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 HimacaneBrees:



explain why it's not good please. I do not know what it is I am looking at. Just a little help please.
Shear is low.And when shear is low....well I don't need to explain the rest of the story.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
Dear Texas,

You have been dieing/crying/complaining for rain and here it comes, now i dont want to here complaints about flash flooding and too much rain.

Love, Florida


We're a skin-changing people.

Already my blood is warming as I transform from my cold-blooded reptilian shape. By tomorrow afternoon gills on the sides of my neck will appear!
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Poll: What chances do you think Don will become a hurricane?
A:Never
B:Near 0%
C:10%
D:20%
E:30%
F:40%
G:50%
H:Higher than 50
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Interesting!
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey Shen! Yeah, been a bit busy of late. I know what you're saying about the heat; it's been hotter'n' Ned's belt buckle here since about the end of April. How you been, btw? I hear there's been some serious ugliness in here the last couple of weeks or so...
Afternoon Flood
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i stil think the gfs and the gfdl are the more favored models for this system as they have been the most consistant of most of the models!!!! I think a landfall near Galveson is more plausable!!
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Don is very small. We all know what small systems are capable of in the GOM. I think he will undergo RI in the next 24. Lets hope I'm wrong
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000
URNT12 KNHC 272136
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL902011
A. 27/21:10:50Z
B. 22 deg 14 min N
086 deg 56 min W
C. NA
D. 36 kt
E. 148 deg 22 nm
F. 187 deg 43 kt
G. 150 deg 20 nm
H. EXTRAP 1000 mb
I. 19 C / 303 m
J. 25 C / 304 m
K. 18 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 12345 / 01
O. 0.02 / 3 nm
P. AF300 01DDA INVEST OB 12
MAX OUTBOUND AND MAX FL WIND 46 KT NW QUAD 21:12:00Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM BELOW 1500 FT
;
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117. DFWjc
hey patrap, can you post a sea temperature current map?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


It's probably not possible, since the pressure corresponds with the winds.


I beleive for a cat 1 hurricane starts MSLP at 987 mb (Atlantic)
65 kts, CI number 4.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


The image I posted is the Wind Shear tendency map. It shows wind shear in Don's map has decreased 5-10 knots in the past three hours.



not good
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


The image I posted is the Wind Shear tendency map. It shows wind shear in Don's map has decreased 5-10 knots in the past three hours.


Well that is definitely not good. thank you
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


The image I posted is the Wind Shear tendency map. It shows wind shear in Don's map has decreased 5-10 knots in the past three hours.


Thanks for the explanation.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:

Hey Flood! Long time no see. Hotter than the hinges of Hades here lately.


Hey Shen! Yeah, been a bit busy of late. I know what you're saying about the heat; it's been hotter'n' Ned's belt buckle here since about the end of April. How you been, btw? I hear there's been some serious ugliness in here the last couple of weeks or so...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922

Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Thanks Angela.

According to Lake Charles this won't affect us at all.

Sigh. They could be perfectly right. The NHC may have the track down pat. But I've never seen that cone not move. We'll see I guess.

THIS RIDGE...BY THE WAY...IS EXPECTED TO HELP STEER TS DON TOWARD THE
LOWER TX COAST...AND BLOCK ANY FURTHER GAINS IN LATITUDE THAT WOULD
BRING GREATER IMPACTS TO OUR REGION. ON THE CURRENT FORECAST
TRACK...EFFECTS OVER THE NORTHWEST GULF COAST REGION WILL BE
MINIMAL...AND AT THIS TIME LIMITED GENERALLY TO INCREASING WINDS
AND SEAS OVER THE COASTAL WATERS LATE THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY





As good an educated guess as any right now. I would like to see much more consensus from the model runs overnight. Now that we have a LLC that can be tracked properly.
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OK, come on folks, same ones that were slamming people last season and you know who you are...swallow a little of that pride and give congrats to those that called it! CC to Galveston as a Cat 1..Of course there will still be the ones that will fight till the end..lol..we are all in this together, one forecast vs another, your thoughts against everyone elses, but in the end, we are all here for one reason, interest in MET. Lets have a good season and put a limit on the slamming and arguing, after all it's just getting started...Thanks
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:



explain why it's not good please. I do not know what it is I am looking at. Just a little help please.



It is a shear tendency map. It shows that shear is dropping in the Gulf, for the most part.
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Don= Dennis
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


What?
Quoting bigwes6844:
explain to me im confused help me out. What happening there?
Quoting HimacaneBrees:



explain why it's not good please. I do not know what it is I am looking at. Just a little help please.


The image I posted is the Wind Shear tendency map. It shows wind shear in Don's map has decreased 5-10 knots in the past three hours.
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Hi Dan -- yes absorption will be an issue, but better that than nothing.

Weather seems to be all or nothing lately.
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Quoting duajones78413:


What makes you think this?


Just watch it or check back in the morning, if I'm wrong so be it, but I think I'm right.
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with low wind shear now Don will go under a RI if its not starting too now
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
A tropical storm forms and is threatening the CONUS and The Weather Channel is airing Storm Stories... SERIOUSLY?!
I don't put much faith into them anyway.That's why I dissed them the other day.
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Don, to me, seems to be taking advantage of his environment.

This is going to be interesting to watch!
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Someone last night mentioned a soil absorption test (or something like that) and said huge amounts of rain could be a problem. There is flooding potential if this is true.


Yeah it was on the local news if we get 3+ steady, there would be wide spread flooding...heck 2+ floods around my apartment because of how they have the run off...
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Quoting RitaEvac:

My! almost all of texas is a desert!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
guys the ULL that was out there by TX has moveed in too TX wish was giveing 20 too 30kt of shear now that ULL is GONE! wind shear has drop too 5 too 10kt



ooooohhhhh. hmmmmmmm.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, this isn't good:




explain why it's not good please. I do not know what it is I am looking at. Just a little help please.
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Quoting Mclem1:
(Put this on the last blog but then the new one came up!)

Hey Folks! Just want to say hey and thanks for all the posts! I am pretty educated in Meteorology (studied it all through college, finished with a minor) but it's fun to read all of your posts. I have always loved hurricanes and I enjoy that when the NHC puts out invests or a new storm I can always get my fix of further information here!

I can see Don forming into a weak Cat 1 storm pretty easily before landfall (Not much more than that however). Personally I hope Don gets larger without strengthening too much. Would be a gift to those thirsty Texans!

Don of the Dead is already expanding himself!
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Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
Dear Texas,

You have been dieing/crying/complaining for rain and here it comes, now i dont want to here complaints about flash flooding and too much rain.

Love, Florida


Florida,
Have you seen the ground in south central Texas? There'll be no complaints, I promise (at least moe you should listen to). The fuirst 6 inches or so will simply soak in; you can't walk across the yard without raising a small dust storm.

Thanks for your concern, by the way

Love,
Texas
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting zoomiami:
The models are not very reliable right now -- but once the information from the HH gets in they will have a good idea.

Intensity is the one area that the models and forecasters have a tough time with. Our rule of thumb is to always be ready for one step higher -- than you are in good shape.

I think that the scenario that is forecast will be a great relief to Texas -- they seriously need the rain.


Someone last night mentioned a soil absorption test (or something like that) and said huge amounts of rain could be a problem. There is flooding potential if this is true.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Wind shear associated with that Upper Level Low is weakening as the ULL moves into Mexico. Let's hope Don behaves himself, or we may be looking at a significantly stronger system.




last tropical storm was bonnie form 2010 hit south florida as a 40mph ts july 23rd
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
guys the ULL that was out there by TX has moveed in too TX wish was giveing 20 too 30kt of shear now that ULL is GONE! wind shear has drop too 5 too 10kt
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Hi everyone. Just thought I'd pop in & see how things were. I see that don is here. Its really a pain in the bum to see the satellites & model runs on a phone but at least I get to see them. I swear the weather so. Cali never changes it's always beautiful. Had a couple of eqs in the gulf of Cali.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Better to grow aerial wise cuz it takes longer to spin up as to a vortlike system that can. 2 bad things about it,

1. it's so small being vortlike that a rainshield will not cover a large area of TX

2. it's so small being vortlike it can rapidly spin up into a monster and cause massive wind damage along the path it crosses

Best case scenario is to spread that windfield out and the rainshield, to spread more rain for TX, plus makes it a little harder to rapidly intensify
it will get bigger
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, this isn't good:


this isnt good in a good or bad way :) image wont load on shear
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Don is about to go through a RI phase within the next 12 hours.


What makes you think this?
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 287
Quoting taco2me61:


Now thats "Funny"
Even by the dawns early light :o)


Taco :o)
i did not catch that but i have now

lol
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
A tropical storm forms and is threatening the CONUS and The Weather Channel is airing Storm Stories... SERIOUSLY?!


I certainly wouldn't expect them to do anything else...
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
A tropical storm forms and is threatening the CONUS and The Weather Channel is airing Storm Stories... SERIOUSLY?!


always
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, this isn't good:

explain to me im confused help me out. What happening there?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


It's probably not possible, since the pressure corresponds with the winds.


That is the general rule, but there have been exceptions and is exceptions. I think Ernesto 2006 was still a hurricane at 1000mb, i could be wrong
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Quoting Mclem1:
When was the last Hurricane to make landfall on CONUS? Was it Ike?
Correct, check this sites archive it has a column for strengh at US landfall.

Archive
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, this isn't good:



What?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Last hurricane: IKE (2008)

Last tropical storm: IDA (2009)


Ida became extratropical before hitting AL. They thought it hit, but post-season analysis shows it didnt. I think. Besides the last TS was Bonnie of last year.
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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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