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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1618. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting LSUCaneGirl:
Southeast Louisiana coast here..wondering if you guys think we will have a hurricane? Our governor has already declared a state of emergency and Bonnie took up most of the newscast. Thoughts?


Maybe he saw the 12z CMC (scroll right click FWD) with 2 hurricanes pushing oil up on LA & he screamed emergency!
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Cute little thing...
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Quoting LSUCaneGirl:
Southeast Louisiana coast here..wondering if you guys think we will have a hurricane? Our governor has already declared a state of emergency and Bonnie took up most of the newscast. Thoughts?


That's mainly for precautionary reasons due to the oil situation. Right now the expected track of Bonnie will be mostly WNW-ward through the S-ern and central Gulf of Mexico, then there is a possibility of the deep layer ridge sliding to the E slightly which would turn the storm more NW-ward towards the LA coastline. But many models also forecast the ridge to remain fully in place which would put NE TX and SW LA in the crosshairs. Still a long ways to go yet. In terms of intensity, I don't expect any rapid development with Bonnie but right now it is under pretty favorable conditions, so if it stays that way it could become a hurricane at some point during the next 3-4 days. Possible land interaction with FL will play a big part in intensity as well as the movement of the ULL currently moving out of SW FL.
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TropicalStorm Bonnie was^heading for an NorthAndrosIsland,Bahamas landfall in ~10hours on its way toward BocaRaton,Florida
(Straightline^projection using its last 2 positions. Take with HUGE grain of salt)
Copy&paste 21.9N75.0W, 22.3N74.9W, 22.7N75.4W, 22.7N75.4W-23.1N75.9W, 23.1N75.9W-24.5N77.7W, 23.1N75.9W-26.3N80.1W, BIX, TAM, 18.5N87W, 28.7N88.4W into the GreatCircleMapper
Shortest red line denotes the movement between last two positions. Below the map shows:
TS.Bonnie had a heading of 310.9degrees (~4.1degrees west of NorthWest) while traveling
a distance of 42miles(~68kilometres) over 3hours at a speed of ~14mph(~23k/h),
and was 149miles(~240kilometres) away from the coast in the direction of its heading.

^ Straightline projections are not forecasts of what will happen in the future,
especially not for TropicalCyclones. They aftcast what has already happened.
* DeepwaterHorizon is marked at 28.7N88.4W
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1599. JLPR2
Quoting Kristina40:


Hopefully, if nobody decides to repost it.


Jeez, if someone else quotes it they deserve to be banned, Taz didn't know it would cause this, though it was obvious that quoting a bad post would cause something. XD
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Let us all learn a lesson: do not quote trolls.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
I Ignored Him and Reported him and i hope he gets banned.

How dare he Tamper with the BLOG!


He did not think that it would make a mess of the blog...
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Quoting JLPR2:
Posting stuff so we get to page 33 XD



K:)
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1595. JLPR2
22/2345 UTC 21.4N 98.2W OVERLAND 98L
22/2345 UTC 23.3N 76.1W T2.5/2.5 BONNIE


There goes 98L, just an extra half a day and it could have been TD 4
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^
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Quoting JLPR2:


Well he'll have to wait till we get to a new page, the problem should stay in this page.


Hopefully, if nobody decides to repost it.
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1591. JLPR2
Posting stuff so we get to page 33 XD

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1589. JLPR2
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:



he cant delete the post he has tried



Well he'll have to wait till we get to a new page, the problem should stay in this page.
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Quoting Kristina40:


It was ignorant for him to repost it to begin with. He could have fixed it himself by deleting the post but he didn't.



he cant delete the post he has tried

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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


sorry Taz I had to ignore you... just until we get a new blog


It was ignorant for him to repost it to begin with. He could have fixed it himself by deleting the post but he didn't.
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Boy, this place starting to well-represent itself...
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Quoting futuremet:
Ignore Tazmanian. It solved the problem.


sorry Taz I had to ignore you... just until we get a new blog
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Yep, ignoring Taz solved the problem.
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1583. JLPR2
Quoting futuremet:
Ignore Tazmanian. It solved the problem.


yup, thats how I'm here, Taz quoted the problematic post and made it worse, once we get to a clean page we can un-ignore him.
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Ignore Tazmanian. It solved the problem.
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Quoting dsenecal2009:
post 1524 skipboo keeps breaking all the css with huge images


had to ignore him to read the bottom of the blog

My read is that total oceanic heat content and depth of 26 degree isotherm may be the limiting factors on development of Bonnie once she hits the Gulf. Agree? Or is this enough?

Oceanic Heat Content

Depth of 26 degree isotherm
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1580. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting aspectre:
604 aspectre

StormW? Weather456? SkyePony? Any of the others who know?
What the heck are the exact parameters defining XTRAP?
Read so many attempts at definitions here that I no longer remember the correct one.
(Don't know keywords that'll lead me to a glossary, so Google doesn't help).



XTRP - Extrapolation using past 12-hr motion (NHC)

The extra A may have lost you in Google land.
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post 1524 skipboo keeps breaking all the css with huge images
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Quoting AllStar17:
National Hurricane Center - 8:00 pm EDT Advisory
TROPICAL STORM BONNIE
**Graphics Update
STORM TRACKER

ADVISORIES


I hope you realize it's a watch for Lake Okeechobee, not a warning.
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1501: How many times are you going to post that same post?

Re Bonnie: Tonight will tell us allot more. She's moving pretty fast (14 kts) for much strengthening. IF she slows down she may get a bit stronger than forecast. BUT! with the speed at which the ULL moved away, I doubt she will slow down much if any at all.
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1576. JLPR2
Well the blog was messed up :\

Hello? XD
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Here we go and it is so early in the season. Always wishcasting that NW motion.
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1574. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231
National Hurricane Center - 8:00 pm EDT Advisory
TROPICAL STORM BONNIE
**Graphics Update
STORM TRACKER

ADVISORIES
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You people with ULLs, it's not gonna effect it much.. sheesh, get the picture!
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Looks like Bonnie has started a more wnw track...
Member Since: July 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
1570. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128231

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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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