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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Quoting TxMarc71:


Still what?? I AGREE WITH YOU! However, it was the topic of the last blog post and a discussion that has been going for the better of the afternoon. Well befroe you got here...so pleasedont come one here and play yet blog cop with lil man syndrome about something you just caught the tail end of..


Never mind. People are just pouncing on me like I did something wrong. Com'on guys whats with the blog tonight??
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How Bout dem Saints,eh?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128704
Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Yeah, I'm glad I mowed my grass on Sunday, although it needs again already. Have a good night.


I just mowed mine yesterday! Had to mow over some spots 2 or 3 times to get it cut lol.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


You can go on tropic talk I suppose, we can have a discussion there in private, ect. NHC will likely pull a Dolly and issue a special advisory after 11 pm.
They're likely doing the cone and discussion and all that good stuff. Also, watches and warnings are going to be warranted.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting IKE:


You said.. why are people still talking about it. I can go back and find the post if you would like....because my response to you was...I can talk about it if I want to.


big difference

95L is in the past, it is over and it is done with; NHC did not classify it a TD

96L is present

go ahead and talk about 95L if you want
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7824
Quoting CosmicEvents:
They need to do away with both. For years things worked fine just describing present and expected conditions in the discussions. Now, it's a number game with colors. Even here, we waste thousands of posts a year speculating on whether the odds are gonna' go up 10% or not. As if it makes a difference.


Its not confusing to "Joe Public".
Its confusing to a bunch of people who think the NHC is staffed by morons and they themselves are much brighter and smarter, then they actually may be :)
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Same here.


You can go on tropic talk I suppose, we can have a discussion there in private, ect. NHC will likely pull a Dolly and issue a special advisory after 11 pm.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24187
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I hate dem circles..

They dont use mauve at all
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128704
yall funny ROFLMAO everybody trippin on td2 what about that monster thats going to hit the carribean about 2 weeks this blog will go nuts then LOL
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Quoting Tango01:
This is a serious situation. Levees in Mexico south of the Rio Grande are in a very poor condition and the ones on the US side are not much better. I remember reading some time ago that a scenario similar to this one can trigger a significant catastrophe due to flooding magnified by the poor condition of the levees on both sides of the river.


Yes it is a serious situation and I hope it proves less destructive than Alex.
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Quoting Levi32:
I don't really have a problem with the classification except that the NHC sometimes demands convection and sometimes doesn't. I just wish they could stay consistent one way or the other.


Thats the only reason I am semi-irked by this... they need to make up their minds
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Quoting Chucktown:


It'll be ashore by 2PM tomorrow
Forecast models are all in a consensus of a 00:00 UTC landfall which will be at 8PM EDT tomorrow.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting extreme236:


You must be crazy for thinking the NHC has any idea what their doing. Its not like they've been doing this for decades or anything.



they do a amazing job,look at alex as a recent example!!!
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376. IKE
Quoting Hurricanes101:


???

I never said no one could talk about 95L, I said it clearly did not meet the requirements of a TD because it was still attached the front up until 3 hours before landfall; which is 100% accurate


You said.. why are people still talking about it. I can go back and find the post if you would like....because my response to you was...I can talk about it if I want to.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Watch out for the naked swirl hitting Texas in the morning
Member Since: January 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 529
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128704
Quoting chucky7777:
The NHC needs to do away with these percentages of development with each TWO they issue. It is confusing to joe Public out there...The colored circles are enough just my opinion..........
They need to do away with both. For years things worked fine just describing present and expected conditions in the discussions. Now, it's a number game with colors. Even here, we waste thousands of posts a year speculating on whether the odds are gonna' go up 10% or not. As if it makes a difference.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
TD2 is here! invest_RENUMBER_al962010_al022010.ren

Aw dang I got beaten. Should be Bonnie by 2 pm tomorrow.


It'll be ashore by 2PM tomorrow
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I don't really have a big problem with the classification except that the NHC sometimes demands convection and sometimes doesn't. I just wish they could stay consistent one way or the other. This is the definition we are supposed to be held to:

Tropical Cyclone:

A warm-core non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone, originating over tropical or subtropical waters, with organized deep convection and a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center. Once formed, a tropical cyclone is maintained by the extraction of heat energy from the ocean at high temperature and heat export at the low temperatures of the upper troposphere. In this they differ from extratropical cyclones, which derive their energy from horizontal temperature contrasts in the atmosphere (baroclinic effects).

Tropical Depression:

A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 33 kt (38 mph or 62 km/hr) or less.
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Quoting extreme236:


You must be crazy for thinking the NHC has any idea what their doing. Its not like they've been doing this for decades or anything.


Exactly.

I dont know why a person behind a computer still thinks they know more than professionals with degrees in this field.

They have access to data we dont even know about...
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Quoting SouthFMY:
I give up!!!

Everybody seems to be talking about something other than 96L. So I'm going to ask a simple question: Is this storm wrapping around it's center sooner than the smart money would have bet on?



that is the point; there is currently NO convection wrapping around the center of TD2...
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My old FEMA trailer Drain produced a better swirl and Lower pressure easily..

Wink,wink
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128704
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Its called leaving it to the professionals. A lot of people are going to bash NHC for declaring TD2.. so I'll go to lurk-mode.
Same here.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting IKE:


You complain to others about talking about 95L and you keep talking about yourself...comical.


???

I never said no one could talk about 95L, I said it clearly did not meet the requirements of a TD because it was still attached the front up until 3 hours before landfall; which is 100% accurate
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7824
Quoting reedzone:


Can't wait to read the discussion :)


Can't wait to see which forecaster is in charge of this... if its Kimberlain I will literally fall over laughing.
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Quoting Levi32:


I think he got it just fine.
Just to add the why and clarify temp difference. . During the day the air above it is warm due to the sun, but with our warm 88 degree water, the temp gradient between the warm water and atmosphere is weaker which would tend to suppress rising motions and convection. During the night though, with no influence from the sun, the atmosphere cools down....But with our very warm water, a strong temp gradient(this atmosphere cools more rapidly w/height) forms between the water and air which allows for increased rising air motions and thus more convection during the late night/early morning.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
It's called dramatic irony....



Its called leaving it to the professionals. A lot of people are going to bash NHC for declaring TD2.. so I'll go to lurk-mode.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24187
Quoting SouthFMY:
I give up!!!

Everybody seems to be talking about something other than 96L. So I'm going to ask a simple question: Is this storm wrapping around it's center sooner than the smart money would have bet on?


I would say for the folks watching carefully the last few days...... I believe TD2 is right on schedule.

Most of the people in the know, myself included, thought that 96L would make TD2 before landfall. At its current heading and speed, I believe this falls into that line of thinking. I would also say, that if they have already classified this storm, TS Bonnie seems a good bet!!!
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Quoting downdraugh24:


what will be the reason?


Excessive and at times record-breaking SSTs and atmospheric heat content in the tropical Atlantic. This is one of the hottest years ever recorded in the Atlantic, so there is a lot more heat energy running around, built up in the atmosphere.
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Quoting IKE:


They were and verified a 27.6mph wind. My blow dryer blows out air faster then this naked swirl is blowing.


Can't wait to read the discussion :)
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
359. IKE
Quoting Hurricanes101:
NHC has this one right too

just like 92L, just like Alex and just like 95L


You complain to others about talking about 95L and you keep talking about yourself...comical.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I think that was the funniest thing that I have seen in a while. Two people say how there's NO WAY that it would get the upgrade, and seconds later we get this...

invest_RENUMBER_al962010_al022010.ren
It's called dramatic irony....

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Tropical Depression:
A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 33 kt (38 mph or 62 km/hr) or less.
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TD2 is here! invest_RENUMBER_al962010_al022010.ren

Aw dang I got beaten. Should be Bonnie by 2 pm tomorrow.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24187
Quoting IKE:


They were and verified a 27.6mph wind. My blow dryer blows out air faster then this naked swirl is blowing.


LOL!
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Quoting Tango01:
This is a serious situation. Levees in Mexico south of the Rio Grande are in a very poor condition and the ones on the US side are not much better. I remember reading some time ago that a scenario similar to this one can trigger a significant catastrophe due to flooding magnified by the poor condition of the levees on both sides of the river.


LOL, with convection and winds like this... they won't have to worry. Especially if they can withstand ALEX!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Avila and the boys better get those riot shields up...

WU is getting rowdy.


LOL
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we have a td i see
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Quoting reedzone:
"A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined, closed surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of less than 17 metres per second (33 kn) or 39 miles per hour (63 km/h)."

Structure - yes
convection (thunderstorms) - not really
winds of 30 mph.+ - sort of.. if you round up from 27 mph. ;)

Good job NHC (sarcastically claps for you)


Initial intensity will be set at 35MPH.
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Quoting MrstormX:
Not trying to be a prick, but technically those are NOAA tasked missions not NHC. lol


um NHC is a division of NOAA
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The NHC Safety Dance ?
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Quoting IKE:


They were and verified a 27.6mph wind. My blow dryer blows out air faster then this naked swirl is blowing.


Technically, there are no wind requirements.
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Quoting Levi32:
The whole idea is that tropical cyclones in the Atlantic can form in a whole variety of ways, in more ways than any other tropical basin on earth. Some of those ways include those of other basins, such as the Indian Ocean and west Pacific in some cases, though not as common as others. In 2010, we will see more of these kinds of things that we aren't used to seeing so often.


what will be the reason?
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This is the sickest looking new TD that I have ever seen, in my 40 years of observing the tropics. I'm interested to see the NHC jusification for the upgrade to TD#2....

Using this standard of organization, and convection, and wind speed for 96L, 95L was a Cat 1 by comparison!
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"A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined, closed surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of less than 17 metres per second (33 kn) or 39 miles per hour (63 km/h)."

Structure - yes
convection (thunderstorms) - not really
winds of 30 mph.+ - sort of.. if you round up from 27 mph. ;)

Good job NHC (sarcastically claps for you)
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
Avila and the boys better get those riot shields up...

WU is getting rowdy.
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This is a serious situation. Levees in Mexico south of the Rio Grande are in a very poor condition and the ones on the US side are not much better. I remember reading some time ago that a scenario similar to this one can trigger a significant catastrophe due to flooding magnified by the poor condition of the levees on both sides of the river.
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Not trying to be a prick, but technically those are NOAA tasked missions not NHC. lol
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Quoting extreme236:


It isn't poorly defined, just convectively challenged.
Convectively challenged, that was a great answer,and so true..........
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.