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 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?
Member Since: October 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 269
JB is also concerned for West Florida. No matter where this exits into the GULF a turn NE will happen. This means our drought ends next week.
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Not liking the 12Z HWRF run towards west coast of Florida. Hope that does not verify.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
GFDL bends this to FL as well.

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfdl/invest99l.2010102012_nest3.png


It is too early to tell.
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Quoting BobinTampa:


I'm leaning towards D but I'm not sure it will surpass the spot on Jupiter. But it will certainly be close enough that we'll all be dead. All the shower curtains in the world ain't gonna change that.


Man, I sure wish I knew the shower curtain reference. I feel so out-of-touch.
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Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
New energy heading to the COC from NW quadrant.

I expect that convection will return to the COC very soon with the convection currently to the east near Jamaica shifting west towards the center.

COC 17.1N 82.1W

Member Since: October 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 192
Quoting FLWaterFront:


E. A Super-Hypo-Blasto-cane. And of course it will make at least three landfalls in Florida, without weakening at all.

Ahhh...that's the answer I should have choosen! LOL
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Quoting Jeff9641:
News 13 in Orlando is saying that the NHC as feeling that a FL landfall from this thing next Tuesday is a good bet. Sorry downcasters!


I suppose they were looking for ratings. :)
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Quoting Jeff9641:


One? Several!


Several calling for storm development... one calling for DOOM Factor 14...

And, still 120 hours out...

Here's the forecast accuracy trend - the blue line is 120 hours out... an error easily of 250 miles - on either side of the forecast point...

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Quoting FLWaterFront:


E. A Super-Hypo-Blasto-cane. And of course it will make at least three landfalls in Florida, without weakening at all.


F) Florida will become an island after 99L impact.
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Quoting scott39:
Levi did you show a map a few days ago with a system N of the Yucatan in the GOM, dated around the 24th?
Joe Bastardi also showed the same thing about a week ago.
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Quoting aprinz1979:


LOL you crack me up every time you post something!


*something!*
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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



E. A Super-Hypo-Blasto-cane. And of course it will make at least three landfalls in Florida, without weakening at all.
Member Since: October 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 746
Quoting kmanislander:


No, the readings I just saw are new and decoded in the last 20 minutes or so.
Ok
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290. 7544
hwrf shows a wilma track at 102k to fla will the gfdl show the same track the next run
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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


Is there an option 'E' for "None of the Above"?
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Is the dry air to its NW and SE, in a way, causing this system to be more "stacked" vertically and possibly more compact as a unit? Maybe this dry air, in general is helping it a bit for now. Any thoughts from any MET expert here on this?
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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
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting BobinTampa:


I'm leaning towards D but I'm not sure it will surpass the spot on Jupiter. But it will certainly be close enough that we'll all be dead. All the shower curtains in the world ain't gonna change that.

LOL
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24646
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



LOL you crack me up every time you post something!
Member Since: October 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 269
Quoting scott39:
Is this the same 1007mb I posted earlier and was told it was 1010mb?


No, the readings I just saw are new and decoded in the last 20 minutes or so.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15846
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


17:25:30Z 17.250N 82.400W 991.4 mb
(~ 29.28 inHg) 139 meters
(~ 456 feet) 1007.3 mb
(~ 29.75 inHg)
Ok then, Tropical Atlantic must have the heads up.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


17:25:30Z 17.250N 82.400W 991.4 mb
(~ 29.28 inHg) 139 meters
(~ 456 feet) 1007.3 mb
(~ 29.75 inHg)


and also

AL, 99, 2010102012, , BEST, 0, 177N, 825W, 30, 1007, LO,
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
GFDL bends this to FL as well.

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfdl/invest99l.2010102012_nest3.png
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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



yah maybe it will just cause a black hole and we all won't have to worry about it anymore...lol
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting scott39:
Is this the same 1007mb I posted earlier and was told it was 1010mb?


17:25:30Z 17.250N 82.400W 991.4 mb
(~ 29.28 inHg) 139 meters
(~ 456 feet) 1007.3 mb
(~ 29.75 inHg)
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting FSUCOOPman:


Do I have to start out with something so powerful? Can I maybe get a nice solid CAT1 for starters!?!?!?!? :-P


Careful what you wish for, lol. My first was Frances a year after I moved here. Crawling weak CAT2 that lasted forever. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, it about drove me nutz.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting TampaTom:


One model... still 120 hours out...


One? Several!
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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'm leaning towards D but I'm not sure it will surpass the spot on Jupiter. But it will certainly be close enough that we'll all be dead. All the shower curtains in the world ain't gonna change that.
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Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED OCT 20 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SATELLITE IMAGERY AND DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT INDICATE THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM CENTERED ABOUT 160 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF GRAND CAYMAN HAS CHANGED LITTLE THIS AFTERNOON.
ALTHOUGH ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT...CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME SOMEWHAT MORE
FAVORABLE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR
SO. THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT DRIFTS TO THE SOUTH
OR SOUTHEAST. INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE. REGARDLESS OF
DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
AND JAMAICA DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/STEWART


That pretty much sums up our conversation this morning.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15846
Levi did you show a map a few days ago with a system N of the Yucatan in the GOM, dated around the 24th?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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


umm, so you're going with...'E'?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWaterFront:


Those models are both too aggressive with this storm. And there is a good chance that neither one of them has a good handle on the eventual track solution either.

Have you seen Levi's video blog post yet?


These models have very persistant with track and intensity. I would take note if I lived in SW FL and I mean that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
271. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED OCT 20 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SATELLITE IMAGERY AND DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT INDICATE THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM CENTERED ABOUT 160 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF GRAND CAYMAN HAS CHANGED LITTLE THIS AFTERNOON.
ALTHOUGH ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT...CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME SOMEWHAT MORE
FAVORABLE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR
SO. THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT DRIFTS TO THE SOUTH
OR SOUTHEAST.
INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE. REGARDLESS OF
DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
AND JAMAICA DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/STEWART
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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




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
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting Jeff9641:
Let me guess downcasters this isn't happening right well guess again it's the only solution that makes sense right now. Hurricane hitting the west coast of FL. Read it and weep guys!

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/hwrf/invest99l.2010102012/invest99l.2010102012_anim.html#pic ture


One model... still 120 hours out...
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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.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26681
Quoting kmanislander:
The HH just found 1007.3 mb pressure reading in the center of 99L. That is quite a drop from what they saw much earlier today.
Is this the same 1007mb I posted earlier and was told it was 1010mb?
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Quoting LoveThemCanes:

hmmmm, I ate mine already.....might have to go shopping again next week


don't eat your money. it is some of the dirtiest stuff in the world....you never know where a old dollar bill has been...lol
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
Quoting aprinz1979:


I agree with you too, just that I've noticed there is a trend here for hypercasting and since Levi is "THE BEST" I just wanted to throw that out there before JFV came back........LOL


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

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FSUCOOPman:


Do I have to start out with something so powerful? Can I maybe get a nice solid CAT1 for starters!?!?!?!? :-P


LMAO! Hey if you want the experience.....
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Quoting Ryuujin:


Thank you Levi. This is what. I've treid to get through the posters on this blog since I've been here. There are some bloggers that are way, way too dismissive of the chance of a Tropical System coming their way that they all too often turn a blind eye to the chance of it happen and routinely encourage others to do the same.


I take a pragmatic approach to these things rather than an alarmist approach. I went through every hurricane that slammed into Florida from 2004 - 2006 but I still prefer to take a wait and see attitude. I don't see the point in inflaming a situation, like a major hurricane that is devastating to the people that have to endure them beyond what the situation in reality warrants.

If an impact of a significant hurricane is immanent and a near foregone conclusion than experts need to make those people in the effected areas aware as soon as possible, with as much lead time as possible I agree completely. But inflaming a situation that is probably not going to happen (ie: 10 or 15% chance) is a complete waste of peoples time and only serves to frighten the people in those effected areas (like SoFla) who have already endured enough in my opinion.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Let me guess downcasters this isn't happening right well guess again it's the onlt solution that makes sense right now. Hurricane hitting the west coast of FL. Read it and weep guys!

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/hwrf/invest99l.2010102012/invest99l.2010102012_anim.html#pic ture


Those models are both too aggressive with this storm. And there is a good chance that neither one of them has a good handle on the eventual track solution either.

Have you seen Levi's video blog post yet?
Member Since: October 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 746
Vertically growing cumulus bands west and south of the center indicate that 99L is ready to develop a core if the wind shear and dry air will allow it. We could see this get named in a hurry if we get a convective burst near the center to tighten in a well-defined vortex.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26681
HWRF is showing a Cat 4 making landfall exactly where Charley did 6 years ago. FL better watch this closely!!!!!
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Quoting lickitysplit:
its either gonna die out or turn into Megi.


Reed? that you?

MR "Remnant Low or hurricane". (Nicole prediction)
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News 13 in Orlando is saying that the NHC as feeling that a FL landfall from this thing next Tuesday is a good bet. Sorry downcasters!
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Quoting LoveThemCanes:


Don't feel bad...I use to feel the same way until Andrew came through town.


Do I have to start out with something so powerful? Can I maybe get a nice solid CAT1 for starters!?!?!?!? :-P
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 376
Let me guess downcasters this isn't happening right well guess again it's the only solution that makes sense right now. Hurricane hitting the west coast of FL. Read it and weep guys!

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/hwrf/invest99l.2010102012/invest99l.2010102012_anim.html#pic ture
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
12Z CMC...

Just like the 12Z GFS. Notta
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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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