Tropical Depression Three forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:42 PM GMT on July 22, 2010

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Tropical Depression Three has formed over the Bahama Islands, and appears poised to become Tropical Storm Bonnie later today. Satellite images of TD 3 show a modest area of heavy thunderstorms that have slowly increased in intensity and areal coverage this morning. The surface circulation center is exposed to view, thanks to strong upper-level winds out of the southwest that are creating about 20 knots of wind shear. This wind shear is due to the counter-clockwise circulation of air around a large upper-level low pressure system over Florida that is moving west at about the same speed TD 3 is. Water vapor satellite loops show a large area of dry air is associated with the upper-level low pressure system, and this dry air is hindering development of TD 3. The storm is attempting to wrap a curved band of clouds around its center, on its west side. If TD 3 is able to do this, the center will be protected from shear and dry air, and more significant strengthening can occur. Surface observations in the Bahamas and several nearby ships have shown top winds in TD 3 of up to 35 mph, so the storm is close to the 40 mph winds needed to be classified as a tropical storm.


Figure 1. Water vapor satellite image showing dry air (brown colors) associated with the upper-level low over Florida. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Track Forecast for TD 3
The storm is in a fairly straightforward steering current environment, and TD 3 should progress steadily to the west to west-northwest through Saturday. This will bring the storm ashore over the Florida Keys or South Florida on Friday, and into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. The latest set of model runs from 2am EDT (6Z) had the advantage of having data from a flight of the NOAA jet last night, so we have higher confidence than usual in the track of TD 3 over the next two days. The location of TD 3's final landfall along the Gulf of Mexico coast has the usual uncertainties for 3 - 4 days, with the various models calling for landfall somewhere between the upper Texas coast and the Florida Panhandle coast. Given the uncertainties, the move halt operations in the Deepwater Horizon blowout recovery effort are probably wise.

Intensity Forecast for TD 3
The primary detriment to development of TD 3 for the next three days will be the presence of the large upper-level low to its west. As long as this low remains in its present location, relative to TD 3, it will bring wind shear of about 20 knots and dry air into the storm. This will limit the intensification potential of TD 3 to no more than about 10 - 15 mph per day. If the upper-level low slow down a bit, relative to TD 3, more shear will affect the storm, potentially weakening it. Conversely, if the upper-level low picks up speed and pulls away from TD 3, the storm may be able to intensify at a faster rate. None of the computer models is calling for that to happen, but it would not take much of an additional separation between TD 3 and the upper level low to substantially reduce shear and allow TD 3 to intensify into a hurricane on Saturday. I put the odds of TD 3 making it to hurricane strength in the Gulf of Mexico at 20%.

98L
An area of disturbed weather (98L) has developed in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. This system is under a low amount of shear, 5 - 10 knots, and may barely have enough time to organize into a tropical depression before making landfall along the Mexican coast a few hundred miles south of the Texas border on Friday.

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

Next update
I'll have an update between 3 - 4 pm, when the Hurricane Hunters will be in the storm. I'll also speculate on the possible impact the storm will have on the oil spill region.

Jeff Masters

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1072. Drakoen
Quoting leo305:
@Drakoen

Do you have that beautiful close up loop of the system that you posted earlier today?


Link
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30832
Quoting Tazmanian:
could we see TD 4 out of 98L?


Definitely.
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why I can't see Jeff9641's posts...is he on iggy? have to check
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1074
Looks like we're gonna get a centre fix in a bit. And looks likely to go to TS too.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


???




was talking too sammywammybamy he needs too talk about the weather and stop uesing the caps
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Between the Recon center fix and the 2PM advisory it seems like 03L is moving towards the ENE/NE. LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Tazmanian:
could we see TD 4 out of 98L?


It already is by my estimation.
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Lisa Moizer on TWC said that a Tropical Storm was headed for the Gulf Of Georgia one time :) Classic TWC blast from the past
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:


Let's see... Cantore is headed to North Miami Beach... that means the storm is NOT going to North Miami Beach!
Oh..i thought the Cantore law was that wherever Cantore is..the hurricane will go..lol
Member Since: July 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 254
Looks like Mission #3 just departed...Screwing with my Google Earth
Member Since: October 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 270
1058. leo305
@Drakoen

Do you have that beautiful close up loop of the system that you posted earlier today?
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Quoting tropics21:
maybe cmon for you guess you don't live in florida like a lot of us do


I live where Bonnie is to make landfall (near LA/TX coast). I'm just saying it's coming, there's no doubt about it according to the NHC/local meteorologists. I don't want it to affect anyone, but that's uncontrollable.
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TD3 LLC is playing "catch me if you can" with the Hurricane Hunters.
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Quoting MahFL:
I hope Abrams has learned the Gulf of Mexico is not an ocean.....

Never understood the reasoning behind Sea, Ocean, Gulf.... please explain in logical terms
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Quoting leo305:


did you not click my link? The ULL is moving away and weakening.. and as it happens the shear is beginning to drop to nearly nothing over TD3/Bonnie. In fact, there's an anticylone forming right over Bonnie as we speak.
:-0
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
The headline in Foxnews.com right now is "Tropical Depression in Caribbean Has Oil Spill in Its Sights" I thought that Cuba and Hispaniola were the boundary, and that the Bahamas are north of the Caribbean Sea.

So is TD3 in the Caribbean or to the north?

I say to the north.
Typical FOX. The Bahamas is in the Atlantic Ocean and not on or in the Caribbean Sea...

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1006.4 mb
(~ 29.72 inHg)


1006.4mbs found



i hop its not doing what i think its doing
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1051. vince1
Fantastic...the benzene, methane, corexit, crude oil toxic soup headed straight for TX. Oh well, maybe it will poison some of us enough to put us out of our misery.
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If you want to be safe at landfall go whereever Cantore is. He can't buy a storm - they always land where that little dweebie guy goes.
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flying sw to ne
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Quoting neonlazer:
Well now we know where its headed...


Let's see... Cantore is headed to North Miami Beach... that means the storm is NOT going to North Miami Beach!
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Quoting Drakoen:
TD3 moving towards the NE lol


yup lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting MahFL:
I hope Abrams has learned the Gulf of Mexico is not an ocean.....


No its not. But it sure does a good imitation of one when you're out in the middle of it on a boat!
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Quoting Drakoen:
Recon heading towards the center.

Let's see what it finds. I'm thinking 1004mb 50mph. I could be wrong though.
EDIT : Nah, my forecast is too high. What about 45mph 1005mb? ;)
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5725
Quoting Tazmanian:




weather PLZS


???
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
1040. Drakoen
TD3 moving towards the NE lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30832
Quoting sammywammybamy:
QUE
GULFCASTERS/LACASTERS/TXCASTERS/ FLCASTERS/ALCASTERS/ MISSIPICASTERS/ MAJOR HURRICANE CASTERS




weather PLZS
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1037. leo305
Quoting RJT185:



Forgetting that ULL?


did you not click my link? The ULL is moving away and weakening.. and as it happens the shear is beginning to drop to nearly nothing over TD3/Bonnie. In fact, there's an anticylone forming right over Bonnie as we speak.
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1036. unf97
Quoting pvbeachbum:


Hi Unf - in PV Beach here - I certainly do hope we get some rain from this TS up here in North Florida. All the rain has been going to Jax/Atl Beach or St. Augustine lately, and none here where I live. My yard looks like a Utah desert!

BTW - my daughter will be at UNF in the fall semester...


Yes, I hope we can get some scattered rain showers rotating through NE FL tomorrow on the extreme outer fringes of soon to be T.S. Bonnie. I don't think it will be very significant though, just enough to break this heat wave we have been in all month long.

BTW, I wish all the best for your daughter enrolling at UNF. She is making a wise choice, of course I am biased being an UNF alum LOL. I am a graduate c/o 1997.
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Lowest pressure found is 1006.4mb (rounded to 1006mb). Note the location.

184300 2222N 07453W 9915 00132 0064 +257 +198 168023 026 030 006 03
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
could we see TD 4 out of 98L?
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Quoting jlp09550:
C'mon Bonnie..

maybe cmon for you guess you don't live in florida like a lot of us do
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Quoting Drakoen:
Recon heading towards the center.


Google earth may be lagging.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3784
1029. RJT185
Quoting leo305:
Conditions are becoming very favorable for EXPLOSIVE development tonight.. water temps near 90 at some areas, dry air is fading too

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8sht.html




Forgetting that ULL?
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Quoting FLdewey:


You rat Bastardi! ;-)



LOL!

Can you imagine growing up with that last name?
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
Tampa Bay forecast from the NWS.

Looks like the future Bonnie will bring back our normal afternoon thunderstorms. The only thing different I would expect is a better chance of waterspouts.

Friday...Partly sunny in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Scattered thunderstorms . Highs around 90 near the coast and in the lower 90s inland. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph becoming around 15 mph early in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening...then isolated thunderstorms after midnight. Lows around 80 near the coast and in the upper 70s inland. East winds around 10 mph with gusts to around 25 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday...Partly sunny in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 90s near the coast and in the mid 90s inland. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.


yea here in St Pete they have winds gusting to 30mph Friday night
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
1025. MahFL
I hope Abrams has learned the Gulf of Mexico is not an ocean.....
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Fay must have been trapped inside the shield! XP


Probably was looking for the off switch.
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Quoting VoodooRue:
Jim Cantore just tweeted: "In North Miami Beach to begin coverage on TD3."


Miami is 100% safe from Bonnie
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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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