Tropical Storm Don forms in the Gulf of Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:29 PM GMT on July 27, 2011

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Tropical Storm Don, the fourth tropical cyclone of the 2011 season, has formed in the Gulf of Mexico just north of the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane Hunters began investigating the system earlier this afternoon and quickly found a closed surface circulation. As the mission continued to gather data from what was thought to be a tropical depression at the time, winds of around 39 mph were found, as well as a 1001 mb central pressure, bringing the system up to tropical storm strength.


Figure 1. Satellite loop of Tropical Storm Don. This loop will stay current.

The official forecast for Don agrees with what most of the models have been suggesting over the past 24 hours. Don will make its way toward the northwest over the next 48 hours before making landfall somewhere between Brownsville and Galveston. The statistical models tend to suggest a more southerly track toward Brownsville, and the dynamical models are forecasting anything from Corpus Christi to Galveston. They all tend to agree landfall will occur late on the 29th (Friday night). Whether or not Don will reach hurricane status is still in question. The Hurricane Center's initial forecast is that Don will remain a tropical storm until landfall. Today some models were intensifying Don to a strong tropical storm, but none crossed the hurricane threshold. Now that we have data from aircraft reconnaissance, the models will be able to get a better handle on potential intensity. The runs that occur later tonight and early tomorrow will have much less uncertainty than those from today.


Figure 2. Model forecast tracks for Tropical Storm Don as of Wednesday afternoon.

I believe Jeff will be back tomorrow for an update.

Angela

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Don is ragged! Needs a boost tonight or strengthening will be very, very slow
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Convergence has improved.


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I'm here....it is slow tonight. I guess Don isn't to impressive at the moment.
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1273. GHOSTY1
Nigel, i think were like the last two people on tonight most everyone else went to bed.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1272. nigel20
Lower shear ahead.
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1271. GHOSTY1
If you watch the GOM Rainbow Loop you can really see the reduction in sheer from the NE and that Don needs to start up his engines into high gear and get them storms goin while the goin' is good.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1270. GHOSTY1
When i leave do you'll think y'all can hold down the fort and promote the intensification of Don?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1269. GHOSTY1
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
I'm out for now.


Later, be safe and "good night" we will keep a good watch on Don as of now it looks as if the shear is weakening and he may get his chance to intensify so you may get a good surprise whenever you return.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting FrankZapper:
Don will go down as one of the MOST beneficial TS since records were kept. He will make landfall with a paltry windspeed of 50-55 mph. There will be sustained tropical rains and mild breeses that will put a massive dent in the Texas and maybe even New Mexico droughts. There will be no loss of life and minimal property damage. Maybe a tree limb or 2 will fall, but even this could be a good thing because tree limbs have to go sooner or later. If my vision works out, thank you Don.


Form your lips to the tropical gods' ears! I dont live in Texas but I hope the best for them.
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Quoting HCW:
Model madness zoomed on Texas
br


Good, just keep the intensity down. Rained at my house in CC one day (for 30 minutes) in the last four months. Gonna go mow the dirt tomorrow, just because, I hope, I won't be able to do it again for a week or so.
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1266. GHOSTY1
The windshear to the Northeast really seems to be subsiding so now is the time to strike while the time is right and intensify as soon as possible. The convection needs to continue to intensify because it looks as if the past convection may be weakening a little but as i said before that is a sign of intensification.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting Brillig:
P.S. take a look at 30 degrees west. There's another round of circulation that's reminiscent of what Don was doing a week ago.
Will be interesting to see how this wave shapes up during the Atlantic crossing. Good circulation viewable on the Eumetsat site.
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1262. Patrap
The - button will also hide the post.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128661
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1260. GHOSTY1
As Field Marshall Erwin Rommel said "Don't look left or right only forward" we all should know that Don shouldn't weakin' and only strengthen for us.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Don will go down as one of the MOST beneficial TS since records were kept. He will make landfall with a paltry windspeed of 50-55 mph. There will be sustained tropical rains and mild breezes that will put a massive dent in the Texas and maybe even New Mexico droughts. There will be no loss of life and minimal property damage. Maybe a tree limb or 2 will fall, but even this could be a good thing because tree limbs have to go sooner or later. If my vision works out, thank you Don.
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1257. Seawall
Try Firefox, I use it and have no problem with the blog.
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1256. MTWX
Quoting Patrap:



Use the HIDE Button on the comment and that should help.

If you do that on mine, it just prevents you from viewing the blog from that comment on...
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1254. GHOSTY1
Post 1247 i think that is the true path, like i said earlier im possibly heading down to Corpus this weekend on Friday (i consider friday the start of weekend) and i plan on seeing if it follows the path we believe it will follow and maybe ill get a good show of force out of Don
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1253. HCW
Model madness zoomed on Texas

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1252. Patrap
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
Btw post 1238 messed up the blog with that video please remove it thanks some of us dont have firefox,etc.



Use the HIDE Button on the comment and that should help.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128661
1251. GHOSTY1
I don't think Don should anchor up because it would allow the high to move further east and drag Don into Louisiana leaving us Texans for the dead, if Don continues slowly across the GOM i think he will intensify just fine for Texans.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Yulp just like Keeper said,
Night time, warm waters and no land to mess with him...

re-firing for sure....

Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
1248. Seawall
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Lake Charles la
939 PM CDT Wednesday Jul 27 2011


Discussion...
bumped the winds and seas up a little for Thursday-Saturday in the
coastal waters to reflect tropical storm dons passage to our
south. Otherwise no updates expected this evening.


&&


Previous discussion... /issued 416 PM CDT Wednesday Jul 27 2011/


Discussion...
weakness in the height field along the Gulf Coast...coupled with a
an axis of rich Gulf moisture characterized by a precipitable water of 2.5
inches per the morning klch radiosonde observation...is expected to result in
another active day for showers and thunderstorms tomorrow. Have
tilted the first 48 hours or so of the forecast heavily toward
persistence for both rain chances and temperatures. Beyond that
time...global models show relatively drier air filtering into the
region...along with increasing heights as an upper ridge builds
from the southeast Continental U.S. Toward the Central Plains.


This ridge...by the way...is expected to help steer ts Don toward the
Lower Texas coast...and block any further gains in latitude that would
bring greater impacts to our region. On the current forecast
track...effects over the northwest Gulf Coast region will be
minimal...and at this time limited generally to increasing winds
and seas over the coastal waters late Thursday through Friday.


Inherited forecast beyond the weekend left generally unchanged.
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0zGFS shifted south, has landfall around Corpus.
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1245. GHOSTY1
The latest rainbow satellite imagery is starting to show increased convective (if thats a word) activity the rest of loop speaks for itself, Don is coming back. "Here's DONNY!!!!"
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1243. Patrap
Don needs to weigh anchor and getta move on with this next convective up-tick
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128661
1242. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128661
1241. Seawall
Will he? Or Will he not? LOL
thanks to all the posters with the great maps. You guys just.. well, you rock.
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1240. GHOSTY1
Ike was a pain in the butt in the power perspective because we were out of power for like 2 to 3 weeks, and school had already started before we got power back which made life a pain.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1239. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting RitaEvac:
KOTG, yea you see it
yes air temp must be below water temp to get a tropical cyclones cycle going and what better time to get that then at night when its cooler thats when it starts to feed off the warm waters and thats what it is starting to do
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54376
If you watch Don on the precip. imagery, and look closely at his interaction on the west side, with that slot of dry(light green) air, you can actually see him choke on it this afternoon. He bumps up against it, and it appears to bounce off of the circulation, and then it shudders. Fascinating to watch if you look very closely.

However, as you'll also see in later frames, he's about to wall himself off from the dry air, as there's a large plume of moisture about to wrap around the core completely.

That's when I expect to see ignition tonight. DMAX will occur around the time that that surge of moist air encircles the core.



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Don really needs that recent pop NE of the center to continue to grow and expand over the center. Quite possible that happens though. The band to the east looks to be feeding in moisture and is flaring also.
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1236. Patrap
Naw,, I have a friend in Boca who helps me with a lotta stuff.

: )


Bookmarks mostly and wunderground Tropical Page too,..only 7 tabs currently.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128661
1235. GHOSTY1
Patrap, your really on it with the satellite, models, videos, and everything how do you do all that so fast? Do you have a ton of tabs open or something?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting txraysfan:
With the huge cracks, would be concerned that if we had any wind, dead trees and light poles would just blow over


I've thought about that as well. Recall how many people lost power from Ike when it came through. It doesn't appear the power company ever came back through and fully repaired all of the patchwork they did to get things up and running as fast as they did. I'm afraid of what it will look like if a hurricane did come through. A simple thunderstorm we got a few weeks back took out quite a few trees.
Member Since: July 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 86
1233. scott39
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Don is really struggling. Let's see how much the diurnal maximum helps it in a few hours...
Does it look like Dons taking a turn towards the NW in the last few frames?
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1232. GHOSTY1
what do you mean the tx/la border will be safe? Like no landfall near tx/la border or they will get a landfall?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting Patrap:
USMC Silent Drill team

note they enter and exit the same way..


Pat thanks for that!

Awsome!

Thought I could handle a rifle, but, apparently, my skills are rudimentary at best.
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Don is really struggling. Let's see how much the diurnal maximum helps it in a few hours...
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1228. GHOSTY1
This may be the start to the intensification of Don and i'm hopin' it starts. Does anyone know if the wind shear as of now has weakened any? and what about dry air?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1227. Brillig
Quoting P451:
As of now it looks like Don is going to go.....right where it needs to most.






Both maps 0z


I think the bulk of precipitation is going to be about a hundred miles or so north of where it's indicated. Draw a line from Austin to current COC, and take mirror image of what you have here, mirrored about that line. That's my prediction anyway.
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1226. GHOSTY1
Seastep, don't say such things, we need the rain here in Texas, be hopeful, nah im just kidding wherever its heading its gonna head. Although we need the rain so badly. Time for the overused cliche' "Hope for the best (Don hits Texas and gives needed rain) but prepare for the worst (Don hits Mexico or TX/LA border and leaves TX dry).
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453

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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.