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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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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Quoting palmpt:


Where in SELA?


thats what they are saying here in houston as well.. if you are right, will it hook or go into east texas
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WU's very own StormW is currently on The Barometer Bob Show.
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Quoting zoomiami:


Just make sure its cooked Taz - don't need any food poisoning. lol



ok i will BQQ it and put A 1 steak on it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
SELA -
SOUTH EAST LA. State not city!
haha
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Quoting DestinJeff:
prepare for H-cane south Florida ... these atmospheric dynamics required to mitigate strengthening aren't aligning as expected.

please prepare just in case, at least
+1
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1862. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
Miami, Composite Reflectivity Range 124 NMI

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1860. palmpt
Quoting alaina1085:
Local Met here in SELA say Bonnie should be here by Sunday morning. I didnt relaize how fast she was moving. Hope everyones getting prepared just in case.
Where in SELA?
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Quoting floridaT:
the way this is moving we will be able to see it on mia radar before the hhs get back in



The way it's moving, if indeed WNW, it will be inland before the HH hunters get back out there.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
1858. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
03L/TS/B
MARK
23.3N/76.1W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56047
1304 aspectre "StormW? Weather456? SkyePony? Any of the others who know?
What the heck are the exact parameters defining XTRAP?
(Don't know keywords that'll lead me to a glossary, so Google doesn't help)."
1580 Skyepony "XTRP - Extrapolation using past 12-hr motion (NHC)
The extra A may have lost you in Google land.
"

THANKS (sorry for being tardy, got stuck in the skipboo mess before reading your reply). I shouldn't have assumed that I was using the correct abbreviation.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
if this be comes a hurricane i eat crow


Just make sure its cooked Taz - don't need any food poisoning. lol
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Quoting TarheelNMiami:

the dude abides. that's what I'm goin' on.


looks like Bonnie will live to enter the "next round robin"

Impressive convection firing should be an interesting night...for those of us watching...and the Bahamians!
Again - Id make some conch salad and get a bottle of rum - watch from my front porch!
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1854. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
Miami, Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile Range 124 NMI

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting jeebsa:
I still don't see that west turn yet. maybe its time to bump those watches a little more north.
I also notice a nice burst of convection maybe COC relocation any thoughts? For I'm a weather hobbyist not a meteorologist. Please go easy on me I no how crazy it can be in here.

Thanks
It' not really expected until Bonnie is over South Andros later tonight.
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Quoting Skyepony:
atmos~ Bonnie is about to get a shove from the NE & yeah the ridge. She's just so far north she'd about have to go due west from now to miss FL. I suppose there's still a chance.

It's great to see you posting again..


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.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting Baybuddy:
I've been here since 06 and all I got was a rock.
Those from 05 have our Stormtop bobble-head.
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Does it look like that NE ridge is beginning to have a effect on Bonnie?
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1848. Levi32
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Wasn't that recon fix from this evening?


That was the last fix before they left, 2 hours 45 minutes ago. That was when the decoupling was becoming pretty apparent on visible imagery. The center has yet to cross 23N.
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1847. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
Miami, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
TS Bonnie and the ULL are interacting on a greater level now than earlier today. Seems to be nudging it at a more northerly track. Looks to me like the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area are in for a good soaking tomorrow night into Saturday. I do believe it will re-enter the GOM and then make a second landfall some where between NOLA and Gulfport early next week.
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I think we have seen your forcast enough to know how confident you are..No more reminders Please.Thanks
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
She looks to be moving towards the NW to me, a gradual turn to the WNW tonight should be expected.


yep...
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if this be comes a hurricane i eat crow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting Herbertsbox:
Okay, I apologize in advance but, I need to ask a dumb question. How can the NHC et.al be so sure that Bonnie will top out at a medium TS? In my completely uneducated guess, based on some historical evidence--mostly gleaned from here, the one thing we can count on is, nothing.

the dude abides. that's what I'm goin' on.
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Quoting Herbertsbox:
Okay, I apologize in advance but, I need to ask a dumb question. How can the NHC et.al be so sure that Bonnie will top out at a medium TS? In my completely uneducated guess, based on some historical evidence--mostly gleaned from here, the one thing we can count on is, nothing. Combine that with the fact that Bonnie's course is projected to head right over the loop current (hot) and continue through the middle of the bath tub. Why so conservative?

Thanks in advance


Well none of the reliable models forecast any significant strengthening with Bonnie...and they have not done for many days. The NHC very rarely discounts the model suite and goes in a different direction with regards to track or intensity. And also, it is still unclear as to whether the ULL to it's west will continue to back away W-ward at its quick pace or maybe slow down a little and provide obstacles such as more shear and dry air while Bonnie moves through the GOM.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting Levi32:


NHC uses a 12-hour long-term motion most of the time. Recon even confirmed at least a WSW wobble. I think it will become clear overnight where this is really going. It's the mid-level center taking off NW towards Palm Beach...but the surface flow is jerking the surface center out from under the mid-level center and pulling it farther west.



Wasn't that recon fix from this evening?
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
1839. Patrap


Be sure to Click MSLP here as well
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1838. Skyepony (Mod)
atmos~ Bonnie is about to get a shove from the NE & yeah the ridge. She's just so far north she'd about have to go due west from now to miss FL. I suppose there's still a chance.

It's great to see you posting again..
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Quoting Levi32:
Bonnie is not moving NNW. The mid-level center is, the surface center is moving WNW. High-resolution visible imagery reveals a decoupled system with the surface center southwest of the heavy convective blowup. This may clip south Florida but the current NHC track looks good right now. This looks headed for the straights.
She looks to be moving towards the NW to me, a gradual turn to the WNW tonight should be expected.
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the way this is moving we will be able to see it on mia radar before the hhs get back in
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if this storm keeps moveing N run in too a wall o shear
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting FSUstormnut:

see 1710.. i agree


yep.. I still think central LA.. and then will it hook north and right, or into east texas
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Quoting chrisdscane:


i sadly agree


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.
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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 saw it do this last night, too. 8:30, it was a wingely little thang.... 9:00, puffed like a bodybuilder on steroids...

I wouldn't be surpised to see a build up overnight...
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1831. Patrap
WV clearly shows the Push now from the High Building in and the TS response..

Bonnie WV loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Quoting reedzone:
My first forecast for Bonnie, in good confidence on the track, should clip South Florida as it continues the Northwest track.. The ULL as I've been stressing all day to people should continue a westward movement across the GOM and away enough to get Bonnie going. I'm giving Bonnie a 50/50 chance for Hurricane status, but mainly a strong TS should be in the GOM in the next few days and the people were smart to prepare up in LA, not foolish.

Photobucket


they should of already been prepared for a storm!
but it's still atleast a week out from that area
reguardless of how much you try to forecast reed.
Plain and Simple not even the NHC can say
with certainty it is gonna hit the spill
or even
if it will still be intact as a tropical system.

It is a weak,weak tropical system in my opinion
and it bears watching not panicing over.

Too much uncertainty. but preparedness is
always admirable in hurricanes season.

I guess the state of Louisana could just declare a SOE
for the entire hurrricane season and live under emerency
management rules until November 30th maybe.

might as well if they are gonna declare a state of emergency
a week out when their is a 40 mph tropical storm nearing
the Bahama's.

UNISYS View:


South Florida Radar:



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The funny thing is, I'm very confident on my forecast.. I'm not forecasting a Hurricane, it's a 50/50 chance. The ULL is still far enough away from Bonnie to set in some more development tonight.
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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?
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 760
1826. Levi32
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


NHC says NW, XTRAP says NNW, You say WNW.

Can I throw a south in there to really confuse everyone.


NHC uses a 12-hour long-term motion most of the time. Recon even confirmed at least a WSW wobble. I think it will become clear overnight where this is really going. It's the mid-level center taking off NW towards Palm Beach...but the surface flow is jerking the surface center out from under the mid-level center and pulling it farther west.

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Local Met here in SELA say Bonnie should be here by Sunday morning. I didnt relaize how fast she was moving. Hope everyones getting prepared just in case.
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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 Skye. If yo look at the Dynamic models, and compare from the track, to model result plots, to model track, that is a nice "kink" there in the track. Because of the ULL, the dynamic models are not initializing, nor tracking properly. Bonnie appears poised to make landfall on the east side of the Florida Penn.......
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Quoting DestinJeff:
I would like to publicly commend Taz on the nice WUmail he sent me apologizing for the Great Blog Crash of Aught 10.

He didn't need to do that. Thanks again Taz.



your welcome
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
1821. jeebsa
I still don't see that west turn yet. maybe its time to bump those watches a little more north.
I also notice a nice burst of convection maybe COC relocation any thoughts? For I'm a weather hobbyist not a meteorologist. Please go easy on me I no how crazy it can be in here.

Thanks
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1820. Grothar
The best she has looked so far.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


NHC says NW, XTRAP says NNW, You say WNW.

Can I throw a south in there to really confuse everyone.


I agree with Levi.
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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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