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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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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1075. GHOSTY1
Quoting P451:
Evening all. 90L was one of the more interesting invests I can recall watching.

Been too busy to lurk the blog much the last two days.


Here's 36 Hours of Don (IR)





Here's 12 Hours of Don (WV)






Both ending 145Z/0728



Anybody who says that Don is doomed you just got to look P451's post (1066) because it shows that Don is nowhere near death and i predict continuing strengthening.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1074. centex
Morning looks like setting up for Don Time.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3221
1072. GHOSTY1
Quoting PcolaDan:


Given your name, why bother? Seems to be an appropriate picture.

;>)


Thanks, thats a great point!
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting charlottefl:


He'll survive, he survived worse conditions earlier this week, before becoming a storm. These small systems can be tenacious little fighters.


i.e. Tropical Storm Bret (2011) and Hurricane Dora (2011)
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Quoting GHOSTY1:
I don't think anybody should start to worry about Don because as we seen before Don looked like he was doomed and some of y'all thought it was the end but right now Don is many times healthier than before.



Watchyou talkin bout willis
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
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.


Excellent blog post. Very nice!
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Hey guys I'm going to go out on a limb..Lol. I never predict not on here, anyway. I say landfall in Matagorda Bay as a Cat1
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post #1018
Thank you!
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1064. GHOSTY1
Cantore should go to Rockport or Port Lavaca, TX, he would be pretty well in the middle of the swath of model guidance and could reposition fairly quickly because i travel this area alot.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting clwstmchasr:
I've got to wonder if Don will survive the dry air?


He'll survive, he survived worse conditions earlier this week, before becoming a storm. These small systems can be tenacious little fighters.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Quoting PcolaDan:


perfect


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.
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What happened to the HWRF and the GFDL? They both had this thing nailed on Sundays run.

Why did the HWRF and the GFDL give up on this thing? They both had it nailed on Sunday nights run.
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Quoting GHOSTY1:
This is off the topic of the tropics but how do you apply a picture next your name on the comments?


Given your name, why bother? Seems to be an appropriate picture.

;>)
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1057. scott39
Quoting PcolaDan:


Cantore tweet

@JimCantore
Jim Cantore
As I peruse the plethora of #tropical data I am thinking my trip tomorrow will be between Galveston and Port Aransas, TX to meet TS Don Juan
Well we know where its NOT going now!
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1056. centex
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Obvious to some, but to the newbies, maybe not so much.

Nice graphic, but it does show that as it moves WNW conditions improve.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3221
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.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 550 Comments: 19784
put a fork in it?
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Quoting cloudburst2011:


really now im worried..la look out for jim cantore now..


Cantore tweet

@JimCantore
Jim Cantore
As I peruse the plethora of #tropical data I am thinking my trip tomorrow will be between Galveston and Port Aransas, TX to meet TS Don Juan
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1051. GHOSTY1
I don't think anybody should start to worry about Don because as we seen before Don looked like he was doomed and some of y'all thought it was the end but right now Don is many times healthier than before.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting cloudburst2011:




you having a blonde moment...


moment or existence?
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Quoting nopepper:


Cardboard pattern and saber saw. If wood trim, cut 'em larger and scure with screws. If masonry, cut 1/2 smaller on all sides and secure with either masonry anchors drilled into brick or hurricane clips that bite into brick when the wood is pushed in.


perfect
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Quoting Levi32:


A bit, in combination with other things. The dry air is starting to drift west a bit with the ULL leaving the western gulf, but probably not fast enough to leave Don alone.


Looks like he ingested quite a bit. The northern part of the circulation is exposed just a bit. You can see the flow of clouds streaming into the circulation.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
1044. Michfan
This might be a blessing for Texas. They really need the rain.
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1043. GHOSTY1
This is off the topic of the tropics but how do you apply a picture next your name on the comments?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1042. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
Levi, How much is dry air ingestion going to limit Dons further developement?


A bit, in combination with other things. The dry air is starting to drift west a bit with the ULL leaving the western gulf, but probably not fast enough to leave Don alone.
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Quoting NOLALawyer:
Don will be fine. Who predicted this earlier? I know there was a post around 6 o'clock that Don would be RIP'd by the board tonight, but would rally in the morning and be solid come afternoon. This storm will hold on, grow, and will strike the CONUS. If this storm winds up in Mexico as residual junk I will eat crow, literally, and post it on YouTube.


LOL!! That would be uninteresting YouTube video...
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Just wrote a blog entry on Don. Check it out if you want.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 550 Comments: 19784
1037. WxLogic
Quoting 1900hurricane:

That's a really cool image. Where did you get that from?


RAMMB Sounder Site
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Quoting WxLogic:
Good Evening...

Looks like Don is weakened. Based on my point of view is due to dry air ingestion. Remember, Don wasn't fully embedded with convection to shield it from the dry air to its N and W peripheries or strong enough to even modify it enough.

Note that when the HH flight flew on the NW side of the storm the WNDs were rather weak which to me correlated to a weak structure susceptible to environmental intrusions.

Check this WV SAT Image and you'll see the depth of the dry air in the W Central GOM:


That's a really cool image. Where did you get that from?
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Quoting jrweatherman:


Totally agree. Don is basically looking pretty crappy right now. Oh well, lets bring on the next storm.


Bingo! You win the prize as the first to RIP Don tonight!

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1033. centex
Try having pool being built and drainage issue not resolved yet and seeing this? Put that on top of historical drought and its financial loses and try to compare flood cost to rain benefits. All said I guess we want just a few inches of rain.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3221
1032. scott39
Levi, How much is dry air ingestion going to limit Dons further developement?
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The impatience some show on here is pretty sad, comes mainly from those that just want to get a rise out of others
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Don won't blossom until it leaves the Yucatan. Structure isn't looking to great, but the wind speeds are most likely the same (40mph). So, the NHC will most likely keep it at the same strength until it obviously gets better organized or an HH aircraft says otherwise.
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Here are Tropical Storm Don's problems:

* Dry air

* Wind shear on the NE side

* Land interaction

* Yucatan stealing energy

Two/Three of these will be solved tomorrow.
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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.