Little change to 99L, which remains very close to tropical depression status

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:11 PM GMT on October 20, 2010

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A tropical disturbance (Invest 99L) centered 160 miles southwest of the Cayman Islands is moving south to southeast at 5 - 10 mph. A Hurricane Hunter flight arrived in the storm at about 11am this morning, and found a closed circulation with top winds at flight level (700 feet) of 33 mph. A closed circulation and 30 mph surface winds are necessary conditions for a tropical depression to exist, but the storm must also have a great deal of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center that persists for many hours. In the judgment of NHC, 99L does not qualify as a tropical depression in that regard. The storm is bringing heavy rain to the Cayman Islands; 4.14" inches has fallen over the past 2 1/2 days at Savannah on Grand Cayman Island. Heavy rains have diminished over the Cayman Islands, but have spread to western Jamaica and west-central Cuba this afternoon. Recent satellite imagery shows that the surface circulation center is exposed to view, and 99L has a relatively meager amount of heavy thunderstorm activity. The center is more than 80 miles west of the heaviest thunderstorm activity, and it is likely that 99L's center will relocate itself to the east to be more underneath the heaviest thunderstorms. 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. A new hurricane hunter aircraft will be in the storm tonight near 8pm EDT.

Forecast for 99L
The current southward movement of 99L is carrying the storm into a region of lower wind shear, and we should see 99L accumulate more heavy thunderstorm activity near its center beginning tonight. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear over the Western Caribbean will decline below 15 knots Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon, which should allow the storm to become a tropical depression by Thursday. Steering currents will be weak today through Friday in the Western Caribbean, making it difficult to predict where 99L may go. The models are split into two camps, with the GFDL and HWRF models taking 99L to the west-northwest over the western tip of Cuba or the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday as a hurricane. The rest of the models take 99L to the south over Honduras on Sunday, and keep the storm below hurricane strength. Given 99L's current southward motion and the possibility that the center will relocate farther to the east later today, this makes a track to the southwest towards Honduras more likely, I predict. NHC is giving 99L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday, which is a reasonable forecast. I expect this will become Tropical Storm Richard by Friday.


Figure 1. Afternoon 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 3 typhoon with 125 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, or as a strong Category 2, 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 Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Expected to make landfall on the Yucatan near hurricane status:



Considering it shouldn't take to Friday to become a TS, I'd say the NHC forecast intensity is a little low, and this could become a 75 mph - 80 mph hurricane.


Wait until the new models come out, should be interesting then.
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Quoting shikori:


LOL, there is a sarcasm flag?


When sarcastic remarks are posted some bloggers say " Sarcasm Flag ON " LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15846
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673. HCW
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THE TRACK GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON THIS SCENARIO...
EXCEPT FOR THE HWRF WHICH TAKES THE CYCLONE TOWARD THE YUCATAN
CHANNEL AND THEN TURNS IT NORTHEASTWARD TOWARD FLORIDA. ALTHOUGH
THE LATTER SOLUTION CANNOT BE COMPLETELY DISCOUNTED...THE
OFFICIAL NHC TRACK FORECAST LEANS TOWARDS A CONSENSUS OF THE OTHER
DYNAMICAL MODELS.
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Expected to make landfall on the Yucatan near hurricane status:



Considering it shouldn't take to Friday to become a TS, I'd say the NHC forecast intensity is a little low, and this could become a 75 mph - 80 mph hurricane.
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Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
More possible trouble in the Pacific....

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SUMMARY OF 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.5N 81.1W
ABOUT 125 MI...200 KM S OF GRAND CAYMAN
ABOUT 220 MI...355 KM NE OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON NIC/HON BORDER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 100 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES



discussion


SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE CENTER OF THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM
OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS NOW LOCATED CLOSER TO THE
MAIN MASS OF DEEP CONVECTION THAN IT WAS EARLIER TODAY. THE OVERALL
CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME SLIGHTLY BETTER ORGANIZED...RESULTING IN
DVORAK DATA T-NUMBERS OF 1.5 FROM BOTH TAFB AND SAB. DEEP
CONVECTION HAS ALSO BEEN ON THE INCREASE DURING THE LAST SEVERAL
HOURS. BASED PRIMARILY ON THE FACT THAT THE CIRCULATION CENTER IS
NOW MORE INVOLVED WITH THE DEEP CONVECTION...THE SYSTEM IS BEING
DESIGNATED AS A TROPICAL CYCLONE AT THIS TIME. RECONNAISSANCE DATA
FROM EARLIER TODAY INDICATED AN INTENSITY NEAR 30 KT...AND IT IS
ASSUMED THAT THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH SINCE THE
TIME OF THOSE OBSERVATIONS.

SINCE THE CENTER APPEARS TO HAVE REFORMED DURING THE LAST FEW
HOURS...THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS AN UNCERTAIN 100/02. THE
CYCLONE IS CURRENTLY LOCATED IN A COL REGION AT THE BASE OF A
MID-LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES AND TO THE WEST OF
A SUBTROPICAL RIDGE OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6064
Quoting Chicklit:


Loop

west?
More like Stationary.
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...NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA...
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Quoting kmanislander:


Oh, didn't see the sarcasm flag up !


LOL, there is a sarcasm flag?
Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
664. JLPR2
Quoting Chicklit:
I think you're grasping at straws JLPR2.
Anyway, goodnight.


More like coffee straws XD
Then again nothing is impossible.
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good evening all i see we have td 19 now looks like another hurricane(maybe major) with this cause of little steering watch out!!!
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000
WTNT44 KNHC 210232
TCDAT4
TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINETEEN DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
1100 PM EDT WED OCT 20 2010

SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE CENTER OF THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM
OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS NOW LOCATED CLOSER TO THE
MAIN MASS OF DEEP CONVECTION THAN IT WAS EARLIER TODAY. THE OVERALL
CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME SLIGHTLY BETTER ORGANIZED...RESULTING IN
DVORAK DATA T-NUMBERS OF 1.5 FROM BOTH TAFB AND SAB. DEEP
CONVECTION HAS ALSO BEEN ON THE INCREASE DURING THE LAST SEVERAL
HOURS. BASED PRIMARILY ON THE FACT THAT THE CIRCULATION CENTER IS
NOW MORE INVOLVED WITH THE DEEP CONVECTION...THE SYSTEM IS BEING
DESIGNATED AS A TROPICAL CYCLONE AT THIS TIME. RECONNAISSANCE DATA
FROM EARLIER TODAY INDICATED AN INTENSITY NEAR 30 KT...AND IT IS
ASSUMED THAT THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH SINCE THE
TIME OF THOSE OBSERVATIONS.

SINCE THE CENTER APPEARS TO HAVE REFORMED DURING THE LAST FEW
HOURS...THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS AN UNCERTAIN 100/02. THE
CYCLONE IS CURRENTLY LOCATED IN A COL REGION AT THE BASE OF A
MID-LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES AND TO THE WEST OF
A SUBTROPICAL RIDGE OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC. GLOBAL MODELS BUILD
THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO NORTH OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE AS THE TROUGH
LIFTS OUT OF THE REGION AFTER ABOUT 36 HOURS. THE MAJORITY OF THE
TRACK GUIDANCE SHOWS A SLOW LOOPING MOTION TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST...
SOUTH...AND THEN SOUTHWEST DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. AFTER
THAT...A WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION WITH SOME INCREASE
IN FORWARD SPEED IS INDICATED DUE TO THE BUILDING RIDGE TO THE
NORTH. THE TRACK GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON THIS SCENARIO...
EXCEPT FOR THE HWRF WHICH TAKES THE CYCLONE TOWARD THE YUCATAN
CHANNEL AND THEN TURNS IT NORTHEASTWARD TOWARD FLORIDA. ALTHOUGH
THE LATTER SOLUTION CANNOT BE COMPLETELY DISCOUNTED...THE
OFFICIAL NHC TRACK FORECAST LEANS TOWARDS A CONSENSUS OF THE OTHER
DYNAMICAL MODELS.

UW-CIMSS ANALYSES INDICATE THAT THE DEPRESSION IS BEING AFFECTED BY
MODERATE SOUTHWESTERLY SHEAR ASSOCIATED WITH THE EASTERN UNITED
STATES TROUGH. AS THIS FEATURE LIFTS OUT OF THE AREA IN ABOUT 36
HOURS...THE SHIPS MODEL OUTPUT INDICATES A REDUCTION IN THE SHEAR IN
A DAY OR TWO WHICH SHOULD FAVOR GRADUAL INTENSIFICATION OVER THE
WARM WATERS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN. LATER IN THE FORECAST
PERIOD...THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS COMPLICATED BY UNCERTAINTIES IN
THE FUTURE INTERACTION WITH LAND. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS IN
REASONABLE AGREEMENT WITH THE INTENSITY MODEL CONSENSUS AND THE
STATISTICAL-DYNAMICAL LGEM GUIDANCE.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 21/0300Z 17.5N 81.1W 30 KT
12HR VT 21/1200Z 17.1N 80.7W 30 KT
24HR VT 22/0000Z 16.8N 80.7W 30 KT
36HR VT 22/1200Z 16.4N 81.1W 35 KT
48HR VT 23/0000Z 16.3N 81.7W 40 KT
72HR VT 24/0000Z 16.6N 84.1W 50 KT
96HR VT 25/0000Z 18.0N 87.5W 55 KT
120HR VT 26/0000Z 19.5N 90.0W 30 KT

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/PASCH
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
This shows a change from 8 am to 11 am EDT today not the flight for tonight.


Yes, I know. My thinking is that they really cancelled the 20/12Z and said "oops" and had to schedule the 21/00Z flight as the 20/15Z flight.

Have no idea. Just a guess.
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000
WTNT34 KNHC 210231
TCPAT4
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINETEEN ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL192010
1100 PM EDT WED OCT 20 2010

...NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.5N 81.1W
ABOUT 125 MI...200 KM S OF GRAND CAYMAN
ABOUT 220 MI...355 KM NE OF CABO GRACIAS A DIOS ON NIC/HON BORDER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 100 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS
OF THIS DEPRESSION.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION
NINETEEN WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 81.1 WEST.
THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE EAST NEAR 2 MPH...4 KM/HR. A
TURN TOWARD THE SOUTH...FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE WEST...IS
EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 35 MPH...55
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED
ON THURSDAY...BUT THE DEPRESSION COULD BECOME A TROPICAL STORM IN
THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS
OF 5 TO 10 INCHES OVER JAMAICA...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF
15 INCHES IN AREAS OF HIGHER TERRAIN. THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE
LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES. TOTAL RAINFALL
ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CAYMAN
ISLANDS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 AM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/PASCH
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Quoting shikori:


Sarcasm man


Oh it's not sarcastic.
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Quoting shikori:


Sarcasm man


Oh, didn't see the sarcasm flag up !
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AL 99 at 20Oct,06mGMT

AL 19 at 21Oct,12amGMT
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
so from what im seeing,
TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINETEEN ADVISORY #1
30 MPH
MOVEMENT ENE AT 2
1006 MB


35 mph
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Loop

west?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
Quoting kmanislander:


Wrong. You don't want an intensifying storm on your doorstep not knowing where it may go.


Sarcasm man
Member Since: October 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 314
Quoting JLPR2:
CATL low is firing some convection.


Could this one keep crawling towards the Caribbean and try to develop there?

Possible.
Would be a pretty rare thing to happen..
But Tropical Weather cares nothing much, for historical records...
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Quoting shikori:


Even better news for us right?


Wrong. You don't want an intensifying storm on your doorstep not knowing where it may go.
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Quoting Chicklit:

Annual deadline was Friday the 15th by the 13th and 14th my voice was gone completely.
No great loss to the world but it surprised me.
The point is, these systems bring much needed rains to tropical climates. This is our element and if the rain dries up then things don't go well around here, although there will be more swamp land in Florida available for cattle grazing.
A tropical system is the only way we'll make up for the lack of rainfall here we're 8 inches below normal.
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Quoting kmanislander:
Updated steering. TD 19 stranded with no steering. Expect it to meander around for another day or two and intensify.



Typically, that's not a good thing.
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Quoting kmanislander:
Updated steering. TD 19 stranded with no steering. Expect it to meander around for another day or two and intensify.



Even better news for us right?
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Wind shear forecast shows favorable conditions in the S GOM in 96 hours. It also gets better in the whole GOM farther out in time. Still high but not like it is right now.
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hey sunlinepr that reminds me of the pirates of the caribbean
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Quoting Seastep:
Recon is not going. While they did not explicitly cancel it, I believe they combined the two flights with the schedule change remark.

3. REMARK: THE FIX MISSION FOR 20/1200Z IN TCPOD 10-140
WAS CHANGED TO A 20/1500Z INVEST MISSION.
This shows a change from 8 am to 11 am EDT today not the flight for tonight.
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Quoting Chicklit:

looks like megi is sparing hong kong

IMG src="http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/htdocs_dyn/tc_pages/thumbnails/thumbs/tc10/WPAC/15W.MEGI/vis/geo/1km _zoom/thumb/sm20101021.0057.gms6.x.vis1km_high.15WMEGI.90kts-956mb-194N- I hate Megi with a passion...
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Updated steering. TD 19 stranded with no steering. Expect it to meander around for another day or two and intensify.

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I think you're grasping at straws JLPR2.
Anyway, goodnight.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
What about this new COC...??



Almost time for another lazy Sunday POC trilogy, thanks for that, lol.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
What about this new COC...??



LOL
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639. JLPR2
CATL low is firing some convection.


Could this one keep crawling towards the Caribbean and try to develop there?
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I don't think recon is going. While they did not explicitly cancel it, I believe they combined the two flights with the schedule change remark.

3. REMARK: THE FIX MISSION FOR 20/1200Z IN TCPOD 10-140
WAS CHANGED TO A 20/1500Z INVEST MISSION.
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What about this new COC...??

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Quoting lightningbolt73:
Hope you get better soon Chicklit! Those colds are no fun! Unfortunately its getting to be that time of year!

Annual deadline was Friday the 15th by the 13th and 14th my voice was gone completely.
No great loss to the world but it surprised me.
The point is, these systems bring much needed rains to tropical climates. This is our element and if the rain dries up then things don't go well around here, although there will be more swamp land in Florida available for cattle grazing.
Not a pretty sight or a healthy one when the cattle are grazing and we've had rain.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
18Z GFDL actually has 19L moving SE at this point and we know that is not the case.
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Quoting sunlinepr:


I think that Levi's post considered your concerns very well;
Link

Thanks it does, especially re the dry air. Never say never but it would seem more likely then to discount HWRF and expect a more westward path 'underneath' Grand Cayman, once the ridge builds (rather than a polar motion toward us)?
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Hope you get better soon Chicklit! Those colds are no fun! Unfortunately its getting to be that time of year!
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Quoting caymanlurker:

That is a lot of dry air; is there a forecast for this? Also, do the latest models have the same initial Lat/Lon as the position of the new TD COC under the convection i.e. can we place any reliance upon them? Thanks


Dry Air, Check. Models do not seem to have initialized the COC center correctly however, somewhat close. I would've loved to have current recon data to have been plugged into the future models but, seems we'll have to wait for that tomorrow. Next runs will have the correct location.

Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


I know, enough already, a little rain every week or two would be nice. It's interesting that the southern "group" of models has shifted to west on average, rather than sw/wsw into Central America.


We're doomed. Where's Destin Jeff????!
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
Quoting Chicklit:

I've had severe sinusitis for almost two weeks.


I know, enough already, a little rain every week or two would be nice. It's interesting that the southern "group" of models has shifted to west on average, rather than sw/wsw into Central America.
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Quoting Chicklit:


Hi Potts, we'd take it.
Transportation an issue.

Yep, I know...
Reality always gets in the way.
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Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8421
so from what im seeing,
TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINETEEN ADVISORY #1
30 MPH
MOVEMENT ENE AT 2
1006 MB
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new COC based on updated WV loop 18.1N 81.2 W, click on fronts on top selection to see location

Link
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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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