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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There could be 3 tropical systems in the Atlantic this time next week.
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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:



Totally agree. Don is basically looking pretty crappy right now. Oh well, lets bring on the next storm.
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Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
not weaken


It has become disorganized over the past few hours...The NHC will keep this at 40 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
1019. 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:

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Obvious to some, but to the newbies, maybe not so much.

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1016. Levi32
Quoting centex:
My issue with track is should come under than up. Not as shown here, slighty up than under. The high is moving east next couple of days. Waiting for next track when working with better model data.


Yeah see....the track will always mirror the shape of the model consensus.
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Quoting tristanh72:
so, any advice on boarding up those damned half circle windows?


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.
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1014. xcool
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1013. centex
My issue with track is should come under than up. Not as shown here, slighty up than under. The high is moving east next couple of days. Waiting for next track when working with better model data.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3260
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think it is safe to say that Don will begin strengthening late tonight and there on. DMAX will be interesting.



The chances of this becoming a hurricane are Medium at this point.

I agree. I think the core is in better shape than people are giving it credit for. Don just needs to get away from the Yucatan and rebuild convection in his core while the sun is down and he should be in fairly good shape.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Maybe he wants some of our exquisite cajun cuisine. ;)


Oh yea, well maybe he just wants to rain on some dry, parched ground....umm so OK... I guess I'll understand if he goes to Louisiana.
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Chances of becoming a hurricane:

Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
88.4W 22.5N or so...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting KoritheMan:


Maybe he wants some of our exquisite cajun cuisine. ;)
He wants barbecue.
Seriously, I just looked at Bob Breck and he had it SOLID Texas.
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Yes Sir, PHI and the others will probably fly non stop starting tommorrow, of course totally dependent on -Strenghth and course,Hope He would stay WAAY South, would save lots of Evacuations, and Save our Pocket Book for Gas
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Check out this loop and look at the clouds streaming in from the NE, which collapsed the convection on the NE side. This convergence is hindering development at this time.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
I think it is safe to say that Don will begin strengthening late tonight and there on. DMAX will be interesting.



The chances of this becoming a hurricane are Medium at this point.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
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.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128651
Don is feeling the effects of upper-level convergence affecting its northern half. Also I'm thinking the Yucatan might have slowed down it's inflow earlier. Combined you get the lack of convection. As it slides west tonight it should encounter a more favorable environment tomorrow.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
the area which nshould be watched and pay verymuch attention to is the one at 35W. this system is trvelling with a well organised anticyclone over it for the next few days. most of the models are hinting of a strong disturbance if not a strong cyclone before it reaches the antilles. conditions are conducive in the CATL for the 1st cape verde storm
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Quoting Levi32:


Low.


Levi, why did NAM consistently developed Don while GFS did not?
Now NAM shows another system developing S of Cuba.. while GFS does not...
I've learned from the blog that NAM is not a trustable Tropics model, can I keep on with that idea?
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting FrankZapper:
Don IS NOT going to LA. All the models have landfall between the TX/MEX border and Galveston.




hmmm what mode runs you looking at lol



this is not going too MX has its a USA storm olny
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting GoMMedic:
Well I know just got off the phone with my superiors and we are going into Prepare-Evacuation mode in the GoM for our Production and Drilling Platforms


PHI is gonna be Busy folks.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128651
My son and daughter-in-law will be flying into Houston IAH Friday morning, returning from a vacation in Cozumel. What are odds air traffic in SE Texas may be disrupted by Don? I know the track is open to speculation at this point, but I'd enjoy reading some expert opinions . . .
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so, any advice on boarding up those damned half circle windows?
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Quoting FrankZapper:
Don IS NOT going to LA. All the models have landfall between the TX/MEX border and Galveston.


Maybe he wants some of our exquisite cajun cuisine. ;)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 584 Comments: 20829
Quoting MrstormX:


Lots of people on here had a feeling the convection would wane tonight, and the COC might shift around tomorrow; Once it all reforms I still think we will see a Cat 1 out of this.


Agreed. Weak systems always sputter. Don is no exception.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 584 Comments: 20829

00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Don
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128651
Quoting Levi32:


The only reason that rule of thumb exists is because the most common situation is having the deeper steering currents point more poleward. That's all. Nothing about that guideline says that it is always true, and it far from is. You are correct about the ridge moving east and allowing a window for more northerly movement over time, but the low-level flow right now has more of a northerly component to it than the mid-level flow ever will during the next 3 days.
Ok, but I translate that in this situation to under and up track. I see land interaction as issue now not any cool waters off N coast. That is a very thin line. Your daily vids are the best, watch all them them when I have time.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3260
Well I know just got off the phone with my superiors and we are going into Prepare-Evacuation mode in the GoM for our Production and Drilling Platforms
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could this be called a tilted storm system?



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I'm leaning a little further north than most of y'all, more towards Port O'Connor, with a more general cone from Corpus Christi to the Freeport area.
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Don is going thru DMin its ok lets see what it looks like tomorrow
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Don IS NOT going to LA. All the models have landfall between the TX/MEX border and Galveston.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
You having a lot of rain again ?


It was raining around in the afternoon but we had a stop at 6:30 and we had a colorfull cloudy sunset...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting KoritheMan:


I still say a Category 1, the current organization notwithstanding.


Lots of people on here had a feeling the convection would wane tonight, and the COC might shift around tomorrow; Once it all reforms I still think we will see a Cat 1 out of this.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
T.C.F.W.
04L/TS/D/CX
MARK
22.65N/87.56W


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Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
sorry to some people that when I said the people are getting overselves....yes prepare early better safe than sorry.But like I said earlier I think tx/la will be safe.


It may be safe this time, I hope so if it's more than a tropical storm. But many got caught by surprise by Rita. I was teaching school and by the time school was out we were told not to evacuate as we would be caught out in our cars. There were no supplies to be bought. I had my stash for my family, but took in another single mom and her two kids, doubling the number of people for the supplies. No one who lives in hurricane country should wait until the storm is coming at them to begin getting ready.
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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.