Stan storms ashore; Florida getting pounded by a powerful tropical disturbance

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:40 PM GMT on October 04, 2005

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Tropical disturbance approaching Florida
The tropical disturbance over the central Bahama Islands is poised to hit Florida Tuesday night and Wednesday with heavy rains and high winds. Although the disturbance is not a threat to develop into a tropical depression today, the impact on Florida will be similar to that of a tropical depression--sustained winds of 30 mph, with gusts to 45 mph along the coast, along with 3 - 6 inches of rain and large battering waves. The disturbance currently has a weak surface circulation center just south of Andros Island. There is no cloud cover on the west side of the circulation center, and shearing winds blowing from the west are keeping all of the convection pushed over to the east side of the disturbance. Contrary to yesterday's computer model projections of much reduced shear affecting the disturbance, the shear over the storm has almost doubled, to 20 - 30 knots. This shear is in part associated with strong upper-level outflow flowing northeastward out of Hurricane Stan. No development of any kind is possible while the shear remains this strong, and I believe that this system will not develop into a tropical depression at all. Instead, the disturbance will interact with an upper-level low pressure system forecast to develop in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, and become a large--and very wet--ordinary low pressure system. This may also turn into hybrid system called a subtropical storm--a system that is similar to a tropical storm, but has its main winds 100 miles or so away from the center. If this happens, the system will be named Subtropical Storm Tammy. Our skill in forecasting these types of hybrid systems is low.

Once in the Gulf of Mexico, the storm is expected to meander for several days, until a cold front pushes into northern Florida Friday and pulls the storm northeastward across Florida and the Carolinas on Thursday through Saturday, dumping very heavy rains across the region. At the same time, another low pressure area may form along the front near the Carolinas and move northeastward across New England. This second low is not expected to be tropical in nature, but will still dump a lot rain and bring high winds to the East Coast.

I speculated about the possibility yesterday of a tropical storm forming near the Carolinas and moving northwards along the coast. This no longer seems likely, due to the high wind shear over the area today.


Figure 1. BAMM model forecast track of Bahamas suspect area. The intensity forecast numbers from the SHIPS model are far too high; this system will be lucky to make it to tropical storm strength (40 mph winds).

Hurricane Stan
Hurricane Stan presents a classic example of why the National Hurricane Center issues hurricane warnings for a much larger area of coast than seems reasonable. Stan made a sudden turn to the southwest last night and speeded up his forward speed from 6 mph to 10 mph, and is now making landfall on the coast of Mexico, a full 24 hours before expected. This change of course and speed were completely unanticipated my any of the forecast models. However, since the NHC was conservative, the area of the coast the eye of Stan is hitting has been under a hurricane warning for a full day, so the sudden turn should not catch the affected area completely unprepared. Why did the models miss this turn? Perhaps because of Stan's interaction with the mountainous terrain nearby, or because of interaction with the developing upper-level low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Clouds from the tropical disturbance over the Bahamas extend southeastward to Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles Islands. The area of disturbed weather near Puerto Rico bears watching, as wind shear values here are 5 - 10 knots, the lowest of anywhere in this disturbance.

The region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles is quiet.

Jeff Masters

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77. Destiny
7:09 AM AKDT on October 04, 2005
Yep, Mystique, and no not the comic book version.
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76. GPBurdell
3:03 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
palmbeacher, did you see that Colorado professor who predicts the number of hurricanes each year on local TV (5) last night. He said we should see 4 more this year, with at least 1 a major of Cat 3 or more. I hope he is wrong!
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75. oriondarkwood
11:07 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
Destiny,

Fudge is good. And the person you are thinking about is Mystique, of course the question is are you going as the comic book version or the movie version (their is a different, in the movie as usual they jazzed up the T&A factor to pull in the male demographic)
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
74. Destiny
7:06 AM AKDT on October 04, 2005
Morning Palmbeacher,
yes its pretty cool, 32 degrees this morning, frost on the cars. Nice snow caps, but it hasn't stuck in town yet. It always plays with us a few times before it stays.
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72. oriondarkwood
11:05 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
palmbeacher,

What color of M&M's?

Also strange but true its suppose to be a bit above 80 here today (last of the Indian Summer, by the weekend suppose to be rainy and mid-50s)
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
71. palmbeacher
3:04 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Morning Destiny, enjoying your nice cool weather?
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70. oriondarkwood
11:04 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
Pensacola21,

Yea I didn't really know what a snowfall was until I moved to upstate NY. Now a days anything under a foot doesn't really phase me
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
69. Destiny
7:00 AM AKDT on October 04, 2005
Morning EB

Orion,

Black walnut fudge

The shape shifter from X-men

And if Florida gets snow, Im sure it will be the cherry on a banner year of some really crazy weather.
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68. 8888888889gg
3:03 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
snow in FL cool
67. oriondarkwood
11:02 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
gbreezegirl,

I like Dark Choclate as well, goes good with a tart full body red wine. Also I found a good black cherry wine called Quady Elsyium
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
65. palmbeacher
3:02 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Hustonian, LMAO Good one!! I feel the same way!
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64. 8888888889gg
3:01 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
i think it be cool that there was a cat 2 blizzard but they do not do cat 2 blizzard or do they?
62. palmbeacher
2:59 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Orion you crack me up!
1. peanut M&Ms (my sin)
2. a mommy walking around w/my kids
3. Snow in So. Fl. Forcasters will probably say partly snowy with a chance of sun. Temps in the 80's wind chill 65!! LOL
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61. cgableshurrycanegal
11:00 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
off to do some work and try to earn some pennies! Later
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
60. 8888888889gg
2:59 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
can i say that i love snow on her or can i not say that too
59. cgableshurrycanegal
10:57 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
I *predict* all of FL is in for a good dunking.
Beyond that I'm out of my league... Can't wait for our wonderful *winter* when everyone in the grips of the blizzards look south to us and know how fab we have it here... ::sigh::
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
58. Pensacola21
2:56 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Orion

1 - Symphony bar w/toffee and nuts!!

2 - Not sure yet...

3 - Anything is possible... We've had it here before..
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
57. 8888888889gg
2:57 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
can i say on her that i love snow or i can say that too
55. gbreezegirl
2:52 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Orion -
1) Dove dark chocolates
2) Witch (with a W)
3) It snowed once before (in March) here in Gulf Breeze. Biggest flakes I've ever seen.
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54. 8888888889gg
2:53 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
ok then i this her on TWC that hurrican stan this made landfall in MX
53. Pensacola21
2:54 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
hmmm.... This is a weird year guys...
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
52. Pensacola21
2:51 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Oh I see.. Goody

"Our skill in forecasting these types of hybrid systems is low."

Sounds fun....
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
51. cgableshurrycanegal
10:52 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
888, b4 Katrina lADobe said she saw the ants in her area all climbing to as high as they could all over NOLA, so now folks occasionally wonder about what the ants in their areas are doing... sort of a folklore thing as we don't have anything scientific to back it...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
50. gbreezegirl
2:50 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
8888 - they just act different (the ants) covering their mound, making it higher, moving their eggs etc. All animals sense a storm (my cat was even a little weird this morning) but they say the insects sense it first.
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49. palmbeacher
2:49 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
21, read what Dr. masters said. He thinks it will become subtropical storm Tammy
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48. Pensacola21
2:50 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Yeah it is breezy here..
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
47. 8888888889gg
2:47 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
gbreezegirl fear give me but i would like to no what dos ants have to do with a hurricane?
46. gbreezegirl
2:49 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Well, actually our winds are about the same now Palmbeacher, so I'm lost on that one.
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45. Pensacola21
2:48 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
I think it will at least become a tropical storm if (when) it gets in the gulf... What do you guys think??
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
44. cgableshurrycanegal
10:46 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
Hi All!
Stormy - cool pix!!!
Gbzgirl!!! you and your ants!!! LOL
KSoldier! Hope you don't get a mud storm!
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
43. gbreezegirl
2:46 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Why would our winds be stronger here in panhandle than in south florida right now? Seems strange. In answer to the ant question -- insects are the first sign of a storm coming -- they usually do strange things like carry out their eggs or cover their holes, build mounds higher, etc.
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42. palmbeacher
2:47 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Wind: 23 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 32 mph

Wow what a change from a little while ago. This is from the Palm beach international airport
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41. Pensacola21
2:46 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
The wave looks better than it did yesterday...

Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
40. weatherdude65
2:44 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
21...shear is still pretty strong, although the storms have been building up all morning east of the Bahamas
39. palmbeacher
2:44 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Hey there 21 Looks like we might just get wet
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38. Pensacola21
2:43 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Hello all! Stormy, those are great pics. Really shows our damage here... So what's up with the wave?
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
37. 8888888889gg
2:40 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
fear give me but i would like to no what dos ants have to do with a hurricane?
36. oriondarkwood
10:38 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
Its slow time for another off topic post

1. What is your favorite candy/snack?
Moon Pies

2. What are you going to be for Halloween?
Hopefully not unemployed (LOL)

3. Think Flordia is going to get snow this year?
Its the winter season of 05-06 anything can happen (LOL)
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
35. irecthh
2:38 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Is it still to early in the week to make a decision about cancelling a camping trip in Orlando this weekend...or does anybody think the rains may move out of the area by Friday??
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34. weatherdude65
2:39 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Cocoa / Patrick Air Force Base

77F
(25C) Humidity: 89 %
Wind Speed: NE 23 G 32 MPH
Barometer: 29.94" (1013.8 mb)
Dewpoint: 73F (23C)
Heat Index: 78F (26C)
Visibility: 7.00 mi


33. gbreezegirl
2:38 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
A loaded debris truck just passed my office window. It seems so ironic that we are still trying to get all the debris off the street from Dennis. It is neverending!
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32. palmbeacher
2:37 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Wind: 12 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 21.0 mph

It seems like they are stonger.
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31. gbreezegirl
2:30 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Our winds here in North Florida have increased from 15 to 18 in just the past hour with gusts increasing from 22 to 29 ENE.
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30. HurricaneZane
10:30 AM EDT on October 04, 2005
Joe B's column for today.. very interesting...

Link
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29. weatherboyfsu
2:22 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Yes today is the 10 year anniversary.....of me getting caught on underneath an overpass trying to chase OPAL.....winds got to bad...had no choice....also still a rookie at the time......Stan the man is knocking on Mexicos door....anyone home.....I still think that he may not like being in Mexico and might come back to the Bay of Campeche......time will tell.....models are all over the place after it makes landfall......Im here in Orlando....Interesting weather coming up according to the weather pros.........might be having to make a run if things warrant.....been teased quite a bit this year.....pressures are down to 29.82 all over south florida......last time I looked at the bahamas, clarence town...29.77 with a north wind 2mph....whoopie....
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28. Hydrocvl
2:21 PM GMT on October 04, 2005
Stan's turn to the southwest means he will be dissipate faster than anticipated. On Wednesday a total different set of models could be expected.
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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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