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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Quoting wpb:
recon must of experianced mechanical problems. last month another flight had to turn back early due to issues.

Why don't they turn off there transponder or post a Air Force Tropical RECCO Message saying ........
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Quoting benirica:
I'm barely a meteorology aficionado, just a guy who is interested in tropical cyclones because I live in their way and even I can tell who is here just praying to get hit by a storm.
It's funny how so many people forget basic meteorology the second a model has a storm
in their general vicinity, even if it's a week and a half away.
Models may have improved in the past years but models on invests are still very unreliable this far out. Come on guys/gals, there isn't even a center of circulation to put in as data for the runs! How in the world would the be realiable without such an important factor?


Multiple models, from the generally reliable to the generally unreliable have been showing much the same solutions for several days, run after run. That is quite rare, and gives higher confidence to the general scenario (the specifics remain to be seen, of course).
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93L should be mainly a rain event for central America, but if it passes even 50 miles offshore of Honduras, we could see it ramp up into a moderate-strong tropical storm before hitting Belize. Small storms like this one have the capability to intensify fast over warm water.
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ncstorm,

nice pic you show. seems like everything hinges on how much land interaction and how strong the High that is supposed to builds in will be
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492. xcool
angiest yes
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Quoting benirica:
I'm barely a meteorology aficionado, just a guy who is interested in tropical cyclones because I live in their way and even I can tell who is here just praying to get hit by a storm.
It's funny how so many people forget basic meteorology the second a model has a storm
in their general vicinity, even if it's a week and a half away.
Models may have improved in the past years but models on invests are still very unreliable this far out. Come on guys/gals, there isn't even a center of circulation to put in as data for the runs! How in the world would the be realiable without such an important factor?


Uh, er, yup, called morons
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Quoting StormHype:


Some improvements recently, but nothing that takes things from 72 hours of usefulness to 200+ hours. If this track pans out in 10 days it will be a significantly rare event.
The part of the track most likely to pan out is in the 5 day range already... and it's more like 6 or 8 tracks past that point... only consistent commonality so far is some kind of US landfall.
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so now suddenly it is looking like Florida will not be impacted... LOL!

What a change from this morning
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Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15137
Quoting StormHype:


Funny to see people like this talking about landfalls 10 days out when the system isn't even formed yet. Even stormhype wouldn't do this. Tis the season! lol
,7-8 days out with this much model consistancy ,its the path thats concerning,worry about how strong when it oeganizes,short term tutt should keep it from organizing much until it passes west of pr imo,then its game time for s.fl and ???coast
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Quoting RitaEvac:


You must not be from TX


No, I am not.
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484. wpb
recon must of experianced mechanical problems. last month another flight had to turn back early due to issues.
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Quoting xcool:


12z GFS ensembles


The ensembles keep pointing more west, it seems.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm barely a meteorology aficionado, just a guy who is interested in tropical cyclones because I live in their way and even I can tell who is here just praying to get hit by a storm.
It's funny how so many people forget basic meteorology the second a model has a storm
in their general vicinity, even if it's a week and a half away.
Models may have improved in the past years but models on invests are still very unreliable this far out. Come on guys/gals, there isn't even a center of circulation to put in as data for the runs! How in the world would the be realiable without such an important factor?
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you are famous Levi. great job!
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Quoting ncstorm:


People will still complain up until landfall about the models..its just something you have to deal with on the blog..I just keep it moving..at the end of the day, I would rather have computer models predicting a hurricane path any day especially if its heading towards me.


Yes, Model reliance could also build some complacency into the mix. Better that we have some model discrepencies...
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Quoting StormHype:


Some improvements recently, but nothing that takes things from 72 hours of usefulness to 200+ hours. If this track pans out in 10 days it will be a significantly rare event.
Well I guess when the GFS was predicting all fish storms last year that was a rare event since the GFS and its ensemble models do go out pretty far.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
If the centre is along the north side of the islands, I don't see as much impact from land interference. South of them is a bit different. Also someone mentioned that Sward bend at the end of models. I think that's pretty much been in there for a while. Several of the runs I've seen have brought the storm west and south under / along the southern tip of FL and around that way. Somebody got @#*&%$ out for mentioning Katrina, but certainly some runs have been making that little dip over FL. Ike is another example, as was Fay. Don't forget - 2008 is an analogue year, so I'm not surprised to see some runs similar to storms we saw that year.


Thanks for the reply ;-)
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Quoting AllStar17:


Still about 3 1/2 months left.


You must not be from TX
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475. xcool


12z GFS ensembles
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Quoting belizeit:
Wow you got a new name for my Country The last time our country changed names was in 1981


lol sorry took care of your country's severe misspelling... next time I won't get distracted so much.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4965
473. 7544
97l is trying to get its act together it will be intresting to see where the tcvn has it going the nhc fav model
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Quoting belizeit:
Wow you got a new name for my Country The last time our country changed names was in 1981
LOL. My grandfather was from "British Honduras".
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8325
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Looks like Randy is scheduled to fly recon to 97L on Saturday:

kewl. I was wondering when he was going again. Did he update his blog yet?

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Quoting benirica:
Don't get me wrong, I look at the models for guidance as much as the next guy... But looking at models a week out for a tropical wave that just became an invest and pinpointing a particular city is as farfetched as saying the gfs has a cat 10 over NOLA on Sept. 11, 2012. (yes 2012).
Once it actually develops you can give a model a week out more confidence... We know all too well how much they will change come Sunday.
I'm in PR and am not freaking out with it less than a week away... So come on guys, get a grip.
...btw, that is a "Tuesday".
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469. xcool
'''
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Offshore and Belize
Quoting AussieStorm:

Offshore and Belize


LMAO!!! Getting to distracted today. Thanks for the correction.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4965
Quoting FLdewey:


Hey now - they're not typical Floridians. Typical Floridians wait until the night before to buy Cheetos.


Cheetos... Check...
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Hurricane season getting closer to ending believe it or not, days ticking by day by day, tick, tick, tick, almost over
very irresponsible
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


It is within the range shown by the 06Z GFS Ensembles


Thanks for shedding some light on additional outliers.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4965
Quoting angiest:


DYAC

????
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462. Skyepony (Mod)
Nice TRMM pass of 93L today. Here's the Quicktime.
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Re 427: Thanks for the link. Unfortunately the page doesn't mention land at all, so I am none the wiser on this one.

Watcher
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Quoting FLdewey:


I think everyone is just burned out on dissipating storms... What day are we on? 1080?


Yeah, and just maybe the gov't is using HAARP on these storms. ;)
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Hurricane season getting closer to ending believe it or not, days ticking by day by day, tick, tick, tick, almost over
almost over we got 103 days to go and we are just getting started believe me when i tell you this we have seen nothing yet
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Hurricane season getting closer to ending believe it or not, days ticking by day by day, tick, tick, tick, almost over


Still about 3 1/2 months left.
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Quoting Abacosurf:
went to JU from 88 to 92. Enjoyed Jax a ton.

Went back last year and the pier was moved.... to the pavillion area. LOL


Floyd knocked the old pier down. The city bought it and replaced it. I miss the old one. It was longer and the restaurant had the best fish sammiches in the world.
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storms diving SW under florida aren't that unusual and definitely a possibility. Given the propensity for east coast troughs lifting and ridging from the A/B high shifting back in being a common feature through many an ASO, this SW dip isn't unheard of at all. As we move deeper into fall and troughs become more frequent, the real thing to watch for after that occurs is, at what point in the gulf does it get picked back up by the next trough? We'll wait and see, if I had to pick a target city I'd say Panama City Beach. I expect the trough could be overdone and with the heights on the A/B high, I expect it won't be difficult to send a diminshed storm after land interaction through the straits and westward for a bit.
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Quoting WxLogic:
Based on the orientation of the 500MB Heights I expect 93L to remain of shore and Believe becoming it's primary target.

Wow you got a new name for my Country The last time our country changed names was in 1981
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Quoting USAFwxguy:
I understand how it is kind of a canned answer to state that long-range models are often inaccurate, but there is some value in them. Especially in the case we are looking at now with 97L...

It has managed to work its way down through the out-hours of the GFS, and even though still in the high +200s for CONUS, the fact that it is remained in solution after solution means something. And, the track has remained relatively consistent, with a few outliers perhaps.

Nobody should really be chastised for perking up when they see the kind of modeling coming from the GFS and others, even in the long-range.


People will still complain up until landfall about the models..its just something you have to deal with on the blog..I just keep it moving..at the end of the day, I would rather have computer models predicting a hurricane path any day especially if its heading towards me.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15137
Quoting AussieStorm:

Offshore and Belize


DYAC
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This is unfortunate. We need the exact location of 93L's surface low in order to have a better idea of whether it will stay offshore of Honduras. We also need advisories put out if this is already a tropical cyclone, so that folks are getting prepared in Honduras and Belize.
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Hurricane season getting closer to ending believe it or not, days ticking by day by day, tick, tick, tick, almost over
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Anything interesting out of recon.
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Quoting WxLogic:
Based on the orientation of the 500MB Heights I expect 93L to remain of shore and Believe becoming it's primary target.


Offshore and Belize
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Quoting bayoubrotha:
17:05:30Z 14.933N 79.050W 569.7 mb
(~ 16.82 inHg) 4,825 meters
(~ 15,830 feet) 1007.5 mb
(~ 29.75 inHg
thats at 16,000 feet almost. 1009.9mb was ext surface pressure
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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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