91L remains disorganized but could develop in the Gulf of Mexico

By: Civicane49 , 2:49 PM GMT on June 04, 2013

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The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season has just begun, and we are now discussing the potential development of the first tropical cyclone of the season in the Atlantic. There is a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms situating over northwestern Caribbean, western Cuba, and southeastern Gulf of Mexico. This area of disturbed weather has been tagged as “Invest 91L”. Satellite image depicts that 91L remains poorly-organized with the heavy thunderstorms remain displaced to the southeast of the low-level center; this is due to the combination of both the strong vertical wind shear and dry air over the Gulf of Mexico. CIMSS analysis reveals that the system is within high northwesterly shear of 20 – 30 knots. The shear is shifting the heavy thunderstorm activity to the east away from the center as seen on satellite loop. Water vapor imagery depicts a large area of dry, stable air situating across much of the Gulf and is preventing the convection to develop over the center.

Forecast for 91L
Shear is expected to decrease into moderate range in the next day or so, which could become more favorable for development. If dry air lingers, however, further development would likely be prevented. At this time, development will be slow to occur, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving this tropical disturbance a 30% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, which I agree on. Regardless of development, the system will likely continue to bring heavy rain over portions of northwestern Yucatan Peninsula, portions of western Cuba, and South Florida for the next few days. The system is currently moving slowly north-northeastward and is expected to remain in that direction in the next few days. The disturbance should make landfall on Florida by around Friday. Models are in a fairly good agreement with the forecast track of 91L.

Figure 1. Morning infrared satellite image of Invest 91L. Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB.

Elsewhere, no tropical cyclone development is anticipated in the next two days.


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