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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1641. Patrap


OOoh, pinhole eye?

sarcasm: ON
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1640. Grothar
Quoting 1624. HurricaneKing:
Also I think WU may be going on the fritz. I'm normally set to show all comments and it keeps changing it to show average or show good only. Heck at one time almost every comment was greyed out.


I remember you making good posts. Haven't seen you around much.
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Quoting 1579. Grothar:


Read back, Levi. You get plenty of support and you know people respect and admire your efforts. I would never have the time or the patience to do those videos and neither does anyone else. We just enjoy the debates between you two. A lot of people respect Drak, too.



Right on Gro, Levi gets more pluses than just about anyone and is one of the five most popular bloggers here. Drak vs Levi is like Fraiser vs Ali, fun, lots of action, smack talk, and ya gotta wait till the late rounds to find out who the winner is. Your support is pretty universal here Levi. It's like a car wreck, if it's a ding and flat tire, everyone drives by normal speed. If it's bad, everyone slows down and gawks. Wanting to see big ones headed towards the US is in lots of ways just human nature. Seen how popular UFC is here in the states? We have a gladiator nature here. We demand action. Not speaking for myself, but as a whole, it's very true.
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Quoting 1634. Grothar:
I disagree.


I agree with you. To anything specific, or just in general?
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1636. Patrap
No acxtion required

Decision support services (dss) code
green = no weather impacts that require action
blue = long fused watch/warning/advisory in effect or high
visibility event
yellow = heightened impacts with short fused
watch/warning/advisory issuances; radar support
Orange = high impacts - slight to moderate risk severe; nearby
tropical events; hazmat or other large episodes
red = full engagement for moderate to high risk severe
and/or direct tropical threats; events of National
significance
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Quoting 1624. HurricaneKing:
Also I think WU may be going on the fritz. I'm normally set to show all comments and it keeps changing it to show average or show good only. Heck at one time almost every comment was greyed out.


Has happened periodically to me also.
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1634. Grothar
I disagree.
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1632. sar2401
Quoting scott39:
Hey Levi and Drakoen. Ponder on this idea for a moment. This comes from a well known experienced blogger from the past, who doesnt visit here anymore. I summed it up in my own words. There is a small anticyclone overhead 92L. Shear has been dropping the last few hours. This is allowing the thunderstorms to move closer to the LLC. The LLC is reforming NE of where it has been....and closer to the convection. If the center is reforming, the models will shift back to Texas/La

I have no clue what's going on with 92L. Assuming the putative low is at about 23N, 90.5W, it has not moved in about 10 hours. It continues to send out tropical waves to the northeast, which is the convection we're seeing. I see no evidence that low is moving at all, let alone toward the area of convection. Given the weak steering currents and the location of the low in the BOC, which known for keeping lows spinning, the low may just sit there for the next 24-36 hours, sending of more waves of convection toward the Florida Panhandle, which is really the worst case scenario right now. If the low could finally get moving, it would go straight west right at the MC/TX border, bringing some much needed rain but nothing more than a TD. If, for some reason, the low actually begins to move northeast, it has no chance for development, but it can provide enough energy for three days of rain for the Panhandle and south Alabama before it finally comes ashore. The best ending for all concerned is for this low to get moving west and cut off the moisture fetch.
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1630. MahFL
Do water vapor eyes count ?

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1629. Boco12
This is quite an interesting setup in the WPAC right now
Tropical Depression 12:


and Tropical Depression 13:


If these forecasts are to verify, we would see the Fujiwhara effect go into full force. Especially if the proximity between the two storms will be less than a couple hundred miles with both at category one intensity.
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Quoting 1559. redwagon:


WHOA that shot you posted shows two centers of circ. New to me... so 92L is doing its second split, and this is the part where the Nrn coc goes to the NGOM, leaving the southern maybe into MX, or TX/MX.


Or the Pacific...LOL
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Quoting 1606. Patrap:


Could be suffering from ED. (Woops too grownup for this)
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Quoting 1619. scott39:
I respect both Levi and drakoen. Im wanting to know thier take on the idea.


THANKS!
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1625. Patrap



Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
936 PM CDT Friday Aug 16 2013


Update...
latest surface analysis showed an inverted trough from south
central Louisiana to west Tennessee with greater than 70 dewpoint
readings east and 63 to 70 dewpoint values west of the trough.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms have developed along the
trough axis after sunset. However...water vapor satellite imagery
showed a disturbance over southwest Louisiana rotating southeast
ahead of the main trough. This feature was pushing across the
surface inverted trough creating scattered convection across east
central Louisiana and locales east...will up rain chances this
evening for this area. Other changes may be made to late periods
after midnight.


&&


Previous discussion... /issued 311 PM CDT Friday Aug 16 2013/


Short term...
weak stationary front in coastal waters. Scattered showers and a
few thunderstorms are associated with the front.


Long term...
expect the front to remain mostly stationary through Sunday. The
upper level disturbance over the southern Gulf will move north and
interact with the weak stationary front Sunday night and Monday.
This will provide a Portal for deep tropical moisture to enter the
central Gulf Coast. Heavy rain will be a possibility because of
the weak steering currents and nearly stationary cyclonic shear
zone between the Bermuda ridge and the southwest U.S. Ridge.


Aviation...
scattered clouds around 4000 feet and visibility 7 miles or more
except near scattered showers and a few thunderstorms mainly near
the la and MS coast.


Marine...
winds should remain light and variable tonight but will become
southeast 15 to 20 knots Saturday and 20 to 25 knots Sunday night
and Monday as an upper level disturbance approaches the coastal
waters from the south. Seas 1 to 2 feet tonight will increase 3 to
4 feet Saturday and 5 to 8 feet Saturday night. Winds and seas
will be higher near numerous showers and thunderstorms especially
east of the MS river tonight but spreading westward Saturday
through Monday.


Decision support...
dss code...blue.
Deployed...none.
Activation...none.
Activities...slurry support
monitoring tropics in lower Gulf
monitoring upper level disturbance in lower Gulf


Decision support services (dss) code
green = no weather impacts that require action
blue = long fused watch/warning/advisory in effect or high
visibility event
yellow = heightened impacts with short fused
watch/warning/advisory issuances; radar support
Orange = high impacts - slight to moderate risk severe; nearby
tropical events; hazmat or other large episodes
red = full engagement for moderate to high risk severe
and/or direct tropical threats; events of National
significance


&&
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Also I think WU may be going on the fritz. I'm normally set to show all comments and it keeps changing it to show average or show good only. Heck at one time almost every comment was greyed out.
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Quoting 1616. flsky:


What a gorgeous image this is.


Looks rather impressive to say the least.
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Quoting 1613. redwagon:


Or, put another way, do you guys now see the TWO shrimp in #1856??




Two shrimp?
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Mighty weak steering on 92L!!!!!!

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Quoting 1525. opal92nwf:
I'm just tired of this ridiculousness. It's like how you want one or the other, not in between. Strengthen, or fizzle out.




Seems like 92l been here forever! I have Trof Burnout Syndrome=TBS
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1619. scott39
Quoting 1605. TampaSpin:


If this system can make it to a Storm Status I believe it would track further North.....a weak system will continue more West. Don't mean to post over Levi and Drak tho.
I respect both Levi and drakoen. Im wanting to know thier take on the idea.
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1618. JLPR2
Quoting 1604. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The NAM joins the CMC for development of the area of disturbed weather associated with the monsoon trough between 45-50 West.





Cariboy would like that, a weak system carrying lots of rain.

If the spin redevelops convection tonight it might actually manage something.
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As slow as this 'thing' in the gulf is moving, are there any surge issues we should be looking for? I only see surge maps when something is named, but this (because of personal proximity to lake and canals) looks like it could push a lot of water ahead of it?
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1616. flsky


What a gorgeous image this is.
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It is safe to say 92L is done.
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Quoting 1600. LAbonbon:


As a newbie I'd say it's been educational.


Both are very good, and both definitely have helped some of us (especially me) gain a greater understanding of the tropics, and weather in general.

Although I was poking fun at them, i have great respect for them as well as many others on this blog. Now if only the reverse was true ;)
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Quoting 1586. DataNerd:
Evening all. The surface entity that was 92l is dissipating or has already dissipated. This is born out by RGB imagery even after sunset. The old LLC feature just off the yucatan lost most of its lowcloud field and was ejected apparently moving rapidly southwest and is no longer definable on satellite imagery.


Of interest however, is whats going on further east. The upper level low which had begun to interface with the system appears to have mostly diminished, and a strong mid level vortex is trying to form underneath it. Additionally the last few frames of rgb loop tend to suggest a new low level feature may be forming under this feature, which is largely baroclinic at the moment.

Remains to be seen if we will still have anything by morning but I would wager that if we do it will be more organized, possibly subtropical in nature however.





Or, put another way, do you guys now see the TWO shrimp in #1856??
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What I see:-

1.) I dont know wth 92L is going to do anymore!  Models range from dipping the system south thru Mexico and developing it in the Pacific...To having both the ULL and the LLC develop into separate storms...or merging together...or dying out entirely... SO CONFUSED!

Ahem....

2.)  The Little Waves That Could (my name for the Tropical Wave's out ahead and south of Erin)  really have a shot at developing in the Caribbean in the next week or so.  I noted this 4 days ago so I'm quite interested in how these guys develop over time. 

3.)  Erin restrengthened back to a Tropical Storm as I was saying yesterday, but it shouldnt get much stronger than it is now, and will undoubtedly swing out to sea.

4.)  There are what look to be TWO huge waves coming off of Africa.  The first has already started to emerge off the coast and has a ton of moisture associated with it and even has a little bit of spin and is taking a much more southern track than Erin.  This particular wave is HUUUUGE and if it does develop, it might take a bit of time.

The second, right on the heels of that storm, has a TON of spin to it and looks crazy impressive on satellite imagery and is even further south than the wave ahead of it.

Erin will clear out a large portion of the dry air for both of these systems and has primed the atmosphere to support cyclonic activity.

It's hard to say how these two storms will play out, im pretty convinced that the second African wave is going to develop - its impressive overland organization almost looks to good not to develop relatively quickly.

The wave ahead of that will at the very least build prime conditions for the second wave, but could also develop itself given time. 

These are very impressive storms, the next few weeks are going to be interesting.

5.)  Just took a gander at some African satellite shots, and wow, that wave train is seriously kicking into high gear.


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Quoting 1592. DonnieBwkGA:
HurricaneKing what were you wishcasting for


While I love all the attention lol let's get back on subject before I get my first ban. But I'll admit living in the Coastal Carolinas it was always hard not to wishcast hurricanes that direction until you grow up enough to realize how bad a storms fury really is and how much damage it really does. You don't begin to realize the impact until you lose things......and or watch friends and family members lose everything they own to natures fury. But if you have anymore personal questions for me move them to wu mail.


As far as 92L it's becoming a pain to track and if nothing comes of the surface vort associated with the upper level low it may in fact never develop.
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00z NAM @84HRS. Low moving in near Puerto Rico needs to be watched for development

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Quoting 1587. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Oh there coming to a theater near you. J/K. How are you tonight, Washi?
Watching the theatrics on the blog from afar.I'm busy tomorrow so just came to stop in.I see Erin is back with us again.Alrighty good night Caleb.I'll be waiting for the more worthy storms this season to catch my attention.
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Quoting 1555. Levi32:
It's actually pretty funny how little support I get from the blog when I'm not forecasting the scenario that would bring the worst weather to the US. Hey, we'll see what happens. I believe tropical forecasting is one of the greatest competitions there is.


Don't get me wrong I love this blog, I don't post as much but I read it almost everyday on Tropical Seasons but most of the posters are from the Northern GOM and Florida so as a weather enthusiast is normal to want to experience a Tropical Cyclone.
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1606. Patrap


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Quoting 1594. scott39:
Any thoughts on #1578 Drakoen or Levi?


If this system can make it to a Storm Status I believe it would track further North.....a weak system will continue more West. Don't mean to post over Levi and Drak tho.
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The NAM joins the CMC for development of the area of disturbed weather associated with the monsoon trough between 45-50 West.



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1603. Drakoen
Quoting 1578. scott39:
Hey Levi and Drakoen. Ponder on this idea for a moment. This comes from a well known experienced blogger from the past, who doesnt visit here anymore. I summed it up in my own words. There is a small anticyclone overhead 92L. Shear has been dropping the last few hours. This is allowing the thunderstorms to move closer to the LLC. The LLC is reforming NE of where it has been....and closer to the convection. If the center is reforming, the models will shift back to Texas/La


Seems possible
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1602. JLPR2
Quoting 1596. VAbeachhurricanes:
How long after the timestamp do the CIMSS maps usually update?


More or less 30mins. EATL maps take a bit more
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Quoting 1555. Levi32:
It's actually pretty funny how little support I get from the blog when I'm not forecasting the scenario that would bring the worst weather to the US. Hey, we'll see what happens. I believe tropical forecasting is one of the greatest competitions there is.
Happens to everybody, Levi. They are just thirsty for something strong to happen to them or something to watch on news. Majority (including me) actually listen and agree with your forecasts no matter what. You got data support in your forecasts and that's enough for me. Honestly, most of us don't comment on your forecast to agree because you know your stuff so well. Majority of comments about your forecasts (and blog in general) is negative because they want to be right even though they aren't.
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Quoting 1588. daddyjames:


Although watching you two playing "Would the real 92L please stand up" has been entertaining.


As a newbie I'd say it's been educational.
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1599. Patrap
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1598. MahFL
5 kts of shear over 92 and it can't get it's act together ?
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I am curious as to how some tropical systems in the Gulf of Mexico get really strong, like Bret 1999, Anita 1977, Alicia, with seemingly little room to develop.
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How long after the timestamp do the CIMSS maps usually update?
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its back!
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1594. scott39
Any thoughts on #1578 Drakoen or Levi?
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1593. Patrap
Marine Band here on Miss River, "word is itsa spinning out there off the Yucatan a tadd'..


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Quoting 1586. DataNerd:
Evening all. The surface entity that was 92l is dissipating or has already dissipated. This is born out by RGB imagery even after sunset. The old LLC feature just off the yucatan lost most of its lowcloud field and was ejected apparently moving rapidly southwest and is no longer definable on satellite imagery.


Of interest however, is whats going on further east. The upper level low which had begun to interface with the system appears to have mostly diminished, the a strong mid level vortex trying to form under neath it. Additionally the last few frames of rgb loop tend to suggest a new low level feature may be forming under this feature, which is largely baroclinic at the moment.

Remains to be seen if we will still have anything by morning but I would wager that if we do it will be more organized, possibly subtropical in nature however.





did you not see Grothar's post? Its heading south for the pacific. Southward ho!
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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