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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1126. Patrap
Quoting tiggeriffic:


still say that those watches will include LA by mid-day tomorrow...got that gut feeling Patrap...and this time...it is so strong i am almost naucious



Well I certainly hope not,, tigger.

Maybe try some Pepto-Bismol

And as Ferris Bueller's Dad said..


.."Wrap yer head in a Hot towel, and eat some chicken soup"..


: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
Quoting JRRP:



Have one eye on that one, you should have two on it.
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1124. GHOSTY1
Quoting tiggeriffic:


still say that those watches will include LA by mid-day tomorrow...got that gut feeling Patrap...and this time...it is so strong i am almost naucious


Sounds like we got the same feeling except for i feel somewhere in between Rockport and Galveston, TX.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
ok
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1121. JRRP
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1120. Seastep
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Obvious to some, but to the newbies, maybe not so much.



Nice graphic.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


still say that those watches will include LA by mid-day tomorrow...got that gut feeling Patrap...and this time...it is so strong i am almost naucious


I second that!
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17% chance of Hurricane Don, down 4%from last adv
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Quoting Patrap:
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE TEXAS COAST FROM
PORT MANSFIELD NORTHWARD TO WEST OF SAN LUIS PASS.
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.


still say that those watches will include LA by mid-day tomorrow...got that gut feeling Patrap...and this time...it is so strong i am almost naucious
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click for bigger picture

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1114. GHOSTY1
Don't worry Don i haven't given up on you yet, there are some who are with me and know that you will continue to strengthen to bigger and better. Just as soon as you leave the Yucatan.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting P451:
Mexico radars stink real bad...but for what it's worth here it is. Can't get the image to load all frames flawlessly either - best I could get after several attempts:





ending 216Z 0728


---

Here's a better view of the WV imagery of the region. 6 hour loop. You can really see what is being talked about by all. The dry air from the NW. The shear from the NE. The collapse of convection on the whole of the north side as a result of both processes.



ending 145z 0728



Gives it a more TS icon shape IMO.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
1112. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
1110. Patrap
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE TEXAS COAST FROM
PORT MANSFIELD NORTHWARD TO WEST OF SAN LUIS PASS.
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
Gradual strengthening to 65 mph (or higher, as noted in this discussion as well) is still anticipated.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
Don suffering a little land interaction. As some have recently eluded, more steady strengthening should occur overnight as Don moves away from the Yucatan.
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Quoting Patrap:
..pay no attention to that Man behind the curtain...

..these are not the droids your looking for,..


LOL!!!
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1105. GHOSTY1
Just as soon as Don leaves the Yucatan i expect a pretty good amount of intensification, if sheer lowers which i expect should happen, but im not a meteorologist.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting SPadreguy:
Cancun radar seemed to indicate (before it went on the blink) a circulation over land in the main convection area now on the satellite, over land and south of the earlier CoC. Is this real or my imagination, and if it's real, will that effect the path or strength?


The COC is just to the north of the Yucatan over the water, if you goto IR RGB, you can see the low level flow into it, it's right on the northern edge of the convection.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Now we get Intermediate Advisories
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
Quoting SPadreguy:
Cancun radar seemed to indicate (before it went on the blink) a circulation over land in the main convection area now on the satellite, over land and south of the earlier CoC. Is this real or my imagination, and if it's real, will that effect the path or strength?



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1101. Patrap
Dons back "veel's" are spinning in the Yucatan Sand as he spins in place with a lil Land friction,,as well...

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
I know it's secondary weather to Don, but:





SEL4

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 694
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
745 PM CDT WED JUL 27 2011

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

EAST CENTRAL IOWA
NORTHERN ILLINOIS
EXTREME NORTHWEST INDIANA
EXTREME SOUTHERN WISCONSIN
LAKE MICHIGAN

EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY MORNING FROM 745 PM
UNTIL 100 AM CDT.

TORNADOES...HAIL TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND
GUSTS TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE
AREAS.

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 35 STATUTE
MILES NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 40 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF
DUBUQUE IOWA TO 30 MILES EAST NORTHEAST OF MEIGS FIELD ILLINOIS.
FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU4).

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

DISCUSSION...CLUSTER OF STORMS...SOME WITH EMBEDDED SUPERCELL
STRUCTURES...WILL CONTINUE TO EXPAND ALONG THE SURFACE WARM FRONT
NEAR THE IL/WI BORDER. STRONG INSTABILITY AND VEERING LOW-LEVEL
SHEAR PROFILES WILL SUPPORT STORM-SCALE ROTATION WITH DEVELOPING
STORMS ON THE BOUNDARY...WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF LARGE HAIL AND A
TORNADO OR TWO IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS. UPSCALE GROWTH OF THE
CONVECTION WILL RESULT IN STRONGER COLD POOL GENERATION AND AN
ATTENDANT RISK FOR DAMAGING WINDS.

AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 2 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
WIND GUSTS TO 60 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
650. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 28020.


...THOMPSON
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4355
Cancun radar seemed to indicate (before it went on the blink) a circulation over land in the main convection area now on the satellite, over land and south of the earlier CoC. Is this real or my imagination, and if it's real, will that effect the path or strength?
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000
WTNT34 KNHC 280231
TCPAT4

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DON ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042011
1000 PM CDT WED JUL 27 2011

...TROPICAL STORM DON HEADING TOWARD THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO WITH
LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH...


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.8N 88.1W
ABOUT 675 MI...1085 KM ESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE TEXAS COAST FROM
PORT MANSFIELD NORTHWARD TO WEST OF SAN LUIS PASS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* PORT MANSFIELD NORTHWARD TO WEST OF SAN LUIS PASS

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DON WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 88.1 WEST. DON IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/H. THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY. ON THIS TRACK...THE
CENTER OF DON SHOULD MOVE THROUGH THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL GULF OF
MEXICO ON THURSDAY...AND APPROACH THE TEXAS COAST ON FRIDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. AN
AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE IS SCHEDULED TO CHECK DON AT
DAYBREAK.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES...75 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1000 MB...29.53 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
NONE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...100 AM CDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...400 AM CDT.

No need to worry about Don im in CAL, just folowing the storm ;)
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As angiest said, Tropical Storm Watches are up.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
Quoting GHOSTY1:


Thanks, thats a great point!

And, answer "B"

upload a picture, then when it is uploaded check the box that says "This image is a "portrait" type", that's it
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1095. GHOSTY1
Quoting scott39:
Don can handle this beating right now. We are talking about a wave that came back from near 0%!!


Thank you Scott, another wunderblogger who knows better than to RIP a system because a little bit of waning in convection. All the RIP's how come every little bit of waning convection means death of a system, do all systems have to be flawless
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1094. Patrap
..pay no attention to that Man behind the curtain...

..these are not the droids your looking for,..


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Don is currently undergoing a center relocation to the south. With that in mind, models will temporarily shift to the south-more southern Texas. Thoughts? we will see at the next TWO. Also, a center relocation to the south is making him traverse more of the yucatan causing temporary weakening.

One thing's for sure, he's totally unpredictable.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
The best models have a pretty good handle on Don. The GFDL takes it in as a weakening 30mph depression and the HWRF takes it in as a weakening 40mph tropical storm. Should be a nice rainmaker for Texas. That is exactly what they need.
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TROPICAL STORM DON DISCUSSION NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042011
1000 PM CDT WED JUL 27 2011

THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS NOT CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY DURING THE PAST
SEVERAL HOURS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW THAT IS
EXPANDING IN THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE CYCLONE. DEEP CONVECTION
NEAR THE CENTER HAS DIMINISHED BUT THERE IS A CYCLONICALLY
CURVED CONVECTIVE BAND TO THE SOUTH. T-NUMBERS HAVE NOT CHANGED AND
THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 35 KNOTS. ANOTHER RECONNAISSANCE
PLANE IS SCHEDULED TO CHECK THE CYCLONE AT DAYBREAK.

DON IS MOVING OVER WARM WATERS AND THE SHIPS GUIDANCE AS WELL AS
MOST OF THE GLOBAL MODELS INDICATE THAT THE SHEAR IS LIKELY TO
REMAIN RELATIVELY LOW...ALLOWING FOR SOME INTENSIFICATION.
HOWEVER...NONE OF THE INTENSITY MODELS SHOW SIGNIFICANT
STRENGTHENING. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE 48-HR OFFICIAL INTENSITY
FORECAST OF 55 KT IS BEFORE LANDFALL...AND DON COULD GAIN SOME
ADDITIONAL STRENGTH AS IT APPROACHES THE COAST.

THE CYCLONE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 300 DEGREES AT
10 KNOTS. THE RIDGE OVER THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES CONTROLLING THE
CURRENT MOTION OF DON IS EXPECTED TO PERSIST OR EVEN BUILD WESTWARD
A LITTLE. THEREFORE...NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE STEERING PATTERN
IS ANTICIPATED...AND DON SHOULD CONTINUE TO MOVE ON THE SAME
GENERAL WEST-NORTHWEST OR NORTHWEST TRACK TOWARD THE TEXAS COAST.
THE TRACK GUIDANCE IS NOT IN QUITE AS GOOD AGREEMENT AS ONE WOULD
LIKE TO SEE...HOWEVER. SOME MODELS LIKE THE GFDL AND GFDN BRING
THE CYCLONE ON A MORE NORTHWESTERLY TRACK WHILE OTHERS...LIKE THE
ECMWF...INDICATE A MORE WESTERLY MOTION. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS
BASICALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TWO OPTIONS.

GIVEN THE CURRENT FORECAST TRACK AND UNCERTAINTIES... A TROPICAL
STORM WATCH IS BEING ISSUED FOR A LARGE PORTION OF TEXAS COAST AT
THIS TIME.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 28/0300Z 22.8N 88.1W 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 28/1200Z 23.6N 89.5W 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 29/0000Z 25.0N 91.5W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 29/1200Z 26.2N 93.6W 50 KT 60 MPH
48H 30/0000Z 27.5N 96.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
72H 31/0000Z 29.5N 100.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
96H 01/0000Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER AVILA
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
the new advisory is out
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Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
Circulation center appears to be on the northern side of the convection over Yucatan peninsula and appears to be developing nicely. While convection waned some as the Yucatan convection strengthened it began moving towards the low level coc. Don will intensify overnight tonight and into the late morning through the afternoon tomorrow. I believe Don will be a category one hurricane with 90mph winds making landfall near Corpus Christi, TX. The environmental conditions like some light enerly shear on the northeastern side of the coc will likely subside tomorrow as Don's coc moves further into the GOM. Dry air entrainment into the coc will likely discontinue as he moves away from the peninsula and convection comes over water as he pulls away from land. slightly cooler or more shallow waters near the Yucatan peninsula is likely adding to his problems currently, but he is not as disorganized as the waning convection might show. His COC is more organized then it looks on satellite imagery.


The circulation is definitely healthy, just a lack of strong thunderstorms at the moment. They'll rebuild in time.
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1088. xcool
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Not looking to shabby structurally, don't be so quick to drive the fork

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Quoting jrweatherman:


But in this situation dry air is sucking the life out of this little storm. It doesn't have the size to moisten the air ahead of it. You see it all the time with tiny systems. Either dry air or too fast of aforward speed (typically in the Caribbean) kill them off.


Don isn't going to die off. Do you really think that the National Hurricane Center hasn't seen this dry air? They have, and they know it will probably limit it in the near term, but intensification is still likely starting sometime tomorrow and continuing until landfall Friday night or Saturday.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
1085. angiest
ts watch port mansfield to near saan luis pass.
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Circulation center appears to be on the northern side of the convection over Yucatan peninsula and appears to be developing nicely. While convection waned some as the Yucatan convection strengthened it began moving towards the low level coc. Don will intensify overnight tonight and into the late morning through the afternoon tomorrow. I believe Don will be a category one hurricane with 90mph winds making landfall near Corpus Christi, TX. The environmental conditions like some light enerly shear on the northeastern side of the coc will likely subside tomorrow as Don's coc moves further into the GOM. Dry air entrainment into the coc will likely discontinue as he moves away from the peninsula and convection comes over water as he pulls away from land. slightly cooler or more shallow waters near the Yucatan peninsula is likely adding to his problems currently, but he is not as disorganized as the waning convection might show. His COC is more organized then it looks on satellite imagery.
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Quoting nopepper:


One more tip. Paint (or waterseal) the wood. Several hours of sideways rain on bare wood will make it warp and you'll end up tossing it and cutting more next time.


And use EXTERIOR plywood. Even with paint or sealer, without filling the edges with wood filler, epoxy or something to give you a smooth paint surface, you will get water intrusion through the sides.
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1082. scott39
Don can handle this beating right now. We are talking about a wave that came back from near 0%!!
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1081. Jax82
Its funny to read all the different personalities on the blog when there is a storm. Some are 'cat 3 at landfall!' with no model even showing hurricane strength. Some follow every model run to the 'T'. Some downplay the storm every time convection warms and RIP it. Gotta love the blog!
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1080. WxLogic
Heading out but... sure hope Don stays as a low/mid TS since TD/TS are better rain makers than a HURR.

We'll see how it looks tomorrow AM.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Don still looking pretty dismal at the moment, though that should change.

Later guys. I'll leave you with my blog update. I'll probably be back over the next few hours.


Thanks for the information on your blog!! I am definitely not a meterologist, just a lurker and I understood it. I will definitely keep checking in for your updates while we watch Don here in the Clear Lake/Houston area.
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1077. hamla
AS YOGI SAID "IT AINT OVER TILL ITS OVER" FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ABOUT BERRA
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


i.e. Tropical Storm Bret (2011) and Hurricane Dora (2011)


But in this situation dry air is sucking the life out of this little storm. It doesn't have the size to moisten the air ahead of it. You see it all the time with tiny systems. Either dry air or too fast of aforward speed (typically in the Caribbean) kill them off.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.