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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Quoting 735. tropicfreak:


Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, am I seeing 2 circulations? There is one that is exposed, and another underneath the convection where it seems to be trying to wrap around.


I see the naked swirl to the west and some circulation off to the northeast of it as well.
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740. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
90C looks good as well, maybe 2 CPAC storms?


CP, 90, 2013081618, BEST, 0, 126N, 1663W, 25, 1008, DB

tropical disturbance from ATCF.

RSMC Honolulu has really dropped the potential of 90C for development earlier this afternoon.
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Quoting 735. tropicfreak:


Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, am I seeing 2 circulations? There is one that is exposed, and another underneath the convection where it seems to be trying to wrap around.

One is 92L and the other is the ull closing in and trying to stack with the llc.
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Quoting 735. tropicfreak:


Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, am I seeing 2 circulations? There is one that is exposed, and another underneath the convection where it seems to be trying to wrap around.

It does appear that a secondary circulation just northwest of the naked LLC is competing for dominance!!
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Hmmm, so 92L is projected to go into Texas?? SWLA could really use the rain.
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Quoting 731. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, am I seeing 2 circulations? There is one that is exposed, and another underneath the convection where it seems to be trying to wrap around.
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This delay in development for 92L can in some aspects be a blessing, since it won't have as much time to strengthen. I can see this be a mid-grade, maybe a strong TS.
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Quoting 715. sar2401:

True, but horrendous is still horrendous. :-) 92L has had a lot of time and decent conditions to get organized but still hasn't done so. With time running out, it has to do something soon or it will never be more than a tropical wave.
The irony would be that it didn`t develop in the Caribbean with condtions that are better than they are in the gulf now.
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Quoting 724. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Yep this would suggest active times ahead, some for the fishes, some for the land.

fish storms are expected only this year there wont be as much as the last 4 seasons. 2004 had plenty of fish storms too. read this its pretty interesting

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/Weather456/recur ving-vs-landfalling-cape-verde-hurricanes
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New WV Frame shows the bubbling continues.

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90C looks good as well, maybe 2 CPAC storms?

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Push, pull, and tug, 92L caught in that steering.

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92l fixin' to put on a show, seems. Certainly looking better than I expected. (Or maybe 6 hours of PowerPoint has rotted my brain?)
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725. JLPR2
I see this one isn't been mentioned today. It's trying to build a better spin but still nothing defined.





11-12N 45W
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Quoting 719. wunderweatherman123:
92L isnt a significant threat, a nice rainmaker for texas would be welcomed. watch africa. we are about to start going down the name list with most of the storms developing into hurricanes. gonna be fun to track
Yep this would suggest active times ahead, some for the fishes, some for the land.

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Quoting 701. xtremeweathertracker:

Looks like some storms starting to slowing fire around the LLC Pat!!!

YES.
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
1238 PM CDT Friday Aug 16 2013



Short term...

interesting situation appears to be developing across the Gulf
that will likely have some impacts upon the forecast area Saturday
evening. For today...a gradual increase in low level moisture to
maintain isolated convective coverage today along with slightly
cooler than normal temperatures around 90. Overnight lows to
settle in the lower to middle 70s. Now for Saturday...we have
discounted the GFS solution as a fully believable scenario...but
it may be indicating other dynamics in play. This forecast package
will be based on the tropical disturbance in the lower Gulf
emerging off the Yucatan Peninsula moving westward towards upper
Mexico. Water vapor imagery clearly shows a well defined middle and
upper level low that has been moving southwestward towards the
peninsula and beginning to stack over whatever surface convergence
that may be in place. This should result in a more defined
development of a surface low pressure system that may become
classified sometime in the next 24-48 hours. Meanwhile...the upper
jet structure responding to digging trough and vorticity bounce
from Gulf system is likely to result in a wake depression low
pressure response that moves north in the mean upper flow. This
appears to be what the GFS is indicating...and to a lesser extent
the European model (ecmwf) and NAM. From a sensible weather standpoint...this
should be a highly transitory feature that will move north around
30-40 kts to activate convection in the frontolytic zone near the
Gulf Coast. A convective feedback process that enhances winds...seas
and tide levels for a short period Saturday night. Rainfall can
also be pronounced...as indicated by HPC quantitative precipitation forecast guidance...with
heavier amounts off the coast. At this time...will indicate
slightly above normal tides along the MS coast in the 1-2 feet
range...rainfall accumulations 1-3 inches with locally higher
amounts again over the immediate MS coast area. Marine wind gusts
may likely exceed gale force briefly but will be due to convection
and should be handled with special marine warnings when the time
warrants.
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I am wondering if we are seeing a center relocation where the convection is starting to fire.
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92L isnt a significant threat, a nice rainmaker for texas would be welcomed. watch africa. we are about to start going down the name list with most of the storms developing into hurricanes. gonna be fun to track
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Quoting 707. Patrap:


The Flue is open a tad, we have ignition in 3 primary bands..

All quads now involved.


It wants us to keep guessing it is forming a big question mark!
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Coming together nicely I believe, considering what has happened with this system.
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Quoting allancalderini:
I have seen worse looking Sar,Danny and Henri were horrendous.

True, but horrendous is still horrendous. :-) 92L has had a lot of time and decent conditions to get organized but still hasn't done so. With time running out, it has to do something soon or it will never be more than a tropical wave.
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Its move around 15 miles west all day.The longer it sits down their the chance of it developing is greater.
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Quoting 703. sar2401:

Assuming that the low is really where it was placed by the NHC, it does appear to be moving west while the displaced convection is moving north. I don't think that's a good sign for a storm which some models want to make into a TS.

I agree.

I'm in the multiple LLV/baro enhanced dominant low/lopsided ugliness camp on this one, remember. :)
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Quoting 709. xtremeweathertracker:

Maybe its trying to become a Jumbo Shrimp!! LOL



MMMM Shrimp

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When the late afternoon thunderstorms fire over the Yucatan peninsula, they will be funneled right into 92L's center. The next several hours should be interesting to watch. It sure does have a very well established LLC now that covers a good part of the GOM.
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92L looks better than it ever did.jmo..Did 92L reach T.D. strength.?
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Quoting 702. Patrap:
Da shrimp is growing



Maybe its trying to become a Jumbo Shrimp!! LOL
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Afternoon all...

Quoting 612. mikatnight:


You saw Taz's namesake too (following page) I hope? That was a little sweetheart. Dex ignored him. hrumph!
Page, pls.... I didn't get my dexFix for the day...
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Quoting 701. xtremeweathertracker:

Looks like some storms starting to slowing fire around the LLC Pat!!!


The Flue is open a tad, we have ignition in 3 primary bands..

All quads now involved.


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Maybe STS Fernand later tonight if some convection can coalesce around the center and we can close off a surface low? Anyways I think we are much closer to development than we ever were with 92L





850 and 250 mb. vort. are almost aligned.



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Quoting 692. allancalderini:
I hope it becomes fernand that name doesn`t sound threatening at all Ferdinand sounds scarier.This system may not bring that much rain to Texas though as it is lopsided,but Louisiana may get the rain.


As a Catholic I had to look it up and St. Ferdinand is the patron saint of engineers. I'll leave it up to the general masses to even make a comment lol.
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Quoting 682. Tazmanian:



Unless it gets too 70mph then gos poof this like don did and gives txs no rain at all

Don was facing the Texas Death Ridge in 2011. We don't have anything like that this year. It wouldn't go poof.
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Quoting seminolesfan:




Does this loop maybe give a hint of the subject of your cryptic musings, Sir Gro?

Assuming that the low is really where it was placed by the NHC, it does appear to be moving west while the displaced convection is moving north. I don't think that's a good sign for a storm which some models want to make into a TS.
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Da shrimp is growing


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Quoting 698. Patrap:

Looks like some storms starting to slowing fire around the LLC Pat!!!
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Quoting 689. sar2401:

Still appears that 92L is really disorganized. It does look like it's making a turn to the west, which might give it a chance to survive. I would be totally amazed to see it as a TS in LA though.


I think the real issue is there's really nothing to be organized right now, most of that convection is associated with the ULL, at least for now. Still think it will try to put things together tonight, though. Would be waste of such a nice circulation if it didn't.
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Quoting 689. sar2401:

Still appears that 92L is really disorganized. It does look like it's making a turn to the west, which might give it a chance to survive. I would be totally amazed to see it as a TS in LA though.
I have seen worse looking Sar,Danny and Henri were horrendous.
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the area of low pressure associated with the CATL wave and was elongated from east to west now appears to be coming together. The reason or that the Erin attachment to the itcz is now being severed thereby allowing convection to consolidate around a more concentric area of low pressure. the disturbance which still has quite a bit of real estate before reaching the islands has enough time to develop as conditions are favourable for development.
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Quoting 677. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Close is subjective. =)

I wouldn't necessarily say a naked swirl with convection removed well northeast of it is close to becoming a tropical depression. That's just me though.

This may be the system Texans have been wanting. Relatively weak...but with a lot of rain, mainly on its east side.

^ And yes, I do see this becoming Fernand. May become a mid-grade tropical storm.

I hope it becomes fernand that name doesn`t sound threatening at all Ferdinand sounds scarier.This system may not bring that much rain to Texas though as it is lopsided,but Louisiana may get the rain.
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Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
Why do that, when you can check this blog for close accurate information? We're the #1 source, everyone else is secondary. ;)

LOL, I figured that was a good answer for someone who just wants to "know" what's happening in the tropics.
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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