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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"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

~ 92L, 1776


Looks to me like the northern GOM remains a player, at least for the wx associated with the system.
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Quoting 931. islander101010:
94 ill take the 45w wave. what does taz think?




????
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From Okaloosa County Florida (Destin/Ft Walton Beach) Public Safety Dept – 1:45 pm CDT 16 Aug, 2013

Attached are the slides from this afternoon’s conference call with the NWS Mobile. We do not expect a direct impact from 92L. The main impact will be along the coastal area with high surf and dangerous rip currents. The system itself is expected to go onshore in Texas. However, another low pressure system is forecast to form on the Louisiana coast and move east. This will be a cold core system and will not gain tropical characteristics. The system will however produce heavy rain and will impact our county tonight into Monday. The south end of Okaloosa County can expect up to 4 - 5 inches of rain through the weekend causing localized flooding issues in problem areas. North Okaloosa could see 2 - 3 inches which will impact area rivers. The Shoal River is forecast to reach 8.1 feet south of Crestview which is just above flood stage. At this time we do not expect river flooding to impact and residential or business interests. The Dorcas area will require monitoring for possible flash flooding.


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Quoting 933. Tropicsweatherpr:
A low has been added at 46W.



:-)

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Do we get sub tropical systems in western GOM mid August?
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Here is south Louisiana we are preparing for worst and hoping for the best. I have heard reports that Joe the storm magnet is setting up shop in the Morgan City LA area waiting on whatever 92L can throw at us.
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A low has been added at 46W.

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Poor Texans, hopefully they don't have this ridiculousness again.
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94 ill take the 45w wave. what does taz think?
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Looks like a little Fujiwhara action going on between the two lows.
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Quoting 924. xtremeweathertracker:
I've been watching that 5 day precip forecast map and 92L not looking like Texas in this map.
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Good day,
And an interesting one watching the interaction of 92L and the little ULL, which as indicated were on a collision course with low-mid level flow steering it into the shear axis. The ULL has done it's job in disrupting further organization since yesterday, shoving off / replacing the favorable anticyclone aloft... robbing 92L of it's convection and mid level vorticity, in the process causing further vertical misalignment - GFS layer analysis indicates steady tilt to NE in height, esp 700 mb on up (right into the ULL) - while also introducing dry air and shearing northwesterly winds presently right over what is clearly a well-defined low level circulation NW of Yucatan.



Yes, it would appear 92L could become a subtropical cyclone, but couple things right now I see being unfavorable in that scenario is the fact the ULL and the 92L's sfc swirl are not perfectly co-located, appears still over 100 miles distance apart, plus of greater significance, BOTH features remain solidly tight circulations, more importantly that the ULL is such... In other words, if the ULL was a much broader circulation encompassing 92L, could see more cohesive development regarding less shear / dry air and more centralized convection building around the LLC. The GFS does and has been indicating a weakening ULL so we'll see... although beyond that other factors come into play that are potentially disruptive.
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Quoting 925. LargoFl:

That's me! Poor Viking, I think he hates all this rain.
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A Texas landfall of 92L will not bring beneficial rain fall. The energy at the mid level could move the rain to the E.
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
509 PM EDT FRI AUG 16 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN CHATHAM COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST GEORGIA...
SOUTH CENTRAL JASPER COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA...

* UNTIL 715 PM EDT

* AT 506 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
THUNDERSTORMS WITH TORRENTIAL RAINFALL AFFECTING MUCH OF NORTHERN
CHATHAM COUNTY AND EXTENDING EAST INTO SOUTHERN JASPER COUNTY.
UP TO 2 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN COULD FALL THROUGH 715 PM WITH
LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS APPROACHING 4 INCHES. THIS WILL RESULT
IN AREAS OF FLASH FLOODING.

* FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED IN AND AROUND...
BELLINGER HILL AREA...GARDEN CITY...POOLER...SAVANNAH AIRPORT...
PORT WENTWORTH...
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Quoting 914. PalmBeachWeather:
I may be just rambling like I normally do...But these people that wish for a major,or maybe a cat 2 or 3 have obviously have been through the hell of a bad hurricane...Trust me...Your wish isn't really what you want. Not fun at all....


Amen Palm. Preaching to the choir.
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920. Kyon5

Quoting 913. tropicfreak:
Expect 94L here shortly.

If you look closely, the wave is coming off at a lower latitude than the wave that spawned Erin did. It will be very interesting to see how this evolves.
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Quoting 913. tropicfreak:
Expect 94L here shortly.


More south this time. Maybe this will be our Caribbean tracker!
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Quoting 913. tropicfreak:
Expect 94L here shortly.

yep,I expect it too.
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Quoting 891. tropicfreak:
Erin having another nice convective blowup near the center.


"yawns"

lol
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Quoting 906. Jedkins01:
Wow it has been the worst disappointment for rainfall anticipation in a long time. Deep tropical moisture in place but yet rainfall has been extremely isolated over the last couple days, to the degree of what you expect with a pattern dominated by subsidence.

Yes mid level lapse rates are pretty weak and there has been periods of high clouds. However, that still doesn't account for just how much rainfall has lacked. I've seen VERY similar scenarios produce very rainy weather with periods of heavy tropical rain streaming off the gulf.

I haven't even seen even low level cumulus of any kind since yesterday. It looks like we had a winter cold front come through. No convection of ant kind...


What's even more weird, is that we were extremely wet for all of June into the first half of July. However much of the area has been below normal since about July 20th.

In fact, this is the driest start to August in 6 years here, some of my grass even starting to brown, weird...
yes we here could use some of its rains but it looks like north and the panhandle will get most of it..today 50% and I got 3 drops early this morning.
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915. JLPR2
Quoting 889. Gearsts:
I see 2 waves and 1 is naked?


There's one, which is still more or less a day inland, the other one seems to be a mid-level spin that developed from the large convective complex that formed ahead of it.

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I may be just rambling like I normally do...But these people that wish for a major,or maybe a cat 2 or 3 have obviously have not been through the hell of a bad hurricane...Trust me...Your wish isn't really what you want. Not fun at all....
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Expect 94L here shortly.

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People, read that list more carefully.

it's not ferdinand, or ferdnand, it's FERNAND

Quoting 893. ohzone:


Never. We will spell it like we say it: Ferdnand. Whose idea was it to name a storm after a king?



You are correct, I'm just trying to put it in a way that people will stop mis-spelling it XD

Quoting 910. Chucktown:


Note the pronunciation - It's fair-Nahn. The D is silent, per NHC.

Link
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Quoting 885. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The 2001 version of Hurricane Gabrielle came through the West Coast of FL. and made landfall in Sarasota FL. not too far south from Tampa Bay.



Roughest TS I ever personally experienced in the eastern 'burbs of Tampa.
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Quoting 878. evilpenguinshan:
FERNAND.

(think fernando, without the O)



Note the pronunciation - It's fair-Nahn. The D is silent, per NHC.

Link
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908. 7544
looks like 92l is just goin to sit and spin for a while

still alot of dry air in the atlantic for aanything to get goin .

models shows the wave by 40 as afish and the other one after that the same .

looks like what some say here we may have to wait till sept to track a real system .
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Quoting 892. nola70119:
Keep in mind the heavy moisture with a system like 92 is often way off to the NE.......
That is so true. Even with Texas landfall there is no guarantee Texas gets beneficial rain.
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Wow it has been the worst disappointment for rainfall anticipation in a long time. Deep tropical moisture in place but yet rainfall has been extremely isolated over the last couple days, to the degree of what you expect with a pattern dominated by subsidence.

Yes mid level lapse rates are pretty weak and there has been periods of high clouds. However, that still doesn't account for just how much rainfall has lacked. I've seen VERY similar scenarios produce very rainy weather with periods of heavy tropical rain streaming off the gulf.

I haven't even seen even low level cumulus of any kind since yesterday. It looks like we had a winter cold front come through. No convection of ant kind...


What's even more weird, is that we were extremely wet for all of June into the first half of July. However much of the area has been below normal since about July 20th.

In fact, this is the driest start to August in 6 years here, some of my grass even starting to brown, weird...
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It's been pretty dry in Louisiana lately.
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92 may just be too shallow for the major models to pick up on and a lot of dry air high up,might just turn hybrid on us in the days to come and surprise us
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Quoting 876. Doss2k:


Yeah unfortunately historically speaking we are due here for a bigger storm. Fran was fun and all but I was also 16 when she blew through. Now that I actually have to pay for things getting damaged not quite as much fun. Andrea was already kind enough to help me locate a small leak in the roof.


Nice to see someone gain a perspective with age. Any storm that is a "bust", or season that is a "bust", is a good event for us that live on the coast.
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Quoting 899. TimSoCal:


Just in time for it to go thru its first DMAX over water. This one should be fun to watch.
maybe 94L.
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Quoting 900. Civicane49:
we need a storm like that.
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Quoting 884. Tropicsweatherpr:
African Wave about to splash into the water.



Just in time for it to go thru its first DMAX over water. This one should be fun to watch.
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Quoting 882. SuperStorm093:
Who cares what HWRF model shows with the african wave, it has 92L reaching MAJOR hurricane status and hitting mexico lol. That model cannot be trusted.

Look here it does show a hurricane not major...enough said..
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Quoting 855. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I wear glasses, so that automatically qualifies me as one. :P
Sorry...Guess so...If they have black frames that adds another 17 points....I didn't make the rules
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Quoting 872. Gearsts:
Levi are you doing a video today?


Probably in a couple hours.
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Quoting 886. Sfloridacat5:
Just too much dry air for rapid development. Just notice all the moisture over the Eastern GOM. That's the environment 92L needs.


Not too dry to inhibit development. The browns aren't at all bright.
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Quoting 870. violet312s:
If 92L ever forms y'all are going to need to learn how to spell Ferdinand.


Never. We will spell it like we say it: Ferdnand. Whose idea was it to name a storm after a king?
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Keep in mind the heavy moisture with a system like 92 is often way off to the NE.......
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Erin having another nice convective blowup near the center.

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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