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 msgambler:
Cool pic earthly


TY Gambler
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Quoting LSU:


This is because you are, and always have been, a wishcaster who happens to live in Miami.
Great! I guess you could call CCHS a wishcaster too.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2217. Patrap
Anyone see this tonight?

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
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
2216. angiest
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah the ECMWF not as much....CMC will feedback almost anything, but it is illustrating the potential for mischief. It's worth keeping tabs on.


It seems to be in and out of ECWMF, definitely not coming in as "strong" there.
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We will see at the next run
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Quoting Homesteadfl74:
Back in Oct 1999, SoFla got Hurricane Irene. Local government and mets were saying: 'oh, it's a minimal Cat 1, everyone go about your daily routine. Nothing is cancelled...blah, blah, etc.' Well, around mid day, everyone was sent home in a rush because winds were much higher than expected and flooding was everywhere. I was one of those in traffic on the xpressway, terrified as my car was shaking so bad and visibility down to zero. With Bonnie now, it's kind of like the same attitude: 'oh, it will just be some heavy rain, some gusts of wind, blah, etc.". I know it's just a TS, but sometimes intesity is worse than expected. I hope it's as benign as they are saying for i don't want to get caught in traffic on the expressway again and experience what I did that day in 1999. This time I'm in a minivan with precious cargo on board...


i lost my apartment to that storm, roof completely collapsed with all the rain.
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Thank you Orca!
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Quoting Hurricane1956:
Hello can you explain what is T3.0 from TAFB and a T2.5???,thank you!
TAFB and SAB are agencies that basically rate a system based on its satellite appearance. Bonnie passes classification as a TS as per both agencies.

1 25 KTS 29 MPH (Approximate)
1.5 25 KTS 29 MPH
2 30 KTS 35 MPH 1009 mb 1000 mb
2.5 35 KTS 40 MPH 1005 mb 997 mb
3 45 KTS 52 MPH 1000 mb 991 mb
3.5 55 KTS 63 MPH 994 mb 984 mb
4 65 KTS 75 MPH 987 mb 976 mb 1 (64-83 KTS)
4.5 77 KTS 89 MPH 979 mb 966 mb 1 (64-83 KTS); 2 (84-96 KTS)
5 90 KTS 104 MPH 970 mb 954 mb 2 (84-96 KTS); 3 (97-113 KTS)
5.5 102 KTS 117 MPH 960 mb 941 mb 3 (97-113 KTS)
6 115 KTS 132 MPH 948 mb 927 mb 4 (114-135 KTS)
6.5 127 KTS 146 MPH 935 mb 914 mb 4 (114-135 KTS)
7 140 KTS 161 MPH 921 mb 898 mb 5 (136+ KTS)
7.5 155 KTS 178 MPH 906 mb 879 mb 5 (136+ KTS)
8 170 KTS 196 MPH 890 mb 858 mb 5 (136+ KTS)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2210. bappit
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
I never understood how quickly the mood changes on the blog. 4 hours ago Bonnie was looking great and ready to bomb. Now its not looking good at all. Could it be that the NHC forecast is right and its slowly strengthening? People don't realize that this is a PROCESS and it doesn't happen in three hours.

Bonnie never looked good and was never ready to bomb. Maybe that was trolls talking. On the other hand, it is looking sickly. Even at its relative optimum earlier, the Doctor observed:

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.
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Quoting SiestaCpl:


Bonnie has had a dry slot at 500 mb level for the last two days and this is enough to start the process for decoupling. This dry layer will inhibit the circulation at that level and also affect the ability for development due to the lack of convective structure through the dry layer.


where are you getting the information that a dry slot has existed at 500 mb for days? and if this was the case, how would the MLC even work it's way down to the surface earlier today and form an LLC?
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:
Anyone think that because of the disruption of the storm that it may create a more vertical element in the storms that come ashore? In other word to create lightning? Im a lightning photographer and most tropical storms do not create much in the way of lightning except Bonnie in 2004 ironically created a ton of lightning.

Cool pic earthly
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting redUK:
This is actually an eye.

Let's see if it can persist?


omg, r u serious.... it's barely a TS, geez some people should think before they post.
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2204. Levi32
Quoting angiest:


Maybe that is what CMC and ECWMF are picking up just behind Bonnie in the GOM?


Yeah the ECMWF not as much....CMC will feedback almost anything, but it is illustrating the potential for mischief. It's worth keeping tabs on.
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2202. Buhdog
been a member since 2005 and finally used (show average)....amazing how many people get hidden Now I am hoping after rarely posting in 5 years if I am going to be hidden myself! :{ and since I am finally using + and -

SLU + for that bonnie history!
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BONNIE LOOKS HEADED TO MAINLAND SOUTH FLORIDA.
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2200. MrsOsa
Quoting redUK:
This is actually an eye.

Let's see if it can persist?



That is not an eye. That is what's known as a blip.
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Quoting bappit:

Excellent point. Where do the CIMSS numbers come from? Certainly not all of them are based on observations.


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.
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Ok how about this: last frame of the animation. Link
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If the system looked "SO" bad it wouldn't be receiving a T3.0 from TAFB and a T2.5 from SAB.
Hello can you explain what is T3.0 from TAFB and a T2.5???,thank you!
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2196. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting RCThunder:
What happened to the orcasystems graphics?

?
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I think NHC will keep her as a TS at 11PM, but man, she doesn't look very good at the moment. Maybe somehow she will gather some steam by morning. None the less, should make for a rainy start of a weekend in south FL. If it does go in north of the keys, near Miami, I don't think there will be much left to develop in the Gulf. Of course, I know absolutely nothing about weather. I'm an accountant. But I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express
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Quoting reedzone:
There are too many downcasters on here tonight, I'll be back on later. Frustrated a bit after showing maps and facts that conditions are not hostile to back up my statement and I still get pointed out wrong. You guys got wayy too much of hurrikat (stormtop) this evening.


You are correct that the conditions directly on top of Bonnie are improving. Now it's all about the ULL to the northeast. It just doesn't look good for Bonnie right now. It doesn't look that good to the west either.
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2192. Patrap
The WunderBlogs are a forum for our members to express their opinions and ideas about weather, the outdoors, and nearly everything. Some blogs, such as Dr. Masters' Blog, have special community standards that apply only to them. For the blogs at large, as well as special or featured blogs, our Terms of Service apply. Please remain within the bounds of the Terms of Service. This document will strive to provide pointers for operating within the Wunderground community.

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
Anyone think that because of the disruption of the storm that it may create a more vertical element in the storms that come ashore? In other word to create lightning? Im a lightning photographer and most tropical storms do not create much in the way of lightning except Bonnie in 2004 ironically created a ton of lightning.

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2190. angiest
Quoting Levi32:


Well that weak wave behind Bonnie, currently near the Dominican Republic, could try to be a sneaky little devil once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico after passing over all the Caribbean islands, but the models don't seem too enthused about it right now. I'll be keeping an eye on it. There are also some big fat tropical waves over Africa that should be watched as they come off next week. Cape Verde season is at hand, and it won't be long before these things start developing everywhere.


Maybe that is what CMC and ECWMF are picking up just behind Bonnie in the GOM?
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2187. redUK
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Thats not an eye.


It's where I think the LLC is.

I knew I should have put "eye" in quote marks!
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2186. Levi32
Quoting futuremet:
Levi, Bonnie is in the middle of two very hostile locations. Wind shear is high directly to its, as a result of an enhanced pressure gradient caused by deep-layered ridge and an upper level at 60W 28N. The ULL is producing too much wind shear to its west.



It's feeling the claustrophobia that's for sure. It's actually not that squeezed from the southeast...if it was located back down near northern Hispaniola like it was a couple days ago, it would be developing in a hurry right now.
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What happened to the orcasystems graphics?
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Quoting hurrkat05:
LOL I BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU PEOPLE WHAT BONNIE HAD TO GO THROUGH BUT SOME OF YOU INCLUDING DR MASTER WAS PREDICTING A HURRICANE...NO WAY BONNIES REACHES HURRICANE STATUS...NHC REALLY SCREWED UP THIS TIME SHUTTING DOWN OIL OPERATIONS IN THE GOM...


Thank you for your opinion.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
2183. bappit
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Right when it looks like it might have gotten away from the ULL to the west and strengthen, the one to the east is really bearing down on it. If it keeps advancing at this pace could be the demise of Bonnie. So many variables with this system. Fun one to watch.

Indeed.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well that weak wave behind Bonnie, currently near the Dominican Republic, could try to be a sneaky little devil once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico after passing over all the Caribbean islands, but the models don't seem too enthused about it right now. I'll be keeping an eye on it. There are also some big fat tropical waves over Africa that should be watched as they come off next week. Cape Verde season is at hand, and it won't be long before these things start developing everywhere.


We're likely just hitting the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of tropical activity.
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Quoting Homesteadfl74:
Back in Oct 1999, SoFla got Hurricane Irene. Local government and mets were saying: 'oh, it's a minimal Cat 1, everyone go about your daily routine. Nothing is cancelled...blah, blah, etc.' Well, around mid day, everyone was sent home in a rush because winds were much higher than expected and flooding was everywhere. I was one of those in traffic on the xpressway, terrified as my car was shaking so bad and visibility down to zero. With Bonnie now, it's kind of like the same attitude: 'oh, it will just be some heavy rain, some gusts of wind, blah, etc.". I know it's just a TS, but sometimes intesity is worse than expected. I hope it's as benign as they are saying for i don't want to get caught in traffic on the expressway again and experience what I did that day in 1999. This time I'm in a minivan with precious cargo on board...


We got 16 inches of rain from Irene in north Broward.
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2180. Patrap
Bonnie is going to take the collective class to schul tonight..

U betcha..

get yer pencil and I-pads ready.





"I dont feel tardy?'

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
Quoting redUK:
This is actually an eye.

Let's see if it can persist?



no eyewall = no eye
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Levi, great job on your tropical update...... one of the best jobs I have seen.....

Dr. Masters should do a video update like you do! Maybe he should hire you to teach him! LOL
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2176. angiest
2161 - Doesn't look like an eye to me. System is too weak to have an eye yet.
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2175. bappit
Quoting weatherguy03:
Something I said last night, why are we taking those CIMMS numbers as gospel. Look at the satellite, it tells the whole story.

Excellent point. Where do the CIMSS numbers come from? Certainly not all of them are based on observations.
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2174. Levi32
Quoting MiamiWarnings:
kevi, is anything catching your attention after bonnie?


Well that weak wave behind Bonnie, currently near the Dominican Republic, could try to be a sneaky little devil once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico after passing over all the Caribbean islands, but the models don't seem too enthused about it right now. I'll be keeping an eye on it. There are also some big fat tropical waves over Africa that should be watched as they come off next week. Cape Verde season is at hand, and it won't be long before these things start developing everywhere.
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Quoting reedzone:
There are too many downcasters on here tonight, I'll be back on later. Frustrated a bit after showing maps and facts that conditions are not hostile to back up my statement and I still get pointed out wrong. You guys got wayy too much of hurrikat (stormtop) this evening.

Keep up the good work!
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Quoting muddertracker:
I have the center at 23.5/76.6 and I see it wrapping up...Levi, if you are still here, when it comes to a competing LLC and MLC, shouldn't the LLC win? TIA

Link (with mouseover lat/long)


That looks about right. COC shows up well on the shortwave loop.
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Quoting reedzone:
There are too many downcasters on here tonight, I'll be back on later. Frustrated a bit after showing maps and facts that conditions are not hostile to back up my statement and I still get pointed out wrong. You guys got wayy too much of hurrikat (stormtop) this evening.
Reed, I appreciate your posts :) You're style is direct, but that's OK by me!
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Looks like Nassau is on the edge of the heavy convection now.

To tell the truth, Bonnie seems to be moving more or less long that projected path - with wobbles, of course - and pulling the deformed convection along at pretty much the same angle as we've seen since yesterday. Unless something wonderful happens to change this formation, I don't see how this system can strengthen appreciably....
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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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