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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Environmental conditions aren't superb, so I personally believe rapid intensification is unlikely. I do however believe that Don will intensify modestly in between now and the next Recon mission.
Good afternoon Miami. Any thoughts about the system there by the Antilles ? Doesn't seem to be too shabby and I don't think(jmo) conditions are that bad to prohibit something spinning up.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
I can agree with you guys on shear. however dry air will be hindering don from exploding or rapidly stregnthining. im no meteorologist but based on the atmospheric pattern what i can confirm you is that don will peak out at a minimun of 60mph and 90mph i dont see him gettin passed cat 1. im giving him 50 50 shot of becoming a hurricane by the way the wave by africa has a low pressure of 1008mb just letting you guys know


Dry air, unless very very big in abundance, does not affect a tropical storm. At least, not nearly as much as it does disturbances, waves, or tropical depressions.
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374. DFWjc
Quoting CorneliaMarie:
When is TS Don scheduled to hit New Orleans?


He's Texas' storm, you stay out of it Louisiana!
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Quoting GCAT:
Hope it is a drought breaker for SE Texas, we need a good soaker.Its been dry since March 1.


Entire Texas could use some rain, not just SE.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
I can agree with you guys on shear. however dry air will be hindering don from exploding or rapidly stregnthining. im no meteorologist but based on the atmospheric pattern what i can confirm you is that don will peak out at a minimun of 60mph and 90mph i dont see him gettin passed cat 1. im giving him 50 50 shot of becoming a hurricane by the way the wave by africa has a low pressure of 1008mb just letting you guys know


thats td material
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Hot towers???
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
It's not much to look at yet, but it appears that Don may be well on his way to building a nice core. This may have an impact on future intensity.


where do you get that picture from?
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Tonight will be interesting to see if Don can build up its core. If it can I think we could see a jump to a 50-60mph TS quickly. Oh and I'm not a meteorologist either but I did stay in a Holiday Express last night. haha couldn't resist.
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I can agree with you guys on shear. however dry air will be hindering don from exploding or rapidly stregnthining. im no meteorologist but based on the atmospheric pattern what i can confirm you is that don will peak out at a minimun of 60mph and 90mph i dont see him gettin passed cat 1. im giving him 50 50 shot of becoming a hurricane by the way the wave by africa has a low pressure of 1008mb just letting you guys know
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365. xcool
TORMENTOSO83 oopps .i meaing DON
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Definitely not.



DON looking better
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yea, I have a nasty habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In 1999, I was in Floyd, in 2003 I was in Isabel. Moved to Orlando in 2004, where I was hit by Charley, Frances, and then Jeanne directly. Went down to be with my family in SFL for a bit in August 2005, Katrina visited us, and I got some TS winds from Rita, and then I was helping my family move from SFL up north in October 2005 and we where hit by Wilma. Moved to Tampa in 2006, haven't seen a storm since besides Alberto and Beryl.

So, from 2003 - 2005 I was hit by 7 named storms, 6 where direct.


Dangerous guy to hang around with during hurricane season j/k :)
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362. amd
Quoting sarahjola:
i totally agree. i see a major north movement happening. it looks to me to be more than a wobble. i am looking at nhc unenhanced, and i see more than just a wobble. does anyone else see this?


According to the CIMSS steering website, the steering can be more to the northwest initially, then bending back to a more true wnw. What I find interesting is that the speed of the steering winds in the gulf are currently low, and I wouldn't be shocked if the movement is below 10 mph by sometime tonight.

CIMSS Steering
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Conditions should improve as we head into tomorrow...Wind shear, whatever is left of it, will dissipate tomorrow as the ULL moves out into Mexico, and dry air shouldn't be a problem at all.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
is don weakining?


Convection waxing and waning is to be expected - Don will gradually intensify mixing out the dry air in its core as the days go on, 70mph max seems reasonable.
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Quoting floridaboy14:
is don weakining?
Not even close.
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dons cloud hights are decreasing but the overall organization looks much better
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Quoting xcool:

i will not be surprised to see forecast models move farther north jmo

Which one are you talking about, the wave in CV islands or DON?
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Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery




Courtesy: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

'Towers in the Tempest' is a narrated animation that explains recent scientific insights into how hurricanes intensify. This intensification can be caused by a phenomenon called a 'hot tower'. For the first time, research meteorologists have run complex simulations using a very fine temporal resolution of 3 minutes. Combining this simulation data with satellite observations enables detailed study of 'hot towers'. The science of 'hot towers' is described using: observed hurricane data from a satellite, descriptive illustrations, and volumetric visualizations of simulation data. The first section of the animation shows actual data from Hurricane Bonnie observed by NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) spacecraft. Three dimensional precipitation radar data reveal a strong 'hot tower' in Hurricane Bonnie's internal structure. The second section uses illustrations to show the dynamics of a hurricane and the formation of 'hot towers'. 'Hot towers' are formed as air spirals inward towards the eye and is forced rapidly upwards, accelerating the movement of energy into high altitude clouds. The third section shows these processes using volumetric cloud, wind, and vorticity data from a supercomputer simulation of Hurricane Bonnie. Vertical wind speed data highlights a 'hot tower'. Arrows representing the wind field move rapidly up into the 'hot tower, boosting the energy and intensifying the hurricane. Combining satellite observations with super-computer simulations provides a powerful tool for studying Earth's complex systems.



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Quoting floridaboy14:
is don weakining?


Definitely not.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Environmental conditions aren't superb, so I personally believe rapid intensification is unlikely. I do however believe that Don will intensify modestly in between now and the next Recon mission.







09 that ULL that was overe by TX has moveed in too MX that was giveing 20 too 30kt now that ULL is out of the way wind shear has drop and it looks like it stay low all the way too TX
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Not to get off the subject of Don. Does anyone see that tropical wave that came off africa getting in type of percentage soon to develop?
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is don weakining?
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Quoting Tazmanian:



Storm W got eat in by a bear NO this kinding lol he got banned last year dont ask why
It wasn't a bear....it was Bigfoot!
.
.
And consider yourself(and me) REPORTED!
.
.
And there's wind....blowing south!
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wait for it,......wait
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Quoting GHOSTY1:
I'm new to the wunderground blogs but have been reading them for the past few years and enjoy the educational remarks about the tropics and the sometimes funny comment, i tried to be here before Don formed but my signup process was kind of screwed up. I believe Don will at least be a Cat.1 hurricane by landfall but i'm no meteorologist.


It's okay, 99% of us aren't. Come blog more with us! :)
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WTNT01 KNGU 272101
WARNING ATCN MIL 04L NAT 110727210627

2011072718 04L DON 001 01 295 10 SATL 020
T000 222N 0870W 030
T012 231N 0887W 040 R034 040 NE QD 040 SE QD 000 SW QD 000 NW QD
T024 245N 0909W 045 R034 060 NE QD 045 SE QD 030 SW QD 045 NW QD
T036 258N 0928W 050 R050 025 NE QD 000 SE QD 000 SW QD 000 NW QD R034 075 NE QD 060 SE QD 045 SW QD 060 NW QD
T048 271N 0948W 055 R050 030 NE QD 020 SE QD 000 SW QD 020 NW QD R034 080 NE QD 060 SE QD 045 SW QD 060 NW QD
T072 290N 0995W 035 R034 035 NE QD 025 SE QD 000 SW QD 025 NW QD
T096 310N 1030W 025
AMP
096HR DISSIPATING AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER LAND
NNNN
REF/A/NAVLANTMETOCCEN NORFOLK VA/270930Z JUL 11//
AMPN/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
SUBJ: TROPICAL STORM DON (04L) WARNING NR 001
1. TROPICAL STORM DON (04L) WARNING NR 001
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN ATLANTIC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
WARNING POSITION:
271800Z --- NEAR 22.1N 86.8W
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 295 DEGREES AT 10 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 020 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
REPEAT POSIT: 22.2N 87.0W
---
FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
280600Z --- 23.1N 88.7W
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 040 KT, GUSTS 050 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
000 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
000 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 305 DEG/ 12 KTS
---
24 HRS, VALID AT:
281800Z --- 24.5N 90.9W
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 045 KT, GUSTS 055 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 060 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
045 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 36 HR POSIT: 305 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
36 HRS, VALID AT:
290600Z --- 25.8N 92.8W
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 050 KT, GUSTS 060 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 025 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
000 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
000 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
000 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 075 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
060 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 48 HR POSIT: 305 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
48 HRS, VALID AT:
291800Z --- 27.1N 94.8W
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 055 KT, GUSTS 065 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 030 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
020 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
000 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
020 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 080 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
060 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 72 HR POSIT: 295 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
72 HRS, VALID AT:
301800Z --- 29.0N 99.5W
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 035 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
025 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
000 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
025 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 96 HR POSIT: 305 DEG/ 09 KTS
---
LONG RANGE OUTLOOK:
---
96 HRS, VALID AT:
311800Z --- 31.0N 103.0W
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 025 KT, GUSTS 035 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
DISSIPATING AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER LAND
---
REMARKS:
272100Z POSITION NEAR 22.4N 87.4W OR APPROX 655NM
EAST-SOUTHEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS.
12FT SEAS: 40NM NE, 40NM SE, 0NM SW, 0NM NW.
THIS WARNING SUPERSEDES AND CANCELS REF A, NAVLANTMETOCCEN
270930Z) NEXT WARNINGS AT 280301Z, 280901Z, 281501Z
AND 282101Z.//
BT
#0001
NNNN
0411072106 118N 468W 20
0411072112 125N 480W 20
0411072118 130N 495W 20
0411072200 133N 511W 20
0411072206 136N 528W 20
0411072212 138N 546W 20
0411072218 141N 564W 20
0411072300 144N 582W 25
0411072306 148N 599W 25
0411072312 153N 618W 25
0411072318 157N 639W 25
0411072400 161N 662W 25
0411072406 168N 680W 25
0411072412 174N 701W 25
0411072418 178N 721W 25
0411072500 181N 738W 25
0411072506 184N 755W 25
0411072512 186N 770W 25
0411072518 189N 785W 25
0411072600 191N 798W 25
0411072606 197N 814W 25
0411072612 202N 824W 25
0411072618 208N 834W 25
0411072700 211N 845W 25
0411072706 214N 856W 25
0411072712 218N 863W 30
0411072718 222N 870W 30

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Oh man! Nevermind...I remembered it but it looks like the links are all nonexistent now. :(
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I'm new to the wunderground blogs but have been reading them for the past few years and enjoy the educational remarks about the tropics and the sometimes funny comment, i tried to be here before Don formed but my signup process was kind of screwed up. I believe Don will at least be a Cat.1 hurricane by landfall but i'm no meteorologist.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think the 65 mph peak is low, by quite a bit.

75-90 mph.



i rais you 75-90mph and give you 100-120mph
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Quoting scooster67:
So we should expect Hurricane Don at the 08z. jmo

Environmental conditions aren't superb, so I personally believe rapid intensification is unlikely. I do however believe that Don will intensify modestly in between now and the next Recon mission.
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Hmmmmmm, i also see the the northward component on Don.
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1900 has a good point, how Don builds that Warm Column or House now, is going to mean a lot as to how his engine is going to run.


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Quoting Floodman:


LOL...with one or two noteable exceptions (yourself among them, okay, so three) the sentient part may be stretchig it a bit..LOL


Flood!
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I think the 65 mph peak is low, by quite a bit.

75-90 mph.
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338. xcool

i will not be surprised to see forecast models move farther north jmo
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Funktop

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Quoting xcool:
And it looks that is gonna be a threat for the Islands, because it will move westward
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334. GCAT
Hope it is a drought breaker for SE Texas, we need a good soaker.Its been dry since March 1.
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It's not much to look at yet, but it appears that Don may be well on his way to building a nice core. This may have an impact on future intensity.

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...TROPICAL WAVES...

A TROPICAL WAVE IS IN THE CENTRAL TROPICAL ATLC ANALYZED FROM
15N27W TO AN ELONGATED 1012 MB LOW NEAR 8N30W MOVING W AT ABOUT
10 KT. THE WAVE AND ASSOCIATED CONVECTION IS EMBEDDED IN A
REGION OF DEEP MOISTURE ASSOCIATED TO THE MONSOON TROUGH.
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330. xcool
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Quoting weatherh98:
on the 10 oclock update the nhc should move the cone farther north with the models and up the winds a bit that my two cents
i totally agree. i see a major north movement happening. it looks to me to be more than a wobble. i am looking at nhc unenhanced, and i see more than just a wobble. does anyone else see this?
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


That would make sense to me. But hey what do I know? The others are pretty sure of themselves. Hope they're right. Not much time to be wrong.


Isn't that the truth...
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327. xcool
CV islands
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Well just as I thought. We had TS Don at 5 PM. I said earlier that I expected that it was at least a TD at 11 AM. Was just waiting on the HH to confirm it.

Is it just me or is 1001 MB kind of low for a weak TS?

Oh and I am hearing people say that Don will become a CAT 2-3 Hurricane and NOAA is only forecasting a strong TS. I personally am putting my money on a CAT 2 but what do you all think? I wanna hear the experts here which always are on top of the storms.
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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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