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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1191. Patrap
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1186. moonlightcowboy:



No, they did not merge. They may have been inhibited, sheared, dissipated or otherwise positively influenced, ventilated and made stronger, but they most assuredly did NOT become a two-into-one system.


mlc read the final post-analysis of Lee at the NHC, then let us know what happened.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1189. RickWPB
Quoting sar2401:

What a nimrod. No models at all for 92L show it developing. (snip) How embarrassing.


Chad Myers (CNN) is a real piece of work. He loves to hear the sound of his own voice.
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Quoting 1184. moonlightcowboy:


Whatever. Those didn't merge. Name one that did.


Huh?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1187. Patrap
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
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
&&
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1185. Levi32:


Lol. Ok.



No, they did not merge. They may have been inhibited, sheared, dissipated or otherwise positively influenced, ventilated and made stronger, but they most assuredly did NOT become a two-into-one system.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1185. Levi32
Quoting 1184. moonlightcowboy:


Whatever. Those didn't merge. Name one that did.


Lol. Ok.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1180. Levi32:


Gee I dunno...off the top of my recent memory we had ex-Dorian do it this year, and Lee in 2011 did it. Countless other disturbances and/or storms I have seen move under a ULL. It's nothing special lol.


Whatever. Those didn't merge. Name one that did.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
STS Andrea 2007:

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1182. VR46L
Watching the big picture .. the front seems to be about to capture the east of 92L... I really see a large rain event for Northern Gulf ... but doubt a storm for Western Gulf

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1181. sar2401
Quoting unknowncomic:
Gulf storm 'could explode at any time'

Link

What a nimrod. No models at all for 92L show it, but that sucker could explode at any time. OTOH, Erin is a dead duck, just forget, it has no chance. The AMS must be giving out certifications from Cracker Jack boxes lately. How embarrassing.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1180. Levi32
Quoting 1176. moonlightcowboy:



And, you have, Levi? Please do share. Two distinct different elements, distanced apart, and then come together and do this. I'll be interested knowing when it was, because I surely cannot remember such. I'm not talking about ULL's finding their way to the surface and becoming a storm. Two entirely different things.


Gee I dunno...off the top of my recent memory we had ex-Dorian do it this year, and Lee in 2011 did it. Countless other disturbances and/or storms I have seen move under a ULL. It's nothing special lol.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1174. GetReal:



Which ever circulation wins this system is going nowhere fast... I would not expect any definitive movement in any direction for the next 12 to 18 hours... For now a very slow drift in a northerly direction is most likely.





Exactly, and you can be for sure the models don't have a handle on this!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1167. CosmicEvents:
Since the NHC is kinda' non-commital...I'll say that it looks like the ULL and LLC are aligning as we blog. You can see the ULL moistening the environment in a moment of meteorological foreplay.
.


Yes and that convection is filling nicely to the south of the circulation north of the Yucutan. It does have the appearance at least of a new dominant center trying to form in that area. Sustained convection will certainly help.

That old LLC that has been hanging out west of Yucutan all day is a distant memory.
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It's completely wrapped around the ULL giving an eye like appearance something similar to STS Andrea in 2007.

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Quoting 1169. Levi32:


Say what?



And, you have, Levi? Please do share. Two distinct different elements, distanced apart, and then come together and do this. I'll be interested knowing when it was, because I surely cannot remember such. I'm not talking about ULL's finding their way to the surface and becoming a storm. Two entirely different things.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1175. Levi32
18z GFDL ensembles:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1174. GetReal
Quoting 1142. CaneHunter031472:


Interesting. Looks like the vortex to the north won. Heading straight for Texas



Which ever circulation wins this system is going nowhere fast... I would not expect any definitive movement in any direction for the next 12 to 18 hours... For now a very slow drift in a northerly direction is most likely.


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1173. JLPR2
Come on Erin, I want a hurricane or at least a 70mph storm out of you. Even if it happens as it moves out to sea.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1107. washingtonian115:
Did someone say fish..


Discus
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1171. sar2401
Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
Probably going back up to a Tropical Storm at 11 PM. Who would've thought?

Of course, a single ship report is kind of like using a PWS and placing a lot of faith in it. Very few ships have calibrated anemometers, and it's common, assuming it's a tanker or container ship, for the anemometer to be mounted 40 or so meters high on the mast, so you're likely to get a falsely high reading in any case.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Gulf storm 'could explode at any time'

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1169. Levi32
Quoting 1168. moonlightcowboy:



I've watched the tropics a lot of years, and I've seen a lot of things. And, I've seen ULL's find the surface and make up storms. But, ain't never seen a surface low and a ULL come together, Fujiwhara, merge and become what? Part baroclinic? Part warm-core? Strangeness indeed. ;()


Say what?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1162. Rmadillo:


Maybe new Earth Atmo 10.0 with 2% more WV is pulling a fast one.



I've watched the tropics a lot of years, and I've seen a lot of things. And, I've seen ULL's find the surface and make up storms. But, ain't never seen a surface low and a ULL come together, Fujiwhara, merge and become what? Part baroclinic? Part warm-core? Strangeness indeed. ;()
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Since the NHC is kinda' non-commital...I'll say that it looks like the ULL and LLC are aligning as we blog. You can see the ULL moistening the environment in a moment of meteorological foreplay.
.
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This is crazy! 92L is literally stuck in this kind of steering part of it will want to go north and part of it south.

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92L old LLC seems to be weakening as the ULL begins to work its way down to the surface as mentioned already by the blog. Convection wrapping around it now as the old LLC dances around it. It may end up getting absorb and finally develop into TD06. Base on the increase of convection over the new dominating center. I completely disagree with the NHC lower it to 40% when its finally organizing I guess they think the old LLC is not consolidating thus lower it. Personally would have at least keep it at 50% or bump it up 60% chance of developing and 70% in the next 5 days.



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1164. sar2401
Quoting Rmadillo:
North GOM... As I have mentioned throughout today, should be aware of possible weather approaching related to 92L... If not actual landfall somewhere from Houma LA to Mobile AL, as I see it currently.

Certainly will adjust my prognosis if need be, but for now I feel it is acceptable possibility due to the trough to the north.

I'm headed the opposite direction - Houma LA to Brownsville TX. It appears the convection associated with the ULL is now starting to get pulled westward by the low. Given the continuing weakness and disorganization, it seems more and more unlikely this will ever become more than a tropical wave. I'm hoping it goes far enough west that the east side will still carry enough moisture to give Texas at least a few inches of rain.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1163. SLU
Quoting 1161. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Probably going back up to a Tropical Storm at 11 PM. Who would've thought?


yes it should but the NHC might be conservative.
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Quoting 1159. moonlightcowboy:



MLC <-------scratches head perplexed.

3-Dimensional Atmospheric Fujiwhara?

Unprecedented?


Maybe new Earth Atmo 10.0 with 2% more WV is pulling a fast one.
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Quoting 1158. SLU:
Ship reports of near 40kt winds near the center of Erin shows that she's stronger than expected.

2200utc 18.50n -33.402 40.0kts

Probably going back up to a Tropical Storm at 11 PM. Who would've thought?
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Enough with the rain already in PC. We just left the Dollar Store and I happened to walk past the storm drain cover. It was full to the lid. Not good. We're at least getting a little break the past couple hours but more is on the way.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1142. CaneHunter031472:


Interesting. Looks like the vortex to the north won. Heading straight for Texas



MLC <------------------scratches head perplexed.

3-Dimensional Atmospheric Fujiwhara?

Unprecedented?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1158. SLU
Ship reports of near 40kt winds near the center of Erin shows that she's stronger than expected.

2200utc 18.50n -33.402 40.0kts

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Never turn your back on a Yucutan seed.
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1156. Patrap
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
40%-50%

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS LOCATED OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN GULF OF
MEXICO ABOUT 110 MILES NORTHWEST OF CAMPECHE MEXICO. THIS SYSTEM
REMAINS POORLY ORGANIZED WITH ANY ASSOCIATED SHOWER AND
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY LOCATED WELL TO THE EAST AND NORTHEAST OF THE
LOW CENTER. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS COULD BECOME SOMEWHAT MORE
FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT WHILE THE LOW GENERALLY MOVES TOWARD THE
WEST-NORTHWEST OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. INTERESTS IN THE
CENTRAL AND WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
THE SYSTEM THROUGH THE WEEKEND. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER HONOLULU HI
200 PM HST FRI AUG 16 2013

FOR THE CENTRAL NORTH PACIFIC...BETWEEN 140W AND 180

1. THE CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON
TROPICAL STORM PEWA...LOCATED 1350 MILES SOUTHWEST OF LIHUE
KAUAI...UNDER AWIPS HEADER TCMCP4 AND WMO HEADER WTPA24 PHFO.

2. AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE CENTERED ABOUT 900 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
KAUAI IS MOVING WEST NEAR 15 MPH. THUNDERSTORMS HAVE DECREASED IN
COVERAGE ALONG THE EASTERN FLANK OF THIS SYSTEM IN THE PAST SIX
HOURS...AND IT HAS HAS BEGUN TO MOVE INTO THE NORTHEAST EDGE OF THE
CIRCULATION AROUND TROPICAL STORM PEWA...MAKING CONDITIONS LESS
CONDUCIVE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...10
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

3. A SURFACE TROUGH ABOUT 450 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF HILO HAWAII
IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AS IT MOVES WEST
NEAR 20 MPH. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR FURTHER
DEVELOPMENT...AND THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...NO TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE EXPECTED THROUGH SUNDAY
AFTERNOON.

$$

DWROE
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1148. Stoopid1:
If the ULL is indeed dominant, or becoming so, then this would put the eastern gulf back in play more. Very dynamic situation.


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North GOM... As I have mentioned throughout today, should be aware of possible weather approaching related to 92L... If not actual landfall somewhere from Houma LA to Mobile AL, as I see it currently.

Certainly will adjust my prognosis if need be, but for now I feel it is acceptable possibility due to the trough to the north.
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1151. Patrap
In the Evening'

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Margaret Orr with WDSU showed their station's model for 92L, and it showed what looked like a TD or TS going into land at Lafayette, LA.

Most of the spaghetti plots now going to Mexico or Texas though.

For now it looks like the ULL is by far dominating the region, so it doesn't look like any major strengthening will happen any time soon.
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1149. RkptMom
Quoting 1121. oceanspringsMS:
Seen a few post from people in the C.C.,TX area Lived in Refugio and CC from 1980 until 2000. Really started to dry up around 1990. Still make business trips to Aransas Pass and Brownsville about every 6 weeks. I can't ever remember it being this dry in that area, and that includes when I would visit my grandparents in Brownsville in the 60's and early 70's. Actually bought lake front on CC lake in
1989. When we dumped it 1999, the lake was about 60 feet from our pier.


There was a fire in the lake bed over New Year's Eve/Day. That's pretty dry!
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If the ULL is indeed dominant, or becoming so, then this would put the eastern gulf back in play more. Very dynamic situation.
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Looks as if the GFS is yielding some sub-1000 mb storms. Interesting to see how they steer if they develop...I still remember Ike's funky turn southwestward.

Burrito

:o)
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1146. mrmombq
Quoting 1135. Levi32:
Good evening.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, August 16th, with Video
Thanks Levi awesome as usual
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Shortwave diving down over Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. If the llc forms further to the northeast the models will be way off and have to adjust to the right. We will see.

Link
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Quoting 1132. Patrap:
Looks almost as if the surface Vort is spinning out, and the overall is beginning to Win.

Quoting 1134. MississippiWx:
The naked low level swirl we've been watching all day is finally on the move...to the SSE. Makes me wonder if something is beginning to happen at the surface underneath the upper low and the naked low is beginning to be absorbed by a different swirl.

..Or, the low level swirl is feeling a tug by the intense convection over the Yucatan that has recently fired up. Interesting scenario, to say the least.

Quoting 1138. nrtiwlnvragn:
Also wondering if the lower level swirl is now beginning to rotate around the ULL that seems to be working downward. The ULL has been stationary a while now.
Quoting 1139. CybrTeddy:
Seems to be the old LLC that we've been tracking is dying out and beginning to rotate around a new LLC, the former ULL that had been hampering the original circulation, is working its way down to the surface while injecting heat into the atmosphere. This is supported by satellite showing the vort max we've been tracking beginning to broaden out and move SW in accordance with the possibility of a new low forming to the north.


Lol. Wow. High support.
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great vid!
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Interesting. Looks like the vortex to the north won. Heading straight for Texas
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Great video Levi.
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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