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 Progster:


Heyyy...Canadian aren't yankees...we burnt down the white house in 1812! Yess...feel the envy :)


Bravo..well said
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Levi: are you taking into account the really hot waters it will cross prior to Florida? I do not like anything coming up from that way.

I also don't know enough about the upper winds, etc to know if that's enough to keep it from developing.
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2717. Murko
We just got whacked by 5 mins of sustained ~50mph winds on North Eleuthera
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2716. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
iam out for the night
slow steady trek till dawn
see ya all in the am near 7 am or thereafter
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For kicks had some beezy conditions yesterday past 12 midnight here in North Miami. Max sustained wind 22mph max gust 26mph.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Oh, yes you are. That's almost to Canada...


Heyyy...Canadians aren't yankees...we burnt down the white house in 1812! Yess...feel the envy :)
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2713. bappit
Quoting Levi32:


A smaller system is more vulnerable to be killed by the upper low, so no. A larger system would be better-equipped to combat the effects of the upper low.

I like the analogy. Reminds me of scenes from Discovery channel.
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Quoting gator23:

You tell me where I can buy cafe con leche and Pan tostada at 2 am


Why didn't you go to bed as you was told.....LOL....j/K
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I see Orca is in normal rare form. Zoo, we like her as well. She has been called back to sub many times. Kids like her. And the world is a small and strange place :)

@Eric.. plametto, hialeah.. 874.. KENDALL! All will be under water.. Wait for the stalled cars report on the news.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
Small Storm huh !!!

In South beach as the bars let out.....
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Small Storm huh !!!

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2707. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

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2706. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #42
TROPICAL STORM CHANTHU (T1003)
12:00 PM JST July 23 2010
============================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon Overland South China

At 3:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Chanthu (996 hPa) located at 23.4N 107.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northwest at 12 knots.

Dvorak Intensity:

Gale Force Winds
================
40 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 24.5N 106.0E - Tropical Depression
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2705. Levi32
Quoting DestinDome:
Levi, do you think the ULL will achieve the distance from Bonnie needed for more favorable developement during the course of the storm's track?


It's possible that it could increase its distance from Bonnie and give slightly more favorable conditions for her, but I doubt it will be enough to allow her to strengthen to anything much stronger than what she is now. 50mph TS or weaker is what I believe she will be able to achieve. She may not even intensify at all over the gulf. We'll have to see how it goes.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Oh, yes you are. That's almost to Canada...


LMAO!!!! I was hoping we would get a little bit of this..I wanted to try out my new generac!!
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2703. EricSFL
Quoting gator23:

I just have one important question?
Will La Carreta still be open?


Heck yeah! The one on SW 87th and Bird Rd is open 24/7 under rain, shine, wind, whatever.
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2702. gator23
Quoting Hurricanes12:


There food is terrible, and I don't think they will after a hurricane, haha.

You tell me where I can buy cafe con leche and Pan tostada at 2 am lol
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2701. xcool
Levi32 hey young boy lol
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
well I cant really talk I'm from the Mission Bend area HWY 6 and Bissonet
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Oh, yes you are. That's almost to Canada...


HEY
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Small Storm huh !!!
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Quoting gator23:

I just have one important question?
Will La Carreta still be open?


There food is terrible, and I don't think they will after a hurricane, haha.
Member Since: June 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
2695. bappit
Quoting atmoaggie:
And we always said that Yankees were those that grew up north of I-10...
...
...with a special exception for Opelousas.

Yes, had to go through Opelousas to get to Lafayette. Then there was the amazing effect of drinking Dr. Tichenor's. One individual suddenly could walk 40 miles to Opelousas ... and he didn't know the way before!
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2694. Levi32
Quoting GetReal:
One point that has not been brought up here tonight (maybe I missed it) is that Bonnie has consolidated itself into a very small compact ball of consistent convection. These smaller systems only needs small gaps of favorable UL conditions to survive in, and in some cases strengthen unexpectedly.

That is why, IMO, that Bonnie can not be simply written off yet as just a rain event for S. Florida and the northern GOM.


True, though without the center under the convection that diminishes the impressiveness of its current appearance.
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Quoting HarleyStormDude52:


I live in Willis>> Im not a yankee!!! ha!!
Oh, yes you are. That's almost to Canada...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
ok so stop talking bs and where is bonnie going too?...lol.,,,,, plus the Yankess su**
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2691. angiest
Quoting texwarhawk:


IDK i always counted people from katy yankees


Hey, a bunch of Katy is south of IH-10. ;P
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2690. gator23
Quoting EricSFL:


Especially the Palmetto by Hialeah... LOL

I just have one important question?
Will La Carreta still be open?
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Quoting Levi32:


A smaller system is more vulnerable to be killed by the upper low, so no. A larger system would be better-equipped to combat the effects of the upper low.


Yeah, that makes sense. But you were litsting a distance criteria of 10 to 15 degrees longitude from an ULL so that the ULL enchances outflow instead of shears the system. I was wondering if that distance criteria could be shrunk down for a small system. A small system has a smaller anticylonic storm top, so it can be closer to the ULL without the anticyclonic storm top touching the ULL and getting sheared off by the ULL. Right?
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 504 Comments: 3688
Quoting angiest:


Yankees for us are anyone from north of Conroe (aka Cornrow).


IDK i always counted people from katy yankees
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2686. Ossqss
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Seems like the storm is now moving in a general WNW direction now as the ridge finally takes over steering and the ULL has finally distanced itself enough. I would expect the convection to also expand some overnight as well.


Yup, the potential for a slight relocation of the COC is what I am watching for at this point

link failed, removed

Hummm, kinda strange impact on posting this link and quote.
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2685. EricSFL
Quoting foggymyst:
Zoo..I cant imagine (well yes I can) the streets and traffic tomorrow afternoon.


Especially the Palmetto by Hialeah... LOL
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RobertM320 thats why I said I-10 was the main corridor. I grew up in La. Spent my summers in places lik sulphur, Dry Creek, Holly Beach, Cameron. I have a business card from a restuarnt from the early 80's that is an aerial picture of Holly Beach that after Katrina and Rita is no longer there.
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Quoting Orcasystems:



You're such a character!
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Quoting angiest:


Yankees for us are anyone from north of Conroe (aka Cornrow).


I live in Willis>> Im not a yankee!!! ha!!
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UNISYS View:


South Florida Radar:

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j
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2678. bappit
Quoting Progster:


There are irregular outbursts of deep convection but they seem to be associated with some of the small islands in the Bahamas chain..its like an unstable environment for sure but forcing from land-sea-air interaction is required to set off the deeper CBs..it doesn't seem to have a positive feedback loop set up...yet.

Sounds interesting. Is there a radar showing the relationship to land? Maybe another source of data?

Given that the convection is occurring near whatever center that Bonnie has, the fact that strong convection is occurring seems to be the significant point.
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Quoting foggymyst:
Zoo, YES! We spoke.

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Quoting Levi32:


Well for tropical development where the upper low or TUTT is ventilating a system instead of shearing it, you usually want the tropical system to be 10-15 degrees of longitude east of the upper low, or 5-10 degrees of longitude west of the upper low. That's a generalization that can vary, but right now Bonnie is 7-8 degrees east of the upper low and that's still too close.
Levi, do you think the ULL will achieve the distance from Bonnie needed for more favorable developement during the course of the storm's track?
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Zoo..I cant imagine (well yes I can) the streets and traffic tomorrow afternoon.
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2673. Levi32
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


A really small system like Bonnie, don't you think that it can be closer to the ULL without still getting severly impacted by it from shear?


A smaller system is more vulnerable to be killed by the upper low, so no. A larger system would be better-equipped to combat the effects of the upper low.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Divergence is pretty sick right now...which is rather strange as i would have thought the ULL would be helping to vent Bonnie some.....HUM



Hence my "ehh" a bit ago. Not much else to say.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
2671. angiest
Quoting atmoaggie:
And we always said that Yankees were those that grew up north of I-10...
...
...with a special exception for Opelousas.


Yankees for us are anyone from north of Conroe (aka Cornrow).
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She really likes your school. Told her how funny it was that she was meeting someone that her mom knew from her crazy blog!
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2669. angiest
Quoting atmoaggie:
I think you hit the nail on the head.


Just like an evacuation of Galveston. Only one practical way off the Island (IH-45. You can take the Bolivar Ferry as well, but on a good day there is a 90 minute wait, or you can take the San Luis Pass toll bridge, which is very narrow). Then, you can slug it out on IH-45 through Houston, or take TX-146 through the Ship Channel area (which is not a great road), or TX-6 through SW and W Houston, which is not a freeway anywhere and is always busy once you get to Sugarland. Add in 146 and 6 are marked evac routes for other coastal communities, and you start to see why the decision has to be made early.
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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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