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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whats up with the 6z GFS run?
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Quoting 226. Rmadillo:


DING DING DING!

We have a winner ... maybe a bit east of that, but generally speaking, that's what to look for.


Not according to the Doc....lol
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Quoting 231. 7544:


if the front is digging south maybe becuase its not a tc yet but arent these the same fronts that deflect systems out to sea as they come down down over fl and if it is idk the front push 92l ne ?
that's a good question,if this does go to a TS,maybe all bets are off on where it goes.
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Just Great..

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92L RAMMB page

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Quoting 220. Patrap:


Believable but prob just west of that.
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234. VR46L
Quoting 220. Patrap:


Hmmm no later map than that ... 08/15 06Z thats 24 hrs old
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Quoting 227. Chucktown:


That moisture plume is due to the stalled front here in the southeast. While deep tropical moisture will be transported from the Gulf, it is not from any direct impacts from 92L.
ok, sure is a whole lot of rain over the very same area's for an extended period of time.
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WTF happened to Erin overnight?

What happened to that 60 mph ts we were supposed to see. lmao
#bustseason

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231. 7544
Quoting 161. LargoFl:
Look at the direction everything is moving..WHY isn't this storm being blown towards Florida?...
Quoting 173. Sfloridacat5:


Upper level winds blowing everything to the N/E/ But at the lower levels the flow is from East to West.

A more developed system would have been pulled to the North (toward Fl. Panhandle) like earlier model runs.


if the front is digging south maybe becuase its not a tc yet but arent these the same fronts that deflect systems out to sea as they come down down over fl and if it is idk the front push 92l ne ?
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Geostationary
Satellite Images
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Quoting 214. Drakoen:
Possibly 92L is slowing down to head in a more poleward direction as it gets influenced by the trough to its north.


Precisely.
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Quoting 201. LargoFl:
I dunno..GFS has this plume train all the way thru 144 hours..keep watching this system folks......


That moisture plume is due to the stalled front here in the southeast. While deep tropical moisture will be transported from the Gulf, it is not from any direct impacts from 92L.
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Quoting 220. Patrap:


DING DING DING!

We have a winner ... maybe a bit east of that, but generally speaking, that's what to look for.
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Offshore of Tampico, is what I'm referring to
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Quoting 220. Patrap:


Looks like the pros have been doing a job thus far.
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Quoting 212. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
92l is just off nw yuc the ull is just to its ne
Far from the classic setup for development ... yet the surface circulation looks fairly vigorous. Here's to hoping for a blobby mess'o rain for them that need it in Texas.
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Link

Interesting action at the center of 92L.
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For 92L

The ULL at 200mb (north of Yucutan) is weakening and drifting SW toward the area of the lower level vorticity (west of the NW tip of Yucutan) at the same time.

The 850-500 mb vorticity is fairly well stacked.

LLC of 92L is drifting, at best, at the moment to NNW

Link
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LLC is getting ramped up, noticing the low level clouds well offshore of MX coming southbound being sucked into circulation
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If 92l becomes Ferdnand,I predict it will meander around then end up in Mexico ,then try to sneak across the border.
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Possibly 92L is slowing down to head in a more poleward direction as it gets influenced by the trough to its north.
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Quoting 209. SELAliveforthetropic:
Ok, I'm confused...... What is the ULL and what is 92L?


TIA
92l is just off nw yuc the ull is just to its ne
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211. jpsb
Quoting 85. RitaEvac:


They don't have a clue, TX was guaranteed to have NO AFFECTS from this all the way up to now this morning even, and now MX and TX could see an impact by Sunday night?? makes no sense
In one graphic I saw it looks like another cold front is moving thru Texas. If so Texas will not be effected at all. I do find 2 cold fronts in August very unusual. It has been a very cool summer here. Hope that does not indicate a cold cold winter.
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Ok, I'm confused...... What is the ULL and what is 92L?


TIA
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Quoting 204. SouthernIllinois:

Doubt washi took it the wrong way and assumed i wasn't referring to her. Just a line from a movie. haha.
I thought it was funny.I didn't take offense to it at all.
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Quoting 197. DavidHOUTX:
Looks like it is going WSW to me.. with a slight jog west



Probably rotating around a gyre like feature as it jogged SW earlier this morning, other than that it's basically stationary
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1. SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE HAS MOVED
OFFSHORE OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN GULF OF
MEXICO. ALTHOUGH THE SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY IS CURRENTLY
DISORGANIZED AND LOCATED WELL TO THE EAST AND NORTHEAST OF THE LOW
CENTER...ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS COULD BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR
DEVELOPMENT IF THE LOW MOVES TOWARD THE WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST OVER
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. INTERESTS IN THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN GULF
OF MEXICO SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THE SYSTEM THROUGH THE
WEEKEND. IF THE LOW TAKES A MORE NORTHWARD TRACK...HOWEVER...IT
WOULD MOVE INTO A LESS CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A HIGH CHANCE...60
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.
THE AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT MISSION SCHEDULED FOR
TODAY HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
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Quoting 192. washingtonian115:
Oh wow another 40mph storm....my thunderstorms last year were more vicious than that.Heck the landcane produced 74mph wind speeds at R.N.A and 80 at my house.Fernand deserves so much better...
Lol Dorian too and look what happen to him.XD I am wating for Gabrielle to be a beautiful cat 3 or 4,hope I am not dissappoint.
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Quoting 156. bearinLA:


Good to see Sw La peeps, we do need rain. Not as bad as our westerly neighbors, maybe we all can get some rain out of this. I'm watching from Lake Charles...WU has it all information with some fun added, as we say lagniappe.




Yes indeed they need it too. I'm down in Carlyss. Watching closely also. Don't hear from too many in SWLA much on here.
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I dunno..GFS has this plume train all the way thru 144 hours..keep watching this system folks......
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Quoting 193. RitaEvac:


That's exactly what Allison looked like hun, on satellite as well....the rest is history.
Here we go with this example..For the record steering currents will not be weak as they were in Allison's case.The trough will come and scoop this up.
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Quoting 183. SouthernIllinois:

Those days are dead dog. ;o)

Did someone say Dog? :P

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Quoting 193. RitaEvac:


That's exactly what Allison looked like hun, on satellite as well....the rest is history.


Rita, you read my mind...
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Looks like it is going WSW to me.. with a slight jog west

Edit: last frame looks more NW

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Quoting 172. jpsb:

I wonder if in the old days before satellites and radio buoys if Erin would have ever even been a named storm. One of the reasons for an apparrent increase in TC activity is (IMHO) that we are finding and naming storms that in earlier times would have gone unnoticed.
I agree this systems near Africa and the latitude ones like Cindy and Franklin and Jose in 2011 add to the count if you look the register way back they aren`t storms near Africa.like in the 1800s.
Quoting 179. washingtonian115:
Sigh..another pathetic waste of a name storm is about to take shape in the gulf...Where are the Igor's,Danielle's,Isaac's(2000) and Alberto's? (2000).
Quoting 179. washingtonian115:
Sigh..another pathetic waste of a name storm is about to take shape in the gulf...Where are the Igor's,Danielle's,Isaac's(2000) and Alberto's? (2000).
Even though they are pathetic they still deserve clasifictaion Washi.
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Quoting 183. SouthernIllinois:

Those days are dead dog. ;o)


Not if you believe the models.

If 92L becomes Fernand, the storms behind Erin (Gabrielle and Humberto) could be rather impressive.
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Quoting 120. scott39:
It looks like all systems go.


What happened to the ULL to the north of 92L yesterday or is that the naked swirl I'm seeing in the Bay of Campeche? Or did they merge?
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Quoting 179. washingtonian115:
Sigh..another pathetic waste of a name storm is about to take shape in the gulf...Where are the Igor's,Danielle's,Isaac's(2000) and Alberto's? (2000).


That's exactly what Allison looked like hun, on satellite as well....the rest is history.
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Quoting 186. cg2916:


If something meets the criteria of being a tropical storm, it is, by definition, not a waste of a name.
Oh wow another 40mph storm....my thunderstorms last year were more vicious than that.Heck the landcane produced 74mph wind speeds at R.N.A and 80 at my house.Fernand deserves so much better...
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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