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 angiest:


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


yeah, I guess we will see.
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Quoting TexasHurricane:
Looking like TX is out....


Too early to say with any certainty. We are still in the cone.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125524
266. myway
Sammy, Sammy Sammy.....Watches have been to Jupiter Inlet since this morning.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
The warning area didn't change, did it? Maybe you meant haven't instead of have. I'm surprised as well.
There were no changes to the watches and warnings.

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE
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http://weather.cod.edu/analysis/loops/satmaster.pl?Carribbean

great view!
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Sorry didn't take on visible loop from NHC but doesn't look close.
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Quoting txsweetpea:


Pat is this projected path supposed to shift back west some after it enters the gulf?


The Guidance Cluster is pretty tight.

So Id say we will see swings and tweaks,.and the Storms Eventual Strength will play a role.

get Comfy,..find da flashlights,get the Prep Ball a rolling if along the N GOM Coast seems prudent though tomorrow.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125524
Quoting MrJoeBlow:
They said on the news that storm going to put oil in the lake in New Orleans.
Well..push oil into lake Pontchartrain...yea :\
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Quoting AllStar17:
I think the NHC is being seriously conservative.
I agree, but it's NHC, what else do ya expect, lol.
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Marathon now has a 57% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds.

Key West now has a 46% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds.

Miami now has a 37% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Can't say that I'm not surprised the NHC didn't upgrade to Tropical Storm Bonnie. There were several tropical storm force winds recorded by the SFMR equipment during the mission and satellite imagery showed the classic signs for a strengthening system. But given the data from the Vortex Data Message, I guess they made the right call. I'm most surprised that there have been changes to the warnings and extending them further north considering the track has shifted further north.
The warning area didn't change, did it? Maybe you meant haven't instead of have. I'm surprised as well.
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Maybe off on forecast points
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Quoting txsweetpea:


Pat is this projected path supposed to shift back west some after it enters the gulf?


I thought it was.....I thought it was suppose to take a jog north and then back to the west...but I guess not.
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250. IKE
Quoting hurrkat05:
lol gang where is TROPICAL STORM BONNIE AT...i wonder why they didnt name it ..maybe they didnt want to look like fools...i said and ill say it again if bonnie isnt a tropical storm by 11pm it will never be one...guys look at the dry air going into the sw of the llc...plus the shear waiting ahead of it and they are going to close down operations in the gom...the NHC will take a big hit on this one...IKE YOU BELIEVE ME NOW..


Yeah...sure...you're a pro...who said nothing til August.
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THE OVERALL CIRCULATION HAS MOVED A LITTLE TO THE NORTHWEST AROUND
AN UPPER-LOW OVER FLORIDA DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. THE BEST
ESTIMATE OF THE INITIAL MOTION IS 310 DEGREES AT 12 KNOTS.

I'm pretty sure some of us mentioned this and were shot down.
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They said on the news that storm going to put oil in the lake in New Orleans.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Can't say that I'm not surprised the NHC didn't upgrade to Tropical Storm Bonnie. There were several tropical storm force winds recorded by the SFMR equipment during the mission and satellite imagery showed the classic signs for a strengthening system. But given the data from the Vortex Data Message, I guess they made the right call. I'm most surprised that there have been changes to the warnings and extending them further north considering the track has shifted further north.
i suspect they will do an upgrade at 8pm and extend the TS warning north to palm beach county if this NW movement continues
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Quoting TankHead93:
I HATE when new people join the blog, it throws things off big time. Especially when they come only to cause trouble.


Agreee... hit the ignore button!
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Can't say that I'm not surprised the NHC didn't upgrade to Tropical Storm Bonnie. There were several tropical storm force winds recorded by the SFMR equipment during the mission and satellite imagery showed the classic signs for a strengthening system. But given the data from the Vortex Data Message, I guess they made the right call. I'm most surprised that there have been changes to the warnings and extending them further north considering the track has shifted further north.


how far north are the warnings now?
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243. IKE
500 more posts knocking the NHC for not upgrading it.

Downer time on the blog....folks reaching for a kleenex...taking shots of 7 and 7....cussing the NHC...get ready WU bloggers!
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Quoting Patrap:


Pat is this projected path supposed to shift back west some after it enters the gulf?
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125524
Looking like TX is out....
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Pat, unfortunately I don't think that it makes much difference if it stays over water or moves over marshland for a few hours.


Dont recall saying it would.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125524
Quoting IKE:
Now we'll see 500 posts before the 7 pm CDST advisory stating...."""It'll be a TS at 7!"""


ma'am you got that right there.
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I think the NHC is being seriously conservative.
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can they upgrade a system at anyu time or does it matter????
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1052
I'm aware of that... I was simply restating what Storm said earlier, because you said you didn't think he said it. Pay attention! ;-)
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Can't say that I'm not surprised the NHC didn't upgrade to Tropical Storm Bonnie. There were several tropical storm force winds recorded by the SFMR equipment during the mission and satellite imagery showed the classic signs for a strengthening system. But given the data from the Vortex Data Message, I guess they made the right call. I'm most surprised that there haven't been changes to the warnings and extending them further north considering the track has shifted further north.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
230. IKE
Now we'll see 500 posts before the 7 pm CDST advisory stating...."""It'll be a TS at 7!"""
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000
WTNT33 KNHC 222031
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THREE ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032010
500 PM EDT THU JUL 22 2010

...AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FINDS THAT THE TROPICAL DEPRESSION
HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...


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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its close to TS status maybe an upgrade at 8PM ??? but it is very close latest info from recon is 30-35MPH
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The plane is still in there.....they could elevate its status at anytime.... happens all the time. Everything looks vibrant and ready to explode....Sit back and watch nature do its thing!!!!!
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Right over dat oil out there
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HM09, is a more Dade-County track presentable?
Member Since: June 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
I was right this got Sarasota wrote on it. Did yall see the update?
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Quoting Patrap:
TD 3 may be a good navigator as it aims for the Fla Straits proper.

That;s not good atall.
Pat, unfortunately I don't think that it makes much difference if it stays over water or moves over marshland for a few hours.
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:
StonedCrab... most here have Jeff9641 on Ignore... please stop reposting everything he says. TY :o)


Think I'll take that little bit of advice. Cheaper than Xanex!
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I think I set a personal record in how fast my guess was proven wrong! LOL. The NHC came out with their advisory early.


No, I just get it early. LOL
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Quoting chrisdscane:
y ignore jeff?

Because he is a northcaster and never has his facts straight
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.