TD 14 likely to become Maria; new Gulf of Mexico system brewing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:32 PM GMT on September 07, 2011

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Tropical Depression Fourteen formed yesterday from a strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa early this week, and is headed west-northwest towards an encounter with the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands. Satellite loops show a large a steadily organizing system with plenty of heavy thunderstorm activity, good upper-level outflow to the north and west, and some respectable low-level spiral bands beginning to form. TD 14 is probably a tropical storm now, and is very likely to be named Tropical Storm Maria later today. Water vapor satellite images show that 95L is embedded in a very moist environment. Ocean temperatures are near 28.5°C, which is 2°C above the 26.5°C threshold usually needed to sustain a tropical storm. With wind shear predicted to remain low to moderate the next five days, the atmosphere expected to stay moist, and ocean temperatures predicted to gradually warm, TD 14 should generally show a strengthening trend. Curiously, most of the intensity forecast models show little strengthening of TD 14, so NHC is keeping their intensity forecast lower than is typical for a storm in these conditions at this time of year.

The track forecasts for TD 14 from the various models agree that the storm will affect the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands, though there are some differences in forward speed, resulting in some uncertainty whether the storm will arrive at the islands as early as Friday night, or as late as Saturday afternoon. After it passes the Lesser Antilles, TD 14 has the usual amount of high uncertainty in its 5 - 7 day track forecast. The models are split on how strong the steering influence a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast will have. The ECMWF and UKMET models prefer a more southerly track for TD 14 through the Bahamas towards the U.S. East Coast, while the GFS, NOGAPS, and HWRF models predict a more northwesterly track, with a potential threat to Bermuda. It's too early to guess which track the models will eventually converge on. Climatology favors a track that would miss land, with Dr. Bob Hart's track history pages suggesting TD 14 has a 22% chance of hitting Canada, 19% chance of hitting Bermuda, and an 11% chance of hitting North Carolina.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of TD 14.

Gulf of Mexico disturbance 96L
A cold front swept into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas behind Tropical Storm Lee on Monday, and has stalled out along a line from Tampa, Florida to Mexico's Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Heavy thunderstorms have begun to build along the tail end of this front in the Bay of Campeche, and this disturbance has been designated Invest 96L by NHC. Latest visible satellite loops do not show that 96L has a closed surface circulation yet, but buoy and surface observations along the coast of Mexico suggest that there may be a large-scale counter-clockwise circulation present over the Bay of Campeche. Sustained winds at Buoy 42055, about 100 miles to the northwest of the suspected center of 96L, were northeast at 27 mph at 6:50 am CDT this morning. Water vapor satellite loops show that here is a large area of very dry air from Texas to the north of 96L, and this dry air may interfere with 96L's development. A hurricane hunter mission is scheduled for this afternoon into 96L.

Most of the computer models develop 96L into a tropical depression in the next 1 - 2 days, and these same models did very well at anticipating the formation of Tropical Storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico last week. Given the moderate wind shear, warm waters, and presence of an old cold front to serve as a nucleus for development, I give 96L an 80% chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next tow days, a bit higher than the 60% probability NHC is going with. Steering currents are weak in the Bay of Campeche, making for a lot of uncertainty in where 96L might go. The only model predicting a U.S. landfall is the ECMWF, which predicts 96L might hit between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Monday. A more popular solution is for the storm to meander in the Bay of Campeche for many days, and eventually make landfall on the coast of Mexico between Veracruz and Tampico. None of the models is hinting at a track towards Texas, and the intense dome of high pressure associated with their record drought and heat wave will tend to discourage any tropical cyclones from making a Texas landfall over the coming seven days.

Hurricane Katia
Hurricane Katia continues to the northwest as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. Latest satellite loops show that dry air has eaten into the southwest side of the storm. The computer models continue to agree that a low pressure system over the Eastern U.S. associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee will turn Katia to the north. As the storm moves northwards past North Carolina, Katia will get caught up in west-to-east moving winds associated with the jet stream, and taken northeastwards out to sea. No land areas are in Katia's cone of uncertainty, and Katia's outer rainbands should remain just offshore from North Carolina, New England, and the Canadian Maritime provinces at the point of closest approach. Bermuda may see a few rain showers from Katia, but the storm will not cause hazardous weather there. The main impact of Katia will be a multi-day period of high surf leading to beach erosion and dangerous rip currents. The East Coast is lucky that Tropical Storm Lee came along, since Lee helped to create the steering pattern that will keep Katia from hitting the U.S.


Figure 2. GOES-13 image of Hurricane Katia and the remains of Tropical Storm Lee, taken at 11:45 am EDT Tuesday September 6, 2011. At the time, Katia was a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. Image credit: NOAA Visualization Laboratory.

Heavy rains from Lee create significant flooding, tornadoes
Tropical Storm Lee is no more, but its remnants are marching slowly northeastwards along a stalled cold front, bringing torrential rains. Fortunately, the dry soils that were present before the event started have helped keep river flooding in the minor to moderate range. No river is currently at major flood stage as a result of rains from Tropical Storm Lee. Soils are at near-average moisture levels in Central Pennsylvania, where Lee's remnants are expected to drop 3 - 5 inches of rain over the next two days. These rains should cause moderate but not major flooding in Pennsylvania. Also of concern is the potential for tornadoes today. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has logged 40 tornado reports over the past four days from Lee, including two in North Carolina yesterday. Most of these tornadoes have been weak EF-0 and EF-1 twisters. A tornado that hit Cana, Virginia at Sunday night ripped the roof off of a gas station and injured two people. More tornadoes are likely today over coastal Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey, where SPC is predicting a "Slight Risk" of severe weather.

Lee's heaviest rain amounts, by state, as of 4 am CDT today:

Holden, LA: 15.43"
Waveland, MS: 14.11"
Fyffe, AL: 12.94"
Cleveland, TN: 12.22"
Rome, GA: 11.01"
Milton, FL: 10.03"
Blowing Rock, NC: 7.18"
Fancy Gap, VA: 6.77"
Cranks Creek Reservoir, KY: 5.49"
Andover, NJ: 5.06"
Montgomery, NY: 4.23"
Pittsfield, MA: 3.90"
Bluefield, WV: 3.76"
Bridge City, TX: 3.12"
Keene, NH: 3.64"
Hagerstown, MD: 3.60"
Norwalk, CT: 3.20"
Wilmington, DE: 2.63"
Woodford, VT: 2.63"
Washington, DC: 2.42"

Jeff Masters

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1470. aspectre
3:11 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
H.Katia's_12amGMT_ATCF : Starting 7Sept_12amGMT and ending 8Sept_12amGMT

The 4 eastern line-segments represent HurricaneKatia's path,
the westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection,
and the coastline blob at 34.348n77.648w-01NC is the endpoint of the most
recent
previous straightline projection connected to its nearest airport.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the
ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 6pmGMT then 12amGMT :
H.Katia's travel-speed was 12mph(19.3k/h) on a heading of 330degrees(NNW)
H.Katia was headed toward passage over MARSpaceport(Bloxom)Virginia ~1days23hours from now

Copy&paste 34.348n77.648w-01nc, 27.7n66.9w-28.2n67.6w, 28.2n67.6w-28.8n68.4w, 28.8n68.4w-29.4n69.3w, 29.4n69.3w-30.3n69.9w, 9va3, 29.4n69.3w-37.8186n75.501w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 7Sept_6pmGMT)
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
1469. WxLogic
2:17 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
00Z 42HR NAM:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
1468. violetprofusion
1:08 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
I am really late to this, but I just had to chip in about Forecaster Avila--I have always really enjoyed how his forecasts have a touch of personality sometimes. Do you guys remember reading about Epsilon back in 2005, the season that just wouldn't die? I almost felt bad for the guy, since it was clear that he and his colleagues were ready for Epsilon to just go away already, but he and his fellow forecasters handled it with humor and good grace:

December 7 ,2005 Epsilon Discussion

Anyway, back on topic: tropics are, obviously, pretty active! Lots of dry air for Nate to fight with, but I see that the NHC says that there's not a lot of shear. Is there any hope for Texas?
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 33
1467. Charmeck
12:58 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
In caseyour interested - check out river levels in and around Binghamton, NY. Remnant rains from LEE are creating major problems with flooding there.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 143
1466. SPLbeater
12:46 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
13.5 foot waves in NW quadrant of Maria. niceee
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
1465. 3211976
12:41 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 55
1464. SPLbeater
12:41 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
back. natenot lookin good. Maria lookin better. Katia same as she has been last day er so
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
1463. 3211976
12:40 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
Maria is Real

Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 55
1462. Birthmark
12:18 AM GMT on September 08, 2011
Quoting Chicklit:

well put


nate is the scared little boy in a corner as the big bad dry air mass tries to extinguish him.

Seems an apt metaphor to me. I just got back to the computer, looked at the floater loop, and thought "that is one dead storm."

Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1461. HurricaneDean07
11:57 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
(* = Hyperactive so far)
This date in the season:
1933: 13 Named storms *
1995: 12 Named storms
2004: 9 Named storms
2005: 15 Named storms *
2008: 10 Named storms
2010: 9 Named storms
2011: 14 Named storms *


2005: 1st (Next Storm, Philippe, on Sept 17)
2011: 2nd (Next Storm in Next 7 to 10 Day)
1933: 3rd (Next Storm, #15, Sept 16)
1995: 4th (Next Storm, Marilyn, On Sept 12)
2008: 5th (Next Storm, Kyle, On Sept 25)
2004: 6th (Next Storm, Jeanne, On Sept 13)
2010: 6th (Next Storm, Julia, On Sept 12)

So with 2005 Taking a quick break, we could see a Tie for the second time this season. And if were lucky than we can get philippe before 2005, which would put us ahead a couple of days
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
1460. 3211976
11:57 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
bouy near Maria

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1459. HCW
11:48 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
1454. PcolaDan
11:39 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
UUUHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

NNNNNNNEEEEEEWWWWWWW

BBBBLLLLLLOOOOOOGGGGGGG

PEOPLE
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1452. PlazaRed
11:37 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting weatherjr:
María María, que alegre va María, con su tierna figura... Despues vendrá El Niño... (excuse me, but I wish to write this in spanish). Que pasará con María? (What would happen with María?). I think she will go NE of the islands stronger than she is righ now... I can not predict any more. Really, (100 %) I dont know what could happen.


Que Sera Sera!
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2180
1451. AussieStorm
11:36 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
ACE has made a considerable jump over the past few weeks...Thanks to Irene, and now Katia. Before Katia dissipates, I'd expect ACE to be over 60. Maria will be another big ACE contributor, but maybe not as much as Irene or Katia, if it doesn't strengthen into a major hurricane.


2011 Tropical Cyclone Activity
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
Updated Sep 07, 2011 23:00

BASIN CURRENT YTD
Northern Hemisphere
289.1500
Western Pacific
168.33
North Atlantic
57.225

Eastern Pacific
62.4925
North Indian
1.1025
Southern Hemisphere
140.398
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
1450. HurricanePookie
11:33 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Chicklit:
nate is the scared little boy in a corner as the big bad dry air mass tries to extinguish him.


Does it help Texas any in the long run? I mean at a certain point there's got to be enough humidity in the air to lead to rain, right? Do the Nates and the Dons of this world give their little lives for nothing, or does it eventually lead to the greater good of rain over Texas?
Member Since: June 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 47
1449. aislinnpaps
11:33 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Levi,

If I understand correctly, Nate has to get strong quickly to be able to head more north to hit Texas, correct? Or can he gain strength slowly and still go more north?

The problem with the former would then he would be a strong storm hitting TX to help put out the fires and not the TS that would be better. Yes?
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1448. Fishaholic25fl
11:33 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
GFS is the most accurate model in my eyes......... when in doubt always look to it for guidance......
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1447. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:33 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
015L/TS/N/CX
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1446. MiamiHurricanes09
11:32 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Outflow boundaries aren't going to always show up, and convection has been lacking so long north and east of Nate's center that there are no significant (large) outflow boundaries to look for right now.

And of course satellite imagery is up for personal interpretation, and you might be right, but I adamantly disagree at this point.
You don't see the outflow boundaries to the north of the circulation? They don't diverge a great distance from where they hit the surface, but I definitely see a few.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1445. daddyjames
11:32 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Outflow boundaries aren't going to always show up, and convection has been lacking so long north and east of Nate's center that there are no outflow boundaries to look for right now.


Where exactly is nate's surface coc? I put it at 21.5 N; 92.5 W.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
1444. Fishaholic25fl
11:32 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting GerlindeEspinosa:

Fishaholic! Been looking all over for you. Where have you been?
Fishing, how r u.......
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1443. WeatherNerdPR
11:31 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
NEW BLOG
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1442. AussieStorm
11:30 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Actually yes it is being pounded directly into him. You can't interpret the presence of a few thunderstorms to mean there is no dry air in the circulation.

Take a good look at that northwesterly inflow.


Anyone got some water to give Nate, he's been busy drink up to much dry air.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
1441. MiamiHurricanes09
11:29 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Look at the visible satellite loop ...Link...

Doesn't necessarily give the appearance of a system where thunderstorms are collapsing. In fact, it gives me the impression that thunderstorm activity is developing on all quadrants of the system. I don't see any outflow boundaries indicative of dry air affecting the system.
Look at the lower-level cloud deck...plenty of outflow boundaries (RGB displays this better) to the north of the circulation. Also, the only quadrant that this cyclone is firing convection in is the southern one. Everything else is pretty much void of the organized deep convection that is needed to classify a tropical cyclone.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1440. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:28 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
ACE has made a considerable jump over the past few weeks...Thanks to Irene, and now Katia. Before Katia dissipates, I'd expect ACE to be over 60. Maria will be another big ACE contributor, but maybe not as much as Irene or Katia, if it doesn't strengthen into a major hurricane.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32830
1439. HurricaneSwirl
11:28 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Something interesting to know: If we can manage to squeeze out two named storms before 10 days are up, we will be ahead of 2005 in terms of named storms. Hurricane Philippe of 2005 did not form until September 17.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1438. Levi32
11:28 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Look at the visible satellite loop ...Link...

Doesn't necessarily give the appearance of a system where thunderstorms are collapsing. In fact, it gives me the impression that thunderstorm activity is developing on all quadrants of the system. I don't see any outflow boundaries indicative of dry air affecting the system.


Outflow boundaries aren't going to always show up, and convection has been lacking so long north and east of Nate's center that there are no significant (large) outflow boundaries to look for right now.

And of course satellite imagery is up for personal interpretation, and you might be right, but I adamantly disagree at this point.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
1437. Chicklit
11:28 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Well the question is why do you think it isn't affecting it? All of the convection north and east of the center is collapsing as it forms, and the only true region of moist convection is occurring in a confined area southwest of the center where low-level convergence is being maximized.

well put


nate is the scared little boy in a corner as the big bad dry air mass tries to extinguish him.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
1436. wunderweatherman123
11:27 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Well the question is why do you think it isn't affecting it? All of the convection north and east of the center is collapsing as it forms, and the only true region of moist convection is occurring in a confined area southwest of the center where low-level convergence is being maximized.
gfs shows exactly what you have panning out levi maria recurving and a carribean system forms although the gfs takes it almost due north into hispanola then wnw into florida as a 997mb system. is that a likely track and now the WE HAVE NATE what is your track and intensity on him sir?
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1727
1435. DFWjc
11:26 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Look at the visible satellite loop ...Link...

Doesn't necessarily give the appearance of a system where thunderstorms are collapsing. In fact, it gives me the impression that thunderstorm activity is developing on all quadrants of the system. I don't see any outflow boundaries indicative of dry air affecting the system.


which kinda makes it a bit scary, don't ya think?
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 1006
1432. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:25 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Well the question is why do you think it isn't affecting it? All of the convection north and east of the center is collapsing as it forms, and the only true region of moist convection is occurring in a confined area southwest of the center where low-level convergence is being maximized.


Look at the visible satellite loop ...Link...

Doesn't necessarily give the appearance of a system where thunderstorms are collapsing. In fact, it gives me the impression that thunderstorm activity is developing on all quadrants of the system. I don't see any outflow boundaries indicative of dry air affecting the system.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32830
1428. Fishaholic25fl
11:23 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
GFS has a a 1000mb system moving north over cuba into florida on sept 23rd :)
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1425. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:21 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Dang it...Already forgot that a system without wind shear won't look like it is being affected by dry air, and will be affected very little by it.

D'oh!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32830
1424. Levi32
11:21 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Well then, why isn't it affecting the system?


Well the question is why do you think it isn't affecting it? All of the convection north and east of the center is collapsing as it forms, and the only true region of moist convection is occurring in a confined area southwest of the center where low-level convergence is being maximized.
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1422. Chicklit
11:20 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



I guess that makes IRENE a "PHISH" storm!


good one
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1421. Levi32
11:19 PM GMT on September 07, 2011
And all you have to do is glance at the total precipitable water lol. It's definitely invading from the northwest in that image.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700

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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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