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 ElConando:


Have accoridan(sic.) shutters all around and plenty of batteries and a generator.
*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.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting FLdewey:


OMG!!! Immediately email iamsoexcited@nhc.noaa.gov


that's hilarious Dewey!!! this is exactly as forecast a minimal TS.

Now for the WNW turn missing Miami Hurricane's09.
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Drak has been right on so many times, I cannot help but to listen.....

He is using information from weather analysis and the Hurricane Hunter information....he is not a "guess"-caster.

Quoting TropicalNonsense:


WHAT ARE YOU DOING DRAK? The watch/warnings are already in place
and no mention or reason to believe a hurricane is imminent.

Bonnie is expected to strenghten slightly then move more WNW
why is everyone panicking? Trust the NHC!
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Usually see some kind of outflow a day or so ahead of the storm.
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12 hours ago this was a sheared tropical disturbance with a 40% chance of developing.

Now its a 50mph TS.
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In recent images, the core is really coming on strong and coming together nicely.
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this what we dont need a RI right be for land fall
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115081
Quoting StormW:


Not in this case.


ok, so if this storm grows stronger the track could go more west?
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Convection is wrapping tightly around the center.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone in South Florida should be preparing for the possibility of a category 1 hurricane at landfall.


Thats been my thinking since the start, forecast of TS plan for HU.
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Quoting futuremet:
It is amazing how fast things can change in just 24 hours.
IN BUT A BLINK OF AN EYE THINGS CHANGE
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Orca respond when you can to wundermail.
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Drak is being very reasonable given the conditions. Planning for at least one category above what is forecasted just makes good sense. Everything you read tells you that the intensity is the part of the forecast that is most difficult, and the part that has the least accuracy.

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701. FLH
Seems like it may move more north than forecast
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Seriously? Our met in Tampa said Bonnie was nothing more than a rain storm with a little wind.


Not surprising.. giving that they said this morning that 97L was I quote said 'a weak wave that will likely be torn apart by high wind shear before the day is out..'
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Again StormW a stronger storm pulls north Aweaker stays south right?
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a hurricane watch may bee needed at the next update for the FL KEYS
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115081
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If the 8PM advisory does show 50mph, a category 1 is very likely. Well time to head to Home Depot...! LOL.


Have accoridan(sic.) shutters all around and plenty of batteries and a generator.
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Quoting futuremet:
It is amazing how fast things can change in just 24 hours.
FutureMet, 12 hrs ago it was 40% chance of developement in the next 48 hrs...
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Quoting Drakoen:
As the system nears 80W the OHC will be increasing which may allow for further intensification.




thats not good
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115081
Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone in South Florida should be preparing for the possibility of a category 1 hurricane at landfall.


WHAT ARE YOU DOING DRAK? The watch/warnings are already in place
and no mention or reason to believe a hurricane is imminent.

Bonnie is expected to strenghten slightly then move more WNW
why is everyone panicking? Trust the NHC!
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Quoting futuremet:
It is amazing how fast things can change in just 24 hours.


True-Just ask Geico
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Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone in South Florida should be preparing for the possibility of a category 1 hurricane at landfall.


The quick W-ward movement of the ULL is providing great ventilation...dry air is still a problem but shear is dropping fast and upper level ridging is building in over the top of it. This has a good chance of ramping up very quickly.
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As the system nears 80W the OHC will be increasing which may allow for further intensification.
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Good evening Storm W, I don't often post, but I appreciate your knowledge and patience, though I fancy myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to these beasts too :).

Bonnie/TD03 is really a fairly compact system and I think she may be about to take off a bit. Looking at the ridging in place, I can't see her making it any farther north than about Key Biscayne. I'd say impact around noon tomrrow just south of Key Biscayne--She'll cross quickly without losing much in the way of organization I imagine.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Seriously? Our met in Tampa said Bonnie was nothing more than a rain storm with a little wind.



oops tell that too them
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115081
Futuremet:

Aren't you in the keys? If so what mile marker?
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Quoting IKE:


And it's over the weather...that no one on here can do anything about.


What ever you do dont tell some wishcaster a deadly hurricane is NOT going to hit him....very odd.
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Is there long term predictions on the ridge that is driving storms west? Is it projected to last quite a while, protecting us in the Presslinas?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone in South Florida should be preparing for the possibility of a category 1 hurricane at landfall.


Seriously? Our met in Tampa said Bonnie was nothing more than a rain storm with a little wind.
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It is amazing how fast things can change in just 24 hours.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
INV/98/L
MARK
21.3N/96.2W
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I am thinking that it is completely possible that they could upgrade to TS soon, based on the flight level winds.
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Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
Sitting here in the Keys, theres not an upper level cloud in site only a couple of low cumulus over Hawk Channel. Strange for having an approaching storm.

still looking good here in Miami. breeze is just picking up. Thought it would be gustier by now.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Imagine that.. models wrong again about TD3.



your killing me


AH AH AH that was funny
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115081
Good possibility of a special advisory imo.
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Don't think so. They seem pretty confident on their track.


I think I am going to see if this track continues before I rule us out for good. I think it is suppose to take a more WNW track again down the road.....
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I think were gonna be looking at an upgrade by 8pm tonight to TS Status and a 65mph TS affecting SE Florida tomorrow with gusts to Hurricane Force in some locations. NHC will not posts Hurricane warnings but this is a good trial run for the residents here in SE Florida.
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673. IKE
Quoting GoldenGirl44:
I have been lurking, seldom posting, for 6 years here, and very grateful for the info and Dr. Masters and all. Howwever, many people on here have become very MEAN, negative towards each other. Very sad. KARMA folks.


And it's over the weather...that no one on here can do anything about.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone in South Florida should be preparing for the possibility of a category 1 hurricane at landfall.
If the 8PM advisory does show 50mph, a category 1 is very likely. Well time to head to Home Depot...! LOL.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone in South Florida should be preparing for the possibility of a category 1 hurricane at landfall.


To be honest, that can't be ruled out.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Tampa met just said that TD3 was nothing to worry about at all.


Oh well, okay then. I'll just quit paying attention.

Right. Jeez.
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What ashame. 98L would of been a TS if it had more time over water. Man it looks well organized, looks like a TS.
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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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