Tropical Depression Two Along South Texas Coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:46 PM GMT on July 08, 2010

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Hello everybody, this is Senior Meteorologist Shaun Tanner writing Dr. Masters' blog while he is on vacation.

Tropical Depression Two formed overnight in the northern Bay of Campeche and is now making landfall along the extreme south coast of Texas. A hurricane hunter was sent into the system and found a low-level circulation. While there are some reports of tropical storm strength winds in the squalls of the system, there is just not enough evidence to upgrade the storm to tropical storm strength before landfall.

The satellite representation of the depression is quite impressive as half of the depression is now over landfall. Brownsville radar currently is showing the effects of the depression with heavy rain and thunderstorms through much of southern Texas.

The biggest lingering effect from the depression will be to prolong the devastating flooding that has been ongoing in southern Texas and northeast Mexico. Not including the rain that will fall due to the depression, over the past 7 days, the area near Houston has received over 10 inches of rain, while some inland areas of Texas has received over 4 inches of rain. The problem gets worse in the Mexican state of Coahuila near the Texas border has received upwards of 20 inches of rain in the past 7 days due to substantial moisture pouring into the area.

This surging watershed has caused massive flooding throughout the region, with the area near Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico being the hardest hit. The flooding has caused the major border crossing between those two cities to be closed as the Rio Grande surged and threatened to top the crossing's bridge. A contingent of Mexican officials, including the mayor of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, touring the flooding damage in an airplane crashed Wednesday, killing all six onboard. Evacuations on both sides of the border has forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes, while over 100,000 people were without water service. The flooding problem is extra dangerous because swollen dams had to release some of their water downstream into areas that towns that have already been swamped. It was even reported that one of these releases by the National Water Commission of Mexico was the largest emergency water release in the country.

Needless to say, the rain from Tropical Depression Two will only further the flooding problems in southern Texas and northeast Mexico. Figure 3 shows the severe map and the greens represent Flood Watches and Warnings. You can see almost the entire states of Texas and Oklahoma are under these watches and warnings in anticipation of several inches of rain from the remnants of Tropical Depression Two.


Figure 1. Satellite loop of Tropical Depression Two.


Figure 2. Storm-centered radar as depression makes landfall.


Figure 3. Severe map.

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Looks like Cdn. Maritimes will get the remains of L2 and the ULL being pulled north-east into the advancing trough this weekend. Need the rain here.
Member Since: August 29, 2009 Posts: 12 Comments: 482
Quoting MississippiWx:


Yeah, unfortunately, the AOML TCHP graph is messed up today. They always have issues with their graphs. It's very frustrating because I love their graphs. It's scary seeing the entire Caribbean, GOM and Bahama region covered in 29-30C water.
You could use this:





From here: http://isotherm.rsmas.miami.edu/heat/webmini/mini.php
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Quoting cyclonekid:
This is a recurvature??? Ehh not quite



Recurvature of what? The low that is off the NC VA coast.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Expect 15 to 17 storms this year with 2004 type tracks. I wouldn't expect anything close to 2005 though.

Wow. We agree on this...
Figured on 15 names storms, myself.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
This is a recurvature??? Ehh not quite



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Quoting MississippiWx:


Yeah, unfortunately, the AOML TCHP graph is messed up today. They always have issues with their graphs. It's very frustrating because I love their graphs. It's scary seeing the entire Caribbean, GOM and Bahama region covered in 29-30C water.
Indeed.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Copy&paste 23.9N93.9W, 24.3N94.5W, 24.8N95.2W, 25.7N96.2W, 26.0N97.0W, 26.0N97.7W, 26.2N98.4W, TAM, MOB, PBI, SAL into the GreatCircleMapper
Remarkable how TD2 has been cruising up the RioGrande river.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
As expected. You'll see those SSTs above average in a couple of days. What takes a bit longer is for the TCHP to go up.


Yeah, unfortunately, the AOML TCHP graph is messed up today. They always have issues with their graphs. It's very frustrating because I love their graphs. It's scary seeing the entire Caribbean, GOM and Bahama region covered in 29-30C water.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Speaking of which, I cant get today's to load. Can you?
Nope.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
The people in where Alex made landfall are getting pounded by the rains of 02L.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
As expected. You'll see those SSTs above average in a couple of days. What takes a bit longer is for the TCHP to go up.


Speaking of which, I cant get today's to load. Can you?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32072
Quoting MississippiWx:
Water temps have made a nice comeback in the Western Caribbean and GOM after Alex upwelled them:

As expected. You'll see those SSTs above average in a couple of days. What takes a bit longer is for the TCHP to go up.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Water temps have made a nice comeback in the Western Caribbean and GOM after Alex upwelled them:

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Ah ha! Okay, cool. Thanks to all of you who helped answer that one for me!
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Quoting StormW:


It depends on (well more than) 2 factors...favorable upper level environment, and TCHP (Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential). Even with SST's above the average, if a storm crosses into an area with high TCHP, and favorable upper level winds, it can rapidly intensify.


I wonder how many storms will Rapidly Intensify this year...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32072
Quoting cyclonekid:
This is a recurvature??? Ehh not quite

You understand what I mean.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting Levi32:


Nono....check out the temperature forecast. There is ridging and lots of it at the mid-levels, but the surface pressures are lower than normal according to the model. Why? Because, all that heat makes the air rise which lowers pressure at the surface. This is the process by which monsoons are driven in other parts of the world.



Duh. I wasn't thinking about those pressures being at the surface. Thanks.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Anything is possible, but for a recurvature to occur like how Isabel tracked, I reckon it will come further west than where Isabel turned northward.
This is a recurvature??? Ehh not quite

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Quoting LouisianaWoman:
It's hard to explain what I mean. Even though the waters out there are above normal, it shouldn't lead to stronger than normal storms since the temps are now considered their "norms" so to speak since they were developed in those temps, right? Ugh...I hate trying to explain via fonts on a computer screen. LOL


Hurricanes won't be limited in intensity just because they form and track through waters of the same temperature relative to normal. A tropical cyclone tracking from colder than normal water into warmer than normal water won't necessarily strengthen more than a tropical cyclone forming in warmer than normal water and tracking through warmer than normal water.

The only thing that could really change is how rapid intensification of the storm is, but the maximum potential intensity of the storm shouldn't change.
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


I assume that 1028-1030mb is abnormally high? Thus pushing thing further away?
The higher the pressures in a high the stronger it is basically. A 1030mb high is a purdy strong one if ya' ask me.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting StormW:


The A/B high...the position, and it's been averaging 1028-1030mb.


I assume that 1028-1030mb is abnormally high? Thus pushing thing further away?
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Quoting IKE:


Actually it was 12 hours from land...10 pm last night to 10 am this morning.


You know what I mean lol.
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Now is that what is keeping the ITCZ so far south?


No, that would be the current little positive NAO burst and the current dust-storm outbreak entering the eastern and central Atlantic.

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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

LOL But was that kite surfer alright?

He's fine he's back to doing the same thing. Local news reported on it. We might get to see it all over again this year from the sound of it he didnt learn a damn thing
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It's hard to explain what I mean. Even though the waters out there are above normal, it shouldn't lead to stronger than normal storms since the temps are now considered their "norms" so to speak since they were developed in those temps, right? Ugh...I hate trying to explain via fonts on a computer screen. LOL
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396. IKE
Quoting Levi32:


That's generally what happens when a tropical system forms 18 hours from land.


Actually it was 12 hours from land...10 pm last night to 10 am this morning.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting MississippiWx:


Hmmm...That map signifies that we should see less ridging across the Eastern US.


Nono....check out the temperature forecast. There is ridging and lots of it at the mid-levels, but the surface pressures are lower than normal according to the model. Why? Because, all that heat makes the air rise which lowers pressure at the surface. This is the process by which monsoons are driven in other parts of the world.

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Quoting StormW:


A TUTT low.


Thanks Storm and Levi
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Quoting cyclonekid:
What are the chances of an Isabel scenario???


NC better not get hit!!!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32072
391. BDAwx
sticking to my forecast I made in mid June:
June(1-0-0)
July(2-1-0)
August(6-4-2)
September(8-7-4)
October(4-3-1)
November(1-1-0)

TOTAL
22-16-7
hasn't verified that great so far but hasn't been that bad either.
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Quoting Levi32:


Old cut-off TUTT low that is working down to 500mb so it is just a plain old cut-off upper low now.



Now is that what is keeping the ITCZ so far south?
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Quoting cyclonekid:
What are the chances of an Isabel scenario???
Anything is possible, but for a recurvature to occur like how Isabel tracked, I reckon it will come further west than where Isabel turned northward.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting IKE:
THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO.


That was quick...start to finish in 18 hours.



That's generally what happens when a tropical system forms 18 hours from land.
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Quoting StormW:


Along with this:



Hmmm...That map signifies that we should see less ridging across the Eastern US.
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:
after noon folks. I have a question: is that a tutt, a ULL or the Bermuda High at 26N and 54W? or none of the above?




An old cut-off TUTT low that is working down to 500mb so it is just a plain old cut-off upper low now.

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Quoting angiest:


Record daily maximum means for the given date. Otherwise it would be record daily rainfall for month of whatever, or all-time record daily rainfall.


OK, my bad.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
2007 isn't a decent example, because there will likely be more systems going north of the Caribbean, a few tracks that you might see this year are like Andrew (1992), Frances (2004), Jeanne (2004), Rita (2005), etc... IMO, 2004 is the best example as far as tracks go.
What are the chances of an Isabel scenario???
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382. IKE
THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO.


That was quick...start to finish in 18 hours.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Levi32:
Model precipitation forecasts do not necessarily depict where they think most tropical cyclones will track. What they are generally a good indication of is where they will tend to form.


Yep. That's why the Caribbean is going to be very active this year. The GOM is going to have its fair share as well. The EURO shows plenty of precip there too.
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380. xcool
I guess I'll have to wait and see
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672
after noon folks. I have a question: is that a tutt, a ULL or the Bermuda High at 26N and 54W? or none of the above?


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Quoting TexasGulf:


1. I live within 6 miles of Houston Intercontinental Airport. The rain yesterday was NOT that dramatic. Yes, we had possibly 2" of rain, but for Houston that's nothing.

2. Not a daily record rainfall, not by a LONG SHOT! The NWS in Harris County, Tx reported that it set a new record but they are really wrong.
Check out this link for reported rainfall amounts during T.S. Allison during June 5-9th, 2001. Link

Houston Intercontinental Airport had:
June 5th = 4.80 inches
June 6th = 0.04 inches
June 7th = 0.00 inches
June 8th = 7.40 inches
June 9th = 5.00 inches

A total of 9 inches (230 mm) of rain fell at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on August 16, 2007 due to Tropical Storm Erin.

I saw that the "record" was widely reported by the NWS... but yesterday's rainfall was unimpressive. There wasn't any real street flooding. I drove by the Intercontinental Airport on my way home and didn't even have to avoid puddles.

I think someone at the NWS got this one wrong. Maybe they just meant that it was a record rainfall for the date of July 8th.


Record daily maximum means for the given date. Otherwise it would be record daily rainfall for month of whatever, or all-time record daily rainfall.
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It has not rained here since June28th. Looks like rain chances are increasing in NC though each day.
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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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