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 robert88:
That ULL is turning out to be a blessing for GOM residents. Future Bonnie looks to be nothing but a sheared mess. There was a good reason that the global models were not too excited about this system. You can see the dry air and shear taking a toll on it on satellite and water vapor. At least we have something to track though. What a boring month of July it has been in the tropics. It looks to be that way for the next 10 days at least.


read the doc's blog........lol
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37 mph was the highest surface wind found in this flight.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3784
yeah TD3 doesnt look that good still pretty floppy and sloppy
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 578
TD3 moving definitely north of the forecast points:
Link
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Im at 23.27N 75.41W

Conditions

Wind : NE 30KNT Gust 35KNT
Rain : Med
Pressure : Falling


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Quoting Royallypalmbeaches:
With all points (and yes things change)looking like a Keys or near Miami path would this pretty much leave Northern WPB and points further North in the clear? And how far north will the feader bands possible go?


It doesn't leave us in the clear. The north side of the storm is the worst, so therefore, TS winds will more than likely impact us.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129432
Hey everyone any possible affects here in Fla. panahndle area?? I see the models edged more to the east than they were this morning???
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I don't see much change likely with watch/warning areas UNLESS this storm mushrooms in size. The track shift is really not that great. It's pretty much what they were forecasting from the getgo [remember OFCI took it across Srn Miami-Dade county, and whether or not it crosses there or at Marathon may be based on a jog or jig].

IMO the only real potential for surprise with this would be a massive unexpected upswing in intensity. So far I don't see the conditions shifting quickly enough to allow that.

I'm taking a break. I think we should see some interesting developments tonight, so I'm going to take a nap now and stay up abit later tonight.
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In reality TD3 looks pretty much beat up.
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IMO people are too focused on whether the NHC chooses to call it by a name this evening. The issue with this system is the apparent TRACK. Alex didn't come anywhere close to the oil spill site, but its swells still pushed crude onshore in high volumes. This thing is predicted to track over it... and the experience with Alex shows that it doesn't matter whether it becomes a hurricane or a TS... or for that matter, stays a depression, though I will eat anyone's bird of choice if it doesn't get the upgrade at some point... the central Gulf Coast is about to be in for it in a big way. Let's hope that the people hypothesizing that a tropical cyclone would make it easier to clean up the mess turn out to be right, because we're about to be in that position.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Something you may or may have not noticed:

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.7N 75.4W
ABOUT 205 MI...325 KM SE OF NASSAU
ABOUT 425 MI...685 KM ESE OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES


What did we miss
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Quoting TropicalNonsense:


u have to be kidding.
Why?
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Quoting chrisdscane:
can they upgrade a system at anyu time or does it matter????


I recall in some past reports of powerful hurricanes that a few storms were estimated a category higher for a short period of time via satellite but since the measurements were not physically measured they were discounted. By the time a plane was vectoring through the storm it had weakened somewhat (maybe b/c of an EWRC who knows) and the historical data was never logged as tagging a higher category.

Wasn't there a Florida hurricane scrutinized as to whether or not it was a 4 or 5 for a while, then based off of damage assessments and research, years later it was deemed a cat 5? I can't recall the exact storm though.
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Quoting TropicalNonsense:


u have to be kidding.


Don't get it....SFLA is in the cone and even Dr Master's track has the storm going on shore in the Keys or on the mainland (south).
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So funny how this board gets all worked up over little systems like this...just wait until August or September when we get a real system.

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Quoting MrJoeBlow:
I was right this got Sarasota wrote on it. Did yall see the update?


I've been a member for a while, jsut choose to keep my comments to myself as I don't feel i know enough, nor need to be told i dont know enough about tropical weather... however, I cannot hold my tongue anymore... I see absolutely nothing in the update that has to do with Sarasota, I live in Tallahassee right now, but am originally from Sarasota, I don't see any way that the storm has a big impact, other then rain and maybe 30-50 MPH GUSTS, for the Sarasota Area... if the storm hits Miami or South it will exit somewhere between Naples and Port Charlotte

I am also a little disappointed that 98L is getting its act together so close to shore if that thing had a couple more days over the warm(ish) southern gulf waters it could have boomed... but alas the cards didn't fall into place like that...
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Quoting cctxshirl:


They've already lost 11 lives on that rig; I doubt they will take any chances at losing more. I used to do the contracts for an offshore company and anytime there was any threat of a storm, be it TD, TS or Hurricane, they evacuated the rigs for the crew's safety.
Exactly. It's funny, if it's not you out there or a loved one....it's no big deal. Go figure.
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i think she will be a cat 1 right after she hits the gulf , but thats just my opinion , and dont think she is gonna go that far west , i have a feeling this one is not gonna go any farther than maybe morgan city, its just a feelin,hope im wrong...
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Just read that Thad Allen said we will leave the cap on even if we are forced to evacuate and have a period of time without surveillance. I like the sound of that but leaves you with that uneasy feeling.
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Noon tomorrow? That seems quite fast.
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Evening or late afternoon everyone. Just got back form a good day at work and seeing TD3 is still TD3, anybody have barbecue sauce to have with my crow? I think I ran out...
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With all points (and yes things change)looking like a Keys or near Miami path would this pretty much leave Northern WPB and points further North in the clear? And how far north will the feader bands possible go?
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NEXRAD Radar
Miami, Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129432
Quoting hurricane23:
SFL landfall is still in the cards infact the odds in my view have increased.


u have to be kidding.
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The worst here in south Florida and the keys will probably be felt around 2PM EDT.
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sheesh. all the models have this thing going right up the mississippi river.
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This advisory slowed down the storm a bit. Now it is predicting 2pm to be just offshore of south Florida. It was 8am. That is pretty significant as far as prep goes for everyone.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129432
Quoting SQUAWK:


Wonder where all the TS strength winds everyone was jabbering about went to????? Maybe they didn't know what they were looking at -- ya reccon???
they came directly from recon the nhc chose to wait for upgrade but the winds are close to TS status
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still looks like it is going more north
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 578
Quoting hurricane23:
SFL landfall is still in the cards infact the odds in my view have increased.

Hey "killer," how ya doin?
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129432
Later Boys and Girls. I need to go stock up on supplies.
Beer
Bong water
More beer
Behave yourselves
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Something you may or may have not noticed:

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.7N 75.4W
ABOUT 205 MI...325 KM SE OF NASSAU
ABOUT 425 MI...685 KM ESE OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES
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Quoting StonedCrab:
...AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FINDS THAT THE TROPICAL DEPRESSION HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...

Link


Wonder where all the TS strength winds everyone was jabbering about went to????? Maybe they didn't know what they were looking at -- ya reccon???
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
What is the expected time-frame with this storm? As of right now, when would the coc be over Marathon-Key Largo?


12 noon tomorrow
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


I thought it was.....I thought it was suppose to take a jog north and then back to the west...but I guess not.



I dont know either but i think the jog to the west again will happen after it passes florida I dont think any one is for sure yet.
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SFL landfall is still in the cards infact the odds in my view have increased.
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That ULL is turning out to be a blessing for GOM residents. Future Bonnie looks to be nothing but a sheared mess. There was a good reason that the global models were not too excited about this system. You can see the dry air and shear taking a toll on it on satellite and water vapor. At least we have something to track though. What a boring month of July it has been in the tropics. It looks to be that way for the next 10 days at least.
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when does the next model runs come out?
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...AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FINDS THAT THE TROPICAL DEPRESSION HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...

Link
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What is the expected time-frame with this storm? As of right now, when would the coc be over Marathon-Key Largo?
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129432
Quoting angiest:


Too early to say with any certainty. We are still in the cone.


yeah, I guess we will see.
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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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