Bonnie barely alive

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:58 PM GMT on July 24, 2010

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Tropical Depression Bonnie is barely clinging to life. Wind shear of 25 knots and dry air from an upper-level low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico are taking their toll on Bonnie, which is now just a swirl of low clouds accompanied by a small clump of heavy thunderstorms on the north side of the center of circulation. These thunderstorms are now visible on New Orleans long range radar, and will arrive in coastal Louisiana early this afternoon, well ahead of the center. The Hurricane Hunters are in Bonnie, and have found a much weaker storm with top winds of just 30 mph.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Depression Bonnie. At the time, Bonnie had sustained winds of 30 mph.

Forecast for Bonnie
The current NHC forecast for Bonnie looks good, with the storm making landfall in Louisiana near 9pm CDT Saturday night. According to the latest tide information, this will be near the time of low tide. This will result in much less oil entering the Louisiana marshlands than occurred during Hurricane Alex in June. That storm brought a storm surge of 2 - 4 feet and sustained winds of 20 - 30 mph that lasted for several days, including several high tide cycles. Bonnie will be lucky to be a tropical depression at landfall, and should only create a storm surge of 1 - 2 feet that will come at low tide. This will result in a storm tide level that will inundate land to at most one foot above ground level.

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

Elsewhere in the tropics
There are no other threat areas of concern today. The only model calling for possible tropical development in the next week is the NOGAPS model, which predicts a strong tropical disturbance could form off the coast of Nicaragua in the Southwest Caribbean about a week from now.

Next update
The next updates will be by wunderground meteorologists Rob Carver and Shaun Tanner. I'm taking advantage of a break in the tropical action to take a few days away. I'll be back blogging on Friday, at the latest.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Chicklit:

Really?
So that's about three weeks from now.
Good. That should give me time to get my year launched (I work on the school calendar.)


Yeah, the summer is almost over for me too. I figure since the kids come back on the 23, things will really break loose in the tropice that week...LOL
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2330. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


Southeast Louisiana has been experiencing awful heat indexes. Even by my standards, which are rather high, it's been hot here. Nay, it's been oppressive. We're under a heat advisory as we speak, and heat indeces have been regularly climbing anywhere from 105 to 115F for the last two weeks.

I've even felt somewhat ill during this period, when I've been out in it. :/


Yep, ugly, we get to those index too, but being in an island helps, the sea breeze brings the temps down a little.
But heat index in the 100+ is my life from July-September LOL!
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2329. SLU
Quoting 1900hurricane:
Here in SETX, last year was the extraordinarily hot year. In June, it looked like we may have been in for a repeat, but it has hardly stopped raining here for July. We have over a foot with a wet week ahead. We may be making a run on 1900 (the year, not me :P) for our wettest July ever!

Of note is that there is a loose trend here between wet Julys and landfalling storms here in SETX. Out of the top 5 wettest Julys (1900, 1942, 1943, 2010, and 1961, respectively), four seasons have had significant tropical activity here. 1961 featured Hurricane Carla. 1943 had the "Surprise" Hurricane. 1942 is the only multi-strike year that I know of for here (hurricanes, not including tropical storms). I really hope I don't have to explain 1900.....

Oh, and that 2010 season that I left out earlier? The jury's still out on that one!


lol .. no you don't
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Ah. I'd take that in the midst of this oppressive heat.

Though temperatures in the 70s and 80s are a regular occurrence for us here during the winter, save for winters like 2009's, where a strong El Nino and a negative AMO force cold arctic air southward.

Hard to believe the first time this year the thermometer hit 90*F here was in February!
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Quoting chicotman:
levi32,will we have more tornadoes involved with the tropical storms this year?
Not Levi... but I want to try and answer your question and then have Levi correct me, lol.

I believe that the amount of tornadoes matters solely on the tropical cyclone and can not be predicted. Of course with intense cyclones your bound to see tornadoes, but it can not be predicted.
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Oddly we now have 99L in case it was missed. Over Mexico expected to move farther inland.
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Yes Atmo. Snow in NewOrleans two years in a row. Who would have ever believed it!? Growing up in this area we only saw snow every 8 to 12 years or so. NOW we get it two years in a row??!???

Darn that global Gore-ball warming. LOL
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levi32,will we have more tornadoes involved with the tropical storms this year?
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2322. Levi32
Quoting KoritheMan:


Southeast Louisiana has been experiencing awful heat indexes. Even by my standards, which are rather high, it's been hot here. Nay, it's been oppressive. We're under a heat advisory as we speak, and heat indeces have been regularly climbing anywhere from 105 to 115F for the last two weeks.

I've even felt somewhat ill during this period, when I've been out in it. :/


That's simply....hellish, for lack of a better word.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Well, I live in Puerto Rico, and the average is 82~86*F, but average temps during the cool periods were 10*F below average, at least at my house. Not to mention that during the first cool phase my home town got 6.63 inches of rain in 24 hours.


Ah. I'd take that in the midst of this oppressive heat.

Though temperatures in the 70s and 80s are a regular occurrence for us here during the winter, save for winters like 2009's, where a strong El Nino and a negative AMO force cold arctic air southward.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Heck, we had snow 2 years in a row. could be 10 years, or more, before we see any again...and that would be statistically normal.


It wouldn't surprise me. At all.
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Quoting RedStickCasterette:
Quoting Bordonaro:

Warfarin in not on the menu. Plavix is a brand new drug, so they have me on JPS Connection, the Tarrant County Medical program, since I am not working right now.

I checked my blood pressure, it is 142/80 and I will check it again in 45 minutes. They want my BP near 110/70 until the surgery.

At least I receiving good medical care, that costs me next to nothing, my portion of the $20,000 bill is only 600.00, which is good.

I tried SO HARD, by nagging the surgeon over and over again, over 4 days to do my surgery while I was there, they could not make any room on the schedule.


Ok cool. Pharm was my fave in school. I know what Plavix is, just was curious if you took anything else other than aspirin and Plavix.

Yeah, that stinks that they couldn't schedule surgery while you were already there. I think the waiting would do me in!

For such a large and well equipped County Hospital, JPS is Tarrant counties (Ft Worth, TX) only Level 1 trauma hospital, they only have 2 vascular surgeons. AMAZING!! But there is nothing I can do as a human being to get them to speed up the process.

Believe me, I literally went off on the 5 doctors that took care of me.
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Quoting bappit:

I guess the 500 mb TUTT's move around too much to register in a map of winds from all days from all years [for a given month] averaged together.
Huh? The TUTT is an upper level feature best seen in the 200mb level, thus the name "Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trof".
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3209 Atmo: Yes, you guys on the north shore do actually loose some leaves and have four distinct seasons. Even thought the Nov to Feb season is typically very mild and brief.

On the south shore we are tropical. (Below 30th parallel) ...and being below that heat sink called lake Pontchartrain our temps in Jan are usually 10F hotter than north shore at any given moment. Even with a stiff north wind, the lake tends to heat and moisten the air.

Heck we even have a thriving population of wild parrots now. They eat the date palms, and tend to stay all year long. Yup, we're tropical down here.

I've had friends on the North shore report the occasional use of jackets during Dec - Feb. (shudder)
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2316. Levi32
Quoting bappit:

I guess the 500 mb TUTT's move around too much to register in a map of winds from all days from all years averaged together.


The TUTT is only a 300mb and upwards feature, most well-defined at 200mb...
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Quoting KoritheMan:


How cool are we talking here?

Well, I live in Puerto Rico, and the average is 82~86*F, but average temps during the cool periods were 10*F below average, at least at my house. Not to mention that during the first cool phase my home town got 6.63 inches of rain in 24 hours.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I don't think we're gonna see any snow this year, atmo. Not with the likelihood of a potent La Nina.
Heck, we had snow 2 years in a row. could be 10 years, or more, before we see any again...and that would be statistically normal.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Here in SETX, last year was the extraordinarily hot year. In June, it looked like we may have been in for a repeat, but it has hardly stopped raining here for July. We have over a foot with a wet week ahead. We may be making a run on 1900 (the year, not me :P) for our wettest July ever!

Of note is that there is a loose trend here between wet Julys and landfalling storms here in SETX. Out of the top 5 wettest Julys (1900, 1942, 1943, 2010, and 1961, respectively), four seasons have had significant tropical activity here. 1961 featured Hurricane Carla. 1943 had the "Surprise" Hurricane. 1942 is the only multi-strike year that I know of for here (hurricanes, not including tropical storms). I really hope I don't have to explain 1900.....

Oh, and that 2010 season that I left out earlier? The jury's still out on that one!
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2312. bappit
Quoting Levi32:


I think that has more to do with steering than TC development in general....not sure what you're getting at.

There is nearly no difference between July and August at 500mb.

July 500mb Wind Climatology:



August 500mb Wind Climatology:



I guess the 500 mb TUTT's move around too much to register in a map of winds from all days from all years [for a given month] averaged together.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Heh. Well, it is about that long between the trees losing leaves and it actually feeling like fall, then right into spring. So, "Fring"!

Last couple of winters have actually made a showing for about a week in the middle, though...


I don't think we're gonna see any snow this year, atmo. Not with the likelihood of a potent La Nina.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

The COLDEST period so far this year in my house was either the first half of January or last week. Funny that the 2nd somewhat cool period was in SUMMER, while the first was in WINTER.


How cool are we talking here?
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Quoting MechEngMet:
2296 Atmo: LOL! Yes "Fring". That one weekend when we don't have to cut the grass. That one brief fashion opportunity to put a flannel shirt over the omnipresent T-shirt. That short span of days when we can open the windows.

LOL "Fring". I like that!
Hehe. Well, it is about that long between the trees losing leaves and it actually feeling like fall, then right into spring. So, "Fring"!

Last couple of winters have actually made a showing for about a week in the middle, though...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting KoritheMan:


Southeast Louisiana has been experiencing awful heat indexes. Even by my standards, which are rather high, it's been hot here. Nay, it's been oppressive. We're under a heat advisory as we speak, and heat indeces have been regularly climbing anywhere from 105 to 115F for the last two weeks.

I've even felt somewhat ill during this period, when I've been out in it. :/

The COLDEST period so far this year in my house was either the first half of January or last week. Funny that the 2nd somewhat cool period was in SUMMER, while the first was in WINTER.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:

Warfarin in not on the menu. Plavix is a brand new drug, so they have me on JPS Connection, the Tarrant County Medical program, since I am not working right now.

I checked my blood pressure, it is 142/80 and I will check it again in 45 minutes. They want my BP near 110/70 until the surgery.

At least I receiving good medical care, that costs me next to nothing, my portion of the $20,000 bill is only 600.00, which is good.

I tried SO HARD, by nagging the surgeon over and over again, over 4 days to do my surgery while I was there, they could not make any room on the schedule.


Ok cool. Pharm was my fave in school. I know what Plavix is, just was curious if you took anything else other than aspirin and Plavix.

Yeah, that stinks that they couldn't schedule surgery while you were already there. I think the waiting would do me in!
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2306. Levi32
Quoting bappit:

I'll grant you the 200 mb troughiness for the August climatology. What happens at 500 mb? I think that is more pertinent to TC development.


I think that has more to do with steering than TC development in general....not sure what you're getting at.

There is nearly no difference between July and August at 500mb.

July 500mb Wind Climatology:



August 500mb Wind Climatology:


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2296 Atmo: LOL! Yes "Fring". That one weekend when we don't have to cut the grass. That one brief fashion opportunity to put a flannel shirt over the omnipresent T-shirt. That short span of days when we can open the windows.

LOL "Fring". I like that!
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2304. hydrus
Quoting atmoaggie:
I'm with you. I hate all 10.5 months of summer. But that 1.5 months of Fring is awfully nice around here.
Waaaaa...waaaaaa....:)lol
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
2303. Levi32
Quoting breald:
Levi, I never would have guess you live in Alaska. I thought you were from some tropical place.


Nope I've never been to a tropical area in my life lol. Furthest south I've ever been was rural central Ohio in the middle of the winter for one week when I was 12, which was no different than Alaska with snowfall everywhere while we were there. I was fascinated with the minor lake-effect outbreak we saw in Cleveland.
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2302. bappit
Quoting Levi32:


Uh nope, climatologically westerlies associated with the pronounced TUTT are still dominant across the tropical Atlantic west of 50W in August.

The GFS was showing upper easterlies all the way up to 20N across the entire basin. That was really something to see on the model, and I thought it was worth mentioning to him. The same general pattern seen on the image here that I made 2 weeks ago is starting to take shape now and will continue to develop over the next 2-3 weeks. The GFS was a little early with maturing the pattern but it had the right idea for the heart of the hurricane season.

Climatological 200mb winds for August:



GFS 200mb forecast from a couple weeks ago:


I'll grant you the 200 mb troughiness for the August climatology. What happens at 500 mb? I think that is more pertinent to TC development.
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Quoting Levi32:


And I would probably die in your heat lol. I've never been in 80 degrees outside before. Have no clue what it's like, not to mention the humidity added to it.


Southeast Louisiana has been experiencing awful heat indexes. Even by my standards, which are rather high, it's been hot here. Nay, it's been oppressive. We're under a heat advisory as we speak, and heat indeces have been regularly climbing anywhere from 105 to 115F for the last two weeks.

I've even felt somewhat ill during this period, when I've been out in it. :/
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2300. breald
Levi, I never would have guess you live in Alaska. I thought you were from some tropical place.
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Quoting StormW:
Good night all!

REMAINDER OF THE 2010 HURRICANE SEASON ACTIVITY PREDICTOR / SIGNALS

G'Night Senior Chief!
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2298. Levi32
Quoting bappit:

Thought the TUTT moved north from July position.


It does weaken but does not disappear. It is only in active hurricane seasons that you can see the mean upper flow out of the east across the tropics with the TUTT out of the way to the NE and replaced with cut-off upper lows. That kind of a pattern can result in one storm after another.
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2297. bappit
Quoting Levi32:


Uh nope, climatologically westerlies associated with the pronounced TUTT are still dominant across the tropical Atlantic west of 50W.

The GFS was showing upper easterlies all the way up to 20N across the entire basin. That was really something to see on the model, and I thought it was worth mentioning to him. The same general pattern seen on the image here that I made 2 weeks ago is starting to take shape now and will continue to develop over the next 2-3 weeks. The GFS was a little early with maturing the pattern but it had the right idea for the heart of the hurricane season.

Climatological 200mb winds for August:



GFS 200mb forecast from a couple weeks ago:


Thought the TUTT moved north from July position.
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Quoting RedStickCasterette:


I know it sounds nuts but I would love to come up there during that cold PDO. When I was there in January of '06, it was wonderful! Nice, clean air and cold but not humid cold until I went to Kenai. In Anchorage, just wore a hoodie or sweatshirt.

I hate the heat and humidity here even though I am a southern girl! This past winter was nice here in LA, cold but the rain got to me.
I'm with you. I hate all 10.5 months of summer. But that 1.5 months of Fring is awfully nice around here.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
2295. Levi32
Quoting bappit:

I think that is typical for August. No wonder he did not reply.


Uh nope, climatologically westerlies associated with the pronounced TUTT are still dominant across the tropical Atlantic west of 50W in August.

The GFS was showing upper easterlies all the way up to 20N across the entire basin. That was really something to see on the model, and I thought it was worth mentioning to him. The same general pattern seen on the image here that I made 2 weeks ago is starting to take shape now and will continue to develop over the next 2-3 weeks. The GFS was a little early with maturing the pattern but it had the right idea for the heart of the hurricane season.

Climatological 200mb winds for August:



GFS 200mb forecast from a couple weeks ago:

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2294. hydrus
Quoting Levi32:


And I would probably die in your heat lol. I've never been in 80 degrees outside before. Have no clue what it's like, not to mention the humidity added to it.
I grew up near the Everglades. It gets really hot and humid there. In fact, it is hard to put it into words....:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
2293. xcool
Levi32 lol wow
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2292. bappit
Quoting beell:
no protection in a pouch from wind shear.

Indeed, though I think it does describe the origins of Bonnie. A larger circulation would have been able to resist wind shear to some extent.
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2291. Levi32
Quoting RedStickCasterette:


I know it sounds nuts but I would love to come up there during that cold PDO. When I was there in January of '06, it was wonderful! Nice, clean air and cold but not humid cold until I went to Kenai. In Anchorage, just wore a hoodie or sweatshirt.

I hate the heat and humidity here even though I am a southern girl! This past winter was nice here in LA, cold but the rain got to me.


And I would probably die in your heat lol. I've never been in 80 degrees outside before. Have no clue what it's like, not to mention the humidity added to it.
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2290. beell
2283. Levi32 1:47 AM GMT on July 26, 2010

Well sure, but remember it's only the eastern Atlantic that has been dry

How bout most of the Atlantic?

A bad pattern, I might add, for Caribbean and US landfalls, as tropical waves will tend to pop farther west right on our doorstep. Remember Bonnie was a naked swirl with no clouds until she hit 60W and then bam she exploded.

Certainly no argument there.
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2289. bappit
Quoting Levi32:


He also showed the GFS showing changes in the upper-air pattern over the Atlantic with the TUTT weakening and shifting northeast, with more upper easterlies showing up in the MDR.

I think that is typical for August. No wonder he did not reply.
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Quoting Levi32:


You'll be hearing that a lot from the northern hemisphere this winter too, including me....we here in Alaska are about to go through probably the worst winter in decades....we haven't seen a cold PDO like this coming on since the 70s.


I know it sounds nuts but I would love to come up there during that cold PDO. When I was there in January of '06, it was wonderful! Nice, clean air and cold but not humid cold until I went to Kenai. In Anchorage, just wore a hoodie or sweatshirt.

I hate the heat and humidity here even though I am a southern girl! This past winter was nice here in LA, cold but the rain got to me.
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2287. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
later sw
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
2286. Levi32
Night Storm.
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2285. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Levi32:


Yup that's what happens for you guys in the southeast during a cold PDO. Alaska is often the opposite of the SE US during the winter. We were very much warmer than normal this past winter, for example.
and the lower lakes gets lots of cold and snow with brief warm ups
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
2283. Levi32
Quoting beell:


Ok, thanks. Just trying to assimilate your assertion of "net upward motion" in the Atlantic when a look at the water vapor loops for the last month would seem to indicate otherwise.
There is a difference between warm (descent) and dry/warm (ascent) and moist.


Well sure, but remember it's only the eastern Atlantic that has been dry. The entire SW Atlantic Basin has seen abnormally high amounts of moisture in the atmosphere so far this month, as evidenced by the relative humidity anomalies at 700mb:



A bad pattern, I might add, for Caribbean and US landfalls, as tropical waves will tend to pop farther west right on our doorstep. Remember Bonnie was a naked swirl with no clouds until she hit 60W and then bam she exploded.
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I just don't see this season being a 'dud' like some are saying.. its almost impossible for it not to be one.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012

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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.

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