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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1726. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:58 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
These little shakes an wobbles add up over time. While not a big deal over the open ocean, they get increasingly important as you get closer to land.
just ask the people in Punta Gorda Florida
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1725. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:56 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Levi32:
The center of Don is only half-way covered by the current convective burst, but it has been enough to lower the pressure by 3mb in 1 hour 40 minutes.


Levi, Why are the circulations not stacking? Is it that the steering currents at differnt levels of the atmosphere are slightly different? Or shear, which was light, and thought to be getting lighter?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1724. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:50 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting hydrus:
Don has a tail...
the don has coattails
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1723. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:48 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:


Not really, it is clearly them most organized we have seen this since we lost visible images last night.
agreed, def looks the best since he was named
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1722. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:39 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
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.

I think Corpus is the best locaation for landfall to help the most with their rainfall issues.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1721. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:36 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Not only was the Yucatan impeding it, dry air, and shear, but upwelling.

Now he's free ...




Action:
Quote
| Ignore User


Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 532



agreed, he had a bit of a rough go last night into this am, he's doing better now
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1720. HurricaneHunterJoe
2:35 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:


I'd agree with that, he obviously had overnight troubles.
I Think dry air and land interaction were tough on him last night. he seems to be doing ok now
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5248
1719. Vincent4989
2:33 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
NEW BLOOOOOOOOOOGGGG!!!!
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
1718. hydrus
2:33 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22719
1717. MahFL
2:32 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Looks like a west track atm, to MX, no rain for TX....
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3850
1716. SPadreguy
2:28 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Looks like it's strengthening as it clears the Yucatan and heads for warmer water. Possibly getting a bit larger too.

Depending on how much the High to the north effects it I'd still guess a landfall somewhere between Port Mansfield and Aransas Pass as a strong TS, possibly a even a small hurricane.

I guess all that with nothing more than fifty years experience of watching Texas hurricanes. In the end Don will do what it does. I haven't done any more down here on the far south Laguna Madre than tie up my boat good.
This one is fairly small so it looks like there won't be much surge, and when you live on the Laguna Madre and your bottom floor is all of 1i or so feet above MSL that's your first concern.
Member Since: August 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 4
1714. xcool
2:12 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
newwwwwwwwww blogggggggg
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1712. NICycloneChaser
2:11 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:
IMO 45 mph, 999 mb at 11 am.


That would be my guess too.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
1710. Neapolitan
2:09 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
NEW BLOG POST
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
1709. RitaEvac
2:09 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
50mph could be reasonable with that 999mb pressure reading
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
1708. CybrTeddy
2:08 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
IMO 45 mph, 999 mb at 11 am.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
1707. HimacaneBrees
2:08 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Don running with a starboard bias.





Would that be to the right? Yes it's right or is it left. Depends on if your facing forward or aft. I'm confused now. Just joking it's right. And I do agree with you.
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1005
1706. barbamz
2:06 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, July 28th, with Video


Very good. Thanks again for spending your time on this service, Levi!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 63 Comments: 6723
1705. ProgressivePulse
2:06 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
These little shakes an wobbles add up over time. While not a big deal over the open ocean, they get increasingly important as you get closer to land.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
1704. RitaEvac
2:05 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Levi32:
The center of Don is only half-way covered by the current convective burst, but it has been enough to lower the pressure by 3mb in 1 hour 40 minutes.


That's pretty impressive
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
1703. Orcasystems
2:04 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
I can see one or two 1000.2 readings in that loop the loop he did.

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1701. ProgressivePulse
2:04 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Vincent4989:
POLL TIME!
Do you think Don's rains will be....
A. Beneficial to Texas
B. Harmful to Texas



C. All of the above
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
1700. Orcasystems
2:04 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Vincent4989:
POLL TIME!
Do you think Don's rains will be....
A. Beneficial to Texas
B. Harmful to Texas


FOCUS young man.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1699. MagicSpork
2:03 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Don got straight up sliced in half by the Yucatan. If the part that went south manages to re-form into another tropical storm, maybe it would be named Tropical Storm Don's Doppleganger
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 43
1698. Vincent4989
2:03 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
POLL TIME!
Do you think Don's rains will be....
A. Beneficial to Texas
B. Harmful to Texas
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
1697. islander101010
2:02 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
nice swath of rain forecasted for texas great start to end the draught.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5008
1696. ProgressivePulse
2:00 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
NHC is now left of the model consensus. Don is running with a right bias and more in line with the models ATM.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
1695. NOLALawyer
2:00 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:

Agreed. A Cat 5 can rip through the Caribbean, tear north along the Bahamas, and smack Bermuda head-on--but to too many here, it wouldn't bear watching as it would be "just a fish storm". :-\


You are 100% correct.
Member Since: September 3, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 520
1694. Levi32
2:00 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
The center of Don is only half-way covered by the current convective burst, but it has been enough to lower the pressure by 3mb in 1 hour 40 minutes.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
1693. hydrus
1:58 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
The Goes East Sounder and Imager shows moisture levels much better..Its worth a look...Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22719
1692. NICycloneChaser
1:57 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Pressure readings near the centre of around 999mb.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
1690. Levi32
1:57 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Pressure falling to 999mb:

000
URNT15 KNHC 281347
AF303 0204A DON HDOB 23 20110728
133800 2406N 09015W 8429 01560 0081 187 065 029014 014 023 000 03
133830 2405N 09014W 8430 01555 0075 190 065 024013 013 024 001 00
133900 2404N 09012W 8432 01555 0073 190 066 019014 014 024 002 00
133930 2403N 09011W 8428 01555 0071 189 066 019014 015 022 000 00
134000 2402N 09009W 8433 01548 0070 190 065 021016 018 019 001 00
134030 2402N 09008W 8430 01550 0071 184 065 019017 018 020 001 03
134100 2401N 09006W 8433 01544 0069 183 065 017015 016 022 000 03
134130 2400N 09004W 8429 01545 0063 190 064 017015 017 023 000 00
134200 2359N 09003W 8430 01543 0062 186 064 011017 018 023 001 03
134230 2359N 09001W 8430 01538 0057 189 064 006018 018 024 000 00
134300 2358N 08959W 8432 01532 0046 195 064 005017 018 027 001 00
134330 2358N 08958W 8424 01537 0040 197 064 335013 014 030 000 03
134400 2357N 08956W 8432 01521 0033 198 065 300015 016 029 002 00
134430 2357N 08954W 8428 01518 0026 200 066 280015 017 029 001 00
134500 2357N 08952W 8433 01515 0027 196 067 246018 019 023 001 03
134530 2358N 08950W 8429 01520 0026 201 069 220018 020 /// /// 03
134600 2359N 08950W 8438 01506 0010 224 071 159018 020 /// /// 03
134630 2401N 08952W 8440 01499 9995 238 076 113026 030 026 000 03
134700 2401N 08954W 8438 01507 9992 253 081 093029 030 027 001 00
134730 2402N 08956W 8432 01520 0002 246 087 079031 032 026 001 03
$$
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
1689. Vincent4989
1:57 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting DrMickey:
Is it me, or did post 1615 mess up the blog formatting? Avatars are missing for me and every post looks like it is a quote. (Using IE and not by choice)

1663. DrMickey 1:48 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Is it me, or did post 1615 mess up the blog formatting? Avatars are missing for me and every post looks like it is a quote. (Using IE and not by choice)
Action: Quote | Ignore User
Member Since: May 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
You're very, very ,very inactive!
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
1686. NICycloneChaser
1:55 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting quakeman55:

No poll...let's just wait and see. Sounds like a better plan to me.


The poll bit was a joke.. Haha
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
1685. centex
1:54 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
click the trop pts than evaluate where convection is in relation to convection.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3293
1684. vortextrance
1:54 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting Jax82:
There are plenty of hurricane wishcasters in here this morning, but lets not forget the storm intensity forecast from NWS this morning. It does not appear at the moment that Don will reach Hurricane status.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 28/0900Z 23.0N 88.7W 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 28/1800Z 23.9N 90.3W 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 29/0600Z 25.1N 92.5W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 29/1800Z 26.3N 94.7W 50 KT 60 MPH
48H 30/0600Z 27.3N 97.1W 50 KT 60 MPH
72H 31/0600Z 29.0N 101.0W 20 KT 25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
96H 01/0600Z...DISSIPATED



This is true. It would be hard to justify forecasting a hurricane. However, they did say intensity forecasts on storms this size are "nearly impossible" to forecast.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
1682. Caner
1:53 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Since Dr... Masters takes every opportunity on his blog to promote warming, i think i would be remiss not to link this:

Link

Odd how the real world data vs. assumed stats for model plug-ins just shuts it down, huh?

Talk about your inconvenient truths...
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
1681. fmbill
1:53 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Maybe not a drought-buster, but certainly would be a help.

Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 469
1679. DrMickey
1:53 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Thanks, P451! Looks OK now. I had forgotten about the YouTube/IE thing.

(Didn't mean to make it seem that it was your fault; just noticed the change in format...)
Member Since: May 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 162
1678. Cotillion
1:52 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
999mb. A little bit of a drop from yesterday.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
1677. SuperYooper
1:52 PM GMT on July 28, 2011
Quoting NotCircumventing:
Blog is oddly slow ... we've become TC snobs around here, anything less than hurricane doesn't warrant the time I guess.


Kids aren't awake yet out west. It'll get busier then. We also get to look forward to the daily blog attack.

SARCASAM ON
Member Since: August 18, 2010 Posts: 14 Comments: 1605

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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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