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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1626. hydrus
Quoting Floodman:
Okay, so let me get this straight: Don is weakening/strengthening, dissipating/organizing with a 1-100% chance of making it to hurricane strength and making landfall from Lake Charles to Brownsville. Have I hit the high points?

That's what I love about the blog; there's something for everyone!

Hello Floodman......storms gonna getcha........:)
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OracleDeAtlantis posted the images and now the page is all kinds of screwed up and once I got rid of that (sorry, Oracle; I'll take you off ignore when we turn the next page) and now you quote him, P451 my old friend and I'm right back there **sigh** guess I'll get to working and come back later when this thing has moved back a few pages
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting floridaboy14:
is anyone still going to be posting info from the hurricane hunters?


HH is inbound on another Vortex run... I keep the pic updated about every 10-15 minutes
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1622. NEwxguy
Don't forget Flood, this will not help break the drought/this will be a drought buster.
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1621. hydrus
Quoting P451:


I noticed yesterday they had taken the floater off of the ~35w system and placed it on the Antilles system.

I guess this is what they saw.
Good cyclonic structure with the Atlantic wave..
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1620. jpsb
Well if I am going to anything to prepare for Don when the time to get started is now. What are the odds of Don sending TS strength winds to the Galveston Bay area? If greater the 1 in 3 then I will take action to protect my properties.
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is anyone still going to be posting info from the hurricane hunters?
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1616. usa777
Looks like some nice convection firing in Don this morning.
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Thank you P451, you would think just the opposite of that? This high pressure has just been beating this state to death for such a long time my confidence level is not very high.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
Quoting Jax82:
If Don does make landfall in Corpus Christi he'll be going right smack in the middle of the Exceptional Drought areas of Texas, 75% of Texas is in the Exceptional Drought, 92% in Extreme.



Don is not a very big one so it may not do much for the most part.
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1612. HCW
Latest Don Model runs from the NHC :) Stay Thirsty my friends


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Okay, so let me get this straight: Don is weakening/strengthening, dissipating/organizing with a 1-100% chance of making it to hurricane strength and making landfall from Lake Charles to Brownsville. Have I hit the high points?

That's what I love about the blog; there's something for everyone!

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI

Models updated to latest Vortex fix.






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My temperature has been 105 every day this week so not hitting 100 for one day is good enough for me, that is a nice break plus I will take my 20 percent chance of a shower with Don. People have to realize Don is very small and Texas is very big so not many will get decent rains.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
For the GOES RSO fans:

SENIOR DUTY METEOROLOGIST NWS ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE
NWS NCEP CENTRAL OPERATIONS CAMP SPRINGS MD
1210Z THU JUL 28 2011

A GOES-EAST RSO WILL BE IN PLACE FROM 28/1345Z THROUGH 29/0215Z IN
SUPPORT OF NHC`S COVERAGE OF TS DON IN THE GULF OF MEXICO.

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1604. Jax82
If Don does make landfall in Corpus Christi he'll be going right smack in the middle of the Exceptional Drought areas of Texas, 75% of Texas is in the Exceptional Drought, 92% in Extreme.

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1603. hydrus
The wave near the Antilles is showing signs of rotation...The models keep spinning something up in the extreme S.W.Caribbean...
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Quoting Jax82:
29-30 degree Celsius for the rest of Don's journey.

Not only was the Yucatan impeding it, dry air, and shear, but upwelling.

Now he's free ...


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Quoting dan77539:
Our local (Houston) NWS office shows us with a 50% chance of rain on Friday. I think the Texas drought map was on the blog a couple days ago--it showed that central areas of the state need the rain more than the Corpus-Brownsville area, so the southward shift is not very welcome news on that front.
There is a disturbance in La. that will bring southeast Texas some rain, it is moving slowly west.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
are the hurricane hunters still in don and is anyone posting new data?
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1599. jpsb
Quoting RitaEvac:
Wonder what's up with the moisture jumping more NW at the end of the last few frames where Don is....

Yeah that was a very pronouced jump north. Maybe some rain here in S.E. Texas after all.
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The strong high pressure system will push this weak tropical system more west than north IMO. Don will hit extreme south Texas unless he strengthens then he could hit more of the middle Texas coast is what I am thinking. Texas is full of Hot and Dry air so I think rainfall totals will be disappointing except if you are in the path of this small storm.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
is don weakining or stregnthining now?
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Wonder what's up with the moisture jumping more NW at the end of the last few frames where Don is....

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Good morning all. I see the 8am computer models are out. Have they shifted back to the right? Last I heard Brownsville to Corpus needed to watch, now it looks like Corpus to Galveston? Thanks!
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Quoting gulfscout:
does everyone agree with the forecast track?


I'm thinking the Northern side of the cone with all due respect....

Taco :o)
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does everyone agree with the forecast track?
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Quoting MrstormX:
Compact as ever:



Very tight. I have a feeling Don is going to catch some people off guard. Texas would be better off with a bigger system. These little ones can pack a punch in the core.
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anyone still think don could become a hurricane?
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Just wondering if anyone sees the avenue opening up to allow a more northerly movement. I was thinking brownsville but now I am having second thoughts.
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45mph seems a reasonable number for the next advisory, unless HH can find uncontaminated values higher.
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1584. Jax82
29-30 degree Celsius for the rest of Don's journey.

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Quoting Tazmanian:
some of you guys need too larn how too read the info on the HH then this say they olny found peak winds of 30kt no they did not they found i lot of 40kt + winds


I said at the last centre pass.

D. Estimated maximum surface wind: 30knots (34.5mph.)

Then at the bottom....

MAX OUTBOUND SFC WINDS VISUALLY 45 KTS SOME RAIN CONTAMINATION ON SFMR
FIX MADE INSIDE CONVECTIVE BAND SLIGHTLY NORTH OF ACTUAL CTR

So these wind speeds were contaminated.
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Compact as ever:

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some of you guys need too larn how too read the info on the HH then this say they olny found peak winds of 30kt no they did not they found i lot of 40kt + winds
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114063
which upcoming system are you talking about? I clicked on the link but could find it
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Quoting Tazmanian:



but at the same time the nhc could go with the info the HH has


HH last centre past was weaker than that. 1002mb with peak winds 30knots.
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1578. Jax82
Quoting floridaboy14:
Look at the recent blowup of convection around the center. don is starting to get away from the yucatan and streghnthen


Don will also be/has entering warmer waters today, the waters just to the north of the Yucatan are a few degrees Celsius cooler.
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Quoting MrstormX:


Ever so slight strengthening.



but at the same time the nhc could go with the info the HH has
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114063
Probably looking at a 1002mb and 50mph wind storm right now. Probably around 55mph by 11am EDT advisory.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.