Season's first tropical depression forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:43 PM GMT on May 28, 2009

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Nature is jumping the gun a bit this year, with the season's first tropical depression forming four days before the official start to hurricane season. The area of disturbed weather (91L) that we've been watching, about 250 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, has developed enough heavy thunderstorm activity and spin to be classified as a tropical depression. QuikSCAT imagery from last night revealed a closed surface circulation, but top winds of only 20 - 25 mph. Satellite estimates (using a cloud pattern recognition method called the "Dvorak" technique) were saying this was a tropical depression this morning, though, so the NHC elected to upgrade the system.

The disturbance is over the relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream (25°C) and has wind shear of 5 - 10 knots over it, and these conditions are marginally favorable for some slow development to occur until Friday, when the system will likely move over waters too cold to support intensification. TD One is not a threat to any land areas. I give the storm a 60% chance of becoming Tropical Storm Ana.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of TD One.

Is the formation of TD One a harbinger of an active hurricane season?
Probably not. Early season storms occurring near the U.S. coast have not been shown to be correlated with an active main portion of hurricane season during August - October. However, the situation is different if we start getting June and July storms in the deep tropics between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands. This was the case last year, when the formation of Hurricane Bertha in the deep tropics in July presaged an active 2008 hurricane season. According to the Hurricane FAQ, "as shown in (Goldenberg 2000), if one looks only at the June-July Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes occurring south of 22°N and east of 77°W (the eastern portion of the Main Development Region [MDR] for Atlantic hurricanes), there is a strong association with activity for the remainder of the year. According to the data from 1944-1999, total overall Atlantic activity for years that had a tropical storm or hurricane form in this region during June and July have been at least average and often times above average. So it could be said that a June/July storm in this region is pretty much a "sufficient" condition for a year to produce at least average activity."

Portlight.org offering relief to Florida flood victims
Tropical disturbance 90L dropped as much as two feet of rain over Northeastern Florida last week, causing severe flooding. In Volusia County, at least 1500 homes were damaged by the flooding, and many of these were in low-income housing projects where the residents did not have flood insurance. Portlight Strategies, Inc., is now working to assist in this area by providing durable medical equipment to the disabled, elderly, or injured that have lost equipment due to the flooding. Equipment will also be provided to local shelters and other organizations working with flood victims. To help out, visit the Portlight disaster relief blog..


Figure 2. Rainfall amounts over Florida for the two weeks ending on May 27, 2009. Images credit: NOAA.

Jeff Masters

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TD 1

AOI #2
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Quoting StormSurgeon:
I don't want to see Jim C. broadcasting from any beach from P-Cola to Biloxi.........gives me the shivers!
I'll take him over Geraldo standing on a flood wall...
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Quoting MsBlanch:


Same in Pensacola, we've seen the Cantori and crew at lunch several times over the years without foul weather - although it does cause one to get to the nearest weather report asap after a sighting.


I can't remember which storm he was here for, but I remember driving down Bayshore Blvd and there he was doing a live report. This was in 2005.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting MsBlanch:


Same in Pensacola, we've seen the Cantori and crew at lunch several times over the years without foul weather - although it does cause one to get to the nearest weather report asap after a sighting.


I would be more worried if I saw Cyclooz chained to my parkade.
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200. Skyepony (Mod)
TD1 is suffering from the heat of the day. May reprise after midnight.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I don't know, I've seen him in Tampa a couple of times and nothing ever happened.


Same in Pensacola, we've seen the Cantori and crew at lunch several times over the years without foul weather - although it does cause one to get to the nearest weather report asap after a sighting.
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I think, at least. Lines are so close together. LOL.
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The freak!3 models take it to the southeast after leaving Bermuda and the purple line takes a full turn back to the U.S.Like that would happne!
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If TD 1 follows the right side of the cone, she would be right over the Gulf Stream. Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Had me going there TS. Thought I was going crazy. :)

Double-checked. Moving into 23/24c waters now. Had it stayed NNE, would have had warmer SSTs.
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Quoting 2009hurricane:
Good Evening All! WOW!!! We have TD#1


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I don't want to see Jim C. broadcasting from any beach from P-Cola to Biloxi.........gives me the shivers!
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Actually that further South Track should have given it a slightly better chance of developing, as StormSurgen said above the opportunity has come and gone...Naked swirl will be coming soon.


To me, it had to stay NNE to stay over warmer water.

How so? Haven't really looked at much else.
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Floater does not have it as Tropical Now as they have now got a large L displayed and a 1007mb Low.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting cg2916:
Worst case scenario during a hurricane season... Jim Cantore's standing in your front yard. Lol.


I don't know, I've seen him in Tampa a couple of times and nothing ever happened.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Seastep:


The 60% was based on forecast track at the time. Not moving that way. No chance of hitting the next forecast point.


Actually that further South Track should have given it a slightly better chance of developing, as StormSurgen said above the opportunity has come and gone...Naked swirl will be coming soon.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Worst case scenario during a hurricane season... Jim Cantore's standing in your front yard. Lol.
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The update is at 5pm and 11pm and 5am and 11am correct?
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 688
Wow! The first storm of the season AGAIN forming out of the boundaries of the season! The 3rd time in a row!

I am watching this system as it progresses.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yep its just not in a good place to develop...75-76degF SST's just are not warm enough to start an engine....Amazing that Dr. Masters is giving it a 60% chance. Not picking on the good DR. but, i just can't see it developing....ate Crow before and could be eating some again soon.....LOL


I've tasted crow a few times myself. I think TD1 had a window of opportunity to reach T.S. strength (and maybe did), but I believe that window has come and gone.

Water Vapor Loop
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yep its just not in a good place to develop...75-76degF SST's just are not warm enough to start an engine....Amazing that Dr. Masters is giving it a 60% chance. Not picking on the good DR. but, i just can't see it developing....ate Crow before and could be eating some again soon.....LOL


The 60% was based on forecast track at the time. Not moving that way. No chance of hitting the next forecast point.
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


Maybe Cantori will be able to dock his rowboat right outside the hotel if we get a storm this year.


If Cantori is outside your door, you are officially screwed. LOL!
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We need the rain but my daughter has soccer tryouts friday, sat and sun
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


I agree, it's moving over water that's way to cool to support any development, and it's getting colder by the hour. Hence, it's pooping out.


Yep its just not in a good place to develop...75-76degF SST's just are not warm enough to start an engine....Amazing that Dr. Masters is giving it a 60% chance. Not picking on the good DR. but, i just can't see it developing....ate Crow before and could be eating some again soon.....LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting TampaSpin:


TD1 is looking pretty sick now! NO Ana coming from TD1 IMO!


I agree, it's moving over water that's way to cool to support any development, and it's getting colder by the hour. Hence, it's pooping out.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I can't wait to see it in action during a storm. Hopefully it will perform under pressure!


You know...it should!

Here is a final list of equipment / capabilities.

1) ProWeather Station - sales told me that it will begin to disintegrate at 130 MPH +. But as you can see by comparing my readings to wunderground's for the zip 87544, it is a very reliable system during periods of "normal" weather. [I hear thunder from the webcam!] The weather station and base station run on AA batts and the batts can last up to two years. I will change them out when it's go-time just to be sure. Using the wunderground weather script, you'll see the pressure in hPa...which I think is pretty cool!

2) Waterproof Black Box - I have drilled some holes in it, but they're sealed with alot of silicone. The box is locked and will be chained down.

3) Optima Marine Batts for Power - Using two of these configured in parallel, I'm getting a long discharge life from them. Together, they deliver 110 amp hours.

4) Oregon Scientific ATC3K Waterproof Camera - It's waterproof when you use it as a standalone, but remove the cap to hook it to a USB cable and you better be sure you tape that thing shut if it's going outdoors. Nice, rich colors and is powered directly from the CPU. It's pretty cool and I've finally decided that I like it.

5) Sony Condenser Microphone - Slides nicely into a condom for waterproofing and provides decent audio. You'll definitely be able to hear the storm when it's deployed.

6) Portable USB-powered 120-gig HD - I may want to use some of the footage from the live stream into my experience videos on YouTube. This HD gives me that opportunity.

7) Dell Mini-9 CPU - I cannot say enough good things about this little unit! It only uses 30 watts per hour and since it's loaded with Windows XP, it's very stable!

8) Abacast.com Streaming Service - This is a big ticket item, but I just had to get it for you folks. When you go to XtremeHurricanes.com and watch the live web cam, you're not eating up my servers bandwidth, you're dining at Abacast.com as they're the ones delivering the bandwidth. Consequently, your streaming experience during an actual hurricane landfall event will be second to none...and it will be FREE.

9) GoToMyPC.com Remote Hurricane Weather Station Interface - This inexpensive service is allowing wunderground's PenscolaDoug to operate the station and all it's components remotely from his home in Pensacola. Now...should P'cola come under the gun of a hurricane making landfall, PensacolaDoug will have to figure out how and where to operate the remote station. If something like that scenario plays out, I will wish that a TV program had been made for "The Discovery Channel." However, I will expect PensacolaDoug to shoot some video for me and send me the tapes so I can edit them into the experience videos on YouTube.

10) VerizonWireless Broadband Card - If there is a kink in the chain, it's my connectivity to the internet. If it goes down for any reason, PensacolaDoug won't have access and therefore cannot do anything to help bring the system back up. Your live webcam stream will go black and the weather station data will go "NA." I know...it's a terrible scenario...but that's the cold hard facts about it. On the good side, however...it has been my experience that VerizonWireless has never gone down in a hurricane. Even during Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Ike...Verizon service was like a rock and never dropped out.

So...that's how you build a remote hurricane station, folks. There's a few other tips and tricks to the process...but what's above is what it takes.

Will it stay operational during "a big one?"

We may well find out this year.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
176. beell
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16918
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Tampa, no offense but you know to never think never. The NHC thinks it will be, by atleast 11 PM tonight.


Agree with the never, but based on it now seeming to be moving more east than NE, it's going to have a hard go of it.

NHC discussion is based on it moving as forecast and staying in the warmer waters.

Have to wait and see, but looking less and less probable to me.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


TD1 is looking pretty sick now! NO Ana coming from TD1 IMO!


Tampa, no offense but you know to never think never. The NHC thinks it will be, by atleast 11 PM tonight.
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Quoting ClearwaterSteve:
Thank you TCW. When i saw the GFS I was like oh oh


No problem, just more friggin rain.
Thank you TCW. When i saw the GFS I was like oh oh
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2 hours to go.
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129 me too
I still think it won't form but I've been consistently wrong about this storm, I think I'm forecasting the worst for the storm just so Murphy's Law can take over and get us a TS.
Anyone else think It's weird that if this forms we,ll have the 3rd year in a row with a pre-season storm.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2375
Quoting hurricanemaniac123:
Wow, the first TD of the season. So many people were doubting 91L and said it wouldn't form.

I think it may be TS Ana today or tommorow.


TD1 is looking pretty sick now! NO Ana coming from TD1 IMO!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting ClearwaterSteve:
Hey all I am at work so this might have been answered already. THe GFS model is showing a strong storm hitting the west coast of Fl in about 24 to 36 hours. Has there been any other collaboration of this.

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/gfstc2.cgi?time=2009052812&field=850mb+Vorticity&hour=018hr


Nothing at the surface, it's just a frontal mid/upper low. It's the blob currently on the Texas Coast.
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TD1 hasn't really shown an appreciable change in structure except for the development of a poleward band.
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Quoting TampaMishy:
I think you might be the only "Cane" on right now.


There are too many "cane" people on here. I need a new name. LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Wow, the first TD of the season. So many people were doubting 91L and said it wouldn't form.

I think it may be TS Ana today or tommorow.
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 688
Quoting TampaSpin:


Mishy...hey girl


Ok, Still living under the bridge....Are you still throwing rocks at the house as you go to work or have they moved ya yet.....LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
TD-1 reminds me kinda of Chantal from 2007.
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Hey all I am at work so this might have been answered already. THe GFS model is showing a strong storm hitting the west coast of Fl in about 24 to 36 hours. Has there been any other collaboration of this.

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/gfstc2.cgi?time=2009052812&field=850mb+Vorticity&hour=018hr
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Hey Mishy. Which cane? LOL
I think you might be the only "Cane" on right now.
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159. beell
Ok, never mind. It is very clear now that the some of the clouds have blown out of the way.
Winds from the N on the west side. Winds from the S on the east side. A surface trough!


Link
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16918
Quoting TampaMishy:
Hi Cane


Hey Mishy. Which cane? LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CycloneOz:
Here's a final bit of GREAT NEWS concerning the XtremeHurricanes.com live cam / remote hurricane weather station test.

Abacast.com has just sent me the JAVA script that fixes the bug in the embedded player when using Internet Explorer.

I have inserted the corrected script into the html file and it is now up and running CORRECTLY without any bugs at all.

That was the final fix, folks.

This remote hurricane station is officially now ready for deployment! [Woot!]


I can't wait to see it in action during a storm. Hopefully it will perform under pressure!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
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areal Flood advisory for my area "Extreme NE Dade" not much flooding in my area though.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Mishy...hey girl
Hi Spin how are you?
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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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