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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1491. Patrap
Study Hurricane Juan, a late October Neutercane from 1985.

It has all the Mojo, Hi and Lo ya want. And a cloud pattern that stretched from the GOM to Chicago



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Translation: 92L is headed northward, not westward.

night all tomorrow's another beautiful day
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1489. RkptMom
Quoting 1459. redwagon:


Some Shiner Bock or Deep Eddy Vodka?


Lone Star!
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Quoting 1481. Drakoen:


This is what you call "guts" an insignificant area of precip in the BOC while all the precipitation (which you conveniently neglected to put in your post), energy, and strongest 850mb vorticity and low level isobaric kinking has advected off to the north. Please.



Quoting 1485. Levi32:


This is called vorticity stretching due to the advection of diffluence overhead associated with the eastern flank of a shortwave trough.


I missed this.
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Quoting 1477. MiamiHurricanes09:
Pewa has the potential to be one of the most intense cyclones this year.

Joking or serious? I see some of the model intensities but that's under the assumption it doesn't die before entering the West Pacific. CPHC calls for steady weakening.
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1485. Levi32
Quoting 1481. Drakoen:


This is what you call "guts" an insignificant area of precip in the BOC while all the precipitation (which you conveniently neglected to put in your post), energy, and strongest 850mb vorticity and low level isobaric kinking has advected off to the north. Please.





This is called vorticity stretching due to the advection of diffluence overhead associated with the eastern flank of a shortwave trough.

The largest impacts have been advertised by all including myself to be the heavy rains for the north gulf coast. Texas and Mexico will see comparatively very little weather from this, but the root system seems likely to linger behind the baroclinic forcing to the north.

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Quoting 1476. HimacaneBrees:



I see a lot of "L"'s everywhere on that map
Yep a very long stretched out stationary front that extends out into the North Central Atlantic all the way to Texas/Mexico border.
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1483. Patrap
A Vort,a Lil Low, either Elongated or perfect, is not the "Gut's" as Drak so eloquently explained, the Guts are usually the Impact players, which count.

It's a people Business in the end.


Like the ol Men say, its not what brings it, it da "Oomph dat matta's".

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1481. Drakoen
Quoting 1471. Levi32:


The GFS has been the poster child for poleward movement, so let's take a look.

Current run out to 27 hours shows energy splitting away towards the central gulf coast. We've expected this from the beginning with lots of rain for them.



Out at 60 hours, the "guts" of the system are still meandering in the western gulf, not strong in any sense, but still there. Even the GFS does not commit the entire complex to the northern gulf.



This is what you call "guts" an insignificant area of precip in the BOC while all the precipitation (which you conveniently neglected to put in your post), energy, and strongest 850mb vorticity and low level isobaric kinking has advected off to the north. Please.



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Models moving west? Are you crazy? Look at that
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Quoting 1382. Grothar:


Well, the only thing I feel badly about is when I tried to point out the ULL to some people last night, coming into the picture, and I was practically run off the blog. So I just left. I was really hurt. (")


Ready for that man hug yet Gro? Good Evening Class! It appears we have been a very informative and caring class all at the same ! WTG Class
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Quoting 1400. TropicalAnalystwx13:
K, GFDL.

Pewa has the potential to be one of the most intense cyclones this year.
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Quoting 1474. GTstormChaserCaleb:





I see a lot of "L"'s everywhere on that map
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Vegas, Baby! Should Taxpayers Bail Her Out of Water Woes?

By Tom Yulsman | August 16, 2013 3:43 pm

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation made an historic announcement today: It is cutting its water releases from Lake Powell to their lowest levels since the giant reservoir on the Colorado River began to fill in the 1960s.

Thanks to increasing demand for Colorado River water, and decreasing supply resulting from profound drought, Lake Powell has dropped to less than half full. To help slow the decline,  the Bureau of Reclamation will reduce the amount of water Lake Powell releases downstream toward Lake Mead in 2014 by almost 1 million acre-feet. (An acre-foot is roughly the amount of water a U.S. household uses in a year.)

But that means Lake Mead, the other giant hydrological savings bank on the river — and the supplier of 90 percent of the water used by Las Vegas — could be headed for even more serious trouble in coming years.

That prospect has prompted the water czar for southern Nevada to float the idea of asking for federal disaster assistance to cope with dwindling water supplies. Quoted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Pat Mulroy, head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, compared the drought and its effects to Hurricane Sandy, which inundated large parts of the Northeast in fall of 2012........
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1473. ncstorm
Quoting 1442. hurricanes2018:
this is crazy the modeles are going back to the west!


um remember you posted the NHC discussion in bold last night..this was expected..
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Look at the last wave that is still over Africa...

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1471. Levi32
Quoting 1460. Drakoen:


Not according to the models that move this poleward. Review and correct yourself. I think its been a fair compromise between the multi-model consensus rather than any individual model.


The GFS has been the poster child for poleward movement, so let's take a look.

Current run out to 27 hours shows energy splitting away towards the central gulf coast. We've expected this from the beginning with lots of rain for them.



Out at 60 hours, the "guts" of the system are still meandering in the western gulf, not strong in any sense, but still there. Even the GFS does not commit the entire complex to the northern gulf.

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Quoting 1428. GTstormChaserCaleb:
92L is a carbon copy of Debby last year, the GFS model stubbornly pointed to FL. while the rest pointed to Texas. A landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast can't be ruled out now.


Starting to wonder if it will make landfall at all. May just die out all together.
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Good Night All! See you in the AM! See what the mess does tomorrow ?
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1468. Patrap
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Quoting 1442. hurricanes2018:
this is crazy the modeles are going back to the west!



Yep just as I expected the usual model shift.. Wahoo I spelled "shift" correctly this time!!!
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This one goes onto my list of scary, super intense tropical cyclones.

Typhoon Paka: Nov-Dec 1997

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92L looks like it will be picked up by the through / front moving fast down over Texas....

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I know that this sounds like a newbie question, but then I'm pretty much a newbie. 

Is there anyway that I can view the ECMWF model output for invests and storms.

Thanks in advance for the response.
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I still think the models are confused on which system to key into...the ULL or the LLC, as both have the potential to develop (Sub-tropical or tropical) or merge into a single entity.

This is obviously a stretch of a theory but...
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1462. Corett
☔☔☔ Texas need the rain!!!!
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1461. Patrap
Note the west side of the ULL wax and wane, but maintain..

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1460. Drakoen
Quoting 1441. Levi32:


No doubt 92L's vorticity will stretch towards the central gulf coast, but the lowest pressures seem likely to be left behind, even if a weak trough splits away to the north. The GFS has already displayed gross feedback errors with this system. It was the GFS which originally split away the northern part of the wave and took it through the Yucatan channel into Florida. That never happened. It's been playing catchup with reality ever since.


Not according to the models that move this poleward. Review and correct yourself. I think its been a fair compromise between the multi-model consensus rather than any individual model.
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Quoting 1416. Patrap:
No Tequila fer yous, 92L


Some Shiner Bock or Deep Eddy Vodka?
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1458. hydrus
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So, hypothetically speaking. If the ULL were to develop a llc, become subtropical, ultimately drifting off to the north and impacting the northern Gulf of Mexico. While the 92L llc currently present does survive, maybe develops into a TD and goes into Mexico/Texas. Would it be fair to say that the models were all correct? As well as everyone here?
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92L is annoying as hell and fascinating as hell at the same jadfkahsdgf time!

Its frustrating! 

I dont really know what to think :(

We have a very potent ULL plowing it's way toward an organized but naked LLC...Now what happens?  Does the LLC die because the ULL is stealing its convection...Or do the two of them merge to form a complete, slightly unpredictable system?

Perhaps the LLC dies and the ULL forms its own LLC  and we see development there???

I are confusedededed
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1455. Patrap
..Get Back 92L'

Get back to where you once belonged...


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Quoting 1451. oceanspringsMS:


Cane you are right. We did have some clear sky last night, but has been far and few between this month


It get's old after a while. I just hope for a dry Fall and winter...
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This ain't Erin....

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Lol you got to love weak systems. They generate such an unique discussion in this blog. Really cool theories come to light. Strong Hurricanes are cool for tracking, but weak systems and the strange things they do are cool for learning new things...
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Quoting 1432. CaneHunter031472:


So cool... Unfortunately i am in the Mississippi gulf coast and we have been under overcast pretty much for ever. Lol Biloxi Mississippi the Seattle of the south...


Cane you are right. We did have some clear sky last night, but has been far and few between this month
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I'm on a tropical cyclone archive spree right now. Now this is an interesting one. Typhoon Dolphin in Dec. of 2008.

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1449. Patrap
Its da "Blue Kachina"
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ULL has worked its way down to the surface, as all indications are of a warm core symmetrical system, as the earlier low level circulation is convection less and ejected SW. Thus as the new center, it is poised to feel a stronger tug from the trough/ weak front that is located above the north gulf coast. I firmly believe that this system will come in around the central Texas coast with some development into a moderate tropical storm as conditions are decent, and the fact that the western gulf has not been tapped into yet. As 92l is currently stationary, one can reckon that it is under weak steering and may eventually move due north into LA/FL which was shown by the models initially. The fact is however wherever this system comes ashore, convection and moisture will be shunted NE towards the FL panhandle and Georgia through the saturated Middle Atlantic states, and eventually towards the outer banks. Texas should get some beneficial rain out of this, which may alleviate drought conditions. I am hoping for a scenario when the system moves West into Texas, and into New Mexico to alleviate drought conditions there.

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1442. hurricanes2018 is that a bad thing.
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1446. dolig
Quoting 1424. CybrTeddy:
For any of you astronomy geeks like myself, get your telescopes out and find this supernova that has been sighted in the night sky.




Called Nova Dephinus 2013, the new nova (Latin for "new star") was discovered Wednesday (Aug. 14) by amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) in the constellation Delphinus, the Dolphin
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td erin is eatting up the dry air
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Quoting 1437. dfwstormwatch:
so 2 GFS  Ensembles and 1 ATCF model means a MS landfall is possible? The system has jogged SW the past 6 hours, and there is almost nothing that could turn it NE in that way.

Read why it is possible from some of the more experienced bloggers. In my eyes the old low is dissipating the ULL is filling in and working down to the surface farther to the northeast.
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this is crazy the modeles are going back to the west!
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1441. Levi32
Quoting 1436. Drakoen:
Interestingly enough, the GFS runs have featured a split in the 850mb vorticity with the poleward vorticity becoming more dominant as the vorticity shear takes place due to the deep layered trough advecting down the Mississippi River Valley.


No doubt 92L's vorticity will stretch towards the central gulf coast, but the lowest pressures seem likely to be left behind, even if a weak trough splits away to the north. The GFS has already displayed gross feedback errors with this system. It was the GFS which originally split away the northern part of the wave and took it through the Yucatan channel into Florida. That never happened. It's been playing catchup with reality ever since.
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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