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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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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Quoting patrikdude2:


HAHA lol.
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Excellent post Neopolitan!
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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. ;-)
well said--- But this only works with mature minds!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
815. xcool


wowow
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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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting StormW:


No. Updated steering layers forecast right now suggests LA...period.


That high pressure better move the heck out of the way if the Midatlantic is gonna see any remnants of Bonnie
.
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ok gotcha SEFL... that's cool!!! Looks to be an interesting night, as LLC seems to continue NNW to NW
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Quoting StormW:


No. Updated steering layers forecast right now suggests LA...period.


oh ok.
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As this system deepens it will start to feel the ridge more and more... the deeper it goes the further west it goes, unlike normal.

This is kind of the same phenomenon as Ike where it turned and was heading SW...

I am not saying it will head SW but looking at the different layers heights to me it looks as if a stronger storm will head due West around the ridge...

jmo
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Could someone please answer this? Would a stronger storm track more west of the current landfall location?
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
SEFLhurricane... that obs is taken SE of the CoC... the latest fix they found was 22.7N 75.3W... and max winds of TS strength... SFMR winds of 51mph... flight level winds 49mph
i did see it just updating everyone on here who does not have access to recons latest data
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Quoting Drakoen:
It is rather disappointing that the ECMWF model did not pick up on this system.


Its just a model it can be wrong and will be wrong again, it is a very good model though.
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Quoting Drakoen:


The CMC has good long-range accuracy


Seems the CMC is no longer the laugher of the models now!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting TropicalNonsense:



i never read that. how can you say what "they thought" when
everyone knows intensity is the hard part and where most
of the error lies.
Well they did think it was only going to reach 50mph, even if it is hard to predict.
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i dont think the _ATCF have been updateing all day
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting cchsweatherman:
In recent images, the core is really coming on strong and coming together nicely.


what are you seeing to say that?
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This is an interesting read.

July TC Climatology in South Florida PDF File

Apparently only 4 recorded Tropical Storms have affected south Florida in the month of July. And no hurricanes. TD 3 is likely to be Bonnie very soon and the fifth July TS to affect S. Fl and the first since 1985's Tropical Storm Bob.
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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 StormW It makes sense looking at the scenarios
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SEFLhurricane... that obs is taken SE of the CoC... the latest fix they found was 22.7N 75.3W... and max winds of TS strength... SFMR winds of 51mph... flight level winds 49mph
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
*Larry the cableguy voice*: Looks like itsa time to put da plywood up! Ok all jokes aside, we really have to watch this for the possibility of a stronger system than what is currently anticipated. In truth, the NHC only thought that 03L was going to reach 45 knots before the Florida landfall, unfortunately, it achieved that way too early according to the vortex.



i never read that. how can you say what "they thought" when
everyone knows intensity is the hard part and where most
of the error lies.
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98L is out of time but it may be upgraded too a TD or TS has it makeing land fall

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
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. ;-)
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Quoting ElConando:



Btw I saw you pictures but the one that says it was taken 2 years ago looks like it is 20 years old LOL.
Maybe his "0" key wasn't working. Possibly trying to type 200 years ago.
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Quoting CaneAddict:


No we don't have bonnie.


The vortex message said 45 kts
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Quoting southbeachdude:
What about the high to the north? How will it play in the equation, atmos?



The deep layer ridge to the north is expected to strengthen a little over the next 48 hours, which will push the system to the WNW through at least the next 3 days. The influence of the ULL has been dragging it a little to the NW today but a WNW motion is very likely from tonight onwards.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting StormW:


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



Here's what we're looking at:



ok, I am guessing here....weaker - LA , stronger,TX?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I remember posting the CMC a week ago when it had that large wave north of the CV (now Bonnie) developing in the Bahamas and making landfall in the Gulf.

Im amazed that its actually happening.


The CMC has good long-range accuracy
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
Exactly, it's like a horoscope, you don't believe in them until it's dead one day.
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Quoting newportrinative:
Max Mayfield on news now. Saying not expecting a big deal and looking at a 50 mph winds when it goes thru SFL (which includes keys).


Yeah, that's what most real mets are saying.
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Quoting TropicalNonsense:


only if you wish to create unnecceasry and unforecasted panic.
You must have just read the "Cat1" part...not the part about preparing for a storm one classification higher than forecasted....(no worries happens all the time)
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remember last we we all talked about the effect of the gulfstream? that should up it just a bit. did dr masters say he was going to be on cbs or abc?
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but they could upgrade 98L too a TS has it now makeinf land fall in Mx
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting TexasHurricane:


Email it if you can. May not be on here at that time...Thanks!!

ok
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780. xcool
SHIP S 2100 22.70 -74.60 44 90 130 48.0 - 9.8 5.0 - - 29.78 -0.16 84.2 78.8 - 5 8 - - - - - - - ---- ----- - - - - - - -
1 observations reported for 2100 GMT
ship
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Poof TD3?
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Quoting Grothar:


Just don't drive yourself, you are too young!



Btw I saw you pictures but the one that says it was taken 2 years ago looks like it is 20 years old LOL.
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Max Mayfield is on right now and he said the main part of the rain field will be to the North of wherever the center is. They do expect it to be at least a TS, but to watch it carefully.
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98L out of time
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting CALMbeforetheSTORM:
Evening Levi, don't post much anymore but I appreciate your posts.



Thanks.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting Grothar:


Just don't drive yourself, you are too young!
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Thats been my thinking since the start, forecast of TS plan for HU.


I believe this system is going to make landfall in South Florida. The models continue to show a more northerly track.
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It certainly appears the current ULL is not affecting what should be Bonnie...and also She is moving much further North as well now...South Florida might have a little problem more than most thought.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
just in from recon


Time: 21:51:00Z
Coordinates: 22.4N 74.3833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 987.8 mb (~ 29.17 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 194 meters (~ 636 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1009.8 mb (~ 29.82 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 155° at 29 knots (From the SSE at ~ 33.3 mph)
Air Temp: 25.5°C (~ 77.9°F)
Dew Pt: 22.2°C (~ 72.0°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 30 knots (~ 34.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 33 knots* (~ 37.9 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr* (~ 0.04 in/hr*)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Oh ok. I'll try to post what he says.


Email it if you can. May not be on here at that time...Thanks!!
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Quoting Levi32:


Well, if it (TD3) doesn't get any stronger than this and weakens in the gulf, it (the European model) won't have done too awful badly.



Now that is what we call an "understatement".
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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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