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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According to all the tracks (nhc and WU) this thing is projected to stay off of most land, why are they only projecting a tropical storm? Is it because of the lows and will they really have that big of an impact on intensity even though this thing will be tracking across warm waters?
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Quoting rossclick:


hmm.. i cant seen to find the plane route on there anywhere


Look up by Mississippi
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Quoting StonedCrab:
OK. I'm off to Home Depot to buy up all of the generators and plywood, then to Publix to load up on 1800 gallons of water per person per day.

Am I forgetting anything?


How about a gallon of 1800 per person per day? Pick me up one too. The cap evens pours you a shot!
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Quoting whs2012:


LOL. Has California ever gotten a TD, TS, or Hurricane before, EVER?!


A quick search produced only one hurricane to impact (but not make landfall) California, more searching would be needed to confirm this:

1858 San Diego Hurricane
1939 Tropical Storm
1972 TD
1978 TD
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116. IKE
Looks like 98L is about to run out of real estate.
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Question:

Isn't this a best-case scenario for the 2010 season?

What I mean is, the storm is expected to spend a lot of time over water and only get to TS strength.

Doesn't that churn-up cooler waters and reduce the danger in August and September?

Someone a few weeks ago said each day without a storm is a blessing, but I'm kinda of the belief that a lot of weaker storms are better than a monster in September.

In a "spread-out the ACE throughout the 2010 season" sense.

Does that make any sense? Any thoughts on this?
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Quoting whs2012:


LOL. Has California ever gotten a TD, TS, or Hurricane before, EVER?!
Yes but not often.

1997
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Sporteguy... I think you need to change the channel... on that path, there is no way we will see that much wind in Central Florida... If it hits Vero Beach, then maybe... but not hitting the Keys or Miami or Palm Beach even.


WFTV is the best in central Florida, if they say it, I believe it
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting txsweetpea:



hello... i am already here... for 5 years now!lol


I used this blog and the info on it waiting for Katrina to hit me in the face on the MS coast. Whenever I hear so much as a big wave being out there, this is where I run.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1074
Quoting Detrina:
I have a smart beagle, he didn't go to meteorology school or anything but he is a pretty quick thinker...he has relocated ALL of his toys (35 of them) to higher ground..from the flat basket on the floor, in the livingroom to the middle of the guest bedroom bed. Never seen him do that...Perhaps he knows something we don't?


You may have a flea infestation on the floor of your home from the sound of it.
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But speculating is fun, CV!!!

LOL

Mexican Radar from near Veracruz:

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
Quoting chrisdscane:


r u watching channel 10?
Yep.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Blog Update!

July 22, 2010 - 11:55 AM EDT - Tropical Depression #3 Is Classified - 98L Organizing
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
CFS forecast :



Less aggressive than the GFS on the downward pulse
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Max Mayfield saying that if 03L does go over the center point of the cone, Miami could still feel tropical storm force winds because the stronger portion of the system is the northern quadrant.


r u watching channel 10?
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Sporteguy... I think you need to change the channel... on that path, there is no way we will see that much wind in Central Florida... If it hits Vero Beach, then maybe... but not hitting the Keys or Miami or Palm Beach even.
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Texas anyone?



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Landfall Points

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
whs2012 it is! alot of us on here. hitchcock/santa fe myself
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I have a smart beagle, he didn't go to meteorology school or anything but he is a pretty quick thinker...he has relocated ALL of his toys (35 of them) to higher ground..from the flat basket on the floor, in the livingroom to the middle of the guest bedroom bed. Never seen him do that...Perhaps he knows something we don't?
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Current thinking from the NHC has 03L passing over the southern keys on Friday afternoon.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting whs2012:
HoustonTxGal,

Howdy! I wonder when this blog is going to be packed with SE Texas/LA residents?! Lol



hello... i am already here... for 5 years now!lol
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97. IKE
GFS puts the vorticity onshore in "who dat" country at 78 hours....

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96. Bonz
Oh boy. Our first tropical storm watch of the season. Looks like we'll just get rain and a bit of wind here.

For your amusement Florida Hurricane Exercise, an oldie but goodie from the years when we were getting hit left and right with systems.
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Quoting CaribBoy:


Looks quiet after TD 3 and 98L


Don't believe those...They change...A lot...A whole lot.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Recon nearing 03L...

000
URNT15 KNHC 221551
AF306 02BBA INVEST HDOB 10 20100722
154230 2729N 08450W 3814 07983 0463 -195 -249 053033 033 /// /// 03
154300 2728N 08447W 3825 07961 0463 -194 -251 054033 033 /// /// 03
154330 2727N 08445W 3896 07830 0459 -183 -250 053032 033 /// /// 03
154400 2727N 08442W 3925 07768 0450 -180 -251 049031 031 /// /// 03
154430 2726N 08440W 3927 07762 0449 -180 -255 047030 031 /// /// 03
154500 2725N 08437W 3926 07766 0449 -180 -255 046029 030 /// /// 03
154530 2724N 08434W 3929 07758 0449 -180 -254 045029 029 /// /// 03
154600 2724N 08432W 3929 07761 0448 -182 -254 044028 029 /// /// 03
154630 2723N 08429W 3927 07762 0448 -183 -255 044028 029 /// /// 03
154700 2722N 08427W 3927 07761 0448 -180 -255 044029 030 /// /// 03
154730 2721N 08424W 3927 07760 0448 -180 -255 045031 032 /// /// 03
154800 2720N 08421W 3929 07760 0449 -182 -255 046031 032 /// /// 03
154830 2720N 08419W 3926 07766 0448 -184 -255 045032 033 /// /// 03
154900 2719N 08416W 3926 07761 0447 -185 -255 044029 030 /// /// 03
154930 2718N 08414W 3929 07757 0446 -190 -256 047027 028 /// /// 03
155000 2717N 08411W 3927 07758 0445 -190 -255 048027 027 /// /// 03
155030 2717N 08409W 3929 07755 0443 -190 -253 045027 027 /// /// 03
155100 2716N 08406W 3927 07756 0443 -190 -252 045027 027 /// /// 03
155130 2715N 08404W 3927 07756 0442 -190 -254 045027 027 /// /// 03
155200 2714N 08401W 3927 07752 0441 -190 -252 046027 027 /// /// 03
$$
;


Then what is this? An error?
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Impacts wouldnt be too much on that track if your Galveston, wind would be blowing offshore
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
Max Mayfield saying that if 03L does go over the center point of the cone, Miami could still feel tropical storm force winds because the stronger portion of the system is the northern quadrant.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Radar from Camaguey, Cuba. [due south of Andros, that "big" island in the Bahamas]

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
storm how long till next update?
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However, no need speculate motion and intensity with recon on the way. We'll have the brass tax momentarily.
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Man, by this - it is coming my way.. (middle line) although I do know this can change.

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Quoting whs2012:
CaribBoy,

There's a nice wave about to come off the African Coast. Idk if conditions are favorable though. :/


Indeed
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For what its worth Matt Makens on WFTV in Orlando said Central Florida can expect 35-45 MPH winds, heavy rain listed both as moderate impact and high impact for rip currents, stay out of the water.
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Recon nearing 03L...

000
URNT15 KNHC 221551
AF306 02BBA INVEST HDOB 10 20100722
154230 2729N 08450W 3814 07983 0463 -195 -249 053033 033 /// /// 03
154300 2728N 08447W 3825 07961 0463 -194 -251 054033 033 /// /// 03
154330 2727N 08445W 3896 07830 0459 -183 -250 053032 033 /// /// 03
154400 2727N 08442W 3925 07768 0450 -180 -251 049031 031 /// /// 03
154430 2726N 08440W 3927 07762 0449 -180 -255 047030 031 /// /// 03
154500 2725N 08437W 3926 07766 0449 -180 -255 046029 030 /// /// 03
154530 2724N 08434W 3929 07758 0449 -180 -254 045029 029 /// /// 03
154600 2724N 08432W 3929 07761 0448 -182 -254 044028 029 /// /// 03
154630 2723N 08429W 3927 07762 0448 -183 -255 044028 029 /// /// 03
154700 2722N 08427W 3927 07761 0448 -180 -255 044029 030 /// /// 03
154730 2721N 08424W 3927 07760 0448 -180 -255 045031 032 /// /// 03
154800 2720N 08421W 3929 07760 0449 -182 -255 046031 032 /// /// 03
154830 2720N 08419W 3926 07766 0448 -184 -255 045032 033 /// /// 03
154900 2719N 08416W 3926 07761 0447 -185 -255 044029 030 /// /// 03
154930 2718N 08414W 3929 07757 0446 -190 -256 047027 028 /// /// 03
155000 2717N 08411W 3927 07758 0445 -190 -255 048027 027 /// /// 03
155030 2717N 08409W 3929 07755 0443 -190 -253 045027 027 /// /// 03
155100 2716N 08406W 3927 07756 0443 -190 -252 045027 027 /// /// 03
155130 2715N 08404W 3927 07756 0442 -190 -254 045027 027 /// /// 03
155200 2714N 08401W 3927 07752 0441 -190 -252 046027 027 /// /// 03
$$
;
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting FLdewey:
New model run is out...



:-D


LMAO!!!
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1074
TD-3

VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE BAHAMAS INDICATE
THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS HAS
BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED AND A CLOSED CIRCULATION HAS FORMED.
ADVISORIES ON A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR A TROPICAL STORM WILL BE
INITIATED AT 11 AM EDT...1500 UTC TODAY. THIS ADVISORY WILL LIKELY
INCLUDE TROPICAL STORM WATCHES AND WARNINGS FOR PORTIONS OF THE
BAHAMAS AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA.
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Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1074


anticyclone
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98L


AN AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD AREA OF
LOW PRESSURE IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE CONTINUES TO SHOW SIGNS OF
ORGANIZATION.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR
SOME DEVELOPMENT OF THE LOW AS IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.
THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE BEFORE IT
REACHES THE COAST OF MEXICO IN A DAY OR TWO.
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Quoting Tracker09:
What type of weather should we expect here in miami? 30-40 sustained with very heavy rain??
Depends on how far north or south it travels and how strong it is when it nears our area. If it moves over the northern keys (more likely IMO) Miami could receive tropical storm force winds along with some strong squalls. If it moves through the straights or extreme southern keys (less likely IMO) Miami could receive some 30+mph gusts with some squally weather.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Tracker09:
What type of weather should we expect here in miami? 30-40 sustained with very heavy rain??


yep im thinnk the same thing
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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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