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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Is anybody watching the swirl of cloud east of the Carolinas? The water is surely warm enough there.

nthompson
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Quoting HarleyStormDude52:
ok... somebody "splain" to me.. How does a TD turn into a TS after it hits land.. Like I said I am just a novice at this soooo...
Ohhh, that.

Sometimes the higher winds aren't found by the hurricane hunters and/or were not present yet over open water (the only place the HHs can "measure" surface winds) and it takes moving the system to where there are people and anemometers, a.k.a. land, to discover sustained winds of enough magnitude to classify as a TS. Not saying this is the case here, just laying out how such a thing could transpire.
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


ITCZ certainly is active today. Hard to believe we won't get a system in that area the next few weeks.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
wasn't Alex's cat 2 advisary over land. Frankly this is the best i've seen td2 and if winds are high enough I think Bonnie could form over land


No, Alex became a Category 2 Hurricane right before landfall.
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1786. K8eCane
ok beginning to get a little grayer and breezier here
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Thanks for the clarification Miami, I just assumed it was Cape Verde. I'm a newbie so I'm not up on the classification process.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Very, very little. Learned some from my 3-year-old recently...(the kid gets things from videos and repeats them all the time. Can actually translate some.)
Oh I see. It's a fun language to learn, how you here it is how you spell it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting Whatever98:
Wow - here are some pics of the damage in Monterrey, Mexico from Alex. I had no idea major freeways and bridges were washed out. Incredible.

Link
I appreciate your posting this. It amazes me that we're not seeing these pictures on the news -- if it didn't happen in the US, it didn't happen?
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

I think those waves are from the ITCZ, not Cape Verde.


Thats funny, Cape Verde waves are in the ITCZ.
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Quoting HarleyStormDude52:
I thought I saw yesterday a couple of waves coming off Africa... ok.. I am a NOVICE.. It was probably historical data from another year! ha!
Little to see, atm.
Quoting HarleyStormDude52:
Im Confused... Novice in Texas!
About the above?
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ok... somebody "splain" to me.. How does a TD turn into a TS after it hits land.. Like I said I am just a novice at this soooo...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not necessarily. As long as the disturbance moves off the western coast of Africa and becomes a tropical cyclones within 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) of the Cape Verde Islands it can be considered as a Cape Verde type system regardless of being attached to the ITCZ or not.

Oh. Thanks for the clarification.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

I think those waves are from the ITCZ, not Cape Verde.
Not necessarily. As long as the disturbance moves off the western coast of Africa and becomes a tropical cyclones within 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) of the Cape Verde Islands it can be considered as a Cape Verde type system regardless of being attached to the ITCZ or not.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Im Confused... Novice in Texas!
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1775. USSINS
Quoting WeatherFromtheSouth:
To those of you joking about evacuations earlier...

"By JORGE VARGAS, Associated Press Writer Jorge Vargas, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 40 mins ago

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Reservoirs along the Texas-Mexico border rose to their highest levels in decades after days of drenching rain, forcing officials to close two border bridges Wednesday, dump water into flooded rivers and evacuate tens of thousands from homes as a new storm headed toward the region.

The dramatic rise of the Rio Grande caused by Hurricane Alex and continuing rains forced the closure of one major border crossing between downtown Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and another crossing known as the Colombia Bridge, about 20 miles upriver.

Officials evacuated the flood-threatened Vega Verde subdivision in Del Rio, Texas, some 110 miles (180 kilometers) upstream from Laredo, while high waters in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila have already damaged some 10,000 homes — many swamped in waist-deep water.

"That means there are 40,000 people who don't have any place to sleep," Gov. Humberto Moreira told the Televisa network Wednesday.

To the southeast, Mexican officials evacuated nearly 18,000 people from houses in Ciudad Anahuac for fear that water would overflow the Venustiano Carranza dam and threaten lives. Mexico's National Water Commission said the dam currently had the largest emergency water release in the country.

Ciudad Anahuac Mayor Santos Garza Garcia said at least 1,500 homes had been flooded in the town of Rodriguez, across the Salado River from his city.

Officials in Laredo urged residents of low-lying areas to evacuate.

An airplane on an inspection tour of the flood zone crashed Wednesday, killing the mayor of the border town of Piedras Negras, the state public works director, a municipal civil defense official, a government photographer and the pilot and co-pilot. The plane was flying over a rain-swollen reservoir about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Eagle Pass, Texas, when it went down, said Ricardo Castillo, a spokesman for the border state of Coahuila.

Hurricane Alex dumped heavy rains on the region last week, causing flooding that killed at least 12 people in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, where Ciudad Anahuac is located, and leaving some 130,000 without water service.

The U.S. National Weather Service said the second tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season had formed over the western Gulf of Mexic and issued a tropical storm watch for the Mexico and Texas coasts on both sides of the Rio Grande.

The depression was about 265 miles (425 kilometers) east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas. Maximum sustained winds were about 35 mph (55 kph).Forecasters said it could become a tropical storm before hitting land and dumping more rain.

Water behind the binational Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande already is at its highest level since 1974, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission, forcing officials to release water from it at the fastest rate in a quarter century.

The commission said the downstream Falcon dam would probably reach capacity within the next few days, suggesting future releases there will raise water levels along the river's lower reaches.

Much of that downstream area is protected against flooding by levees, but Mexico's National Water Commission said it was worried about low-lying settlements, most built by poor people without official permission.

"One of country's most serious problems are irregular settlements on federal land and in flood-prone areas," it said.

Authorities walked a painful, delicate line — forced to release reservoir waters they know will add to flooding in hopes of avoiding worse disasters.

It was an unusual state of affairs in a semiarid region where Mexican and U.S. officials often squabble over rights to scarce water.

Garza Garcia, the Ciudad Anahuac mayor, said 20 floodgates had been opened by late Tuesday at the Venustiano Carranza Dam, which was releasing 600 cubic meters (21,190 cubic feet) per second into the Salado River, a tributary of the Rio Grande.

"It was preferable having controlled flooding than having the whole town disappear," Garza Garcia said. "The situation is very critical."

Luis Lobo, who drove 16 people from Ciudad Anahuac to Nuevo Laredo, said hundreds of people from Ciudad Anahuac and nearby villages left by foot and were by the side of the road.

"They are out in the open. Men, women, and children with nothing to eat," Lobo said after arriving in Nuevo Laredo.

Garza Garcia said soldiers planned to take food to those stranded.

Sally Spener, public affairs officer for the binational Water Commission that operates the Amistad Dam, said the agency had tried to limit releases "so that we would not exacerbate the flooding."

In Laredo, city spokeswoman Xochitl Mora said officials had telephoned 3,000 homes in low-lying areas urging the residents to leave before the Rio Grande crested. She said a shelter would be opened at the civic center.

Mora said Bridge One was closed as a precaution ahead of the expected crest on Thursday. The water was expected to rise as high as 43 feet late Thursday — high enough to top the bridge.

Officials removed the heavy steel shade canopies to ease the weight on Bridge One before the heaviest water pressure comes with the river crest, she said. About 11,000 pedestrians and 13,000 vehicles use the downtown bridge daily.

A second bridge leading into the northwestern edge of Laredo in an industrial area was also being closed to traffic before the river crests."

For some people, any extra drop of rain is devastating.



Yup, worth a repost.
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Quoting ElConando:


Shhh the Aliens hablan espanol!

ROFLMAO!!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Do you know Spanish?
Very, very little. Learned some from my 3-year-old recently...(the kid gets things from videos and repeats them all the time. Can actually translate some.)
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Actually, active seasons can have slow starts. Just remember 2004.


Absolutely true. It's quite common that the "mean season" doesn't really get going until late July or August. I forget which year had 7 systems in the tropical Atlantic at one time, later in the season (2003?).
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wasn't Alex's cat 2 advisary over land. Frankly this is the best i've seen td2 and if winds are high enough I think Bonnie could form over land
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Quoting mikatnight:


Miaimi, you scared the crap outta me with that bold lettering and exclamation point an all. Ah say, easy now boy...I'm not a chicken, that's a chicken!

LMAO!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting atmoaggie:
Yep. Area cincuenta y uno.
Do you know Spanish?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting Kristina40:
Looks like CV is having a parade of waves...

I think those waves are from the ITCZ, not Cape Verde.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Yep. Area cincuenta y uno.


Shhh the Aliens hablan espanol!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Blog Update!

July 8, 2010 - 12:20 PM EDT - Tropical Depression #2 Makes Landfall And Outlook


Miaimi, you scared the crap outta me with that bold lettering and exclamation point an all. Ah say, easy now boy...I'm not a chicken, that's a chicken!

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1765. swlavp
Quoting atmoaggie:
Yep. Area cincuenta y uno.
LOL Another UFO sighting?
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I thought I saw yesterday a couple of waves coming off Africa... ok.. I am a NOVICE.. It was probably historical data from another year! ha!
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Quoting ElConando:


Secret Swamp in S Texas?
Yep. Area cincuenta y uno.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Great Blog! You sound VERY smart for your age.
Thank you. And welcome to the blog.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I don't see why they would do that considering that the circulation has made landfall and is now over land.


Secret Swamp in S Texas?
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Ha, I hear ya. I been a software engineer my entire career and now a college student (again) these past two years, so sitting in one place is the norm. I have to force myself to move.

In the meantime, I have been keeping an eye on the tropics and this blog while here in China (thankful this is not one of the many blocked sites). I worry about my house and property and an active season.

Here they've no idea what a tropical storm or hurricane can do, or even is for the most part. Very strange climate here, too. 106 one day, 78 the next. Thunderstorms with no rain. Heavy rain means 1/2 inch, not a foot like at home. Sand storms more frequent than real storms, and so on.

I get weird looks when I wear my hurricane related t-shirts (Miami Hurricanes jersey, Katrina benefit softball tournament jersey, Wilma benefit tourney jersey). But they can name all the players on the Miami Heat when I wear my 2006 Champions shirt ;)

Quoting Floodman:


Not quite as active; my job keeps me sedentary much of the day...I do what I can...LOL
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1757. 900MB
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Actually, active seasons can have slow starts. Just remember 2004.


I'd bet there is another TD or 2 in next 10 days.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Blog Update!

July 8, 2010 - 12:15 PM EDT - Tropical Depression #2 Makes Landfall And Outlook

Great Blog! You sound VERY smart for your age.
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Hi all... good almost afternoon. Trying to stay dry today. It's not working out too well. :)
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I still think T.D 2 has a chance to become bonnie in the 1p.m advisery.
I don't see why they would do that considering that the circulation has made landfall and is now over land.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
And recommended tech-geek article for those that really don't like capslock:
Disable Caps Lock Key in Windows 7 or Vista
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-caps-lock-key-in-windows-vista/

Or, a program install for the non-registry editing-type, and works on XP: http://www.brainsystems.com/capsunlock/

(I hate the insert key a little more than capslock, myself. Turned it into another "Home" on a standard keyboard.)
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Quoting bakers:
NO MODELS PREDICTING CYCLOGENESIS FOR THE NEXT WEEK TO TEN DAYS. INTO THE THIRD WEEK OF JULY. MAYBE JUST MAYBE THIS COULD TURN OUT TO BE AN AVG SEASON. ALOT OF STRONG WAVES SO FAR AND LITTLE WEAK SWIRLS, BUT NOT TAKING ROOT AND SPROUTING WINGS.

Actually, active seasons can have slow starts. Just remember 2004.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:
I'll probably go for a met degree of some sort in 2 years time. Today's my 16th birthday, so it won't be before to long until I get to college (I'm going into my Junior year next month)


Happy Birthday man. Thats awesome that you are going to get your meteorology degree. I am 28 years of age and wish I was 16 again. I too am going to try and get my meteorology degree in about 2 years from now, but man how I wish I was 18 doing it and not 30.
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Blog Update!

July 8, 2010 - 12:20 PM EDT - Tropical Depression #2 Makes Landfall And Outlook
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Hey Stormchaser81!
Thats way cool Bryan!


Didn't expect it at all. I knew they took video but had no idea where it was going.

I see now, That's the first day they launched that website.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I still think T.D 2 has a chance to become bonnie in the 1p.m advisery.


Using what criteria?
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Quoting bakers:
No models are predicting tropical formation into the third week of July, maybe this just might turn out to be an average year. alot of strong waves and small little swirls not taking root and sprouting wings. that will usually dictate the rest of the season.


You might want to reconsider your information...
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Quoting StormChaser81:


You Know it. FSU forever.

Can't wait for the UM vs. fsu game.
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RE:1736


LOL!
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Quoting SunriseSteeda:
You aren't kidding. I live by the words "stay as active as you can tolerate". And it is certainly true that the more sedentary you are, the worse the suffering. After I return from Beijing (research at Tsinghua University), I start my first full-time semester as Phd student, but have also joined the softball intramural club and Shorinji Kempo. I take stairs instead of elevators, park a mile from campus instead of the parking garage etc. Hope your recovery and lifestyle is as positive ;)




Not quite as active; my job keeps me sedentary much of the day...I do what I can...LOL
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Suggested reading...


Just sayin'

LOL
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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.

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