90L heads for North Carolina, drenches Bermuda; oil spill changing little

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:54 PM GMT on May 24, 2010

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An extratropical low pressure system (90L) between the Bahamas and Bermuda is moving north-northwest towards North Carolina and is close to tropical storm strength. Last night's ASCAT pass saw a large area of 35 mph winds to the north and east of the center, and buoy 41048 to northeast of 90L's center was seeing sustained ENE winds of 36 mph, gusting to 43 mph this morning. Bermuda is seeing some heavy weather from this storm, with winds blowing at 35 mph on the west end of the island, and the Bermuda radar showing an area of moderate to heavy rain moving over the island. Seas are running 5 - 10 feet in the outer waters of Bermuda today, and are expected to increase to 10 - 14 feet tonight before diminishing on Tuesday.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 90L this morning.

Strong upper-levels winds out of the west are creating about 25 knots of wind shear over 90L, but the shear has been gradually decreasing over the past day. Visible satellite loops show that 90L does not have a well-defined surface circulation. The main thunderstorm activity is in a large curved band to the north and northeast of the center. This band is several hundred miles removed from the center, which is characteristic of subtropical storms. I expect that 90L will continue to grow more subtropical in nature today through Wednesday as the shear continues to fall. Sea surface temperatures are near 25°C today and will fall to 23 - 24°C on Tuesday. This is warm enough to support a subtropical storm, but probably not a tropical storm. On Wednesday, 90L will be nearing the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and SSTs will warm again, to the 24 - 25°C range. This is still pretty cool for a tropical storm, and I expect 90L will never become fully tropical. To understand the difference between a tropical and subtropical storm and why we care, see my subtropical storm tutorial.

The SHIPS model predicts that shear will fall to the medium 10 - 20 knot range by Tuesday. A large amount of dry air to 90L's southwest associated with the upper-level trough of low pressure on top of the storm, as seen on water vapor satellite loops , will hamper transition of 90L to a subtropical or tropical storm. The system will move slowly towards the Southeast U.S. coast over the next two days, making its closest approach to the coast on Wednesday, when most of the models indicate the center will be 200 - 400 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. All of the major models currently predict that 90L will not make landfall, but will move slowly eastward out to sea on Thursday, when a trough of low pressure moving across the Eastern U.S. picks up the storm. There presently isn't much to be concerned with about this storm, as it appears that it will remain offshore and will become, at worst, a 40 - 50 mph subtropical storm. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 90L a medium (30% chance) of developing into a depression or tropical/subtropical storm. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more on 90L.

Western Caribbean disturbance
A small region of disturbed weather has developed in the Western Caribbean, off the east coast of Nicaragua. Moisture is expected to increase across in this area in the coming days, and by Saturday, the GFS and NOGAPS models predict that shear will drop low enough to permit the possible development of a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression. This storm would then move northeastward over eastern Cuba early next week. The other models keep the shear high in the Caribbean all week, and do not show anything developing. Thus, the Western Caribbean bears watching later this week, but the conditions appear marginal for development.

Moderate risk of severe weather today in northern Plains
The Storm Prediction Center has placed western Nebraska and portions of South and North Dakota under their "Moderate" risk for severe weather today. They warn that "a couple of strong and possibly long-track tornadoes appear possible given the forecast scenario." Keep an eye on the activity today with our Severe Weather Page.

Major oil threat continues for the coast of Louisiana
Light winds are expected to prevail across the northern Gulf of Mexico all week, resulting in continued oiling threats to the Louisiana shoreline from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward 150 miles, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. There is no longer a flow of oil moving southwards towards the Loop Current, and the oil that did move southwards last week was mostly entrained into a counter-clockwise rotating eddy attached to the northern boundary of the Loop Current. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery over the weekend showed that most of this oil has dispersed, and very little of this oil is now visible from space (Figure 2.) Imagery from NASA's MODIS instrument and from NOAA aircraft did not show any oil in the Loop Current headed towards the Florida Keys over the weekend, so that is good news. NOAA comments that there may be some "scattered tar balls" in the Loop Current headed towards the Florida Keys. I expect these scattered tar balls have completed the full loop of the Loop Current and are now headed east towards the Keys, and will pass the Dry Tortugas and Key West sometime Wednesday - Saturday. My guess is that the oil and its accompanying plume of toxic dispersants will be too thin and scattered to cause significant problems in the Keys.


Figure 2. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image of the oil spill taken at 11:41am EDT Saturday May 22, 2010, by the European Envisat-1 satellite. Only scattered patches of oil are evident in the counter-clockwise rotating eddy on the northern boundary of the Loop Current. A small amount of oil appears to be in the Loop Current, and is moving southward. Image credit: Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. SAR images have a resolution of 8 - 50 meters, and can be taken through clouds and precipitation.

Future threats to the Keys
Mostly offshore winds are expected this week over the northern Gulf of Mexico, thanks to the approach of the 90L storm along the Southeast U.S. coast. It is uncertain if these winds will be strong enough to push oil southward into the Loop Current, though at least one ocean trajectory model does show this occurring. As I discussed in my post Wednesday, the Loop Current is very unstable right now, and is ready to cut off into a giant clockwise-rotating eddy, an event that occurs every 6 - 11 months. At least one ocean model (the Global HYCOM model from the HYCOM consortium) is predicting that such an eddy will form this week. In the event a Loop Current Eddy does break off, it would create a rotating ring of water 250 miles in diameter to the south of the oil spill. Oil moving southwards would tend to enter the giant eddy and circulate around it, not threatening any land areas. Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecast Service has a nice discussion on the possibility of the Loop Current cutting off into a Loop Current Eddy. Keep in mind, though, that during the first month that a Loop Current Eddy forms, it exchanges a considerable amount of water with the Loop Current. Thus we can expect that a portion of any oil moving southwards into a Loop Current Eddy will find its way into the Loop Current and move past the Florida Keys.

Oil spill resources
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back with a new post Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting atmoaggie:
Speaking of home:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN ST. TAMMANY PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF COVINGTON...

* UNTIL 345 PM CDT

* AT 304 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
ABITA SPRINGS...OR NEAR COVINGTON...AND MOVING NORTHWEST AT 10 MPH.


Damn thing's been sitting on my house for half an hour. Yay, rain!
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Quoting Patrap:


Im sure hes got a place everywhere theres a road floodman.

Or a Popeyes.

Quoting atmoaggie:

That's the rumor...maybe a "hideout" ?


He's still around town, I see him. Unless someone else looks exactly like him in a red ZO6

Which is possible. XD
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Quoting robert88:
I just noticed looking at the visible loop on 90L it has at least 3 eddy circulations. It looks very disorganized and shouldn't upgrade anytime soon if at all.
It reminds me of last year. It seemed like every disturbance had (multiple-vortices).
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19494
431. xcool
Does Goodman live in n.o now
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting robert88:
I just noticed looking at the visible loop on 90L it has at least 3 eddy circulations. It looks very disorganized and shouldn't upgrade anytime soon if at all.


A certain blogger here e-mailed a hi-res GOES image of what you've noticed.

That was 3 hours ago. I cannot release the image as I did not create it...but needless to say...when I first laid eyes on it...I was impressed to the point where I've had a smile on my face ever since! :)
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Quoting Floodman:


Does Goodman not have his place in Madisonville anymore?

That's the rumor...maybe a "hideout" ?
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428. Skyepony (Mod)
Here's the ASCAT 3hrs later.
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The NAM out of all models has nailed 90L thus far, showing multiple lows instead of one dominant one. However, the NAM shows 90L developing one low, we'll see what happens, I still give it a medium chance for it to be named Subtropical Storm Alex.
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I just noticed looking at the visible loop on 90L it has at least 3 eddy circulations. It looks very disorganized and shouldn't upgrade anytime soon if at all.
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Quoting Patrap:
Hard to filet and fry a Pine tree.


Conifer Mueniere just doesn't quite get the juices flowing, no...
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Quoting Floodman:


Does Goodman not have his place in Madisonville anymore?


Im sure hes got a place everywhere theres a road floodman.

Or a Popeyes.

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Quoting Patrap:
Hard to filet and fry a Pine tree.

not much of a meal either.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19494
422. Skyepony (Mod)
Windsat from this morning..
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Quoting Patrap:
Well John Goodman,James Carville and Sandra Bullock my neighbors here Uptown ,along with James Rivers are real paupers I hear.

JF and I kinda live a tad east of them.

And they never ask us to dinner neither.

Goodman shops at Walgreens and Winn Dixie and parked in a Handicapp spot too.


And he is HUGE.


Does Goodman not have his place in Madisonville anymore?
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Speaking of home:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN ST. TAMMANY PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF COVINGTON...

* UNTIL 345 PM CDT

* AT 304 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
ABITA SPRINGS...OR NEAR COVINGTON...AND MOVING NORTHWEST AT 10 MPH.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

We only saw a stagnation of housing costs, really. And the few problems I know of were more about national lenders in disarray than anything else.

BUT, we have had some strange movements as a result of Katrina...Baton Rouge booming, BR stagnant, BR housing overstocked, BR prices picking back up, all the while more and more of NOLA's metro having folks move back in.

So, the housing price patterns around here would be considered anomalous and the national issue effects hard to determine.


It's catching up here in TX, saw on the news month or so ago that texas's foreclosure jumped signinficantly compared to the rest of the nation.
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Quoting Patrap:


We do..itsa good depiction of some stuff we all went thru.
To a point.
I give it 3 outta 4 spoons


LOL! I was hoping you'd pipe up and chime in!
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Quoting hurricanejunky:
Oz, whereabouts in OK is he now?


We've been sending him hints all day to head due west from Joplin into Nebraska.

None of us have heard from him.

I think he's into it...the WHOLE ENCHILADA!

He's leaving us guessing till the last minute.

Gotta hand it to him. I'm on the edge of my seat! :)

WTG Taco. I'm probably going to take a lesson from this and stay incommunicado during a hurricane chase until the very last minute, too!
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Hard to filet and fry a Pine tree.

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Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


love John Goodman in Treme........btw, is anyone watching Treme on HBO?


We do..itsa good depiction of some stuff we all went thru.
To a point.
I give it 3 outta 4 spoons
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Quoting wadedanielsmith:
314:

Well, if you don't believe me, you can check it on salary websites and the LAWorks website...


I don't know how much I trust a guy that thinks forestry is a larger industry in Louisiana than Fihing...LOL
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That Huey P. Long bridge really needs to be widened. It has two really narrow lanes and NO shoulders. Having three 11'-0" lanes and shoulders on both sides will be a HUGE change.

Maybe while widening the lanes, they can take that jog out of the middle of the bridge too. That $1 Billion renovation will really help me out... my favorite dacqueri shop is on the other side of the Huey P. Long bridge. As it is now, if I didn't need a dacqueri before crossing the bridge, I certainly needed one in order to calm down afterward.
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Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


love John Goodman in Treme........btw, is anyone watching Treme on HBO?


YES!!! AWESOME SHOW! Patrap said the authenticity is pretty good. I am unsure as I don't live in NO but it seems like it's pretty accurate based on what one would expect after an event of that magnitude.
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That's a pretty nice sized storm about to roll out of Africa!

Welcome to the party, pal! :)
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90L Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop
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Out for a while>>>>
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
Oz, whereabouts in OK is he now?
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Quoting Patrap:
Glad hes above above sea Level..


LOL

Wheres his Levee?

I guess the surge cant get up there,


I'm in the same boat as him. (Hopefully not literally one day...) I live pretty close to him. A tropical storm could easily flood the island, a hurricane would wipe us all out. That's what flood insurance is for...or that's what they tell us.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
The poor people across the street from it lost their view for sure!


Nice little cottage, that.
heheheheh
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
Quoting Jedkins01:
the surface low has been drifting west all day, I think they might be underestimating that big high up in new england.


90L will be going fishing. A trough should kick this thing out soon.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I hope their homes are more tasteful than Derek Jeter's 35,000 sq ft home on the island here. It's crazy.

I wasn't even thinking about most of the sports figures...

Most of those I listed live in 150+ year old homes in historic districts...very little they can legally do to them, but restore to some original-to-the-period condition.

I'll bet someone owns an absurdity around here...but not in Uptown or the Quarter, they don't.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Pott....I'm doing great!

:)

EXCELLENT!!
Keep UP!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
Glad hes above above sea Level..


LOL

Wheres his Levee?

I guess the surge cant get up there,..but a NOLA Like 17ft surge that hit here, it's gonna bring him some grief.

But the Geico Gecko Im sure has it well insured.
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Quoting xcool:





I wouldn't name that dog!
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The poor people across the street from it lost their view for sure!

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AL, 90, 2010052418, , BEST, 0, 279N, 704W, 40, 1006, LO, 34, NEQ, 300, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 250, 200, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,

*Not much change with 90L on the 18z. The only differnce in intensity is that pressure rised 1 MB.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
394. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
The sat picture for 90L labeled as 2PM lists 45MPH winds.

Are they getting close to naming it yet?
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We should be hearing from taco2me61 here shortly. He wanted to be up and broadcasting live from 7674u.com around 5 PM CDT.

That's less than two hours from now.

Mark...
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I truly understand that the 2010 ATL Hurricane season is upon us, plus 90L has some potential to be a Sub-tropical system.

However, Tornadoes are breaking out in the Dakotas, link below to a storm chaser who picked up a tornado, about 5-10 minutes ago. Second chaser that caught a live shot, an awesome outbreak, away from populated areas!
Link
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Yes. And Nicholas Cage has like 3 foreclosed homes here, too...

And Trent Resnor (if any of know that one)
And the Mannings.
And Steven "sexual assault" Seagal
And Anne Rice (author)

List ain't small...


I hope their homes are more tasteful than Derek Jeter's 35,000 sq ft home on the island here. It's crazy.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


A new low I believe will form in response to a UL over the Carolina's and this UL feature will move off the NE FL coast. As this happens a new surface low will form near the east coast of FL. This is represented on the NAM.



all the local weather dudes are out to lunch right now, the NWS is conservatively holding daily storm coverage at 30% because the models are not very well in agreement, but they are mentioning coverage could be much higher later this week.

Yet local forecasters are just saying a slug of dry air will keep rain chances at 20% or less after tomorrow into the next week...

I don't know where they are getting that bs from, but their forecasting is really poor around here right now.


The NWS forecast has a better handle on what could happen
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Pott....I'm doing great!

:)
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Gone to check Cybr's blog. Sounds interesting...........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
Quoting atmoaggie:

We only saw a stagnation of housing costs, really. And the few problems I know of were more about national lenders in disarray than anything else.

BUT, we have had some strange movements as a result of Katrina...Baton Rouge booming, BR stagnant, BR housing overstocked, BR prices picking back up, all the while more and more of NOLA's metro having folks move back in.

So, the housing price patterns around here would be considered anomalous and the national issue effects hard to determine.


I would think all of the rebuilding from Katrina would be good for the state. I have heard it said that Florida needs a big hurricane to get us back on track financially. I'm not sure I like that idea though.
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Quoting TexasGulf:


That Huey P. Long bridge has always been a white-knuckle ride. Originally designed as a single lane each way for wider cars, they put a paint stripe down the middle and made it two lanes each way. You cross the high bridge side-by-side with 18-wheelers, with 18-24 inches separating you from it and a concrete fence on the other side. Then, when you get to mid-span, there is a sudden 2' jog to the right.

When crossing that bridge, I take a middle-of-the-road approach. Give me a ticket, honk if you want... but I'm staying in the middle of the road until I'm off the bridge. The other alternative is find a small car and stay right next to it the whole way.

The Huey P. Long bridge really needs to be widened if not replaced entirely. Two questions though... why would it take 5-years and $1 Billion to renovate an existing bridge?


Its a Huge Train Route and was Originally Built with a Train Trestle as the Primary Mode.Its tough,steel..and a Huge Bridge.
HueyPBridgeWidening — February 08, 2008 — The Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, La. is being constructed in four phases and is scheduled to be complete in 2013. The completed project will include three 11-foot travel lanes in each direction, inside and outside shoulders on the bridge and new signalized intersections to replace the traffic circles at Jefferson Highway and Bridge City Avenue. This is an animation of what the project will look like. For more information, visit www.hueypbridge.com.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.