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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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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Quoting 954FtLCane:
shhh.. Max Mayfield says on Channel 10 in Miami........ some of the intensity models are showing significant strengthening once it gets into the gulf.....uggggggggg


that surprises me actually. still to early to say with
any confidence either way.
Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
Quoting chrisdscane:
dmax is at 2 right


Dmax is normally just before sunrise.......
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I don't know how this storm has been over hyped. I don't think the doc. ever went over 10% on this being a hurricane before fl. and he is at 40% in the gulf that sounds like he isn't forecasting a hurricane to me. Show me a blogger with any credentials that has mentioned hurricane.That said how do you over hype a tropical storm. Just use common sense for now don't do anything that you wouldn't do in a very bad weather day and you should be okay.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
hurrkat05 IS THAT YOU STORMTOP HAVE YOU BEEN STARING INTO THE FLUSH MODEL AGAIN


Keeper - LOL but keep up with the graphics postings. I need to see these weather systems happening as they occur!
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Quoting TropicalNonsense:


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



Isn't it always like that there though? I kid, I kid...
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2412. Patrap
Quoting chrisdscane:
dmax is at 2 right


DMAX is the Hours before Dawn when the Surface Atmosphere is coolest,..not exactly 2 am ..but some time thereafter usually to dawn.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
2411. xcool
models in very good agreement
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15671
.
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Quoting AllStar17:
From the 11:00 pm Discussion:
THE FORECAST HAS BECOME MORE PROBLEMATIC
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS...PERHAPS
RESPONDING TO SOME DECREASE IN THE SHEAR...NOW FORECAST BONNIE TO
PEAK NEAR 60 KT OVER THE GULF.

On the other hand...the
GFDL...GFDN...and HWRF do not forecast significant strengthening...
and neither do the global models. Since the large upper low is
forecast to dominate the northern Gulf through 48 hr...the
intensity forecast will lean in favor of the dynamical models.
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2408. Levi32
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Also, IMO, it seems as if there is a tugging match between the LLC and the MLC. MLC has been winning that tug so far. With the high building in the LLC may win out now, may not though.


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.
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hey guys now TD3 becomes TS BOONIE nice and I am hearing something about a possible colin ir something of that sort talk to me guys what where and when
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2405. 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'
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2404. Buhdog
sure does look like 2 systems there next to each other now that ya say it.
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dmax is at 2 right
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The point I was trying to make was that this is good news for South Florida that Bonnie has decided not to strengthen tonite. As far as what she will do in the GOM, that is still alittle murky.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:



AHAHAHAHAHAHA .. thats hillarious. a little circle of TS Wind


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

Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
As long as Bonnie can stay in moist waters with low shear she's going to keep on going.
That being said, given current conditions, hopefully intensification will remain slow.
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what models are the people at the nhc talking about with the further north thing? do they have other models the public doesnt get to see?
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2398. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
hurrkat05 IS THAT YOU STORMTOP HAVE YOU BEEN STARING INTO THE FLUSH MODEL AGAIN
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2397. Levi32
Quoting weatherguy03:
Bonnie went from looking like a Shrimp today to a Manatee tonite..LOL


LOL
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Quoting Levi32:
Water Vapor illustrates the elongated structure of Bonnie. No outflow at all to the northeast or southwest. It's still a big fight, and she could even be losing some ground right now.


More obvious here.

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Quoting Levi32:


We'll see what they do, but right now I think they did a good job not shifting any further north than they did.


Also, IMO, it seems as if there is a tugging match between the LLC and the MLC. MLC has been winning that tug so far. With the high building in the LLC may win out now, may not though.
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Just got in after 10 hours away. TSBonnie seems to be splitting in half (?), and the northern part of her is edging a bit farther north than previously forecast.

While she doesn't look too good, I see that the watches and warnings have not lightened up on what to expect in Florida.

What's going on with her, and where is she going tonight and tomorrow?

Thanks for your help!
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shhh.. Max Mayfield says on Channel 10 in Miami........ some of the intensity models are showing significant strengthening once it gets into the gulf.....uggggggggg
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dmax is at 2 right?
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2390. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
Quoting TexasHurricane:
Looking more and more like TX is out for this one.....

Wishcasted all I could but this thing's got a mind of her own. She's either going to the horizon spill or she won't. Dry here in ECFL so we could use a good drenching.
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Please everyone. The models have this thing moving right up my driveway. I'm trying to get good information from WUBlogers I respect.

I've added to my iggy list tonight which is something I rarely do. I've had to do so to try to get the info I need to gauge this potential threat.

Quoting those disruptors (Trolls) is only causing more problems. Quoting the trolls completely defeats the purpose and intent of the iggy list. I'm beginning to think some of you are doing it on purpose. Follow Pats' advice; don't quote the trolls!

If Bonnie can make it through a FL landfall and get a bit better organized and vertically stacked, then who knows what we could find in the GOM on Saturday morning??

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Bonnie went from looking like a Shrimp today to a Manatee tonite..LOL
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:
Orlando FL... Ive been up your way before. long time ago


Ah OK. I'd like to see more of Florida. I've lived here for 5 years but haven't been anywhere but the Panhandle. I'm still trying to recover from the culture shock of moving here from a large Mid Western City.
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Good night all.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Didn't realize our blog was of national importance.. if we're mocked on national television it must be by Dr. Phil when he reads some of the comments on here.



haha- Dr. Phil has serous issues. i hate that show!!!

@#$% Dr. Phil LOL

he seems to have even more problems than his guests.

Hey did anyone see Dr. Masters on ABC News tonight?
i heard he was on there or something talking about
hurricanes and Bonnie etc.
Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
Learning as I read. The swirl movement near 85W.. is that part of Bonnie's pull? Guessing a swirl movement alone does not signify something but am curious about it.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Didn't realize our blog was of national importance.. if we're mocked on national television it must be by Dr. Phil when he reads some of the comments on here.
no i think it was maury or springer or maybee glen beck
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From the 11:00 pm Discussion:
THE FORECAST HAS BECOME MORE PROBLEMATIC
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS...PERHAPS
RESPONDING TO SOME DECREASE IN THE SHEAR...NOW FORECAST BONNIE TO
PEAK NEAR 60 KT OVER THE GULF.
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Pretty good shift with the BAM models to the Right as expected with a stronger storm than expected....




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Quoting thunderblogger:
RIP Bonnie. You gave it your best shot....


Agreed. Poor Bonnie. This season has been a bust so far.
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Quoting chrisdscane:


should i ignore him?


Making statements like that without facts to back it up, yep.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24021
Quoting thelmores:


Bob...... ever get the feeling you are peeing against the wind? LOL

Always amazes me that 2 people can look at the same image, and see 2 completely different things!

I am not an upcaster, downcaster, not even a forecaster! But I agree with Levi...... Bonnie will likely never see north of 55-60mph sustained winds max!

But the whole wildcard here is the ULL! NOBODY knows exactly what this feature will do.......


LOL. Ahh, figured I would venture in here for some fun tonite! You are correct, still uncertainty in the ULL and as I have been saying in my updates folks along the Northern Gulf Coast still need to watch this one carefully. If positioned just right it could open the door for some decent strengthening before landfall.
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2376. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
Quoting thunderblogger:
RIP Bonnie. You gave it your best shot....


should i ignore him?
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Best part is.. the discussion has been out for 20 minutes and the NHC hasn't caught on to Boonie yet. Heh.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24021
Quoting CaneWarning:
I'm very concerned here in Tampa about Bonnie


You are not anywhere near Englewood. Ts winds extend only 45 miles outward. So, unless, this storm keeps heading nw and even then, you (we) should have nothing but a few showers and gusty winds. Maybe not even that. And that's with only 1/2 strengh on our protection shields
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RIP Bonnie. You gave it your best shot....
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Quoting BahaHurican:
On changing blog moods, that has to do with different PEOPLE being on the blog at different times more than anything else.
filled with a bunch or real "winners" now...what bought all of these people out of the woodwork (guess its like the ants in a storm, this is their new mound).
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2370. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting chrisdscane:



wuts that est?


2 AM.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24021

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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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