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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1929. OneDay
Don't say that, Taz. :-)
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
1928. Levi32
1005.1mb as they near the center.

000
URNT15 KNHC 252025
AF302 01AAA INVEST HDOB 35 20100625
201530 1639N 08216W 9775 00252 0060 +225 +180 167026 027 029 001 00
201600 1638N 08217W 9782 00243 0060 +231 +180 171026 027 030 004 00
201630 1638N 08217W 9782 00243 0059 +235 +180 173026 026 032 003 00
201700 1636N 08220W 9784 00242 0059 +232 +180 170026 026 031 004 00
201730 1635N 08221W 9777 00248 0057 +240 +180 168026 026 025 004 00
201800 1635N 08223W 9779 00243 0055 +240 +180 166025 026 024 002 00
201830 1634N 08224W 9782 00240 0054 +238 +180 165025 025 024 000 00
201900 1633N 08225W 9778 00243 0055 +226 +180 165023 024 027 004 00
201930 1632N 08226W 9784 00237 0054 +235 +180 170023 024 023 003 00
202000 1631N 08228W 9781 00240 0053 +240 +180 177021 021 022 001 00
202030 1631N 08229W 9776 00244 0053 +240 +180 176021 023 021 000 00
202100 1630N 08230W 9781 00238 0052 +240 +180 170022 023 010 003 03
202130 1630N 08232W 9784 00237 0052 +240 +180 170021 022 015 000 00
202200 1630N 08234W 9779 00240 0051 +238 +180 173021 022 015 000 00
202230 1630N 08235W 9780 00239 0051 +236 +180 176021 022 014 000 00
202300 1630N 08237W 9779 00240 0051 +238 +180 177020 021 011 000 00
202330 1630N 08239W 9778 00240 0051 +237 +180 180019 020 007 000 00
202400 1630N 08240W 9783 00236 0051 +237 +180 180019 020 006 000 00
202430 1630N 08242W 9781 00238 0051 +240 +180 180021 021 009 000 03
202500 1630N 08243W 9777 00242 0051 +239 +180 180020 020 008 000 00
$$
;
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26616
Quoting Drakoen:


Agree... (for once..LOL)
LOL!!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21178
Does the classification make a difference with what BP does at this point?? Will a depression keep them working???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i think this storm could be other IKE
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114983
1921. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


I'm simply updating the recon data as it comes in. Max winds are near tropical storm force but they are rather far from the center so if it gets classified it will likely be a borderline call by the NHC one way or the other. The recon still has more areas of the storm to explore though so we don't have a complete picture yet.


Agree... (for once..LOL)
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30355
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
35 knots will still equal to tropical storm status. I think we will find those west winds this time around.


Basically,it just comes down to what the NHC wants to do Miami.
they could upgrade right now if they wished but something tells
me they proably wont.

mostly politics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1918. Drakoen
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30355
just one quick check-up before i go to work it looks to me like recon needs to go a touch further south than first pass and the center is probably SE of the first pass IMO they'll find west winds a bit further south!!!....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


So...Your thinking Tropical Depression #1 instead of Tropical Storm Alex?
That's what I'm thinkin Cody. I don't know though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1914. ATL
Quoting washingaway:
I have an idea; If a hurricane is going to cross the oil spill, we take a 100,000 barrells of Dawn liquid detergent and put it into the spill. The hurricane will stir the gulf like a washing machine. The sudzy storm surge will also clean the city. :)

New Orleans could certainly use some cleaning, LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1913. 7544
Quoting Tazmanian:
the stronger the storm the more it gos N and if 93L is now starting at 40mph it has a better ch of going N


agree
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
93L is big!! This could get ugly. Zoom out, it is basically taking over the entire western caribbean. What will it do in the gulf? Wow!
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
1911. Levi32
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


So...Your thinking Tropical Depression #1 instead of Tropical Storm Alex?


I'm simply updating the recon data as it comes in. Max winds are near tropical storm force but they are rather far from the center so if it gets classified it will likely be a borderline call by the NHC one way or the other. The recon still has more areas of the storm to explore though so we don't have a complete picture yet.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26616
1910. OneDay
StormW...I haven't heard you say much about the size of 93l. Does the center of circulation seem prohibitively large at this point? And the convection being spread over a relatively wide area?
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
Quoting StormW:
It will cross the Yucatan Peninsula
Agreed, but looks like it will impact the northern Yucatan rather than the central or southern part.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21178
fmbill...
Sorry I meant northern Gulf. Tx/La/Ms/Al....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1906. 7544
yeap
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JDSmith:


If I misinterpreted what you said, I apologize. But to me it looked like you ignored Taz for something that looked like a joke.

But anyways, this is severely off topic. Back to TS Alex. :P


yea man...were alright...lol...lets focus on alex...my cousins wife in pensacola asked me if she should be concerned...i told her we would talk on sunday after things sorted themselves out...lol...my cousin is in africa for the next 3 months...lol
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
1904. scott39
Quoting StormW:
It will cross the Yucatan Peninsula
More W or N over the Yucatan?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6757
I have an idea; If a hurricane is going to cross the oil spill, we take a 100,000 barrells of Dawn liquid detergent and put it into the spill. The hurricane will stir the gulf like a washing machine. The sudzy storm surge will also clean the city. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


So...Your thinking Tropical Depression #1 instead of Tropical Storm Alex?
Seems like a more conservative standpoint, but myself I have seen 35 knot winds at the surface. TS status isn't out of the picture in the next 12 hours, imo.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21178
Quoting fmbill:


"north" texas? I don't think so.


Yeah, I just caught that...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting hurrkat05:
well if it misses the yucatan like i think it will go through the channel all bets are off this could be a potent hurricane nothing in its way ...


and by the way, i never said it was going to miss the yucatan - but most likely not spend very much time over it. regardless, this storm will be something to deal with for the gulf states in the future. My concern now is its size.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
Quoting YourCommonSense:


Also Pre Gamma(2005).



Someone Calling "Gamma" LOL

I was horrified back in 2005 when TS Gamma appeared! especially after the damage Wilma did to us! I did not want the grandkids to be scared of the name Gamma!
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Taz, what is your expert opinion on this system?




i give this storm 99.5% of be comeing a name storm and 100% ch of be comeing are 1st hurricane and track oh nos
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114983
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting taco2me61:
Yes indeed when the new Models come out this "Blog" will go "Nuts" thats for sure....

Taco :o)


Im with ya Taco!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1891. fmbill
Quoting txsweetpea:
Are any of the models showing a northern tx event?


"north" texas? I don't think so.
Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 454
1890. KORBIN
Almost 40 Pages later and nobody still really knows where the COC is?

Honestly it's no more pin the tail on the Wave, but it's like peek a booo!

Mr. Patrap you speak very well on the radio! Great Job!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
man...i know most are zoomed in with the floater...but zoom out and take a look at the size of this thing...if it had time and no land interaction...like someone said earlier...if it filled out with convection it would truly cover the entire western Caribbean (at least from Jamaica west)...scary big...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
Quoting txsweetpea:
Are any of the models showing a northern tx event?


See for yourself:

Models

Depending on what you're looking at, it's 6-5 and pick 'em
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Popping in to check on our first born. No west winds yet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Taz, what is your expert opinion on this system?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1885. Levi32
Winds remain constant around 30 knots as the recon heads back towards the center area.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26616
1883. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Levi32:
The empty places where convection has been lacking within 93L's circulation are gradually filling in with new thunderstorms as time goes on.

the fuse is lit the time is short
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1882. 7544
looks like it wants to follow the good ole wilma track the ? is will it hmmmmmmmmmm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1881. JDSmith
Quoting watchingnva:


i have a huge sense of humor actually...ask my wife...that has became much more than humor at times, especially over the last few weeks...and like i said...just for a few hours...lol...dont get your panties in a bind...

93 wants so badly to become alex...but it has to stop pulling a dolly to do that...lol


If I misinterpreted what you said, I apologize. But to me it looked like you ignored Taz for something that looked like a joke.

But anyways, this is severely off topic. Back to TS Alex. :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'd Say 93L will be a TD or maybe even skip to TS status at 11PM tonight or else you can see me:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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