Gulf of Mexico storm not likely to become a depression; storm kills 11 in Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:38 PM GMT on May 22, 2009

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The large extratropical storm that has been pounding Florida and the Bahamas this week with heavy rain and high surf extended its reach yesterday, killing at least 11 people in Haiti. According to Reuters, most of the victims were killed while crossing rivers or when their flimsy homes collapsed. Approximately six inches of rain fell on Haiti's southwest peninsula in the 24 hours ending at 8pm EDT. Hundreds of homes were flooded and dozens destroyed in the flooding, which left 40% of the southern city of Cayes underwater. The impoverished Caribbean country is still struggling to recover from the massive flooding that killed over 800 people during the hurricane season of 2008. In March, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Bill Clinton--who was this week appointed UN special envoy to the island--toured Haiti together and urged the international community to continue to aid the country. Participants at a Washington international donors conference in April agreed to donate $324 million to help Haiti rebuild.

The worst of the rain and flooding is over for Florida, which has seen rainfall amounts this week as high as 23.75 inches at the Flagler County Fairgrounds. Another 1 - 2 inches are expected in Northeast Florida today from the storm, along with beach erosion, 6 - 8 foot waves, and tides 1 - 2 feet above normal. The bad weather in Northeast Florida should subside substantially on Saturday.


Figure 1. Long range radar out of New Orleans.

The storm responsible for the heavy rains is now headed north-northwest, and should make landfall Saturday near the Louisiana/Mississippi border. The storm has developed a warm core at low levels, and NHC designated it Invest 90L late this morning. Latest visible satellite loops show a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity on the east side of the storm's circulation, but development is being hindered by dry air, and wind shear of 20 knots. Long range radar out of New Orleans (Figure 1) shows little organization or banding of the radar echoes. With only 24 hours to go until the system moves inland, it does not have enough time to develop into a depression. Since there will be strong winds from the west creating wind shear over the storm, plus dry air to the storm's west, most of the heavy rain should be confined to the east of the storm's center, along a stretch of coast from New Orleans to Pensacola. Rainfall totals of 2 - 4 inches can be expected.


Figure 2. Latest satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico storm.

I'll have an update Saturday.

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Jeff Masters

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1122. Drakoen
The circulation seen on radar is mid level. The system is a little vertically titled. I would place the center near 28.8N 87.8W.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting StormJunkie:
Over 2 hrs old '07


Yeah I thought it was old. Sorry about that...
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

maybe i should sent NHC the picture to let em know we have a depression


Hey Keeperofthegate just wondering how you got a picture of me when i get up in the mornings?????

Taco :0)
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Over 2 hrs old '07
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Quoting StormJunkie:
This buoy is pretty close to that and should be able to tell us a lot...

Anyone know when new microwave images will come out?


LINK

Sroll to satellite pass info and look under the next column.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Super-res:

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Morning Drak, nice to have you aboard...So what are your thoughts on the radar...
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85ghz Microwave image:

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

maybe i should sent NHC the picture to let em know we have a depression


keep i would stop posting that be for you end upbeing ban one time is good but when you start posting overe and overe its gets annyo can you may be Please stop
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This buoy is pretty close to that and should be able to tell us a lot...

Anyone know when new microwave images will come out?
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1101 & 1102 lol

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1110. Drakoen
Wouldn't be nice to wake up tomorrow morning to find out a tropical or subtropical cyclone is off the coast.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting Tazmanian:
Stormchaser2007 is that a eye like thing on the rader???



No, its the Mid level low.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting Drakoen:
Radar images and satellite images indicate to me that a 90L is on the verge of becoming a tropical depression if not one already.


Pretty impressive round of rapid organization 90L has put on.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Stormchaser2007 is that a eye like thing on the rader???

Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Closeup:

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KOTG, if this is not as fast or faster than those images, then it is darn close. Up until know I have not seen a site that updates quicker.
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Come on now..there is no "eye feature". LOL.
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1104. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Haboobs - yup - lots of water here, too. But my point is that moisture is just one criterion. It's plainly obvious that we're not getting thunderstorms out of this (at least yet) and I'm leary of calling anything without a thunderstorm a tropical depression.
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Quoting louisianaweatherguy:
ok... so i'm confused... everyone take a look at the mobile radar and look at the swirl of heavy convection. Is that the Mid-Level circulation? Because I believe the low-level circulation is further to the SW. Is that right?


It's kinda difficult to say. That hook rotation could be a mid-level vorticity that formed within the intense convective burst or it could of been a reformation of the center.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
That circ seen on radar could be a mid level circulation, but it may also be the surface center trying to reform. With these disorganized systems you never know. Recon(and vis sat) would be nice.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Closeup:



I believe that's at the midlevels at the moment with the surface center still to the south but trying to reform under the midlevel swirl.
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Quite a bit of lightning with 90L.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
1098. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting StormJunkie:
KOTG, that was pretty funny, got a good laugh out of it. Thanks...

Although I am not a big fan of those sat pics you have been posting. So many better ones out there.
i use those one because its the closes time wise maybe 15 min behind to what i see on my tap page tap wont let me post those images so i use plymouth
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
is that a eye like thing on the rader am looking at???


Quoting Weather456:
SJ,

Radar imagery is showing a tight, well define center clearly embedded in the strongest convection. This fits the criteria of a tropical depression to me, but I'll wait to see what the NHC says 2 am

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1096. Drakoen
Radar images and satellite images indicate to me that a 90L is on the verge of becoming a tropical depression if not one already.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting louisianaweatherguy:
ok... so i'm confused... everyone take a look at the mobile radar and look at the swirl of heavy convection. Is that the Mid-Level circulation? Because I believe the low-level circulation is further to the SW. Is that right?


I think you might be right, would explain the buoy data. Find it hard to believe that it could get better stacked in the short time it has.
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1084...we didnt get any heavy rain until 4ish here. All morning we just had the mistiness as you are saying. All I can tell you is my ditch is full of water and I have puddles in my yard.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
I the nhc update 2am eastern or central time? I dont know if I can stay awake until 2am central time. Been up since 4 this morning.


EDT - Miami, FL
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1043. cchsweatherman 4:46 AM GMT on May 23, 2009
Based upon the latest surface observations, cyclone phase analysis, and satelite imagery, its in this forecaster's opinion that Tropical Storm Ana has formed in the Northern Gulf.


And based on this forecasters opinion your right...I am going to stick my neck out and say it. Tropical Storm Ana has formed with 40-50 mph winds in the Northeastern Gulf....Although I believe it was Ana 2 or 3 hours ago.
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Closeup:

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
456...Either that or one heck of a hook echo...But the wind directions are throwing me off.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
I the nhc update 2am eastern or central time? I dont know if I can stay awake until 2am central time. Been up since 4 this morning.


2 am EDT. 1 AM CDT.
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1088. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
latest image 445z
**/**/**
INV/90L
MARK
28N/88W
nearly stationary or stationary

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
I the nhc update 2am eastern or central time? I dont know if I can stay awake until 2am central time. Been up since 4 this morning.
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This is likely going to bypass the TD stage altogether. What time's the recon heading out tomorrow?
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ok... so i'm confused... everyone take a look at the mobile radar and look at the swirl of heavy convection. Is that the Mid-Level circulation? Because I believe the low-level circulation is further to the SW. Is that right?
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1080 - point to you. I drove from NOLA to Niceville this afternoon - right through what you are talking about. But once I got east of Mobile, it was solid overcast with light mist to light rain. Never any hard rain or thunderstorms. I still have not seen a single thunderstorm come out of this thing (what ever you might call it).
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is that a eye like thing on the rader??? that 46 posted??
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Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
KOTG, that was pretty funny, got a good laugh out of it. Thanks...

Although I am not a big fan of those sat pics you have been posting. So many better ones out there.
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Quoting F1or1d1an:
Stormchaser - if you really *want* a tropical storm - that's fine.

I'm just telling you what I know by what I am experiencing tonight 2 miles north of Destin, FL. It's not scientific, I'll agree, but I would rather trust my instincts - they've served me well since I moved here in 1994.


Well I am 15 miles east of Biloxi and I can tell you the rain we have had today has been that pulse rain. QUick short downpours with a short clearing for a few minutes followed by another wave. The clouds have been awesome. It goes pitch black for about five minutes then a few minutes later is sunny as if there hasnt been a cloud around all day. It is been back and forth since early this morning. Has a tropical feel outside to me.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
think iam going to make that the 09 mascot for the season

Everytime I hit refresh, that is the first thing that pops up haha. Awesome pic. My wife walked by and just starting laughing.
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Real hard to find how this radar is not what it looks like...
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Stormchaser - if you really *want* a tropical storm - that's fine.

I'm just telling you what I know by what I am experiencing tonight 2 miles north of Destin, FL. It's not scientific, I'll agree, but I would rather trust my instincts - they've served me well since I moved here in 1994.
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One thing that was amazing with this system was how it fought off the dry air. There was a ton of dry air pushing in from the north and west side right after it moved into the Gulf. I thought that alone was going to kill any chances.
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Nice try 456, would have been cool if that worked...

So what are your thoughts on that radar?
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1074. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting SevereHurricane:
LMAO Keeper...
think iam going to make that the 09 mascot for the season
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
My wind chimes are making a lot of noise at a consistant rate. Does this count as a 1 minute average of strong winds? haha.
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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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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