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 427. SouthernIllinois:
Checking in from Little Egypt and all I call say is how lovely it is this Friday afternoon. Some high wispy cirrus clouds sweeping by and temperatures climbing through the 70's with very light northeast winds. A LOVELY day.

Natalie


Hey. What is Little Egypt?
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Interesting to note, again looking at the most recent hi-vis loops on 92L, that there are a few competing circulations going on at the moment.

You have the clearly marked naked swirl almost due just West of the Yucatan Peninsula and a smaller but discernible vortex due just North of the Yucatan that is closer to some of the deeper convection. That naked swirl might be the system kicking out the weaker circulation and trying to reestablish one closer to the convective bursts.

You can see both on this regular vis loop:

Link

Will be interesting to see which one wins out and where NHC will mark the coc when a TD is declared.
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Quoting 374. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Whew!

fish storms? i thought we would see less of them!
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Quoting 419. Tropicsweatherpr:
Will NHC mention both wave at 45W and wave emerging Africa at 2 PM?
probably the African wave,considering all the model support.
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Quoting 428. jpsb:
Bad news, very bad news. :( I was hoping for lots of fish storms.
Hey jpsb! Yeah the steering pattern hasn't really been a favorable so far this season, the models have tended to underestimate the ridging in the Atlantic, however, what is important is the heights along the western side of the ridge because that is what ultimately steers these powerful Cape-Verde hurricanes. I think there will be some fishes, but some may get dangerously close to land or even make landfall. Still time to figure it out and it could change for the better or worst. Just be prepared it's the best thing you can do at this point.
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well i see the 12z GFS shows a fish storm... pretty boring
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Quoting 408. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Now we look into the Ensemble Spread, interesting to note it looks like the GFS wants to pull the AOI at 45 West into the circulation of Erin.



Seems unrealistic given how weak and small Erin.
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433. VR46L
Quoting 403. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The CMC also likes the area at 45 West and takes it OTS as a 995 mb. storm.



EEK! I don't care for that run ...

(tries to calm down , said to self Its the Constantly Making Cyclones Model)
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Much like a famous storm from 1995, 92L is just sitting in place in the BOC, just off the NW tip of the Yucutan. Slightly NW of the 21N/91W vertex.



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Looks like circulation around 11.5N/45W
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Quoting 426. GTstormChaserCaleb:

This shows that there are for sure 2 distinct lows, the 2nd one building convection.
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428. jpsb
Quoting 387. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Yep and the trend in that model has been to keep the ridge in the Atlantic a bit stronger each run, until at 276 hrs. when a ridge builds in over the East Coast.
Bad news, very bad news. :( I was hoping for lots of fish storms.
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The epitome of a Cape Verde (non-fish) hurricane.

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Quoting 419. Tropicsweatherpr:
Will NHC mention both wave at 45W and wave emerging Africa at 2 PM?
I don't think so.
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Quoting 413. opal92nwf:


VERY feasible ... although perhaps a bit further East once we see development in about 18 -36 hours.
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Looks like a well defined center here.Wonder if it will hold together as it exits land.
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Quoting 415. aquak9:
(high-fives Rmadillo)

Well played, sir. Well played.


??
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Quoting 405. hurricanes2018:
the northeast better watch this hurricane


16 days out...I highly doubt this will happen.
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Will NHC mention both wave at 45W and wave emerging Africa at 2 PM?
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What do you call a fish with no eyes?






... a fsh!


Out for the rest of the day, folks! TGIF! Catch you later this weekend. Enjoy! Hold the fort down, keep the gates closed except for TX ;)
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The CoC for 92L looks bigger when I zoom in than when I have the image unzoomed.

I think it has a chance to catch many off-guard along the Northern Gulf Coast, although we could use some rain here!
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(high-fives Rmadillo)

Well played, sir. Well played.
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Quoting 400. Rmadillo:


I think we'll see development, with landfall along the Northern Gulf, unless we don't.

Lol...Right...have to see what kind of depth we get...really slow process that could take us out to next week for sure.
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Quoting 407. midgulfmom:
Soooo, could the ULL take over as the COC if it worked it's way down and or merged with the current COC? Looks like the COC is further N to me or are my eyes are playing tricks on me? (More likely the latter)


If the ULL works it way down slowly, with all that moisture? Then the CoC will definitely be further north, if it can last. . And no, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you...things just always look bigger, the closer up you get.
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Quoting 406. aquak9:


The CoC would simply explode, with a majority of the outflow to the north. At that slow speed, landfall could last for over four hours.


Sounds like it may be wise to consult Dr Masters regarding this scenario. Sounds dangerous, or even deadly.
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Now we look into the Ensemble Spread, interesting to note it looks like the GFS wants to pull the AOI at 45 West into the circulation of Erin.

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Soooo, could the ULL take over as the COC if it worked it's way down and or merged with the current COC? Looks like the COC is further N to me or are my eyes are playing tricks on me? (More likely the latter)
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Quoting 376. cg2916:
What would happen if the ULL merged with the LLC?


The CoC would simply explode, with a majority of the outflow to the north. At that slow speed, landfall could last for over four hours.
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the northeast better watch this hurricane
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Quoting 402. CybrTeddy:


Obviously it won't, but it's showing the Atlantic igniting as the result of us entering the peak of activity.
About time i guess.
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The CMC also likes the area at 45 West and takes it OTS as a 995 mb. storm.

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Quoting 398. Gearsts:
And i'm 100% sure this will happen just like the gfs is showing. ;)


Obviously it won't, but it's showing the Atlantic igniting as the result of us entering the peak of activity.
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Quoting 399. Drakoen:


No, I mean who are 92L and Erin :)
Ohhh lmao, that makes more sense. ;)
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Quoting 392. Times2:

Have been trying to point that out. I think that is where the real deal is.


I think we'll see development, with landfall along the Northern Gulf, unless we don't.
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Quoting 395. MiamiHurricanes09:
Idk, I just signed in and looked down the page, but only saw long-range model discussion, which is usually what happens when the Atlantic's dead lol.


No, I mean who are 92L and Erin :)
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And i'm 100% sure this will happen just like the gfs is showing. ;)
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Quoting 382. MiamiHurricanes09:
So have we all given up on Erin and 92L? LOL.



Yes, I'm warming the bench, sitting those two out now and currently following the developments of the 45w AOI. They hardly do what I think they're going to do anyways these days. ;)

That 92L week-long sprint has been exasperating. Sides, it's Friday. ;)
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CMC still shows 92L becoming a tropical storm. This one is not over until it makes landfall guys.

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Quoting 388. Drakoen:


Who?
Idk, I just signed in and looked down the page, but only saw long-range model discussion, which is usually what happens when the Atlantic's dead lol.
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I love Idaho.
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Quoting 385. midgulfmom:
was wondering if that was possible because it sure looks that way...


We need to ask that question to someone more knowledgeable... such as Drak???
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Quoting 364. Rmadillo:
Not much to see now, but note the convection in the last frame or two to the N of the LLC for 92L ... wrapping that moisture around from the NE.


Have been trying to point that out. I think that is where the real deal is.
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Quoting 377. Relix:


Well, welcome to the "Support the Cute Lil Wave" club that Kman, me and Wunderkidcayman have :P!
What about me? I been doing the ( Tropical cyclone come here baby dance) for days.
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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