the same thing.
    I was wondering whether meteorologists had a different definition of the term, like air with no rain in it !

  54. Jeff Krob

    I can confirm via measurements that clouds block 99% of the surface IR. The difference in the atmospheric radiation from the thermal surface radiation is typically about a degree or so with an overcast sky. Ocean surface radiation is NOT the primary way the ocean loses energy.

    Evaporation (latent heat) is the primary vector for ocean surface cooling and that atmospheric radiation does not warm the thermal ocean surface.

  55. @Jeff: thunderstorms cool SST significantly and permanently.

    Where does this head energy end up?

  56. JKrob says:
    August 2, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Caleb said:
    “Can you explain where the heat has gone, using your own vision of how things work? I actually confess to an inability to fully grasp why thundershowers are cooling and a Chinook is warming.”

    hey Caleb, I hope my post just above helps to explain. If you need more details, feel free to ask…just be specific ;-)

    I assume Caleb is talking about ground level observations.

    Thunderstorms take moist air and as it expands going up, its temperature goes down due to adiabatic expansion. The rain that forms is cold, and as it falls, it doesn’t go through adiabatic compression. It does chill the air it falls through, so the result is cold rain, but not as cold as where it formed. If it chills the air enough, convection gets reversed and you can have a downburst of cold air.

    I’m not intimately familiar with Chinooks and their relatives, but if you have a stream of air flowing over a mountain ridge, it may wring out some water vapor as rain, which releases latent heat to the air. If the air above is warm enough, then as the air flow warms on the downside, convection won’t set in and you wind up with a strong, warm, dry wind at the base of the ridge.

  57. The way a hurricane cools the ocean surface is through increased evaporation due to high winds. The lighter, saturated air then becomes the fuel for continued or increased winds.

    The latent energy primarily goes into expanding the Earths atmosphere, Work in other words. The Hurricane itself is thus cooler and enlarged compared to the surrounding area but it contains more energy. That energy will eventually get dispersed and radiated away.

  58. JKrob says:
    August 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    …Joel O’Brian said:
    “[Storms] transport the upper Sea surface heat via latent heat of evaporation and via convection transport and eject it as IR into space from the cloud tops in the stratosphere.”

    Ummm, if I may…-40F to -60F is not alot of heat to “eject it as IR into space” compared to what is at the surface. The tops of thunderstorms, especially tropical types (taller tropopause) are *COLD* not hot. The main thing these clouds do is wring out moisture and block the 80-90F heat at the surface from escaping to space. All the latent heat does is help the cloud to grow & wring out more moisture to fall as rain.

    True, however, the cloud tops reflect light from the sun during the day. The higher the cloud tops, the more sun light reflected due to less IR absorption in the troposphere.

  59. ThinAir says:
    August 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm
    How much heat does a “typical” pacific cyclone move into the upper atmosphere to assist in cooling the earth? Significant or not?

    It all depends what you call significant.

    From http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html A NOAA FAQ

    They give 2 methods of calculating the energy – which are in reality additive. One looks at energy due to the hydroiogical cycle the other looks at the wind energy.


    Method 1) – Total energy released through cloud/rain formation:
    An average hurricane produces 1.5 cm/day (0.6 inches/day) of rain inside a circle of radius 665 km (360 n.mi) (Gray 1981). (More rain falls in the inner portion of hurricane around the eyewall, less in the outer rainbands.) Converting this to a volume of rain gives 2.1 x 1016 cm3/day. A cubic cm of rain weighs 1 gm. Using the latent heat of condensation, this amount of rain produced gives

    5.2 x 1019 Joules/day or
    6.0 x 1014 Watts.

    This is equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity – an incredible amount of energy produced! (That is one hurricane in one day)

    Method 2) – Total kinetic energy (wind energy) generated:
    For a mature hurricane, the amount of kinetic energy generated is equal to that being dissipated due to friction. The dissipation rate per unit area is air density times the drag coefficient times the windspeed cubed (See Emanuel 1999 for details). One could either integrate a typical wind profile over a range of radii from the hurricane’s center to the outer radius encompassing the storm, or assume an average windspeed for the inner core of the hurricane. Doing the latter and using 40 m/s (90 mph) winds on a scale of radius 60 km (40 n.mi.), one gets a wind dissipation rate (wind generation rate) of
    1.3 x 1017 Joules/day or
    1.5 x 1012Watts.

    This is equivalent to about half the world-wide electrical generating capacity – also an amazing amount of energy being produced! (That is one hurricane in one day)

    So a ‘normal’ hurricane’ takes more than 200 times the worldwide energy generation capacity from the ocean – most of which vents to space as outgoing long wave radiation when the water condenses/freezes at the top of the hurricane outflow. (you can see the outgoing infra red from storms on the GOES EAST imagery here http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html )

    • Yes, though the NOAA sites make no mention of radiative transfer of energy to space. If you could harness the energy of a hurricane, you would get 5.2 x 10^19 Joules/day or 6.0 x 10^14 Watts. Satellites use reflected sun light or the earth for passive imagery as well as active onboard radiosondes.

  60. My musings: Not much equatorial oceanic surface layer solar heating getting through that mess. With ENSO values on the El Nado side, evaporation is clearly ruling the day and there is relatively little recharge happening. The tank continues to empty under these conditions.

  61. Temperature above the equator at an altitude jetstream, that is about 250 hPa (about 12 km) on average is -40 degrees C. Therefore, the clouds are strongly cooled and dissipates heat. As a result, the surface is cooled.

  62. Not true about cumulonimbus clouds blocking LWIR. To get to the level of clouds we see in the photo, there must be a great deal of warmed moist air rising. This process is what makes the low pressure/high pressure of the Walker Cell work. The cell normally consists of two systems, one low and one high. When the Walker Cell breaks down, as it clearly has, the strongly low pressure system normally parked over the western Pacific weakens and spreads East along the equatorial band breaking up into little low pressure systems. Each one of these systems identified with a name in the photo is a mini low pressure system under the clouds as the warmed moist air rises creating the cumulonimbus cloud tops. The fact that one sees clouds like these is prima fascia evidence of heat rising through the atmosphere.

    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/walker_circulation.html&edu=mid

  63. JKrob,

    You don’t view cloud systems as heat engines? That isn’t exactly a new idea: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/MG/PDFs/mono03_tao_joanne.pdf

    Simpson’s analysis indicates massive heat flux from the oceans drives hurricanes & hot towers.

    (Sorry, can’t cut and paste from that pdf.)

    She outlines hot towers with energy fluxes of 2500 W per M squared and hurricanes with similar energetics but drawing their energy from the ocean. Given the size of large hurricanes, that would be an immense amount of energy.

    Can you explain why that isn’t the case?

  64. Ric Werme says: August 2, 2014 at 5:58 am
    The heating from a Chinook is from air compression. Dry air heats at 5.5°F/1000ft, saturated air heats at 3°F/1000ft, so air coming over the Rockies at 15Kft, dropping to 6000ft will warm 40.5°F at 50% RH. Nothing like going to bed at 20° and waking to 60° on a January morning, a pleasant break from the cold. the Front Range from Denver, CO to Laramie, WY is a great place to experience this.

  65. Pamela Gray

    The reason there is a ‘discussion’ here is because the Warmers claim that radiation is the only possible source of surface cooling because ultimately the only way the Earth can cool is by radiation to space. They also correctly think that evaporation and conduction net out to zero. They correctly point out that the tops of clouds or hurricanes radiate less than clear sky.

    What they conveniently forget to mention is that the whole evaporation/convection cycle bypasses the the radiation blocking of the atmosphere and clouds. The increased outgoing radiation is where the latent heat has finally become sensible, out in the clear sky and expanded atmosphere.

  66. Genghis, sort of like a bubbling gravy. The bubbles of hot gas rise and break through the surface of the gravy, releasing heat into the space of the kitchen. It is the very reason for the existence of a range hood, to keep the kitchen from overheating and at the same time trap moisture and atomized grease in the filter instead of on the walls and ceiling.

    Once surface heat breaks into the stratosphere above the cloud tops, there is no ceiling to stop it from escaping.

  67. mwhite says:August 2, 2014 at 2:44 am Watch in real time

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-145.52,12.12,512

    What is this displaying?
    It shows what appears to be a significant flow all the way down the west coast.
    Are the cyclones drawing in colder air from the north?

    It’s not the jet stream.
    ren showed the jet stream—-says:August 2, 2014 at 4:40 am

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-102.83,16.71,419

  68. Pamela Gray says:
    August 2, 2014 at 7:30 am “Not true about cumulonimbus clouds blocking LWIR.”

    An aircraft being watched/tracted with FLIR or any other IR detection flying into a cumulonimbus will no longer be detected. :)

  69. just say a “low”….instead of CYCLONE!!!
    =====
    cyclones and anticyclones refer to rotation of wind around a low or high. in some English speaking countries the term is confused with hurricanes and typhoons, which are tropical cyclones with sustained winds >= 64 knots. interestingly, extra tropical storms often have much more total energy than hurricanes or typhoons, but less intense winds as the storms are spread out over much larger areas. compare a north pacific winter storm to the 5 pictured storms in the lead photo.

  70. As this thread has become most interesting and Ren and others have linked to earth.nullschool.net I would like to offer a couple of points to users going there for first time.

    When following links provided by commenters on this thread to earth.nullschool.net, you can click on the word EARTH on the left side of the screen and that opens the menu where you can change the elevation or other parameters to be displayed.

    I like to open multiple tabs with a display of different parameters in each (e.g. wind, elev, water vapor, etc.) and, lo and behold, I think I may see the Hadley cells in live time.

  71. RE: JKrob says:
    August 2, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for that detailed explanation. It gave me something to think about as I weeded in the garden. However perhaps it was a little too heady, for my eyes were slightly crossed and I was ripping up the tomatoes and leaving behind the crabgrass. It was when I discovered I was ripping up the wiring to the external lighting that I decided I better think inside, went back to my computer, and spotted Ric Werme’s simpler explanation. (Simpler is better, with me.)

    As I went back to my weeding it suddenly struck me, (like the apple struck Newton,) Hailstones! How can we explain hailstones?

    In the case of hailstones you have water going up as 95 degree vapor, and coming down as 32 degree ice. Even ignoring the latent heat released by the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to ice, we have gone and lost 62 degrees somewhere. Where has it gone?

    (Cue the “Twilight Zone” music.)

    Obviously this subject is miles above my head, but I really do thank you for making my weeding far more interesting. And I will study your response further when I have time. Thanks again.

  72. Pamela Gray says:
    This paper says anthropogenic warming will weaken Walker Cell circulation.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v441/n7089/abs/nature04744.html

    This paper says anthropogenic warming will strengthen Walker Cell circulation.

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n6/full/nclimate1840.html

    It’s a wonder climate scientists don’t sit on the heads instead of their ass when going to the bathroom.

    ===

    But they are both right ! CO2 can do ANYTHING.

  73. That way they have [their] bets covered, which ever way it turns out they can say ” this is exactly what was predicted to happen as the world warms due human emissions from burning fossil fuels”. , see paper published in Nature : http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/……

    Heads we win, tails you loose. ;)

  74. Joel O’Bryan says:
    August 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    That was a good post. Do you think that the upward energy transport by the cyclones will contribute to the decay (seemingly, so far) of the predicted (by some) El Nino?

  75. Caleb: In the case of hailstones you have water going up as 95 degree vapor, and coming down as 32 degree ice. Even ignoring the latent heat released by the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to ice, we have gone and lost 62 degrees somewhere. Where has it gone?

    That was a cleverly worded post. Congratulations.

    Do tropical cyclones produce hailstones? just curious. Tiny hailstones that turn to raindrops, perhaps.

  76. ” Matthew R Marler says:
    August 2, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Caleb: In the case of hailstones you have water going up as 95 degree vapor, and coming down as 32 degree ice. Even ignoring the latent heat released by the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to ice, we have gone and lost 62 degrees somewhere. Where has it gone?

    That was a cleverly worded post. Congratulations.

    Do tropical cyclones produce hailstones? just curious. Tiny hailstones that turn to raindrops, perhaps.”

    It’s not so much that hail doesn’t form in a hurricane but rather, it doesn’t often reach the ground (ie it melts on the way down).

    Here are a couple of explanations why…

    http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints2/403/

    • Matthew R Marler says:
      August 2, 2014 at 11:24 am
      Caleb: In the case of hailstones you have water going up as 95 degree vapor, and coming down as 32 degree ice. Even ignoring the latent heat released by the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to ice, we have gone and lost 62 degrees somewhere. Where has it gone?

      That was a cleverly worded post. Congratulations.

      Do tropical cyclones produce hailstones? just curious. Tiny hailstones that turn to raindrops, perhaps.

      Tropical cyclones produce hail stones as do tropical thundershowers. They often do not reach the ground as hail stones having melted on the way down. How many of you have experienced a sudden flurry of heavy raindrops from an apparently cloudless sky? These are hail stones being thrown out of the anvil head of a storm. Aircraft are advised to stay 20 miles away from a towering cumulo nimbus storm because of the probability of hail. Of course if the hail melts on the way down to the surface it has taken the latent heat of freezing from the atmosphere to melt,

  77. ren says:
    August 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    ==========
    Thanks

    Your links don’t go without notice!

    For those not familiar with the site ren linked to above, you can click on any location and you will then get a pop-up showing location, temperature, and wind speed. A green circle will be displayed where you click. Click somewhere else and the location will move the circle to that location and an updated pop-up will appear. Go to the menu and change the parameters if you wish.

    Cool and informative.

    Now, will this knowledge base be disappeared by the powers that be (at the moment)?

  78. My response to Krob’s post is what Genghis said. The principle problem analyzing OLR with satellite soundings looking a the surface and the troposphere in areas of clouds is whether precipitating convection with cloud tops that reaches the stratosphere is happening or not. Most convection cumulo cloud layers are blankets of popcorn puffies with little water precipitating out, and even fewer cumulus and cumulonimbus tops out in the lower stratosphere where the released heat is radiated efficiently to space. This is the case that justifies NOAA dogma saying: negative OLR anoms = enhanced convection, positive OLR anoms = clear skies (where lower troposphere radiative transfer cools, and GHGs can have an effect by raising the effective altitude of radiative loss.)

    One way to envision the problems with solely relying on this dogma is that TC’s work because they open a vapor channel, boundary air layer at the sea surface into the stratosphere, with lots of work being done in this convection transfer of energy to space. Indeed it is why many tropic ocean convective disturbances never make it to tropical storm status because they can’t/don’t break through the metastable tropospheric atmospheric boundary.

    Hurricanes/TCs move a tremendous amount of heat from the upper 30 meters of their core bands around the eyewall. The inward decreasing central low pressure they generate induces a temp disequilibrium between the surface water and surface air layer as it moves inward in the spiraling bands circulating around the eyewall. This disequilibrium allows this inflow surface layer to absorb tremoudous amounts of water vapor and cools the water surface layer. The adiabatic expansion of the rising saturated air columns delivers lots of work as kinetic energy of horizontal wind flow (as an engine analog the upward expansion is the power stroke where work is done. Also lofting megatons of water to heights of 8-11 km extracts lots of work from the rising convection column and turrns it to stored potential energy. The latent heat is released as IR at the outflowing cloud tops that have broken through the tropopause into the lower stratosphere where the 230 K to 203 K temps ensure it radiatively escapes unimpeded to space. Water falls to the surface, and drier air descends adiabatically heating, to close the heat engine cycle. The TC leaves cooler SSTs in its wake as it moves horizontally.

    The conclusion: the train of TC convective cells in the satellite shot Anthony provided are feeding off warmer than avg water, leaving cooler SSTs behind, and a major amount of the heat in this workflow escapes to space as IR via convection and vapor condensation above the tropopause.

  79. @ JKrob,

    With the discussion on this thread evolving as it has now would be a good time to present your views in light of comments and ren’s and others links.

    If you chose to enter the conversation perhaps you will be prepared to provide a timely and current Skew-t chart on a location that I will then provide. It will lead to an interesting dialog from that point onwards. Hope to see ya soon!

  80. JKrob

    A very interesting way of obfuscating the discussion by confusing heat and temperature. They are very different things, even defined in different units, Kelvin for temperature and Joules for heat.
    Regarding the lapse rate temperature reduction, if one was to take an Avogadro volume of gas at STP and raise it to say 10 Km into the atmosphere. its heat content would remain the same, even though the volume has greatly increased and its temperature has dropped. Lapse rate temperature reduction has nothing to do with heat content per molecule.

  81. Steve Keohane says:
    August 2, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Ric Werme says: August 2, 2014 at 5:58 am
    The heating from a Chinook is from air compression. Dry air heats at 5.5°F/1000ft, saturated air heats at 3°F/1000ft, so air coming over the Rockies at 15Kft, dropping to 6000ft will warm 40.5°F at 50% RH. Nothing like going to bed at 20° and waking to 60° on a January morning, ….

    I thought I acknowledged the role of adiabatic compression, my apologies if I didn’t make that as clear as I could.

    One thing I don’t quite understand is why doesn’t this warm (low density), and dry (somewhat higher density than moist) air doesn’t disconnect from the downslope flow and cut through some level of the atmosphere – at some point I’d expect convection would take over and keep it from reaching Denver.

    Oh – and it’s not so much that saturate air heats at 3°F/1000ft, but foggy ait does as the cloud droplets evaporates. Once the cloud evaporates, you’re left with saturated air, and it get less saturated as it compresses (and warms) further.

  82. Caleb says:
    August 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    In the case of hailstones you have water going up as 95 degree vapor, and coming down as 32 degree ice. Even ignoring the latent heat released by the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to ice, we have gone and lost 62 degrees somewhere. Where has it gone?

    The heat is still in the air, now high above your head. There are a couple ways to get it back down. In a hurricane, the best example is the eye. While the pressure in the eye is low, it can’t suck in air in the eyewall because of rotary motion. In fact, the eyewall is sucking in air from the eye. That air gets replaced by pulling down air from the top of the storm, and the result is a bunch of compression, and the temperature goes up, and that’s why a hurricane is a “warm core” storm.

    All the air convected upwards in a hurricane doesn’t fit in the eye. Most of it spreads outward high in the atmosphere where it eventually descends. It descends along with all the air below it, so the whole air column around the hurricane descends. Again, warm and dry. This may be why people often have nice weather for cleaning up the aftermath of the hurricane.

  83. JKrob:

    You have neglected to account for the latent heat returned to the cloud by condensation. This is convected upward from the surface to eventually be released and radiated to space. This considerable, as evinced by the cooling tracks of hurricanes. And as some have pointed out, you confuse heat with temperature. The cloud tops are cold
    because they have radiated the heat convected there. An analogy is the surface of the sun at 7000 K or so while the interior is over 10 million. The heat escapes immediately at the surface. So the sun can be said to have a cold surface, comparatively, yet this says nothing about the heat released there. Same thing with the cloud tops.

    So I am afraid Richard of NZ is right- you are confusing heat with temperature. Convection transmits latent heat from the surface and radiates it in the cooler upper atm., cold cloud tops notwithstanding.

  84. Rick Werme:

    No, the heat is radiated to space. You are confusing adiabatic effects (temp. change) with heat. The temperature changes but the heat in a parcel of air remains constant.

  85. mpainter says:
    August 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Rick Werme:

    No, the heat is radiated to space. You are confusing adiabatic effects (temp. change) with heat. The temperature changes but the heat in a parcel of air remains constant.

    “Ric” works better, short for Eric.

    I thought I was very careful to avoid saying something bogus like adiabatic compression heats the air, e.g. “the result is a bunch of compression, and the temperature goes up”. I’m invoking Willis’ rule – quote the text where I’m “confusing adiabatic effects (temp. change) with heat.” Also, please include the timestamp on my comment. I’ve made several in two threads here.

  86. Hey all, I’m baaack… ;-)

    Now that I’m back from my nap after my night-shift, I’d better reply before folks get ansy to the ‘can-of-worms’ that I must have opened. …and away we goooo…

    Greg says:
    August 2, 2014 at 5:58 am

    “@Jeff: thunderstorms cool SST significantly and permanently. Where does this head energy end up? ”

    Sorry, Greg but I must respectfully disagree with your assertion. Regular tropical showers/thunderstorms do little if anything to the tropical sea surface temp. Remember, when cool rain falls on warm or even hot tropical water, the rain water temp (being cool) is denser than the much warmer surface water…and SINKS (!!!) due to it’s higher density. the warm water just effectively “sucks it up” and after the storm, the surface temp is almost unchanged. This can be seen on the satellite sea water temp charts. Even after passages of African Easterly Waves, Mesoscale Convective Complexes, the ITCZ & other large non-TC systems, the water temp is unchanged. It takes a good sized tropical cyclone to make an impact on sea surface temps & the cooling behind the TC is not because of the rainfall but the heat extracted by the wind.

    Genghis says:
    August 2, 2014 at 6:12 am

    “The way a hurricane cools the ocean surface is through increased evaporation due to high winds. The lighter, saturated air then becomes the fuel for continued or increased winds.”

    Absolutely – no question about that,

    “The latent energy primarily goes into expanding the Earths atmosphere, Work in other words. The Hurricane itself is thus cooler and enlarged compared to the surrounding area but it contains more energy. That energy will eventually get dispersed and radiated away.”

    Sorry, Genghis but I must respectfully disagree with this part. The internal structure of a tropical cyclone is warmer than it’s surrounding environment due to the concentration of convection, latent heat release and, by definition, it is classified as a ‘warm core’ system…for a reason. Now, don’t anyone try to jump on my statement of latent heat release & say it is a conflict of my assertion of the cold cloud tops. My statements on my previous latent heat issues, lapse rate & such still stands.

    Ashby says:
    August 2, 2014 at 7:41 am

    “JKrob,You don’t view cloud systems as heat engines? ”

    I never said that I didn’t. One of my main points was that the ‘heat engine’ process for specific parcels stops when that parcel reaches it’s equilibrium level in the upper atmosphere (that is usually the tropopause but may be a lower temperature inversion) and the latent heat/heat engine process stops. Very simple…and very true.

    Caleb says:
    August 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    “In the case of hailstones you have water going up as 95 degree vapor, and coming down as 32 degree ice. Even ignoring the latent heat released by the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to ice, we have gone and lost 62 degrees somewhere. Where has it gone?”

    This may have been answered by others earlier but I’ll give my take. #1) you may need to re-read my points several more times to get the jist that the atmosphere gets colder with height Sorry, I know, but it gets better every time you read it…I promise!! ;-). As for hailstones, if you study the subject, you find that hailstones are formed in thunderstorms with very vigorus updrafts. Ice pellets that are in the upper portions (read VERY COLD) of cumulonimbus coulds fall do0wn to levels that are above freezing & collect a layer of liquid water. the, they get caught up in the updraft again & are lifted to levels below freezing to refreeze the layer of liquid water to ice. this cycle happens again & again till the chunk of ice is too heavy to be supported by the updraft. It falls down through the progressively warmer air to the ground. If it reaches the ground before melting completely, you get a hail stone. Now, you frequently get large falls of small hail in systems where the freeze line is fairly close to the ground to even smaller hail from a modest storm can make it to the ground. The ‘normal’ freeze level in the mid latitudes in the Summer is around 14,000ft.

    Hope that helped.

    eyesonu says:
    August 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    “If you chose to enter the conversation perhaps you will be prepared to provide a timely and current Skew-t chart on a location that I will then provide. It will lead to an interesting dialog from that point onwards. Hope to see ya soon!”

    http://rucsoundings.noaa.gov/

    You are free to do the same, BTW.

    Richard of NZ says:
    August 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    “JKrob – A very interesting way of obfuscating the discussion by confusing heat and temperature. They are very different things, even defined in different units, Kelvin for temperature and Joules for heat.”

    I never said they were the same. I never once mentioned the term Joules.

    “Regarding the lapse rate temperature reduction, if one was to take an Avogadro volume of gas at STP and raise it to say 10 Km into the atmosphere. its heat content would remain the same, even though the volume has greatly increased and its temperature has dropped.”

    Well…duhh!! (sorry, couldn’t resist) The temperature has dropped *because* volume has greatly increased.

    “Lapse rate temperature reduction has nothing to do with heat content per molecule.”

    I never said it didn’t. I never mentioned anything about “heat content per molecule”

    mpainter says:
    August 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    “JKrob: You have neglected to account for the latent heat returned to the cloud by condensation.”

    I never did such a thing. I clearly & specificlly (sp?) explained the latent heat process in my post. If you missed it, read it again.

    “This is convected upward from the surface to eventually be released and radiated to space.”

    No, I must disagree – that is still wrong…for all the points I spelled out.

    “This considerable, as evinced by the cooling tracks of hurricanes.”

    General showers & thunderstorms (gee, any condensation/precipitation process) experiences latent heat release…but leave no ‘cool tracks’ in the ocean.

    “as some have pointed out, you confuse heat with temperature.”

    I beg to differ.

    “The cloud tops are cold because they have radiated the heat convected there.”

    No, cloud tops are cold because their surrounding level is cold. When the lifted parcel reaches it’s equilibrium level (EL on the Skew-T chart), the parcel is at the same temperature as it’s surroundings, it is no longer convectively unstable & ceases to rise. This is basic stuff…

    ‘An analogy is the surface of the sun at 7000 K or so while the interior is over 10 million. The heat escapes immediately at the surface. So the sun can be said to have a cold surface, comparatively, yet this says nothing about the heat released there. Same thing with the cloud tops.”

    Sorry, no. You cannot compare the dynamic of the Sun with the Earth’s atmospheric convective dynamics/moisture IR signature.

    “So I am afraid Richard of NZ is right- you are confusing heat with temperature. Convection transmits latent heat from the surface and radiates it in the cooler upper atm., cold cloud tops notwithstanding.”

    No, I’m afraid you are the one incorrect & I stand by my statements. Satellites measure the heat from the Earth, measured as radiances counts & is directly convertible to temperature.
    If you have an issue with any specific statements, address those specificly…with references please :-) All my statements are from general meteorology, Skew-T operations/forecasting & weather satellite operations.

    Whew!!! …that was fun ;-)

    Regards,

    Jeff
    NOAA/NESDIS
    WINGRIDDS System Developer
    winweather.org

    (thought I’d throw those in…)

  87. Ric Werme:
    I was referring to your comment at 3:21 pm.No need to invoke Willis, look just above my comment. You have convected heat going in circles, rising through the cloud and returning to the surface as an abiatic effect, while in fact it is radiated to space. The abiatic effect does not involve heat exchange; the convected heat is lost to space.

  88. I just want to clarify the thought behind my last post.

    Anthony’s WUWT blog comments section is about the LAST place on this planet anyone should employ an Appeal to Authority argument.

  89. JKrob:

    Thanks for your reply. If you enjoyed the last you will also like this. I re-read your comments and I am even more certain that you have mixed heat and temp. in your thinking and that you definitely fail to account for latent heat in a convection. Specifically, you translate latent heat into an adiabatic effect and in sum get .5 degrees cooling per 1000 feet of lift. Then you ignore the principle that latent heat is conserved in the process. Latent heat is conserved, no matter the adiabatic considerations, but you give no further account of it. In fact, it is radiated at the cloudtop and thus latent heat is transported as through a pipeline from the surface to the upper atm. and thence to space.

    So no, you do not account for latent heat except wrongly as an adiabatic effect. Thus you imagine that you can dismiss convective cooling as no account by a trick that makes latent heat disappear from the cloud unaccountably.

    Hurricanes do leave cool tracks over seawater as shown on this blog last fall, per satellite image, the one off the east coast.

    Cloud tops are cool due to lapse rate but the latent heat nonetheless is radiated there. Satellite sensors that say otherwise are very strange, indeed. Perhaps these are operated by some technician who has been instructed by you.

    Concerning myself, you have been sniffed out by one who has no B/G in physics. How about that!

  90. @Joel O’Brian…

    SLAM!!! yes sir boy, you sure set me in my place, eh? (not…) Once again, it goes to show, if someone cannot actually carry on an actual discussion & defend their side with referable information, they resort to attacks. No one has yet to show where any of my facts are wrong.

    Oh, BTW – that was not an ‘Appeal to Authority’, it was a show of experience…which you have yet to show….and it shows. And with that, I have more important things to do than to waste my time with the likes of you. WABI

  91. mpainter says:
    August 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    No, the heat [at the top of the hurricane] is radiated to space.


    JKrob says:
    August 1, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    no…convection *blocks* ocean heat from escaping as OLR. convection are areas of *low* OLR not *high* OLR. The cloud tops are COLD (-40F to -60F). Refer to my post just above.

    All these ideas of latent heat and thunderstorms being ‘magical’ outlets of Earth’s heat needs to stop. It’s wrong and can be understood with a little critical thinking, basic knowledge of the atmosphere structure & understanding of Skew-T charts.

    I’m not sure about using Skew-T charts for understanding how OLR makes it through Greenhouse gases and whatnot. How about this image from Ceres:

    (Click on it, I’m not privileged enough to display it here.)

    It shows cloud tops radiating at as little as less than 100 W/m^2 and deserts radiating at the very high end. Clear areas around the equator radiate around 300 W/m^2.

    mpainter, that image would seem to disprove your claim that high cloud tops radiate well.

    JKrob, does this image prove that GHGs play a minor to nearly non-existent role at current CO2 levels?

    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/first-light-taken-by-nasas-newest-ceres-instrument-inlcudes-stunning-blue-marble-image/ for more.

  92. @mpainter…(jeezzz this is getting old)
    “I re-read your comments and I am even more certain that you have mixed heat and temp.”

    No I didn’t. read it again…with a larger font ;-)

    “Specifically, you translate latent heat into an adiabatic effect and in sum get .5 degrees cooling per 1000 feet of lift.”

    No I didn’t. read it again…with a larger font ;-)

    “Latent heat is conserved…”

    prove it…with references, please.

    “In fact, it is radiated at the cloudtop…”

    Once again, prove it…with references, please.

    “Hurricanes do leave cool tracks over seawater as shown on this blog last fall, per satellite image, the one off the east coast.”

    Of course they do – I never said they didn’t. Geeez, you can’t read! Simple showers/thunderstorms, however, do not!

    “Cloud tops are cool due to lapse rate …”

    of course…

    “…but the latent heat nonetheless is radiated there. ”

    Once again, prove it…with references, please.

    “Satellite sensors that say otherwise are very strange, indeed.”

    Once again, prove it…with references, please.

    “Perhaps these are operated by some technician who has been instructed by you.”

    Aaaand there’s the attack. (I knew it was coming)

    “Concerning myself, you have been sniffed out by one who has no B/G in physics. How about that!”

    Heh, I’ve also been ‘sniffed out’ by someone who has no B/G in meteorology…and it show in both cases.

    WABI

  93. Ric Werme says:
    August 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    “I’m not sure about using Skew-T charts for understanding how OLR makes it through Greenhouse gases and whatnot….”

    Ric, no, the Skew-T charts have nothing to do with GHG. They are purely used to understand the vertical structure of the atmosphere in temperature, moisture & pressure…and sometimes wind.

    “mpainter, that image would seem to disprove your claim that high cloud tops radiate well.”

    heh – indeed…

    “JKrob, does this image prove that GHGs play a minor to nearly non-existent role at current CO2 levels?”

    Well, it sure adds to the pile of evidence along with all the other things that show CO2 is a trace gas that has a trace effect on temp. Vegetation sure likes it though! It is the true GREEN gas.

    Jeff

  94. Every atmospheric physics professor teaching the thermodynamics of TC will tell you that TC are Carnot Heat engines, with about delta -100 K between T1 and T2. They will also tell you that T2 is temp at the top of the spreading layer of TC in the lower stratosphere. That is where the latent heat is dumped, and then it radiates to space as IR.

    Whatever you think your satellites are measuring in a normal tropical atmosphere, TC’s are obviously are fooling you. Further you refuse to read any text book, or online text or talk to an atmospheric physics scientist on TC energy flows.

    My original point stands. that is you refuse to accept TC doump ocena surface heat into the space as IR. You have gone beyond simple ignorance to willful ignorance. The commenters and guest posts by Anthony deal with willful ignorance all the time here at WUWT. Join the club.

  95. errata on . “refuse to accept TC doump ocena surface heat into the space as IR”
    should read, “refuse to accept that TC’s pump ocean surface heat (top 30 meters or so) into space as IR energy.”

  96. JKrob: Ummm, if I may…-40F to -60F is not alot of heat to “eject it as IR into space” compared to what is at the surface. The tops of thunderstorms, especially tropical types (taller tropopause) are *COLD* not hot. The main thing these clouds do is wring out moisture and block the 80-90F heat at the surface from escaping to space. All the latent heat does is help the cloud to grow & wring out more moisture to fall as rain.

    I don’t think you have accounted properly for all of the heat transfers. To start with, the upper troposphere radiates approximately proportionally to its absolute temp to the 4th power, despite its being “cold” compared to the ocean surface. When the “hot” water from the surface cools and then freezes on its way up (before falling again as ice and rain) it warms the atmosphere into which the energy is lost in the cooling and freezing process. If, for example, the upper troposphere warms from 203K to 205K, then the upper troposphere increases its radiation rate from a constant time 203^4 to a constant times 205K. This increased radiation rate is not negligible. When the latent heat “[wrings] out more moisture”, as you put it, the surrounding atmosphere warms, at least temporarily until it radiates the extra energy away. That is at the top.

    At the bottom, the falling rain, in your subsequent telling, is denser than the surface to which it returns, so it sinks without warming that surface. Surely the kinetic energies in the blowing wind and falling raindrops cause some mixing: the rate of mixing and the rate of heat diffusion are at least comparable to the rate of “sinking” of those incredibly dense rain drops, so there has to be at least a mixture of cooling in the upper foot of the surface, and the sinking of those raindrops. You have undoubtedly watched surfaced waters during storms and observed that the surfaces are churned?

    These transfers, mixing of the surface waters and falling raindrops, heating and radiation increase at the tops of the cyclonic storms — have they been studied and the rates of heat transfer calculated? As calculated at two of the links I acknowledged above, substantial amounts of energy are transferred from on low to on high in a short period of time. Perhaps detailed studies at the surface and tops of the storms have been carried out?

  97. oops: should read “to the same constant times 205^4″.

    I wish my proofing were as good before I post as after I post.

  98. highflight56433, let me be clearer. In Walker cell circulation warmed air rises creating low pressure under the cumulonimbus clouds. No matter what warmed it. I should have said that heat from SW and LWIR rises creating the low pressure system that keeps the Walker Cell system working. It is the heated air from radiation that rises. The clouds do not prevent this. The clouds are evidence that warmed air is rising, not getting blocked from doing so.

  99. mpainter says:
    August 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Hurricanes do leave cool tracks over seawater as shown on this blog last fall, per satellite image, the one off the east coast.

    The cool tracks have been know for a long time, as has hurricane weakening due to being stationary and having the SST cool under the storm.

    The heat the water loses is transferred to the hurricane outflow.

    That individual Tstms don’t cool the SST is news to me, however, I’ve never lived in the tropics. My guess is that the storms are too small and drop too little rain (say an inch or two) to make a significant difference in SST temps. Hurricanes can drop a foot or two of rain and still have some to give. Also, their strong wind mixes the upper layers of the ocean and that also brings up cooler water from below the surface.

  100. JKrob: If you have an issue with any specific statements, address those specificly…with references please :-) All my statements are from general meteorology, Skew-T operations/forecasting & weather satellite operations.

    Are those for equilibrium conditions, as the Clausius-Clapayron relations?

  101. Ric Werme says: August 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Sorry if I missed your noting the lapse rate. The cause of the Chinooks is a pressure differential, ie. a Low sets up east of the Rockies and a High pressure system to the west, and the pressures try to equal. This would seem to me to be why the warmer air does not just loft up. Also the wind speed is often well above hurricane force, as high as 100 mph or more, so there is a lot of momentum.

  102. Ric Werme

    The issue was never put as how well cloud tops radiate, but rather do they radiate the latent heat involved in convection. JKrob says they do not, I say they do. All Jkrob will say in response to my arguments is “give references”. OK krob, get any introductory text to meteorology and it will tell you what I have tried to tell you here: latent heat is transported aloft by convection and radiated at the cloud tops, or so my textbook and instructor maintained. How Jkrob manages to ignore such fundamentals is a wonder but here he is on WUWT for the wide world to see.

  103. Thanks to all, great info and the sat pics, something i have followed for awhile at nullschool wind an temp overlays etc. There is these shots though that I noticed a incredible amount of hot tropical air over a wide range being “sucked” down to about 20/25 degrees south of the equator between 2 cyclones at NZ and Chili. That may turn out to be something for the folks down under to keep an eye on.

  104. Matthew R Marler, Ric Werme, Richard of NZ,

    Thank you, to ALL of you. The basic thermodynamics and entropy physics of a developed tropical cyclone (TC) are well understood (how TC’s develop is still quite mysterious). What is happening is JKrob is refusing to educate himself using the vast resources of today’s internet. An internet where honest atmospheric physics professors have put their university lectures online for all to learn, textbook examples included. Jeff Krob is clinging to the cloud thermal emissions dogma that NOAA has taught him through his career, maybe he’s honest, but he’s naive and misguided. But that is willful ignorance. WUWT deals with willful ignorance all the time in the climate debate with global warmists

    Again, thanks to all for the lively discussion. I want to end my posts on this thread with an apology to NOAA scientists and engineers who may read this blog. I did not mean to impugn the character of the many honest hard worker forecasters, statisticians, and engineers who work for NOAA. I know among the hundreds of forecasters, engineers, statisticians, mathematicians, and scientists there must be those who are silently skeptical of what comes out of their agency vis-a-vis climate change theatrics … from all sides. Remember to stay true to honesty and character. In our twilight years, no one wants to tell their grandchildren they lied just to keep their job

  105. JKrob and Ric Werme,

    Thanks for taking the time to explain. Likely my views are too localized and fail to see the bigger picture. When I see 95 degree air go up and 32 degree hailstones come down, it is sort of like seeing a sailor come back to the boat with his wallet empty; you know he’s spent all his pay somewhere. You don’t want to ask where, but you know it is gone. However in the case of the atmosphere you do want to ask where the heat went.

    As I understand your explanations, the heat spreads out along the tropopause and then comes down somewhere else. In the case of a hurricane it is via outflow and down into the eye, and in other situations it is through Hadley and Ferrel circulations, but in the end it is not lost to outer space, and returns. (To use my sailor analogy, the sailor may be broke but the bars and whore houses are rich.)

    Now I need to further my education with a few questions.

    First, is the heat aloft, (before it comes down somewhere else,) a reason some were expecting to see “tropical hot spots”? (The ones that haven’t yet manifested.)

    Second, though cloud tops only lose a third the heat of a cloudless desert, a third is not zero. Are the clouds reflecting more heat down than they release to space, and having a net warming effect, even as I shiver in a heap of hailstones down at the surface?

    In case you wonder at my curiosity, it has nothing to do with hurricanes. It has to do with the fact that, besides Hadley and Ferrel Cells, and Hadley and Ferrel circulations, there is suppose to be a Polar cell and a Polar circulation, but this year it keeps getting messed up, and rather than a high pressure atop the Pole there is often a low pressure. I have been trying to alter my textbook concept of a Polar Cell and to visualize the altered reality.

    I was seeing a polar low as being like a summer shower, for the net effect seems to be cooling, especially as the low weakens and fills in. Now I’m more confused than ever, for it seems that after the low’s uplift ceases, the descending air should be warmer, but it seems to be colder.

  106. I do wish people would stop using temperature as a metric for atmospheric heat content. Heat is measured in joules per gram or kilojoules per kilogram. A kilogram of air that contains both water vapor and water droplets will have hugely greater energy content than a kilogram of dry air even though both volumes of air are at the same temperature.

    Some of you may also have noticed considerable wind (kinetic) energy in hurricanes (/sarc), depressions or as part of Hadley/Ferrel cell circulation and associated jetstreams. Where did you think this energy came from? How much energy is required to make all those wind driven ocean currents and waves or even a storm surge? That energy is not measured as temperature either.

    There can be updrafts in Cb of over 100kts+ carrying liquid water well above 30,000ft which will eventually freeze giving up latent heat – does this heat somehow disappear? Latent heat release does not follow temperature driven Stefan Boltzmann ‘rules’ it happens on change of state releasing the latent heat for that state change of that mass.

    If you are looking for ‘Earth’s Energy Budget’ then surely the ERBE and Aqua satellites are what should be used to measure incoming and outgoing heat and radiation, Even they make the probably unsafe assumption that only heat/light radiation is involved in Earth’s energy budget.

  107. Hurricane strength increases with the surface temperature. You can see it, for example, the height of clouds and is used to drain excess heat to high layers of the atmosphere.

  108. mjc, thank you for the link to meteorologist Jeff Haby,s explanation on hailstones in hurricanes. I checked the current Typhoon in the pacific and the temperature at 500 hpa inside the Typhoon was 1.4C and outside it was 3C cooler.

    This would mean the water droplets would have to rise higher in the atmosphere to freeze. This combined with the cyclonic winds would cause the hailstones to stay aloft longer, allowing them more time to melt before reaching the ground.

  109. JKrob, thank you for the info you have provided on this thread. The cool tracks left in the sst’s from strong Typhoons then would be from the cyclonic winds rather than from convection.

  110. Richard G @ 4:31

    The wind multiplies rates of evaporation hence the cool track. Conduction of heat away from sea surface is not significant, compared to that lost thru evaporation (latent heat). Thus it is seen that convection carries latent heat aloft in clouds.

  111. “JKrob,You don’t view cloud systems as heat engines? ”

    JKrob:
    I never said that I didn’t. One of my main points was that the ‘heat engine’ process for specific parcels stops when that parcel reaches it’s equilibrium level in the upper atmosphere (that is usually the tropopause but may be a lower temperature inversion) and the latent heat/heat engine process stops. Very simple…and very true.”

    You replied to my comment on storms as heat engines, but apparently didn’t bother to read the article I linked from NOAA scientist Joanne Simpson. Why not? She specifically discusses how hot towers & clouds control the vertical profile of Q in equatorial zones. She also estimates the energy flux at 2500 w per sq. meter, an estimate apparently confirmed by direct observation. That’s a heck of a lot higher flux rate than anything reflected off the earth, even in Death Valley. So even if hurricanes block all reflected IR, they will have transported a huge amount of energy higher in the atmosphere (40-50,000 feet in the case of the hot towers) where it dissipates more easily.

    Again: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/MG/PDFs/mono03_tao_joanne.pdf

    I’d love it if you could explain why Simpson’s work was wrong, or give me a better understanding of these processes.

  112. “There is currently some wind shear affecting the storm which, if strong enough, typically weakens tropical systems. However, Halong has easily overcome this shear and now has a very well-defined eye along with a robust eye wall.”

  113. The real surface temperature shows where can create a hurricane and where it can be strengthened.

  114. In a way, hurricanes, clouds, tornadoes, thunderstorms, they make me think of Bastiat’s “What is seen and what is not seen” http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html, but applied to atmospheric heat budget rather than finance. We look at clouds, and all we are seeing is the visible condensate. The vast and invisible forces that sustain and perpetuate the various atmospheric structures are more important and interesting than the droplets we can see.

  115. Ashby@7:41:
    You have very precisely put it to JKrob. I look forward to his reply but he might not. Good comment.

  116. I should say that I regard cumulus cloud convection as primarily a means of transporting latent heat from the surface to the upper ATM. Krob rejects that.

  117. So looking ahead a few days courtesy of GFS etc…

    Ren’s current 250 hPa view not withstanding.

  118. Uhmm.. “guys” if JKrob is the NESDIS / NOAA elect. tech/programmer J. Krob that paycheck thingy might depend on a certain viewpoint….

  119. Caleb: Thanks for taking the time to explain. Likely my views are too localized and fail to see the bigger picture. When I see 95 degree air go up and 32 degree hailstones come down, it is sort of like seeing a sailor come back to the boat with his wallet empty; you know he’s spent all his pay somewhere. You don’t want to ask where, but you know it is gone. However in the case of the atmosphere you do want to ask where the heat went.

    Another well-worded post. You are a sly fox.

  120. In fact, if he IS that Jeff Krob, he may be precisely the person to ask. Rather than assuming nefarious motivations, we should avail ourselves of this opportunity to directly question someone who knows exactly how the models work. Maybe we’ll learn a few things, and maybe he’ll realize we’re not all anti-science zealots. Maybe the models will even get better if we have good questions for him!

  121. Ashley:

    I am afraid that Krob has left us not to return and it is your fault- you scared him off with your question.

  122. Matthew R Marler says:
    August 3, 2014 at 10:48 am

    to Caleb: Another well-worded post. You are a sly fox.

    Are you familiar with Caleb’s guest posts here? If not, read and understand:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/09/author-of-its-own-demise-musings-on-the-amo/ which says in small part:

    I was fated to be an English major, and to experience the joy of studying Shakespeare, and then the chagrin of learning that makes you little more than a charming ditch digger, who can make other ditch diggers laugh by picking up a large stone from a trench’s bottom, peering at it fiercely, and saying, “Alas, poor Yorick; I knew him, Horatio: A fellow of infinite jest…” (You might think ditch-diggers wouldn’t know that quote, but a surprising number do, considering most are English majors.)

    More via http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=caleb+shaw

  123. Caleb says:
    August 3, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Now I need to further my education with a few questions.

    You are rapidly approaching the end of my knowledge….

    First, is the heat aloft, (before it comes down somewhere else,) a reason some were expecting to see “tropical hot spots”? (The ones that haven’t yet manifested.)

    Ah yes, that hot spot. I fear that term has become much like “tipping point,” something that everybody uses but doesn’t really understand. At least there’s only one hot spot, in the tropics, at a high altitude and will be due to increased CO2 resulting in increased radiation at a higher altitude and warmer air where radiation occurs now. The main catch is that there’s no empirical data to show the hot spot, even in the radiosonde record that goes back several decades. This was a “hot topic” of discussion before the alarmists shrugged their shoulders and moved on to other things.

    Steve McIntyre has many posts on the topic, try http://climateaudit.org/2008/06/07/march-2008-radiosonde-data/

    Second, though cloud tops only lose a third the heat of a cloudless desert, a third is not zero. Are the clouds reflecting more heat down than they release to space, and having a net warming effect, even as I shiver in a heap of hailstones down at the surface?

    If you’re talking about thick cloud columns, like the thunderstorm that pelted you with hailstones, then the cloud tops aren’t reflecting much of anything down. In general, even thin clouds like cirrostratus that let a lot of sunlight through reflect a lot of longwave radiation back down. It doesn’t take much of a cloud to mess up what otherwise would be a good radiational cooling night.

    If you’re asking what life would be like with a solid overcast that goes on for months, I don’t know what the equilibrium will be at the surface.

    I was seeing a polar low as being like a summer shower, for the net effect seems to be cooling, especially as the low weakens and fills in. Now I’m more confused than ever, for it seems that after the low’s uplift ceases, the descending air should be warmer, but it seems to be colder.

    I think I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not sure what the answer is. The descending air will warm adiabatically, but will also have a net upward radiation since there should be dry sky above so there will be a cooling trend too.

  124. Ric Werme: Are you familiar with Caleb’s guest posts here? If not, read and understand:

    No. His comment that cloud knowledge was “miles above” him was sweet.

  125. mpainter @ 0617

    Thank you for the info on cyclonic winds and convection. It would seem that the cyclonic winds amplify and/or increase the rate at which convection draws heat from the surface of the ocean.

    I find the discussion on this post very interesting. The extent of my knowledge is what I retained from 9th grade science in the early 1970’s. The simplified version of that is the sun heats the ocean and the atmosphere cools the ocean.

    From the information I’ve read in the 40 years since, there are many mechanisms that control the climate. It would seem that we don’t fully understand all the mechanisms we do know, let alone the ones we don’t even know we don’t know.

  126. Ric Werme says:
    August 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm
    ================
    While clouds only (from an instantaneous standpoint) radiate a third of the LWIR of a cloudless desert you seem to be missing that the clouds reflect a much greater amount of incoming radiation which dwarfs the LWIR.

    Refer to the link you provided in an earlier comment on this thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/first-light-taken-by-nasas-newest-ceres-instrument-inlcudes-stunning-blue-marble-image/

    See what can be gained by the two graphics. Use a simple calculator and 2 minutes of your time. 2.7 times comes to mind. JKrob is wasting all of our time here.

    • eyesonu says:
      August 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Ric Werme says:
      August 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm
      ================
      While clouds only (from an instantaneous standpoint) radiate a third of the LWIR of a cloudless desert you seem to be missing that the clouds reflect a much greater amount of incoming radiation which dwarfs the LWIR.

      Refer to the link you provided in an earlier comment on this thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/first-light-taken-by-nasas-newest-ceres-instrument-inlcudes-stunning-blue-marble-image/

      See what can be gained by the two graphics. Use a simple calculator and 2 minutes of your time. 2.7 times comes to mind. JKrob is wasting all of our time here.

      And as all meteorology experts will tell you clouds are all completely identical in their effect is that what you mean eyesonu?

      Perhaps instead of being so dismissive believing as you apparently do that clouds are ‘settled science’ (despite nobody not even experts like yourself – being able to model them or even describe in detail what goes on inside them.) you might try to answer what appear to be valid questions.
      In that rather messy pair of graphics you refer to in the link, you will see that there is apparently a ‘tropical wave’ near the Antilles. You might note that unlike some of the cloud shown in the albedo image the OLR image appears to show OLR coming from that tropical wave. But you have no curiosity as you already know that cloud is cloud is cloud and so you _know_ there is absolutely no difference in effect between strato-cumulus, cirro-stratus and a towering CB pushing the tropopause to 70,000ft.

      Sorry for wasting your precious time.

  127. Ian W says:
    August 4, 2014 at 8:29 am
    ========

    Thought that I would check in while eating my lunch. Thanks for your response. Glad that you followed the link to the previous WUWT post on the NASA CERES instrument with regards to radiation from earth to space.

    With regards to the discussions on this thread focused much on heat transport from the surface to space via convection you would agree that JKrob was WAY off base with regards to his comments here. I agree.

    In that rather messy pair of graphics I refered to in the link, I agree that some in NASA do poorly, but it was what was published. Here we also agree.

    As far as clouds being “settled science” I also agree with you. There is seldom settled science, especially with regards to so-called “climate science.”

    I don’t know what might have given you the impression that I am an expert in clouds but let me assure you that I am not and only look at the available data and try to sort through all the BS presented by those who claim to be.

    So in summary, Ian W, we are on the same page. JKrob is no expert. May be a programmer, maybe, but then that may entail only being no more that a typing clerk. But at least you and I both agree he’s out of bounds. We have a 100% consensus!

  128. @ Ashby

    JKrob won’t be back. She just jumped out to scream and then ran away to: take your pick (………., ………. , ……….. etc.).

    Now about her T-charts, I’m interested in that relevance to this discussion.

  129. > mpainter says:
    >August 3, 2014 at 9:27 am
    >Ashby@7:41: You have very precisely put it to JKrob. I look forward to his reply but he might not. Good comment.
    >
    > mpainter says:
    >August 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    >Ashley: I am afraid that Krob has left us not to return and it is your fault- you scared him off with your question.
    >
    > Ashby says:
    >August 5, 2014 at 8:11 am
    >I’m disappointed that JKrob didn’t come back to respond to my post on August 3, 2014 at 7:41 am.
    >
    > eyesonu says:
    >August 5, 2014 at 11:40 am
    >@ Ashby
    >JKrob won’t be back. She just jumped out to scream and then ran away to: take your pick (………., ………. , ……….. etc.).
    >
    >Now about her T-charts, I’m interested in that relevance to this discussion.
    >

    Guys, believe it or not, I have a life & it doesn’t revolve around WUWT. With my 2 jobs, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 wiv…1 wife & my software development work, you are bottom of the list. Deal with it.

    @ Ashby
    Concerning your link to the Meteorological Monographs concerning Dr. Joanne Simpson, I have no problem with her claims concerning moist static energy (Q) in thunderstorms. However, I fear you are misunderstanding what her point was & what Q is illustrating.

    The moist static energy, Q, can be described mathematically as:

    Q = C_p \cdot T + g \cdot z + L_v \cdot q

    where Cp is the specific heat at constant pressure, T is the absolute air temperature,
    g is the gravitational constant, z is the height above the surface, Lv is the latent
    heat of vaporization, and q is water vapor specific humidity.

    In that paper, it references an article in Geophysica 6 (3-4) by Herbert Riehl & Joanne Malkus where they state “…determined in 1958 that hot towers, small cores of convection approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) wide that extend from the planetary boundary layer to the tropopause, were the primary mechanism that **transported energy out of the tropics to the middle latitudes**.” (emphasis mine)

    Now wait a minute, they *must* be wrong because ol’ mpainter & eyesonu claim that the energy is released to space at the top of the cloud. Well, I’d better let the good Dr. Reihl know he doesn’t know what he is talking about! /sarc

    Notice in the Dr. Joanne paper, it is stated that it would require 1500-5000 ‘giant clouds’ to maintain heat fluxes of the 2500 Wm2. In other words, all that ‘heat’ is spread out in a broad area containing 1500-5000 cumulus clouds to which I say…fine! I’m sure in the core of hurricanes and large extratropical systems, the heat fluxes are probably more but it is spread out over a large area.

    *HOWEVER* none of that violates the parcel dynamics of dry vs saturated adiabatic lapse rates which I stated much earlier, the clouds are *STILL* opaque to LWIR (the internal temperature of the cloud cannot be seen, only the outer ‘skin’ temperature) and when the cloud/air parcel reaches it’s level of equilibrium, it stops rising, the latent heat effect stops and the parcel is at the same temperature as it’s surroundings, which, in the mid-latitudes & tropics, is VERY COLD…STILL.

    > eyesonu says:
    >August 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm
    >Ric Werme says:
    >August 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm
    >================
    >While clouds only (from an instantaneous standpoint) radiate a third of the LWIR of a cloudless >desert you seem to be missing that the clouds reflect a much greater amount of incoming >radiation which dwarfs the LWIR.
    >
    >Refer to the link you provided in an earlier comment on this thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/first-light-taken-by-nasas-newest-ceres-instrument-inlcudes-stunning-blue-marble-image/
    >
    >See what can be gained by the two graphics. Use a simple calculator and 2 minutes of your time. >2.7 times comes to mind. JKrob is wasting all of our time here.
    >

    Ahh yes. Let’s take a look at the WUWT post concerning the NASA CERES satellite instrument & not only look at the pix but see what they say…eh?

    Concerning the first CERES image in the page, they say:
    “Thick (white) cloud cover tends to reflect a large amount of incoming (SW) solar energy back to space (blue/green/white image), but at the same time, reduce the amount of outgoing (LWIR) heat lost to space (red/blue/orange image). Contrast the areas that do not have cloud cover (darker colored regions) to get a sense for how much impact the clouds have on incoming and outgoing energy.

    (ahem #1…) That is what I have been saying ALL ALONG. Clouds reflect solar SW energy proportional to the clouds density (thicker cloud, more reflection of SW energy) where they reduce the amount of LWIR heat from the ground because could are opaque (block)LWIR.

    Concerning the second CERES image in the page, they say:
    “In the longwave image, heat energy radiated from Earth (in watts per square meter) is shown in shades of yellow, red, blue and white. The brightest-yellow areas are the hottest (land/surface) and are emitting the most energy out to space, while the dark blue areas and the bright white clouds are much colder, emitting the least energy. ”

    (ahem #2…) That is what I have been saying ALL ALONG!!! But…that can’t be correct because…it’s NASA & because ol’ mpainter & eyesonu are *obviously* smarter than dumb ol’ NASA. /sarc

    But…hey, let’s see what the rest of the Internet has to say about satellite imaging of hot cloud top temperatures with all that latent heat billowing out to space.
    First off, let’s go check out NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) Weather Satellite page;

    http://weather.rap.ucar.edu/satellite/

    There, you can select from the GOES wxsats different IR channels & the geographic area to view & when you bring up the image, it shows the color scale with the temperature calibration and…oh…don’t go there. It shows the tall cloud tops are colder than the lower clouds & earth surface. Thats BAD DATA…IT WRONG!!! /sarc

    OK, lets go try the NOAA Geostationary Satellite Server;

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/ECIR.html

    Here, you can see different color enhancements to the images…and the scale is actual radiance counts from the instrument!! (well, the GOES Imager actually has radiance counts from 1-1024 but they reduce the scale to be more ‘coarse’ for the sake of the webpage. The IMAGER can ‘see’ temps from -140F to 160F in 1024 steps so it has .1F resolution). OOhhhh…I’m sorry, this is not a good web site either because they spout the dogma that cold clouds are high clouds & they even have the lie of the math to convert from radiances to temperature to PROVE IT!! /sarc

    Can you get where I’m going with this? I have been very consistent with my argument and have taken an abundance of my time to give demonstratible (sp?) facts showing how the ‘latent heat to space’ idea is wrong & yet folks like mpainter, eyesonu & others blow about how I am wrong and they show nothing to back it up & resort to name calling & attacks on me.

    Welcome to the internet…

    Jeff

  130. JKrob says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    ========

    Are you a politician? You wrote a bunch of words but on the face of it you are either willfully ignorant of just plain ignorant. There is so much BS in your comment that I don’t quite know where to start. I’m not sure that I will even waste my time on you but I may just for the benefit of any other readers on this thread.

  131. Tropical lower stratosphere at 15-17 km height, T ~ 203 K . That is where the cloud top spreading occurs. T space ~3 K. 200 K diff to radiate into.

    Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT writes in his 1991 classic text on the Hurricane as a Carnot cycle,
    “In the third leg of the Carnot cycle, air descends slowly in the lower stratosphere, retaining a nearly constant temperature To while losing heat by electromagnetic radiation to space. In this leg, then, fo’ Tds = – ToAs,”

    There are at least a dozen other physics educational resources available on the internet that describe the release of heat at the top of TCs are released to space as EM or IR energy.

    JKrob just doesn’t want to admit his understanding of tall hot convection columns is wrong and they do indeed send vast amounts of surface heat to space.

  132. first up i would like to thank all the contributors to the discussion in this thread,it made fascinating reading. whilst imo there are plenty threads in the blogosphere where the use of insulting language may help convey strength of feeling or make a point,in a technical discussion such as this it has a negative effect on the discussion.

    the mere fact jkrob turned up here in the first place and made comment is a good sign in my book .

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