moonlightcowboy's WunderBlog

If Gustav misses Cuba, major dangerous cane

By: moonlightcowboy, 7:48 PM GMT on August 25, 2008



VISIBLE LOOP of Gustav from the SSD site.

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UPDATED Aug 27 noon: If Gustav stays on a track south of Cuba it will encounter some of the hottest waters in the Caribbean and GOM, likely bringing it to major hurricane status before it even enters the GOM. OHC (Ocean Heat Content) means that these warm waters run deep and any upwelling is still from warm water and it is running quite high west of Gustav.

Gustav did encounter some disruption as it plowed into the western edge of Haiti and some of the mountainous terrain. And, this morning it has kind of stalled, but slowly moving away from Haiti which is still getting pummeled from the rainfall. This slow motion likely means that Gustav is about to begin heading more west through the passage between Jamaican and Cuba. The high pressure that bulged into the western GOM has retrograded eastwards through the night, and I think that is showing what the models are now reflecting with track. It shows an isobar of about 1012mb which is likely strong enough to keep Gustav moving around the periphery of the high, not weak enough for it to punch considerably more northwards. So, I'm expecting, unfortunately, for Gustav's motion to slow and then turn more west. It may even have a bit of a swest motion briefly. And, the high will more than likely keep Gustav on a track south of Cuba as it nears the northern Caribbean.

ALERT: Jamaica, Cuba, the Caymans and even the Yucatan area need to be playing immediate close attention to this system because if it tracks south of Cuba, it will very likely strengthen, improve windfield and drop considerably more rain in the surrounding areas. Please listen to and follow your local authorities for continuing updates!

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If Gustav travels through the high OHC just south of Cuba and north of Jamaica it will already be strengthening considerably. However, if you look at the graphic above you can see that the loop current is at the mouth of the GOM and extends probably 400-450 miles or so further north in latitude. It's also several hundred miles wide. If Gustav enters the GOM anywhere near these hot, deep waters there is no doubt in my mind that Gustav will become a serious major hurricane. If the current track holds up, I would not rule out a CAT 5 storm into Saturday evening or Sunday. And, to boot, even if it tracks further west it will still have to cross the loop current. But, what makes matters worse is that there are two fairly new loop eddys that have spun off from the current this year and are spinning around in the western half of the GOM in the direction of TX or wLA. There is also an older eddy (not quite as deep and warm) off the MS coast.

Where does it go from there? Well, that's anyone's guess at the moment. The NHC's official forecast has Gustav passing over the narrow tip of west Cuba and into the GOM right into the heart of the loop current. Past that the track will depend largely on where the western edge of the high pressure moves and which gets narrower in the west central GOM. See LATEST SFC MAP here. You'll see the 1012 mb isobar line that runs into the west central GOM nearer to Texas. If the high is able to maintain it could track further west into the GOM. If it erodes slightly to the east then it would take the track more towards the northern GOM. And, if it erodes considerably then the track would go more to the FL panhandle or maybe even towards the Big Bend area.



Of course it's still early and the models are likely to shift several times yet as they get a better grip on this system.

The system should be becoming more symmetrical and making its intentions more clear by noon on Wednesday if there is no solid disruption with eastern Cuba. In the present it has a rather small, but impressive presentation on satellite, but as it enters the high OHC areas it is more than likely to grow in size, etc, creating a much larger moisture and wind field from the substantial supply of fuel it is going to encounter. Conditions seem favorable for continued strengthening with low shear and a considerably moist environment. Again, like with Fay, the only inhibiting feature could be interaction with land if the system tracks further northward.



TWOPIC-wide 850mb VORTICITY



The tropics are obviously getting lively as we approach the peak of season with conditions improving for development! Now we have another three invests to watch, too, and I've barely only peeked at them. They're shooting at us and at least one is more than likely to hit and cause considerble loss of property, injury and life. None of these storms should be taken lightly. They will effect someone somewhere - how many and how much is a different matter. One loss of life and injuries due to unawareness and lack of preparedness is unconscionable. So, I hope no one is letting their guard down as these storms can cause considerable damage to property and life! They are not called "hurricanes" for to be taken lightly anyways!

We wait. We watch. We see!

Tropical Weather Outlook
North Atlantic Discussion

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850mb Vorticity
WIND SHEAR
Shear Tendency
Current Steering


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Other BLOGS and updates:

Visit Patrap's blog on "Hurricane Preparedness!" - excellent blog for getting prepared! It's amazing the things we can forget about when getting ready for hurricane season. Patrap does a great job with this and strongly promotes getting "prepared" and he's right - preparedness save lives and property!

Other good tropical blogs on WU here at "TROPICAL LAGNIAPPE". These are from some of WU's most respected, adept weather bloggers. Please check them out! Good info from them, and I always learn something when I visit their blogs and sites.

My other 2008 pre-season blogs:

The LOOP CURRENT and EDDYS


What will the 2008 season be like?

Is the MJO working?

Got an ITCZ? Scratch it!

Photobucket
Click on the RED CROSS link here.



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Gustav heading northwest, likely to become formidable hurricane

By: moonlightcowboy, 8:21 PM GMT on August 10, 2008



VISIBLE LOOP of Gustav from the SSD site.



Faye is likely to be the driving weakness that brings Gustav towards the CONUS.

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OHC (Ocean Heat Content) is running quite high north of Gustav and likely fuel for intensification.

94L was declared TS Gustav after the Hurricane Hunters found a closed low and 60 mph surface winds and higher winds aloft. The system is becoming more symmetrical. With its impressive presentation on satellite, it would not surprise me to see the system upgraded to hurricane status later this evening. Higher OHC is ahead with very warm waters all point towards an intensifying storm. Conditions seem favorable for continued strengthening with low shear and a considerably moist environment. Again, like with Fay, the only inhibiting feature could be interaction with land if the system tracks further northward. But, I don't expect as much of a traversing type of land interaction as Fay had and if it encounters land, I'm not looking for the type of disruption that Fay had.

Of course it's still early and the models are likely to shift several times yet as they get a good grip on this system. Apparently, they've had some trouble initializing this system because of its proximity to 95L and possibly even Fay.

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Now, where will it go. That will depend largely on Fay imo. As these storms tend to move toward weaknesses in the atmosphere, Fay could play a major part in Gustav's track. If Fay continues to linger or move very slowly, Gustav could be influenced more to come more westwards into the GOM. If it move, drift onwards towards the east or neast, then Gustav may be headed more towards the FL area or possibly the Bahamas. It depends on the weakness and timing of how far north it will allow for any substantial turn to occur. From the latest NHC's latest NA discussion: The center of Tropical Storm Gustav at 25/1800 UTC is near 15.8n 70.5w... or about 225 miles/365 km south-southeast of Port au Prince Haiti. Gustav is moving northwest 12 kt. The maximum sustained wind speeds are 50 kt with gusts to 60 kt. The estimated minimum central pressure is 996 mb.



TWOPIC-wide 850mb VORTICITY

The tropics are obviously getting lively as we approach the peak of season with conditions improving for development! None of these storms should be taken lightly. They will effect someone somewhere - how many and how much is a different matter. One loss of life and injuries due to unawareness and lack of preparedness is unconscionable. So, I hope no one is letting their guard down as these storms can cause considerable damage to property and life! They are not called "hurricanes" for to be taken lightly anyways!

We wait. We watch. We see!

Tropical Weather Outlook
North Atlantic Discussion

BlankBlank

BlankBlank

850mb Vorticity
WIND SHEAR
Shear Tendency
Current Steering


---------------------------------------------------------

Other BLOGS and updates:

Visit Patrap's blog on "Hurricane Preparedness!" - excellent blog for getting prepared! It's amazing the things we can forget about when getting ready for hurricane season. Patrap does a great job with this and strongly promotes getting "prepared" and he's right - preparedness save lives and property!

Other good tropical blogs on WU here at "TROPICAL LAGNIAPPE". These are from some of WU's most respected, adept weather bloggers. Please check them out! Good info from them, and I always learn something when I visit their blogs and sites.

My other 2008 pre-season blogs:

The LOOP CURRENT and EDDYS


What will the 2008 season be like?

Is the MJO working?

Got an ITCZ? Scratch it!

Photobucket
Click on the RED CROSS link here.



visitor stats

NHC names TS ED, warnings posted.

By: moonlightcowboy, 5:39 AM GMT on August 01, 2008

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NOW, we have Tropical Storm Eduardo and 99L.




Tropical Storm Eduardo has been called by the NHC Sunday afternoon
and it has become our fifth-named storm and possibly our third hurricane of the season. It's been looking fairly ragged for an organizing system, dealing with some dry air pushing south off the CONUS, etc. But, apparently it's been getting its act together and formed a closed surface low, but it's been exposed most through most of Sunday evening. It's trying to build convection over the COC and also trying to get vertical. There's been a litle shear, but that's expected to be relaxing. Pressure is continuing to drop and further intensification looks probable

OHC is not that great for ED, especially near the continental shelf. Temps are warm enough, but deep upwelling for a lengthy stalled or slow movement will only bring cooler waters up from below and not aid any intensification. Granted, there is one older, warm loop eddy centered near 28.5n,90.5w that will have some warmer, slightly deeper waters that will likely aid some intensification as/if ED passes over that area. Right now, ED is at 28.1N 88.0W which puts it at the right latitude and it should track over this area as forecast - (See the SSH altimetry chart below).

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A smaller storm will intensify more rapidly than one with a very broad circulation such as Dolly, but not as significantly comparatively. That means that a weaker storm could become more violent, quickly; but, not effect as much an area as a larger system. Again, if it continues to stall or move very slowly, intensity will come up, but should be limited in the amount of deep, warm fuel it can draw upon for deep intensification. Of course being smaller makes pinpointing a landfall and forecasting intensity more difficult. A smaller, intense storm will become a bit more critical, too, to those certainly in the path!!! Also, a smaller system is not as likely (I don't think) to dump as much rain unless it's moving slower and in a key flood area - that could be of noteable discernment, too.

Tropical Storm EDuardo is apt to move a bit swesterly for just a very short period of time before resuming a westerly course along parallel to the coastline. It'll be a slow mover trying to tighten up a coc and getting vertical over a smaller low-level vortice. I think we can expect at least a moderate TS with a good chance for a minimal CAT 1 hurricane (possibly higher) landfalling somewhere between the Houston area and further north. With W A R N I N G S posted, people in the suspect paths should begin taking the appropriate measures (fueling, etc) and watch updates closely!




99L getting taking advantage again, getting nighttime convection thru dmax, despite encroaching shear of near 20 kts.

NOW, The F I G H T E R, 99L! 99L still shows a low-level circulation, but it's been less organized. Sunday morning on visibles the system still had a hardy low-level, broad circulation and it is still now generally moving more west than north. It's not having to deal as much with the weak mid-level layer of SAL/dust as it is apparently getting some good lift from the surface that's able to keep making that fight. It'll be interesting to see, again on Monday how it deals with daytime heating and if it's able to strengthen.

It's still looking fairly healthy and we may be seeing 99L finally beginning to get its act together, despite being in an area of 15-20 kts shear. There's also an area of 30 kt shear to the system's nwest, but it's relatively small and zonal. This shear is likely the only thing keeping 99L from heightening its convection and becoming a stronger system. It's staying strong enough to keep plugging, but weak enough to not feel the effect so much of the ULL to its nwest. That means 99L will continue to track more west than north increasing the possibilities of it effecting land. But, it is gaining slightly in latitude and may feel the ULL or the exiting shortwave trough off the CONUS may pick it up and sweep it back out to sea. The HPC isn't showing any development of this system, but it does show an area of low pressure entering the Caribbean within five days. Whether this is what remains of a weak 99L, I'm not sure. So, track and intensity is still uncertain with 99L, but it has surely been a fighter thus far and warrants continued watching as it continues to come towards land.



RAMSDIS water vapor loop shows 99L continues to build enough moisture from the surface to build a convection shield against the remaining sparesly scattered dust in front of the systems. 99L has been a fighter. That means it's finding some warmer waters and conditions are improving for cyclogenesis. SAL/dry air should no longer be such of an inhibiting factor. Once it gets past the bit of shear it's facing it could strenghten.

If it stays weak and closer to the surface, it will likely be able to track further west. If it strengthens curvature out to sea becomes more likely. It still needs to build more convection and if it doesn't have too much trouble in the daytime hours today, I still look for 99L to become a tropical depression.



TWOPIC-wide 850mb VORTICITY

The tropics are obviously getting lively again with August here and conditions improving for development! Earlier we mentioned that we could be looking at a very active Cape Verde season and it looks indeed like that's the way it's shaping up!

There's another area of good voriticy with a new wave that's moved off the African coast and has a good probability of tropical formation. We could be getting another CV invest "vary" soon as Taz says! It's got convection and is at a good latitude. Also, as these systems can still be very sneaky this time of year, and it would not surprise me at alll to see the crumbs of 90L resurface closer to the Caribbean - we'll see soon enough, but for now, it's off the radar.

Nonetheless, none of these storms should be taken lightly. They will effect someone somwhere - how many and how much is a different matter. One loss of life and injuries due to unwareness and lack of preparedness is unconscionable. So, I hope no one is letting their guard down with ED, even if it doesn't become an expansive, fast moving, surge pushing major hurricane - it can still make for considerable damage to property and life! They are not called "hurricanes" for to be taken lightly anyways!

We wait. We watch. We see!

Tropical Weather Outlook
North Atlantic Discussion

BlankBlank

BlankBlank

850mb Vorticity
WIND SHEAR
Shear Tendency
Current Steering


---------------------------------------------------------

Other BLOGS and updates:

Visit Patrap's blog on "Hurricane Preparedness!" - excellent blog for getting prepared! It's amazing the things we can forget about when getting ready for hurricane season. Patrap does a great job with this and strongly promotes getting "prepared" and he's right - preparedness save lives and property!

Other good tropical blogs on WU here at "TROPICAL LAGNIAPPE". These are from some of WU's most respected, adept weather bloggers. Please check them out! Good info from them, and I always learn something when I visit their blogs and sites.

My other 2008 pre-season blogs:

The LOOP CURRENT and EDDYS


What will the 2008 season be like?

Is the MJO working?

Got an ITCZ? Scratch it!

Photobucket
Click on the RED CROSS link here.



visitor stats


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

moonlightcowboy's WunderBlog

About moonlightcowboy

"There is no heavier burden than a great potential." - Charles Schultz, in the Peanut's character of Linus.