TD 14 likely to become Maria; new Gulf of Mexico system brewing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:32 PM GMT en Septiembre 07, 2011

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Tropical Depression Fourteen formed yesterday from a strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa early this week, and is headed west-northwest towards an encounter with the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands. Satellite loops show a large a steadily organizing system with plenty of heavy thunderstorm activity, good upper-level outflow to the north and west, and some respectable low-level spiral bands beginning to form. TD 14 is probably a tropical storm now, and is very likely to be named Tropical Storm Maria later today. Water vapor satellite images show that 95L is embedded in a very moist environment. Ocean temperatures are near 28.5°C, which is 2°C above the 26.5°C threshold usually needed to sustain a tropical storm. With wind shear predicted to remain low to moderate the next five days, the atmosphere expected to stay moist, and ocean temperatures predicted to gradually warm, TD 14 should generally show a strengthening trend. Curiously, most of the intensity forecast models show little strengthening of TD 14, so NHC is keeping their intensity forecast lower than is typical for a storm in these conditions at this time of year.

The track forecasts for TD 14 from the various models agree that the storm will affect the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands, though there are some differences in forward speed, resulting in some uncertainty whether the storm will arrive at the islands as early as Friday night, or as late as Saturday afternoon. After it passes the Lesser Antilles, TD 14 has the usual amount of high uncertainty in its 5 - 7 day track forecast. The models are split on how strong the steering influence a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast will have. The ECMWF and UKMET models prefer a more southerly track for TD 14 through the Bahamas towards the U.S. East Coast, while the GFS, NOGAPS, and HWRF models predict a more northwesterly track, with a potential threat to Bermuda. It's too early to guess which track the models will eventually converge on. Climatology favors a track that would miss land, with Dr. Bob Hart's track history pages suggesting TD 14 has a 22% chance of hitting Canada, 19% chance of hitting Bermuda, and an 11% chance of hitting North Carolina.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of TD 14.

Gulf of Mexico disturbance 96L
A cold front swept into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas behind Tropical Storm Lee on Monday, and has stalled out along a line from Tampa, Florida to Mexico's Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Heavy thunderstorms have begun to build along the tail end of this front in the Bay of Campeche, and this disturbance has been designated Invest 96L by NHC. Latest visible satellite loops do not show that 96L has a closed surface circulation yet, but buoy and surface observations along the coast of Mexico suggest that there may be a large-scale counter-clockwise circulation present over the Bay of Campeche. Sustained winds at Buoy 42055, about 100 miles to the northwest of the suspected center of 96L, were northeast at 27 mph at 6:50 am CDT this morning. Water vapor satellite loops show that here is a large area of very dry air from Texas to the north of 96L, and this dry air may interfere with 96L's development. A hurricane hunter mission is scheduled for this afternoon into 96L.

Most of the computer models develop 96L into a tropical depression in the next 1 - 2 days, and these same models did very well at anticipating the formation of Tropical Storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico last week. Given the moderate wind shear, warm waters, and presence of an old cold front to serve as a nucleus for development, I give 96L an 80% chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next tow days, a bit higher than the 60% probability NHC is going with. Steering currents are weak in the Bay of Campeche, making for a lot of uncertainty in where 96L might go. The only model predicting a U.S. landfall is the ECMWF, which predicts 96L might hit between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Monday. A more popular solution is for the storm to meander in the Bay of Campeche for many days, and eventually make landfall on the coast of Mexico between Veracruz and Tampico. None of the models is hinting at a track towards Texas, and the intense dome of high pressure associated with their record drought and heat wave will tend to discourage any tropical cyclones from making a Texas landfall over the coming seven days.

Hurricane Katia
Hurricane Katia continues to the northwest as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. Latest satellite loops show that dry air has eaten into the southwest side of the storm. The computer models continue to agree that a low pressure system over the Eastern U.S. associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee will turn Katia to the north. As the storm moves northwards past North Carolina, Katia will get caught up in west-to-east moving winds associated with the jet stream, and taken northeastwards out to sea. No land areas are in Katia's cone of uncertainty, and Katia's outer rainbands should remain just offshore from North Carolina, New England, and the Canadian Maritime provinces at the point of closest approach. Bermuda may see a few rain showers from Katia, but the storm will not cause hazardous weather there. The main impact of Katia will be a multi-day period of high surf leading to beach erosion and dangerous rip currents. The East Coast is lucky that Tropical Storm Lee came along, since Lee helped to create the steering pattern that will keep Katia from hitting the U.S.


Figure 2. GOES-13 image of Hurricane Katia and the remains of Tropical Storm Lee, taken at 11:45 am EDT Tuesday September 6, 2011. At the time, Katia was a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. Image credit: NOAA Visualization Laboratory.

Heavy rains from Lee create significant flooding, tornadoes
Tropical Storm Lee is no more, but its remnants are marching slowly northeastwards along a stalled cold front, bringing torrential rains. Fortunately, the dry soils that were present before the event started have helped keep river flooding in the minor to moderate range. No river is currently at major flood stage as a result of rains from Tropical Storm Lee. Soils are at near-average moisture levels in Central Pennsylvania, where Lee's remnants are expected to drop 3 - 5 inches of rain over the next two days. These rains should cause moderate but not major flooding in Pennsylvania. Also of concern is the potential for tornadoes today. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has logged 40 tornado reports over the past four days from Lee, including two in North Carolina yesterday. Most of these tornadoes have been weak EF-0 and EF-1 twisters. A tornado that hit Cana, Virginia at Sunday night ripped the roof off of a gas station and injured two people. More tornadoes are likely today over coastal Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey, where SPC is predicting a "Slight Risk" of severe weather.

Lee's heaviest rain amounts, by state, as of 4 am CDT today:

Holden, LA: 15.43"
Waveland, MS: 14.11"
Fyffe, AL: 12.94"
Cleveland, TN: 12.22"
Rome, GA: 11.01"
Milton, FL: 10.03"
Blowing Rock, NC: 7.18"
Fancy Gap, VA: 6.77"
Cranks Creek Reservoir, KY: 5.49"
Andover, NJ: 5.06"
Montgomery, NY: 4.23"
Pittsfield, MA: 3.90"
Bluefield, WV: 3.76"
Bridge City, TX: 3.12"
Keene, NH: 3.64"
Hagerstown, MD: 3.60"
Norwalk, CT: 3.20"
Wilmington, DE: 2.63"
Woodford, VT: 2.63"
Washington, DC: 2.42"

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Wouldn't it be Holy Squirrel?


LOL!! Hindsight is 20/20.

As to my initial observation, I guess this would explain it:

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
352 PM EDT WED SEP 7 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN BROWARD COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.
SOUTHEASTERN PALM BEACH COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 415 PM EDT

* AT 347 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS HAVE
DETECTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS
IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR MARGATE...AND
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH.

* THE STORM WILL AFFECT...
MARGATE...
COCONUT CREEK...
DEERFIELD BEACH...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
719. HCW
Quoting MississippiBoy2:
which way does nate go now?

NE in a couple of days :)This is not a Mexican Storm
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
Quoting thedawnawakening3:


Probably not given they are more widespread and are actually sustained, dry air is not into the circulation.


Actually, if you look closely at the close up RGB on NHC's web-site, you can easily see a convergence line just off the Mexican east coast track almost directly into the center of Nate's circulation; i.e. a dry flow. The dry air entrainment is relative, though, the dewpoints are probably in the low 20's,(C) just offshore, when normally one would expect dewpoints in the mid or slighly higher 20's for an airmass in equilibrium with the Gulf's waters this time of year. So with a environment both of free convection and dry air entrainment, I suspect one could see widespread microburst conditions.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
In all seriousness, we need to get Nate to 25N, that way rain can get into TX



sorry but there is way too march dry air in TX even if it did make it too TX the rain may not hit the ground with the air being so dry all so like don if this gos too TX it may go poof trying too get there with all the dry air
Member Since: Mayo 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Member Since: Julio 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
Quoting RitaEvac:


hit a cow pasture
hehehe...well I like that track for Nate, not intensity, just the track.
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A tale of 3 storms.

Tropical Storm Nate



Tropical Storm Maria



Hurricane Katia



Very impressive outflow on Katia especially on her eastern quad.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
which way does nate go now?
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Quoting P451:


It'll be 60mph in no time.

Not one person thought this would spin up the way it did the last 3.5 hours. Only liars would claim they did.

Lol, I had it at 10% yesterday and to be honest didn't anticipate anything for at least 3-4 days...guess not.

I guess this part of the definition isn't too important this year:

A warm-core non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone, originating over tropical or subtropical waters, with organized deep convection and a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center. Once formed, a tropical cyclone is maintained by the extraction of heat energy from the ocean at high temperature and heat export at the low temperatures of the upper troposphere. In this they differ from extratropical cyclones, which derive their energy from horizontal temperature contrasts in the atmosphere (baroclinic effects).

Oh well, don't mean to bash, just my personal opinion. They did find tropical storm-force winds, and a closed, albeit very broad, circulation, which appears to be enough for classification.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
In all seriousness, we need to get Nate to 25N, that way rain can get into TX
Member Since: Julio 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
707. DFWjc
Quoting CaribBoy:
Troll warning issued


Cat 1, strong Cat 2, Weak Cat 3 or Cat 4? :)
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i wounder if are new storm will follow a some what same path has lee did
Member Since: Mayo 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting MississippiWx:


It's amazing to me how there are bands to the north and northwest of Nate...in the dry air.


Baroclinicity from the stationary front draped across the GOM is probably helping it.
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Quoting DookiePBC:
Holy cats did it just get dark here in Deerfield Beach!!


Wouldn't it be Holy Squirrel?
Member Since: Julio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting weathers4me:
It looks like two pieces of energy coming off Nate. One going to MX and the other toward FL. Agree totally.
i dont think he is moving at all
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Quoting P451:
Look at it just sucking in all the moisture it can from all around (particularly evident to the north). This thing is headed Hurricane in a hurry I think. Just look at it. This is 3.5 hours....





Could it possibly shield itself from the dry air to the north?
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Member Since: Agosto 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
Don't let your guard down with the P22L still has a decent spin at 850MB and 700MB:

850MB:



700MB:



Should be under better upper level conditions as it exits the large circulation of Katia in 24 to 36HR. The main issue would be its proximity to land.
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Note: I have stopped doing tropical weather updates due to scheduling conflicts.

Also, the geographical shape of the Bay of Campeche favors a rapid spinup of Nate into a stronger system. We witnessed this with Karl last year.



yup and i was here
Member Since: Mayo 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting P451:


It'll be 60mph in no time.

Not one person thought this would spin up the way it did the last 3.5 hours. Only liars would claim they did.



IMO...

TS: Well...It is already one, LOL.

Hurricane: 80% chance (may rise or lower)

Major hurricane: 40% chance (may rise or lower)
Member Since: Julio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting MississippiWx:


It's amazing to me how there are bands to the north and northwest of Nate...in the dry air.


And that dry air to the north is the driest I've ever seen, boy is Nate ready to take off or what!
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
It looks like two pieces of energy coming off Nate. One going to MX and the other toward FL. Agree totally.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
So how come Bret was never retired?


hit a cow pasture
Member Since: Julio 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
Quoting P451:
Look at it just sucking in all the moisture it can from all around (particularly evident to the north). This thing is headed Hurricane in a hurry I think. Just look at it. This is 3.5 hours....







Most BOC systems spin up fast..
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Note: I have stopped doing tropical weather updates due to scheduling conflicts.

Also, the geographical shape of the Bay of Campeche favors a rapid spinup of Nate into a stronger system. We witnessed this with Karl last year.
Member Since: Julio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24484
Quoting RitaEvac:
So how come Bret was never retired?
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Quoting P451:


It'll be 60mph in no time.

Not one person thought this would spin up the way it did the last 3.5 hours. Only liars would claim they did.




I did


'nt
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Holy cats did it just get dark here in Deerfield Beach!!
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Quoting snotly:
school's out.


Yeah...for like an hour...
Member Since: Julio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting snotly:
school's out.



run for the hills
Member Since: Mayo 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
It has been stoned into us to death that this system in no way is coming to TX, it'll either go NE or into Mexico, that is what local mets have said all along
Member Since: Julio 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
I see the EURO has moved west with Maria in regards to NC..only time will tell..
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
Am I wrong or is the Center of Circulation in open water with the cloud buildups over land?? It does look like a rain band over land over the Yucatan. Looks like nothing I've seen before. Amazing shot with the clouds spinning up in 3.5 hours.
Member Since: Julio 24, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 927
school's out.
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The ensemble doesn't have a clue what to do with 96L/15L/Nate, do they?

Member Since: Octubre 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2312
Quoting P451:
Look at it just sucking in all the moisture it can from all around (particularly evident to the north). This thing is headed Hurricane in a hurry I think. Just look at it. This is 3.5 hours....







It's amazing to me how there are bands to the north and northwest of Nate...in the dry air.
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Member Since: Julio 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
A decent band is beginning to setup over the Yucatan Peninsula:

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675. 7544
could somthing be about to pop up to the east of nate all that conv is going east to fla from the gom could this be confusing modeles where nate will go west to mex and the new east side develops and heads e east or ne could this happen as a nother invest or low pres system tia
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Pretty Maria comes at me
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wat
Quoting RitaEvac:
NNW movement all the way to home base would be perfect....
could get serious on that course might be the only way to get into the dryness
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yo, you got me this time...96L developed wayyyy quicker than I anticipated. Would have never thought that a 45mph Nate would be present 24 hours after the blog entry.


Yeah, you better admit it, LOL.
Member Since: Julio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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