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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Possible west wind off the coast of CA?
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72 hour forecast:

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Quoting JLPR2:
Is it possible for a storm to survive a trek over most of the Greater Antilles? It is possible.
Georges managed it and remained a hurricane during the whole ordeal too.



i agree...i think one of the coolest (and scariest) things about hurricanes is although science, computers, models, etc have perfected tracking storms over the past 30 years the fact still remains that like people, each and every hurricane is different....different shape, characteristics, the whole 9 yards.....kinda like one of mother natures strange forms of dna without genetic material. No matter how tight the models and persistence of evidence each hurricane is in itself....a wildcard....in many ways.
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Quoting EastTexJake:


What I'm afraid of is a strong storm coming through, KO'ing the power for two weeks or more while the high pressure moves back in and we have to sit in 105F heat with no AC.

The ridge starts moving to four points Monday, stays there at least two weeks.
In the meantime, we have this interesting EPAC water-cycling around the high. That's what gave N TX that rain last Fri and Sat, and will apparently happen again as the ridge moves NW and the water wheel dumps it into TX instead of the GOM like it's doing now. OTOH, the pacific moisture dumping into the gulf is helping where it can to moisten things up for anything that might try
to form or transport through there.
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Quoting EastTexJake:


What I'm afraid of is a strong storm coming through, KO'ing the power for two weeks or more while the high pressure moves back in and we have to sit in 105F heat with no AC.


Yea, don't want that setup
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Quoting WxLogic:


Not yet... you can see in the image the Init time of Wednesday 17th.


thanks I see it now..
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did not get it!! most of people in here and the mets around this site starting with Dr Masters,all relie on MODELS ,,,but just cause this time the models are a concensus about 97L most of you now are in doub!!
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Quoting ncstorm:


so it hasnt posted to the site yet?


Not yet... you can see in the image the Init time of Wednesday 17th.
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I really hope they have another C-130 ready to fly out when AF300 lands I am abit upset that the plane had to crap up at this time (it the wrong moment to crap up!!!!!!!!!!!)
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Quoting JLPR2:
Is it possible for a storm to survive a trek over most of the Greater Antilles? It is possible.
Georges managed it and remained a hurricane during the whole ordeal too.


That's the key... gaining enough strength prior to landfall to ensure its survival.
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Quoting WxLogic:


Be careful... check the Init times as they're from yesterday.


so it hasnt posted to the site yet?
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93L seems to have a little more surface winds then before
Member Since: August 3, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
581. JLPR2
Is it possible for a storm to survive a trek over most of the Greater Antilles? It is possible.
Georges managed it and remained a hurricane during the whole ordeal too.
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?? GFS would there really be anything left after all that land?

if this thing gets as big as the forcast models are saying...land will knock it down but it won't kill it..jmo
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Quoting redwagon:

To me, 93 looks adrift, not underway with its own forward movement. The little guy to his N has more personality and sense of direction.



another indication of the neutral overall atlantic environment. steering winds died there at the end of that high pressure pocket that is to the south of 97L. now it is just sitting there.....but can it finally chew through its dry air and exhale it out finally to tighten and stack?
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Quoting ncstorm:


thank you!!
12Z CMC, bahamas


Be careful... check the Init times as they're from yesterday.
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FWIW, Rita does have a point. Look at the real storm tracks from 1900:



What does that indicate about the positioning of ridges and troughs that year?

Focusing specifically on the Galveston storm, does this look familiar?



It should. This is the most recent operational GFS:


If you look at the 1900 track through the Central Gulf, you will see a bend back to the left, likely indicating that the ridge present over the SE US must have built back. I would love to have some surface analysis from that time. See also the following, taken from the Weather Bureau's monthly report for September 1900:

"The heated period which prevailed almost continuously over the eastern part of the United States during July and August was permanently broken by the tropical storm described herein, and advices to this effect were given in a special bulletin which was issued the morning of September 12, 1900."

Furthermore, Ike followed a very similar path after hitting Cuba:



It is too early to discount any location, even if a particular scenario appears to have a low chance.
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Quoting Drakoen:


GFS track would kill it off, with all the that interaction with the Greater Antilles.


I am really starting to think the ECMWF might be a better model this year? Guess we will have to wait and see. If the GFS does verify(feels unlikely)it would be something else. Seeing how long out and consistant it has been.
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Quoting kshipre1:
so now suddenly it is looking like Florida will not be impacted... LOL!

What a change from this morning



wow, did u realy just say that
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Quoting WxLogic:


Meteocentre


thank you!!
12Z CMC, bahamas
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Quoting TropicalWeatherGrl88:
?? GFS would there really be anything left after all that land?


Probably not as much as it shows, but a track directly over the islands could also get it into the Gulf of Mexico, which could give it time over water to strengthen in that scenario. However, we still won't know much about the details of this track until we get the system to develop, if it indeed does.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Not a monster, a TS or cat 1


What I'm afraid of is a strong storm coming through, KO'ing the power for two weeks or more while the high pressure moves back in and we have to sit in 105F heat with no AC.
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Quoting KanKunKid:


That never stopped em before...
Lol... hey kkKid.... I see u r attracting storms even though u have moved to FL...
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?? GFS would there really be anything left after all that land?
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Quoting ncstorm:


GFS track would kill it off, with all the that interaction with the Greater Antilles.
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Quoting Houstonweathergrl:
Any chance 97L could slingshot any rain toward the upper Texas coast???


Unless some drastic changes occur with the steering patterns, no. This ridge-a-mortis (stole that from another member here...) is acting like a huge shield that will steer anything around it and to the south of us.

If a storm gets big enough it *Might* be able to punch though the ridge but any storm that big would be worse than the drought.
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Quoting TropicalWeatherGrl88:


Wishful thinking, but it would be very rare for 97L to only be a tropical storm/Cat 1 if it were to come to you.


Been a lot of dry air out there, plus conditions so far this season just haven't been there either which is why we've had all tropical storms
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Quoting BahaHurican:
lunch break? lol


Sounds like a good idea.
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Quoting odinslightning:
93L just looks like a sputtering 4 cyl. economy car that has a blown head gasket so 2 chambers are not firing.....just can't quite get it going right...lol

To me, 93 looks adrift, not underway with its own forward movement. The little guy to his N has more personality and sense of direction.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Not a monster, a TS or cat 1


Agree, I am in Houston and we would love to have a nice little troprical storm come in and stall for a few days and dump all it has on us. Hell, I would take some flooding in plac of this horrible drought we are going through right now. Water rationing, Rivers, lakes and streams are dry or drying , crops are dead, cattle are dying.. it is terrible... It is like the dust bowl here in TX, we will take any relief we can get at this point
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Not a monster, a TS or cat 1
A slow moving TS, please!
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Quoting RitaEvac:


So far the theme of the season...


true, but i never expect july/early august to produce anything but farts in the wind in general....takes time for everything to line up for peak season :)
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lunch break? lol
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Not a monster, a TS or cat 1


Wishful thinking, but it would be very rare for 97L to only be a tropical storm/Cat 1 if it were to come to you.
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Quoting WxLogic:


00Z has up to 240HR and 12Z up to 180HR.


Meteocentre
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Quoting overwash12:
I get the feeling you are wishcasting!LOL


again? cuba? im wondering what model extrapol. run they are watching to see the eyewall go over cuba. the model runs i have watched show this staying just east of d.r. and traversing the gulf stream straight at miami.

don't take that wrong not calling anyone out im just wondering if im not seeing a slice of the mud pie we are adding up to a circle....lol
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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..


Not a monster, a TS or cat 1
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Quoting WxLogic:


00Z has up to 240HR and 12Z up to 180HR.


where can you find the long range 12Z model..tia!
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547. JLPR2
93L looks like a little tropical depression.



Seems surface clouds are finally spinning too.
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Quoting odinslightning:
93L just looks like a sputtering 4 cyl. economy car that has a blown head gasket so 2 chambers are not firing.....just can't quite get it going right...lol


So far the theme of the season...
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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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