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 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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868. unf97
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.


Excellent analysis Levi!
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Quoting jasoniscoolman2010x:
Bonnie will not be a hurricane at all.


Dude you said the same for it becoming a TD, now a named storm.....POOOOFFF you are for sure first on the list!.....JUST SAYIN
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Quoting kputerman26:
where do you see this?



nhc
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
Ignoring the vortex message?
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lil Bonnie, just a weak 40mph storm
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How many times are we gonna post the RECON report.
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looking for a hurricane watch too go up for the upper and lower keys some time tonight or firday
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Quoting Levi32:
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
where do you see this?
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I was just looking a visible and was going to say if that is not a tropical storm I'll eat my hat.
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Only 40mph...
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Channel 10 say Tropical Storm Bonnie now
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Bonnie will like D-Max tonight!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6871
854. redUK
There is a difference of about 50 miles between the lower level spin and the mid level spin.

This storm is not vertically stacked yet and may never be...

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


It normally only updates every 6 hours. Usually within an hour after synoptic time, 00Z, 06Z, 12Z and 18Z.



ok
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Special Statement just issued from NHC... It's BONNIE!!!


Yes - our local met just announced that too.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:

"Well they did think it was only going to reach 50mph, even if it is hard to predict."



Mind-Reader Caster! ... LOL
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AMEN! to you Neapolitan! 793.
Excellent.
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Moving at 315 degrees (NW)... I think this is becoming even more of a threat to S FL as each hour passes
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what was cmc showing the other days, due west across the gulf?
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olny 40mph?
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Tampa met is still calling it TD 3. He called it "ragged".
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Quoting Levi32:
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


Looks like they'll be on the conservative side for now. Not that bad of an idea.
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unless i am blind it seems coc has passed 23n. I know recon begs to differ but looking at visible imagery there is no way coc is at 22.7n
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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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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



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Quoting TampaSpin:


Seems the CMC is no longer the laugher of the models now!


Well it has Bonnie and another hitting SE TX. Has been showing that. Doesn't seem to gel with what I'm reading.
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Quoting 1992Andrew:
Hurricane Humberto was a tropical depression less than a day before making landfall in texas. Not saying TD 3 will do the same. Just saying... that South Floridians have a short amount of time to prepare for what could be a more menacing storm. This is my first post on wunderblog! Hello and love Ya'll!


well the local mets aren't doing well in keeping people cautioned..
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I could make list of people to ignore but, i would probably put my name on the list also!
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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
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting CALMbeforetheSTORM:
Center is consolidating nicely, about to hit some warmer water in the next six hours. I could see this storm getting to 60 mph by 5 a.m. and peaking around there at landfall.


Im right there with you 60-65mph by landfall with gusts to Hurricane Force.
Member Since: August 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 423
Evening everyone. It looks like we will have Bonnie soon. I am not liking the track though.
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Quoting StormW:


This would represent steering for a major hurricane...deep layer steering



Here's what we're looking at:



StormW:

Going by the Steering flows that you just posted, it seems that this current NW trend is/was expected and also in future once it passes the SFL/Keys Bonnie is likely to move a little WSW - that's what the steering shows!!

If this is the case then the overall track is so much like Katrina then....of course not comparing the two in intensity - but it's interesting nonetheless!!
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Special Statement just issued from NHC... It's BONNIE!!!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i dont think the _ATCF have been updateing all day


It normally only updates every 6 hours. Usually within an hour after synoptic time, 00Z, 06Z, 12Z and 18Z.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I love this blog, but some folks here may need a lesson in human nature, so here goes:

While most people on here are actively seeking to learn about the finer points of tropical storm forecasting and tracking, some are on here just to fulfill some overwhelming need for attention, even if it's of the negative kind--just as they are on every internet forum out there. Now, there's nothing wrong with wanting attention and praise--that's why most of us shower and dress nicely and say polite things in pleasant company. But some folks don't use that method, instead being content to say or act in the most outlandish, boorish, immature ways possible.

Know how to make them stop?

Ignore them.

Ignore them completely. Don't quote them. Don't respond to them. Don't mention their names, or their inane, insipid comments. Don't engage them, banter with them, flirt with them, or fight with them. Don't complain about their spelling, or their usage of grammar, or the predilection for ALL CAPS, or their inability to put together a coherent, on-topic sentence. Don't. Don't. Don't.

Know why? Because every time you do those things, you feed them. Yes, you do. You give them the attention they so desperately crave. You allow them to drag you into their webs of ignorance and stupidity and childish games.

So--again--ignore them. Period. Nothing more than that needs to be done. And once starved of that negative attention, they'll crawl away elsewhere to gain the pathetic emotional nourishment they no longer get here, like cockroaches moving to a dirtier apartment, like rats fleeing a clean ship...like trolls moving to a forum that will continue to feed them a constant variety of sludge.

It works. I promise. ;-)



Were you ever a one of my students???
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Well they did think it was only going to reach 50mph, even if it is hard to predict.


Mind-Reader Caster! ... LOL
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GFS 18z 36hr QPF forecast totals...QPF maxima over southeastern Florida:

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NEAPOLITAN- RE-Post# 793. Excellent post. Outstanding post.
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At the moment it is business as usual Governmental wise in Dade and Broward. No shelters are open, Subject to change though.
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Hurricane Humberto was a tropical depression less than a day before making landfall in texas. Not saying TD 3 will do the same. Just saying... that South Floridians have a short amount of time to prepare for what could be a more menacing storm. This is my first post on wunderblog! Hello and love Ya'll!
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Quoting galvestonhurricane:
Could someone please answer this? Would a stronger storm track more west of the current landfall location?


Stronger Storms generally will track further North then a Weaker storm. That's about all i can say on the track as nobody knows where the Current Landfall would be....uther than saying South Florida is likely.....i guess you are asking about Texas....way to far out to guess where that would be.
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Be back in a bit.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CALMbeforetheSTORM:
Center is consolidating nicely, about to hit some warmer water in the next six hours. I could see this storm getting to 60 mph by 5 a.m. and peaking around there at landfall.




if this is 45kt then we have a 50mph storm right now if this is 40kt then we have a 45 mph storm so there for we all most have a 60mph storm right now
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Quoting StormW:


This would represent steering for a major hurricane...deep layer steering



Here's what we're looking at:



Thank you Storm i was trying to explain that earlier but
no one would listen. It's all about Hype casting instead.

"BONNIE" Steering Logic:

The more Bonnie strengthens the LESS likely she will be
to affect South Florida Other than the keys
.

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Center is consolidating nicely, about to hit some warmer water in the next six hours. I could see this storm getting to 60 mph by 5 a.m. and peaking around there at landfall.
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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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