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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2755 TankHead93 "...do any of the experts on this blog feel this has an opportunity to pull a "Wilma" on us?"

I doubt that any expert would, and I doubt that any serious amateur would either. While not fitting into either category, I did watch what-would-become-Wilma from when it was first declared an Invest to when it died.
And 93L has borne no resemblance to Wilma at any time during its cyclogenesis ...sheesh... Wilma hit Cozumel as a Cat.5 just before landfall on the Yucatan.
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000
WTNT31 KNHC 252159
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION ONE SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
600 PM EDT FRI JUN 25 2010

...FIRST TROPICAL DEPRESSION OF THE ATLANTIC SEASON FORMS IN THE
WESTERN CARIBBEAN...


SUMMARY OF 600 PM EDT...2200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...16.5N 83.5W
ABOUT 355 MI...570 KM SE OF COZUMEL MEXICO
ABOUT 345 MI...555 KM ESE OF CHETUMAL MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE
EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM CHETUMAL NORTHWARD TO
CANCUN.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM CHETUMAL NORTHWARD TO
CANCUN

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 600 PM EDT...2200 UTC...THE CENTER OF NEWLY FORMED TROPICAL
DEPRESSION ONE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE
83.5 WEST. THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR
10 MPH...17 KM/HR. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE DEPRESSION
WILL REACH THE YUCATAN PENINSULA BY LATE SATURDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST...AND THE DEPRESSION IS
EXPECTED TO BECOME A TROPICAL STORM TONIGHT OR SATURDAY.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT WAS 1004 MB...29.65 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE COAST
WITHIN THE WARNING AREA BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

RAINFALL...THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN
ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...EASTERN
GUATEMALA...AND MUCH OF HONDURAS AND BELIZE THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING.
ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER MOUNTAINOUS
AREAS. THERE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND
MUDSLIDES.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...800 PM EDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/BRENNAN




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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


However this would leave behind more warm waters for further storms. MORE than half of the Gulf is 30C+. I estimate the size of the depression to be 11 x 15 deg (latxlon diameter) including the outer bands, and 7 x 7 deg for the core convection only, which is still fairly large.


Even if it went over the highest TCHP levels it is not strong enough to do any serious upwelling and the heat content would likely bounce right back in a day or two. I am afraid that by peak season anything coming this way will be a monster.
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TD One is showing all the signs of RI..Central Dense Overcast....Great outflow and banding features...as Drak showed -80C cloud tops shooting up into the Tropopause
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Quoting StormW:
I'll have a special update late tonight.
Great! I'm looking forward to it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Levi32:


Impressive stuff....that's what happens when that much heat finally gets bundled. It took 93L 5 days to accomplish this, and now it's going to take off until land stops it.
Exactly.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2923. centex
Quoting StormW:
Time to rock and roll...now I gotta work this weekend.
But the work you love to do. We all appreciate it. Just hope family understands.
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Also, my current line of thinking is this... IF that trough verifies and Alex moves NE into the Central or Eastern GOMEX, that shear values will also increase at that point, therefore weakening the cyclone. I am thinking that is why the models indicate either little change in strength, or gradual weakening around the day 5 timeframe. Does that seem plausible?
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Quoting kmanislander:


Right near the center and night about to fall.
TD1 is already strong enough to not be greatly affected by the diurnal cycles.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
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.


i would trust the LBAR before that forecast.
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This is soo massive it looks like a developing typhoon, wow..
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I see the Atlantic bubble has finally burst...

TD1, 94L, and anyone notice that blob-ish looking thing off Africa??
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2916. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:
-80C tops:



Impressive stuff....that's what happens when that much heat finally gets bundled. It took 93L 5 days to accomplish this, and now it's going to take off until land stops it.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


They haven't entered the depressions coordinates yet.. 0 degrees N 0 degrees W is the default.
Thank you, didn't know, but confusing for us met iliterates.
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Quoting kmanislander:
The current track keeps it away from the high octane which is a good thing.



However this would leave behind more warm waters for further storms. MORE than half of the Gulf is 30C+. I estimate the size of the depression to be 11 x 15 deg (latxlon diameter) including the outer bands, and 7 x 7 deg for the core convection only, which is still fairly large.
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2912. JLPR2
Quoting seflagamma:
less than 30 mins over 240 posts.. crazy stuff.


haha! yes that's why I'm lurking, too crazy for me :)
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Damn we got some EastWishcasters in here...

too big folks hate to break your bubble, but he aint gonna be a monster, land is coming up he will get even bigger when he comes off and be so big like IKE the winds around the center will never be able to spin up at a fast pace
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2910. Michfan


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Quoting Drakoen:
-80C tops:



Right near the center and night about to fall.
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Quoting bappit:

A lot of the apparent banding I think is due to the upper level high.
Huh? You mean that the anticyclone aloft is causing the banding? Don't get how the anticyclone develops banding.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Does anybody have the Wilma track?
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2905. DocBen
Is 94L close enough to TD1 to effect its path? (The Fuyaka effect (mis-spelled I am sure))
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What time do the model runs come out tonight? ...and has anyone else seen the other invest?? It looks better to me then the TD...
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2903. bappit
Quoting Michfan:


Doubtful. System is too large to spin up that fast at the moment and the low is elongated fron north to south. Wilma at this time was already better structured than this currently is. Its large size means its going to take longer for it to tighten up.


Yep, haven't read an NHC discussion referring to a dreaded pinhole eye.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6100
2902. Drakoen
-80C tops:

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how strong will the front be?shreveport nws afd-says that the front will limp thru tues and reach the I-10 corridor wednesday and wash out. Alex-is suppose to stall basically for 2 days? I don't think so.But alex -it looks big enough now- should be able to feel the tug of the trof. gotta check other afd's and see if that front slows down.
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why does the wu say t.d. one is by Africa and position says Caribbean? lol! are they losing it too? says wnw too. is that right or is it still nw movement? does it have a chance of not hitting land and losing its burst of energy? thanks in advance:)
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2899. Levi32
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This is a south texas system. ... they will see severe flooding as this combines with a boundry line and some areas of south texas are still saturated form some heavy rains a couple weeks ago...
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2897. Patrap
The NHC went with the Middle of the Last Ensemble seems and Put the track smack in the middle
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
less than 30 mins over 240 posts.. crazy stuff.
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Quoting alaina1085:
Just think what would happen if td 1 wouldn't interact with the yucatan... Scary thought.


SHHHHHHHHHHH!! LOL
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Link

I have a piece on 94L even though the 93L info is now out of date lol
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


Can we say Hurricane IKE......wouldn't that be something.


Please don't say Huricane Ike at this time. lol
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
2892. bappit
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
TD1 really beginning to intensify, wouldn't be surprised to see a moderate strength TS at 8PM. Notice the banding and the convection expanding.

Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
TD1 really beginning to intensify, wouldn't be surprised to see a moderate strength TS at 8PM. Notice the banding and the convection expanding.


A lot of the apparent banding I think is due to the upper level high.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6100
Quoting jurakantaino:
,Weatherunderground map is wrong , has the depression south of Africa !!


They haven't entered the depressions coordinates yet.. 0 degrees N 0 degrees W is the default.
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Quoting FSUstormnut:

Were do you get these images from?



GFS Parallel
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2888. centex
Nothing like the first TD to get us going. Will be interesting to watch, but climatogy keeps it south. We just don't have deep souhtern toughs this time year, but one is forecasted or maybe forecasted.
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2887. Patrap
Quoting tennisgirl08:


Possible. I see that the models are still split 50/50 about the track. I am surprised by that since we now have a defined center.


The last runs were the 18Z runs and the New Runs come out at 00Z

18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest93
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts




ANd for the Initial casting naysayers.

Take a Gander at the Initialization Points and how they change as the runs do.

So Plllllllllllllttt..........
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
2886. Michfan
That was a quick kick in of the xanax there Kman.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
don't you start


Capitalization, KOG...LOL

Okay, out for a while...play nice, kids!
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Just think what would happen if td 1 wouldn't interact with the yucatan... Scary thought.
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I'm definitely being intrigued with 94L and the latest CIMSS 850mb vorticity. Satellite imagery suggests that there is some sort of cyclonic turning in the clouds and winds. After examining it closely this area could be the next storm after TD1.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting jurakantaino:
,Weatherunderground map is wrong , has the depression south of Africa !!



lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
2881. GWTEX
Would you feel better if it was aimed at you? I know I would.
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Quoting Levi32:


Low to moderate....it actually has a better chance than it might look.


I wrote about that in my blog today...it is definatley getting more organized
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Convection becoming very intense near the center now. This won't stay as a TD for long.

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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.