93L near tropical depression strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:31 PM GMT on June 25, 2010

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The first tropical depression of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season appears imminent in the Western Caribbean, as the areal coverage and intensity of heavy thunderstorm activity associated with the tropical wave (Invest 93L) continue to increase. The storm has developed a surface circulation near 16.5N, 82.5W at 8am EDT, about 100 miles northeast of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. This is far enough from land that development will be slowed only slightly. Satellite loops show a poorly organized system, with only a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. However, the developing storm is affecting the weather across the entire Western Caribbean, and bands of heavy thunderstorms are quickly building over a large region. Pressures at ground stations and buoys all across the Western Caribbean have been falling significantly over the past day (Figure 2.) Water vapor satellite loops show that moist air surrounds 93L, and there is not much dry air to slow down development. There is an upper-level high pressure system a few hundred miles west of 93L, and the clockwise flow air around this high is bringing upper-level winds out of the northwest of about 10 - 15 knots over 93L, contributing to the 10 - 15 knots of wind shear observed in this morning's wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin's CIMSS group. Sea Surface Temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C. The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) currently favors upward motion over the Caribbean, which will act to increase the chances of tropical storm formation this week. The main negative for 93L is a combination of lack of spin and wind shear. Last night's pass of the ASCAT satellite showed a broad, elongated circulation, which will need to tighten up in order for 93L to become a tropical depression. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly into 93L at 2pm EDT this afternoon to see if a tropical depression has formed.


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of the central Caribbean disturbance 93L.


Figure 2. Combined plot of wind speed, wind gusts, and pressure at buoy 42057 in the Western Caribbean. Pressure (green line) has fallen significantly over the past two days, and winds are beginning to increase.

Forecast for 93L
The greatest risk from 93L to the Western Caribbean will be heavy rainfall, and the nation most at risk is Honduras. The counter-clockwise flow of air around 93L will bring bands of rain capable of bringing 4 - 8 inches of rain to northern Honduras over the next two days. Heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches can also be expected in northeast Nicaragua, Cuba, Belize, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is moving west-northwest at about 10 mph, and this motion is expected to gradually slow over the next five days to about 6 mph. I expect that by tomorrow, 93L should be closer to being directly underneath the upper level high pressure system to its west, which would act to lower wind shear and provide more favorable upper-level outflow. NHC is giving 93L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning, which is a reasonable forecast. The storm will probably be a tropical depression or tropical storm with 40 mph winds when it moves over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday. The storm will probably spend a day or so over the Yucatan, resulting in significant weakening. Once 93L emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, it will take the storm 24+ hours to recover its strength.

A trough of low pressure is expected to swing down over the Eastern U.S. on Monday. If this trough is strong enough and 93L develops significantly, the storm could get pulled northwards and make landfall along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. This is the solution of the GFDL and HWRF models. If 93L stays weak and/or the trough is not so strong, the storm would get pushed west-northwestwards across Mexico's Bay of Campeche and make landfall along Mexican coast south of Texas, or in Texas. This is the solution of the NOGAPS, ECMWF, and Canadian models. A likely landfall location is difficult to speculate on at this point, and the storm could hit virtually anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico coast given the current uncertainty in its development. The amount of wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico next week is also highly uncertain. There is currently a band of high shear near 30 knots over the Gulf. The GFS model predicts that this band of high shear will lift northwards, keeping low wind shear over the Gulf next week. However, the ECMWF model keeps high shear entrenched over the Gulf of Mexico, which would make it unlikely 93L could intensify into a hurricane. In summary, I give 93L a 60% chance of eventually becoming Tropical Storm Alex, and 10% chance of eventually becoming a hurricane.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands is producing a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity. This system was designated Invest 94 by NHC this morning, and is passing beneath a trough of low pressure that is generating 30 - 40 knots of wind shear. However, by Sunday, the storm will be in a region of much lower wind shear, and NHC is giving the storm a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning. We do have one model, the GFS, which develops the system early next week. The GFS model takes the storm to the northwest and then north, predicting it will be very close to Bermuda on Tuesday.


Figure 3. Hurricane Celia as a Category 4 storm at 20:55 UTC Thursday, June 24, 2010, as captured by NASA's MODIS instrument.

Impressive Hurricane Celia hits Category 5
The first Category 5 hurricane in the Northern Hemisphere this year is Hurricane Celia in the Eastern Pacific. Celia's 160 mph winds make it tied with Australia's Tropical Cyclone Ului as the strongest tropical cyclone in the world so far in 2010. Celia has likely peaked in intensity, and is not expected to threaten any land areas.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
East to southeast winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Tuesday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting weak ocean currents should push the oil to the west and northwest onto portions of the Louisiana and Alabama coasts, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. I would expect Mississippi to have its most serious threat of oil yet early next week as these winds continue. The longer range outlook is uncertain, and will depend upon what 93L does.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil 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's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Jeff Masters

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3029. centex
Quoting atmoaggie:

Heck, yes.

For example, without the Yucatan, the consolidation of all of this energy would be possible or likely. As it stands, I'll take a broad TS that runs out real estate before it could thoroughly consolidate and become a bigger problem for someone.

Exhibit A, what WRF was seeing this morning:


That's a huge example of a TS in the gulf.
(Or stronger...still glad it will not be able to complete the task up to potential.)
Hope we don't see that Tuesday prediction. A lot of water has gone under the bridge.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...
I agree.......unfortunately. sigh
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3027. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:
It's been a while since I've seen a hot-tower this big.



All that diabatic heat in the Caribbean finally being put to use
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They are all here tonight;

Wishcasters
Downcasters
Westcasters
Eastcasters
Centralcasters
Bastardicasters
Oilcasters
Tarcasters
Mexicocasters
Texascasters
Louisianacasters
Mississippicasters
Alabamacasters
Floridacasters

The only two I have not seen are the fishcaster and the JFVcaster
Cat9casters
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Quoting TropicalNonsense:



funny all these track predictions! The last 12Z run of
the GFDL had 93L actually in SOUTH CAROLINA in 5 days.

FSU MODEL LINK Link

really, not much stock can be put into the models right now.

frankly 93l may never become anything more than a weak TS.

THERE CERTAINLY IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ANYTHING OTHER THAN 93L BECOMING A TS RIGHT NOW IN ALL FAIRNESS.

Haven't you been listening? The storm is a tropical depression, no longer 93L.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
Joe Bastardi and the NHC are both right, sorry oilcasters!

EDIT: Even though I still somewhat disagree with the intensity forecast by the NHC.

NHC could be wrong, how? Forecast that a system a few miles from the gulf will be in the gulf vicinity?
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Quoting Gorty:
Well, I say now 80% chance of it becomming Alex.

I'll say its Alex they just haven't registered "him" yet thats all. :)
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hey guys I see that we have TD1 now I do expect RI to have right now and starts a much more turn to the north and maybe north east so cuba and florida should need to watch for this
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3021. Levi32
It's been a while since I've seen a hot-tower this big.

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Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...
I know... very similar to the way Hurricane Wilma looked before she exploded. (not saying that will happen though)
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Hey all... I know Weather456 was ill and in the hospital recently. Haven't seen him around for several days, just thought it would be nice if everyone could send him some good vibes or say a prayer that everything is alright with him. Hopefully, he is just really busy.
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3018. unf97
The circulation of TD1 encompases the entire western side of the Caribbean. This has the presentation on satellite imagery as an impressive cyclone.


I would not be surprised at all if this system becomes stronger than the models have indicated in past runs. We all in for quite a weekend and days to come tracking this cyclone.
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North Central Gulf.
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3016. Drakoen
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Quoting Drakoen:


Yup. I think this could approach or become a minimal hurricane before hitting the Yucatan Peninsula.


Geez, I really hope not. I guess we'd better get packing up and putting stuff away though.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That's a hurricane hitting southern Texas right there.



funny all these track predictions! The last 12Z run of
the GFDL had 93L actually in SOUTH CAROLINA in 5 days.

FSU MODEL LINK Link

really, not much stock can be put into the models right now.

frankly 93l may never become anything more than a weak TS.

THERE CERTAINLY IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ANYTHING OTHER THAN 93L BECOMING A VERY WEAK TS RIGHT NOW IN ALL FAIRNESS.
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Quoting Levi32:


Agree....we should be very thankful that the Yucatan is standing in the way, and those who live there should be thankful it won't have time to become anything horridly monstrous before making landfall there.

Heck, yes.

For example, without the Yucatan, the consolidation of all of this energy would be possible or likely. As it stands, I'll take a broad TS that runs out real estate before it could thoroughly consolidate and become a bigger problem for someone.

Exhibit A, what WRF was seeing this morning:


That's a huge example of a TS in the gulf.
(Or stronger...still glad it will not be able to complete the task up to potential.)
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won't land interaction make the t.d. jog a little to the east? is that what we are seeing now. is land interaction a certainty or is there a chance that the center will stay just offshore?
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3011. Patrap
Wilma?

Sheesh?

LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127627
Quoting kmanislander:


We are starting to see some of that now. The last few visible shots should look great.

Yes, they should. It is just 4 days away from June 21. The solar reflection is degrees different later in the season.
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3009. Gorty
Well, I say now 80% chance of it becomming Alex.
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3008. Patrap
Quoting bappit:

Don't be disappointed. The upper level high is pumping this thing.


Disappointed..?



Where these posts come from I havent a clue sometimes

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127627
3007. bappit

The stream lines of the upper level high demarcate the banding we see so far away from the center--like in the Bay of Campache and along Cuba. The banding we see is being driven by the upper air circulation, not the lower level circulation. Of course, it contributes to the low level circulation over time.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5959
Joe Bastardi and the NHC are both right, sorry oilcasters!

EDIT: Even though I still somewhat disagree with the intensity forecast by the NHC.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
Quoting tropicaltank:
Bastardi is wrong!


Yes! Lets tell someone they're wrong before it even happens! :|

Whats your prediction Nostradamus?
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I think this TD1/Alex soon to be is intensifying rapidly headed more northward and is a potentially very dangerous system!
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Does anybody have the Wilma Track?
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Quoting bappit:


It shapes the cirrus outflow from thunderstorms, causes diffluence.
Oh.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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3000. Patrap
18Z Intensity Guidance Graph

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127627
Storm-Once the system moves back into the Gulf do you see wind sheer dying out? If not whatever is left will get shreaded.
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2998. WxLogic
Good evening...

I see we have TD#1... a bit earlier than I expected.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...


Agreed. I think we'll see a cane by tomorrow
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Oh boy....here come the "Rapid Intensifiers".
.
.
.
Let's watch. We know from past history that the vast majority of cyclones never go through RI. Even in the Western Carib. with high SST's it's a higher probability, but the odds are still against it.
.
.
Plus, we have the NHC, Dr. Masters, etc., who have warned in the past of RI....and there's no mention of it with this cyclone. Heck, it's only been a TD for 42 minutes!! Patience.
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All it needed was to be formally recognized, and now it's showing off.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
cloud top temperature -60 to -70C now for Celia.


Who?????
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Quoting Hhunter:
let me be the first to say sadly....before the major cable networks...

"oilcane 2010"

in seriousness. Bastardi believes this to be a western gulf storm or even mexico.
Bastardi is wrong!
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2992. bappit
Quoting Patrap:











Don't be disappointed. The upper level high is pumping this thing.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5959
Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...


yeah it does...and just think. We still have July through November.
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2990. Patrap
TD 1 Now building a Warm Column as that Momentum consolidates.

The Friday TD status was shown all week in the intensity Guideline and well..here we are.

Now TD-1 is a Large cyclone and that presents some Plus's and Minuses for Development thru time.

Esp with some Land Interaction, so How its navigate WnW to NW will mean a lot downstream
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2989. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
cloud top temperature -60 to -70C now for Celia.
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2988. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...


Agree....we should be very thankful that the Yucatan is standing in the way, and those who live there should be thankful it won't have time to become anything horridly monstrous before making landfall there.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...


Like Levi said it reminds me of a Typhoon so much energy finally coming together and it is exploding couldn't say i didn't see this coming
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As a Gulfport/Biloxi resident,I am quite concerned.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...


I agree --- NHC not trying to freak people out?
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2983. Levi32
Massive hot tower.

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Quoting Drakoen:
Something about the way this system look is just too ominous...


Agree. Too early, too big.
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Quoting futuremet:
This can't be right. The GFS has it stalling for days in the Bay of Campeche.


I thought that also, but when you look at the ECMWF 96 hr and 168 hr it is doing basically the same thing.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10901
2980. bappit
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Huh? You mean that the anticyclone aloft is causing the banding? Don't get how the anticyclone develops banding.


It shapes the cirrus outflow from thunderstorms, causes diffluence.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5959
2979. centex
Notice where maintaining convection at sunset?
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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.