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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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.
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Quoting bigwes6844:
WTF!! IT KANT ITS GOTTA GO TO TX!


I've said la this whole time the models creep north and creep north some more....
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Quoting MississippiWx:


GFDL = same:



GFDL brings it down to 997mb peak intensity.




i no that mode run will be worng lol its 1000mb right now
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5 years ago if it was 2 days out and all the models were pointed at Central Texas i wouldn't be on this site right now monitoring but with these wacked out models now days and how they performing until it crosses my area i'm watching it!
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Quoting MrstormX:
The WRF is now also heading Don towards Louisiana, this is getting confusing.



GFDL = same:



GFDL brings it down to 997mb peak intensity.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Why isn't there a tropical storm warning up for the northern Yucatan? Lol.


Probably has to do with wind field coverage it's small and mainly in the northern quadrants.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2687
Quoting bayoubug:



welcome




un less you guys ment the 8pm TWO if you guys ment that then my bad
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Quoting bigwes6844:
WTF!! IT KANT ITS GOTTA GO TO TX!


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

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Quoting weatherh98:


Why isn't there one up though

What is this?
Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------


000
AXNT20 KNHC 272345
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 PM EDT WED JUL 27 2011

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS OF
SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST FROM THE
EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED ON SATELLITE
IMAGERY...WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...RADAR...AND METEOROLOGICAL
ANALYSIS.

BASED ON 1800 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH 2315 UTC.

...SPECIAL FEATURE...

TROPICAL STORM DON IS CENTERED NEAR 22.2N 87.0W AT 27/2100 UTC ABOUT 120 MI...190 KM N OF COZUMEL MEXICO...OR ABOUT 755 MI... 1220 KM ESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS...MOVING WEST-NORTHWEST AT 10 KT. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1001 MB. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEED IS 35 KT WITH GUSTS TO 45 KT. SEE LATEST NHC FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCMAT4/WTNT24 KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS. ALSO SEE LATEST NHC INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC/ ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCPAT4/WTNT34 KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FLEW OVER THE SYSTEM AND FOUND A CLOSED SURFACE CIRCULATION WITH A CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 1001 MB. THE MAXIMUM 1000 FT FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS WERE 45 KT EAST OF THE CENTER. WATCHES AND/OR WARNINGS WILL LIKELY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE TEXAS COAST TONIGHT OR THURSDAY. PRESENTLY SCATTERED MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION IS ALONG THE COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM 20N-23N BETWEEN 86W-89W.

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Visible satellite loops shows that Don is becoming better organized, especially in the outflow compartment.

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34095
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Why isn't there a tropical storm warning up for the northern Yucatan? Lol.



not sure may be they dont care of MX any more
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Quoting Tazmanian:



there no 8pm update un less there is a watch Thank you Taz
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Quoting louisianaboy444:
My Meteorological knowledge says South to Central Texas but in the back of my head i can still remember as a 15 year old kid the models for Hurricane Rita being on the central Texas coast as well and then all of a sudden the models kept going north, and north, and north...Guess sometimes even though you know something has the best chance of happening little things like that still tell you not to let your guard down


At the angle of approach to the coastline a few degrees makes a big difference.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2687
Quoting MrstormX:
The WRF is now also heading Don towards Louisiana, this is getting confusing.

WTF!! IT KANT ITS GOTTA GO TO TX!
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Quoting weatherh98:


Why isn't there one up though



the nhc said by 10pm or in the AM we sould have a TS watch or even a hurricane watch
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Why isn't there a tropical storm warning up for the northern Yucatan? Lol.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Hope so! We have had our fair share of rain in Mississippi and Louisiana lately. Now it's Texas's turn. We have even had flash flood watches in South MS and South Louisiana the past few days because of the amount of soil saturation. We aren't out of our deficit yet, but we are certainly doing a lot better!


Sorry about the floods. But I'm glad y'all are catching up on the rain. I'm pretty sure whatever rain TX gets is going to cause flooding. But hopefully everyone will be prepared as they can be for that eventuality. Not the optimal way to make up the rain deficit but it sure beats a drought like this one.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Things may be happening faster than usual due to more extreme conditions. Models may have to adjust to new climatology.


As they always do, which makes weather quite fascinating ;)
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Quoting Tazmanian:



there no 8pm update un less there is a watch up


Why isn't there one up though
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Quoting bayoubug:
I guess there is no 8:00 update..Or did i miss it...

You missed it cuz it's there.
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Quoting bayoubug:
I guess there is no 8:00 update..Or did i miss it...



there no 8pm update un less there is a watch up
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Yeah, just go through the same process, except choose 30.


I know you can make one, I was asking if he would make one. I use it all the time, just haven't figured out how to link it so I can put it on the blog.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34095
Quoting jasonweatherman2011:


High cloud tops
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18z HWRF says Corpus Christi at landfall, but lackluster intensity, which is interesting given that it tends to blow stuff up.
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The WRF is now also heading Don towards Louisiana, this is getting confusing.

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I guess there is no 8:00 update..Or did i miss it...
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Things may be happening faster than usual due to more extreme conditions. Models may have to adjust to new climatology.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


How do you make one of those? Can you make the Visible 30 image loop?


Simply find the argument in the URL called "info" and change the value of "wv" to "vis."
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Don should be up to 45 mph by 11PM.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34095
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


How do you make one of those? Can you make the Visible 30 image loop?


Yeah, just go through the same process, except choose 30.
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Sorry guys and gals, false alarm about leaving. For the people who believe that Don will stay a storm and weak what are your ideas that will keep Don from strengthening?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
593. emguy
I'll go with 75-85 MPH at landfall in the Corpus area. Wind will have some affects, but no serious impact. The biggest news will be a tropical system carving a swath of heavy rain into the heart of a highly drough stricken area, which is great news. I think Galveston and Louisiana are too far north to see much of anything from this...Maybe later in the year as the pattern evolves.

Atlantic heating up, would not be surprised to see the leeward wave get interesting too. Might have to keep an eye on that from the Florida side of the pond.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


i will cook it for both of us if we are wrong...but dont think so on this one...the track is constantly shifting right...and that ridge that is supposed to hold is ahead of schedule...we were supposed to have rain till friday and it started lifting out this evening...that high is going faster and further north than expected


Agreed. Same with my area forecast. I am thinking louisiana is not out of the woods, yet.
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My Meteorological knowledge says South to Central Texas but in the back of my head i can still remember as a 15 year old kid the models for Hurricane Rita being on the central Texas coast as well and then all of a sudden the models kept going north, and north, and north...Guess sometimes even though you know something has the best chance of happening little things like that still tell you not to let your guard down
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Quoting Levi32:
This loop sped up fast shows very nicely how the western side of Don is growing as the upper low west of it retreats, while the eastern side is getting suppressed by a northeasterly flow from over Florida, associated with the big U.S. ridge to the north.


How do you make one of those? Can you make the Visible 30 image loop?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34095
Quoting Levi32:
This loop sped up fast shows very nicely how the western side of Don is growing as the upper low west of it retreats, while the eastern side is getting suppressed by a northeasterly flow from over Florida, associated with the big U.S. ridge to the north.


Good catch. Will be interesting to see what good model input does to the forecast and intensity projection, along with dmax.
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Quoting louisianaboy444:


Hm that is interesting...i mean i'm sure this is probably a wacked out model but scary to think that none of these models even seen this storm coming a day or two before it formed so i mean how can i really put any faith in these models whatsoever


Good point, something has clearly gone wrong with our "reliable models".
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Mid level steering says TX...somewhere.
*shrug*


Any chance, do you think, of a G-IV mission to drop a few sondes in its path? it would be nice to get a better track forecast, and its such a little thing...

"Don", FWIW, is "a gift" in french.
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This storm wreaks of unpredictability....but then again, which storm does not. It sure appears that the forecast is not going to be as straight forward as the models might currently portray..
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Quoting Levi32:
This loop sped up fast shows very nicely how the western side of Don is growing as the upper low west of it retreats, while the eastern side is getting suppressed by a northeasterly flow from over Florida, associated with the big U.S. ridge to the north.


Levi, what is supposed to happen with that ridge and how will it affect Don's track?
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Evening, WUblers.
I sincerely hope Don makes it to Texas as a tropical storm. This is best case scenario!
LinkWVLoop
Am glad it's tracking further north as I thought west yesterday.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Lol. SSSHH! We don't say that out loud. I swear I wasn't even thinking it. HEHE..Seriously though It looks like he's coming in far enough south to benefit more of TX. I hope the ridge is far enough east and he grows and drags a lot of water through the state.


Hope so! We have had our fair share of rain in Mississippi and Louisiana lately. Now it's Texas's turn. We have even had flash flood watches in South MS and South Louisiana the past few days because of the amount of soil saturation. We aren't out of our deficit yet, but we are certainly doing a lot better!
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581. xcool
MississippiWx :)))
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Quoting MrstormX:
This Ghetto MM5 model shows Don making landfall in Louisiana.



Hm that is interesting...i mean i'm sure this is probably a wacked out model but scary to think that none of these models even seen this storm coming a day or two before it formed so i mean how can i really put any faith in these models whatsoever
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Quoting Levi32:
This loop sped up fast shows very nicely how the western side of Don is growing as the upper low west of it retreats, while the eastern side is getting suppressed by a northeasterly flow from over Florida, associated with the big U.S. ridge to the north.

Levi i know in your tidbit you said don would peak out at 50mph. right now do you wanna change your mind and go stronger or weaker or stay the same?
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Quoting xcool:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 27 JUL 2011 Time : 231500 UTC
Lat : 22:21:47 N Lon : 87:19:19 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.8 /1001.9mb/ 41.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
2.8 3.1 3.8


Beat ya by a minute, x. :-)
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Quoting MississippiWx:
With the luck Texas has been having, the storm will make landfall around the TX/LA border and bring mostly subsidence to Texas. Let's HOPE that's not the case. LOL.


Lol. SSSHH! We don't say that out loud. I swear I wasn't even thinking it. HEHE..Seriously though It looks like he's coming in far enough south to benefit more of TX. I hope the ridge is far enough east and he grows and drags a lot of water through the state.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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