Invest 96L: Organizing in the Gulf

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:17 AM GMT on July 08, 2010

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Hi everybody, Dr. Rob Carver filling in for Jeff while he's on vacation.

Invest 96L appears to be in the process of developing into a tropical cyclone. The strength and extent of it's thunderstorms is much improved from yesterday (I used CIMMS tropical storm page for my analysis). It's under an upper-level anticyclone which promotes development because it efficiently removes "exhaust" from the thunderstorms. Shear is relatively low (~10 knots), and SST's are adequate for supporting a tropical cyclone (~28 deg. C). In the most recent Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC mentioned that research flights found that upper-level conditions were promising for storm development, so they assess the chances of 96L of becoming a tropical cyclone at 80%. My take is that 96L has an 80% chance of becoming TD #2, and about a 40% chance of being named Bonnie. My reasoning is that 96L has about 24 hours to intensify before interactions with land start interfering with intensification processes. Also, model intensity forecasts are not very supportive of 96L attaining tropical storm force winds. The model track forecast aids have 96L's center of circulation making landfall somewhere between Brownsville and Corpus Christi.

Impacts
The 12Z operational GFS, HWRF, NOGAPS, and 18Z NAM tell a similar story about the surface winds. Near tropical-storm force winds affect the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Matagorda Bay. A broad area of 30+ mph winds also affects the Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery efforts. The 12Z Canadian global model downplays the wind strengths, and the 12Z parallel GFS fails to develop any significant surface wind (> 20 mph). That said, I believe that 96L's greatest impact will be in the form of rain.

The Rio Grande from Del Rio to Laredo is either at major flood stage or is forecast to reach major flood stage in the next 24 hours. This is due to Alex and the moisture he brought to the high terrain of northern Mexico. Nearly all of the forecast models I've looked at forecast 2-3 inches of rain over the Rio Grande Valley in the next 5 days. That will only encourage more flooding. The main forecast problem is how much rain will fall along the Gulf Coast. The parallel GFS and HWRF suggest that 4.5 to 6.5 inches of rain will fall in the Galveston/Houston area in the next 5 days. In my opinion, people living in this area should be prepared for flooding.


Fig. 1. 120 hr accumulated precipitation (mm) for 12Z parallel GFS. Operational GFS


Fig. 2. 120 hr accumulated precipitation (mm) for 12Z HWRF.


Fig. 3. 120 hr accumulated precipitation (mm) for 12Z Canadian global model. NOGAPS

Emergency Preparations
People living along the Gulf coast from south of the Rio Grande to the Texas/Louisiana border should review their emergency preparations (hurricane preparations also make for good flood preparations). Jeff has put together a guide to hurricane preparedness with plenty of links for more information.

Next Update
If 96L becomes TD2 or Bonnie, I'll have an update tonight. Shaun Tanner may post something in the morning if that's when the naming occurs. Otherwise, I'll post a tropical update tomorrow afternoon.

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1233 PensacolaDoug "The TPC (NHC) has been remarkably inconsistent with their designation practices for several years now."

Certain tropical cyclones have been remarkably inconsistent (with those experienced previously) during the past several years.
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NAEFS ensemble dries out S texas from the 12th - 23rd and shifts most of the precip action to the east coast.

Link
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 490
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



The TPC (NHC) has been remarkably inconsistant with their designation practices for several years now. Anyone with any objectivity that has been paying attention knows this to be true.



I'm sorry, but even if this is true, we just simply aren't the experts. Criticizing the gets us nowhere and quite frankly doesn't matter. They have reasoning that is capable of supporting their decisions either way.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting calder:
HH's making another pass...


I don't think there is anything for them to really find?



AOI
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1237. IKE
Still void of west winds...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
And on the SFMR itself..
39 knots
(~ 44.8 mph)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
Quoting BahaHurican:
Seems like ANYthing is possible w/ TD2.... lol
Anything is possible with any tropical system, but TD #2 does have a couple more trick up its sleeve than the average Joe. Lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Using reduction factor from Flight winds..

36.4 knots (~ 41.9 mph)
Tropical Storm
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
Quoting extreme236:
Things is, were simply just not the experts. We may look at this puzzled and we may try to use past history to explain it or bash the NHC, but they simply have the knowledge and the tools that we just don't have.



The TPC (NHC) has been remarkably inconsistant with their designation practices for several years now. Anyone with any objectivity that has been paying attention knows this to be true.

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1232. MahFL
TD2 is trying very hard to form a tighter coc,you can see it on the radar. If it slows forward speed we could well see a TS, but it's just academic, and would be another named storm for 2010. The main danger as most know is the extra rain going to flooded area's.
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1231. calder
HH's making another pass...
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Quoting ryang:
Is it possible the ''center'' of TD2 is reforming?
Seems like ANYthing is possible w/ TD2.... lol
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Quoting ryang:
Is it possible the ''center'' of TD2 is reforming?
Definitely is a possibility, but I find it unlikely that it is.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1228. ryang
Is it possible the ''center'' of TD2 is reforming?
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Pretty crazy. There was a COC under all that convection yesterday off the East Coast. The Low to the north is hiding it and shearing/sucking off the convection.
They updated while I was posting!!!
Ok new ASCAT show circulation off NC as closed as well

and
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Don't think so. TD2 IS the topic of the moment, it's due to make landfall in less than 18 hours, and it's anomalous (i.e. doesn't fit preconceived notions and standards), all good reasons why pple are talking about it.

The ATL area, in contrast, seems pretty well understood; most pple have been keeping an eye on it, but are not expecting development with it before tomorrow, when we will likely be free of TD2 in order to give it our full attention.


That is sound reasoning.
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Quoting extreme236:
Things is, were simply just not the experts. We may look at this puzzled and we may try to use past history to explain it or bash the NHC, but they simply have the knowledge and the tools that we just don't have.


DITTO!
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Quoting HurricaneObserver:
So far the 2 storms this year have followed very similar paths. What are the chances of this continuing for the rest of the season? Or will storms forming in the Caribbean diversify to landfall throughout the Gulf Coast?


Read my post 1207...
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Quoting hurricane23:
Couple of things this morning after reading a few emails...

1)The large SE US ridge and Bermuda ridge are firmly there...the SE ridge is main reason systems have stayed to the south into MX/Yucatan.

2) The ITCZ is displaced more south than normal, (look at hemispheric WV imagery to see) Waves are forming around 5N to 8N which is not too uncommon but is very low latidunally.

As I see it the Bermuda ridge will become more dominant AUG/SEP with a mean positin in the Central Atlantic...which should steer more storms from Africa toward Eastern GOM/SE US and into the Mid Atlantic. Favor the Eastern GOM over the SE for now, but the synoptic pattern should drive that. ENSO 3.4 is -0.6 c and the TNA/AMO is at all time highs...probably about 2-3 weeks away from seeing solid tropical activity rather than the occassional system.
Good synopsis, 23. Thanks.
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Quoting txalwaysprepared:


Ha ha is that a joke? She's in a boat in like 3 inches of water?


Wouldn't that make the water neck deep if Cantorie was in it ? LOL
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The NON-TROPICAL (Reed) Low has detached itself from the front, now the process for Subtropical transition should really get going. Loook at the floater of the Eastern USA and click fronts, no longer connected to the Reed Low (97L).
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7387
1220. tkeith
Quoting IKE:


They upgraded it last night.

I'm talking about now?
I think it's a safe bet they wont downgrade it.

BTW...my eye DR. appointment is tomorrow. Upgrade?...most likely :)
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So far the 2 storms this year have followed very similar paths. What are the chances of this continuing for the rest of the season? Or will storms forming in the Caribbean diversify to landfall throughout the Gulf Coast?
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Quoting houston144:
Is any one watching off the east coast? could this be one of those hurricanes that just explodes in development after the high over the east coast is gone?

Link

TD-TWO is a blob...seems we are being distracted maybe?

Don't think so. TD2 IS the topic of the moment, it's due to make landfall in less than 18 hours, and it's anomalous (i.e. doesn't fit preconceived notions and standards), all good reasons why pple are talking about it.

The ATL area, in contrast, seems pretty well understood; most pple have been keeping an eye on it, but are not expecting development with it before tomorrow, when we will likely be free of TD2 in order to give it our full attention.
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Quoting IKE:


They upgraded it last night.

I'm talking about now?
I don't see a reason that the circulation would open considering the favorable conditions in and around the system.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1216. calder
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Flight level winds are stronger than SFMR winds as usual. Anyways, 39.1mph would be rounded to the nearest 5 on the advisory, so a TS is likely based solely on winds.


The 41kt 36kt referes to the whole period between 1130z and 1140z, if you look at the individual readings you will see the discrepancies.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I hope they don't have flooding like this:



Ha ha is that a joke? She's in a boat in like 3 inches of water?
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Things is, were simply just not the experts. We may look at this puzzled and we may try to use past history to explain it or bash the NHC, but they simply have the knowledge and the tools that we just don't have.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1213. calder
Quoting houston144:
Is any one watching off the east coast? could this be one of those hurricanes that just explodes in development after the high over the east coast is gone?

Link

TD-TWO is a blob...seems we are being distracted maybe?



if you read stormw's synoposis posted this morning he gives a pretty good account of it's chances
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1212. IKE
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If the NHC knew that the circulation was still open they would have not upgraded it to a tropical depression. Just take a look at the ASCAT from yesterday, clearly a closed low.

Ughhhhh, I hate that I'm not on my main computer (No Google Earth).


They upgraded it last night.

I'm talking about now?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
SFMR
35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
Quoting calder:


Again, look at the individual flight level winds and corresponding smfr winds. Not think that's unusual? I can only see 2 valid 39.1 mph winds
Flight level winds are stronger than SFMR winds as usual. Anyways, 39.1mph would be rounded to the nearest 5 on the advisory, so a TS is likely based solely on winds.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting SLU:



on a different day this might struggle to even be labelled an invest let alone talk of naming it.


I agree, the proximity to the coast makes the diffference here i think
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Couple of things this morning after reading a few emails...

1)The large SE US ridge and Bermuda ridge are firmly there...the SE ridge is main reason systems have stayed to the south into MX/Yucatan.

2) The ITCZ is displaced more south than normal, (look at hemispheric WV imagery to see) Waves are forming around 5N to 8N which is not too uncommon but is very low latidunally.

As I see it the Bermuda ridge will become more dominant AUG/SEP with a mean positin in the Central Atlantic...which should steer more storms from Africa toward Eastern GOM/SE US and into the Mid Atlantic. Favor the Eastern GOM over the SE for now, but the synoptic pattern should drive that. ENSO 3.4 is -0.6 c and the TNA/AMO is at all time highs...probably about 2-3 weeks away from seeing solid tropical activity rather than the occassional system.
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1206. IKE
Quoting Hardcoreweather2010:
NO west winds have been found so far


Still no west winds...on the updated recon info.

No closed low.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Netflyer:
Good morning brilliant weather forecasters, can you help a newb and explain to me why the open Atlantic isn't of interest?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/eaus/loop-wv.html

It is. But that Low off the east coast is not tropical. Although it is right at the border of for a Sub tropical storm.
Generally this blog deals with tropical weather systems. That said I think most agree on here the Low off the NC coast is an impressively late Nor'easter. It's feeding off tropical energy and has a good chance of becoming a sub tropical storm.
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Is any one watching off the east coast? could this be one of those hurricanes that just explodes in development after the high over the east coast is gone?

Link

TD-TWO is a blob...seems we are being distracted maybe?

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How do they compute the wind field? eg TD2's center was moving northwestward at ~29mph.
If TD2 were a solid disc spinning at 29mph on the edge, a 58mph wind cutting northwestward across the NorthEast quadrant would mean a ZEROmph wind cutting southeastward across the SouthWest quadrant.
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1202. calder
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Reed, what your constantly doing is solely looking at visual interpretations of it. Heck, they consisdered this a Hurricane..



How about Chantal in 95? They considered it during this picture a 70 mph TS.


How about Pablo in 1995 as well?



rapid finds for the examples! props!
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1201. SLU



on a different day this might struggle to even be labelled an invest let alone talk of naming it.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 5111
Quoting IKE:


Where's the west winds?

If the NHC knew that the circulation was still open they would have not upgraded it to a tropical depression. Just take a look at the ASCAT from yesterday, clearly a closed low.

Ughhhhh, I hate that I'm not on my main computer (No Google Earth).
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Reed, what your constantly doing is solely looking at visual interpretations of it. Heck, they consisdered this a Hurricane..



How about Chantal in 95? They considered it during this picture a 70 mph TS.


How about Pablo in 1995 as well?

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
I hope they don't have flooding like this:

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11149
Well whatever Reed's predictions on 02L are just take the opposite and that's probably what will happen. Sorry Reed, normally I have no problem with you but on this storm you've been so off I can't help but poke some fun.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
No west winds have been found so far
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1195. calder
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Post 1181.


Again, look at the individual flight level winds and corresponding smfr winds. Not think that's unusual? I can only see 2 valid 39.1 mph winds
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1194. IKE
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It meets the NHC criteria for a tropical depression. Say what ya' want, it's a tropical depression.


Where's the west winds?

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting reedzone:
Meanwhile, a bigger and more impressive system off the East Coast is forming into a Subtropical Cyclone. I expect this to be tagged later today as 97L. Structure has gotten worse on TD2 since it was upgraded.. I don't see how this is a TS, very ragged, some deep convection, but not impressive enough to name it in my opinion, they might just do it though.
You may be right on this, but I think it's more likely to be tagged tomorrow. They're going to look for that surface low to be relatively well established before they classify, IMO.
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1192. Makoto1
I think they may upgrade it if they do find that closed low like I expect them to, but either way it's pretty much the same. Mostly a rainmaker for places that don't need it.

I do like how there are opposing viewpoints here and both sides can come up with reasons to back up their arguments. Waether is amazing like that.
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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.