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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1131. xcool
hmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting atmosweather:


We'd be set back more than $100 billion.

According to this, we would, making it the most costly storm in US history and one of two $100 billion storms (the other being my namesake), and that's without the New Orleans worst-case strike that I was what-if-post-storm-doomcasting(?) earlier.
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1128. Asta
re:1054. Patrap
WOW!
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1127. Asta
re: 1087. Patrap Thanks for Posting NASH!
I distinctly remember him on television just before Betsy... Somehow - hurricane season is not the same without him getting out that grease pencil...
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Geek Prediction:

Next named storm, Collin on...

Aug. 8

TD 4: Aug 6/7
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1125. xcool
OracleDeAtlantis ?
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1124. GetReal
Could this be out next invest in the Sw Caribbean sea???








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1122. unf97
The disturbance on the Southern coast of Mexico hsas been something I have been watching all day long. This area has been nearly stationary for the past 24-36 hours. The area has been in an area of weak steering flow. I have been expecring the predominant easyterly flow in the upper levels to move the disturbance inland into Mexico. However, the large Upper Level Low over Eastern TX seems to have had some role in keeping this BOC disturbance meanderring or drifting N hugging the Southern Mexico coast. Satellite imagery this evening does show as nice ball of convection which has developed just offshore. Right now, this is just an interesting feature to watch, but if this system inches just a little away from the coast, it will become a possible invest area.
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1120. xcool
stop hacker blog..lol
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Drakoen:
OrcaleDeAtlantis, every time you post a youtube video the blog gets distorted.


Easy to fix, but not so easy to explain, scientifically.
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1118. JLPR2
Quoting truecajun:
well, guess i'm going to give shutter island a shot. hope it's not as scary as Bonnie


oh no, not scary at all XD
I hope you like surprising endings LOL!
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting 1900hurricane:

This storm had the right idea, but also missed off to the east. Imagine if this one were to strike today and gotten an ideal New Orleans hit...



We'd be set back more than $100 billion.
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Talk about storms moving south, check out Ivans track in '04. That was almost a two-fer in LA.
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1115. Drakoen
OrcaleDeAtlantis, every time you post a youtube video the blog gets distorted.
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well, guess i'm going to give shutter island a shot. hope it's not as scary as Bonnie
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
Quoting MahFL:
There is something odd about the waves coming off Africa though, most of them dive SW, when will they move W or WNW ?


That's because the current low level flow is from the ENE due to the strong subtropical ridge to its north.
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it's going realllllllly slow too. i guess no one is on
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
Quoting txjac:
Is there something wrong with the blog? Is anyone else having problems?


it shut down on me twice in the last 10 minutes

said trouble responding or somethign like that.

Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
1109. GCAT
Looks like no big blows for this July. Now, lets
hope we get through August and Sept??? We will wait and see? Take nothing for granted. The dry area around the trop convergence zone is good but
BooCoo activity well to the west.
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah Ivan would have been bad but it was impossible for him to be the "perfect storm" for New Orleans, which would have to come into the city from the ESE.

This storm had the right idea, but also missed off to the east. Imagine if this one were to strike today and gotten an ideal New Orleans hit...

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1107. txjac
Is there something wrong with the blog? Is anyone else having problems?
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1106. MahFL
There is something odd about the waves coming off Africa though, most of them dive SW, when will they move W or WNW ?
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Quoting CoffinWood:


I can't figure out what you are driving at here. Explain?


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Quoting Patrap:
WWL-TV Ch. 4 New Orleans, La. 40th anniversary segment shown during newscast. Sept. 1997. Interview with Nash Roberts about Hurricane Betsy.

Pat thanks for the Nash Roberts clip - minutes after I mentioned him. He was the go-to man for sure.
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Quoting StormW:


Thank you. Enjoyed yours here tonight as well!

We're getting a lot of good information put out tonight.


I enjoyed both posts, what you guys provide for all of us is priceless. Both posts made alot of sense, very well explained, that even though , I don't understand much about weather, I pretty much understood what you all posted. Keep up the good work !
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off topic. sorry. is shutter island worth watching?

we still haven't gotten a drop of rain in Baton Rouge
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
Quoting WindynEYW:
the long range ncep model shows a strong storm develop & at the end of the run is over puerto rico, granted this is 10 + days out forecast but all the ingrediants are there for it , along with the westward trend in steering, i think so, fl could see this possibly in the later part of second week of august, imo


I already have the curtains up.
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Discussing track of Karina.:

Yes the track was strange. She was not forecast to move south off of FL. When she turned southwest after leaving the FL coast we all sort-of 'gulped' quietly, and took a deep breath. The next day or so we watched the "cone of uncertainty" move further West, as we all knew it would.

I don't want to talk about her anymore...

But we all felt something strange when she first exited off of FL, and turned SW. That just wasn't normal. (Conspiracy theory anyone?)
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1096. Patrap
Quoting atmosweather:


Amazing video Pat...how did your part of town fare??? I heard almost the entire Gulf coast evacuated because of the unpredictable movement before it came ashore.


Most of Gulfport had damage..Moderate.

But the saving grace with Elena was the approach angle.
It was shallow and didnt allow a significant surge to build up.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:


Very few people bother to even think about such things, even on Sunday.


I can't figure out what you are driving at here. Explain?
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1094. Levi32
Goodnight Storm!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
1093. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:
Levi I am not sure about dismissing the area in the BOC, a bulk of the 850mb vorticity is offshore and that ball of convection is as well


But it has competing centers and one of them onshore:



While this may allow the one still over water to take over and become dominant, I just don't see it being able to remain over water long enough to feedback. It's a bit too close to the coast, evidenced by the decaying convection on the west side, and I think it should be forced inland before much can come of it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting SLU:


The track itself is even more unusual than the hurricane.


Very few people bother to even think about such things, even on Sunday.
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Quoting truecajun:


wow, very informative, with graphs and maps etc. to back it all up.



oh and i like how you didn't go into tooooo much details that tends to just complicate things for a layman, like myself
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
Quoting StormW:
REMAINDER OF THE 2010 HURRICANE SEASON ACTIVITY PREDICTOR / SIGNALS


wow, very informative, with graphs and maps etc. to back it all up.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
1089. SLU
Lovely naked swirl associated with the wave at 10n 37w.
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Quoting StormW:
I'm outta here. Good night all!


Night Storm!
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1087. Patrap
WWL-TV Ch. 4 New Orleans, La. 40th anniversary segment shown during newscast. Sept. 1997. Interview with Nash Roberts about Hurricane Betsy.

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Quoting StormW:


Doing good! You?

Glad to hear it. Good here too. :) Something is a brewing out there though, in the tropics.
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1085. SLU
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:


Call it bad "luck," or call it something else. Have you ever thought about the shape of that track?

Come on, what are the odds?


The track itself is even more unusual than the hurricane.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
To show you how uninformed people were in 1965, they sent us to school the day Betsy hit, By noon they had to rush us home as the storm was then straight for NO. Some kids barely got home as heavy squalls moved in around 2PM. By 5pm we were having hurricane force gusts and by 8:30 115-120 sustained winds. There was no such thing as evacuation.


Kerry, I had the same experience with Betsy in NOLA. Recently I reviewed Betsy's track and timing to ponder how come they didn't really "get it" until a few hours before landfall. Nash Roberts was sharp and understood the marsh and coastline. They evacuated the rigs. It still haunts me.
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1081. Levi32
Quoting MechEngMet:
1036 Levi: Ah yes Elena. I also recall Juan, Georges, Ike, Ghustov, and others. Andrew was a particularly terrifying close call.

I remember Ivan quite well. Evacuated, but he took a turn East. Then he came back about a week later, after a trip across the East coast and back through FL, for a second attempt at us. Man that was a persistent storm...


Yeah Ivan would have been bad but it was impossible for him to be the "perfect storm" for New Orleans, which would have to come into the city from the ESE.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701

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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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