Caribbean disturbance 93L to drench Honduras; 97L disturbance worth watching

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:04 PM GMT on August 18, 2011

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A westward-moving tropical wave in the Central Caribbean a few hundred miles south-southwest of Jamaica, Invest 93L, has continued to increase in organization, and is close to tropical depression status. 93L is a small system, but has built up a respectable area of heavy thunderstorms around its center. A few low-level spiral bands are apparent on satellite imagery, but there is almost no upper-level outflow apparent, and a surface circulation is not obvious. 93L has moistened its environment somewhat over the past day, but dry air is still in evidence around the storm, particularly to the southeast, as seen on water vapor satellite images. Wind shear continues to be low, 5 - 10 knots. There is a hurricane hunter mission scheduled for this afternoon at 2pm EDT to see if a tropical depression is forming.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of 93L.

Heavy rains from 93L will begin spreading over Northern Honduras and Northeast Nicaragua tonight. The forward motion of 93L will slow to 5 - 10 mph by Friday, so the storm could be a major rain event for Northern Honduras, with rain amounts of 4 - 8 inches likely by the time the storm reaches Belize on Saturday. Heavy rains will spread to Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Friday night or Saturday morning. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear remaining in the low range and the atmosphere steadily moistening over the next two days, which should allow 93L to reach tropical storm strength. All of the models agree that the ridge of high pressure steering 93L to the west will remain strong, forcing the storm into a landfall Friday in Northeast Honduras, or Saturday near the Belize/Mexico border. It is possible that 93L will have time to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane before then, though landfall as a tropical storm would be more likely, given the dry air that 93L needs to overcome, and the possibility that the storm will pass too close to the northern coast of Honduras. Regardless, heavy rain will be a major threat from 93L. NHC gave 93L an 80% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning in their 8am outlook. If 93L does cross the Yucatan Peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico, a strong ridge of high pressure should keep the storm moving due west to make a second landfall along the Mexican coast, well south of Texas.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of the tropical wave 97L midway between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa.

Invest 97L midway between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa
A tropical wave near 14°N 40°W, midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa, is moving westward near 15 - 20 mph. This wave, designated 97L by NHC this morning, has little heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it due to dry air, but an impressive amount of large-scale spin is obvious in visible satellite loops. 97L is expected to arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands by Saturday. Over the past day, all four of our reliable models for predicting tropical storm genesis have predicted that this wave could develop into a tropical depression sometime Saturday through Monday, so 97L needs to be watched carefully. NHC gave 97L a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning in their 8am outlook, and it is unlikely that this storm will pose much of a threat to the Lesser Antilles. It will take several days for the storm to overcome the large amount of dry air surrounding it, even though wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots. By Saturday, the wave will find a moister atmosphere and warmer sea surface temperatures near the northern Lesser Antilles, and more rapid development may occur. However, there is expected to be high wind shear associated with an upper level low pressure system to the north of Puerto Rico at that time, and this wind shear may interfere with development. 97L is expected to take a west-northwest track through the Northeast Caribbean bringing the storm near Puerto Rico by Sunday or Monday. Long-range model runs, which are highly unreliable, foresee that 97L could be a threat to Hispaniola, Eastern Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida by the middle to end of next week.

Jeff Masters

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LOLA near shore wave models showing waves of 20+ ft passing just south of pr on monday just adding to the discussion thought it might be interesting
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Strong system in the Central Gulf by 228 hours heading WNW/NW.

Impressive.
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93L up to 30 kt

AL 93 2011081818 BEST 0 154N 804W 30 1008 DB
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11165
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
ECMWF is about to show a Major Hurricane in the Gulf.

...Lordy


Probably. It's yet another 12z shifting away from its 0z counterpart, though. A better depiction of the ECMWF forecast of this system might be an average of the solutions that the 0z and 12z runs have been showing for 3 days now.
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Quoting USAFwxguy:
any guess where it is going?



Northern Gulf with this run. No hedging.


I say a quick stall is in order while it figures it out, but a more N to NE might resume. I'm assuming that weakness would become more apparent given the "Death Ridge" over Texas.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Quoting MississippiWx:
192:

Two strong storms. Looks like the Central/Eastern Gulf is at risk now from 97L.



They have been all along. We knew the models would likely shift to different places during the course of several days. I'm impressed they stayed at Florida for so long. That whole region is a potential target depending on the little details that will be showing themselves over the next several days.
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Quoting Levi32:


The weakness is present right now over the eastern gulf coast and Florida:


Ah, that's a good one.
Thanks tampa as well. Don't know why I didnt think to look at that. I've gotten into a habit of looking at modelling and obs and started neglecting satellite derived composite imagery. I suppose it's because of my refusal to look at the shear maps much anymore due to their blatant inability to accurately display shear to the accuracy that I can see by looking at satellite myself.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
192:

Two strong storms. Looks like the Central/Eastern Gulf is at risk now from 97L.



Given the strength of it and the TROF directly above it... I'll shot for a quick stall close to the E GOM and then a N to NE motion, since the 1016MB isobar has been pushed back to the E... but we'll see.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Umm, I cannot image anyone being afraid of Florida...
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Tropical depression or Tropical storm would provide Texas the relief it needs, no state really needs a hurricane but in life it happens and we have to deal with it, no one wishes that on anyone. We will party when it rains but if it isnt tropical or we dont have an El Nino season most likely most of Texas will not get the rains they need, unfortunately that is the way it is. September 6th Austin starts Stage 2 water restrictions which are pretty tough, they have to because their lakes are getting very low.


Galveston and some other cities were in stage 5 just the last few days, now back to stage 2 because of TCEQ write up was misleading
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Quoting SouthALWX:
Btw, Levi, I disagree with you from time to time, but I think you are seeing exactly what I am here. That weakness in the 500 mb pattern is impossible to miss, even for a novice around here. I'll see if I can figure out how to post an image of it, or perhaps you can.



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ECMWF is about to show a Major Hurricane in the Gulf.

...Lordy
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Quoting hydrus:
Look, you and I both know that 97L will move over and stall right on top of Northern South America, where it will take in large amounts of fine Colombian weed..


Are you sure your handle shouldn't be hydro?

The anticipation on this soon-to-be system is excruciating. I expect that we will not have a very clear picture until this time next week.
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500 mb pattern, per the GFS.
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731. GoWVU
Quoting chevycanes:

no, that is not correct.

12z GFS still shows S. FL and pretty much all of FL being affected.

Euro is showing a storm further south. it seems to keep flipping back and forth in the strength of the ridge.


Thank you for sharing
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Quoting SouthALWX:
Btw, Levi, I disagree with you from time to time, but I think you are seeing exactly what I am here. That weakness in the 500 mb pattern is impossible to miss, even for a novice around here. I'll see if I can figure out how to post an image of it, or perhaps you can.


The weakness is present right now over the eastern gulf coast and Florida:

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Quoting Levi32:


Impressive for being 350 miles west of 97L.


I think 97 is a little closer than that but yes, impressive. If the next data update brings another pressure drop I think we may have a TD.
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Quoting GoWVU:
Trying to keep up with everything for 97L, So as of now it looks like a GOM storm? And the east coast should be ok, per the models?
No everyone form the east coast to the GOM should keep a wary eye on it!
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Quoting redwagon:

The water wheel spinning around us may deliver rain to Houston as early as Tuesday, so chin up.. it's Centex alone that has been forsaken. For a year now.


I know Central TX has it bad. But a few other places could use the relief too. Hope we all get some. :)

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Quoting GoWVU:
Trying to keep up with everything for 97L, So as of now it looks like a GOM storm? And the east coast should be ok, per the models?

no, that is not correct.

12z GFS still shows S. FL and pretty much all of FL being affected.

Euro is showing a storm further south. it seems to keep flipping back and forth in the strength of the ridge.
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Quoting cloudburst2011:


the hh will go out at 50 west if they think theres a need to..dont worry the islands will have plenty of time they are not rookies to hurricanes....i mentioned miami because you are going by what the models say as GOSPEL and they are going to change quite a bit before the storm threatens any land area of the united states...my point is just dont excite people its just to early now...just watch it give opinions and wait and see....the only ones that should be watching this thing carefully is the islands...they are first in line...


I guess WU is exciting people as well because I pull the hurricane tracks from their website so WU is worrying people with a product of their website?? ..and please find anything on this blog where I myself said 97L would hit anyone..I only quoted meteorologists about their predictions on landfall..I cant believe you are stating that we shouldnt show model runs? that is absurb and ridiculous..and I do believe I said the Islands first so now you backtracking and including them in your synoposis ..
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192:

Two strong storms. Looks like the Central/Eastern Gulf is at risk now from 97L.

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Quoting cloudburst2011:


yes i do understand where you coming from but it could be much worse like after the hurricane no electricity and hence no AC...sitting in over 100 degree temps with no AC would not be a party...
Tropical depression or Tropical storm would provide Texas the relief it needs, no state really needs a hurricane but in life it happens and we have to deal with it, no one wishes that on anyone. We will party when it rains but if it isnt tropical or we dont have an El Nino season most likely most of Texas will not get the rains they need, unfortunately that is the way it is. September 6th Austin starts Stage 2 water restrictions which are pretty tough, they have to because their lakes are getting very low.
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If the NE gets it's last summer heat wave, you'll know the ridge is in place
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Btw, Levi, I disagree with you from time to time, but I think you are seeing exactly what I am here. That weakness in the 500 mb pattern is impossible to miss, even for a novice around here. I'll see if I can figure out how to post an image of it, or perhaps you can.
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Quoting kshipre1:
wow. what a difference from this morning! Florida is no more being feared!


Everyone should fear this system assuming development.
Everything is so unknown right now, and that is why most people love watching to see how things will pan out.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
about 200 miles out in front of 97L





Impressive for being 350 miles west of 97L.
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716. GoWVU
Trying to keep up with everything for 97L, So as of now it looks like a GOM storm? And the east coast should be ok, per the models?
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Quoting kshipre1:
wow. what a difference from this morning! Florida is no more being feared!
i hate to tell you but you are lost !!
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keep- glad to know you are watching. storms that form off the coast of florida are nerve racking.
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The euro's west shift is interesting for sure. The models have been advertising a "bownling alley" in the 500 mb pattern for the end of august for many days now. If the storm were to move parallel to cuba on the southside, a turn near the aisle of youth and a shot at the northern gulf coast would be strongly probable at that point with the loop current between it and shore. I still favor the eastern panhandle, but a track as advertised by the euro opens up eastern LA,MISS, and AL as well. Of course, west LA and texas need to watch it, but the 500 mb pattern is one of our better levels as far as skill and pattern recognition goes and it currently screams northern gulf coast were a storm to enter near western cuba.
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Quoting NASA101:
EURO 12Z @ 168 hrs...south of Cuba moving WNW!!



Strong High with this one...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
wow. what a difference from this morning! Florida is no more being feared!
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Quoting USAFwxguy:
Looks headed for Central or Western GoM on this run so far:



I would say central more than western. I think the ridge over the rockies still protects Texas in a situation where the trough is over the Mississippi valley.
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about 200 miles out in front of 97L



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Quoting divdog:
so which is it


75W for sure, GOM bound later
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EURO 12Z @ 168 hrs...south of Cuba moving WNW!!

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Quoting USAFwxguy:
15.5N, 80.5W


16.8N 80.2W
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
97L and Ike are two completely different scenarios. Ike was way farther north than 97L is...


I think they are just saying anything can happen. It is crazy how much things can change even at the last minute. It makes me wonder if we will ever have a good handle on where 97L is headed even if someone is in the cone. How many times will that cone change. Of course this is all considering it does in fact develop.It has a look to it like no other waves have as of now. Of course that could always change.
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Quoting sarahjola:
while we are all watching 93l and 97l i think we may be missing what may be brewing right off the coast of florida
iam watchin



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53838
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Quoting RitaEvac:


That's right
so which is it
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Quoting hcubed:


Ammo?


Glock and lots of ammo was in my Ike kit since we were getting a direct hit.
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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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