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 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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1816. Levi32
Quoting nola70119:


What is your take on possible intensity before possible landfall in La/Ms?


Since the ridge steering Bonnie is deep-layer (found at all levels of the atmosphere), it is steering her and the upper low in the same direction, and if they move in tandem like that then I don't see conditions becoming favorable for a lot of strengthening. I don't think she will ever make it past a lower-end tropical storm. She may even weaken and open back up into a wave in the gulf, but we'll see. I don't think the north gulf coast needs to fear anything more than heavy rain and perhaps tropical storm-force winds north and east of where the center makes landfall.
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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 south of the heavy convective blowup.


Very interesting Levi...considering the earlier discussions of the dry layer at 500mb in Bonnie over the last day and half...decapitated and just now wobbling apart?
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1814. Patrap
re-post # 1745

00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest97
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Quoting thunderblogger:
Between that ridge and ull, bonnie looks like a tropical sandwich. :)

or a salsa! very chopped up. the winds are steady here now. definitely feeling like something's brewing. low pressure feeling like when you crack a window on car at 70mph.
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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 sadly agree
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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 south of the heavy convective blowup.


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

Can I throw a south in there to really confuse everyone.
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National Hurricane Center - 8:00 pm Advisory
TROPICAL STORM BONNIE
*Graphics Update
STORM TRACKER

ADVISORIES
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look at all that "stuff" covering up africa!!
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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
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1804. Patrap
The Latest Intensity Guidance.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Quoting Patrap:


Wow, SELA
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Been reviewing satellite imagery and it appears that Bonnie has begun moving towards the WNW as water vapor imagery shows the cloud direction and pattern across the system shifting in this direction as the ridge builds from the north.

see 1710.. i agree
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1800. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
It wasn't a hack. Just trying to post some images of the floodway system in S. Tex. and why 98L has relevance to the U.S.
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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 south of the heavy convective blowup.


What is your take on possible intensity before possible landfall in La/Ms?
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1797. will45
Quoting BahaHurican:
Also, I posted an update on my blog. First time in 2 years, LOL.

If u click on my handle u should go straight to the blog. I'm still trying to upload my pics from my partially aborted early morning trip.

Its a real pity Bonnie is going through at night. If the forecast track verifies, veers right, or if Bonnie grows in size, we are likely to get some heavy rain and possibly some TD force winds here later tonight.

It's also been pretty cool here since shortly after 5 p.m. In fact, current temperature here is only 79 F, which is more like an October / November night than a July one.


i told ya 2 nites ago i had a gut feeling about thisone didnt i lol?
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1796. IKE
Quoting xcool:
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
0043 UTC FRI JUL 23 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

TROPICAL CYCLONE BONNIE (AL032010) 20100723 0000 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
100723 0000 100723 1200 100724 0000 100724 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 23.1N 75.9W 24.1N 78.5W 25.3N 80.6W 26.5N 83.1W
BAMD 23.1N 75.9W 24.4N 78.6W 25.9N 81.7W 27.4N 84.8W
BAMM 23.1N 75.9W 24.2N 78.3W 25.5N 80.7W 26.7N 83.2W
LBAR 23.1N 75.9W 24.4N 78.5W 25.9N 81.5W 27.4N 84.7W
SHIP 35KTS 40KTS 45KTS 51KTS
DSHP 35KTS 40KTS 45KTS 51KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100725 0000 100726 0000 100727 0000 100728 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 27.8N 85.2W 29.9N 89.1W 32.3N 92.0W 35.3N 93.0W
BAMD 29.1N 87.3W 32.8N 90.6W 36.8N 89.8W 38.2N 81.9W
BAMM 28.0N 85.5W 30.5N 89.5W 33.5N 91.9W 36.8N 91.6W
LBAR 29.2N 87.3W 32.9N 89.7W 35.2N 88.3W 35.5N 83.0W
SHIP 56KTS 63KTS 64KTS 60KTS
DSHP 56KTS 50KTS 29KTS 27KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 23.1N LONCUR = 75.9W DIRCUR = 310DEG SPDCUR = 12KT
LATM12 = 21.6N LONM12 = 74.4W DIRM12 = 305DEG SPDM12 = 6KT
LATM24 = 21.2N LONM24 = 72.7W
WNDCUR = 35KT RMAXWD = 35NM WNDM12 = 30KT
CENPRS = 1007MB OUTPRS = 1013MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 40NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM


BAM models looked like they have shifted east some.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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.


Shouldn't be moving N of 290 degrees for much longer, the strong ridge is building back in as the ULL continues to book W-ward and ventilate Bonnie. Shear is now less than 15 kts and upper ridiging is starting to develop over the top of her.
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1793. 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.
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Quoting FLdewey:
A dingo ate my baby!

Again?
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
JOIN US IN TROPICS CHAT?
I would, but my ears are already bleeding.

...unless you told me that caps and bold don't work in chat...hmmm.
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can someone pleas help me???,what the heck is this on radar,i went outside and theirs no rain,barely even any cloudyness,definately not the kind that would produce precip,what ever it is its traveled half way across the state!!1img src="" alt="" />
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
1789. xcool
SHE MOVE NOW TO WNW
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Quoting reedzone:
No, Bonnie will not fall apart.. Guys I think hurrikat (stormtop) has gotten too much into your heads...
My forecast as of tonight.
Photobucket


I don't think it will make it to a hurricane. But I could be wrong...I think there will too much interference from the upper-level low to the west. But we will see.
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Quoting sarahjola:
skypony posted a cmc run that showed 2 systems hitting La. one after another before the blog went crazy. i had asked if it was a funky run or if it had meaning to it. i don't know what or if i got the answer to that. skypony- if our still there could you post that cmc run again? thanks in advance:)

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&hour=Animation

Landfalls at Lake Charles. Is CMC cuckoo? I dunno, yet.
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1785. Patrap
The NW Motion is expected and the ridging as well to the wnw is foretasted...

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BONNIE
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 23.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 75.9 WEST. THE
STORM IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/HR. A
TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITH AN INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS
EXPECTED TONIGHT AND FRIDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SLOW STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Been reviewing satellite imagery and it appears that Bonnie has begun moving towards the WNW as water vapor imagery shows the cloud direction and pattern across the system shifting in this direction as the ridge builds from the north.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
1783. ssmate
Hi everyone, I'm back from my self imposed 6 hour ban (I have low self esteem). I have to agree with Skye, it appears a more slightly N. FL hit is in the works.
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Also, I posted an update on my blog. First time in 2 years, LOL.

If u click on my handle u should go straight to the blog. I'm still trying to upload my pics from my partially aborted early morning trip.

Its a real pity Bonnie is going through at night. If the forecast track verifies, veers right, or if Bonnie grows in size, we are likely to get some heavy rain and possibly some TD force winds here later tonight.

It's also been pretty cool here since shortly after 5 p.m. In fact, current temperature here is only 79 F, which is more like an October / November night than a July one.
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1781. Dakster
Uh ohh... Models shift North...

Anyone else concerned that Lake Okeechobee is 14ft+ above sea level and the levy situation... I know that we are not EXPECTING enough rain to cause harm, but we all thought he levies in NOLA would hold too.
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Quoting Hurricanes12:
MHO9, what are you views on Bonny right now? It seems to be compact at the moment. Do you think it could get better over night or just rip apart?
All the info is on my blog that I just updated (Just click this and you'll be redirected. I did not mention the 00z model plots though. I am thinking (since the time is getting closer the models are getting more accurate) that the center or COC of Bonnie might just go over central Miami-Dade. Models might as well shift to the right or the left, but for the time being central Miami-Dade "landfall" seems likely.
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1779. will45
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
00z model plots have shifted north. Looks like my south Miami-Dade landfall forecast from earlier could pan out.



i said earlier they would shift a lil right. The center relocation is what i was looking at
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Should see another northward shift to the cone with the 00z TVCN now north of the current tpc track.
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Did anyone notice any script in thier comment box during the hack, I did!
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1776. xcool
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
0043 UTC FRI JUL 23 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

TROPICAL CYCLONE BONNIE (AL032010) 20100723 0000 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
100723 0000 100723 1200 100724 0000 100724 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 23.1N 75.9W 24.1N 78.5W 25.3N 80.6W 26.5N 83.1W
BAMD 23.1N 75.9W 24.4N 78.6W 25.9N 81.7W 27.4N 84.8W
BAMM 23.1N 75.9W 24.2N 78.3W 25.5N 80.7W 26.7N 83.2W
LBAR 23.1N 75.9W 24.4N 78.5W 25.9N 81.5W 27.4N 84.7W
SHIP 35KTS 40KTS 45KTS 51KTS
DSHP 35KTS 40KTS 45KTS 51KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100725 0000 100726 0000 100727 0000 100728 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 27.8N 85.2W 29.9N 89.1W 32.3N 92.0W 35.3N 93.0W
BAMD 29.1N 87.3W 32.8N 90.6W 36.8N 89.8W 38.2N 81.9W
BAMM 28.0N 85.5W 30.5N 89.5W 33.5N 91.9W 36.8N 91.6W
LBAR 29.2N 87.3W 32.9N 89.7W 35.2N 88.3W 35.5N 83.0W
SHIP 56KTS 63KTS 64KTS 60KTS
DSHP 56KTS 50KTS 29KTS 27KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 23.1N LONCUR = 75.9W DIRCUR = 310DEG SPDCUR = 12KT
LATM12 = 21.6N LONM12 = 74.4W DIRM12 = 305DEG SPDM12 = 6KT
LATM24 = 21.2N LONM24 = 72.7W
WNDCUR = 35KT RMAXWD = 35NM WNDM12 = 30KT
CENPRS = 1007MB OUTPRS = 1013MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 40NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
1775. Patrap
WV loop shows the ridge Impinging on TS Bonnie's eastern envelope as it bridges in .

Floater - Water Vapor Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Hello Everyone,Here are my opinions with Bonnie, I do believe NHC forcast track for the first 24 will not pan out, I believe the center will likley go over the southern main land of Florida,south of Miami. After that, I like the track somewhere 75 miles either side of the mouth of the Mississippi River. As far as the intensity forcast, My opinions is for a 40-60 mph Tropical Storm by the time she reaches Florida, As Bonnie enters the North Central Gulf, That is when I believe this will be a 75-90 mph Hurricane, by that time,that should be the most favorable conditions, The ULL by that time is not going to be of much effect on the Storm. I believe the forcast models will start to catch on in the next 24-36 hours, you should see the intensity levels start to increase on some of the models. Just my personal opinions only..We shall see..
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WTF? Xtrap NNW :-O


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Does increased forward motion add to intesification of tropical systems in some instances? Newbie question I know, but I am a newbie!
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skypony posted a cmc run that showed 2 systems hitting La. one after another before the blog went crazy. i had asked if it was a funky run or if it had meaning to it. i don't know what or if i got the answer to that. skypony- if our still there could you post that cmc run again? thanks in advance:)
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Richard Knabb was on TWC just a while ago and was clear that Bonnie is not that well organized and that the biggest hazards to Florida will be rain and rip currents. If I remember right he implied it would only get to be maybe a 45mph storm. Another local met on a tropical storm update stated that there was no way it would get near hurricane strength before Florida.
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No, Bonnie will not fall apart.. Guys I think hurrikat (stormtop) has gotten too much into your heads...
My forecast as of tonight.
Photobucket
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340

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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.