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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Erin having another nice convective blowup near the center.

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Quoting 886. Sfloridacat5:
Just too much dry air for rapid development.
as I have said.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 884. Tropicsweatherpr:
African Wave about to make the splash into the water.

I see 2 waves and 1 is naked?
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Quoting 883. hydrus:
I duuno..Models or no models, i do not trust any spin in the gulf this time of year..And I see a lot of spin..
Yea this is interesting one and hard one for models. A new day may change everything.
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Quoting 877. Tornado6042008X:
GT, where is this area of interest right now? Is it the area between 40 and 50 w 10 to 15 n?
Correctomundo. :D
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Just too much dry air for rapid development. Just notice all the moisture over the Eastern GOM. That's the environment 92L needs.
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Quoting 865. MisterPerfect:


A little far down the line, but I sort of fear big bad Lorenzo rolling the Atlantic in his Benzo'

But yeah, Gabrielle does sound like a hurricane name for sure.
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.



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African Wave about to make the splash into the water.

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I duuno..Models or no models, i do not trust any spin in the gulf this time of year..And I see a lot of spin..
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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.
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Quoting 867. ncstorm:


great..

well for the 5 people that blog here from NC, I dont want to scare you but the CFS run ensembles shows some getting pretty close to NC..(pattern)


North of you here in VA, I am left a little uneasy by that lol.
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880. xcool
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.
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FERNAND.

(think fernando, without the O)

Quoting 870. violet312s:
If 92L ever forms y'all are going to need to learn how to spell Ferdinand.
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Quoting 804. GTstormChaserCaleb:
GEM Ensemble Spread likes the AOI in the Central Atlantic and gets close to the East Coast.

GT, where is this area of interest right now? Is it the area between 40 and 50 w 10 to 15 n?
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Quoting 867. ncstorm:


great..

well for the 5 people that blog here from NC, I dont want to scare you but the CFS run ensembles shows some getting pretty close to NC..(pattern)


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.
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AOI at 13 North 47 West coming into view on the NAM:



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to far north add a fish storm lets see all the fish storm we get this year!
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Quoting 870. violet312s:
If 92L ever forms y'all are going to need to learn how to spell Ferdinand.


Remember Debby or Debbie..LOL
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Quoting 869. Levi32:
All GFS ensemble members keep 92L weak in the Gulf of Mexico. GFS ensemble track/intensity plots are now available here.

Levi are you doing a video today?
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18z NAM at 84 hours - stalled out Low with some nice rain for South Texas
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If 92L ever forms y'all are going to need to learn how to spell Ferdinand.
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All GFS ensemble members keep 92L weak in the Gulf of Mexico. GFS ensemble track/intensity plots are now available here.

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Quoting 857. SuperStorm093:


I have constantly said it, wind shear is going to keep many of the storms in check coming off the coast of Africa, and not as much instability this year in the Atlantic. IT will be hard to see strong storms in the Atlantic, I think the ones that do will curve OTS.
I think you are 100% right all the storm come off of Africa to far north! that why you are getting weak tropical storm hit the dry air
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Quoting 804. GTstormChaserCaleb:
GEM Ensemble Spread likes the AOI in the Central Atlantic and gets close to the East Coast.



great..

well for the 5 people that blog here from NC, I dont want to scare you but the CFS run ensembles shows some getting pretty close to NC..(pattern)
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Quoting 864. PalmBeachWeather:
Do you have 3 pens in your shirt pocket?

no, but my husband does ;)
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Quoting 860. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Well assuming 92L becomes Fernand, how fitting for Gabrielle to become this seasons first hurricane and perhaps first major hurricane if the GFS long range is to be correct.


A little far down the line, but I sort of fear big bad Lorenzo rolling the Atlantic in his Benzo'

But yeah, Gabrielle does sound like a hurricane name for sure.
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Quoting 856. hurricanehanna:


Nerds/geeks rule! :)
Do you have 3 pens in your shirt pocket?
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Caught western half of Pewa.

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18z NAM giving some parts of Texas what they need.
A week low pressure with some rain.
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Quoting 835. CybrTeddy:




Refresh your post. I mean it's a waste of a name for a powerful sounding hurricane. Dorian too.


Yes. Agree.
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Quoting 843. ncstorm:
that is going to be one beauty that comes off Africa

Well assuming 92L becomes Fernand, how fitting for Gabrielle to become this seasons first hurricane and perhaps first major hurricane if the GFS long range is to be correct.
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Quoting 843. ncstorm:
that is going to be one beauty that comes off Africa

that is 100% a fish storm!! way to far to the north.
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Good evening..Just got in looks like the ULL is winning the war so far..

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Quoting 848. Tribucanes:


You have downcasted the season, which is fine if you can put some science and reason behind it; no problem. Haven't seen you do that at all. It's just almost all your posts are on how nothing is going to happen, this system looks horrible and won't develop, and this season will be a bust. Just add a little substance to it and it'd be fine, that's all.


I have constantly said it, wind shear is going to keep many of the storms in check coming off the coast of Africa, and not as much instability this year in the Atlantic. IT will be hard to see strong storms in the Atlantic, I think the ones that do will curve OTS.
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Quoting 845. PensacolaDoug:



Me too. Are we nerds or what?


Nerds/geeks rule! :)
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Quoting 845. PensacolaDoug:



Me too. Are we nerds or what?
I wear glasses, so that automatically qualifies me as one. :P
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Quoting 818. SELAliveforthetropic:
Some people saying this could be subtropical.... Why are they saying this?

I believe, and someone correct me if I am wrong,but in a subtropical system, the winds are higher further out from the center of circulation as opposed to a normal cyclone, where the winds are higher at the center
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Weren't we supposed to be getting something better than ASCAT? Seriously.
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Quoting 804. GTstormChaserCaleb:
GEM Ensemble Spread likes the AOI in the Central Atlantic and gets close to the East Coast.

lets hope its not a fish. we have seen way too many the last couple of years. lets get some unique tracks :P
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Quoting 846. CaneHunter031472:


All it needs to do now is to get some convection around that CoC and bring some needed rains to Texas. As a weak system.


Watch it go due N and put TX on the dry side. That would certainly suck.
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Quoting 831. AtHomeInTX:


Yeah, fingers crossed. :)


I'm still in denial... :)
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Quoting 840. SuperStorm093:
Never said a bust season, season is DEF not over, and others have said it looks bad lol. Not just me.


You have downcasted the season, which is fine if you can put some science and reason behind it; no problem. Haven't seen you do that at all. It's just almost all your posts are on how nothing is going to happen, this system looks horrible and won't develop, and this season will be a bust. Just add a little substance to it and it'd be fine, that's all.
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GFS Forecast 1000 hPa Winds
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All it needs to do now is to get some convection around that CoC and bring some needed rains to Texas. As a weak system.
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Quoting 827. ncstorm:
I know every piece of scenery in the GOM due to the many radar loops of it..



Me too. Are we nerds or what?
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A GULF OF MEXICO/YUCATAN PENINSULA TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 91W TO
THE SOUTH OF 25N. IT HAS BEEN MOVING AWAY FROM LAND SINCE THE
LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING HOURS OF TODAY. A 1009 MB LOW PRESSURE
CENTER IS ALONG THE TROPICAL WAVE NEAR 21.5N. A MIDDLE LEVEL TO
UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER IS NEAR 22N90W.
COMPARATIVELY DRIER AIR IN WATER VAPOR IMAGERY COVERS THE GULF
OF MEXICO TO THE SOUTH OF 25N TO THE WEST OF 90W. CONVECTIVE
PRECIPITATION...SCATTERED STRONG FROM 18N TO 21N BETWEEN 86W AND
87W...AND FROM 21N TO 25N BETWEEN 87W AND 90W. THIS
PRECIPITATION IS ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE WAVE. IT IS POSSIBLE
THAT ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS MAY BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR
DEVELOPMENT INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE IF THE LOW MOVES TOWARD THE
WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ANYBODY
WITH INTERESTS IN THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THE SYSTEM THROUGH THE WEEKEND. THE LOW
CENTER WOULD MOVE INTO A LESS CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR
DEVELOPMENT IF IT WERE TO MOVE MORE NORTHWARD TRACK. THIS SYSTEM
HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A HIGH CHANCE OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.
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that is going to be one beauty that comes off Africa

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842. L1990
Quoting 832. ncstorm:


well thats a good thing right? I mean we not on here to track monsters that will cause death and destruction.


i look at it this way... we have absolutley no control over what the weather is going to do... so when a big bad hurricane decides to form... im gonna enjoy looking at it ... i dont wish death or destruction upon anyone... but i will enjoy mother natures beauty and appreciate it... because like i said... its out of our hands
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92L



You know he's got that look
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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