Super Sunday tropical disturbance forms in Yucatan Channel

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:17 PM GMT on February 05, 2012

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OK, this is officially nuts. The first Super Sunday Invest in history formed this morning in the Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba, and is slowly becoming more organized as it moves northeast towards Southwest Florida. The new disturbance, dubbed Invest 90L by NHC late this morning, has a modest but growing area of heavy thunderstorms near its center. Visible satellite imagery shows a pronounced spin at middle levels of the atmosphere, and 90L may be able to close off a surface circulation if it can find 24 more hours of marginally favorable conditions. Radar loops out of La Bajada on the western tip of Cuba show heavy thunderstorms over Western Cuba, but there is no organization of the echoes into low-level spiral bands. Wind shear is a high 20 - 25 knots, which is marginal for tropical storm formation. Ocean temperatures in the Yucatan Channel are 26 - 26.5°C (79 - 80°F), which is also marginal. 90L is suffering from ingestion of dry air along its western flanks, courtesy of an upper-level trough over the Gulf of Mexico, as seen on water vapor satellite imagery.


Figure 1. Is this football season or baseball season? The Super Sunday Invest 90L looks more characteristic of something we'd expect to see in May.

Forecast for 90L
Both the GFS and ECMWF models predict that the shear will remain below 25 knots through Monday, so there is some potential for continued development of 90L as it moves northeast towards South Florida. On Monday afternoon or evening, the storm will merge with a cold front and move over South Florida, bringing heavy rains of 1 - 3 inches and sustained winds of 20 - 25 mph. If it develops into a tropical depression or tropical storm, which I put at a 20% chance, the winds and rains will be higher. I doubt 90L has enough time or favorable enough conditions to become a tropical or subtropical depression, especially considering the disturbance's small size. There is a historical precedent for a tropical storm this time of year in this location--the 1952 Groundhog's Day tropical storm that hit Southwest Florida. According to Wikipedia,

The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:


By contrast, a tropical storm from last year:

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Quoting SPLbeater:


Link

1952 TC archive

Had twice as much activity that year than in 2011. :P
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SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
330 PM CST SUN FEB 05 2012

.SYNOPSIS...COLD FRONT EXTENDING FROM FLORIDA PANHANDLE TO LOW
PRES 1018 MB NEAR 25N94.5W THEN S-SW TO NEAR 20N97W WILL MOVE SE
AND EXTEND FROM FLORIDA BID BEND TO W BAY OF CAMPECHE BY MON
MORNING...WITH GALES ALONG MEXICAN COAST THROUGH TONIGHT. FRONT
TO STALL TUE AND DRIFT NW AND BECOME ILL DEFINED WED AND THU. N
TO S TROUGH AHEAD OF FRONT ALONG 86W/87W EXTENDS S THROUGH
YUCATAN CHANNEL INTO NW CARIB WITH LOW PRES 1013 MB NEAR 23N87W
WILL INTERACT WITH UPPER TROUGH TO PRODUCE VERY ACTIVE WEATHER
ACROSS SE GULF THROUGH MON. LOW AND TROUGH TO SHIFT NE ACROSS SE
GULF TONIGHT AND MON MORNING THEN ACROSS S FLORIDA MON. HIGH
PRES TO BUILD S IN WAKE OF FRONT. REINFORCING FRONT TO SINK SE
ACROSS N GULF WED NIGHT AND THU.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


Link

1952 TC archive


A most unremarkable year.
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Quoting LargoFl:
anyone know what kind of hurricane season it was for florida in 1952 after that surprise feb storm?


Link

1952 TC archive
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
hey guys umm looking at vis and rgb sat and cuban radar the LLCOC is for sure located at 21.5N 84.5W moving very very slowly E-ESE for 90L
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11251
You can really see a circulation starting to develop in the TPW loop:

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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I know! I moved up to Michigan from NC this past summer...and I am kinda ticked off that we really didn't get much snow where I am at. I guess I picked the best year to move up to Michigan so I can gradually get used to winters up here....


aw man u complete opposite of me..i hate cold weather. i would rather have a thunderstorm when it 85 degrees then a snowstorm at 25 xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


LOL...I must say you are more "well-cultured" with tropical cyclones than I am. Do the other basins produce early-bird disturbances like 90L?


well...sometimes i guess. as well as late season storms. The North Indian Cyclone Season runs from April 1st to november 30th, and 2011 had 2 december cyclones in the N indian. but they arent as rare as atlantic late seasons.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting xcool:
could be a interesting 2012 hurricane season hmmm
anyone know what kind of hurricane season it was for florida in 1952 after that surprise feb storm?
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Quoting angiest:


BTW, how are you enjoying all the rain this year?



Lol. I was getting spoiled again with the warm temps we'd been having. We even have a wind chill for Pete's sake! I think there may be a Canadian somewhere laughing and pointing his fan this way. :p Lol. But the rains have been great! Hope they continue from now on. :D

Orange County Airport
Lat: 30.07 Lon: -93.8 Elev: 13
Last Update on Feb 5, 3:35 pm CST

Light Rain

46 °F
(8 °C)
Humidity: 87 %
Wind Speed: N 14 G 18 MPH
Barometer: 30.21"
Dewpoint: 43 °F (6 °C)
Wind Chill: 40 °F (4 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.
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brb
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Quoting angiest:


Cold? It hasn't been cold at all this winter.


I know! I moved up to Michigan from NC this past summer...and I am kinda ticked off that we really didn't get much snow where I am at. I guess I picked the best year to move up to Michigan so I can gradually get used to winters up here....
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could be a interesting 2012 hurricane season hmmm
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
OK, this is officially nuts.

I agree DRM. Never thought I'd be tracking an invest when it's 45 degrees outside! UGH! Lol. Sorry, I don't do cold well.


BTW, how are you enjoying all the rain this year?
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its 81 degrees!
In summer itll be 135!
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Quoting HRinFM:
Nea: Raining on you down there in Naples? Radar shows some pretty good returns
Not yet at my place--though it's been cloudy for two days, and now the sky to the south is darkening. Some heavy rains would be nice...
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
OK, this is officially nuts.

I agree DRM. Never thought I'd be tracking an invest when it's 45 degrees outside! UGH! Lol. Sorry, I don't do cold well.


Cold? It hasn't been cold at all this winter.
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Quoting Levi32:
I put a little video up about this Super Sunday Surprise:

Tropical Tidbit for Sunday, February 5th, with Video


You know this is serious when both Dr. M and Levi make a blog post....LOL! Thanks Levi!
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OK, this is officially nuts.

I agree DRM. Never thought I'd be tracking an invest when it's 45 degrees outside! UGH! Lol. Sorry, I don't do cold well.
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seems as if a low level trough stretches north of the yucatan to over the keys
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I put a little video up about this Super Sunday Surprise:

Tropical Tidbit for Sunday, February 5th, with Video
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Check out this hovmoller diagram....

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb_latest/gehov2latest. gif

It shows the origins of 90L. Particularly....looking @ Feb 1 and 2....I see a convective mass marching through the Bay of Campehce analagous to how today's W GOM convective mass looks. And the upper-level omega block pattern over south Canada/north US makes it likely that this W GOM system will cut-off like 90L did...that is why I am "excited" about what could happen with the west GOM system at a later date....
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I think Europe stole winter. It's COLD there.
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any predtion out has yet for the 2012 seasons I would be very surprise if we had a storm or TD in feb
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Quoting SPLbeater:


oh and, i also got a big lamenated map of the atlantic above my billboard on my wall. so when my family starts asking, well i just show them lol



Same here.
except no one around here ever asks... people in new york dont care :P
Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1306
Quoting SPLbeater:


oh and, i also got a big lamenated map of the atlantic above my billboard on my wall. so when my family starts asking, well i just show them lol


LOL...I must say you are more "well-cultured" with tropical cyclones than I am. Do the other basins produce early-bird disturbances like 90L?
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Nea: Raining on you down there in Naples? Radar shows some pretty good returns
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Quoting SPLbeater:


I track:

Northern Indian basin
Southern Indian basin
Southwest Pacific basin
Eastern Pacific basin
North Atlantic basin
---------------------------

Thought about the NW pacific, but they average 18 storms per year and thats a bit much for me, with the E Pac and N Atl at the same time!


oh and, i also got a big lamenated map of the atlantic above my billboard on my wall. so when my family starts asking, well i just show them lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
BAMD wants to send 90L to Africa.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


LOL...do you have a tracking map of the southern hemisphere too?

Personally...I like to "vacation" on tropical weather tracking during the Atlantic off-season....but heck this isn't much of an off-season right now. I am working tax stuff...but honestly this is very distracting LOL...


I track:

Northern Indian basin
Southern Indian basin
Southwest Pacific basin
Eastern Pacific basin
North Atlantic basin
---------------------------

Thought about the NW pacific, but they average 18 storms per year and thats a bit much for me, with the E Pac and N Atl at the same time!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:
Somebody mentioned that blob in western gom....looky here


Well that just confirms right now its associated with a cold front marching in from Texas. What makes me interested in it is the upper support (upper trough) is likely to get cut-off if it hasn't already. This I think is how 90-L started out...& then its upper air support got cut-off...
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Quoting SPLbeater:


oh yes there is a chance, and maybe if it does happen, you can feel good about yourself for pointing it out:D


And IF this system is able to attain TD status...tat will be the first time i have tracked a TC in both the north and south hemisphere!


LOL...do you have a tracking map of the southern hemisphere too?

Personally...I like to "vacation" on tropical weather tracking during the Atlantic off-season....but heck this isn't much of an off-season right now. I am working tax stuff...but honestly this is very distracting LOL...
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Quoting SPLbeater:
Somebody mentioned that blob in western gom....looky here



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Somebody mentioned that blob in western gom....looky here
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Yikes...I stand corrected again per post 41. But still, I think there is a chance that the western GOM system will eventually abosrb 90L....afterwards becoming 91L itself at a later date...


oh yes there is a chance, and maybe if it does happen, you can feel good about yourself for pointing it out:D


And IF this system is able to attain TD status...tat will be the first time i have tracked a TC in both the north and south hemisphere!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
XX/INV/90L
MARK
22.9N84.60W
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Ok...I got my tracking chart!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:


yes the GFS had this system about 8 days in advance(talk to hydrus lol) and the NOGAPS had it 72 hours in advance.


Yikes...I stand corrected again per post 41. But still, I think there is a chance that the western GOM system will eventually abosrb 90L....afterwards becoming 91L itself at a later date...
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
This is CRAZY!

its to get a whole lot crazier i reckon wackie 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
I better print out my Atlantic Hurricane tracking Chart for 2012...dont got it yet lol xD
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Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I wonder though....did any of the models predict Invest 90-L in advance? Some of them still don't recognize it right now even though it exists in our plain sight. Sometimes...the models are out to lunch on what is actually happening....

If there is to be a 91-L scenario...its over the next few days...but not right now. Right now its all 90-L's glory....


yes the GFS had this system about 8 days in advance(talk to hydrus lol) and the NOGAPS had it 72 hours in advance.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The GFS predicted 90L over a week and a half in advance.


I stand corrected....thanks for that info. Honestly, sometimes I like to bash the models too much...
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:

On that sequence there appears to be a definite anticlockwise rotation centered at the Westerly end of Cuba.
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sorry I ment 84W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11251

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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.