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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2519. centex
Quoting TampaSpin:


Yes they are current.....here is the BAM models....also. A further Right move will probably come on the next update as well. The front is pretty strong as you can see how is is breaking down the High already



looks almost like xtrap. Just an extrapilation. The point I've not been making all night. Not to ignore the ridge.
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2518. Patrap
Quoting texascoastres:
with that many people on the La coast, it would take 3 days to move them all to safety despite what size the storm is. why wait and spend 12, 15 or 30hrs trying to get out. If it is planned ahead of time things will/would go easier IMO


There is no Evac required for a Storm with this forcast at the Moment.

Se La. always staggers their evacs,but for a Major..with the Lower Parishes exiting N first then the ones above after.

This is not forecasted to be a Major and no Evacs along the coast are planned at this time.

Even outside the Levee protection system.

But that can change as the forecast does too.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275
how do i post images from the nhc?
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2516. scott39
Quoting RufusBaker:
Who cares!
1 more ignore--Ive finally started using the ignore button and im liken this chat room again. What took me so long??
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yes they are current.....here is the BAM models....also. A further Right move will probably come on the next update as well. The front is pretty strong as you can see how is is breaking down the High already






Right or left of Grand Bahama, NHC is left. Good landmark to judge NW or WNW.
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2514. gator23
.
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I'm glad most of the wish-casters left. Probably had to return the canned goods back at Publix before they closed.
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2512. bappit
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

Nice pic. Shows the dilemma.

As long as the low level center stays within that tongue of moist air I think it can survive. Looks iffy. I think the NHC is erring on the side of caution--which is what they should do.
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HOW DO U PUT IMAGES ON HERE FROM THE NHC?
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2510. Patrap
ooofh...

Floater - Water Vapor Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275
with that many people on the La coast, it would take 3 days to move them all to safety despite what size the storm is. why wait and spend 12, 15 or 30hrs trying to get out. If it is planned ahead of time things will/would go easier IMO
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2508. scott39
Quoting TampaSpin:


Yes they are current.....here is the BAM models....also. A further Right move will probably come on the next update as well. The front is pretty strong as you can see how is is breaking down the High already



At this moment it looks more like a LA/MS landfall!
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yes they are current.....here is the BAM models....also. A further Right move will probably come on the next update as well. The front is pretty strong as you can see how is is breaking down the High already





Just saying the NHC track looked like the 5pm location in that image.
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2505. gator23
Quoting Kristina40:


Works for me. I get your point but I also realize they are in a no win situation. I'd prefer they err on the side of caution is all. No ill will meant.

non taken we are just seeing the same thing in two different ways and that is perfectly ok.
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Quoting scott39:
How many bloggers can you put in ignore at one time?
Who cares!
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 578
2503. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275
2502. gator23
Quoting Patrap:
Curtain Blower inbound..


sir I am but a simple salesman and I am unfamiliar with this term please if you would be so kind to clarify.
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Quoting gator23:

We will agree to disagree on this point.


Works for me. I get your point but I also realize they are in a no win situation. I'd prefer they err on the side of caution is all. No ill will meant.
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I think this is going to be a FLL trop storm.....woooh hoo thank god its only a trop if thats true!!
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Quoting louisianaweatherguy:
this place used to be a nice place to learn about storms and chat about model data, etc... but tonight it seems to be filled with many jerks that think they know a lot... good night I'll come back when StormW and other mature people are back...
Yup See what You Mean I'll Come back when the Kids are in school 5th grade class here now Night CyberTeddy and the few regulars left have a good evening
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2498. Patrap
Curtain Blower inbound..

Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275
2497. Levi32
Quoting duprk452:


Ok, I understand now. I just didn't know if the decoupling would affect the storm's path and intensification. What are the chances of the mid-level center and surface center becoming aligned again?


They could eventually get back together out in the Gulf of Mexico if the upper low backs far enough away to allow the mid-level and surface flows to become more aligned again, which would give Bonnie a chance to become vertically stacked. There is also just as much chance that they never become re-aligned, and in that case we would see all the convective action remain north of the center which would appear as a near or half-naked swirl of low clouds.
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2496. scott39
How many bloggers can you put in ignore at one time?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


PSST. Are those models current? NHC shifted the track N


Yes they are current.....here is the BAM models....also. A further Right move will probably come on the next update as well. The front is pretty strong as you can see how is is breaking down the High already



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What will this do to the oil? Hopefully it will push it away from Florida even more.
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The turn to the west has begun.
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2492. gator23
Quoting Kristina40:


No, it is not. The home base for many of those ships is in LA. They need to find alternate ports now. Ships generally don't want to be tied up in port where a storm is heading.

We will agree to disagree on this point.
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2491. centex
I take A LA/MS cone as highly suspect when system in Atlantic.
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Quoting chrisdscane:
wait theres no more llc


a tropical depression, or a tropical storm has to have a low level circulation at the surface....... or it cannot be considered a tropical depression or a tropical storm......
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2489. bappit
Quoting atmoaggie:
One factor is a lack of dry air, which Bonnie is surely having to contend with.

Nassau, from this evening, shows too dry aloft to support a hurricane:


And Miami, some dry layers throughout.


Key west, ummm, must be setting a record low for dewpoints...

Thanks for the soundings!
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2488. gator23
Quoting Kristina40:


They are no less ignorant than the "RIP" posters. Why we can't have an intelligent discussion instead of posting absolutes that are nothing more than opinion; I don't know.

welcome to America this is what we have devolved into.
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2487. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
Miami, Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile Range 124 NMI

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275
Quoting gator23:

right, my point is it IS going to hit Florida in 12 hours and we dont even have a State of Emergency. Those ships are in federal waters anyway so your argument is moot.


No, it is not. The home base for many of those ships is in LA. They need to find alternate ports now. Ships generally don't want to be tied up in port where a storm is heading.
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2485. gator23
Quoting Patrap:


Seems someone missed the Gustav Evac..

pffthhhhhhhhh.


www.evacuteer.org




On the morning of Saturday August 30th, 2008, in response to the approach of Hurricane Gustav, local officials activated the City Assisted Evacuation Plan for the first time since its inception in 2006. The purpose of the CAEP is “to help citizens who want to evacuate during an emergency, but lack the capability to self-evacuate,” by utilizing trains, buses, and planes. During the CAEP, over 200 volunteers assisted evacuation operations at the Union Passenger Terminal from which evacuees left the city. Volunteers were also on hand at City Hall inside the New Orleans 311 information center registering evacuees. An equal number were present to assist the re-entry of the 20,000 beneficiaries of the CAEP.

evacuee bus drop-off What Americans saw during the two days of evacuating were tens of thousands of New Orleanians leaving their city on chartered buses. What they didn’t see were volunteers, young and old, native and newly-moved, offering their skills and manpower to assist the evacuation.

They translated to non-English speakers. Helped seniors off platforms. Tagged pets with registration collars. Distributed water and snacks. Lugged heavy baggage. Many of these evacuation volunteers had no idea what was in store for them over the course of their time, but were willing to help however they were needed.

The Gustav CAEP was a success, but simultaneously revealed many areas that could be improved. Stronger initial coordination and planning, for example, would allow willing volunteers to report to pick-up locations across the city at pre-determined times rather than all converging on the embarkation stations. Early identification of job responsibilities combined with annual and pertinent trainings would allow specialized volunteers to more effectively and efficiently perform their duties. Finally, conducting outreach and establishing relationships with organizations that desire to assist the evacuation of high-need populations will allow greater empowerment of evacuation volunteers across the city.

Thus, Evacuteer.org was launched on June 2, 2009 as an organization of New Orleans citizens committed to serving as “evacuteers” upon the future initiation of the CAEP. The organization received its 501c3 charitable status in September 2009 and is committed to a public/private funding model.


nice street reminds me of Aventura
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Quoting Levi32:


Well when the storm is decoupled, that means that the energy is not focused over the surface center and thus it is hard for the storm to deepen and become stronger. A decoupled storm is usually a weak one, and if you see decoupling start to happen it usually means the storm is weakening.

As far as path, it doesn't change Bonnie's track as much as it illustrates the different steering flows in play right now. The mid-level center is heading in a NW direction with the mid-level flow close to the upper low to its west, and the surface center is heading in a more WNW direction with the surface flow, which is what is currently steering Bonnie. The surface center is always considered the center of a tropical storm, and thus it is this center that will be tracked, and its path will not really change due to decoupling.


Ok, I understand now. I just didn't know if the decoupling would affect the storm's path and intensification. What are the chances of the mid-level center and surface center becoming aligned again?
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WHAT IS UP WITH ALL OF THE CAPS LOCK TONIGHT?
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2482. scott39
Quoting Levi32:


Well when the storm is decoupled, that means that the energy is not focused over the surface center and thus it is hard for the storm to deepen (lower surface pressures) and become stronger. A decoupled storm is usually a weak one, and if you see decoupling start to happen it usually means the storm is weakening.

As far as path, it doesn't change Bonnie's track as much as it illustrates the different steering flows in play right now. The mid-level center is heading in a NW direction with the mid-level flow close to the upper low to its west, and the surface center is heading in a more WNW direction with the surface flow, which is what is currently steering Bonnie. The surface center is always considered the center of a tropical storm, and thus it is this center that will be tracked, and its path will not really change due to decoupling.
So in other words Bonnie should be called Sybill! Multiple personalities!LOL
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2481. centex
Steering says west before S. Fl.
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National Hurricane Center - 11:00 pm Advisory
*TROPICAL STORM BONNIE* Graphics Update
STORM TRACKER
.
ADVISORIES
.
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Quoting SeniorPoppy:


lol...err... K-Fed-up with Katrina-casters

K-caster



They are no less ignorant than the "RIP" posters. Why we can't have an intelligent discussion instead of posting absolutes that are nothing more than opinion; I don't know.
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2477. Patrap
Quoting opsman27N82W:


That's just not right!


Reality Bites.

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2476. xcool
RECON on wayyyyy
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15670
2475. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275
Quoting Patrap:
It cant be going to Punta Gorda..?

they said it was going to Tampa..




That's just not right!
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2473. gator23
Quoting Patrap:
It cant be going to Punta Gorda..?

they said it was going to Tampa..



lol classic.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


IT ACTUALLY LOOKED WORSE!!1
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Quoting TampaSpin:




Pretty strong front coming as seen on the graphic above....you can also see how the models bend to the right after landfall.....Bonnie needs not slow down at all of the Panhandle will then come into the play!
I would expect the models to continue a bend to the right on the next run again as the cold front seem pretty strong!


PSST. Are those models current? NHC shifted the track N
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2470. gator23
Quoting Kristina40:


It is going to hit Florida as a Tropical Storm and a weak one at that. They don't know for sure what it might be when it hits LA and it is going to run straight through the oil slick. They MUST err on the side of caution. If they are wrong, they get egg on their face and everybody forgets it in a few days. If they don't and this thing somehow intensifies they are called incompetent.

no one is saying they should not declare a state of emergency I think people are laughing at the timing. Better to do this tomorrow or the next day not 3 and a half days out.
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2469. Patrap
It cant be going to Punta Gorda..?

they said it was going to Tampa..


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128275

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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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