92L Poised to Develop in Gulf of Mexico; Erin Struggling in Far Eastern Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on August 16, 2013

Tropical wave 92L crossed over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula overnight, and the center of the disturbance is now located in the Gulf of Mexico along the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Satellite loops show that 92L has a well-developed surface circulation, but there are no heavy thunderstorms near the center. A moderate-sized region of heavy thunderstorms does lie to the northeast and east of the center, over Cancun, Cozumel, and southwards to Belize. An upper-level low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico is pumping dry air into 92L, slowing development. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots over the the wave, which should allow slow development today. The hurricane hunter flight scheduled for today has been cancelled.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of 92L taken at 1:30 pm EDT Friday August 16, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Forecast for 92L
The 12Z Friday SHIPS model forecast predicts that 92L will remain in an area of low to moderate wind shear through Saturday, and ocean temperatures will be a favorable 29 - 30°C. The topography of the Southern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche can aid in getting a storm spinning more readily, as well. Given these favorable conditions for intensification, 92L should be able to become a tropical depression by Saturday, and a tropical storm by Sunday. A trough of low pressure over the northern Gulf of Mexico will dip down by Sunday over the Central Gulf of Mexico, increasing the wind shear to a high 20 - 30 knots just to the north of 92L. This trough may also be able to pull the storm northwestwards to a landfall in Texas on Monday or Tuesday, as the 00Z Friday runs of UKMET and NAVGEM model predict. If 92L does follow this more northwesterly path, intensification into a strong tropical storm would be difficult, due to the high wind shear. An alternate scenario is presented by our two top-performing models, the European and GFS. They predict that 92L will take a nearly due west track, resulting in a landfall south of Tampico, Mexico on Monday. The storm would have more of an opportunity to strengthen in this scenario, since wind shear would be lower. Either scenario is reasonable, and residents of the Mexican and Texas Gulf Coast should anticipate the possibility of a tropical storm hitting the coast as early as Sunday night. Regardless of 92L's track, a flow of moist tropical air along the storm's eastern flank will form an atmospheric river of moisture that will bring a wide swath of 4+ inches of rain to the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle over the next few days. In their 8 am EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 92L a 50% of developing by Sunday, and a 60% chance of developing by Wednesday. I put these odds higher, at 70% and 80%, respectively.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Depression Erin taken at 10:30 am EDT Friday August 16, 2013. At the time, Erin had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical Storm Erin
Tropical Storm Erin is over the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa, and continues west-northwest at 15 mph. Erin is small and weak and has lost nearly all of its heavy thunderstorms, as seen on satellite loops. This is probably due, in part, to the fact the storm is over waters of 25.5 - 26°C, which is a marginal temperature for tropical cyclones. Erin is also having trouble with dry air from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), and the storm's west-northwest motion is beginning to cut Erin off from a moist source of air to its south--the semi-permanent band of tropical thunderstorms called the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.) The latest 00Z runs of the major global computer models, except for the GFS, call for Erin to dissipate by early next week. Given Erin's struggles today, I expect the storm will be dead by Sunday.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Quoting 1873. Civicane49:
Large, well-defined curved band to the west.

I am going to say that Pewa is going to reach cat 1.
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1890. geepy86
Quoting Patrap:
New Orleans
NEXRAD Radar

Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile ° Elevation
Range 124 NMI



what the ????
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Quoting 1884. Camille33:

i am going to the home depot tomorrow!
Fantasyland, though... no way this will verifies.
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Quoting 1770. seer2012:

Each engine burns over a 1000 lbs an hour..around 150 gals each times $5.00/gal(guessing at that )so around $3,000/hr for fuel alone.


I would also guess at another variable... as fuel is consumed (and load is lightened), I would think you'd burn less fuel each consecutive hour? I wonder what the magnitude of that one is (me not even having any idea of how much of an aircraft's initial weight is from fuel)

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1887. nigel20
Quoting JLPR2:


15 years without a hurricane hitting Puerto Rico, not really a record, we had longer return periods in the past.

Hi JLPR! Hurricane Sandy was the first hurricane to have a direct impact on Jamaica since Gilbert in 1988.There have been only three direct impacts (hurricanes) in Jamaica since 1951.
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Quoting 1872. KoritheMan:


The word "barotropic" should never be used cohesively with the word "baroclinic" in the same sentence. One implies strong temperature gradients, while the other does not.

Just sayin. ;)
Thanks for the correction. Hopefully I will be able to discern that difference some more once I start my Meteorology program at Embry-Riddle. :)
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i am going to the home depot tomorrow!
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Evening MLC. Looks like our Texas ridge/high will be pushing that mess in the gulf towards Fl after all.
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
WU, love it, despite the arrogance, egos, etc, but it can offer so much if one is discerning. My grandmother used to say "believe half of what you see and none of what you hear" - good wisdom. I always learn here, I challenge myself, challenge others sometimes, mostly I hope that I am perceived as someone who tries to help others learn, even if it's the limited amount of knowledge I have. These are interesting storms, have always captivated me. I yield, really do, to those much more learned, but I urge the real thing - and that's awareness and preparedness. I can assure you, I am not here to demonstrate my ignorance of where, when a storm or fall on land. I am a participant, a positive participant, and nothing or no one will shake that.

It's a good place. Be kind. Be helpful. Surely, I can be wrong, often, and if earlier this evening if I seemed sure, promise, it was purely speculation and unskilled opinion. I like to raise questions, discussion, and I hope in the future y'all will consider that even my poor thoughts may spark a bigger, brighter, smarter understanding on the tropics.

I am not here to bring the site or anyone down. I am here because I love the tropics, want to learn, share, and help promote a safe situation, so that we don't have loss of life or injury. That's it in a nutshell. Please forgive me for indulging, embellishing once in awhile. ;) Love y'all. Appreciate y'all. :)
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Quoting 1859. JLPR2:


Could happen or it could show the opposite, we still don't have a defined area of low pressure for the model to initialize, so all we can conclude from the past runs is that it has a good chance at development.


The wave is just offshore of be in the atlantic, the problem seems to be the big area of low pressure, means, slow organization= more to the west...But is to early to tell and the GFS solution with this system seems strange, can definitely drop the solution and shows nothing any more...
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Quoting 1852. LAbonbon:


It does help, thank you. The return periods from NOAA are obviously not listed in the TechMemo, as the calculations themselves are not contained therein, only the methodology. With the LA paper, though, the limitation of the period in the LA paper would seem to skew the return periods for majors lower. (At least it does for Maine, I didn't check other locations.)



And landfalling has an extremely technical definition. The exact center of a storm has to pass over land before a storm is considered as making landfall. A large powerful storm skimming the coastline obviously has effects on people as it is going by.

All in all, they are indicative of the general frequency of the events. If you live in LA or SoFl, its better to always be prepared. And no guarantees, as the 2004 season in FL showed with two landfalling 'canes literally only a few miles apart.
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all of this scientistic stuff is makin my hair hurt
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1879. Relix
Last Time PR had a Major was with Georges. Irene and Jeanne were nothing. Most people in our generation truly have no idea what a true hurricane is. We are overdue... we are very overdue.

Pouch 20 still keeping up the fight. Lil fighter I tell ya!
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1878. Patrap
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1877. JLPR2
Quoting 1874. gator23:


What record? Seriously...


Already answered you in post #1866.
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Satellite seems to show that 92L just darted West a good deal; no longer moving south.

This would bode well for the system, as the ULL is not as quick it seems. Any distance it can put on that ULL will just be more breathing room to make its own convection, rather than have the ULL steal it all.
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BOC Mexico
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Large, well-defined curved band to the west.

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Quoting 1853. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Here's my feeling, if one of these storms becomes a Category 5 it is heading for the CONUS, especially a Cape-Verde, now whether it maintains that strength, I am not sure. This has gone on too long and the pattern inevitably will break or bust. Yes, I know this sounds Doomish, but come on we have to be realistic looking at the future, a bad one is coming and only mother nature knows when, not humans, not the computer models. It may be this storm it may not. Only thing we can do is be prepared as we should be every season. Same thing applies to our friends in the Caribbean and Central America. So take this post for what it is worth. I never wish death and destruction, but this is just my personal gut feeling. We have tropical storms developing in hostile conditions way out in the far eastern atlantic in the month of july, an ULL/Barotropical/Subtropical whatever you want to call it in the GOM which can't make up it's mind on where it is going. The pattern is all funky this year and doesn't seem normal. Shucks even some of the regulars who have been through many seasons on here state the unnormalcy of this pattern.


The word "barotropic" should never be used cohesively with the word "baroclinic" in the same sentence. One implies strong temperature gradients, while the other does not.

Just sayin. ;)
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Quoting 1810. clwstmchasr:
Wow, some serious rain going on here in Pinellas County. Its booming too.


Yeah after seeing a day with no cumulus all day, now there are some real solid thunderstorms breaking out with drenching rains. Glad to see it!
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1870. Gearsts
Quoting 1854. stormchaser19:


GFS will continue showing this system, going more and more to the west in every single run..
Lol i think is a little early to talk about trends with track.
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1869. Patrap
Are we at a seasonal "Crossroad" ?




Bones wit no meat.
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Quoting 1853. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Here's my feeling, if one of these storms becomes a Category 5 it is heading for the CONUS, especially a Cape-Verde, now whether it maintains that strength, I am not sure. This has gone on too long and the pattern inevitably will break or bust. Yes, I know this sounds Doomish, but come on we have to be realistic looking at the future, a bad one is coming and only mother nature knows when, not humans, not the computer models. It may be this storm it may not. Only thing we can do is be prepared as we should be every season. Same thing applies to our friends in the Caribbean and Central America. So take this post for what it is worth. I never wish death and destruction, but this is just my personal gut feeling. We have tropical storms developing in hostile conditions way out in the far eastern atlantic in the month of july, an ULL/Barotropical/Subtropical whatever you want to call it in the GOM which can't make up it's mind on where it is going. The pattern is all funky this year and doesn't seem normal. Shucks even some of the regulars who have been through many seasons on here state the unnormalcy of this pattern.
Caleb this might or might not be the year that a major strikes the Conus it has been 7 years since the last major the pattern may continue but I doubt,imo I believe at least a hurricane will strike the conus this year.
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Quoting 1860. DonnieBwkGA:


Unless the ridge moves.
Yeah, but it is pretty much overhead this track could be something similar to Earl in 2010, Isabel 2003, Hugo 1989. But of course we won't know until we actually have a storm to track.
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1866. JLPR2
Quoting 1858. gator23:


What record?


15 years without a hurricane hitting Puerto Rico, not really a record, we had longer return periods in the past.
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Quoting 1854. stormchaser19:


GFS will continue showing this system, going more and more to the west in every single run..

Maybe Irene type of track, It's just speculation..

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Quoting 1835. KoritheMan:


I know not everyone will agree with me on this (Bonnie, I'm thinking of you :) ), but I think I'd rather it work out that way, personally. I don't want to see a year with mostly struggling tropical storms, like 2011.

I hated it. :)


Oh, how sweet, I'm in your thoughts :P

Did you see the post where Baha changed the phrase shred-wishers into shred casters? Our little group feels more 'official' somehow...

You'll likely get your major. But, hey, who am I to judge? You want what you want *shrugs*
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1863. sar2401
Quoting LAbonbon:


LOL, I'm getting wicked deja vu. Didn't this go-round already happen with Sar and Naga (or Nea?)? If only I could recall the outcome...

Actually, I can't recall either, but it was someone who apparently doesn't believe that DOD doing some simple things like buying cheaper paper clips could cover many years of hurricane hunter flights. I have never been involved in a federal project that didn't have massive waste and inefficiency built-in, but laying off hurricane hunter staff and park rangers is a much better way to make sure you get all the money you wasted last year back again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WU, love it, despite the arrogance, egos, etc, but it can offer so much if one is discerning. My grandmother used to say "believe half of what you see and none of what you hear" - good wisdom. I always learn here, I challenge myself, challenge others sometimes, mostly I hope that I am perceived as someone who tries to help others learn, even if it's the limited amount of knowledge I have. These are interesting storms, have always captivated me. I yield, really do, to those much more learned, but I urge the real thing - and that's awareness and preparedness. I can assure you, I am not here to demonstrate my ignorance of where, when a storm or fall on land. I am a participant, a positive participant, and nothing or no one will shake that.

It's a good place. Be kind. Be helpful. Surely, I can be wrong, often, and if earlier this evening if I seemed sure, promise, it was purely speculation and unskilled opinion. I like to raise questions, discussion, and I hope in the future y'all will consider that even my poor thoughts may spark a bigger, brighter, smarter understanding on the tropics.

I am not here to bring the site or anyone down. I am here because I love the tropics, want to learn, share, and help promote a safe situation, so that we don't have loss of life or injury. That's it in a nutshell. Please forgive me for indulging, embellishing once in awhile. ;) Love y'all. Appreciate y'all. :)
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May have already been posted, I apologize if that's the case.
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1859. JLPR2
Quoting 1854. stormchaser19:


GFS will continue showing this system, going more and more to the west in every single run..


Could happen or it could show the opposite, we still don't have a defined area of low pressure for the model to initialize, so all we can conclude from the past runs is that it has a good chance at development.
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Quoting 1848. sar2401:

Please read the story that was the subject of my comments. It has nothing to do with what you wrote.


I was responding to your remark about the 3 person crew ..

Quote "Yes, but there are no pilots, nor any other Air Force personnel on furlough. The CARCAH civilian furloughs will not affect any normal hurricane hunter flights. As the story stated, the few furloughs involved have mostly already been covered by taking the days off during slow periods, and we've certainly had enough of those. The DOD also has the authority to declare an emergency and cancel furlough days for the extent of the emergency. No hurricane hunter flights are going to be adversely affected, but it makes great publicity why the DOD needs more money next year. I'm quite certain the DOD could find ways to cut costs enough to cover the costs of a three person unit."

It had everything to do about your comment !!
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Quoting 1850. DonnieBwkGA:


Can you ever at 360 hours? At 384 hours it gets stronger and closer.

A 1026 mb. ridge I find it unlikely a storm will bust through that.
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Quoting 1846. JLPR2:
Well now, the GFS likes the new TW but it takes 216hrs before it really starts developing it. I'm not trusting the GFS and I think it will develop sooner than that and farther east.



GFS will continue showing this system, going more and more to the west in every single run..
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Quoting 1823. docrod:


I feel like a dart board this year. We've had it too easy for a while.
Here's my feeling, if one of these storms becomes a Category 5 it is heading for the CONUS, especially a Cape-Verde, now whether it maintains that strength, I am not sure. This has gone on too long and the pattern inevitably will break or bust. Yes, I know this sounds Doomish, but come on we have to be realistic looking at the future, a bad one is coming and only mother nature knows when, not humans, not the computer models. It may be this storm it may not. Only thing we can do is be prepared as we should be every season. Same thing applies to our friends in the Caribbean and Central America. So take this post for what it is worth. I never wish death and destruction, but this is just my personal gut feeling. We have tropical storms developing in hostile conditions way out in the far eastern atlantic in the month of july, an ULL/Barotropical/Subtropical whatever you want to call it in the GOM which can't make up it's mind on where it is going. The pattern is all funky this year and doesn't seem normal. Shucks even some of the regulars who have been through many seasons on here state the unnormalcy of this pattern.
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Quoting 1826. daddyjames:


It would depend on the time period, the start and cutoff date, how close the COC is to the location, and the intensity of the storm. So, it is very easy to get different return periods if these differ across the publications. For instance, the return period for a major hurricane (>cat3) is ~210 yrs for that location in Maine. However, the return period for any hurricane is 50 years for the same location. For any, if they are using a radius, like the 50 nm in the NOAA figures, one would have to discern if that is all storms (land and non-landfalling storms) or only landfalling storms. The devil is in the details.

The paper you cite looks at 105 yr period, but the cut off is 2005. That explains some of the differences observed. Hope this helps.


It does help, thank you. The return periods from NOAA are obviously not listed in the TechMemo, as the calculations themselves are not contained therein, only the methodology. With the LA paper, though, the limitation of the period in the LA paper would seem to skew the return periods for majors lower. (At least it does for Maine, I didn't check other locations.)

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1851. Patrap
New Orleans
NEXRAD Radar

Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile ° Elevation
Range 124 NMI


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1849. JLPR2
Quoting 1839. sunlinepr:


Uyy... Do you think we will pass the 15 year record?


Of course we will. :P
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1848. sar2401
Quoting whitewabit:


but its not a 3 person unit .. there are 5 people on each flight crew and there are 10 flight crews ! plus 10 flight crews that are reservist that fly part time .. for a total of 20 ..

From Hurricane Hunters Association

We have five different flying jobs at the Hurricane Hunters. ALL jobs are part of the Air Force Reserve. Half of the positions are part-time (traditional reservists), and half are full-time (Air Reserve Technicians). We have 40 pilots, 20 each of navigators, aerial reconnaissance weather officers, and weather loadmasters. In addition, we have numerous support personnel that work in various fields such as flight administration, life support, and various maintenance specialties; without these folks we would never get airborne!

Please read the story that was the subject of my comments. It has nothing to do with what you wrote.
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1847. Patrap
Mobile
NEXRAD Radar

Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile ° Elevation
Range 124 NMI

Vary interesting

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1846. JLPR2
Well now, the GFS likes the new TW but it takes 216hrs before it really starts developing it. I'm not trusting the GFS and I think it will develop sooner than that and farther east.

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new storm
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Quoting 1824. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Well unless 92L becomes Fernand, it is likely Fernand will not only become the first hurricane of the season, but the first major hurricane.

Probably will not become Fernand anymore.I would be amaze if it does.
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1843. Gearsts
Quoting 1839. sunlinepr:


Uyy... Do you think we will pass the 15 year record?
Shh don't talk about that here. hehe
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1841. Gearsts
Quoting 1829. JLPR2:


Nice spin starting on the African coast, we should see an invest pop in the area in a day or so.
GFS thinks the area will be broad and take time to come together until it gets closer to the islands, also it shows a rather large system.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather