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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Intensity model is very very generous with 97L.... showing a 75MPH hurricane in 72H. Not likely in my opinion, even a weak TS. But time will tell.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5581
Day 7 it's south of Cuba. This shows that other options besides the GFS are still open.

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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
97L and Ike are two completely different scenarios. Ike was way farther north than 97L is...
And Ike went southwest for more than a day, also different.

(* not saying that anything is or will be like Ike)
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You know when I was in the NHC, the mets there admitted that the two models they primarily go by themselves, are the GFS and GFDL.
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Quoting Floodman:


Depends on where you are; in Florida in '04 I never went more than 4 or 5 days without electricity; in Louisiana in '05 we were without power on the northshore for over 3 weeks...parts of NOLA were without power for months.

I will say thins: even 2 days without AC in the humid eonvironment of Florida is miserable; Ive often wondered how the folks before AC even made it


I think they bought a lot of those portable fans, or they went to the beach to cool off.
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Quoting divdog:
few minutes ago it was 97l will make it into the gulf.


That's right
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sorry for being unclear Levi. I am referring to the changing pattern where a strong high sits in the western atlantic/eastern seaboard steering storms westward threatening the SE USA CONUS

even if 97 turns northward, do you think the High could build westward and force the storm right at florida?

it seems like now that is not likely. please correct me if I am wrong, thanks
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Quoting Levi32:


It moves south of Hispaniola, actually, but hits eastern Cuba by Day 6:



My maps don't have the "L" on it, so I have to estimate it on the isobars.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
KOG that's fire in the GOM
yes thats for sure i kinda like reference to rocket fuel for a monster rocket
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
Quoting angiest:


Yeah, too far north to come into the Gulf, and certainly too far north to come all the way to Texas, as stated by people on this blog at the time.


Exactly
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Quoting RitaEvac:
97L will at least make it to 75W
few minutes ago it was 97l will make it into the gulf.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
12z ECMWF is much more south and west this run. Keeps it over Hispaniola and DR. Little to no development.


It moves south of Hispaniola, actually, but hits eastern Cuba by Day 6:

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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...


Depends on where you are; in Florida in '04 I never went more than 4 or 5 days without electricity; in Louisiana in '05 we were without power on the northshore for over 3 weeks...parts of NOLA were without power for months.

I will say thins: even 2 days without AC in the humid eonvironment of Florida is miserable; Ive often wondered how the folks before AC even made it
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Cloudburst I thought you said we should put our supplies away because it would be like last year.
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KOG that's fire in the GOM
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
97L and Ike are two completely different scenarios. Ike was way farther north than 97L is...


Yeah, too far north to come into the Gulf, and certainly too far north to come all the way to Texas, as stated by people on this blog at the time.
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while we are all watching 93l and 97l i think we may be missing what may be brewing right off the coast of florida
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My farm 90 miles NW of Houston. Only about 10% humidity in afternoons, but almost no rain this year compared to even Houston closer to coast. Cows stuck in mud dying, grass fires, etc. Glad my fruit trees have drip irrigation!


Link
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12z ECMWF is much more south and west this run. Keeps it over Hispaniola and DR. Little to no development.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
Out of curiosity, at what general longitude can the HH's go and investigate a potential storm? Not sure bout their range. TIA.
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
Lol Ike was three years ago, it would be pretty crazy if the pattern hadn't switched yet.
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Quoting cloudburst2011:



the people wait for the first recon to go out there and check..if it develops and its named the people start to swing into there hurricane preparedness plan which they should already have done that IN JUNE...then they sit and wait for EM to let them know what to do,..BTW the islands are 2000miles away from MIAMI...WHATS THAT ANOTHER 6DAYS..so miami has lots of time to do something until they are put in a hurricane watch then its time to take the appropriate action...


I specifically said the islands..why you bring up Miami, I dont know but yeah, lets wait on recon to declare something while its two days away and then when the HH declare this as an actual storm, we can then take it seriously??..mind you the islands are in the direct path of the storm but lets still wait on the HH to officially give it an identity..so I take it when a storm is two days away from your vicinity, you are going to wait on the HH to fly out and designate it first before you put your hurricane plans into action??
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97L and Ike are two completely different scenarios. Ike was way farther north than 97L is...
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


FLOOD!!!!!!


Tigs! How you doin', toots?
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http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/viewsingleimage .html?mode=singleimage&handle=nativhoustonian&numb er=1

My farm 90 miles NW of Houston. Only about 10% humidity in afternoons, but almost no rain this year compared to even Houston closer to coast. Cows stuck in mud dying, grass fires, etc. Glad my fruit trees have drip irrigation!
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm unsure as to which aspect of the upper pattern you are referring to.

97L won't miss the turn. The question is where and when the turn will take place. There should be a break between the Texas ridge and the Atlantic ridge, as there has been all summer, and a strengthening storm coming from the east would move into that break and be drawn northward. This could occur in the Gulf of Mexio, over Florida, or east of Florida.

Levi,
Maybe you can explain this better, the pattern that existed for Ike does not exist now correct? Wasn't the A/B more stronger in 2008 that extended into the GOM that forced Ike on a Western Course? There was a trot then but the High built right back in fast. I bother words the weakness would have to be completely gone to make it as far west as Texas.
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120 hrs 12Z EURO ploughs it through the Hispaniola- more Westwards...

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Quoting yesterway:


First aid kit, flashlight and batteries, radio and batteries, milk jugs full of water, canned food, can opener, important papers, medicine, full tank of gas in car and generator, Mossberg 500, .38 special.......

Have I left anything out?


Ammo?
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Quoting Levi32:


It would be unwise to guarantee Texas' safety from such a system, but the ridge doesn't look like it backs away enough to allow a storm to punch directly into the state. A theoretical storm could get close, perhaps with the western side affecting eastern Texas, but a direct hit I would still think is unlikely in this pattern. Again, though, things can and do change in 10 days, sometimes by a lot.


For the sake of discussion (since I don't know exactly where you put it), let us assume that Morgan City looks like a reasonable western limit based on current model data. The distance, via road, from there to Port Lava (central Texas coast) is only 400 miles. For a 10+ day forecast, that is not a very large shift.

The other key is how far west the A/B high positions itself.
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Quoting kshipre1:
Levi,

hello, good afternoon. two quick questions. first, are you still calling for the same upper level pattern you were indicating a few days back?

second, what could make 97L miss the northward turn (according to accuweather)? thanks


I'm unsure as to which aspect of the upper pattern you are referring to.

97L won't miss the turn. The question is where and when the turn will take place. There should be a break between the Texas ridge and the Atlantic ridge, as there has been all summer, and a strengthening storm coming from the east would move into that break and be drawn northward. This could occur in the Gulf of Mexio, over Florida, or east of Florida.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Ok. Thanks. It was worth a shot. Lol. Desperate times and desperate measures and all that. :)

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.
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I think the LLCOC is at 16.8N 80.0W
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Quoting cloudburst2011:


rita i dont care how dry its been over there in texas i dont believe people want a monster cat 5 hurricane...they would have more problems then they do now..so just sit back the rain will come eventually..
When alot of your Huge Lakes are dry or going dry unfortunately the only thing that will fill them up will be a tropical system, without those the 2 or 3 of those we received the past 5 years right now just about every lake would be bone dry in Texas. The tropical systems fill up our Lakes so we can survive the droughts we get, only difference is the 2011 drought is the worst 1 year drought ever stretching back into later part of 2010. 2 inches from a thunderstorm will help with the cracks in the ground but Texas needs tropical rains period more than any state in the U.S.A. Without them 2012 will be Worse.
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Quoting P451:


Well, exactly, and I'm not so much attacking the models as I am trying to point out to some here that are posting them that they are not to be trusted - at all.


Very true, and I would hope that at least a small majority are taking them into context.
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Looks like a squall went by. The average over the last 0.5 days is lower than its been in a while.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:


LOL... How is THAT for a forecast? At this point, we really can't rule anyone out... can we? I mean, perhaps England, Portugal and France should stay on alert too?!? (Sarcasm flag on)


yesterday accuweather's forecast was "anywhere from Brownsville to Hatteras"
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97L will at least make it to 75W
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Levi,

hello, good afternoon. two quick questions. first, are you still calling for the same upper level pattern you were indicating a few days back?

second, what could make 97L miss the northward turn (according to accuweather)? thanks
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.