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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look at 40 west!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1740. nigel20
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
This would be nice...


Hi AtHome...Yes Indeed! I hope that you'll get some well needed rain over there in Texas. We had some improvement in Kingston from the recent rains, but one of two major reservoirs is currently at crisis level, despite an improvement from 28% to 34% of capacity.
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If 92L hasn't made any progress toward relocating the center farther north, its days are numbered unless it can get some convection.
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1738. Levi32
Quoting 1726. Grothar:
Good Night everyone. Keep blobbing.

P.S. Levi, you should see the EURO for tomorrow :)


I think I know your secret, Gro. You must run all of the computer models in your own brain ahead of time, just to get a sneak peak. After all, your brain is so old and wise, it can likely handle the calculations.
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See y'all in 40 minutes,taking a nap.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1725. sar2401:

There were some here that were good at tropical weather, and more that thought they were good at tropical weather, who got in some snits, and took themselves to other, more agreeable blogs. That's fine, everyone should find a place they like. The funny part was that some of them thought their leaving would be some kind of fatal blow here. We could all keel over tomorrow and, by next season, a whole bunch of new bloggers who never heard of us will be here to take our place. Well, except for Gro - I don't think there's another edition of him out there. :-)


Yo sar how ya been? Passed through your neck o' the woods a few weeks ago. The lawn looked good!
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1735. Levi32
Quoting 1724. VAbeachhurricanes:


Could you give a number on what percentage likelihood that ULL works its way down to the surface? 850mb vorticity has increased unfer it over the last 3 hours, albeit barely.



I don't think it's going to become a closed low. It will remain an area of enhanced vorticity and stretch northward, but I doubt it will become the focal point of the system. Tomorrow there may not be much of a "center" at all so much as a stretched wave axis. The best chance for true development will be just off the western gulf coast after the shortwave begins lifting out, in my opinion.
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1733. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1679. TampaSpin:
I don't understand why the Shear Maps was so far off with 92L....HECK they was not even close!
cimss ran into problems with there computers at one point during the event maybe that had something to do with it
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1732. Patrap
That northern convection really likes the SST's there in..immensely'

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1731. beell
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Quoting 1692. DonnieBwkGA:


The barrier islands are unincorporated. Their rates also fell 5%. The reason rates fell down is that there have only been two hurricanes to make landfall on the Georgia coast in the last 100 years. There were 3, but the 1911 Savannah hurricane dropped out of the figures. 1940 and 1979 are all that are left. Neither was a major.

The rates on the islands if you are 10 feet or more above high tide line fell from $200 to $190 for a basic annual flood insurance policy.


Okay, I'm officially envious. That is a fraction of what I pay, and I'm in a low/moderate risk area (500-yr floodplain). Who knew a barrier island was less risk?
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1729. flsky
Quoting 1704. ProgressivePulse:
Have to say though that this is a pretty interesting sight this time of year. Looks like a Pink Elephant.


Um...what?
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1728. docrod
... has it stalled or is this a back sliding wobble? Looks like a stall however.
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1727. scott39
Quoting 1718. TampaSpin:
Unreal....Lol.... Hey congress can we get a bird in the air to sample 92L?!?!
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1726. Grothar
Good Night everyone. Keep blobbing.

P.S. Levi, you should see the EURO for tomorrow :)
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1725. sar2401
Quoting daddyjames:


Actually, that I do not understand. There are ways to easily ignore comments that are blatantly "trollish". And a passionate discussion about something, with opposing views is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it is a reflection of being able to seek out only those forums where everyone "agrees" with you. I for one, as some can attest here, relish a good passionate discussion as long as it does not devolve into name calling and personal attacks.

There were some here that were good at tropical weather, and more that thought they were good at tropical weather, who got in some snits, and took themselves to other, more agreeable blogs. That's fine, everyone should find a place they like. The funny part was that some of them thought their leaving would be some kind of fatal blow here. We could all keel over tomorrow and, by next season, a whole bunch of new bloggers who never heard of us will be here to take our place. Well, except for Gro - I don't think there's another edition of him out there. :-)
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Quoting 1717. Levi32:


The jolt southward was a little unexpected but it probably won't continue indefinitely, and it's likely a result of the overall stretching of the system from SW to NE. The overall wave axis, which is what this is now, should continue generally off towards the northwest very slowly.


Could you give a number on what percentage likelihood that ULL works its way down to the surface? 850mb vorticity has increased unfer it over the last 3 hours, albeit barely.

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Quoting 1720. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


looks happy


lol
lol.
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1722. Jerrob
Quoting 1720. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


looks happy


lol
I thought the same thing...smiley face :)
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1721. Patrap
The Count would call it, number 9...




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1720. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


looks happy


lol
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Quoting 1699. sar2401:

I would certainly agree if 92L was even a moderate cat 1 hurricane. As a 25 mph low, no, it's not going to have any effect on surge. I'll be happy to correct myself if you can show me an example of this happening.



TS Isidore put 6 foot of water in my yard. It didn't rain much or blow much, but it pushed Lake Ponchatrain around enough to keep me stranded for 24 hours. :)
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1717. Levi32
Quoting 1711. VAbeachhurricanes:


You seemed to imply that a strong storm surge required a fast moving storm, I was just replying that it is not particualarly true. I wasn't refering to this storm in general. (Even though its not moving at all at the moment...)

And Levi it appears that LLC in the ASCAT is about to make landfall again near Campeche? That's weird and was not supposed to happen right?


The jolt southward was a little unexpected but it probably won't continue indefinitely, and it's likely a result of the general stretching of the system from SW to NE. The overall wave axis, which is what this is now, should continue generally off towards the northwest very slowly.
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This would be nice...

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Wouldn't it be interesting if we had something like this.
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Quoting 1709. Civicane49:


In before anyone else says "pinhole eye".
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Link

This is the ramdiss loop for 92L.
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Quoting 1699. sar2401:

I would certainly agree if 92L was even a moderate cat 1 hurricane. As a 25 mph low, no, it's not going to have any effect on surge. I'll be happy to correct myself if you can show me an example of this happening.


You seemed to imply that a strong storm surge required a fast moving storm, I was just replying that it is not particualarly true. I wasn't refering to this storm in general. (Even though its not moving at all at the moment...)

And Levi it appears that LLC in the ASCAT is about to make landfall again near Campeche? That's weird and was not supposed to happen right?
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1710. nigel20
Good evening fellow bloggers!
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1708. Levi32
It's worth noting for future reference that this was a small victory for the GEOS-5 model, which I understand is essentially a developmental version of the GFS forced with aerosols. It forecasted the main low to dive southward towards the coast of the BOC. No other model showed that.
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Quoting 1676. sar2401:

Surge is a function mostly of pressure, wind and forward motion. 92L's pressure is barely low, the wind speed is maybe 25 knots, and the forward speed, even if goes north, which I doubt, will still be very slow. Unless this thing somehow turns into a hurricane, I can't imagine surge being an issue


You are off base. Debby, and Andrea, as a tropical storm, produced decent storm surge. Ernesto back in 2006 as it rode up the Carolinas, Beryl last year, I can name several.

If it's stalled the wind is constantly lashing at the coast, as a result the waves continue to wear away at the beach, and eventually they put property in danger
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1706. scott39
Quoting 1697. Levi32:


Well the main low is quickly dipping southward. It may be that the storm-relative winds make the low look farther north on shortwave IR than it actually is.
Do you rule out a relocation to the NE based on the most recent ASCAT?
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Quoting 1689. daddyjames:


Actually, that I do not understand. There are ways to easily ignore comments that are blatantly "trollish". And a passionate discussion about something, with opposing views is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it is a reflection of being able to seek out only those forums where everyone "agrees" with you. I for one, as some can attest here, relish a good passionate discussion as long as it does not devolve into name calling and personal attacks.


Its easy....some could post things that would get them banned while others could post the same and it was ok......seen it too often!
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Have to say though that this is a pretty interesting sight this time of year. Looks like a Pink Elephant.

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1702. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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.
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Quoting 1688. sar2401:

I sure wish the decision to cancel today's recon flights hadn't been made. We are sitting here, in the literal and figurative darkness, spending a lot of our time trying to figure out exactly where the low is and what kind of circulation exists. At least one recon flight would have been a big help.


don't think we will see Recon fly marginal storms due to funding ..
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1699. sar2401
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


You're wrong there, a low sitting off the coast moving slowly can do lot's of surge as the winds continually pile up the water along the coast. Look at Nor'Ida as the best example of that.

I would certainly agree if 92L was even a moderate cat 1 hurricane. As a 25 mph low, no, it's not going to have any effect on surge. I'll be happy to correct myself if you can show me an example of this happening.
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Quoting 1692. DonnieBwkGA:


The barrier islands are unincorporated. Their rates fell 5%. The reason rates fell down is that there have only been two hurricanes to make landfall on the Georgia coast in the last 100 years. There were 3, but the 1911 Savannah hurricane dropped out of the figures. 1940 and 1979 are all that are left. Neither was a major.

The rates on the islands if you are 10 feet or more above high tide line fell from $200 to $190 for a basic flood insurance policy.


Well, if Murphy's law applies - you guys are only asking for trouble. ;)
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1697. Levi32
Quoting 1686. flsky:

I really don't understand why it's spinning where it is in the visual, but it's not represented in the ASCAT. Can you help me with this?


Well the main low is quickly dipping southward. It may be that the storm-relative winds make the low look farther north on shortwave IR than it actually is.
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Quoting 1687. VAbeachhurricanes:


I mean at your age...


{gasp} ;)
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1695. flsky
Quoting 1692. DonnieBwkGA:


The barrier islands are unincorporated. Their rates fell 5%. The reason rates fell down is that there have only been two hurricanes to make landfall on the Georgia coast in the last 100 years. There were 3, but the 1911 Savannah hurricane dropped out of the figures. 1940 and 1979 are all that are left. Neither was a major.

The rates on the islands if you are 10 feet or more above high tide line fell from $200 to $190 for a basic flood insurance policy.

Maybe you could talk to our guys here in ECFL.
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1694. scott39
Looks to be some popcorn storms firing close to what maybe or not be a NE LLC relocation.
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Wave looking good could be invest 94L,then Fernand.
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Good Evening Levi and everyone...I think 92L looks better than it did earlier today...looks like it is starting to wrap around....no ?? If not, what am I seeing?
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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