Hurricane Hunters find 50 - 60 mph winds in disturbance 92L north of Puerto Rico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:54 PM GMT on August 25, 2009

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The tropical wave (92L) a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico is generating a large area of surface winds of 50 - 60 mph, according to the latest information from the Hurricane Hunters. Top winds seen so far at their flight level of 1,000 feet were 69 mph, which would make 92L a strong tropical storm if it had a surface circulation.
However, the aircraft has not found a surface circulation, and the satellite appearance shows virtually no change in the amount, intensity, or organization of the storm's thunderstorm activity. Wind shear has dropped to the moderate range, 15 - 20 knots this afternoon, but the upper low 92L is moving underneath is dumping cold, dry air into the region. Dry air continues to get ingested into 92L's thunderstorms, creating strong downdrafts that are robbing 92L of heat and moisture. These downdrafts are creating surface arc clouds that spread out from where the downdraft hits the ocean surface. NHC continues to give 92L a high (greater than 50% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday afternoon.

The forecast for 92L
As 92L moves underneath the center of the upper low on Wednesday morning, the upper low is expected to weaken, and wind shear is expected to decline to the low range, 5 - 10 knots. However, the upper-level low will continue to dump dry, cold air into 92L through Thursday afternoon, slowing down development. By Thursday night, when 92L should be several hundred miles off the coast of northern Florida, the upper-level low may be weak enough and far enough away that 92L will find itself in a region with light upper level anticyclonic winds, which would favor more rapid development. However, this favorable environment will not last long, since a strong trough of low pressure will be approaching the U.S. East Coast on Friday. This trough will bring high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots by Friday night. This trough should be strong enough to turn 92L to the north. The models disagree substantially on how close 92L will be to the coast at that time. One camp of models, including the NOGAPS, Canadian, UKMET, and ECMWF models, predict 92L will pass very close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday night or Saturday morning. The GFS, GFDL, and HWRF models keep 92L several hundred miles out to sea. Both sets of models bring 92L north-northeastwards on Saturday, with a track over Massachusetts or Nova Scotia. The intensity forecast for 92L is problematic, since it's eventual strength depends upon how quickly it manages to become a tropical depression. Given that 92L will find itself in a favorable environment for strengthening for about 36 hours this week, and marginal for the remainder of the week, I give the system these odds:

10% chance of never getting a name.
20% chance of becoming a weak tropical storm (40 - 50 mph winds).
40% chance of becoming a strong tropical storm (55 - 70 mph winds).
30% chance of attaining hurricane strength.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
The ECMWF and UKMET models predict the development of a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa late this week. The GFS model no longer shows this.

I'll have an update Wednesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:

What a plume over houston.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Link

It certainly appears as if a LLC (low-level circulation) is trying to develop. Also, there area some very strong northerly upper-level winds just west of where it appears a center is trying to form. Could this in essence push the developing clusters of storms to the north BACK over the center? Or does that kinda not happenn...lol..
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11012
Hey 900mb,you need to hang out with reed dude.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 602
With this storm being so close, a lot of people aren't aware of it. Other than a minor blurb on the news its not being covered. The fact is, IF 92L turns out to be something bigger than a few gusty t-storms, we won't know much in advance, and people won't have much, if any, time to evacuate if need be. For the OBX there are only two ways off the island- high rise bridge with easily flooded roads (HWY 12) or the ferries- which close down well before the storm arrives. OBX hasn't had a 'cane since Isabel, and Eastern NC's last 'big one' was Floyd (which is as bad as any 'F-word' you can say around here!).
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ok...comparing a cat 2 in the upper NE US and a cat 4 in the GOM...honestly...as far as structure goes...they are neck and neck...as far as economic hardship...let's face it...it depends on exactly where it hits...Katrina...very few had insurance...so major econimic hardship occurred...if a cat 2 hit and the worst damage was in an affluent community...then the economic hardship just went down...it isn't just the size and strength of the storm...another factor is in the NE USA the storms are moving thru at a good clip...meaning they don't last as long which can lessen damage in the long run...an extra 3, 5, 7 hours from a snail mover in the gulf or SE USA compared to a freight train...been thru canes...before the codes changed the first time with HUGO...been thru em since then...still would rather hunker down thru a cat 2 up north than EVER go thru another HUGO!
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
Hey StormW, is that flare up in the SW GOM anything to watch?
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Quoting PortABeachBum:
It seems as though "Phil" is interested in becoming a participant in this blog. If he is good at his chosen profession, he should be able to keep us on our toes! If he is trtying to learn from this blog, it is good and he will become better at his chosen profession. Either way - he will probably be better able to serve his public if he continues to querry the best on this blog like you. I have noticed many seem to Pooh!Pooh! the TV personalities on this blog, but never you. Good for you!
If it is the real Phil Ferro his bio sounds pretty good.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8286
529. bwat
Quoting CaneAddict:


What makes you so sure this is Phil Ferro?

since phil is his screen name and the only name we know him by, you have no other choice than to say phil is claiming to be phil. Confusing I know, but I get what he was saying.
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 353
Quoting JupiterFL:


because he said so..
I was trying to be sarcastic.
Whiff....


Oh alright...LOL.
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Valve Problem Scrubs Launch Try
A problem with a fill-and-drain valve inside the shuttle's aft compartment has scrubbed the Wednesday launch. The launch team has not yet set a new launch date and time.
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Many mets do frequent the blog in lurk mode I spoke to my local met in Orlando and he does read Dr.M's blog so it not that unreasonable to believe that a met has a blog on here.
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522. 900MB
:)
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Phil is claiming to be Phil. Don't you just love the internet?


What makes you so sure this is Phil Ferro?
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Quoting tiggeriffic:
who is claiming to be Phil?


"Phil Ferro's" Blog....
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515. 900MB
Quoting Weathermandan:
A category two storm in the northeast is similar a category four storm on the Gulf Coast for two reasons: one, the storm begins to accelerate; as the background flow increases, so does the wind on the eastern semi-circle of the storm (a perfect exapmle was the fast-tracked "Long Island Express"). Also, because of such a large area of dense and wealthy population, the economic/financial damages would be very high. I forget where I read it, so it probably bears very little relevance, but I heard somewhere that a strong category two hurricane making landfall on Long Island would cause similar monetary (financial) damage as Hurricane Katrina. This does NOT mean the storm would be as devastating, completely wiping out whole areas of coastline and destroying towns, but because the damage is occurring in an area with higher population, there's more for it to damage, so the cost of damage goes up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's why a CAT 2 here might end up seeming like a CAT 4. The storm's acceleration also leads to higher storm surge, and less warning time meaning less preparation and more damage...it's all connected.


I hate to even think of the L.I. Express which was a CV storm and one of the most devastating ever.

Out on Long Island we've had 3 gypsy moth infestations in the last 10 years. We have millions of weak oak, maple, etc.. That's one thing that really scares me. So does lack of prep and population density. A moderate Cat 2, would be worse than a cat 4 down in the GOM, economically for sure, physical damage could be close.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 663
So leave by Wednesday or wait till sunday or so then...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
Quoting StormW:


Thank you!
It seems as though "Phil" is interested in becoming a participant in this blog. If he is good at his chosen profession, he should be able to keep us on our toes! If he is trtying to learn from this blog, it is good and he will become better at his chosen profession. Either way - he will probably be better able to serve his public if he continues to querry the best on this blog like you. I have noticed many seem to Pooh!Pooh! the TV personalities on this blog, but never you. Good for you!
Member Since: October 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 200
Quoting tiggeriffic:
who is claiming to be Phil?


Phil is claiming to be Phil. Don't you just love the internet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
who is claiming to be Phil?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
Quoting TampaSpin:
StormW which kind of toliet paper do you perfer for us to put in our Hurricane kits...Is one better than the other....


LOL...Have to go with Charmin, extra soft.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11012
Quoting gordydunnot:
Phil Ferro busted.


Really? I thought he was the "chief meteorologist for Miami".
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Hi Trini !
Quoting CaneAddict:


Something seems fishy about that person. I would like some kind of proof before I believe that is actually Phil Ferro...He seems to kind of brag that he's a chief meteorologist.
I agree.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8286
Quoting StormW:


Thank you!


Something seems fishy about that person. I would like some kind of proof before I believe that is actually Phil Ferro...He seems to kind of brag that he's a chief meteorologist.
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Quoting StormW:


It means downward vertical velocity...sinking air. Has a tendency to make it hard for tropical systems to develop. Dries out the atmosphere. As air sinks, it warms 5.5F for every 1,000 ft. The warming of the air doesn't allow for clouds to build.

How did you do that without saying dry adiabat? I am incapable of describing it without.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A category two storm in the northeast is similar a category four storm on the Gulf Coast for two reasons: one, the storm begins to accelerate; as the background flow increases, so does the wind on the eastern semi-circle of the storm (a perfect exapmle was the fast-tracked "Long Island Express"). Also, because of such a large area of dense and wealthy population, the economic/financial damages would be very high. I forget where I read it, so it probably bears very little relevance, but I heard somewhere that a strong category two hurricane making landfall on Long Island would cause similar monetary (financial) damage as Hurricane Katrina. This does NOT mean the storm would be as devastating, completely wiping out whole areas of coastline and destroying towns, but because the damage is occurring in an area with higher population, there's more for it to damage, so the cost of damage goes up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's why a CAT 2 here might end up seeming like a CAT 4. The storm's acceleration also leads to higher storm surge, and less warning time meaning less preparation and more damage...it's all connected.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
501. AllStar17
2:09 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
It remains too early to tell where the turn to the north may occur and how strong this system could eventually be. The SHIPS Intensity model takes this system to a 105 mph Category 2 hurricane, which is disturbing if this system was to pass close to the US Coast. Remember, Ike was only a Cat. 2, and look what it did.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5301
500. crzyboutncweather
2:08 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting OBXNC:
hey guys and gals ...

you know, this may seem weird ... but it may make sense to some ...

i'm a native of a coastal community (Outer Banks, NC) that is pretty hurricane-savvy. Sometimes it just "feels" like your year to get hit, and that has been the consensus of the locals around here since before hurricane season began this year ... it just kinda feels like we are going to get a storm this year ...

by no means saying it will be 92L, of course ... but my mother and i were talking about it today (she manages a vacation rental company on Hatteras Island), and she agreed that "it feels like our year" is like it was prior to isabel ...

(just cause i feel like i have to disclaim everything - i'm not saying 92L will be an isabel ... lol ... )

i often wonder if the "feeling" is because the weather patterns that set up that allow storms to strike us are similar, and locals in coastal communities sense that ... do i make any sense?

i dunno ... just a musing on a muggy and still tuesday night on the OBX ...



Born and raised in NC myself my parents used to have a place in Avon and I spent many of summers there, I was worried when Bill formed due to the fact of all the rain that we recently had. It seems like everytime we do get a storm that we have had a lot of rain the few weeks prior.

Don't know if 92 will amount to much of anything, but we are definatly watching it here just south of you.
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499. gordydunnot
2:08 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Phil Ferro busted.
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498. Stoopid1
2:08 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
491. Normally I would say yes, but apparently it ain't. Somehow...
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497. GeoffreyWPB
2:08 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting SavannahStorm:


They'll need it in the stormtop/JFV outhouse weather center!


I'm still laughing at that picture.
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496. AllStar17
2:07 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Looking pretty sad right now..



A good DMAX may, however, put this system over the top.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5301
495. HopquickSteve
2:07 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting KEHCharleston:
Why?

Codes are different in hurricane zones. I remember rebuilding after Andrew and they changed the code several times while we were in progress. Everything from numbers of nails on shingles to depth of fence posts got modified. I remember grumbling after being told the post holes had to go 2 more feet down!

So thats why cat 2 WINDS might to cat 4 WIND damage to the NE. Now water is water.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
494. tiggeriffic
2:07 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Hey StormW...how goes it...
with 92L on the horizon...what is your take timeline wise...oldest son moving from DC back to charleston, SC this week/weekend coming...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
493. TriniGirl26
2:06 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
night all,
obxnc i know what u mean...its like trinidad. Every year all the other islands get hit by a hurricane except trinidad. the last hurricane that pass through was more than 10 years ago, maybe more than 15 years and every year since then we hearing a hurricane might pass our way. We try to be prepared...when it reach it reach
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 201
492. SavannahStorm
2:06 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting StormW:


Grab plenty of toilet paper!


They'll need it in the stormtop/JFV outhouse weather center!
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2317
491. GeoffreyWPB
2:06 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Looking pretty sad right now..

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490. naplesdoppler
2:05 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting StormW:


Grab plenty of toilet paper!


LOL. Post of the Day!
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489. Tazmanian
2:04 AM GMT on August 26, 2009
Quoting StormW:


Grab plenty of toilet paper!



lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114785

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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.