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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Bonnie is little but look at the visible and the large band forming to it's west, moisture to the west is increasing quickly. That's the magic of the gulf stream.Look for a surprise tonight. If not I'll agree it will be rough sledding after that for this storm but right now don't think so.
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918. Bonz
Quoting Hardcoreweather2010:
Bonnie is hot and well developed



Why yes, I am. (Just kidding. I'm a Bonnie too.)

I was watching Max and he showed recon and there was a 52 MPG reading as I was watching.

Guess I won't get much of my namesake storm though, being up in N. Broward.
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It is officially Bonnie...
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Quoting Levi32:


Well I really doubt that. In my opinion the upper-level environment is not that good right now. There is potential, but I continue to believe this system is not a major threat.
I hope your right Levi!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
Quoting msgambler:
Derrik whatshis name on 15 in Mobile just said maybe tomorrow morning for Bonnie...LOL...I think someone needs to show him where his teletype machine is....opps showing age.
LOL. Yeah he messes up A LOT
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Itsa BONNIE on the NOAA All Floater Page

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
000
WTNT33 KNHC 222031
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032010
500 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010

...AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FINDS THAT THE TROPICAL DEPRESSION
HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...




old
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114062
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
000
WTNT33 KNHC 222031
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032010
500 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010

...AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FINDS THAT THE TROPICAL DEPRESSION
HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...


Thats from 500. We are looking at the 615 recon report.
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2-1-0
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Bonnie lookin' a little bit ragged right now
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2010 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
98L.INVEST
03L.THREE

East Pacific

Central Pacific

West Pacific
99W.INVEST
04W.CHANTHU

Indian Ocean

Southern Hemisphere
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Only 40mph, interesting. Might wait until recon leaves at 7PM to bump up the wind speeds come the 8PM EDT intermediate advisory.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting weatherguy03:
TS Bonnie Almost Here..Latest Track And Video Update




its here
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114062
It is worth noting that with the strong ridge to the N and Bonnie passing just to the S, there will be a very tight pressure gradient throughout all of central and S FL with gusty E-erly winds all day tomorrow. Most of E-ern FL from Orlando southward could still see 25-35 mph wind gusts in some of the rainbands that move onshore during the day.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Guess I need to change the title to TS Bonnie IS Here..LOL
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010x:
Bonnie will not be a hurricane at all.


Hurrkat would be so proud of you.
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000
WTNT33 KNHC 222031
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032010
500 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010

...AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FINDS THAT THE TROPICAL DEPRESSION
HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...
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Yeah Jeebsa... I was wondering the same thing being here in Brevard County myself. I think if they do extend watches or warnings northward... it will probably be to Sebastian Inlet... depends really on how much longer it continues on its track.
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Quoting mcluvincane:


Levi, with all due respect this could be a hurricane by the time it hits the straights. I'm not wishcasting I'm just stating reality. Not buying the nothing to worry about idea a lot of Mets are calling for. Most didn't including yourself call for it to be a td probably a TS now where it is now.


Well I really doubt that. In my opinion the upper-level environment is not that good right now. There is potential, but I continue to believe this system is not a major threat.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting Patrap:
Now theres a source



Yea. The only credible one out there. Whataya think Pat? They ought to be shut down?
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Quoting GoldenGirl44:
AMEN! to you Neapolitan! 793.
Excellent.


Rose couldn't have said it better!
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You guys see the latest satellite pictures on Bonne? It's really getting it's act together as we speak!
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Quoting ElConando:
At the moment it is business as usual Governmental wise in Dade and Broward. No shelters are open, Subject to change though.


I know, most companies will not do any thing until an "official" hurricane warning is issued..... and many times that warning is issued after the storm is on top of us...
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Derrik whatshis name on 15 in Mobile just said maybe tomorrow morning for Bonnie...LOL...I think someone needs to show him where his teletype machine is....opps showing age.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting Levi32:
Ship east of Bonnie reporting 55mph winds out of the southeast at 21z:

SHIP S 2100 22.70 -74.60 46 105 130 48.0 - 9.8 5.0 - - 29.78 -0.16 84.2 78.8


doesn't suprise me, the complex of convection is erupting over/near the center, in fact it may pull the center Northward a bit more.
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Quoting Patrap:
Now theres a source
lol
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Quoting mcluvincane:


Levi, with all due respect this could be a hurricane by the time it hits the straights. I'm not wishcasting I'm just stating reality. Not buying the nothing to worry about idea a lot of Mets are calling for. Most didn't including yourself call for it to be a td probably a TS now where it is now.
Katrina is a perfect example our local mets except bryan norcross said it was not going to be a big deal and bryan said to get ready for a possible strong TS or Cat 1 and look what happened !!!!!!!!
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
i have a feeling Bonnie will be a 60 mph Tropical storm when it approaches SE Florida



thats why am saying we sould see a hurricane watch go up some time friday or tonight for the FL keys has it may be come a hurricane
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114062
Quoting catastropheadjuster:
BiloxiGirl: It does happen my niece was pregnant when Katrina came thru and it put her in labor and they couldn't stop it and she had Maggie 10 weeks early. But she is doing wonderful.

Is 97L Bonnie yet and is it really 50mph? Just reading thru some post and was wondering.
sheri


97L was TD 3 now its bonnie.
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Now theres a source
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Now things will get interesting. Bonnie still moving N.W. At what point will they extend the T.S. watches North to say Brevard co.or farther?
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NHC is being very conservative
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000
WTNT63 KNHC 222214
TCUAT3
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032010
615 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010

...DEPRESSION BECOMES TROPICAL STORM BONNIE...

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
DURING THE PAST HOUR INDICATE THAT SURFACE WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH
THE DEPRESSION HAVE INCREASED TO 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...AND THAT THE
DEPRESSION HAS BECOME A TROPICAL STORM.


SUMMARY OF 615 PM EDT...2215 UTC...INFORMATION
--------------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.9N 75.4W
ABOUT 200 MI...320 KM SE OF NASSAU
ABOUT 415 MI...670 KM ESE OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/BEVEN

Link
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Quoting Tazmanian:
looking for a hurricane watch too go up for the upper and lower keys some time tonight or firday


Winds would have to increase to 60mph by Sunrise for that to happen. By then a lot of the outer fringes from Bonnie would be affecting the area already at that time.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Fox news declares it tropical storm Bonnie
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Quoting Patrap:




Did you read the text below the image?

"Redistribution of this image is prohibited"
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Ship east of Bonnie reporting 55mph winds out of the southeast at 21z:

SHIP S 2100 22.70 -74.60 46 105 130 48.0 - 9.8 5.0 - - 29.78 -0.16 84.2 78.8
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting Levi32:
This is what can happen when a seemingly strong upper low is attacked by heat being pumped into the atmosphere by a tropical disturbance as the upper low backs away. TD 3 has warmed the upper environment enough to relax the shear for the moment, but its problems are not over. The big deep-layer ridge over the eastern US means that the strong easterly flow in the upper levels on its southern side will probably not allow outflow to get established in the northern semicircle of TD 3. The upper low may eventually pull away a little farther but won't be fully leaving TD 3 alone on its trek across the gulf. I still don't expect more than a weak TS from this, though the danger exists for the system to keep pumping heat and form its own upper environment. Right now the best conditions for development are still southeast of the system.

Its best chance for strengthening is right now while it's moving NW towards south Florida, as the upper low backing WSW puts it in a good position to ventilate it. TD 3 may not go through the straights, but it will be resuming a WNW track in the gulf and will be heading for Texas or Louisiana, not east of Louisiana like the models claimed yesterday.


What you say does sound reasonable. The upper level outflow caused by TD3 is flowing toward the center of the upper level low, since air flows from areas of high to low pressure.

Upper level lows rely on baroclinic energy to survive. The warming at the upper levels weaken the temperature gradient.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Only 40mph...


Thought it was 50 mph but ok.
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Prob bump it up to 45 at 8:00pm or 11:00.
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i have a feeling Bonnie will be a 60 mph Tropical storm when it approaches SE Florida
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BiloxiGirl: It does happen my niece was pregnant when Katrina came thru and it put her in labor and they couldn't stop it and she had Maggie 10 weeks early. But she is doing wonderful.

Is 97L Bonnie yet and is it really 50mph? Just reading thru some post and was wondering.
sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3648
Well just once I'd like to see the CMC get the fujiwhatever effect right.
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Quoting Levi32:
This is what can happen when a seemingly strong upper low is attacked by heat being pumped into the atmosphere by a tropical disturbance as the upper low backs away. TD 3 has warmed the upper environment enough to relax the shear for the moment, but its problems are not over. The big deep-layer ridge over the eastern US means that the strong easterly flow in the upper levels on its southern side will probably not allow outflow to get established in the northern semicircle of TD 3. The upper low may eventually pull away a little farther but won't be fully leaving TD 3 alone on its trek across the gulf. I still don't expect more than a weak TS from this, though the danger exists for the system to keep pumping heat and form its own upper environment.

Its best chance for strengthening is right now while it's moving NW towards south Florida, as the upper low backing WSW puts it in a good position to ventilate it. TD 3 may not go through the straights, but it will be resuming a WNW track in the gulf and will be heading for Texas or Louisiana, not east of Louisiana like the models claimed yesterday.


Levi, with all due respect this could be a hurricane by the time it hits the straights. I'm not wishcasting I'm just stating reality. Not buying the nothing to worry about idea a lot of Mets are calling for. Most didn't including yourself call for it to be a td probably a TS now where it is now.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.