Western Caribbean disturbance 99L near tropical depression strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on October 20, 2010

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A tropical disturbance (Invest 99L) near the Cayman Islands is drifting eastwards towards Jamaica, and has changed little in organization this morning, but is very close to tropical depression status. The storm is bringing heavy rain to the Cayman Islands; 3.85" inches has fallen over the past 48 hours at Savannah on Grand Cayman Island. Heavy rains will continue over the Cayman Islands today and spread to western Jamaica this afternoon. Recent satellite imagery shows that 99L has a well-defined surface circulation, but the center is exposed to view and 99L has a relatively meager amount of heavy thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is marginal for development, 15 - 20 knots, due to the clockwise flow of air around an upper-level high pressure system near the coast of Honduras. The high is bringing strong upper-level winds out of the southwest to 99L. Water vapor satellite loops show considerable dry air to the west and north of 99L, and the strong southwesterly winds over the storm are bringing some of this dry into into the core of the storm, keeping all the heavy thunderstorm development confined to the east side of the center. The waters beneath 99L are very warm, 29°C, but 99L will not be able to take advantage of these warm waters until the shear relaxes. The Hurricane Hunters will be in 99L around 11am EDT this morning to see if the storm is indeed a tropical depression.

Forecast for 99L
The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear over the Western Caribbean will stay marginal for development, 15 - 25 knots, for the remainder of today, then decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Tuesday, as 99L positions itself more underneath the upper-level high near the coast of Honduras. Any motion by 99L to the southwest will tend to decrease the shear over 99L, and any motion to the north or east will increase the shear, so 99L's current eastwards drift is detrimental for development. Steering currents will be weak Wednesday through Friday in the Western Caribbean, making it difficult to predict where 99L may wander to, and how much shear might affect the storm. By Saturday, a ridge of high pressure is expected to build in to the north of 99L, forcing the storm on a generally westward track. This should allow 99L to find an environment with less shear. The GFDL and HWRF model predicts a more west-northwestward track, with 99L passing through the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico on Sunday or Monday as a hurricane. The GFS, ECMWF, and NOGAPS models predict a more west-southwesterly path, with 99L making landfall in Belize Sunday or Monday. NHC is giving 99L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday; I'd put these odds at 80%, and expect this will become Tropical Storm Richard by Thursday.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 99L.

Death toll from Super Typhoon Megi in the Philippines remarkably low
The power is still out and communications are down over the majority of the northern portion of the Philippines' Luzon Island blasted by Typhoon Megi yesterday, so the full extent of the destruction wrought by the great storm is still unclear. However, the death toll from the great storm stands at only 19, reflecting the superior effort Philippines officials made to evacuate low-lying areas and get people out of locations prone to flash flooding and mudslides. Previous major typhoons to strike the Philippines have nearly always killed hundreds, and sometime thousands, so the preparation and evacuation efforts for Megi likely saved hundreds of lives. Megi hit Luzon on Monday morning at 3:30 UTC as a Category 5 super typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb. Severe damage was done to Isabela Province in northern Luzon, and media reports indicate that 200,000 people are homeless.


Figure 2. Visible MODIS satellite image of Megi from NASA's Aqua satellite taken at 1:30am EDT October 20, 2010. At the time, Megi was a Category 4 typhoon with 135 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Passage over Luzon Island destroyed Megi's eyewall and inner core region, and the storm compensated by expanding and intensifying the portions of its circulation that were over water. Now that its center is back over water in the South China Sea, Megi has re-developed its inner core and has intensified into a formidable Category 4 typhoon with 135 mph winds. Megi has been able to maintain its larger size, and is now a much larger typhoon than when it hit the Philippines. This is similar to what happened to Hurricane Ike in 2008 when it passed over Cuba, and helped give Ike a very destructive storm surge when it came ashore over Texas. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots over Megi, and the waters of the South China Sea have a very high total heat content to great depth, so Megi should be able to remain a very dangerous major typhoon through Friday. The larger size of Megi means that it will be able to deliver a significant storm surge in excess of ten feet to the coast of China of Friday or Saturday, when the storm is expected to make landfall north of Hong Kong. As the storm approaches the coast on Friday, wind shear is expected to rise to the moderate or high range, and the total heat content of the ocean will drop significantly, so some weakening is to be expected. Still, Megi will probably hit China as a major Category 3 typhoon, bringing a significant storm surge, high winds, and widespread torrential rains that will likely make this a multi-billion dollar disaster for China. The outer rain bands of Megi are already affecting the coast of China north of Hong Kong, as seen on Hong Kong radar and Taiwan radar.


Figure 3. Still frame of damage to NE Luzon Island from a video posted to YouTube by storm chaser James Reynolds of typhoonfury.com.

Next update
I'll have an update later today, with the timing depending upon what the Hurricane Hunters find.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting pottery:

and the initials stand for Just Freaking Vexing.
Now, enough of that!


excellent good sir! back to teh tropics. is this a South Florida threater? thank you in advance most kind sir.

:o)
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Quoting Floodman:


There's a freindly face...what's up, partner?



Hey, wildman. Good to see you. Just enjoying the banter between the doomsayers and naysayers.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


I heard towns around the eyewall were completely destroyed?


I believe you're talking about Monaconan which was completely destroyed, even the schools (meant as shelters) were blown away, no buildings left standing there.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Has JFV been on lately? I can only go on once in while because been so busy at work. Did he cause trouble again?


Yesterday FLstormwarning (I think it was him) was causing trouble. He kept repeating that this thing will hit FL as a major hurricane, we need to evacuate. 'nuff' said.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Has JFV been on lately? I can only go on once in while because been so busy at work. Did he cause trouble again?


LOL.. I don't even know why those initials are being typed anymore.
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.... and in the meantime,
dark sky and gusty breezes coming in from the south-east.
Rain just starting...

Lazy weather.
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Quoting BobinTampa:


JFV - well known former blogger/panicker/misspeller. His avatar was him standing in front of a sweet tropical fish-themed shower curtain.

and the initials stand for Just Freaking Vexing.
Now, enough of that!
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I am going to say this again and i have said it with many storms and nothing much materialized. This storm could pose the greatest threat to the US we have had all season with the strong possibility of it making landfall on American soil.
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Quoting txjac:
Post 339 ..Scott
I think that I like your Grandma!
She is a hoot!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Quoting oracle28:


Man, I sure wish I knew the shower curtain reference. I feel so out-of-touch.


JFV - well known former blogger/panicker/misspeller. His avatar was him standing in front of a sweet tropical fish-themed shower curtain.
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341. txjac
Post 339 ..Scott
I think that I like your Grandma!
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Quoting Jeff9641:


But same end result! No matter where the exit point into the gulf is will mean a NE turn as the trough will move in at that time. This is right on par for Climo.


You might be right, but the intensity is the big question. It might amount to something, or nothing.
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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:



lmao..ok

i think this will be the storm that finally aligns a temporal displacement of energy (in the form of matter) across time (both in reverse and forward). it's halloween so it must be armageddon, right? lmao


try to out-do that red eye on jupiter! lmfao


That storm on Jupiter is nothing more than a morning breeze in Texas compared to this one on Neptune - http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/Magazines/images/251Ne ptune.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i1/neptune.asp&usg=__b48Hf-F-l5_Gvm QygPlZn2rliwI=&h=170&w=156&sz=3&hl=en&start=10&zoom=1&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=gkRvFpSXEcRpAM:&tbnh=99&tbnw =91&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dneptune%2527s%2Bstorm%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us :IE-SearchBox%26tbs%3Disch:1

And talk about a long range weather forecast, can you top this one? - http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/neptune_great_dark_spot.jpg&imgref url=http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/week252.html&usg=__2gWVGFaXDPBPQkeKcR7lVQX-IMk=&h=285&w=218&sz=7&h l=en&start=7&zoom=1&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=wcMVrZb4cwwwmM:&tbnh=115&tbnw=88&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dneptune%25 27s%2Bstorm%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26tbs%3Disch:1

I am a rookie but I am going out on a limb and venture to say that the possible future Richard has a lot of growing up to do to take top rank in the solar system. I will not completely rule this out but I give Richard less than a 1% chance. LOL
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Quoting SeniorPoppy:


LOL...If I hear Wilma one more time on here..

The shear would tear this disturbance apart.


Could you please post the seven day shear forecast? TIA.
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My Grandma is 95 years old and lives in S FL. Shes been thru more hurricanes than she can remember. She asked if I was crazy letting her know about something that hasnt even developed yet? She told me I had too much time on my hands, looking at FANTASTICAL stuff. Good ole Grandma. LOL
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Quoting Jeff9641:


But same end result! No matter where the exit point into the gulf is will mean a NE turn as the trough will move in at that time. This is right on par for Climo.



See 327.

Classic Mid-October cyclone track shaping up.

Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Again, I love how certain posters ignore every single model that they don't agree with and only post links to the ones that do agree with their take on the situation.

For me, I'll go with the kid who is actually getting his degree as a Met and actively works on not only being a stable but well reasoned and intelligent poster here.

And to Acyddrop.

I agree that inflaming the situation isn't helpful. But neither is sticking your head in the sand and pretending that it's not outside the realm of possibility. We know so very little about our planet and exactly what is going on with it and Mother Nature has proven time and time again that if you tempt her she will bite.

Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 405
Quoting pottery:
Does GFDL track stand for "Grand Florida Doom Line"?


It isn't even heading at Florida anymore until the end of the run and is actually better aligned with the environmental conditions that are in play right now. Intensity is probably still too high but it's being more realistic at 12Z.

Link
Member Since: October 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
Quoting victoriahurricane:


Minimal damage? Have you seen this video?

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/nation/10/20/10/juan-ravages-palanan-isabela

Phillippines damage must be in the 100's of millions if not billions of dollars crops have failed everywhere. Lives lost is small I agree, but saying Megi did minimal damage is ridiculous.


I heard towns around the eyewall were completely destroyed?
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
330. txjac
xcool ...snow in Texas in 2011 ...love it!
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


It is either going to not do anything or become a monster ... nothing in between
If it becomes a monster, there would be a time it would do everything in between!
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Quoting Floodman:


There's a freindly face...what's up, partner?
Just wanted to say hi . Gotta go....This upper low in the Eastern Caribbean might effect 99 down the road....Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22594
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
great differences in the GFDL & HWRF 12Z



On timing and intensity but, if you extrapolate the movement, will also head in the direction of SWFL. 88kt storm shooting off to the ENE at the end of the run.

This is the most believable run yet from the GFDL.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Levi32:
12z HWRF still on the crazy train, though it honestly does illustrate the kind of feedback we could see with this if it develops a core while in the Caribbean. However, maintaining that kind of intensity in the Gulf of Mexico is unrealistic.



is ur tidbit out yet?
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Quoting Waltanater:
Looks like Megi did minimal damage. Only 13 causualties.


Minimal damage? Have you seen this video?

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/nation/10/20/10/juan-ravages-palanan-isabela

Phillippines damage must be in the 100's of millions if not billions of dollars crops have failed everywhere. Lives lost is small I agree, but saying Megi did minimal damage is ridiculous.
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Quoting Levi32:


I believe it. The circulation honestly looks very nice and ready to go if the shear relaxes just a bit more.


A chunk of wind shear to its west has been on the increase a little bit, but areas to the north, shear has been dropping.




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Quoting SeniorPoppy:


LOL...If I hear Wilma one more time on here..

The shear would tear this disturbance apart.


Slooowly I turned...step by step...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
great differences in the GFDL & HWRF 12Z

Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Does GFDL track stand for "Grand Florida Doom Line"?
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Ahhh...that's the answer I should have choosen! LOL


I thought E was just simply WE ARE ALL DOOM!
No?
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thanks ike. you showed s to se drift that would not be towards fla if my geography is correct.Sorry wishcasters lol nhc does not agree.but what the models do agree upon in the next 10 days is a strong front pushing south and a massive high building in.If thats the case richard to central america and the popular destination of storms for the 2010 season southern mainland mexico.
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Quoting 7544:
hwrf shows a wilma track at 102k to fla will the gfdl show the same track the next run


LOL...If I hear Wilma one more time on here..

The shear would tear this disturbance apart.
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Quoting katadman:



Levi, your daily tid-bit is one of the main reasons I come here each day. Thanks!


There's a freindly face...what's up, partner?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Great point. 120 hours at bit far out for exact tracks especially for a system that doesn't even have tropical classification yet.


What we know right now is there's a thing with some stuff doing some other stuff in the Caribbean with stuff that can make the other stuff do more stuff. That's what we know. I'm sorry I'm being extremely technical here.
Member Since: October 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
Quoting oracle28:


hypercasting? nah

New Poll, will 99L become

A) low-end Cat 4 hurricane
B) high-end Cat 4 hurricane
C) low-end Cat 5 hurricane
D) the strongest storm in the solar system

I would say D, but a Hyper Super Solar Cane destroyed life on every other planet about 6.5 billion years ago. Will See!!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Notice the upper low moving into the Eastern Caribbean. If it were to get into the WestLink Central Caribbean, it would start to shear 99L....
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22594
Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:
lol as the tracks are all bending this invest into fla. all the fla. citizens are getting bent. is that going to add into the storm's feedback loop? lol


It's the Florida resident effect. All the citizens of South Florida bend and cause a moth to flap it's wings in Africa and this creates a feedback loop ultimately dooming us all. Damn that GFDL model after all!
Member Since: October 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
308. xcool


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307. afj3
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:

Where did you get that run? I just went to the GFDL and it had the storm still in the Caribbean. Gonna check now....
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Quoting Jeff9641:


These models have very persistant with track and intensity. I would take note if I lived in SW FL and I mean that!


Jeff,
I see that this is the real Jeff and you are starting to scare me!!!!! DOOM FOR MIAMI FL or further north FL?
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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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