Tropical Depression Thirteen Forms in The Gulf of Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:59 AM GMT on September 02, 2011

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Tropical Depression Thirteen

As has been predicted by the major models this week, the broad area of disturbed weather that began in the western Caribbean Sea and meandered into the Gulf of Mexico has developed into Tropical Depression Thirteen. The most recent satellite image of the depression from 11:00 p.m. CDT (Figure 1) shows deep convection mainly confined to east of center, but westerly shear of 20 knots is expected to relax over the 24 hours. While this relaxation, in combination with sea surface temperatures well above the threshold for intensification, should lead to some strengthening, the sheer size of the depression would require significant time for the system to become a hurricane.


Figure 1: Infrared image of Tropical Depression Thirteen. The depression is centered south of Louisiana and is expected to move very slowly toward the coast over the next few days.

Track of Tropical Depression Thirteen

The depression's center position is still quite uncertain, as is the overall track. We should get a better idea of what is going on inside of the depression, along with pinpointing its center, after a couple of hurricane hunter aircraft complete their investigation over the next 12-24 hours.

The initial track, although uncertain, strengthens the depression into a tropical storm (which would be named Lee) on Friday while curving to the northwest. After Friday, it is possible that the system would gradually turn to the northeast, making landfall along the coast of Louisiana Sunday evening. It is important to note, however, that the track is uncertain at this time and could vary over the next few days. The depression is currently south of a high pressure ridge that is not giving much in the way of steering currents. This is also the reason for its very slow movement.


Figure 2: 5-day forecast map of Tropical Depression Thirteen.


Effects of Tropical Depression Thirteen

Tropical Storm Warnings have already been posted for the central Gulf Coast due to its proximity to the area. At this time, hurricane force winds are not expected for the area, but because the depression/tropical storm will be slow-moving, it may be a large precipitation-producer throughout the Southeast. You can already see rain from the northernmost part of the depression on radar out of New Orleans. Southern Louisiana through southern Alabama is set to receive 10-15 inches of rain, while higher amounts near 20 inches are possible in the hardest hit areas. This could lead to a precipitation pattern much like Hurricane Danny in 1997, except peak areas would receive less rain. Unfortunately for Texas, the major models are not currently producing any rain in the drought-stricken state, aside from areas bordering Louisiana. But, Tropical Depression Thirteen is likely to aid drought conditions in other parts of the Southeast, including Louisiana. (Figure 5).



Figure 3: Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for the central Gulf Coast.


Figure 4. Rainfall amounts from Hurricane Danny July 17-26 1997. Note the astonishing 37.755 inches recorded at Dauphin Island, AL.


Figure 5. Drought Monitor image from August 30 showing exceptional drought conditions through much of Texas and parts of Louisiana.

We will be monitoring this storm as it moves slowly through the northern Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. You can also follow us on Twitter (@wunderground) and on Facebook for the latest developments.

Dr. Masters will be back in the morning with another blog highlighting the latest with Tropical Depression Thirteen.


Thanks for reading,

Shaun Tanner

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1011. listenerVT
6:27 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting P451:


Unfortunately it would seem another heavy rain event could be on the way. Not from Katia...but from the leftovers of TD13 being drawn north.





Well, then, I hope it's more in the 1-3" range and not the 6-8+" range this time.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5513
1010. roflcopter
6:17 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting thesituation:
Its not a TS. Im a Met so I know just like the NHC


POOF!!!
Member Since: July 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 12
1009. BiloxiSaint
4:10 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
INN
Member Since: July 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
1008. BiloxiSaint
4:09 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
I'M not a MET but i did stay at a Holiday in once.
Member Since: July 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
1007. BiloxiSaint
4:08 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting thesituation:
Its not a TS. Im a Met so I know just like the NHC
Snowbird.
Member Since: July 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
1006. MTWX
3:52 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting thesituation:
Its not a TS. Im a Met so I know just like the NHC

Well then enlighten us wise one...
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
1005. Orcasystems
3:46 PM GMT on September 02, 2011




Last update for a bit.. off to the office
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
1004. firematt255
3:43 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting thesituation:
Its not a TS. Im a Met so I know just like the NHC


I am sorry you may be a Met but you have only been a member for a week and that's only because of Hurricane Irenne was coming to your New Jersey Shoreline. People like Levi, Grothar. and others have studied tropical weather for years. Why don't you let them talk about what they know and have learned about the tropics and you can stick to forcasting snow storms and frontal boundries and giving updates about snooki sightings.

Some people focus on the tropics for one week and now they are experts. Sorry everyone i will go back in my shell now. LOL...
Member Since: August 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
1002. aspectre
3:41 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
925 scott39 "Ok, Was there ever a TS lee or not? I hate seeing something that looks official and then turns out not to be."

"Lee" is still a TropicalStorm on its 12pm_ATCF ...
...even after NHC revised the 12pm_ATCF for Katia at 3:17pmGMT to upgrade Katia to Hurricane status.

The ATCF is the official report of record.
The NHC has final say on the ATCF reports.
In other words, NHC's still pondering on whether "to Lee or not to Lee"
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
1001. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:40 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Patrap:



You may need some hip waders there, Pat. Looks like it is going to be a soggy lunch.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4745
1000. KEHCharleston
3:39 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Is there a graphic showing a pre-landfall precipitation field, much like the wind field graphic that NHC provides (you know the ones, probability for TS winds, probability for 50kt winds, probability for hurricane force winds.) We all know it is not necessarily the winds, but often flooding that is the major hazard. I have seen probability for surge but not precip. The precip graphics I have seen are post landfall.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
999. Squid28
3:38 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
new blog
Member Since: May 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 343
998. jpsb
3:36 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting yoboi:
patrap after how many inches of rain do you switch from fresca to just straight southern comfort?
Lol, hope they can handle 30-40 inches of rain, this is setting up to dump a ton of rain there.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1196
997. TampaSpin
3:36 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting rushisaband:



Good Morning TS ........ Bolts Fan ?


OH YES I AM!!!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
996. WxLogic
3:35 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
12Z GFS Init:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
995. StormHype
3:34 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Caner:


I've been through quite a few.

David was my first, in 1979, at aged 6 :)

After that i couldn't get enough.

Hugo, Earl, Harvey, (almost, didn't quite make landfall), Gabrielle, Fran... Anything drivable from Savannah after i was old enough to drive.

I tried to make Andrew, but that storm was insane... I arrived late, and it just got too intense trying to drive into it, so i had to stop >..<

Then in 1997 i moved to Louisiana, and since then:

Danny, Georges, Lili, (disappointment), Ivan (twice lol, came back as a tropical storm), Katrina, Rita and Gustav.

I'd highly recommend it as long as you are marginally competent at remaining alive.


Marginally competent ain't gonna cut it dude. Most 'weekend' chasers get killed, injured or stranded actually *after* the storm because they don't know how to handle a four way traffic light w/o power, drive into deep water, hydroplane off the road, run over roofing nails, and have weak contingency plans. Even our trained military are clueless bone heads when it comes to knowing how to operate in a storm. Have you seen this?
Foolish National Guard nearly drown in Irene

Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
994. jpsb
3:34 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting connie1976:
I am very sorry for all of you that live in Texas! I was hoping that the storm in the gulf would come to you and give you the rain that you need! I hope that rain comes your way soon!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wonder where Katia will end up? I'm hoping not anywhere near South Florida nor any other land for that matter....hopefully, it will recurve and go out to sea and even miss Bermuda!
Thanks, but I think it is already too late for us this fall. Here in S.E. Texas Sept 15 is the last safe date to plant. We needed td13 to have a fall crop.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1196
992. ILwthrfan
3:31 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Sounds like you are getting pretty dry, I live out in farm country, this year there are No crops around here and i have driven the entire state of Texas since I retired, no rain in the fall, no rain in the spring and then the almost 110 degree Summer equals no crops. I hope you get some rain soon and you will cool off big time early next week.


If the gulf of Mexico goes without a Hurricane this season, it wouldn't surprise me at all if southeast Texas picked up some above normal fall and winter precip. We've seen it time and agian were above normal Gulf temps with little or no tropical activity get those gulf states wet in the winter time. I'd still think you'd rather see td 13 just barrel west straight into the heart of Texas this weekend, but we can only hope. It has been a monster HOT summer from the Rio Grande all the way up the Midwest.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1526
991. Levi32
3:31 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting WxLogic:


Multiple vortexes still fighting it out.


No. In that case it wouldn't be classified at all. This is purely a matter of wind speed.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
990. centex
3:31 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
The official track is now showing not going inland very far at first. But not showing back into GOM yet like some of the models.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3287
989. Levi32
3:31 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Interesting and closest blogger here to it is Levi in Alaska...........Levi?


It was in the Aleutians and I'm on the mainland. I was asleep and didn't feel it, and I may not have even if I was awake. Hopefully folks are ok down in the islands.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
988. WxLogic
3:31 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Levi32:
Why is this not a tropical storm???





Multiple vortexes still fighting it out.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
987. Txrainstorm
3:31 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting yoboi:
patrap after how many inches of rain do you switch from fresca to just straight southern comfort?



LOL.. sorry Pat..that was funny..
Member Since: September 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 95
986. RickWPB
3:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting 7544:
looks like another bend to the left on the 11 am cone ?

Actually, if you look at the link below, the center line (what we're not supposed to focus on ;^) has gone a bit north the last few times.

SFWMD Sat/Radar
Member Since: September 26, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 356
985. SavannahStorm
3:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Three different East Coast hurricanes in the same year, 1893. All tracked north of the islands:





Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2343
984. WarEagle8
3:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:



The BAM models are very troubling with this bend to the left!
What is the time frame for Katia to knock on our door?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
983. AllStar17
3:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
NEW BLOG
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
982. weathermanwannabe
3:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
There's four buoys in the N PAC in Tsunami event mode..


Interesting and closest blogger here to it is Levi in Alaska...........Levi?
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9243
981. Patrap
3:29 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
There's four buoys in the N PAC in Tsunami event mode..


Buoys will be buoys ya know
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128766
980. Caner
3:29 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting tiggeriffic:


bet you were scared considering you couldn't see any surge then huh?


Naw, i wasn't worried about it, because i had a rise behind me to drive back up, but i was concerned if i drove out onto the bridge and it did get inundated, i'd be stuck out there.

What really rattled me though, was at that bridge i finally stopped at, i originally drove out onto it... I came out of an area of pine trees, you know how they grow along the sides of the road, and suddenly emerged onto the bridge on that vast expanse of open marsh.

When i popped out of the shelter of the trees, onto that low-walled bridge, all of a sudden the wind hit the side of my car full force... I was probably doing about 35, 40 when i popped out onto the bridge, and all of a sudden the right side of my car got light, and i felt the car tip to the left 2 or 3 times right quick...

When that happened, you couldn't have driven a toothpick into my kiester with a sledgehammer, man.

So i tapped on the brakes, got it slowed down, put it in reverse and backed my little tail back on up to the tree-line.

That's the last time i went to a storm in a Ford Tempo :)

After that, i bought me a big 4X4 Ford Bronco.

I've used a 4X4 Ford ever since :)
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
979. angiest
3:29 PM GMT on September 02, 2011

Quoting DavidHOUTX:


That is a good point. Perhaps they cannot find the Close circulation? What are the chances of the High of Texas shifting eastward pushing TD13 towards the TX coast? I know all the models are starting to agree on LA landfall but we all know this storm is almost impossible to predict right now. It seems to me like the ULL just south of the TX/LA border is starting to fire some convection around it..
Since they kept it  as a depression, and didn't mention problems finding a closed circulation on the discussion (see Emily) then it still has a closed circulation.


Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
978. yoboi
3:28 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
patrap after how many inches of rain do you switch from fresca to just straight southern comfort?
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2348
977. HurrikanEB
3:28 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Center looks around 62W 38.5N...
Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1340
976. Grothar
3:28 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


What?....did you say something Gro?


Twit! :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26529
975. connie1976
3:28 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
I am very sorry for all of you that live in Texas! I was hoping that the storm in the gulf would come to you and give you the rain that you need! I hope that rain comes your way soon!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wonder where Katia will end up? I'm hoping not anywhere near South Florida nor any other land for that matter....hopefully, it will recurve and go out to sea and even miss Bermuda!
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
974. Skyepony (Mod)
3:27 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
There's four buoys in the N PAC in Tsunami event mode..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 175 Comments: 38215
972. gilby715
3:26 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 10
971. bohonkweatherman
3:26 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting ILwthrfan:


Include Illinois into that. Last two days here we've had 100+ air temperature. I've dumped 2" in two days worth in the 9 weeks. We are 7" below normal for the season. 60% of the crop is in fair or worse condition. I know its not as bad as Texas, but it has certainly tried to keep pace here.
Sounds like you are getting pretty dry, I live out in farm country, this year there are No crops around here and i have driven the entire state of Texas since I retired, no rain in the fall, no rain in the spring and then the almost 110 degree Summer equals no crops. I hope you get some rain soon and you will cool off big time early next week.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
969. DavidHOUTX
3:26 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Levi32:
Why is this not a tropical storm???





That is a good point. Perhaps they cannot find the Close circulation? What are the chances of the High of Texas shifting eastward pushing TD13 towards the TX coast? I know all the models are starting to agree on LA landfall but we all know this storm is almost impossible to predict right now. It seems to me like the ULL just south of the TX/LA border is starting to fire some convection around it..
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
967. rushisaband
3:25 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:



The BAM models are very troubling with this bend to the left!



Good Morning TS ........ Bolts Fan ?
Member Since: August 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 107
966. Levi32
3:25 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:


Where are those?


28.64N, 89.8W and 28.16N, 90.67W.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
965. nofailsafe
3:24 PM GMT on September 02, 2011


Well, at least the fish are getting rain :P
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 946
964. tj175
3:24 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting FLdewey:


I've been through a few and I have to admit - I love em!

I don't like the loss of power, the shutters, the generators, the blue tarps, etc, but it's just part of living in the tropics. The blog mob will attack you for your post, but truth be told these storms happen whether ya wish for them or not.

I'd rather live under a tarp choking on generator fumes than having to shovel snow.


I agree with you 100%. I'm born and raised from Miami and wouldn't wanna live any other place. Been through several storms and near misses (Hurricane Andrew which was my 1st, TS Gordon, Hurricane Erin which passed to our north, Hurricane Floyd scare, Hurricane Irene 99', Frances, Jeanne, Katrina and Wilma) and everytime is different. I don't like my insurance premium going up but its a part of life down here in South Florida. Katia is pretty far out but the pattern thats setting up isn't lookin good. If you get a chance look at how Hurricane Andrew's path was set. Starting to look very simlar
Member Since: September 26, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 100
963. HCW
3:23 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
962. AllStar17
3:23 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
The Latest 11:00am Advisories
*Click graphics to magnify (graphics can further be magnified in Link window by clicking on them)


Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
961. louisianaboy444
3:23 PM GMT on September 02, 2011
Quoting txag91met:
Don't really care about Lee anymore...

We are in worst drought in 100 years in SE TX, and Texas is in dire needs. At least LA will end their drought.

I expect fires this weekend across E/C. TX because of the wind from Lee, and the cold front.


Agreed Were pretty bad in Sw LA too and the track just keeps a shifting i'm not even watching this storm anymore
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352

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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.