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 513. Tropicsweatherpr:


I am a little surprised NHC didn't mentioned it at 2 PM.
I don't think the NHC will highlight every tropical system that may give us some rain and wind, remember we are in the rainy season for our part of the world.
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Anyway guys I'm going on a weekend vaca I'll be back on Sunday
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Quoting 577. MississippiWx:


Stacking with the upper low is helping this process.
in your opinion where do you think this is headed?
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583. No, and that's because conditions aren't that unfavorable across the Atlantic this year. What you're mistaking for dry air is actually a lack of vertical instability in the tropical Atlantic, which was present during several active hurricane seasons including the last two and is not a season killer. Shear is below average across the Gulf of Mexico:


Average across the Caribbean:


Average/below average across the tropical Atlantic.
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Quoting 563. number4steel:
92l looks like somebody pulled a plug in the gulf of mexico bubble bath and its sucking down al the soap suds


"...I remember when
Sittin' in the tub
Pulled out the plug
The water was runnin' out
Cool down
Stop actin' crazy
They're gonna leave
And we'll be on our own

Seven times five
They were living creatures
Watch 'em come to life
Right before your eyes
Backslidin'
How do you do?
These slippery people
Gonna see you through

What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel..."


(Slippery People)
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Have a BIG Tournament to run in SE LA on Monday and Tuesday. Golfers don't like to play in kayaks. Starting to look like we are rescheduling.
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If 92L ever gets classified..it will be or one of the the ugliest tropical cyclones since Danny(09).

Some of the trees have turned yellow in my yard..my neighbors has turned dark yellow..I took a bike ride this afternoon and now more trees are starting to shed their leaves.This didn't happen this early last year.
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Quoting 582. superpete:

Tropics PR- I thought it may get a yellow crayon circle and a small percentage of development too, but the NHC does mention it in the 2 pm discussion...


They are waiting to see if it gets away from ITCZ and for convection to persist to then mention it.
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Quoting 574. CybrTeddy:
SuperStorm, I'm not sure what 92L being affected by dry air does to prove your point but what I can tell you is that conditions in 2004 weren't all that different from what they are now. Remember 2004 had an El Nino-type feature (a Modoki), and 2004 featured similar SST anomalies in the Atlantic. Take a look.

2004,


Now,


Was the wind shear and dry air as bad then as it was this year?
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Quoting 513. Tropicsweatherpr:


I am a little surprised NHC didn't mentioned it at 2 PM.

Tropics PR- I thought it may get a yellow crayon circle and a small percentage of development too, but the NHC does mention it in the 2 pm discussion...
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The ULL is displaced just slightly now to the NE of the mid and lower lvl vorticty

200mb:



850mb:

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Quoting 577. MississippiWx:


Stacking with the upper low is helping this process.


You are correct. I do not think the diurnal process will be a big issue today because of the cold air advection in the upper-levels helping to steepen lapse rates and increase instability near the center.
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Quoting 570. louisianaboy444:
Looking at the water vapor loops, it appears 92L is doing a good job of moistening the air on its western and southwestern flank. Keeping that in mind, I believe this convection may try to start filling in on the western side throughout the evening and overnight
yea con
Quoting 570. louisianaboy444:
Looking at the water vapor loops, it appears 92L is doing a good job of moistening the air on its western and southwestern flank. Keeping that in mind, I believe this convection may try to start filling in on the western side throughout the evening and overnight
yea convection close to center should start up tonight. Than we can all start wondering location and direction. At that point best to listen to NHC and not this blog.
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Quoting 575. VR46L:


It could I guess .. I do think the front is in play , I am guessing that it could drag whatever 92L is in a direct more North East than people are seeing ..


Some people see it that way.
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Quoting 570. louisianaboy444:
Looking at the water vapor loops, it appears 92L is doing a good job of moistening the air on its western and southwestern flank. Keeping that in mind, I believe this convection may try to start filling in on the western side throughout the evening and overnight


Stacking with the upper low is helping this process.
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Met Post from phil over @ AmericanWx:

Basically what happened was that the upper level low that had been shearing the system yesterday has now moved on top of the llc (which is MUCH better defined today), resulting in a vertically stacked cyclonic vorticity profile often consistent with initial subtropical development. This evolution is pretty unusual for August, although not unheard of. As long as the circulation can remain reasonably well defined, we should start to see convection pulsing as convection moistens the atmosphere near the llc and diabatic outflow form the convection destroys what remains of the upper-level vortex.
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575. VR46L
Quoting 566. WalkingInTheSun:


If that front is occluded by Monday, how much will it actually affect where 92L goes? Couldn't it simply allow her to snuggle & make... er, RAIN?


It could I guess .. I do think the front is in play , I am guessing that it could drag whatever 92L is in a direction more North East than people are seeing ..
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SuperStorm, I'm not sure what 92L being affected by dry air does to prove your point but what I can tell you is that conditions in 2004 weren't all that different from what they are now. Remember 2004 had an El Nino-type feature (a Modoki), and 2004 featured similar SST anomalies in the Atlantic. Take a look.

2004,


Now,
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Quoting 569. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you are right there is nothing wrong with you saying it I agree but when you say it 15 times in an hr well it gets kinda old fast


The Ignore feature is available at your disposal.

Or you can ignore manually.
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Quoting 569. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you are right there is nothing wrong with you saying it I agree but when you say it 15 times in an hr well it gets kinda old fast
True, I am sorry, it's just boring around the tropics up to this point.
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Looking at the water vapor loops, it appears 92L is doing a good job of moistening the air on its western and southwestern flank. Keeping that in mind, I believe this convection may try to start filling in on the western side throughout the evening and overnight
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Quoting 557. SuperStorm093:
Listen I want an active season like all you all to track, their just isn't anything wrong with me saying it won't be as big as some say, I don't think we see 5 MH for one.
you are right there is nothing wrong with you saying it I agree but when you say it 15 times in an hr well it gets kinda old fast
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Pronounced increase in 500mb vorticity with 92L

1800:



1500:

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The wave behind Erin is massive, with a pretty vigorous spin to it. With it looking to emerge further south than Erin, I think that could be our first Atlantic 'cane of the season.
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Quoting 529. VR46L:


Sure am !
I think you are the first to get my handle !

Yeah I hope the weather is good but Vale is great in the wet !



If that front is occluded by Sunday, how much will it actually affect where 92L goes? Couldn't it simply allow her to snuggle & make... er, RAIN?
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Quoting 562. CybrTeddy:
557. I don't think we'll see 5 major hurricanes this year either, but for different reasons than you do. You vastly underestimate how quickly the Atlantic can produce major hurricanes, look at 2010 and 2004.
But the conditions were different then.

Also, is that dry air going to affect 92L
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564. VR46L

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92l looks like somebody pulled a plug in the gulf of mexico bubble bath and its sucking down al the soap suds
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557. I don't think we'll see 5 major hurricanes this year either, but for different reasons than you do. You vastly underestimate how quickly the Atlantic can produce major hurricanes, look at 2010 and 2004.
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NHC think 92L got a high chance of formation and also doing experiments on forecasting invests.

@NHCDirector 50s
This year NHC is experimenting in house with track/intensity forecasts for disturbances with high chance of formation.
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560. hamla
Quoting Patrap:


long time back used to watch da 64k ???
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Quoting 547. Levi32:
It appears that the Yucatan was actually able to help 92L develop a coherent low-level circulation. As I mentioned yesterday, the radius of this circulation has become so large that it may not be fully disrupted by the trough to the north. The low will be spinning over 29.5°C to 30°C SSTs for at least 48 hours before making a significant move towards land. If convection can initiate over the center after the upper low to the northeast stacks with it, this will have a shot to get named.



And the fact that yesterday there was strong convection over the center not allowing us to see it. Crossing the Yucatan left the center naked of strong convection allowing us to see it (which has happened many times in the past with weak systems crossing the Yuctan).
Right now 92L is very weak producing light winds and low wave heights in the GOM.
One location close to 92 L (using ChaserTV for GOM locations) has 2 mph winds out of the NNE.

So 92Ls got a long way to go. Not saying it can't get its act together, but its very weak at this moment.
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Quoting 549. CybrTeddy:
Gotta love it when people post that they believe the season is a bust without evidence. Happens ever year.

Go back to August 16th, 2010 on Dr. Master's blog and have a laugh.
Apparently Erin and 92L (with shot at 6th name) isn't enough for bloggers... SMH! 5 storms and an invest before August 16th is pretty dang impressive!
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Listen I want an active season like all you all to track, their just isn't anything wrong with me saying it won't be as big as some say, I don't think we see 5 MH for one.
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555. VR46L
RGB 92L

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Quoting 547. Levi32:
It appears that the Yucatan was actually able to help 92L develop a coherent low-level circulation. As I mentioned yesterday, the radius of this circulation has become so large that it may not be fully disrupted by the trough to the north. The low will be spinning over 29.5°C to 30°C SSTs for at least 48 hours before making a significant move towards land. If convection can initiate over the center after the upper low to the northeast stacks with it, this will have a shot to get named.

the doc thinks 70 percent chance of a name by Saturday 80 percent on sunday

so its got the time and percentage according to jeff if it takes advantage of it the f storm it will become
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Quoting 547. Levi32:
It appears that the Yucatan was actually able to help 92L develop a coherent low-level circulation. As I mentioned yesterday, the radius of this circulation has become so large that it may not be fully disrupted by the trough to the north. The low will be spinning over 29.5°C to 30°C SSTs for at least 48 hours before making a significant move towards land. If convection can initiate over the center after the upper low to the northeast stacks with it, this will have a shot to get named.



I can't help but see a track generally northward, with ultimate landfall from Houma, LA to Mobile, AL.



Your thoughts?
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put a little d-max pepper on that there shrimp in the gulf tonight and boom goes the dynamite ! patrap can have a little t.s. Ferdinand with fresca by sunday brunch.
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Good Afternoon WU! Very active period coming for the rest of August. 92L is stationary off the NW Yucatan the low level center has become well-defined and convection is beginning to wrap around. With the pesky ULL next to it will slow development for the next 12 hours or so. With a strong surface low any and a good DMAX will warrant classification by the NHC. If 92L heads West or WNW it may sneak under the heaviest upper level winds axis allowing for some deepening before it reaches land. The wave about to emerge is quickly garnering model support. Erin ate most of the dry air. If this wave stays further south it may take off. Finally a vigorous tropical wave around 45W is producing moderate but waning convection recent ASCAT pass indicate their is at least a weak low level spin there. If it can hold and track into the Caribbean or north of it maybe we can development its that time of year anyways.
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Gotta love it when people post that they believe the season is a bust without evidence. Happens every year.

Go back to August 16th, 2010 on Dr. Master's blog and have a laugh.
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It appears that the Yucatan was actually able to help 92L develop a coherent low-level circulation. As I mentioned yesterday, the radius of this circulation has become so large that it may not be fully disrupted by the trough to the north. The low will be spinning over 29.5°C to 30°C SSTs for at least 48 hours before making a significant move towards land. If convection can initiate over the center after the upper low to the northeast stacks with it, this will have a shot to get named.

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Quoting 523. Patrap:
92L has thrown it in Neutral to get a Fresca seems.






Oh, let's hope not! According to the commercial Fresca is "delicious dynamite" and "explosively different".
What we need is for someone to slip it a tequila!
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Quoting 538. Patrap:
This happened once before
When I came to your door
No reply



Looks like a question mark.
I saw the light....
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Quoting 522. SuperStorm093:
Even if it develops it Most likely, it could, but most likely would just be a TD, so still cant call us who said a below the numbers season already busted lol.
Should the people of Portugal begin any storm preparations?
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NHC forecast track for 92L

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so in effect..we will still be watching this storm mon-tues?
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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