Hurricane watches for Mexico and Texas as Hermine suddenly develops

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:15 PM GMT on September 06, 2010

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Hurricane watches are up for the Texas/Mexico border region as fast developing Tropical Storm Hermine steams towards the coast at 13 mph. Hermine was a tropical depression twelve hours ago, got its name just six hours ago, but already is a threat to intensify into a hurricane by tonight. It's remarkable how fast Gulf of Mexico disturbances can blow up into strong tropical storms, when the right mix of warm waters and low wind shear develops. Indeed, water temperatures are a very warm 30°C, wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots, and the atmosphere is very moist in the Gulf--ideal conditions for a tropical storm. Hermine promises to be a very wet storm, and latest long range radar out of Brownsville, Texas shows a large area of heavy rain has moved ashore over southern Texas and northern Mexico, with radar estimated rainfall amounts already exceeding two inches in a few areas along the coast. Radar loops show that an eyewall may be beginning to form, and I expect this process will continue through the afternoon and early evening. Satellite imagery shows that Hermine is getting more organized, with vigorous thunderstorms with very cold tops building, low-level spiral bands developing, and improving upper-level outflow occurring on all sides except the west. There is some dry air to the west of Hermine over land that is restricting the storm's development there.

Forecast for Hermine
Hermine doesn't have much time over water before it comes ashore, which is a good thing. Hermine is organizing rapidly, and has a shot at reaching hurricane strength before the center moves ashore late tonight, near midnight. Neither the GFDL or HWRF models develop Hermine into a hurricane, but the HWRF model does predict that tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph will affect the coast as far north as Corpus Christi, Texas. Heavy rain will be the main threat from Hermine, though isolated tornadoes may also cause damage, particularly over South Texas. Hermine is expected to accelerate through Central Texas Tuesday and Wednesday, and the storm's rains will help alleviate moderate to severe drought conditions affecting Central Texas.


Figure 1. Early afternoon radar image of Tropical Storm Hermine.

Gaston continues to suffer from dry air
The remains of Tropical Storm Gaston are now approaching the northern Lesser Antilles, and residents can expect a few heavy rain showers and wind gusts up to 40 mph beginning late this afternoon and continuing into the night. A pass from the ASCAT satellite this morning at 9:03 am EDT showed a large region of 25 mph winds on the north side of Gaston's circulation, and these winds will move into the northern Lesser Antilles late this afternoon. Latest radar out of Martinique doesn't show much in the way of heavy rain, and satellite imagery confirms that the thunderstorm activity associated with Gaston's remains is quite sparse. Gaston does have developed a well-organized surface circulation, but not enough heavy thunderstorm activity to be considered a tropical depression. A large amount of dry air surrounds Gaston's remains on all sides, as seen on water vapor satellite loops.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of the remains of Gaston, approaching the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Forecast for Gaston
Dry air will continue to be the major impediment to development for Gaston, and the system is unlikely to become a tropical depression today. However, wind shear, which is currently a moderate 10 knots, is forecast by the latest SHIPS model run to fall very low, 0 - 5 knots, tonight through Wednesday. With almost no wind shear affecting it, Gaston will a better chance of keeping the moisture from its heavy thunderstorms near it core on Tuesday. This will insulate the storm from the dry air surrounding it. The atmosphere is also moister in the eastern Caribbean, further increasing the chances of development. I believe it is probable Gaston will become a tropical depression again on Tuesday. NHC is currently giving Gaston a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday, which is a reasonable forecast. The models don't give much support for Gaston surviving past Wednesday, since many of them have the storm hitting the rugged island of Hispaniola, disrupting the storm.

Heavy rain showers and gusty winds from the storm will affect Puerto Rico Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. This activity will spread to the Dominican Republic Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning. Assuming dry air and an encounter with Hispaniola's high mountains do not destroy Gaston, heavy rain from the storm should move over Haiti, eastern Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Jamaica Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Though none of the global dynamical computer models are showing this, should Gaston survive the dry air and its coming encounter with Hispaniola, the storm will find itself in a very favorable environment for development in the Western Caribbean late in the week, and could intensify into a hurricane by next weekend.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The models are fairly unanimous in predicting development late this week of a tropical wave expected to emerge from the coast of Africa on Tuesday or Wednesday. The next storm will be called Igor, and let's hope it doesn't live up to its fearsome-sounding name!

Next post
There will be an update by early this evening.

Jeff Masters

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Our NWS here in Fort Worth is calling for 2-4 inches of rain, with the possibility of 6 inches or more...Wow.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


That's totally uncalled for.
Lol, from the person who forecasts ex-Gaston to hit Bermuda. That makes 37.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Effects from Hermine are being felt hundreds of miles away from its center this afternoon.


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gaston forecast tracks & intensity models
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Quoting btwntx08:
yep i probably loose power looks like if the center keeps going like it
is it will be very close to us probably gonna get hurricane force gusts


Where are you....Baytown or Brownsville
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Quoting ozzyman236:
a nnw movement usually the hurricanes that hit brownsville move wnw this isnt happening it leaves and alley way for the storm to go up the texas coast...i would not let your guard down you will see when it touches the land area..

You are right. It could "skid" north. The shape of the Rio Grande "delta" helps, though, the way it stick out there, if the storm tracks toward the border. Looks like we'll know by the end of the day.
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Quoting ozzyman236:
a nnw movement usually the hurricanes that hit brownsville move wnw this isnt happening it leaves and alley way for the storm to go up the texas coast...i would not let your guard down you will see when it touches the land area..


I still doubt it, but we shall see I guess.
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946. xcool
poor btwntx08 .
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Oz will be in Brownsville about 1 am
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I truly believe that Hermine is a 70 mph TS/75 mph HUrricane.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
With the way the inner core and eyewall of Hermine are consolidating I wouldn't rule out it currently undergoing rapid intensifcation.

Cane: then could the movement not possible shift more to the right? Not wishcasting, just asking
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:
Hermine is going to make landfall just South of Brownsville.
That,s right...I dont see any surprises with this one except for windspeed.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22683
Its slowing down has given it an extra hour or two to stay offshore than before. Still, it was far quicker than anyone expected early this morning.
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936. xcool
who give beep beep if someone is wishcasting god i'm very tired hear about .
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Quoting hydrus:
I,m a wish-caster..I wish Hermine would weaken to a depression and move north into the drought stricken areas. I really dont believe that will happen though..:)


BDADUDE has been wishcasting Gaston since last night. He insists that it will somehow spontaneously move north near Bermuda.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
I believe you are wishcasting. You should get together with your Reedzone. :-)


That's totally uncalled for.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24576
Quoting BDADUDE:
I believe you are wishcasting. You should get together with your Reedzone. :-)
I,m a wish-caster..I wish Hermine would weaken to a depression and move north into the drought stricken areas. I really dont believe that will happen though..:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22683
With the way the inner core and eyewall of Hermine are consolidating I wouldn't rule out it currently undergoing rapid intensifcation.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting ozzyman236:
texas hurricane that track means nothing...anytime you have a hurricane hitting brownsville with a northerly component its always possible of hermine parreling the texas coast...i see it happen numerous times..


So are you seeing a bend back to the NE at some point? If so how far, and how strong do you think Hermine might get?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Brownsville will be on the bad side of the storm. Since Hermine is moving toward the North-northwest, the worst winds will be at the northeastern side.
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929. xcool
btwntx08 that meaning no Weather Underground lol
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Quoting ozzyman236:
texas hurricane that track means nothing...anytime you have a hurricane hitting brownsville with a northerly component its always possible of hermine parreling the texas coast...i see it happen numerous times..


ok, what do you mean by northerly component?
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925. xcool
rob i think you going lose powertonight
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If Hermine's CURRENT motion remains unchanged for another 2-3 hrs I say landfall just south of Corpus, clpping Brownsville then back over open water for a bit.
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I'd say in 4-5 hours or so, Hermine will begin moving inland over Mexico just south of Brownsville.
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Quoting btwntx08:
im still here i just came from eating a late lunch mmmm anyways huge appoaching here


Hey BT. Stay safe down there. You might have to take that bullseye off your back though. They seem to be gunning for ya this year. :)
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918. xcool
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Hermine is going to make landfall just South of Brownsville.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hermine's core is REALLY tightening up on radar.


yea very scary situation.. if it gets that band to wrap around completely and form a very tight eye
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting ozzyman236:
texas hurricane that could very easily happen with hermine...


huh?....

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Quoting jurakantaino:
Plus besides Floridians,there are people more interested in Gaston's potential threat. Hermine, is of your concern, we wish you the best. For us here in the northern caribbean we are worry about Gaston's whereabouts, specially when we still dealing with problems left by the path of major hurricane Earl, last week.


I totally agree - My electricity only came on last night - that's 7 full days after Earl dealt us here in the BVI a glancing blow. The clean up is an almighty job and a lot of the infrastructure took a real beating. I have no idea when they will get cable up but am grateful for power, water and internet. At this point I'm deeply interested in Gaston as a lot of damage could be done now, by even a small tropical storm.
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Quoting btwntx08:
im still here i just came from eating a late lunch mmmm anyways huge appoaching here
Here is a good shot showing the different air masses surrounding Hermine...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22683
909. xcool
btwntx08 ;) you doom now.
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Quoting PtownBryan:


Howdy FB! Pearland here! Nice rain huh?


Pharr, TX. here.....about to get clobbered!
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Quoting ozzyman236:
people in houston should not let there guard down hermine could end up parelling the texas coast and move more north towards the upper texas coast...


I doubt it...
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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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