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 reedzone:


I see no "dry air".. everything's a go for gradual intensification ;)


Reed.. don't quote him.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24477
TD 2 had a good shoot olny if it had a little more time then it would have been the B storm


same gos with 98L wants too have a name or at lest a TD


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Pat, I know you like to keep us updated on the oil spill. My husband drives a tug out of Cocodrie, La which is working for BP right now. They just evacuated the area. All boats are being sent in and are on standby until further notice. The floating city and all of its crew are also doing the same. Looks like the clean up is at a standstill for the moment.
Member Since: September 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 137
Quoting reedzone:
Funny thing is guys, TD3 is not getting sheared much, maybe not at all. Wind shear is at 10-15 knots according to the CIMMS shear map. I expect an upgrade in the morning if not tonight. Also the ULL continues to track fast to the west which is allowing TD3 to give in to much more favorable conditions. Unfortunately, I'm thinking a Hurricane is on the way.
Reed, do you ever recall a time when your forecast was LESS agggressive than the NHC forecast?
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Quoting Patrap:
I tink someone just got Mommed?



You got that right Pat! And no one can "Mom" better than me! :o)

sometimes the foolishness is just too much...
and I love a good time and all but...
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414. xcool
43kts FL 45 kts SMFR
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Hurricanes101:
Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor

34.0 knots (~ 39.1 mph)
Tropical Storm


Thanks for the info.. Seems we will have Bonnie very soon.. The ULL moving at a quick pace, allowing wind shear to really drop over the system.
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373 - Why so serious?
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Quoting P451:
Guessing a minimal TS at landfall at this rate of organization. 45mph?

Just doesn't seem to want to get going much - same problem every system has had this year so far.



It wont take as long to acquire winds...In fact, when its named, it may already have 45 mph winds.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
I think it is wise to consider the possibility Reed is pointing out. Some of us here (Hurrkat) did not even expect this system to become a tropical depression.
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408. CJ5
Heck, had I picked up that this was StormTop, eh, STORMKAT, whatever, I would not have wasted time on him earlier today.

I can now just laugh and look forward to the forecasts from his office as this system progresses..LOL

Quoting hurrkat05:
MY LATEST INFO SHOWS AND ULL TO BE SITUATED RIGHT OFF THE SW COAST OF FLORIDA...THIS ULL AND BONNIE WILL MOVE IN CONJUCTURE BLAH..BLAH..
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Quoting P451:
Guessing a minimal TS at landfall at this rate of organization. 45mph?

Just doesn't seem to want to get going much - same problem every system has had this year so far.



In a way yes it is developing quite slow. Unless things change prob have to be tomorrow morning for a TS to be called. Max wind readings were below 35mph. It was just rounded up to 35.
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I see that its jogged to the N, but really what's impeding another jog to the S?
I just think a jog to the N is just that, a jog. I know a lot of jogs add up, but just like anything else, it's got to be consistent.
I'm not saying yes, it's going N o yes it's going S I'm just want to say, consistency is crucial.
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Sorry for the partial jump, that's the GHCC's fault.
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I tink someone just got Mommed?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Inbound run



AOI
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:
what is up with the CMC. It has persistently predicted a storm to follow TD3 for the last few days. what is this model see?


ECWMF is doing something similar now.
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Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor

34.0 knots (~ 39.1 mph)
Tropical Storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurrkat05:
MY LATEST INFO SHOWS AND ULL TO BE SITUATED RIGHT OFF THE SW COAST OF FLORIDA...THIS ULL AND BONNIE WILL MOVE IN CONJUCTURE WITH EACH OTHER AND KEEP BONNIE INTENSIFYING AT ALL..THE MAX BONNIE WLL GET UP TO IS 60MPH AND THAT'S BEING GENEROUS AS IT APPROACHES THE LOUISIANA COAST SOMETIME LATE SUNDAY....THIS IS A SITUATION WHERE BONNIW WILL NOT REACH HURRICANE FORCE MAY EVEN LOSE SOME STRNGTH BEFORE REACHING THE LA COAST...THE SSTS ARE THERE BUT THE ULL WILL PRODUCE ENOUGH SHEAR THAT WILL KEEP BONNIE IN CHECK...MORE INFO OUT OF MY OFFICE AT 10PM..


Stormtop,
that was sort of novel back in summer of 2005... but we are over it now ... please stop.
You are very close to going on ignore...
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Quoting stormhank:
Is the Florida Panhandle off the hook so to speak?? I noticed a slight right shift in the models since this morning?? any input appreciated...Thanks


At this time, I give the Florida Pandhandle a 20% chance of getting hit by Bonnie...(Will be bonnie by then).
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I already regret this, but i am beginning to doubt the models. Nobody throw anything...just saying.
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what is up with the CMC. It has persistently predicted a storm to follow TD3 for the last few days. what is this model see?
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looks like another vortex message coming soon
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Tropical Storm force winds found by recon
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Fujiwara with ULL and TD3?
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379, Hurricanes101

Sorry, I may have just done that....my bad. I'll stop
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Quoting ElConando:


Right above you in Dr.M's blog :P


Lmao
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210000 2311N 07434W 9879 00191 0096 +250 +216 113033 034 035 005 00
210030 2309N 07435W 9879 00189 0095 +247 +216 112033 034 035 005 00
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What's there to argue about when you're wrong? LOL
FACTS my friend, and the fact is, showing on the CIMMS shear map, the ULL has moved across from Miami to the Keys in just 3 hours!!! Sorry, that's a quick pace. As Tampaspin would say.. "just saying"
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Quoting Jeff9641:


By the hour Adrian, as TD3 continues to move NW and now seems to have increased in movement. Another shift right can be expected later tonight to include Mia/FLL.


it's amazing what you can see that the NHC doesnt see
if you wish for it enough.

Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
382. xcool


update
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Why are you fighting so hard....with CAPS and all that....we can hear you, its just that the louder you get about your opinion, the more everyone is just casting it aside.

Quoting hurrkat05:
OK REED MAYBE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT THIS WAY...IM SURE STORM W WILL TALK ABOUT THE ULL OFF THE SW FLA COAST AND THE AFFECT IT WILL HAVE ON BONNIE FROM BECOMING A HURRICANE..
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Currently the upper level low did move chaotically to the SW, and it is this side of Bonnie that must be watched. However, over the last several hours, more moisture to the south of Bonnie has started to approach the storm. It will be interesting to see if these storms can forge a center with thunderstorms all the way around. I am still at 92% for a hurricane due to warm waters and lack of landfall for awhile.
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Might as well take every single person off ignore because people cannot help themselves but post and react to people they shouldn't react to
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This thing has definately jogged N. Look at the floater. I'm agreeing with a S Fl hit at this time.
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Cantore sighting Bal Harbor ne Dade on The WC.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting hurrkat05:
MY LATEST INFO SHOWS AND ULL TO BE SITUATED RIGHT OFF THE SW COAST OF FLORIDA...THIS ULL AND BONNIE WILL MOVE IN CONJUCTURE WITH EACH OTHER AND KEEP BONNIE INTENSIFYING AT ALL..THE MAX BONNIE WLL GET UP TO IS 60MPH AND THAT'S BEING GENEROUS AS IT APPROACHES THE LOUISIANA COAST SOMETIME LATE SUNDAY....THIS IS A SITUATION WHERE BONNIW WILL NOT REACH HURRICANE FORCE MAY EVEN LOSE SOME STRNGTH BEFORE REACHING THE LA COAST...THE SSTS ARE THERE BUT THE ULL WILL PRODUCE ENOUGH SHEAR THAT WILL KEEP BONNIE IN CHECK...MORE INFO OUT OF MY OFFICE AT 10PM..


Dude don't quit your day job
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Is the Florida Panhandle off the hook so to speak?? I noticed a slight right shift in the models since this morning?? any input appreciated...Thanks
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Quoting hurrkat05:
MY LATEST INFO SHOWS AND ULL TO BE SITUATED RIGHT OFF THE SW COAST OF FLORIDA...THIS ULL AND BONNIE WILL MOVE IN CONJUCTURE WITH EACH OTHER AND KEEP BONNIE INTENSIFYING AT ALL..THE MAX BONNIE WLL GET UP TO IS 60MPH AND THAT'S BEING GENEROUS AS IT APPROACHES THE LOUISIANA COAST SOMETIME LATE SUNDAY....THIS IS A SITUATION WHERE BONNIW WILL NOT REACH HURRICANE FORCE MAY EVEN LOSE SOME STRNGTH BEFORE REACHING THE LA COAST...THE SSTS ARE THERE BUT THE ULL WILL PRODUCE ENOUGH SHEAR THAT WILL KEEP BONNIE IN CHECK...MORE INFO OUT OF MY OFFICE AT 10PM..


lol, your a real joker.
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Quoting hydrus:
By looking at your link, I would have to agree.


maybe they are anticipating a more dramatic westward shift later to put it back on course...who knows?
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Afternoon folks

Glad we are some what in the clear here in Orlando. Keep my eyes open but doesnt look like we will get much from the system.
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Quoting Patrap:

Shame that HyCOM doesn't fully include the Lake. With a stout east wind, the Lake water surface tilts and draws in a bunch of the MS sound. But HyCOM, at least in this graphic, isn't capable of modeling that.



Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463

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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.