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 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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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, this isn't good:




ouch
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Well, this isn't good:

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A tropical storm forms and is threatening the CONUS and The Weather Channel is airing Storm Stories... SERIOUSLY?!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
sometime after start of dmax 2 am onward maybe even by the dawns early light


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


Taco :o)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
sometime after start of dmax 2 am onward maybe even by the dawns early light
im with ya on that keeper. I think by the 8am advisory 70 to a 75 mph storm.
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I think Don is about to go through a RI phase within the next 12 hours.
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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.
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Quoting Seawall:


Maybe Greg Bostwick will have some more encouraging news tonight!


Yeah. We'll see what he says. Need to get my dvr rolling. Lol.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 27th day of the month at 21:36Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 300)
Mission Purpose: Investigate third suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 12
A. Time of Center Fix: 27th day of the month at 21:10:50Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 22°14'N 86°56'W (22.2333N 86.9333W)
B. Center Fix Location: 75 miles (121 km) to the N (355°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 36kts (~ 41.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 22 nautical miles (25 statute miles) to the SSE (148°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 187° at 43kts (From the S at ~ 49.5mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 20 nautical miles (23 statute miles) to the SSE (150°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1000mb (29.53 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 303m (994ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 25°C (77°F) at a pressure alt. of 304m (997ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 18°C (64°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 1,500 feet
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 3 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Wind Outbound: 46kts (~ 52.9mph) in the northwest quadrant at 21:12:00Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 46kts (~ 52.9mph) in the northwest quadrant at 21:12:00Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: Below 1,500 fe




looks like we may see higher winds
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Quoting Mclem1:
When was the last Hurricane to make landfall on CONUS? Was it Ike?


Yes it was Ike. Bad memories for Texas Gulf Coast...let's hope Don doesn't make it two in a row..
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Quoting NOLALawyer:
Don!!!!

I have shot my crows. How do you'all prefer them cooked? I was thinking of an etouffe'. Might take a little of the "crowiness" away. :-D



lol
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Quoting Floodman:


That's kind of what I'm seeing...


Flood, Hey how are long time no see. Hope just fine. What cha think about little Don Don?

sheri
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Is Hurricane formation possible if the barometric pressure is 1000mb? Oris their a standard like saffir-simpson which lists 994mb?


It's probably not possible, since the pressure corresponds with the winds.
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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
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 27th day of the month at 21:36Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 300)
Mission Purpose: Investigate third suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 12
A. Time of Center Fix: 27th day of the month at 21:10:50Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 22°14'N 86°56'W (22.2333N 86.9333W)
B. Center Fix Location: 75 miles (121 km) to the N (355°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 36kts (~ 41.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 22 nautical miles (25 statute miles) to the SSE (148°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 187° at 43kts (From the S at ~ 49.5mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 20 nautical miles (23 statute miles) to the SSE (150°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1000mb (29.53 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 303m (994ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 25°C (77°F) at a pressure alt. of 304m (997ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 18°C (64°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 1,500 feet
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 3 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Wind Outbound: 46kts (~ 52.9mph) in the northwest quadrant at 21:12:00Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 46kts (~ 52.9mph) in the northwest quadrant at 21:12:00Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: Below 1,500 fe
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Don will become a hurricane early tomorrow morning!
sometime after start of dmax 2 am onward maybe even by the dawns early light
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


Hi AtHome....

Remember me? Haven't been on, been waiting for things to start getting more active which it looks like it is doing...


Hey Tex! :D Of course I remember you. Yep things sure got interesting fast that's for sure. :)
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Quoting Mclem1:
When was the last Hurricane to make landfall on CONUS? Was it Ike?


Last hurricane: IKE (2008)

Last tropical storm: IDA (2009)
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Is Hurricane formation possible if the barometric pressure is 1000mb? Oris their a standard like saffir-simpson which lists 994mb?
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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.


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When was the last Hurricane to make landfall on CONUS? Was it Ike?
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Excuse me, but didn't the NHC give 90L a 0% chance yesterday for TC formation in 48hrs? Now we have a TS. I'm not putting to much faith into there intensity forecast ATM.
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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


Hi AtHome....

Remember me? Haven't been on, been waiting for things to start getting more active which it looks like it is doing...
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Yeah we all sure could use the rain. Just surprised me that right off the bat they seem to be sure we'll have no effects. As I said they could be right but even the NHC said to still keep an eye out. If not. Oh well. I'm glad for whoever gets the rain and I hope that's all. :)


Maybe Greg Bostwick will have some more encouraging news tonight!
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T.C.F.W.
04L/TS/D/CX
MARK
22.33N/87.13W


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Quoting weatherganny:


Ummmm...yea I remember with Rita ...same senario..models shifted and storm hit TX/LA border..but this is just supposed to be a weak storm supposedly.


Yeah. Let's hope it stays weak. I wouldn't mind if it got bigger and spread the rain around though. Lol.
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Quoting wxgeek723:
Hurricane Dolly Intensity Forecast
1st Advisory, July 20, 2008

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 20/1545Z 18.4N 84.2W 40 KT
12HR VT 21/0000Z 19.7N 86.3W 45 KT
24HR VT 21/1200Z 21.1N 89.5W 40 KT...INLAND OVER YUCATAN
36HR VT 22/0000Z 22.2N 92.2W 45 KT...OVER GULF OF MEXICO
48HR VT 22/1200Z 23.0N 94.0W 50 KT
72HR VT 23/1200Z 24.5N 96.0W 55 KT
96HR VT 24/1200Z 26.0N 97.5W 60 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 25/1200Z 27.0N 100.0W 35 KT...INLAND


Tropical Storm Don Intensity Forecast
1st Advisory, July 27, 2011

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 27/2100Z 22.2N 87.0W 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 28/0600Z 23.1N 88.7W 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 28/1800Z 24.5N 90.9W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 29/0600Z 25.8N 92.8W 50 KT 60 MPH
48H 29/1800Z 27.1N 94.8W 55 KT 65 MPH
72H 30/1800Z 29.0N 99.5W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 31/1800Z 31.0N 103.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
120H 01/1800Z...DISSIPATED



Scary similarities there...Let's hope it doesn't occur. The only thing I see that will keep Don from rapidly intensifying is wind shear, and if wind shear isn't a problem, then...
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Thanks Angela!

Looks like Don will become the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. Maybe not as scary as the name sounds unless it undergoes Rapid intensification, but still. Dry air shouldn't be a problem with Don as it will likely create a "shield" to fight off this dry air. The only real problem I see is Wind shear, and that may not be much of a problem.

45 mph at 11PM with Tropical Storm Watches/Warnings IMO.

Peak: Between 65-85 mph.

Landfall: Central Texas
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Yay! Moar blogz! Thanks Angela!

I know right? this summer has seriously sucked for PR. Barely any sun-time.


Yes, its been ridiculous, for my area (Carolina,PR)

We got:
April: 2.80in
May: 10.89in
June: 13.60
July(so far): 8.16in

We'll probably end July with at least 10inches.
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Don!!!!

I have shot my crows. How do you'all prefer them cooked? I was thinking of an etouffe'. Might take a little of the "crowiness" away. :-D
Member Since: September 3, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 520
Quoting Seawall:


I agree, I think the cone may move and maybe give us a little relief. Even though we've had a few showers in SW LA, we're still in an Exceptional Drought just as you guys across the river are.


Yeah we all sure could use the rain. Just surprised me that right off the bat they seem to be sure we'll have no effects. As I said they could be right but even the NHC said to still keep an eye out. If not. Oh well. I'm glad for whoever gets the rain and I hope that's all. :)
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(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!

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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


Dear Florida,

Thank you for sharing the love!

Always,
Texas
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I live in Texas-Bring it on, cant' wait
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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


No complaining here. Bring on the rain!
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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


Ummmm...yea I remember with Rita ...same senario..models shifted and storm hit TX/LA border..but this is just supposed to be a weak storm supposedly.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Don will become a hurricane early tomorrow morning!


Very well could be imo.
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Yay! Moar blogz! Thanks Angela!
Quoting JLPR2:
Rain over rain, over what?... more rain *sigh*



Wish I could send some of these clouds to Texas. :\

I know right? this summer has seriously sucked for PR. Barely any sun-time.
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Quoting Floodman:


That's kind of what I'm seeing...


Hey Flood... long time, no see.
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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


I agree, I think the cone may move and maybe give us a little relief. Even though we've had a few showers in SW LA, we're still in an Exceptional Drought just as you guys across the river are.
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Angela, I'm just playing with ya but how is that crow? you mentined that 90L had seen it's day and it's best days were behind it. lol :)
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Hurricane Dolly Intensity Forecast
1st Advisory, July 20, 2008

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 20/1545Z 18.4N 84.2W 40 KT
12HR VT 21/0000Z 19.7N 86.3W 45 KT
24HR VT 21/1200Z 21.1N 89.5W 40 KT...INLAND OVER YUCATAN
36HR VT 22/0000Z 22.2N 92.2W 45 KT...OVER GULF OF MEXICO
48HR VT 22/1200Z 23.0N 94.0W 50 KT
72HR VT 23/1200Z 24.5N 96.0W 55 KT
96HR VT 24/1200Z 26.0N 97.5W 60 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 25/1200Z 27.0N 100.0W 35 KT...INLAND


Tropical Storm Don Intensity Forecast
1st Advisory, July 27, 2011

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 27/2100Z 22.2N 87.0W 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 28/0600Z 23.1N 88.7W 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 28/1800Z 24.5N 90.9W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 29/0600Z 25.8N 92.8W 50 KT 60 MPH
48H 29/1800Z 27.1N 94.8W 55 KT 65 MPH
72H 30/1800Z 29.0N 99.5W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 31/1800Z 31.0N 103.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND
120H 01/1800Z...DISSIPATED

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Thank you, Angela.

Glad to hear/think it will not hit Lake Charles.
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I think Don will become a hurricane early tomorrow morning!
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Quoting Floodman:


That's kind of what I'm seeing...

We'll take the rain.
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Not surprised that Don formed while Jeff was on vacation...
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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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