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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Have a great day folks........
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NAO. Not much of a problem during August and September.

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1628. Levi32
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The 00z ECMWF (192 hours) tells the same story, an Azores high all the way near 50N. Also note the emerging trough off of the eastern U.S with the multiple areas of low pressure. Possible "home-grown mischief" as you refer to it, lol.



Yes, that may be a problem for the next couple of weeks before the MJO gets back in the Atlantic and restores the ridge east of the US.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting sebastianflorida:
MY GUESTIMATE ABOUT THE REMAINDER OF THE 2010 SEASON:

We are nearing the end of July, with already having two weaker type storms; this puts us on the above average side of climatology (technically speaking). Although, with all the 2010 pre hype, it appears slow and boring, althogh boring is good to most during any storm season.

I put the odds of squeeking out one more weaker type storm in July at 50%, something probably close to home.

August, especially beginning after the 10th, should be a lot less "boring". We could easily see more than one named system at a time that is being tracked. We definately will see a lot more red circles from the NHC; seems mom through away the other colors. I exspect no less than five named storms in August, and could be as high as seven or eight(my guess 6). This would put us at Seven or eight named storms by the end of August at a minimum.

September will be, and usually is the month to watch and perhaps dread during a storm season, this year could be especially painful to some. I anticipate no less than seven named storms during September, where there could be three storms going at once at some point. The named storm total I guess would be eight but could be as high as nine. This puts us at between 14 and 16 named storms by the end of September 2010.

October is usually the time during most seasons where things really begin to unwind storm wise. I expect this year to NOT follow suite. I see no less than four named storms forming in October 2010, and feel we could easily see five named storms. By this time all those predicting high numbers will be saying "I told you so" those predicting or changing their predictions to numbers under 15 will slither back into their holes. By the end of October we will have seen between 18 and 22 storms.

November should quiet down a lot, however one or two storms could still pop up; I expect one.

December is always much quieter in the tropics, and after our 2010 season, quietness will be welcome; as far as totals for December, possibly one storm, I guess Zero.

This puts us at between 19 and 23 storms for the 2010 storm season. My guess, 20 Storms, 14 Hurricanes and 5 or 6 intense Hurricanes.

To guess regarding landfall locations, is a laughing matter; my cone covers all of North America, Central America, and Some of South America, and parts of Europe. But seriously, do to early season indications I would guess all points south of a line from Texas to Georgia need to be extra prepared to protect life and property this year.

Wow, that is quite alot of activity during those three months! If your 9 storms in September verifies, it would break the record of 8 storms from 2002! Still though, I feel that you might be on the right track. 2005 spawned 18 storms in the ASO period (5, 6, 7, respectively), which is comparable to your numbers that you have up. I know that this isn't 2005 and is 2010, but I don't see how we are going to escape without huge numbers this season, everything seems too favorable for it not.....
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Quoting Levi32:


Of note is how far north the high is centered though, up near 50N. That's way up there. The secondary center forecasted by the GFS looks to set up as a weaker ridge centered near 60W and farther south, a favorable pattern for the Atlantic overall. Even a dry eastern Atlantic is just more bad news for us in the United States and the Caribbean.
The 00z ECMWF (192 hours) tells the same story, an Azores high all the way near 50N. Also note the emerging trough off of the eastern U.S with the multiple areas of low pressure. Possible "home-grown mischief" as you refer to it, lol.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
We are actually slightly ahead of the normal numbers......With record heat in June, expected La Nina conditions, and August and September yet to come, no reason to doubt that late August into September will be very active....Even if the numbers slow down by October, the damage will already be done by the end of September somewhere.
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1622. Levi32
Quoting IKE:


Could be correct.

12Z GFS at 180 hours....1034mb high in the EATL....



Of note is how far north the high is centered though, up near 50N. That's way up there. The secondary center forecasted by the GFS looks to set up as a weaker ridge centered near 60W and farther south, a favorable pattern for the Atlantic overall. Even a dry eastern Atlantic is just more bad news for us in the United States and the Caribbean.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting IKE:


Could be correct.

12Z GFS at 180 hours....1034mb high in the EATL....


looks like some cv system in the east atl
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Quoting DeepSouthUS:
Hello. I'm DeepSouthUS (i joined yesterday night), and I promise not to post irrelevant or untrue (false) assumptions on this hurricane season.

Now, while fallinstorms rants and bickers about a very inactive hurricane season, which I know is false, I forecast that we will get somewhere between Matthew and Tomas when the season ends November 30. I also forecast the following:

Probability of a season with 7-12 storms: <1%
Probability of a season with 13-18 storms: about 83%
Probability of a season with 20 or more storms: approximately 27%.

These forecasts are just my opinion. Let's see what this season has to offer.
Welcome aboard!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
A cold PDO this winter will bring above average temperatures to most of the USA in my opinion. Alaska, the Pacific NW, and Canada will get it badly.
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MY GUESTIMATE ABOUT THE REMAINDER OF THE 2010 SEASON:

We are nearing the end of July, with already having two weaker type storms; this puts us on the above average side of climatology (technically speaking). Although, with all the 2010 pre hype, it appears slow and boring, althogh boring is good to most during any storm season.

I put the odds of squeeking out one more weaker type storm in July at 50%, something probably close to home.

August, especially beginning after the 10th, should be a lot less "boring". We could easily see more than one named system at a time that is being tracked. We definately will see a lot more red circles from the NHC; seems mom through away the other colors. I exspect no less than five named storms in August, and could be as high as seven or eight(my guess 6). This would put us at Seven or eight named storms by the end of August at a minimum.

September will be, and usually is the month to watch and perhaps dread during a storm season, this year could be especially painful to some. I anticipate no less than seven named storms during September, where there could be three storms going at once at some point. The named storm total I guess would be eight but could be as high as nine. This puts us at between 14 and 16 named storms by the end of September 2010.

October is usually the time during most seasons where things really begin to unwind storm wise. I expect this year to NOT follow suite. I see no less than four named storms forming in October 2010, and feel we could easily see five named storms. By this time all those predicting high numbers will be saying "I told you so" those predicting or changing their predictions to numbers under 15 will slither back into their holes. By the end of October we will have seen between 18 and 22 storms.

November should quiet down a lot, however one or two storms could still pop up; I expect one.

December is always much quieter in the tropics, and after our 2010 season, quietness will be welcome; as far as totals for December, possibly one storm, I guess Zero.

This puts us at between 19 and 23 storms for the 2010 storm season. My guess, 20 Storms, 14 Hurricanes and 5 or 6 intense Hurricanes.

To guess regarding landfall locations, is a laughing matter; my cone covers all of North America, Central America, and Some of South America, and parts of Europe. But seriously, do to early season indications I would guess all points south of a line from Texas to Georgia need to be extra prepared to protect life and property this year.
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1616. Levi32
Quoting futuremet:



I wonder why. It is perhaps because all of heat tropical cyclones release into the atmosphere. The ice pellets are liquified into rain before they even reach close to the surface.


Might have something to do with vertical motion as well. The core of a hurricane has much more of a horizontal component to the air motion because of the extremely strong winds, and thus only the very strongest of updrafts may be able to lift hail stones very far upwards in a thunderstorm. I don't know what the most popular explanation is. I haven't read up on it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Hello. I'm DeepSouthUS (i joined yesterday night), and I promise not to post irrelevant or untrue (false) assumptions on this hurricane season.

Now, while fallinstorms rants and bickers about a very inactive hurricane season, which I know is false, I forecast that we will get somewhere between Matthew and Tomas when the season ends November 30. I also forecast the following:

Probability of a season with 7-12 storms: <1%
Probability of a season with 13-18 storms: about 83%
Probability of a season with 20 or more storms: approximately 27%.

These forecasts are just my opinion. Let's see what this season has to offer.
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nice rain to our south here in mexico
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bbl.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24471
Quoting Weather456:



lol, you kidding right? all tropical thunderstorms contain lightning, including MCS, airmass thunderstorms, tropical waves, tropical storms and hurricanes. What is rare in tropical thunderstorms is hail.



I wonder why. It is perhaps because all of heat tropical cyclones release into the atmosphere. The ice pellets are liquified into rain before they even reach close to the surface.
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1611. IKE
Quoting ElConando:


Likely why nothing will likely develop until the second week of August onward.


Could be correct.

12Z GFS at 180 hours....1034mb high in the EATL....

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1610. scott39
Thanks, PensacolaDoug
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1609. scott39
Tornadoes seem to be the most unpredictable in hurricanes to me!
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1608. Levi32
Tropical Tidbit for Sunday, July 25th, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yep, its very rare and a sign of a quickly intensifying hurricane. If you see hail on Recon.. not good. Also a question for you or Levi, what's your thoughts on the GFS para developing a Cape Verde system?
No Cape Verde system at 156 hours on the 12z parallel, it was on yesterday's run though.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Levi32:
.


I see you made your point.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3775
Quoting scott39:
Im having rain and thunder and I dont see any lightning! I know it there, why donT I see it?


Daytime makes it alot less visible.
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Quoting Asta:
Is that a little swirl South of FLA?


ULL
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swirl south of fl is a mid/ul low
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Well i've been in many many hurricanes and never saw lightning...or hail. Just Rain, Wind, and darkness.


How much lightning occurs in tropical cyclones?

Surprisingly, not much lightning occurs in the inner core (within
about 100 km or 60 mi) of the tropical cyclone center. Only around a
dozen or less cloud-to-ground strikes per hour occur around the eyewall
of the storm, in strong contrast to an overland mid-latitude mesoscale
convective complex which may be observed to have lightning flash rates
of greater than 1000 per hour (!) maintained for several hours.
Hurricane Andrew's eyewall had less than 10 strikes per hour from the
time it was over the Bahamas until after it made landfall along Louisiana,
with several hours with no cloud-to-ground lightning at all (Molinari et
al. 1994). However, lightning can be more common in the outer cores of
the storms (beyond around 100 km or 60 mi) with flash rates on the order
of 100s per hour.

This lack of inner core lightning is due to the relative weak nature
of the eyewall thunderstorms. Because of the lack of surface heating
over the ocean ocean and the "warm core" nature of the tropical cyclones,
there is less buoyancy available to support the updrafts. Weaker updrafts
lack the super-cooled water (e.g. water with a temperature less than 0 C
or 32 F) that is crucial in charging up a thunderstorm by the interaction
of ice crystals in the presence of liquid water (Black and Hallett 1986).
The more common outer core lightning occurs in conjunction with the
presence of convectively-active rainbands (Samsury and Orville 1994).

One of the exciting possibilities that recent lightning studies
have suggested is that changes in the inner core strikes - though the
number of strikes is usually quite low - may provide a useful forecast
tool for intensification of tropical cyclones. Black (1975) suggested
that bursts of inner core convection which are accompanied by increases
in electrical activity may indicate that the tropical cyclone will soon
commence a deepening in intensity. Analyses of Hurricanes Diana (1984),
Florence (1988) and Andrew (1992), as well as an unnamed tropical storm
in 1987 indicate that this is often true (Lyons and Keen 1994 and Molinari
et al. 1994).


NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory - FAQ : HURRICANES, TYPHOONS, AND TROPICAL CYCLONES
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I could be totally wrong on this, but doesn't the large amount of deep layer moisture of a tropical cyclone cut down on the amount of lightning observed? The drier air will take a charge better than more moist air will, so unless a tropical cyclone is explosively intensifying, appreciable amounts of lightning typically isn't observed. That's my current understanding of how it works, but if I am wrong, I would more than love to find out what really goes on and how that works.
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Quoting Levi32:
I believe it's the eyewall of a strong hurricane that typically does not have a lot of lightning. Otherwise, hurricanes are full of it.


I do remember a bit of lighting when Katrina landfalled in North Miami. However only before the eye passed. In Hurricane Wilma I don't remember hearing thunder or seeing any lightning. Was probably more shocked of its winds. Those 3-4 hours of plus 50mph winds felt like an eternity.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3775
Quoting CybrTeddy:


The setup is very ominous to me, that's why I believe that will happen. Remember 2008? We had Fay then all hell broke loose on Earth.


Oh yeah, Fay then a few weeks later we were threatened by Ike here in South FL. I agree with you, I think it will happen.
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1598. Levi32
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


latest as of 12 11 pm edt


Nice, you can see where the MJO is clearly.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
typically the outbands would be where the majority of lightning would occur,near the eyewall possibly as well:),the cdo doe not usually contain lightning in most TC's
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1596. scott39
Is there an average of how far hurricane winds go out from the center of Ca1 Cat2 Cat3 ect...
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Quoting Weather456:


Rare....that's the key word. also Marilyn 1995.


Yep, its very rare and a sign of a quickly intensifying hurricane. If you see hail on Recon.. not good. Also a question for you or Levi, what's your thoughts on the GFS para developing a Cape Verde system?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24471
Quoting Weather456:
Blog Update

Last week of July 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Blog Update!

July 25, 2010 - 12:00 PM EDT - Tropics Quiet...But Will It Last?

Thanks guys!
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5725
1593. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


latest as of 12 11 pm edt
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54841
1592. Asta
Is that a little swirl South of FLA?
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Quoting Asta:


Well- then you wouldn't have to worry about running out of ice! haha!


Only seen hail only once and near Miami. It was pea size hail.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3775
a typical sunday afternoon in sunny sarasota!!!,should get some wx in a bit w/seabreeze,this was taken 20 minutes ago looking over south sarasota bay at downtown


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1589. Levi32
I believe it's the eyewall of a strong hurricane that typically does not have a lot of lightning. Otherwise, hurricanes are full of it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting IKE:


Listening to weatherguy03's update...looks like a quiet week ahead in the ATL. He was mentioning the ECMWF showing a strong high building into the eastern Atlantic, possible, the first week of August. Calling for more strong SAL to come off Africa, possible then.


Likely why nothing will likely develop until the second week of August onward.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3775
1587. Asta
Quoting ElConando:


I remember the one in Gustav. I didn't know it was possible. Would be odd to have it hail in your area during a Hurricane.


Well- then you wouldn't have to worry about running out of ice! haha!
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1586. scott39
Im having rain and thunder and I dont see any lightning! I know it there, why donT I see it?
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1585. IKE
Quoting SAINTHURRIFAN:
Hey Ike looks like the if ands buts for the future doom are on here as usual.Looking at these models constantly for the ray of hope for the biggie lol.Well maybe it will get busy maybe it want.Instead of looking at models and making constant climatological comparisons,maybe they should be at the only forecasters house today that knows 100% whats going to happen in the future.it is Sunday. also I think sometimes God lays in his hand to prove the opposite just to show man how arrogant he has become imo. Also I constantly see on this blog the comparison between 1998 and this year.Late start, large number of storms.Well what they leave out was it was also a year of upper level lows and shear.Most of the storms were in the gulf and were weak and sheared systems.albi though bonnie cat 2 nc. george cat 2 keys and ms passed right over me minor damage mostly a rainmaker.The worst that season had to offer was for the carrib.Georges at its peak and mitch which was devastating for nic and honduras.Just felt like they compare the seasons but forget the rest,Would be nice to come on this blog and see people focus on the current instead of wishcasting the future.Ike have a blessed day and GOD bless


Listening to weatherguy03's update...looks like a quiet week ahead in the ATL. He was mentioning the ECMWF showing a strong high building into the eastern Atlantic, possible, the first week of August. Calling for more strong SAL to come off Africa, possible then.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I've seen hail in recon reports, in Gustav and Felix.


I remember the one in Gustav. I didn't know it was possible. Would be odd to have it hail in your area during a Hurricane.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3775
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No, all tropical thunderstorms contain lightning.


Well i've been in many many hurricanes and never saw lightning...or hail. Just Rain, Wind, and darkness.
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Quoting skkippboo:


Ok, sorry, bad sense of humor. Back to weather lurking for me.
It's all good. I wasn't singling you out. I don't think you saw the original post. I think he realized that he put his mouth in gear before thinking.

Your right, back to weather.
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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.