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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Remember to wait until models get the data they need to work. Like Angela suggested late tonight and morning. Else your just blowing in the wind. Showing my age.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
Louisiana, remember earlier I said don't count La. out, I've learned a little secret from watching Dr.Lyons over the years , but a Tx/La border landfall is looking more likely all time, probably central to west La. even more so.
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With all due respect we will know more tomorrow morning, when we have more data into the modles....

I too think it will be just a little more north than where they say right now....

Taco :o)
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Quoting GHOSTY1:
Just because some of the models show a Louisiana landfall i wouldn't start to change my mind about the landfall location when the majority of the models show a texas coast landfall.


Yes. This. 1000 times this.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 573 Comments: 20416
I hate to say this, and the nhc is going to standby the models, but Don is going to go over the GOM which has heavy heat and fovorable wind shear throughout the 72 hour period. We are looking at a Cat 2-3 landfall in Texas folks, that is what I would prepare for now. Brownsville to Galveston.
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i stay in LA and dont want this thing to come this way. Texas im praying for yall to get that rain. Yall need it. im still pulling for yall out there. Dont give up hope on this going to Texas
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670. MTWX
Everyone is putting in thir bets, so I might as well add mine. Galveston give or take 30 miles as a strong cat 1 to mid cat 2.....
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Quoting FrankZapper:
Does this storm require evacuations?


I would imagine at least some voluntary evacuations will eventually go up if the storm follows the projected intensity scenario, based on past experience with these sorts of storms.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 573 Comments: 20416
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 model, am I right?

84 hrs.
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I still say Matagorda Bay to High Island for landfall.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting FrankZapper:
Does this storm require evacuations?


not yet
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Complete:

AL, 04, 2011072800, , BEST, 0, 225N, 876W, 35, 1000, TS, 34, NEQ, 40, 40, 0, 0, 1011, 110, 25, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, DON, M



i think winds may be a little higher then 35kt right now
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Does this storm require evacuations?
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Quoting MrstormX:
This just seems so weird with the high pressure in place, can't believe a Global model would do this...but it does.



It's not odd because that model has the high further east. You can see that Don is riding along the western flank of the ridge.
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USING THE STEERING LAYER IT SHOULD BE IN SOON:





CURRENT SURFACE ANALYSIS:



24 HRS OUT:

Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
Complete:

AL, 04, 2011072800, , BEST, 0, 225N, 876W, 35, 1000, TS, 34, NEQ, 40, 40, 0, 0, 1011, 110, 25, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, DON, M
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
You have to remember...the models are only as good as the info that is put in.

One big change in the short term, means a huge change in the sets it produces, compounding every next interval.
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Quoting Patrap:


Wish I was up there looking down... Thats so beautiful
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6478
Do these models have the info from the recon flight this afternoon?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Visible satellite loops shows that Don is becoming better organized, especially in the outflow compartment.

Link


I think the most impressive thing about that visible loop is that Don's circulation is expanding/strengthening. Look at how it's pulling up all of that moisture and energy from the SW Caribbean and it's starting to pull the low clouds in the North-Central Gulf into its circulation. He's growing for sure.
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Quoting duajones78413:
I read rapid intensificaton an hour ago and now maybe no rain for us in South East Texas.
Why?



mode runs are jumping N
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This just seems so weird with the high pressure in place, can't believe a Global model would do this...but it does.

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Just because some of the models show a Louisiana landfall i wouldn't start to change my mind about the landfall location when the majority of the models show a texas coast landfall.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
I read rapid intensificaton an hour ago and now maybe no rain for us in South East Texas.
Why?
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Don is geting big
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Don's northeastern side is getting squashed, which should slow intensification in the short-term.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 573 Comments: 20416
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
Quoting MrstormX:


We know the GFDL has been wrong thus far on Don, keeps it extremely weak.. which seems unlikely. I wouldn't worry about that one.

The WRF is a decent model, but lets face it the Globabl models haven't done much this year.

And the MM5 is a mystery to me, I think it is a PSU model though.



ok
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Quoting Tazmanian:
so TX may be out of the woods for rain


We know the GFDL has been wrong thus far on Don, keeps it extremely weak.. which seems unlikely. I wouldn't worry about that one.

The WRF is a decent model, but lets face it the Globabl models haven't done much this year.

And the MM5 is a mystery to me, I think it is a PSU model though.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
I dont see why some models are bringing this into Louisiana the ridge is pretty evident...Levi could you help me on this one what are they possibly seeing to make it go that far north lol
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Oh noes! I think Don is pumping the ridge!!! :-P
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Quoting Chicklit:
The most exciting thing about Don is it's headed for Texas. Other than that, it's a dud.


I wouldn't be so sure of that. I don't see why this couldn't become a decent hurricane.
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Quoting bigwes6844:
OKAY THATS MUCH BETTER. iM PULLING FOR TEXAS TO GET THAT SYSTEM THEY NEED IT


Louisiana
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6478
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Sun is setting on Don.
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Quoting MrstormX:
So 3 models have now shifted to the TX/LA border, wow that sucks.



and a better ch of hiting that big loop eddy in the gulf
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Quoting tennisgirl08:
Here's my thoughts....hurricane watches and TS warnings will go up from central Texas to central Louisiana. I'm calling a border crossing on this one. I'll eat crow if I'm wrong.
just a little south of thew border...maybe houston!!!! please!!!!!!! wishcasting, i know.. please dont hate me!!!
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Quoting MississippiWx:


GFDL = same:



GFDL brings it down to 997mb peak intensity.


Wow!! But this will prob also mean Don will be weaker at landfall.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
that upper air feature north of Houston, does it have a role where Don goes,maybe closer to galveston,or tx/la. border..
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so TX may be out of the woods for rain
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This is hard to predict. I'm in camp it's trending to sweet spot between ULL and High. Not predicting rapid development but gradual. Cat 1 looks reasonable by Friday.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
I'm turning my eyes toward the East, around 9N/32W, this could be something to really worry about, of course lets pray Don just gives Texas some much needed rain.
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what type of models are the GFDI GFTI and GHMI and are these models reliable?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
So 3 models have now shifted to the TX/LA border, wow that sucks.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting MrstormX:


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

OKAY THATS MUCH BETTER. iM PULLING FOR TEXAS TO GET THAT SYSTEM THEY NEED IT
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The most exciting thing about Don is it's headed for Texas. Other than that, it's a dud.
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I always wonder which away these things are gonna go....they can sure fool ya
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Here's my thoughts....hurricane watches and TS warnings will go up from central Texas to central Louisiana. I'm calling a border crossing on this one. I'll eat crow if I'm wrong.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242

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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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