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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No, Bonnie will not fall apart.. Guys I think hurrikat (stormtop) has gotten too much into your heads...
My forecast as of tonight.
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1767. xcool
[
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Quoting MrsOsa:


I swear I though you said you and Patrap's wife left together!


Hehehehe... nope just bad typing and use of punctuation..Patrap I am sure would never forgive such a thing..as would my wife...

Any thoughts on the cooling areas of the gulf...they are far from the previous TD's but could our cool spots be from those perhaps...but just rotated around the gulf to thankfully be in Bonnie's way...so as to not give her perfect conditions and super-size her...
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1765. Skyepony (Mod)
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.
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Do any models show any developement in the gulf next week? Just curious have a beach trip planned for the week on texas coast.
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Quoting IKE:
Bonnie looks in need of a little help. It has something in common with this blog?



The EURO might be right. Hope so.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
00z model plots have shifted north. Looks like my south Miami-Dade landfall forecast from earlier could pan out.





Bonnie looks to be running about 17hrs ahead of schedule. It's about to make the second point forecast for tomorrow at 2pm
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
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?
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wow...really?
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have a good rest of your day all see you friday
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114717
1755. Patrap
Nuthin Like Hate Mail from Vancouver..


I thought they had the Olympic spirit.

pffffttth...

LOL
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Evening everybody. Someone else yesterday posted something that hung up the blog.

My advice when posting images or video is trye to ensure your source is reputable. Also, there is a [preview comment] button below the comment box. It doesn't hurt to use it when u are trying to paste imagery or other code-related material. This gives u a chance to see whether ur post will work before it hits the blog.
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Quoting FLdewey:


My wife is wondering why I'm crying... I haven't laughed this hard in ages!
It is so fun bantering with you two! I think Bonnie is actually looking a little better..it seems like she's trying to wrap some convection around her llc...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 2337
00z model plots have shifted north. Looks like my south Miami-Dade landfall forecast from earlier could pan out.

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is it just me or has bonnie pick up some fwd speed?>
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Funny thing is that, the second point is forecast 23/18Z, Tomorrow 2pm.


That being the case it may just ride NW to landfall overnight.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Tazmanian:




you sould be banned for life


I'll just stick to text posts.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




you sould be banned for life


So should you Taz for reposting it!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Where's floodman today?
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1745. 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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1744. MrsOsa
Quoting SiestaCpl:
It is notable that the water temps in the gulf have been dropping..not just as compared to season highs, but as compared to normal across the NE and central gulf. Is this perhaps an aggregate effect of the dispersants being used. they are intended to aid in the evaporation of oil as a hoped for side effect of breaking it up. If this is occurring on a large scale then it may have something to do with the unusually low temps we are finding in the gulf at present. Two months ago at Siesta Key water temps were 88 degrees, currently with full sun and lower than normal rain and a steady South wind for more than a week we have water temps hovering at 82. Any thoughts all...Patrap..any similar effects up in your neck of the woods...(ps Patrap wife and I returned from LA this past weekend..loved the food and people of LA and NOLA!)


I swear I though you said you and Patrap's wife left together!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No, they left at 23:00 UTC (7:00 PM EDT). They will be leaving again at 03:00 UTC (11:00 PM EDT) and arriving at 05:00 UTC (1:00 AM EDT).


Thanks. Too late for me. So far still have to go into work tomorrow.
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New bonnie blog s promised 9pm,yesterdays blogs forecast was pretty accurate.all comments and questions are welcome!!!!!!
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Quoting FSUstormnut:
looks like it might actauly hit the 2nd trop pt. any thoughts? it might be starting that wnw turn we have been waiting for...


Funny thing is that, the second point is forecast 23/18Z, Tomorrow 2pm.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting IKE:
Bonnie looks in need of a little help. It has something in common with this blog?

I wonder if the COC is relocating under that ball of convection, if it is landfall might have to be pushed up and the cone would have to move towards the right.
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Quoting CapeObserver:
Just got home from work. Are the HH's still out in Bonnie?
No, they left at 23:00 UTC (7:00 PM EDT). They will be leaving again at 03:00 UTC (11:00 PM EDT) and arriving at 05:00 UTC (1:00 AM EDT).
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1731. IKE
Bonnie looks in need of a little help. It has something in common with this blog?

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Between that ridge and ull, bonnie looks like a tropical sandwich. :)
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Saturday shouldn't be tough, if GFDL's timing is to be believed...unless there are substantial evacuations going on. (doubtful, atm, but who knows?)

Heya Atmo! I appreciate the info!
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Is it possiable that Bonnie could start to take in the mosture from the storm in Mexico
due to the rotation and postition of the ULL
in the gulf in the next few days?
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1721. shawn26
Same here, I have learned a ton on this blog.
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It is notable that the water temps in the gulf have been dropping..not just as compared to season highs, but as compared to normal across the NE and central gulf. Is this perhaps an aggregate effect of the dispersants being used. They are intended to aid in the evaporation of oil as a hoped for side effect of breaking it up. If this is occurring on a large scale then it may have something to do with the unusually low temps we are finding in the gulf at present. Two months ago at Siesta Key water temps were 88 degrees, currently with full sun and lower than normal rain and a steady South wind for more than a week we have water temps hovering at 82. Any thoughts all...Patrap..any similar effects up in your neck of the woods...(ps Patrap wife and I returned from LA this past weekend..loved the food and people of LA and NOLA!)
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1719. shawn26
Quoting TheRealJackSparrow:
I have been reading this blog for about 5 years now. Ive learned alot, its always intresting. I guess I will join in on all the fun.
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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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