TD 3 growing more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:01 PM GMT on July 22, 2010

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Tropical Depression Three is steadily organizing, and appears poised to become a much stronger storm than was forecast. Water vapor satellite loops show that the upper level low to the west of TD 3 that has been bringing high levels of wind shear to the storm is now moving faster to the west than predicted. This faster motion has resulted in a reduction in wind shear over TD 3, to a moderate 10 knots. Satellite images of TD 3 show that the storm is taking advantage of the lower shear by developing several low-level spiral bands to the north and east of the center. However, the center of circulation is still exposed to view, and dry air is still getting injected into the core of the storm from the southwest. The storm's heavy thunderstorms have not increased in intensity this afternoon, and the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near the core of the storm is still limited. TD 3 will need to build more intense thunderstorms near its center before significant intensification can occur. TD 3 is a small storm, and surface observations in the Bahamas do not show the circulation very well. An outer rain band of TD 3 is now visible on Miami long-range radar, and a flood watch has been issued for all of South Florida. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm at present, and have found top surface winds of 35 - 40 mph.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of TD 3.

Track Forecast for TD 3
The storm is in a straightforward steering current environment, and TD 3 should progress steadily to the west-northwest through Sunday. 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 8am EDT (12Z) foresee a track more to the north than the previous set of model runs. This increases the threat to the oil spill region, and I give a 40% chance that the oil spill region will see tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or higher this weekend. Oil recovery and relief well drilling operations should cease. If TD 3 makes a direct hit on the oil spill region as a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds, it will likely drive a storm surge of 3 - 6 feet with high waves on top into the Louisiana marshlands, fouling a large area with oil. Oil would also penetrate into Lake Pontchartrain, which lies just two feet above sea level. However, the wave action of the storm will dilute the oil to some degree, which may limit the damage to the marshlands.

If you are wondering about the specific probabilities of receiving tropical storm force winds at your location, I recommend the wind probability product from NHC. The latest 5 pm probabilities of various locations getting tropical storm force winds, 39 mph or higher:

Marathon 55%
Marco Island 43%
Miami 34%
New Orleans 33%
Galveston 13%

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. If the low remains in its present location, relative to TD 3, it will bring wind shear of about 10 knots to the storm. This will allow for steady intensification of perhaps 20 mph per day, and TD 3 could be a hurricane by Sunday at that pace. However, if the upper-level low slows down a bit, relative to TD 3, more shear and dry air will affect the storm, potentially weakening it. None of the computer models is calling for TD 3 to strengthen into a hurricane, but if the shear continues at 10 knots, I expect TD 3 will become a hurricane. My low-confidence intensity forecast gives TD 3 a 40% chance of becoming a hurricane. NHC is putting the odds of TD 3 being a hurricane at 2 pm Sunday at 15% with their 5pm advisory.

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 probably does not 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 in the morning. ABC World News Tonight will probably show a sound bite I did for them today, on their 6:30pm broadcast.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting chrisdscane:



wuts that est?


2 AM.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23590
Quoting CybrTeddy:
THE NEXT AIRCRAFT
IS SCHEDULED TO REACH BOONIE AROUND 06Z.




?



wuts that est?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Water Vapor illustrates the elongated structure of Bonnie. No outflow at all to the northeast or southwest. It's still a big fight, and she could even be losing some ground right now.



ahhhh..... the voice of reason......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Short-term track looks pretty good to me....should clip south Florida but is not heading farther north than that.



I agree 100%...I don't think it needs to be adjusted N-ward, the ridge is building in (as evidenced by the flattened cloud pattern) and will push Bonnie WNW-ward towards the extreme S-ern coastline.
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Looking more and more like TX is out for this one.....
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
THE CENTER HAS BEEN WOBBLING NORTHWESTWARD DURING THE PAST SEVERAL
HOURS...WITH THE INITIAL MOTION A SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN 305/12.
BONNIE IS ON THE EAST SIDE OF A LARGE MID/UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE
EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO AND SOUTH OF A DEEP-LAYER RIDGE OVER THE
SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. AS THE UPPER LOW MOVES WESTWARD...
BONNIE SHOULD TURN WEST-NORTHWESTWARD IN RESPONSE TO THE FLOW
AROUND THE RIDGE...WITH THE TRACK GUIDANCE MODELS IN GOOD AGREEMENT
ON THIS SCENARIO THROUGH 72 HR. THIS MOTION SHOULD BRING THE
CENTER ACROSS THE FLORIDA PENINSULA OR KEYS ON FRIDAY...AND NEAR OR
OVER THE NORTHERN GULF COAST IN 60-72 HR. AFTER THAT...THE CYCLONE
IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NORTHWARD AROUND THE WESTERN END OF THE RIDGE.
THE NEW FORECAST TRACK HAS BEEN SHIFTED NORTHWARD DURING THE FIRST
72 HR BASED ON THE CURRENT POSITION AND MOTION. HOWEVER...IT LIES
SOUTH OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS THROUGH THE FIRST 48 HR AND SOME
ADDITIONAL NORTHWARD ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY LATER.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SavannahStorm:



"Tell me vat you see. Let us begin veeth your mother..."
"I'm Ted Theadore Logan." "And I'm Bill S. Preston, Esquire." "And we're Wild Stallions!"
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2361. Patrap
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting gator23:

why?


Because I am supposed to be playing golf tomorrow afternoon!
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Quoting Levi32:


We'll see what they do, but right now I think they did a good job not shifting any further north than they did.


I agree.
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2357. gator23
Quoting 954FtLCane:
Oh yeah yo hoo a troplical storm warning for Browr
Im gone go away.... sorry......

oh no! dont start that dated 90's Broward vs Dade stuff lol
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Bonnie probably won't amount to much of anything except over-hype..
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Quoting Kristina40:


Where in C Florida? I'm in Panama City and it was clear and HOT most of the day. We had a few clouds roll through but that was it. The heat is brutal and I LIKE it hot.
Orlando FL... Ive been up your way before. long time ago
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2354. gator23
Quoting CaneWarning:
I'm very concerned here in Tampa about Bonnie.

why?
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Quoting DestinJeff:
THE
CONVECTION TO THE NORTH OF THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER. THE NEXT AIRCRAFT
IS SCHEDULED TO REACH BOONIE AROUND 06Z.
Beven is slippin'! Good night everyone. I'll see what happens in the morning. I'll try to keep all of you updated with the latest conditions here in Miami tomorrow.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Oh yeah yo hoo a troplical storm warning for Browr
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010x:
wow look at this wave on land in West Africa staring to get more t.storms in the center.

Im gone go away.... sorry......
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2351. Patrap




"Chief,,Put Out Da Fire Will yas?''
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
2350. Levi32
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


THE NEW FORECAST TRACK HAS BEEN SHIFTED NORTHWARD DURING THE FIRST
72 HR BASED ON THE CURRENT POSITION AND MOTION. HOWEVER...IT LIES
SOUTH OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS THROUGH THE FIRST 48 HR AND SOME
ADDITIONAL NORTHWARD ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY LATER.


We'll see what they do, but right now I think they did a good job not shifting any further north than they did.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



"Tell me vat you see. Let us begin veeth your mother..."
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Quoting Patrap:


The Bamm has it coming back for a re-do. Maybe Bonnie is a green storm and it will be recycled? dont want to waste any L's
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Quoting Levi32:
Short-term track looks pretty good to me....should clip south Florida but is not heading farther north than that.

The cone apparently is south of guidance, some northward adjustments may come soon.

THE NEW FORECAST TRACK HAS BEEN SHIFTED NORTHWARD DURING THE FIRST
72 HR BASED ON THE CURRENT POSITION AND MOTION. HOWEVER...IT LIES
SOUTH OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS THROUGH THE FIRST 48 HR AND SOME
ADDITIONAL NORTHWARD ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY LATER.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2346. will45
track shifted right a tad just like i expected.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


The Rorschach Test is definitely in play when looking at weather-related satellite imagery.



Wow, how deja vous. I just posted on another blog this statement:

Good point but you would think something like weather would be more scientific and therefore less inclined to opinion. Apparently satellite photos and data imagery are the modern day equivalents to Rorschach's ink blots. Ten people can look at the same data and come up with ten different forecasts. It's very eye opening...
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I'm very concerned here in Tampa about Bonnie.
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2343. gator23
Quoting LSU:


True. Don't listen to the "troll."

We'll listen to you and CCHS, from South Florida, tell us how the storm will hit South Florida. And we'll listen to the two Texas guys repeatedly claim that it's going to hit Texas.

Do you realize that when this blog is mocked on national TV, it's because of folks like you, definitely not anyone intelligent like StormW or Patrap.

What yo are refering to is called "Kents law" and they do not participate in that. They are good. Thats said, what national media has mocked this blog. that is hilarious.
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Quoting Levi32:
Short-term track looks pretty good to me....should clip south Florida but is not heading farther north than that.



THE NEW FORECAST TRACK HAS BEEN SHIFTED NORTHWARD DURING THE FIRST
72 HR BASED ON THE CURRENT POSITION AND MOTION. HOWEVER...IT LIES
SOUTH OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS THROUGH THE FIRST 48 HR AND SOME
ADDITIONAL NORTHWARD ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY LATER.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2340. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting DestinJeff:
THE
CONVECTION TO THE NORTH OF THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER. THE NEXT AIRCRAFT
IS SCHEDULED TO REACH BOONIE AROUND 06Z.


wut is that est??
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:
I have been noticing here in Central Fl. the Cirrus clouds are starting to move in.. after a full couple of days of Crystal Clear sky's that had NO clouds.

I imagine that tomorrow I will wake up to very cloudy sky's....


Where in C Florida? I'm in Panama City and it was clear and HOT most of the day. We had a few clouds roll through but that was it. The heat is brutal and I LIKE it hot.
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2337. centex
Quoting HarleyStormDude52:


so... no future in the GOM??
No certain future. I agree with NHC like I always do. I only disagree on minor stuff like 4 day cone or something I think they left out in public discussion. When you get past day 3 no one knows except guesstimates. Models are really good tools and NHC uses them a lot and even quotes them as reason for forecast. They also state when uncertain and everybody focuses on line 4-7 days out even when warned not to. My minor issue with NHC is I would expand cone after 3 days more than they do. We would have less cone infractions on the later days if they did that. We have many out of cone landings based on more than 3 days. It’s moot when the last few days had it in new cone but I believe cone should show more uncertainty past 3 days.
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Good one Cybrteddy, Dr. Phil I need some help.
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2333. Levi32
Short-term track looks pretty good to me....should clip south Florida but is not heading farther north than that.

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Cone continues to shift towards the right.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
MH09, do you think it will hit the S.FL area as a TS or TD? It's not looking to great at the moment..
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2230: The Tigah-fan nation formally requests you stop posting. Altogether. Please.
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Quoting weatherguy03:


They can't be. Also, they are always some hours behind, sometimes even more when they are not updating as fast. Thats why I always look at my various Sat loops before I look at the shear numbers.


WeatherGuy03 used to be a FOX meterologist where
i used to live in N Florida! [Laughs]

He is spot on about the shear map info which
Cimms is never really quick to update.

Bonnie is looking very rough this evening. LOL

UNISYS View:


South Florida Radar:





Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
2327. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting thelmores:


Bob...... ever get the feeling you are peeing against the wind? LOL

Always amazes me that 2 people can look at the same image, and see 2 completely different things!

I am not an upcaster, downcaster, not even a forecaster! But I agree with Levi...... Bonnie will likely never see north of 55-60mph sustained winds max!

But the whole wildcard here is the ULL! NOBODY knows exactly what this feature will do.......


The Rorschach Test is definitely in play when looking at weather-related satellite imagery.

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Quoting SavannahStorm:
New wind probs give Miami a 40% chance of TS winds in the next 24 hours...


Looks like Miami and CCHS are vindicated.
43% for TS winds in Miami. 5% chance of 50+ knot winds.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
I don't see the new warnings extending from Bonita Beach to Englewood on the west coast?
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Quoting weatherguy03:


You can look at this and tell me thats good outflow...Link Really??


The building ridge to the N of the system is flattening out the cloud pattern in the N-ern semicircle a bit, while there is still a lack of outflow to the SW. Not quite as good as it looked 6 hours ago but she's holding her own and only a small increase in the ULL's forward speed would give it a chance to intensify.
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It's not too good.. I wonder if it will survive the night. But then again, I'm an amateur.
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2321. gijim
Did Bonnie just plant the seed for a secondary system?
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jack blevens writing advisory tonight.
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Hey, look at that still NW.
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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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