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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Found this interesting. One community still without power after hurricane Ike.
http://www.click2houston.com/news/24359456/detail.html
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2017. Torgen
Quoting Patrap:


Pat, that looks weird, like there's no ciculation. Guess I need to take a gander at a wider view satellite loop.
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definitely seems Bonnie has become decoupled....... or is leaning waaaaay over! LOL

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Quoting LADobeLady:


On the rigs and drill ships that are movable they leave a skeleton crew and move those vessels to safer waters. The stationary platforms and rigs are evacuated.


makes sense
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Interesting to see that lifeline of convection to the South that was keeping Bonnie alive during the day today is now cut off since it is North of Cuba...Link

Outflow getting smashed to the North as High Pressure builds stronger. This will end the NW treck and Bonnie should begin to accelerate off to the WNW.
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Quoting texascoastres:
boats and barges will come in, the ships are safer out in open water than in docks or ports


thanks
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2011. jeebsa
Good evening stormW when do you think that westerly turn will take place. And do you think the watches should be moved a little farther north do to the current track?
Thanks
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2010. scott39
Is anybody impressed with Bonnie right now?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
Wow! I tried SO HARD to sit thru Barometer Bob's show.
Great info, but SOOO POORLY produced.

Poor Storm W had his name over the graphics the entire time, so that you couldn't see what he was talking about.

Good job by Storm and Bob, but hire a producer.
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2008. Patrap
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By all means, help yourself!
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Storm, how is the timing look for Bonnie - or whatever it is later tonight -- to make landfall on the east coast of Florida ? I know they mentioned it would speed up, but I am wondering how much ?
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Quoting truecajun:


so does everyone out there on the ships and platforms evacuate? do they dock the ships? just curious.


On the rigs and drill ships that are movable they leave a skeleton crew and move those vessels to safer waters. The stationary platforms and rigs are evacuated.
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2003. Levi32
Tropical Storm Bonnie Thursday Evening Video Update, July 22nd
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26465
Quoting jaevortex:


Hey I think you need this program for your computer



LOL that was too funny
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114075
Quoting truecajun:


so does everyone out there on the ships and platforms evacuate? do they dock the ships? just curious.


The ships have already been sent inland. They go inland far enough to be safe and stay on standby.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Alright, Storm. What's your take? Are you more inclined to join Levi's opinion about Bonnie or Dr. Master's? Levi thinks Bonnie will be destroyed by the ULL, but Dr. Master's thinks the ULL will be far enough away.


Shear map explains Dr. Masters prediction well, at least for now, but things can change for the good or bad.

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Is it me or is Bonnie organizing by the hr?
Member Since: August 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 411
Satellite loops suggest that Bonnie is growing decoupled. However, looking at latest CIMSS vorticity graphs, they still look vertically stacked.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
1994. centex
This going to be a dual all the way into NW gulf. Bonnie and the ULL, maybe it's clyde an Underground Low Life.
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Quoting hurrkat05:
WELL KIGNG YOU EITHER AND IDIOT OR YOU CAN'T COMPREHEND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE JUST PULL MY POSTS MAN LEARN SOMETHING...


I learned that you need to be ignored. POOF
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1992. Patrap
00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest97
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



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Quoting hurrkat05:
KINGZFAN I DONT THINK YOU SHOULD SAY ANYTHING I HAVE BEEN DEAD ON ALL DAY ON BONNIE...LOL NOW 40MPH WINDS ..I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF THE ULL HANGS AROUND THEY DROP BONNIE BACK TO A DEPRESSION...I WANT TO KNOW WHATS YOUR PROBLEM DUDE..


Hey I think you need this program for your computer
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Anyone else in South Florida, think the center will cross North of Miami at or near Cantore at the Miami Dade/Broward Line...Indications pointing to a more northern center of circulation, therefor, even with a turn more WNW later, could be to northern side of the swath currently being shown....just asking?
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New bonnie blog 9pm
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Quoting hurrkat05:
JEFF THE BLOG HAS SLOWED BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT BONNIE DUDE...


Ahhhhh What the Hay..... KaaaaaPooooof..
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Quoting StormW:
Howdy!


Alright, Storm. What's your take? Are you more inclined to join Levi's opinion about Bonnie or Dr. Master's? Levi thinks Bonnie will be destroyed by the ULL, but Dr. Master's thinks the ULL will be far enough away.
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1985. myway
Quoting hurrkat05:
WELL KIGNG YOU EITHER AND IDIOT OR YOU CAN'T COMPREHEND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE JUST PULL MY POSTS MAN LEARN SOMETHING...


Hand hits bug...splat goes the kat.
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1984. Patrap


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1983. Torgen
Evening, Storm! Think we'll need to break out the shutters in Tampa, or too soon to call? Seems like the track of this little bugger inches north with every update.
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1980. Dakster
Evening StormW - going to be a long night I fear.
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Evening StormW!!
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SSSSH! everybody go back to their desks the teacher is back!.....Oh Hi StormW!
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Quoting truecajun:


so does everyone out there on the ships and platforms evacuate? do they dock the ships? just curious.
For safety reasons yes. Every platform in the Gulf is evac'd.
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Quoting Hurricanes12:


I'm pretty sure that the storm will leave through Florida tomorrow night into early Saturday (2AM). It's moving quickly and S.FL should start feelings some effects tonight, but getting worse tomorrow in the late morning going into the afternoon hours.


Oops...meant to say "main rainbands" in the PM...outer bands should be affecting SE FL during the early morning.
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Quoting StormW:
Howdy!


All I want to know tonight, Storm, is what are the odds they are under estimating this thing, given where it's going, and the power underneath her wings?
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1972. Levi32
Quoting StormW:
Howdy!


Hey Storm! Heard you on Barometer Bob's show....great job!! It was awesome to have you on there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26465
You can clearly see on my last comment that the ULL is far enough west and now helping Bonnie out with the outflow. Interesting stuff..
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Quoting CrazyDuke:


I noticed this, too. The radar echos out of PR show some twisting to the south of the island. But, it does not look particularly impressive at the moment.


Thanks for checking it out..
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boats and barges will come in, the ships are safer out in open water than in docks or ports
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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.