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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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.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting RobertM320:


You ever look at how many people in SE La live SOUTH of I-10? The only sorta "freeway" would be parts of I-49/US90 between Lafayette and the Westbank New Orleans area. It passes through places like Morgan City and New Iberia. Otherwise, its mosty two lane roads.
And we always said that Yankees were those that grew up north of I-10...
...
...with a special exception for Opelousas.
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Zoo, YES! We spoke.
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yep wnw its is
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1181
2665. gator23
Quoting TropicalNonsense:


trust me many bloggers agree with you gator and understand
exactly where you are coming from. Your posts always get a
"+" from me.

the other night you busting MiamiHurricanes09 was great stuff.
I laughed so hard that was classic!

I still remember the name "Brickell" LOL

Miami is a great kid but that was too funny!



thank you so much!
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Does anyone think Bonnie will reach Florida as a minimal TS or as a TD? It doesn't look too great. It's kind of elongated.
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2663. xcool
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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.


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?
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 539 Comments: 3712
2660. gator23
Quoting Baybuddy:
For what its worth Gator, I got it.

thanks.
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Quoting gator23:

folks, I am truly sorry if my basic fun fact somehow implied that Louisiana was overreacting to this storm. I will cease to ever speak about Louisiana again.


trust me many bloggers agree with you gator and understand
exactly where you are coming from. Your posts always get a
"+" from me.

the other night you busting MiamiHurricanes09 was great stuff.
I laughed so hard that was classic!

I still remember the name "Brickell" LOL

Miami is a great kid but that was too funny!


Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
A little concerned about how much water we will get. Been my experience that tropical messes can cause a bunch of trouble.

Storms have a tendency to move on through.
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Quoting texascoastres:
Lots of back roads but I-10 is the main corridor headed west and i think east til around BR then 12 pops in


You ever look at how many people in SE La live SOUTH of I-10? The only sorta "freeway" would be parts of I-49/US90 between Lafayette and the Westbank New Orleans area. It passes through places like Morgan City and New Iberia. Otherwise, its mosty two lane roads.
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For what its worth Gator, I got it.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Link to the animated version. Direction is the question.....

Link


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.
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yeah CC I see that turn to the wnw on the last images. Lets see if it keeps doing that. I also see that it starting to look Better shape wise.
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2652. bappit
Quoting cchsweatherman:
Recent satellite imagery shows the much anticipated turn towards a general WNW direction taking place tonight with some minor wobbles here and there. Also, convection seems to be gaining better appearance with a more symmetric convective mass taking shape. Seems to be trying to get somewhat better organized, although it remains relatively disorganized compared to this morning. Right now, I'm expecting a moderate tropical storm between 50 and 60 mph winds making landfall in Southern Miami Dade county tomorrow afternoon.

Yup, some truly bodacious convection ... just full of that ole tripocal mischief I declare.
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Quoting foggymyst:
Hiya Zoo, Hey Orca.. looks like some sprinkles and breezes heading my way


yes, no more watering for you two for a couple days
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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



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2649. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
thanks, Do you know how many degrees in longitude or lattitude the ULL would have to be from Bonnie to have an effect and vise versa not to?


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.
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Hey Foggy - heard you met my daughter.
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Quoting bappit:

Good analysis.


Yeah, I don't see a naked swirl either on the shortwave IR.

Quoting cchsweatherman:
Recent satellite imagery shows the much anticipated turn towards a general WNW direction taking place tonight with some minor wobbles here and there. Also, convection seems to be gaining better appearance with a more symmetric convective mass taking shape. Seems to be trying to get somewhat better organized, although it remains relatively disorganized compared to this morning. Right now, I'm expecting a moderate tropical storm between 50 and 60 mph winds making landfall in Southern Miami Dade county tomorrow afternoon.


I was thinking 60 to 90 mph winds early this afternoon (and, those winds will be TIGHTLY confined to the center of this compact tropical cyclone), yeah it seems reasonable to lower that to 60 to 70 IMO.
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 539 Comments: 3712
Quoting atmoaggie:
In my opinion, dry air aloft is the number one detriment to the possibility of a hurricane Bonnie. Evidence from the weather balloons at Nassau, Key West, and MIA. And there isn't going to be time to moisten enough, IMHO.

Another system that just didn't have the perfect mix of ingredients in the cauldron.


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.
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2645. angiest
Quoting btwntx08:
look at steering expect the models to shift a bit left soon


It does look like that high has to backout soon. Or split in half. As to a cold front.... in July, I'll believe it comes this far south when I see it. :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting bappit:

I just thought any declarations of states of distress or otherwise at this stage were all oil spill related. Jeepers.


There is one road out of Grand Isle and one Road out of Venice. Once you hit the interstate you have your options. But you need to travel those one roads first.
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2643. gator23
Quoting Baybuddy:
I'm from Bama...You guys have parking lots? Whenever I go to wally world it takes a week for the red clay to wear off my feet.

I was saying that they DO have roads there another blogger was saying they do not.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Link to the animated version. Direction is the question.....

Link


It's so cute. It can sit over my swimming pool and intensify lol.
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Quoting chrisdscane:
sry for caps but ima scream it

KATRINA LOOKED WORSE WAS IN ABOUT THE SAME CONDITIONS WAS IN COOLER WATER ALITTLE LESS SHEAR AND NO UPPER LOW SO BASIKLY THE SAME SITUATION AND LOOKED WUT HAPPEN SRY FOR CAPS BUT IM VENTING


Not even close to that situation. Katrina's vorticity was perfectly round and vertically stacked as well. Upper level conditions were near perfect too. You won't have to worry about that replay.
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Hiya Zoo, Hey Orca.. looks like some sprinkles and breezes heading my way
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Recent satellite imagery shows the much anticipated turn towards a general WNW direction taking place tonight with some minor wobbles here and there. Also, convection seems to be gaining better appearance with a more symmetric convective mass taking shape. Seems to be trying to get somewhat better organized, although it remains relatively disorganized compared to this morning. Right now, I'm expecting a moderate tropical storm between 50 and 60 mph winds making landfall in Southern Miami Dade county tomorrow afternoon.



dude uve nailed this storm i 1000000% agree
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1181
Florida State still working on new models:

Beside the dynamical clarification, why is it useful to
know the observed relation between skewness and kurtosis
of SST anomalies? First, it is useful as a benchmark
for ocean models. Do ocean models simulate the
correct non-Gaussian SST variability? An accurate representation
of the non-Gaussian tails of SST distributions
(extreme SST events) is crucial in the modeling
and prediction of many important weather and climate
phenomena, such as hurricanes, ENSO, North Atlantic
Oscillation (NAO), etc.
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Quoting Patrap:
keep an eye on er CCHS,..


Im gonna head to da WUnderland Upstairs.

Later gators and Cajuns.




and Canes!!!! Im not a Gator...how dare u...lol
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2634. bappit
Quoting angiest:



More to the point, I doubt the lower LA parishes are served by very many freeways. Pat, am I right this is mostly 2 lane roads down there? And what freeways there might be would go into New Orleans anyway (or other large cities). That doesn't make evac any easier.

I just thought any declarations of states of distress or otherwise at this stage were all oil spill related. Jeepers.
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Quoting angiest:



More to the point, I doubt the lower LA parishes are served by very many freeways. Pat, am I right this is mostly 2 lane roads down there? And what freeways there might be would go into New Orleans anyway (or other large cities). That doesn't make evac any easier.
I think you hit the nail on the head.
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2632. EricSFL
Quoting chrisdscane:
HMM Unenhanced loop shows a much tighter circular storm ur thoughts?


I noticed the same thing.
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Recent satellite imagery shows the much anticipated turn towards a general WNW direction taking place tonight with some minor wobbles here and there. Also, convection seems to be gaining better appearance with a more symmetric convective mass taking shape. Seems to be trying to get somewhat better organized, although it remains relatively disorganized compared to this morning. Right now, I'm expecting a moderate tropical storm between 50 and 60 mph winds making landfall in Southern Miami Dade county tomorrow afternoon.
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2630. Ossqss


Link to the animated version. Direction is the question.....

Link
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Rain day I would love - unfortunately I have to go to the office in the morning. Payrolls need to be done.
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Quoting gator23:

huh?
1)I am quite sure they have roads in Louisiana and I expect Patrap will be along shortly to confirm it.
2)Apparently you are not familiar with the term "food for thought" its like a fun fact.
I'm from Bama...You guys have parking lots? Whenever I go to wally world it takes a week for the red clay to wear off my feet.
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HMM Unenhanced loop shows a much tighter circular storm ur thoughts?
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1181
2624. bappit
Quoting pipelines:
I have to disagree with you on this one. If the fact the two centers are decoupled (which I think is very questionable at this point based on lack of evidence) the supposed LLC that you can see on the visible right before dusk is already so far removed at that time and moving so quickly away from the MLC that there is no way those two centers could be realigned in the future. That LLC will dissipate and the only chance Bonnie has of becoming vertically stacked again is forming a new LLC under the MLC.

Again I don't think the centers are decoupled, maybe not perfectly stacked, but not decoupled. I'm basing this on shortwave imagery which shows low level clouds pretty well at night and I see nothing south of Bonnie that resembles a naked LLC.

Just my 2 cents.


Good analysis.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


It appears the Ridge is going to break down faster then thought....i further track to the right will be coming.....Could be a Panhandle storm....IMO


I saw a map earlier today that depicted the ridge as two areas of High pressure, one in the central GOM and one quite a ways off the SE Coast of the U.S. What if there is a weakness between the two and Bonnie could find a way to slip between the two as it looks like it's trying to do with the NW motion we've seen since late this afternoon, food for thought. I'm no met so don't quote me on this, just a thought! I won't lose any sleep in the Panhandle over this one just yet that's for sure!
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Quoting zoomiami:
First rain band coming in over my house. Fairly strong


Remember that rain day you asked for :)
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Quoting cattlebaroness:
I have some questions if y'all don't mind. Dr master suggested this could become a cane. Is that still underconsideration. It's a pretty short time frame
In my opinion, dry air aloft is the number one detriment to the possibility of a hurricane Bonnie. Evidence from the weather balloons at Nassau, Key West, and MIA. And there isn't going to be time to moisten enough, IMHO.

Another system that just didn't have the perfect mix of ingredients in the cauldron.
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Lots of back roads but I-10 is the main corridor headed west and i think east til around BR then 12 pops in
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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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