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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1426. WxLogic
Quoting floridaboy14:

starting to look better organized. doesnt have to look pretty to be strong. 8am advisory should be unchanged or 45mph


Agree with the look part to some degree. In regards the advisory well... I wouldn't say 45MPH yet but 40MPH as it currently stands:

4:00 AM CDT Thu Jul 28
Location: 23.0°N 88.7°W
Max sustained: 40 mph
Moving: WNW at 10 mph
Min pressure: 1000 mb

If indeed it increased some... then the HH will validate that for us shortly and validate DVORAK numbers also.
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1425. MahFL
Quoting WxLogic:
I currently expect the 8AM update to remain unchanged.

There's a HH heading now to where Don is and will give a better idea on the conditions of Don.


No I think they are actually going to Don, not just where he is lol......
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:


Very small system so the good rains should be only along its path in deep south Texas is what they are saying here. Here in south central Texas we have a 20 to 30 percent chance of scattered showers. Does not look like Don is going to be what Texas needs according to what I am hearing? Maybe he will grow some and head more north than the Brownsville area?

Models have shifted a little south.
Link
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Quoting WxLogic:
I currently expect the 8AM update to remain unchanged.

There's a HH heading now to where Don is and will give a better idea on the conditions of Don.

starting to look better organized. doesnt have to look pretty to be strong. 8am advisory should be unchanged or 45mph
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1422. WxLogic
I currently expect the 8AM update to remain unchanged.

There's a HH heading now to where Don is and will give a better idea on the conditions of Don.
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Quoting jonelu:

agreed


Very small system so the good rains should be only along its path in deep south Texas is what they are saying here. Here in south central Texas we have a 20 to 30 percent chance of scattered showers. Does not look like Don is going to be what Texas needs according to what I am hearing? Maybe he will grow some and head more north than the Brownsville area?
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1420. WxLogic
Good Morning...

- 00Z ECMWF/ECMWF Ensemble/CMC with NGP/GFS being less pronounced, still hinting towards development of P10L next week. Once it detaches from the Monsoonal TROF then it'll have a better chance and of course would have to fight of some SAL for the time being until it crosses 50W - 55W.



- In regards Don... it has been able to survive enough through the night with assistance of the warm GOM water and DMAX.

- Dry air in the W GOM should keep it in check until it arrives to the southern TX coast (won't rule out a possible extreme north MEX coast/TX border landfall if the High building over the E GOM moves quicker than expected):



- Also, given that there's no upper level AntiCyclone associated with Don then I don't expect too much restrengthening but some in the range of 50 to 60MPH is possible prior to landfall tomorrow:

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Don is going to pick up today as convection is building over the center and there is less dry air and less shear
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Quoting TomTaylor:
makes perfect sense, and good point. Thanks for your input kori, like I said I'll probably continue with blogging. Got a little discouraged earlier but your words are definitely encouraging.

Also you mentioned something about mortal kombat a while ago, what kinda game is that? Heard of it, but never played it


Wow I feel old - you've never played M.K.??
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1416. MahFL
Looks like convection firing over the center now, maybe less shear, by a few kts.
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1415. jonelu
Quoting BLee2333:
I predict some much needed rain for Texas! ;)

agreed
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Good morning. Don starting organize. what killed don was dry air from the yucatan, some northerly and westerly shear, and little bit interaction with the yucatan
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850mb vorticity cintinues to increase plus moisture is increasing in the area of interest in the central atlantic ,the wave is finally starting to get some convection, i could see development starting withen 48 hours if trends continue imao.
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i surprised a bit but poof near the windwds
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1411. rod2635
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
TS WATCH extends to the mouth of the rio grande now
000
WTNT34 KNHC 280835
TCPAT4

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DON ADVISORY NUMBER 3
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042011
400 AM CDT THU JUL 28 2011

...TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR DON EXTENDED SOUTHWARD...


SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.0N 88.7W
ABOUT 635 MI...1025 KM ESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS
ABOUT 590 MI...945 KM ESE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE COAST OF TEXAS HAS BEEN EXTENDED
SOUTHWARD TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* TEXAS COAST FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE NORTHWARD TO WEST OF
SAN LUIS PASS

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS


Thanks, but most of us have access to NHC website and others.
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I predict some much needed rain for Texas! ;)
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Thank goodness Don is a small storm and thank goodness I'm talking to myself again so that no one will argue with me. Well needed rain.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Yeah, but now I'm taking them off the low and closing them.

Gonna get me some Zs. XD

Night all!
night!

Quoting KoritheMan:


I honestly hate it when it's that busy.
same, no room for discussion and a new page is constantly popping up

Quoting KoritheMan:


You've never heard of Mortal Kombat? Wow, hah! EDIT: Nevermind I misread that. Tired. :p

If I'm not mistaken, it was a fighter series that originated on the SNES (or perhaps arcades? I dunno). It is known for its excessive violence and gore. A new one was recently released on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
ah ok, maybe I'll get it used or something. no guarantees though lol

what's ur gt again, BTW? I know I added you but I haven't been playing muh in the last half a year and just about all my friends have changed heir names it seems. hard to remember or find out who's who
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Rapid dissipation flag: FLAG
What in the world? Rapid Dissipation? Doubt it will dissipate until TX landfall.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
well I do too, but when I only get a couple of comments I kinda feel like I'm talking to myself lol

Also, when I write up my analysis and forecast I feel like I'm kinda just writing up what's already been said. I don't feel like waking up early before everyone posts nor do I feel like posting during the peak activity. As a result, when I finally post my blog in the late afternoon/nighttime shift I feel like I'm kinda just summarizing the main points already discussed on the blog. I'll bring up a few new points, but the majority of the points have already been written in the main blog.

Knowing my past, although I sound like I don't want to continue, I'll probably still continue with my blogs. Maybe just focus on specific things like just the wave at 30W and write a few paragraphs on that, rather than on what the blog has already been starring at all day long for over a thousand posts now...by that time all that is there to be said has been said lol

thanks, I'll probably continue doing blogs, just losing some enthusiasm at the moment.
Keep up the informative blogs TomTaylor and Koritheman. As they say" Rome wasn't .............
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


What makes you think its increasing in size? Looks a lot smaller now than ever.
The faster air moves, the less pressure it exerts on it's surrounding environment.

Watch the last few frames in the precip. imagery, and note how there's a sudden acceleration wrapping around first the north, and now the west side. That rapid motion translates into low pressure.

It's easier to see it here during development, than anywhere else, I've found. You can see when they're about to change size, because you can watch the relative motion of air in the column much easier. You can see when they're about to double up, which is what this one is doing, right now. In fact, it's close to tripling in size.

That doesn't mean the skater will have time to pull his arms in all the way, but his momentum is building.



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Quoting TomTaylor:
makes perfect sense, and good point. Thanks for your input kori, like I said I'll probably continue with blogging. Got a little discouraged earlier but your words are definitely encouraging.

Also you mentioned something about mortal kombat a while ago, what kinda game is that? Heard of it, but never played it


You've never heard of Mortal Kombat? Wow, hah! EDIT: Nevermind I misread that. Tired. :p

If I'm not mistaken, it was a fighter series that originated on the SNES (or perhaps arcades? I dunno). It is known for its excessive violence and gore. A new one was recently released on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
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1399. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm still thinking that wave is a Greater Antilles threat. Do keep an eye on it, as you have been.


Yeah, but now I'm taking them off the low and closing them.

Gonna get me some Zs. XD

Night all!
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Quoting texwarhawk:
Looking at upper level winds over past few hours (Link) They seem to be shifting more northerly. Would this at all change the possible track or am I just wishing for a system here in Houston?


The latter, lol. It may move a bit more northwesterly over the next 24-36 hours, but thereafter it'll bend back WNW under the nose of the ridge.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


That's certainly understandable. But you aren't necessarily repeating yourself when you make a forecast. For example, although I predicted earlier that Don would become a hurricane prior to landfall (and I still think this), you obviously did not. That right there is a flagrant dichotomy between us. Such diversity represents a difference in opinion. Ergo, you are not repeating yourself.

While forecasters may see the same atmospheric dynamics at play, that doesn't mean we always come to the same conclusions about them. I hope I'm making sense.
makes perfect sense, and good point. Thanks for your input kori, like I said I'll probably continue with blogging. Got a little discouraged earlier but your words are definitely encouraging.

Also you mentioned something about mortal kombat a while ago, what kinda game is that? Heard of it, but never played it
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Quoting texwarhawk:
Looking at upper level winds over past few hours (Link) They seem to be shifting more northerly. Would this at all change the possible track or am I just wishing for a system here in Houston?


The system isnt deep enough for those winds to move the system, those will just act as shear.
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Quoting JLPR2:
The ECMWF has been sending the CATL low my way for a few runs now. Keeping both eyes on it.


I'm still thinking that wave is a Greater Antilles threat. Do keep an eye on it, as you have been.
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Looks like Don's about to clear the channel.
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"Don" not looking so dandy at the moment. We'll see what Thursday brings.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
well I do too, but when I only get a couple of comments I kinda feel like I'm talking to myself lol

Also, when I write up my analysis and forecast I feel like I'm kinda just writing up what's already been said. I don't feel like waking up early before everyone posts nor do I feel like posting during the peak activity. As a result, when I finally post my blog in the late afternoon/nighttime shift I feel like I'm kinda just summarizing the main points already discussed on the blog. I'll bring up a few new points, but the majority of the points have already been written in the main blog.

Knowing my past, although I sound like I don't want to continue, I'll probably still continue with my blogs. Maybe just focus on specific things like just the wave at 30W and write a few paragraphs on that, rather than on what the blog has already been starring at all day long for over a thousand posts now...by that time all that is there to be said has been said lol

thanks, I'll probably continue doing blogs, just losing some enthusiasm at the moment.


That's certainly understandable. But you aren't necessarily repeating yourself when you make a forecast. For example, although I predicted earlier that Don would become a hurricane prior to landfall (and I still think this), you obviously did not. That right there is a flagrant dichotomy between us. Such diversity represents a difference in opinion. Ergo, you are not repeating yourself.

While forecasters may see the same atmospheric dynamics at play, that doesn't mean we always come to the same conclusions about them. I hope I'm making sense.
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Looking at upper level winds over past few hours (Link) They seem to be shifting more northerly. Would this at all change the possible track or am I just wishing for a system here in Houston?
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1386. JLPR2
Quoting Gearsts:
Also the CMC :(


Ah yes, it went nuts on the last run. But I don't pay so much attention to it, tends to exaggerate a bit, in my opinion the ECMWF is the most accurate model.

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Morning, just woke up to check on Don and going back to sleep. That CATL wave is huge btw.

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Quoting texwarhawk:


One of the reasons I'm only on here at late night. All the clutter is gone and people can actually discuss instead of repeating themselves over and over trying to get a comment or an answer. It may not be socially acceptable to be online at 2-3AM but it sure is more enjoyable then being on at 10am-10pm


Hahaha yeah, back in 07-08 this blog was amazing none of the crap that goes on in here now. The only thing bad about a blog getting popular is the fact it gets people who just want attention to come on and ruin it for everyone. Especially the new people who act like you killed their dog if you say an invest wont develop its insane. There have been 11 invests and 4 storms but if you looked on here each time, all there was, was NHC bashing and how each one the NHC "dropped the ball" on...
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1382. Gearsts
Quoting JLPR2:
The ECMWF has been sending the CATL low my way for a few runs now. Keeping both eyes on it.
Also the CMC :(
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1381. JLPR2
Still has some time to get better; needs more convection ASAP.
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1379. JLPR2
The ECMWF has been sending the CATL low my way for a few runs now. Keeping both eyes on it.
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Quoting Patrap:
Don Vito looks ill

give him 4-6 hours, gets further away from Yucatan, he should improve his appearance/structure nicely, with possible strengthening in hours.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Or anyone saying it'll be a strong hurricane obviously is just hoping it will become one, the conditions and time are just not there for this to become to organized, it looks terrible right now and outlandish statements unfortunately have become the norm of the blog :(


One of the reasons I'm only on here at late night. All the clutter is gone and people can actually discuss instead of repeating themselves over and over trying to get a comment or an answer. It may not be socially acceptable to be online at 2-3AM but it sure is more enjoyable then being on at 10am-10pm
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Quoting texwarhawk:


Lol thanks, I was thinking the high was over the southeastern US and was hearing about it slowly pull off to the northeast, but enough to pull it in to LA/MS/AL. This guy's comment was partially the reason I got off. I'm okay with people asking questions and giving their honest opinion and all but when your opinion is 300-500 miles off of the edge of NHC's cone of uncertainty, chances are you aren't giving the best opinion, and should keep it to yourself lol. Maybe I'm just cynical about all this, but spending just a year in college studying this has made me kinda look down on some people who don't even look at the models. Computer models are forecasting tools (keyword: TOOLS) that help forecasters predict the weather. Someone coming on here and saying "Oh I don't trust computers (or models), it's going to do this..." are just ignorant in my eyes and are giving out misinformation on a blog that many come to for information.


Or anyone saying it'll be a strong hurricane obviously is just hoping it will become one, the conditions and time are just not there for this to become to organized, it looks terrible right now and outlandish statements unfortunately have become the norm of the blog :(
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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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