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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1919. Patrap
Just a quick update on where we're at regarding what's going on at the well. As you know the projected storm track of the tropical depression that was originally yesterday forecasted to come ashore somewhere around Miami is going further south now.

There is a variety of tracks that would take it near or over the well site itself. We're under the assumption that somewhere very early in the morning on Saturday we could see storm force winds at the well site.

And we think the storm passing over will probably be about 24 hours in duration. During that time it's very possible we could have wave heights that would exceed the operational envelop for all platforms. So while this is not a hurricane it's a storm that will have probably some significant impact so we're taking appropriate cautions related to that.

And we are in constant contact with BP and their subcontractors who are operating vessels out there, our science team met with BP this morning and we had a principle's discussion at 1:30 among the administration on our way forward.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
Quoting texascoastres:
They are not going to open the valves. They have already made that decision. BP and the feds made that call
I stated he should pay attention. Didn't I?
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Quoting A4Guy:
one of our local mets in so fla just said that "bonnie is not looking too healthy" and pointed to the east-most blob of convection waning away. i am no met - but the fact that the storms are all wrapping around the center tells me the storm is pretty healthy.
Yep. Convection is wrapping around nicely.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21142
1916. Patrap
WASHINGTON -- Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander for the Deepwater BP Oil Spill response briefing.

A downloadable audio file of the conference is
available here;

a full transcript of the call follows:

July 22, 2010

2:15 p.m. CDT



Thad Allen: Thank you, Megan. As Megan stated we just finished a visit to our forward staging area in Theodore, Alabama which is south of Mobile on the west side of Mobile Bay. And this is the area where we do all of our regional staging of boom, we repair boom, we decontaminate it, we bring waste oil in, we do training and generally support our operations in the Gulf area.

I briefed the vice president on the current status of what's going on offshore. I'll talk about that in a minute. I was also accompanied by Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator. And we were there as the vice president announced there would be an opening of the fishing areas in the Gulf to expand by 25,000 square miles the area of fishing that's available.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
1914. A4Guy
one of our local mets in so fla just said that "bonnie is not looking too healthy" and pointed to the east-most blob of convection waning away. i am no met - but the fact that the storms are all wrapping around the center tells me the storm is pretty healthy.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



you sould be banned for life for that


You already said that. We are trying to learn here.
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They are not going to open the valves. They have already made that decision. BP and the feds made that call
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Quoting thelmores:
not the greatest, but Bahamma's radar
Wow. That was down this morning!!! They must have gotten it fixed today, considering there was a TS bearing down on us...
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Quoting floridaT:
i have been paying attention. if the ships that support the robots have to leave they are unable to monitor the cap. in that event they are going to open the valves until it can be monitored again
No they are not.
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Quoting msgambler:
Is case you haven't been paying attention, the oil hasn't been leaking for several days now.
i have been paying attention. if the ships that support the robots have to leave they are unable to monitor the cap. in that event they are going to open the valves until it can be monitored again
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Quoting Levi32:


It looks pretty good....landfall on the north gulf coast looks to be around 72 hours from now, late Sunday, give or take 12 hours depending on exactly where landfall takes place.



I think he was talking about FLA, FYI.
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1907. Patrap
Crushing on the envelope from the Ne the High is pushing on her now..

Itsa gonna scoot along later tonight in Motion along the Wnw vector.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
wow only 39 pages.. figured it would be more of a madhouse in here.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
2009 at this point was..

0-0-0

2010 is currently..

2-1-0.



yup where doing better
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114958
1904. myway
south florida is safe. That is where Cantore is.
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Good Evening from South Fla..
Based on the NHC IR loop the convection approx location 15 / 65 is that part of Bonnie or something new to watch? Thanks... Steve
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Going to Zoo's place.



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Landfall Points

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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2009 at this point was..

0-0-0

2010 is currently..

2-1-0.
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1900. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
1899. Levi32
Quoting zoomiami:
Levi - do you think the timeline is still good or is it pushing up?


It looks pretty good....landfall on the north gulf coast looks to be around 72 hours from now, late Sunday, give or take 12 hours depending on exactly where landfall takes place.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
03L/TS/B
MARK
23.3N/76.1W

at this rate I'll be driving through a TS on my way to work tomorrow in Ft laud.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Bonnie is so north of it's forecast points again. It's coming to FL..mainland. It's also blowing up the moment the sun is setting. Maybe a memorable D-MAX.
I agree. I can't see this one missing the mainland. It's too far North already. A slow turn like an ocean liner at best. I only predicted landfall point once before. Katrina's Florida landfall I did get lucky at North Miami Beach. Bonnie is going to be my second landfall guess, and it's Boca Raton. I'm also concerned about a any cyclone approaching from the SE intensity wise. Hopefully, 60MPH at worst, though I'd prefer 40 or less. We shall see.
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Quoting floridaT:
acually this moving fast is good. the sooner it gets outta the gulf the sooner they can get back to work on the oil leak
Is case you haven't been paying attention, the oil hasn't been leaking for several days now.
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1893. Patrap
Quoting skkippboo:
I wan't to post a pic without crashing the whole blog.



Then use the Preview comment button First.

Thats why IT'S there
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
and it will soon run in too a wall of shear
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114958
Quoting StormHype:


Are u serious? The tstorm in wisconsin and 98L are putting Bonnie to shame at the moment. She's like the size of a waterspout.


LMAO!
Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
I wan't to post a pic without crashing the whole blog.
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Quoting atmosweather:


Oh I agree skyepony at this point, the synoptic pattern is not changing but it will most likely at least brush S FL just because it is already 60 miles further north than the forecast track and the center of the model suite. It is beginning to turn more to the WNW as expected but because the LLC reformed to the N earlier this morning and the storm has continued NW most of today, it's probably going to directly impact S FL.

And thanks!!! It's great to be back around.
Early model runs on this had Bonnie crossing extreme SE FL as a TS according to NHC's OFCI track. So far, it seems that early run has been on. Especially if it crosses S Andros tonight, it's IMO going to end up just a tad north of Florida Bay. I don't think it will make huge amounts of difference to the people from Homestead north, though.
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not the greatest, but Bahamma's radar
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1886. Patrap
Metropolitan Miami Dade
Forecasts for Florida — Return to U.S. Severe





Inland Tropical Wind Warning

Statement as of 7:18 PM EDT on July 22, 2010

... Tropical Storm Wind Warning remains in effect until 2 am EDT
Saturday...

... New information...
updated winds section.

... Probability of tropical storm/hurricane conditions...
there is little chance for hurricane conditions at this time.
Also... the chance for tropical storm conditions at this time is
up to 49 percent. This represents a general upward trend since
the last forecast.

... Winds...
as Tropical Storm Bonnie approaches the area... sustained tropical
storm force winds are expected to begin during the mid to late
afternoon hours on Friday with conditions improving by the early
evening hours.

These winds represent a limited threat to life and property.

Minor damage may occur to older Mobile homes... especially those
that are unanchored. A few houses may have minor damage to roof
shingles and siding. These winds are capable of damaging
carports... awnings... pool cages and Lanai screens.

Unsecured lightweight items will be blown around... possibly
causing additional damage. Winds will become dangerous on bridges
and causeways... especially for high profile vehicles.

Some electrical wires will be blown down... and isolated to
scattered power outages are likely... especially in areas with
above ground lines.

Most newly planted trees and shrubs will be damaged or uprooted.
Small branches and numerous small twigs will break off trees.
Many Palm fronds will be blown down.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
acually this moving fast is good. the sooner it gets outta the gulf the sooner they can get back to work on the oil leak
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Even though the convection developing looks quite impressive, Tropical Storm Bonnie is not as well organized as earlier. About 6 this evening when Hurricane Hunters were out there, I noticed the low level and mid level centers become decoupled and that still remains the case as the mid level center moves NW and the low level center has taken on a more WNW motion in recent hours. This is not too favorable for significant strengthening and will impede the system in the short term. It needs to reorganize and come into better alignment again, but the fast low level flow will make it difficult.

With the more northward motion than expected this afternoon and a return to a more WNW track now, I remain very confident in my forecast from yesterday afternoon with a moderate tropical storm (50-60 mph) making landfall in South/Central Miami Dade County tomorrow around noon.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting kuppenskup:


Is it moving really slow?

Yea a little laggy.
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Quoting Patrap:



Uptown Nola..




our state is beautiful!
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Wind shift at Georgetown, Exuma over the last three hours NE, E, SE. Location 23.48N 75.77W.

Latest 9 PM (1) Jul 22 78 (26) 77 (25) 29.8 (1009) SE 21 light rain
8 PM (0) Jul 22 77 (25) 75 (24) 29.81 (1009) E 17 rain
7 PM (23) Jul 22 77 (25) 75 (24) 29.81 (1009) NE 18 light rain
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Levi - do you think the timeline is still good or is it pushing up?
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Quoting alaina1085:

In prairieville, LA. Between baton rouge and nola.

Guys my computer is still running weird from the post earlier. Anyone else?


I am good - but have Super duper Virus protection!
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Tropicalnonsense where are you getting the time frame of a week out. it is thursday and the storm will be in sunday or monday, which is 3 days out not a week. thats false information and not appreciated
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Quoting alaina1085:

In prairieville, LA. Between baton rouge and nola.

Guys my computer is still running weird from the post earlier. Anyone else?


Is it moving really slow?
Member Since: August 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 415
It really looks like the ULL is screwing up Bonnie's plans.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

The system in the gulf in the plot below is not Bonnie...


http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/cmctc2.cgi?time=2010072212&field=850mb+Vorticity&am p;hour=Animation

Landfalls at Lake Charles. Is CMC cuckoo? I dunno, yet.
thanks:)
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1872. OneDrop
Quoting Kristina40:
Jason, didn't you tell us all last night that 97L was RIP? Why are you now posting about Bonnie? Did you figure we'd forget?
You are exactly right, he was calling for it's demise for 3 days actually. Every one is entitled to their own opinion but you also have to eat your crow like a man!!
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Quoting palmpt:

In prairieville, LA. Between baton rouge and nola.

Guys my computer is still running weird from the post earlier. Anyone else?
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1870. Patrap
Large Scale WV Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127846
1869. Levi32
Bonnie looks like she'll pass within 50 miles of South Florida.....it will be pretty close. It matters little though because south Florida will get the direct impact of the storm regardless of whether there is actually a landfall.
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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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