I'm from Hattiesburg, MS and I experienced the worst natural disaster in U.S. history--Hurricane Katrina!
By: MississippiWx, 7:03 PM GMT on July 31, 2006
As I stated earlier, 99L was organizing into a tropical depression and that has come to pass. As of 11pm EST, Tropical Depression 3 has formed 200 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It is currently not forecast to intensify stronger than a tropical depression, but I believe that is bogus. In my opinion, Tropical Depression 3 is actually already a tropical storm. If TD3 can maintain its convection overnight (as it should due to the diurnal maximum that is quickly approaching), the hurricane hunters should declare TD3 a tropical storm in the morning. Forecast track is the same as earlier. TD3 should eventually make its way into the Gulf of Mexico, but who knows if it will still be intact? The upper level low currently over the Bahamas will have to be shunted away or weakened for TD3 to have a chance to make it into the Gulf of Mexico as a respectful tropical system. Even if TD3 isn't able to make it through the ULL, it might be able to reorganize once it reaches the Gulf. Of course, that is many days out and we should first see if TD3 survives the next three days, which I believe it will. Stay tuned.
The 99L invest east of the island chain in the Central Atlantic is becoming better organized as the day goes along. Dry air has been persistent along the north and west side of the system today and has been the main inhibitor of development. Wind shear doesn't seem to be too much of a problem at the present time. What's keeping the convection to the east of the center is the dry air that's on the western side of the system. A low level circulation is present and well-defined. By looking at satellite imagery, it appears that the circulation is getting larger and MAYBE some moist air is being sucked into the center. Nevertheless, this system is no immediate threat, but a tropical depression could be forming as we speak. The main inhibitor is the Saharan air that's to the north and west of the system.
Potential Track of 99L
Models take this system to the west-northwest over the next several days and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. This track seems plausible due to the position of the Bermuda High. I won't speculate on intensity or lackthereof this far out. :-)
Visible Imagery of 99L
Water Vapor Imagery of 99L
By: MississippiWx, 6:16 AM GMT on July 21, 2006
Is the activity in the Atlantic about to pick up? I'd say that's the million dollar question. I believe the answer to that is yes. Why do I say that?
Here is my reasoning:
Wind shear has been high during the first part of the 2006 Hurricane Season, but has now ceased enough to allow tropical development. Shear is still high in some areas, but it has died considerably in the Gulf of Mexico, where wind shear had been abnormally high this season.
Wind shear isn't everything, of course. A disturbance must be present for a tropical cyclone to form. The disturbance needed may be forming off the West Coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Shower activity has been persistent in this area and along the East Coast of Florida for the past two days. It's nothing to be alarmed over, but more of something to keep your eye on in case something was to form out of the disturbance. A cyclonic spin is noted on satellite imagery, but it's in the upper levels of the atmosphere. However, an upper level low can work its way to the surface if it persists long enough.
If you hadn't noticed, the Eastern Pacific has been very active as of late. An active Eastern Pacific often precedes an active Atlantic. Of course, the Eastern Pacific was abnormally quiet the last two years while the Atlantic experienced an extreme increase in tropical activity. Nonetheless, we'll see if this active Pacific pattern leads to an active Atlantic pattern. Once the tropical disturbances move farther north, instead of going west into the Eastern Pacific (which starts happening this time of year), the Atlantic season becomes more active because of the increase in tropical disturbances. The tropical disturbances I'm speaking of are better known as "African waves."
SSTs are beyond warm enough in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to support an intense hurricane, so I don't expect SSTs to be an inhibiting factor in these areas. The environment is becoming more and more favorable for development, but you've got to have the disturbances to trigger activity.
Gulf of Mexico SSTs:
Area to watch the next few days: Gulf of Mexico
Possibility of Development: Low
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!
By: MississippiWx, 5:47 AM GMT on July 20, 2006
Tropical Storm Beryl seems to have leveled off intensity-wise and looks to strengthen no more. In fact, a slow weakening trend should begin within the next few hours, if not now. Beryl is running out of warm water and is running into an area of higher wind shear and cooler SST. The New England states should expect nothing more than higher than average wind gusts and maybe some rain, but nothing like the flooding rains experienced just a few weeks ago. A front, moving through New England at the present time, should halt any more westward movement by Beryl and act to steer Beryl in a more northeasterly direction. Beryl has kept with climatology and will be swept out to sea before making landfall.
So what's behind Beryl?
If you're hoping that the formation of Beryl was a sign of the beginnings of a more active tropical pattern, then you'll have to wait for later in the season. Currently, there are no areas in the Atlantic worth mentioning and wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico and Carribbean is too high for tropical development. Expect at least another week of dull tropical activity, especially since there are no systems to get a tropical cyclone going. It certainly doesn't look like a repeat of 2005 and let's hope it stays that way!
Feel free to discuss this topic or any other topic you wish! Please, attempt to keep it civil, though. :-)
By: MississippiWx, 5:51 AM GMT on July 16, 2006
I just went back through some of Dr. Masters' old entries from August 2005 while Katrina was organizing and about to hit MS/LA and it is so chilling to read those entries. To think that three days before Katrina hit, it was forecast to move over the Gulf and quickly move back over Florida as a minimal hurricane. No one expected it to cause the destruction that it did and do you know why? No one can imagine how much damage Katrina caused without seeing it firsthand. From looking at my handle, I'm sure you can tell I'm from Mississippi. I live in Hattiesburg, which is only 50-60 miles from the MS Gulf Coast. Sustained winds here were 100-110 mph and gusts were well over 120mph. If you were wondering, I DID watch outside of the door during the storm and words cannot describe the power and destruction I was watching.
Anyway, I'm just rambling now, but please don't forget about the people here in South Mississippi and Louisiana. Imagine a beach with nothing but concrete slabs along the side of it. That describes nearly the whole Mississippi Gulf Coast. It has almost been a year since Katrina struck, and one can hardly tell that any clean-up has been done. New Orleans gets all of the publicity because it is New Orleans, but people do not realize the destruction Katrina caused along the MS Gulf Coast. The sad thing is, FEMA is going to take away the trailers they provided in a few months and that will leave thousands of people homeless. Katrina is long gone, but her effects will be around for many years to come.
By: MississippiWx, 9:52 PM GMT on July 15, 2006
I frequently read the blogs on Weather Underground and I've noticed that some of you have some pretty interesting things to say. Dr. Masters always has a very accurate blog to read and that's normally where I get all of my news on the tropics.
My take on the 2006 Hurricane Season:
While some of you may believe that this hurricane season is off to a slow start, in all reality, this is a very normal start to the season. Typically, wind shear is a problem early in the season and when it dies down, things get going. However, shear has been abnormally high in the GOM and Caribbean this season, but is soon to die down. Sure, the shear has been wonderful at keeping the tropics at bay so far, but when it dies down, I'm afraid things might get ugly. The Gulf of Mexico is sizzling, along with the Caribbean. I say give the tropics one more week and then you'll have a system to worry about. At the moment and for the next week, "shear rules!"
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