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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826. JLPR2
Quoting MississippiWx:
With the convection waning like it is, this could be where that center reformation comes into play. The NHC mentioned that a center reformation was possible later tonight because of the elongated nature of the center.

Don has really lost any inner core that he had built, though. Going to have to start all over tonight:



Needs to pull the convection over the Yucatan into itself.
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Quoting quakeman55:

If I could live my life all over
It wouldn't matter anyway
'Cause I never could stay sober
On the Corpus Christi Bay

Sorry, just had to say that. lol
REK...:)

that's what I'm talkin about
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824. hamla
where is jim cantorie going to set up BEWARE
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Quoting Levi32:
18z GFDL still shows a very weak Don moving up towards Galveston.


That thing has visited more states then the President
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Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Atmo (or anyone) - which set of model runs (0Z?) will have the info from the HH run today? Or will it not matter since they didn't run a G4 flight?
Everything helps. Even the flight level obs. We have almost no data aloft out there as satellites cannot give us winds/temps/dewpoints at any resolution approaching that if the HHs.

00 should have some of the data, but I cannot confirm. nrt has probably already replied, by now, anyway.

(And nrt, could you share what link you have for that? Found another broken link...need to check 'em all and update for the season, I guess.)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting extreme236:


I don't see any reason to drop the GFDL runs.



ok
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Quoting TxHurricanedude11:

I know about that but I mean for this storm lol


Anyone on the Gulf Coast or other vulnerable areas should have been stocking up before June 1st. I don't think 2 days out is overreacting in any way.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



we can vary march drop the GDFL


I don't see any reason to drop the GFDL runs.
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Quoting Levi32:
18z GFDL still shows a very weak Don moving up towards Galveston.


Levi what are your thoughts on the models moving Don towards the TX/LA border?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
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: 421 Comments: 127566
Quoting Levi32:
18z GFDL still shows a very weak Don moving up towards Galveston.



we can vary march drop the GDFL
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18z GFDL still shows a very weak Don moving up towards Galveston.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting yoboi:


old school forcasting they would kick a mule in the azz and see what direction he would run true story


Hey you would be surprised some of the old Indians and Sailors could almost predicted the weather as good as we can now. To this day when people try to cure some sicknesses instead of using fancy drugs they use old remedies. People of the past definately weren't dumb. But getting slightly off topic
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812. JLPR2
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If that were to occur in the middle of September = apocalypse.


DOOOOMM!
haha...

It's better to laugh it off than go insane. :\
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Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Atmo (or anyone) - which set of model runs (0Z?) will have the info from the HH run today? Or will it not matter since they didn't run a G4 flight?
not sure i know they dropped at least 3 dropsondes in areas west of dons location on the way down to the storm. im curious to, as to how long to get the info into models......anyone?
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With the convection waning like it is, this could be where that center reformation comes into play. The NHC mentioned that a center reformation was possible later tonight because of the elongated nature of the center.

Don has really lost any inner core that he had built, though. Going to have to start all over tonight:

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting CanesfanatUT:


Yup - if that turns into Emily, eek!



hi eek nic too meet you am Emily lol this kinding
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Quoting MrstormX:


Wait! It curves back towards Texas at the end of the run, probably due to the influence of high pressure:

Uh oh...sure sound Allison like
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Quoting tkeith:
Corpus Christi Bay...but dont quote me on that.

If I could live my life all over
It wouldn't matter anyway
'Cause I never could stay sober
On the Corpus Christi Bay

Sorry, just had to say that. lol
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I don't think I have ever heard any meteorologist (including even the proudest of my professors) say "and that's an absolute max" or anything approaching any absolute certainty involved in forecasting.

Unexpected perturbations in baroclinicity happen all the time; WU bloggers know all about how imperfect forecasting can be.

You never know for sure.


That is definitely true. What I was saying is, when looking at the Wind shear map, it shows that Don is not passing through anything higher than 20 knots.

I'm not saying that Don won't go through higher, because you never know, but I just don't see it.

Does that make it sound more clear?? :)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31463
Dr. Jeff Masters on Board the NOAA plane as it flies through the eye of hurricane Gilbert in 1988.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127566
Quoting doorman79:
Atmo,

You getting this rain everyday? I'm tired of getting soaked everyday at work! May Don be a Texas don! Dats italian for boss/provider lol
Yeah, getting a little old.

The jungle-yard and skeeters sure are happy, though.
(But I despise hot a little bit more...)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting JLPR2:


Dang... Impressive, the CATL low has potential with so little shear to hinder it. All we have is a little dry air to stop it. :\


Yup - if that turns into Emily, eek!
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801. yoboi
Quoting louisianaboy444:
The best tool for any forecaster as he gains experience is Analogue forecasting which is basically saying I've seen this setup before what happened then?..What scares me about modern day Meteorology is that we are not learning from our mistakes as forecasters. The models could be showing something for one setup and then the final result is not what we expected. Instead of saying, man when A is here and B is here this happened so let me not make that mistake again, were basically relying on these computers to not make the same mistake again and most likely we will. Computers have helped the ability to learn but also have hindered it


old school forcasting they would kick a mule in the azz and see what direction he would run true story
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting tkeith:
Hey Kori...just a WAG :)


WAG though it may be, I tend to concur with your forecast.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19915
Quoting aquak9:
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: POSSIBLE 3-HRLY FIXES.

Friday's gonna be fun. They gonna be waving to each other as they pass in the sky.


Does that mean they are going into Don 10 times?

6-hrly fixes: 5

3-hrly fixes: 10?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31463
Quoting floridaboy14:
Don going thru its diurnal minimum. looks like the cloud tops warming a bit but its normal still looks nice


Storms in their early formative stages tend to have weak central convection, but stronger convection in bands. As it strengthens, we should see that central convection deepen.
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796. JLPR2
Quoting atmoaggie:
Shear in ~35 hours (from GFS 12 Z):



Dang... Impressive, the CATL low has potential with so little shear to hinder it. All we have is a little dry air to stop it. :\
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whatb does nam say? its been pretty good on don of the dead.
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and where up too the E storm now
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You know anything about the data going into the models from the Air Force Hurricane Hunters?

From what I am seeing, very little data goes into the models. From this afternoon, 1 dropsonde and 8 flight level observations. I don't see any of the HDOB data.
Can't say I do. The guy I knew that pointed me to a site where I could track it retired 2 years ago. And they changed the website last year.

One would think that a lot more would go into it.

Which one you checking on? GFS?
The link I used to use showed that while GFS is running, the data is being prepared for GFDL and, presumably, HWRF (which run well after GFS, as you well know).
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting JoltyJacob:



Ready for the peak months to come, man?


BRING EM ON!
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Don going thru its diurnal minimum. looks like the cloud tops warming a bit but its normal still looks nice
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: POSSIBLE 3-HRLY FIXES.

Friday's gonna be fun. They gonna be waving to each other as they pass in the sky.
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I think it's tracking closer to coast than indicated. Explains what we seeing on sat.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3224
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I don't think I have ever heard any meteorologist (including even the proudest of my professors) say "and that's an absolute max" or anything approaching any absolute certainty involved in forecasting.

Unexpected perturbations in baroclinicity happen all the time; WU bloggers know all about how imperfect forecasting can be.

You never know for sure.


Yeah watching a storm go from a cat 2 to just shy of a Cat 5 and headed straight for you in just a few hours time. That will wake up your day :)
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Quoting jasonweatherman2011:


Nice hook on it but the clouds are pretty warm
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting KoritheMan:


Good evening, Keith! Great to see you here!
Hey Kori...just a WAG :)
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Hurricane Preparation 2011

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127566
Just finished updating my blog with my thought on Tropical Storm Don. Feel free to drop to read and post any questions, comments, or criticisms you may have!

Tropical Storm Don and Texas
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Quoting atmoaggie:
Shear in ~35 hours (from GFS 12 Z):


Atmo,

You getting this rain everyday? I'm tired of getting soaked everyday at work! May Don be a Texas don! Dats italian for boss/provider lol
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Quoting Tygor:
I mostly lurk on this blog to learn and study exactly what is going on. The blog today has been absolutely ridiculous in terms of people simply guessing what is going to happen and "remember I said this". Guessing is fine and all, but nobody has any evidence to back up what they are thinking except really Levi and select others.


Not to sound rude or anything, but I and i believe many of the other bloggers use most of the resources they have in their arsenal to make an educated guess and i believe that no one can truely tell where a tropical system will go or how strong they will be no matter the education, and that makes the experts making their own educational guesses. (although their educational guesses are more accurate because thats their expertise). But as i said before im not trying to be rude and im sorry if i offended anyone.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
778. yoboi
Quoting MTWX:
I always prep June 1st every year. then disassemble nov. 1st..... gotten to the point now that those dates are almost "holidays" in my family! LOL!


true but most people wait until last min then its to late to get anything then they start crying for gov help...........
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting tkeith:
Corpus Christi Bay...but dont quote me on that.


Good evening, Keith! Great to see you here!
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19915
Quoting aquak9:


it might be fun for you to watch, taz, but folks would lose things. Remember how mad you get when your computer is broken? we lose EVERYTHING. Sometimes we lose our families and our pets.

Please lets keep the big storms out in the ocean where they can't hurt us. We are your friends, remember?


Well said. Getting hit by two majors in one year makes your 'wishcasting' in the 'keep this a mild depression' vein. As I say, see how long you like living in a hotel because there's a telephone pole through your roof and the National Guard won't let you back on the barrier Island for a week.
Member Since: May 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 246

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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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