Disturbance 98L probably no threat to land

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:46 PM GMT on September 18, 2009

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A tropical disturbance (98L), is located midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands. This disturbance has a well-defined surface circulation, and has developed a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity overnight. This morning's QuikSCAT pass (Figure 1) shows a complete, circular wind pattern around the low pressure center of 98L, but top winds were only 25 mph. Wind shear is moderate, about 15 knots, and Sea Surface Temperatures are 28°C, which is about 2°C above the 26°C threshold needed to support a tropical cyclone. There is a large amount of dry air to the north and west of 98L, and this dry air is interfering with development.

The global computer models predict differing amounts of wind shear in the path of 98L as it moves west-northwest at 10 mph over the next three days. The ECMWF, GFS, and UKMET models do not develop 98L, while the NOGAPS, GFDL, and HWRF do. The models that do develop 98L predict that a strong trough of low pressure will turn 98L to the northwest and then north beginning on Monday, with the result that 98L misses the Lesser Antilles Islands by at least 500 miles. Given the moderate or higher wind shear in 98L's path, and dry air to the northwest, the system should develop only slowly. NHC is giving 98L a medium (30 - 50%) chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. At this time, it does not appear that 98L will ever threaten any land areas.

The remains of Hurricane Fred are still spinning away, near 25N 66W, about 900 miles east of Florida. Wind shear is 20 knots, which is marginal for development, and there is very dry air surrounding ex-Fred on all sides. None of the computer models develop ex-Fred, and it will have a tough time regenerating with so much dry air and wind shear. The remains of Fred should move over Florida Monday night or Tuesday morning.


Figure 1. Morning QuickSCAT image of the Atlantic, showing the well-defined surface circulation of disturbance 98L. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

One year anniversary of Hurricane Ike
I've been focusing this week on the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, but we also passed the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike. Many areas along the Texas and Louisiana coast affected by Ike have fully recovered, but recovery efforts will still take many more years in other areas. In Galveston, which suffered $3.2 billion in damage, 75% of the businesses have reopened, and 95% of the population has returned. Boston.com has posted a very nice series of clickable images that show before and after scenes of some of the areas that have recovered from Hurricane Ike.

Ike washed away huge sections of beach and dunes that helped protect the Texas coast from more serious damage, and this week the state legislature approved $135 million in funds to help replace these critical natural protection systems. The restored beaches will probably last ten years, barring another strike by a hurricane of Ike's stature. Texas considers two-thirds of its 367-mile shoreline to be critically eroding, which it defines as a historical rate of more than 2 feet a year. Much of this erosion can be blamed on sea level rise. Global sea level rose seven inches over the past century, and is expected to rise at least that much over the coming century.


Figure 2. Villagers in Haiti plant one of their "Million Tree Campaign" trees. Image credit: Lambi Fund of Haiti.

Hurricane relief donations
There hasn't been a need for new hurricane-related disaster relief efforts this year, in stark contrast to 2008. However, the charities we rely on to provide disaster relief still require funds to operate in quiet years, and I encourage you to consider a donation at this time to one of my two favorite disaster relief charities. Portlight.org, which was very effective at helping out isolated, under-served communities in the wake of Hurricane Ike, is committed to raising $12,000 to purchase and outfit a mobile kitchen. This kitchen will be capable of feeding up to 2,000 people two hot meals per day in post-disaster situations. The Lambi Fund of Haiti has launched its "Million Tree Campaign", which aims to use local labor to plant a million trees over the next three years along severely deforested slopes in Haiti. Both of these charities wrote to me several times last year about the stunning generosity readers of this blog showed with their donations. Thanks!

Twenty years ago today
As Hurricane Hugo approached the U.S. Virgin Islands in the early morning hours of September 18, 1989, the storm slowed down to 10 mph. The slower speed allowed Hugo to punish the island of St. Croix with the worst beating of any location along the hurricane's destructive path. At 2am local time on September 18, 1989, Hurricane Hugo's eyewall struck St. Croix, bringing incredibly ferocious Category 4 winds, sustained at 140 mph. The hurricane's gusts were remarkably violent, and many residents witnessed tornado-like vorticies barreling across the island as the hurricane raged about them. A storm surge of 2 - 3 feet, topped by battering waves 20 - 23 feet high, assaulted the coast, adding to the destruction. Wunderground member Mike Steers wrote me to describe his experience on St. Croix: "Hugo was incredible. Many vortexes came in that night. The roar and intensity of the winds that night were incredible. When the eyewall came over, we were forced to take refuge in the bathroom as the rest of the house came apart. The pressure was so low outside the house that all of the water was sucked out of the toilet and an air draft was created through the toilet. Just when I thought it was as bad as it would get, the intensity of it all dialed up even higher. Dozens and dozens of times, my ears would violently pop due to rapid pressure changes. The next morning, of course, the devastation was unbelievable. In my front yard was a 18-foot boat with an outboard on it, that had been picked up from a marina two miles away. I had lost my house, and job, the Seaplane company I was a pilot for. After a couple months, I had to leave everything behind. In some respects, after 20 years, there an many aspects of the society that have yet to recover". Two people were killed on St. Croix, 80 injured, and 90% of the buildings were damaged or destroyed. Damage estimates for St. Croix were astronomical, over $1 billion, and the island's entire infrastructure was virtually wiped out. Six weeks after the hurricane, only 25% of the public roads had been cleared, and only 25% of the island had power.


Figure 3. GOES visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 18, 1989. Note the lack of cloud cover on the hurricane's southwest side, indicating that strong upper-level winds from the southwest were likely creating wind shear, weakening the storm. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

As Hugo departed St. Croix, strong upper-level winds from the southwest created wind shear that weakened the storm to a Category 3 hurricane with 130 mph winds. The upper level winds also caused Hugo to accelerate to 15 mph and turn more northwest. The eye passed over Puerto Rico's Vieques Island at 8am and over Fajardo on the extreme northeastern tip of Puerto Rico at 9am. On Culebra Island, an island twelve miles east of Fajardo, a gust to 170 mph was recorded by the ship Night Cap in the main harbor. The south-facing harbor received sustained southerly winds in excess of 120 mph for several hours as Hugo roared by to the south. The resulting wave "set-up" created a storm surge in excess of 13 feet in the supposedly hurricane-proof harbor. A large portion of the Caribbean's charter boat fleet, some 200 boats, was sheltering in Culebra's harbor, and 136 of these boats were badly damaged or sunk. Over 80% of the wooden structures on both Culebra and Vieques were destroyed.


Figure 4. Damage on St. Croix (two top photos), Culebra Island (bottom right), and Puerto Rico's Roosevelt Roads Navy Base (bottom left), after Hurricane Hugo. Image credit: NOAA Photo Library.

Along the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, waves up to ten feet high riding on top of a 3 - 4 foot storm surge caused severe coastal flooding of low-lying areas. Hugo's winds tore into Puerto Rico's El Yunque rainforest, downing thousands of trees. The agricultural sector was devastated, with nearly all of the island's banana and coffee crops wiped out. Twelve deaths in Puerto Rico were attributed to Hugo, six of which occurred in the southern city of Guayama where some residents were electrocuted by downed power lines. Nearly 28,000 people were left homeless by the storm, and damage to the island exceeded $1 billion.

Storm chaser Michael Laca was at Luquillo Beach on the northeast shore of Puerto Rico, and has posted a remarkable 28-minute video on YouTube of Hurricane Hugo footage.

Jeff Masters

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Haven't looked at much, but intensity models certainly think Fred will be a TS.

Link
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Quoting mikatnight:
Glad you caught that Floodman. I was beginning to think I'd have to tell everyone I'm not worried over Phred hitting me as long as I had my copy of HGG and a towel...


As long as it's not the Vogons...LOL
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Quoting jeffs713:
129.

Actually, Andrew was a TS.

Fred doesn't really exist right now, since the remnant swirl that was Fred 3 days ago isn't named, numbered, or even designated an remnant low.

Please stop mixing up your fantasy world and the real world... it gives the rest of us a headache.


Models are running on 07L which is the remnants of Fred. The models show a landfall around Central to North Florida.
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People need to stop making bold statements that Fred will not come back, We don't know!! We really don't know. Saying that is just a hypothetical guess, even saying it will come back is a guess. I'm saying there's a good chance, not saying it will. For all we know it could do a Humberto in the conditions it's going to be in tomorrow. I'm monitoring it, I think this has a decent chance to regain at least TD status before landfall.
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129.

Actually, Andrew was a TS.

Fred doesn't really exist right now, since the remnant swirl that was Fred 3 days ago isn't named, numbered, or even designated an remnant low.

Please stop mixing up your fantasy world and the real world... it gives the rest of us a headache.
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Quoting ConchHondros:
Flood! I, and I am not kidding at all, I have a buddy I served with in the Corps named Buzz...and he is absolutely a killer...we called him Sgt Buzzkill...dude was eating lizards and bugs before Bear Grylls made it cool...used to carry his scrumptious bush morsels around in an old cigar box, chewed on them, raw. while eyeballing our boots (new joins) as they tried to eat mre's...ahh good times...good times


Conch, you know all the best people...and yes, he would indeed be considered a buzzkill...LOL
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Quoting Floodman:


No, a blue whale...his last thought? "Oh no, not again"

To those of you who haven't had the pleasure, that's a reference to Douglas Adams "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

And that book is quite possibly one of the best books that I have ever read.
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Quoting Floodman:


The day is young...let these folks get some coffee in them and we'll be off to the races; on the other hand, it may be a while as most of them are still in school...LOL


Hey Floodman... So true. So True.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10653
Glad you caught that Floodman. I was beginning to think I'd have to tell everyone I'm not worried over Phred hitting me as long as I had my copy of HGG and a towel...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting divdog:
I have very little faith in the models when a system is in the condition fred currently is!!


There's the key word, currently! The shear map shows a much better environment to the west where 07L will head to tomorrow. This is why models probably began running.
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Quoting tacoman:
reed you can monitor this all you want but IMO fred is not coming back to life in fact the NHC will probably stop talking about it all together by saturday...reed with the cold fronts starting to come down i think the lower 48 has escaped this hurricane season..we have to look to 2010..still a very strong elnino out there and that spells a wet winter for the south..maybe even the white stuff..


This season is NOT over

Also you must not be paying attention, because this El Nino is not that strong and is not forecasted to become that strong either.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Which are weird as 98L is an invest.
Although, I was thinking about naming my second child AL07.


So you want your son to be like Moses and to live to 500?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Maybe wind shear is easing over "Double 07L"?
As I stated earlier, convection while getting sheared is trying to wrap around the southern part of the center. It is getting a bit better organized this morning.
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Quoting kmanislander:
Here is something interesting in the Caribbean. The ULL that is South of Jamaica is now showing vorticuty at the 700 mb level which it never had before today. The low is therefore working its way down to the surface from the 200 mb level. If it stays over water long enough it could transition to a surface feature. Something to watch for IMO.


I had the same in my Tropical UPdate...i said exactly the same....i was not at the 700mb yesterday!
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Yes I remember, twenty years ago and Hugo approaching.

Here on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos we were cringing as we prepared,
and listened to the reports of damage to the south.

and then... the effect and the memories.

The main effect was MOSQUITOS! Hugo went to our east and sucked up all the tradwinds.
The "calm before the storm" stayed calm and then more calm... no storm, but plenty mosquito's

My main memory is of... arson. An individual just down the road figured it was a good time to burn his house down to collect the insurance. His "story" was that a spark had ignited gasoline he had stored that evening in the pump room. He figured that the major winds of Hugo would disrupt evidence etc. Ooops...

Ya just never know...

CRS
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
Quoting mikatnight:


You mean like, Phred could turn into a bowl of petunias?


No, a blue whale...his last thought? "Oh no, not again"

To those of you who haven't had the pleasure, that's a reference to Douglas Adams "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
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Quoting reedzone:


You never know, don't be so confident on stuff like this. People do this and stuff happens, because the models are pointing my direction, I'm closely monitoring the progress of "Double 07L"
I have very little faith in the models when a system is in the condition fred currently is!!
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Quoting Floodman:


Okay, now you're reaching...


Yer right, Flood. I regreted it as soon as I clicked the post button...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting mikatnight:


You mean like, Phred could turn into a bowl of petunias?


Meaning anything could happen, a TS is still not out of the question before landfall do to low shear and warm gulf stream that it's headed to. Why do you think models started running on it again? It's heading into better conditions tomorrow and posing a small landfall for the USA.
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Quoting kmanislander:
Here is something interesting in the Caribbean. The ULL that is now South of Jamaica is now showing vorticuty at the 700 mb level which it never had before today. The low is therefore working its way down to the surface from the 200 mb level. If it stays over water long enough it could transition to a surface feature. Something to watch for IMO.


yup something to look at
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Flood! I, and I am not kidding at all, I have a buddy I served with in the Corps named Buzz...and he is absolutely a killer...we called him Sgt Buzzkill...dude was eating lizards and bugs before Bear Grylls made it cool...used to carry his scrumptious bush morsels around in an old cigar box, chewed on them, raw. while eyeballing our boots (new joins) as they tried to eat mre's...ahh good times...good times
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Orcasystems, my FRIEND, please, we need the ARGUING smileys!! We're staring to get twisted over "FredEX" again!!!!!!
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Quoting Floodman:


I'm trying tyo figure how many ways I can fit it into a sentence, you know "Buzzkill is as buzzkill does, my momma used to say"

I think you need some work or something to do... entirely too much free time. ;)
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Here is something interesting in the Caribbean. The ULL that is South of Jamaica is now showing vorticity at the 700 mb level which it never had before today. The low is therefore working its way down to the surface from the 200 mb level. If it stays over water long enough it could transition to a surface feature. Something to watch for IMO.
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Quoting IKE:


LOL.

Looks like Fred is putting on some makeup. He may make me eat a healthy dose of crow.
He is in serious need of a makeover !!
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Quoting mikatnight:
Buzz is dead.
Buzz is a fish.
Buzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?


Okay, now you're reaching...
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Quoting divdog:
not in the year of shear !!


You never know, don't be so confident on stuff like this. People do this and stuff happens, because the models are pointing my direction, I'm closely monitoring the progress of "Double 07L"
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thanks Kman...
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Surprised I haven't seen more "98L is a fish" comments lol

Which are weird as 98L is an invest.
Although, I was thinking about naming my second child AL07.
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Quoting reedzone:


One thing about what you just said.. It's your personal opinion. I'm just giving out my personal opinion as well. Things can change and you've seen this with many disturbances. Felix was able to organize in dry air and Barry developed in 30 knot shear in 2007. Anything can happen, expect the unexpected.


You mean like, Phred could turn into a bowl of petunias?
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
105. IKE
Quoting Floodman:


You forgot buzzkill...hey, is there a place I can go to learn that? buzzkill, I mean...seems as though there's a market for that


LOL.

Looks like Fred is putting on some makeup. He may make me eat a healthy dose of crow.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
On a lighter note folks, "FredEX" looks like he stole ZZ Tops beard!!
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Quoting reedzone:


One thing about what you just said.. It's your personal opinion. I'm just giving out my personal opinion as well. Things can change and you've seen this with many disturbances. Felix was able to organize in dry air and Barry developed in 30 knot shear in 2007. Anything can happen, expect the unexpected.
not in the year of shear !!
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Another Tropical Free Weekend in store for the Basin,..


Outstanding.

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Quoting tacoman:
reed the nhc is just being on the safe side here just in case fred gets lucky..fred will continue to weaken with all the dry air around it and to put it mildly fred is history.nothing for us to worry about here..


One thing about what you just said.. It's your personal opinion. I'm just giving out my personal opinion as well. Things can change and you've seen this with many disturbances. Felix was able to organize in dry air and Barry developed in 30 knot shear in 2007. Anything can happen, expect the unexpected.
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Buzz is dead.
Buzz is a fish.
Buzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
How about this floodman

How much Buzz could a Buzzkill kill, if a Buzzkill could kill buzz?
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Looking a bit better this morning, convection getting sheared but also starting to wrap around the southern part.

"Double 07L"
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b-u-z-z
k-i-l-l
buzzkill
do, do, do
doo, do
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting HurricaneKing:


It's not looking real good but it is starting to look like a Marco sized depression. The center is in the convection at the moment with only the northern side of the circulation out of the convection. Personally Fred looks better than 98L to me.
To my untrained eye they both look pretty bad and non threatening which is good news. Hope thats not a buzkill
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Surprised I haven't seen more "98L is a fish" comments lol


OK...got my Mountain Dew in me and I'm awake now. I don't want you to be disappointed so...

98L is a fish. ;-)

Actually given my relatively limited knowledge of tropical weather I wouldn't make any sort of guess on these storms. I just sit back and listen to the experts.
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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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