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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2469. Patrap
It cant be going to Punta Gorda..?

they said it was going to Tampa..


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting weatherguy03:
Will be interesting to see if this blowup of convection can sustain itself tonite, or will it collapse.
Let's hope it collapses.
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NVM
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2466. Levi32
Quoting duprk452:


Can you explain what decoupling means for the storm.. as far as path and intensification? I understand what you mean by decoupling, but not sure that I understand what will result from it.


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.
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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.


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.
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2464. Patrap
Quoting SeniorPoppy:
Quoting CaneWarning:
Louisana:

OMG! ... theres a Tropical wave coming off of Africa.
STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!!!


They will do everything they have to, to not have egg in their face once again. Even if it means overreacting to a small swirly cloud in the gulf.


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.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
2463. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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2462. scott39
Quoting weatherguy03:


They found enough TS winds..LOL Thats the simple answer. It has a closed circulation center and the HH found TS force winds. Sometimes they dont look pretty!..LOL
I love simple answers-LOL, I always thought you had to have convection wrapping around the center to develope a LLC.
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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!
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2460. gator23
Quoting Patrap:
Without a doubt its the Fla Monomania that always dominates the Hysteria here.

And the archives shows that easily.




its been alot better this time and Louisianans are really vying for first place especially earlier today with "this could be the next Katrina"
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Keeper, Stormtop leased him a corner of the outhouse, that office is really cramped now or something like that.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
wait theres no more llc
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Louisana:

OMG! ... theres a Tropical wave coming off of Africa.
STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!!!


They will do everything they have to, to not have egg in their face once again. Even if it means overreacting to a small swirly cloud in the gulf.
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bONNIE BETTER MAKE A HARD LEFT SOON IF IT WANTS TO HIT THE KEYS
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Quoting kingzfan104:
the nhc says that they have models showing a more northerly track over south florida? how is this possible if all the models we see show differently? CAN SOMEONE TELL ME IF THE NHC HAS BETTER MODELS THAT ARENT AVAILABLE TO US?


Post 2427.

Any model below the NHC red line needs to be tossed. The only runs with a correct initialization are the 00Z runs @ or north of the NHC track, the NHC mentions it in the 11pm.
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Quoting Patrap:
One Obs to note..if ya look at the Motion Loops in the Rainbow channel.is the Storm is expanding to the West some in response to the Better Environment opening that way.



Loop De Loop'


Looks like a little nugget of sweetness. Does look to be consolidating and possibly catching the LLC
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2453. xcool

I wouldn't be suprised see cat 1 soon as get in gom imo imoimoimo
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2452. gator23
Quoting Kristina40:


Oh, stop it! They have to be hyper vigilante because they have an entire fleet of ships operating out of there because of the oil spill. Better to have the State of Emergency in place prior to the problem. This allows them to tap Federal help immediately if necessary.

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.
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2451. scott39
Thanks Levi
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Quoting scott39:
How is Bonnie a TS with current conditions like that?


They found enough TS winds..LOL Thats the simple answer. It has a closed circulation center and the HH found TS force winds. Sometimes they dont look pretty!..LOL
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Quoting Kristina40:


Oh, stop it! They have to be hyper vigilante because they have an entire fleet of ships operating out of there because of the oil spill. Better to have the State of Emergency in place prior to the problem. This allows them to tap Federal help immediately if necessary.


They do this every year, you can't blame it on the oil spill.
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2447. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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so waitt theres no llc at the moment??
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2445. Patrap
One may wanna check the SSt and MSLP Boxes here too.



Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting CaneWarning:


Isn't it always like that there though? I kid, I kid...


Louisana:

OMG! ... theres a Tropical wave coming off of Africa.
STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!!!
Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
Quoting gator23:

election year.


Oh, stop it! They have to be hyper vigilante because they have an entire fleet of ships operating out of there because of the oil spill. Better to have the State of Emergency in place prior to the problem. This allows them to tap Federal help immediately if necessary.
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2442. scott39
Quoting weatherguy03:
LLC is South of that convection. Bonnie has never been able to wrap convection around its entire center so far. Been exposed to the West and South all day and now its exposed to the East as well.
How is Bonnie a TS with current conditions like that?
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2441. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
Levi, Is Bonnies Center exposed?-- IM confused on where I should be tracking.


Well you can see it start to decouple and become exposed near 22.8N 76W before the sun goes down on the visible loop. It will be hard to track overnight with only shortwave IR to look at and a bunch of high clouds in the way. It's southwest of the deepest convection right now, not under it. So yes, it is mostly exposed.
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


really kinda amazing that hurricanes can even form at all. So many factors have to be just right...
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...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting weatherguy03:
Will be interesting to see if this blowup of convection can sustain itself tonite, or will it collapse.


If present environmental conditions hold it's gonna have a tough time keeping deep convection near the LLC. Not enough outflow...but I won't discount the surface center reforming again.
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Quoting Levi32:


Exactly...it's been a tug-of-war. Earlier today the two were pretty well-stacked, but the low and mid-level steering flows are now heading in slightly different directions, and conditions aren't good enough for the mid-level center to "hold on" to the surface center and keep it underneath. As a result, the surface center is now surrendering to the surface flow and is getting dragged on a more westerly track than the mid-level low, causing the decoupling.


Could be that the mid-level low wants to become dominate.. I don't see that happening but its possible.
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Quoting RufusBaker:
HOWEVER...IT LIES
SOUTH OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS THROUGH THE FIRST 48 HR AND SOME
ADDITIONAL NORTHWARD ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY LATER


TOLD YA SO


OH NO!!!
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LLC is South of that convection. Bonnie has never been able to wrap convection around its entire center so far. Been exposed to the West and South all day and now its exposed to the East as well.
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2434. Levi32
Quoting TexasHurricane:


really kinda amazing that hurricanes can even form at all. So many factors have to be just right...


Yes....and by nature the earth has to provide those factors in order to balance its heat budget. That's why you never have a year with no tropical storms somewhere in the world.
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2433. gator23
Quoting TropicalNonsense:


Yup. Hysteria and Louisana is in a state of emergency now.


election year. That said these are so common here in Florida that we are not even under a state of emergency...
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Patrap I guess I have learned that is a good idea to use that preview post comment.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Bonnie is by no means in ideal conditions. Having said that the current set up should allow for slow intensification. Shear is decreasing courtesy of the ULL hauling off to the west. One of the biggest impediments to Bonnie right now is the High to her NE is choking the outflow off of the system in the NE quadrant, giving the squished appearance. If conditions remain the same I look for landfall in Extreme southern FL as a 50mph tropical storm. If however things ease up I could see her getting to 60mph.
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the nhc says that they have models showing a more northerly track over south florida? how is this possible if all the models we see show differently? CAN SOMEONE TELL ME IF THE NHC HAS BETTER MODELS THAT ARENT AVAILABLE TO US?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HOWEVER...IT LIES
SOUTH OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS THROUGH THE FIRST 48 HR AND SOME
ADDITIONAL NORTHWARD ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NECESSARY LATER


TOLD YA SO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Exactly...it's been a tug-of-war. Earlier today the two were pretty well-stacked, but the low and mid-level steering flows are now heading in slightly different directions, and conditions aren't good enough for the mid-level center to "hold on" to the surface center and keep it underneath. As a result, the surface center is now getting dragged out along the surface flow on a more westerly track than the mid-level low, causing the decoupling.


Can you explain what decoupling means for the storm.. as far as path and intensification? I understand what you mean by decoupling, but not sure that I understand what will result from it.
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2425. centex
I'm looking for post which explains why Bonnie will not follow steering and dig into ridge.
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2424. scott39
Levi, Is Bonnies Center exposed?-- IM confused on where I should be tracking.
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Will be interesting to see if this blowup of convection can sustain itself tonite, or will it collapse.
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Quoting Levi32:


Exactly...it's been a tug-of-war. Earlier today the two were pretty well-stacked, but the low and mid-level steering flows are now heading in slightly different directions, and conditions aren't good enough for the mid-level center to "hold on" to the surface center and keep it underneath. As a result, the surface center is now surrendering to the surface flow and is getting dragged on a more westerly track than the mid-level low, causing the decoupling.


really kinda amazing that hurricanes can even form at all. So many factors have to be just right...
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Quoting RainyEyes:
I don't see the new warnings extending from Bonita Beach to Englewood on the west coast?


Englewood is near the inlet at Port Charlotte. The warning are up on the map
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2400 Chicklet: I'm starting to think she may become something else when she gets into the GOM. Sheer is supposed to drop and the potential is there for....

...and currently the models don't look too good for my part of the neighborhood.
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interesting to note that the SHIPS model now forecasts Bonnie to 60kt in the Gulf... but the dynamic models keep her low...

I do believe there may be a brief period in the gulf where Bonnie may surprise a few... but not really sure how long lived that will be
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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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