Gulf of Mexico disturbance 96L close to tropical storm status

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:26 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

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An area of low pressure and heavy thunderstorms in the Central Gulf of Mexico (96L) is close to tropical depression or tropical storm status, and all interests along the Gulf of Mexico coast should pay attention to the progress of this disturbance. The disturbance has brought heavy rains to Western Cuba, South Florida, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula over the past two days, but the disturbance's heaviest rains are located well offshore over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, where heavy thunderstorms are generating winds near tropical storm-force. A buoy 243 miles east of Naples, FL measured sustained winds of 31 mph, gusting to 38 mph, with 10-foot waves, at 8 am EDT Saturday morning. Our wundermap for the surrounding ocean areas shows a large region of the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico is experiencing winds of 20 - 30 mph. Satellite-based surface wind measurements taken at 7:22 am EDT Saturday from the newly-available Oceansat-2 scatterometer, courtesy of India, showed a broad, elongated surface circulation over the Central Gulf of Mexico that was not well defined. The satellite saw top surface winds of 30 - 40 mph over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Visible satellite loops show that the circulation of 96L has become more defined this morning, and the heavy thunderstorm activity is slowly expanding and growing more intense. Upper-level winds out of the west are creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over the region. Water vapor satellite loops show a modest region of dry air over the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is interfering with development and keeping the western side of 96L's circulation free of heavy thunderstorms. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C (83°F) in the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is about 1°F above average. A hurricane hunter mission is scheduled to investigate 96L this afternoon to see if a tropical depression or tropical storm has formed.


Figure 1. Saturday morning satellite image of tropical disturbance 96L in the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida from tropical disturbance 96L.

Forecast for 96L
Wind shear is predicted to remain in the moderate range through Sunday night, which is likely low enough to allow 96L to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Sunday; NHC gave 96L a 90% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday morning, in their 8am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook. The future path of 96L is still unclear. The disturbance will drift slowly northwards through Sunday night, which will likely bring heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches to the Gulf Coast from Central Louisiana to Central Florida. A storm surge of 1 - 3 feet is also likely along the Southeast Louisiana coast on Sunday; coastal flood advisories have already been posted there. By Monday, the majority of the reliable models, including the ECMWF, NOGAPS, HWRF, and UKMET, agree that a ridge of high pressure will build in over the Southern U.S., forcing 96L westwards across the Gulf of Mexico and into South Texas by Wednesday. However, the GFS model, which has been our 2nd most reliable track model over the past two years (behind the ECMWF), has consistently been predicting that a trough of low pressure pushing off of the U.S. East Coast will be capable of grabbing the disturbance and accelerating it to the northeast across Florida north of Tampa Bay on Monday. The GFDL model splits the difference between these extremes, taking 96L northwards to a landfall near the Alabama/Florida border on Tuesday. Given that the majority of the models predict a westward track to Texas, that should be viewed as the most probable path for 96L, but this is a low-confidence forecast. None of the models is predicting 96L will become a hurricane, and the SHIPS model is predicting just a 4% chance of rapid intensification for 96L. Given the moderate levels of wind shear and dry air over the Gulf, only slow to modest intensification of 96L is likely over the next few days.

Jeff Masters

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so now its the earliest 4th named storm on record right??
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Multiple tornado warning boxes near Naples headed towards Fort Meyers.

2.1 inch per hour squall going to come close to Fort Meyers and maybe Tampa later on. Maybe a near miss to the west though.


Severe weather threat is definitely increasing now.


Maybe hail storms, or maybe just torrential rains in these cells...

yikes.


J1 58 dBZ 28,000 ft. 42 kg/m² 10% chance 80% chance 0.50 in. 21 knots S (186)
1 C4 57 dBZ 30,000 ft. 37 kg/m² 0% chance 60% chance <0.50 in. 19 knots S (178)
2 V8 54 dBZ 22,000 ft. 30 kg/m² 0% chance 60% chance 0.50 in. 14 knots S (178)
1 X6 54 dBZ 20,000 ft. 22 kg/m² 0% chance 30% chance <0.50 in. 27 knots S (179)
1 U8 52 dBZ 20,000 ft. 19 kg/m² 0% chance 40% chance <0.50 in. 21 knots S (175)
1 R1 52 dBZ 22,000 ft. 20 kg/m² 0% chance 20% chance <0.50 in. 12 knots S (174)
2 F6 52 dBZ 18,000 ft. 15 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 21 knots S (173)
2 S4 51 dBZ 27,000 ft. 19 kg/m² 0% chance 30% chance <0.50 in. 23 knots SSW (201)
2 E1 50 dBZ 22,000 ft. 5 kg/m² 0% chance 20% chance <0.50 in. New Cell
1 V5 50 dBZ 18,000 ft. 14 kg/m² 0% chance 10% chance <0.50 in. 23 knots S (173)
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1494
Debby is most likely NOT going to hit Mexico.. gosh..
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Quoting nigel20:
Is it me or am i seeing two swirls?


you should be seing three
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Doesn't it look like it's starting to go SW in the last frame or two? Or is that an illusion caused by the mid-level clouds?
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1541. LargoFl
Quoting TampaBayStormChaser:
Tampa Velocity radar is showing tropical storm force winds in the squalls offshore:
The light green color indicates Tropical Storm Force winds:

Link

Click on Base Velocity
Gale warnings all over the place out there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33230
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 200° at 51 knots (From the SSW at ~ 58.6 mph)
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Flight level winds are at 60mph, so we might be talking about a 50mph TS at 5pm.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23011
Peak winds of 46 knots in the convection so far.
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1535. Patrap
19:58:30Z 25.083N 85.000W 962.6 mb

(~ 28.43 inHg) 398 meters
(~ 1,306 feet) - - From 200° at 51 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 58.6 mph) 21.9°C*
(~ 71.4°F*) -* 51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 39 knots
(~ 44.8 mph) 6 mm/hr
(~ 0.24 in/hr) 39.0 knots (~ 44.8 mph)
Tropical Storm 76.5%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor

HDOB Observations

Independent Calculations from Tropical Atlantic

At 19:49:00Z (first observation), the observation was 236 miles (380 km) to the W (277°) from Key West, FL, USA.

At 19:58:30Z (last observation), the observation was 205 miles (330 km) to the W (280°) from Key West, FL, USA.
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Now penetrating the convection.
46 knots
(~ 52.9 mph)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23011
1533. Patrap
Quoting windshear1993:
so when debby forms will it be the earliest 4th named storm on record


It has Formed,
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As that band continues to move north, the helicities will continue to rise with it.

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1531. Mucinex
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


The flight never went into the convection...

Gotcha!
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1530. Patrap



woooooooooooooooooooooooo...'


Winddddddddddddddd'

Shearrrrrrrrrrrrrr'............
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so when debby forms will it be the earliest 4th named storm on record
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Now that history has been made on the Atlantic canvas, ask the question ... how many wings does a butterfly have?

"Never before found such a plight ..."

106. OracleDeAtlantis 7:23 PM GMT on April 05, 2012
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
No offense to the science of meteorology, but a butterfly in China can be observed to fly circles around Dr. Gray and his team; and I hear the butterflies in China are choking on U.S.

For upon her wings are the eyes of the earth, seeing the unfolding of every birth.

From above the trees and beyond sky, to the state of confusion what it denies.

Never before found such a plight that befell them that are without sight.

Now see before you the industry of sin, and return by fury the fallacy of men.

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Quoting WxGeekVA:
And here's my revised track. I have favored a west track the whole time, but not too far southwest. I think the NE Texas coast and SW Louisiana are the areas that need to watch out, including Houston. A minimum Cat 1 isn't out of the question, but I think a 70MPH TS is a reasonable peak. I think the flooding after landfall will end up being what Debby gets remembered for.

I'm not sure I can agree with that solution, since the ridge that will becoming established over the Southern Plains should block any stairstepping move to the N or NNW. Either an outright stall in the Central Gulf or a push to the W or WSW is more likely...or. the system splits in two with the main energy going NE to ENE across Florida, and a secondary system forming out of the remnants and moving W or WSW into S TX or MX.

Only other scenario I can see is the Canadian one of Debby finding the weakness between the developing ridge and the trough just E of NOLA and sliding through it before the ridge establishes itself.

My totally unscientific prediction: TS Warnings from Morgan City/Intercoastal City, LA to Applachee Bay, FL initially; extended or redefined either way when Debby makes up her mind on where she's going.
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Quoting nigel20:

2009 had a very slow start...i think with this early and pretty active start, we should surpass 2009.
Ana didn`t come until August 11 I think so we are ahead by almost a month and a half.
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Tornado watch may go up for S FL and C FL
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i see peak winds of 44mph in the convection, as expected
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


The ULL has slowed down, or stopped, since a few hours ago and not moving as much to the West at the moment....It is standing in the way or her continued progress for the time being.


Agreed. +1
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


From what I've seen on the visible, Debby has been almost stalled all day, with maybe the slightest north movement. When she does begin to move after the ridge begins building in, it'll be slowly northwest and then more of west. I just don't see anything that'll cause an east or northeast movement.


Good points to back up your argument. I also think your a little to conservative on the intensity if it were to head west. Good job overall though.
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Weather Channel needs to get off the noon time special trip, and get Greg Forbes on doing a severe weather analysis. It looks like marine warnings and tornado threats are on the rise.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1494
1520. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33230
1519. Patrap
AL 04 2012062318 BEST 0 26.0N 87,6W, 40 1001 TS
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Quoting seriousman1:
look for a hurricane watch to go up along the northern gulf coat from morgan city la to destin beach florida sometime tomorrow afternoon...this storm will be over very high sst and a strong cat 2 is possible with this scenario if debby stalls off the louisiana coast 24-36 hours before she moves inland...people should be taking precautions now..sunday evening we will be in squalls so get out while you can because conditions are just going to go downhill sunday evening....



Look...until that ULL moves out of the way...Debby will not strengthen. Too much shear. No need to overhype. Jeez!
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387
WFUS52 KMFL 232000
TORMFL
FLC021-232030-
/O.NEW.KMFL.TO.W.0010.120623T2000Z-120623T2030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
400 PM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL COLLIER COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 430 PM EDT

* AT 355 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR FAKAHATCHEE
STRAND STATE PRESERVE...MOVING NORTH AT 20 MPH.
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1516. nigel20
Is it me or am i seeing two swirls?
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Quoting Matt1989:
That upper level low is going to continue to shread this thing into pieces...


The ULL has slowed down, or stopped, since a few hours ago and not moving as much to the West at the moment....It is standing in the way or her continued progress for the time being.
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The ridge is slowly nosing east as we speak.

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866
WFUS52 KMFL 231958
TORMFL
FLC021-232015-
/O.NEW.KMFL.TO.W.0009.120623T1958Z-120623T2015Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
358 PM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWEST COLLIER COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA...


* UNTIL 415 PM EDT

* AT 355 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR NORTH
NAPLES...MOVING NORTH AT 25 MPH.


* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
NORTH NAPLES...
QUAIL CREEK ESTATES...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR TAMIAMI TRAIL AND RATTLESNAKE ROAD.
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1512. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33230
Quoting Mucinex:

Hmm...37.12mph. Not quite there yet. I'm surprised.


The flight never went into the convection...
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Quoting cedarparktxguy:


Southeast Texas coast, so much for being a geek...


Upper Texas coast would actually be more accurate.
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1509. Patrap
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AL, 04, 2012062318, , BEST, 0, 260N, 876W, 40, 1001, TS,

welcome Debby!
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1507. Mucinex
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
VDM

Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 23rd day of the month at 19:27Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Mission Purpose: Investigate first suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 07
A. Time of Center Fix: 23rd day of the month at 18:37:40Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 25°54'N 87°50'W (25.9N 87.8333W)
B. Center Fix Location: 313 miles (503 km) to the SSE (154°) from New Orleans, LA, USA.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 15kts (~ 17.3mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 14 nautical miles (16 statute miles) to the ENE (63°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 165° at 17kts (From the SSE at ~ 19.6mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 73 nautical miles (84 statute miles) to the ENE (65°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1002mb (29.59 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 24°C (75°F) at a pressure alt. of 340m (1,115ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 24°C (75°F) at a pressure alt. of 338m (1,109ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 24°C (75°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind and Pressure
N. Fix Level: 1,500 feet
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 5 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 17kts (~ 19.6mph) in the northeast quadrant at 18:11:00Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 26kts (~ 29.9mph) in the southwest quadrant at 18:52:00Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: Below 1,500 feet
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
PEAK SFC WND 32KTS NW QUAD AT 17:08:20Z

Hmm...37.12mph. Not quite there yet. I'm surprised.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The GFS takes Debby towards the northeast because it develops a second low pressure area off the coast of Georgia which helps amplify the trough across Canada and the Northeast, therefore pulling the system northeastward. None of the other models show this low, so the GFS should be discounted.

My thoughts too...

I said a west turn toward the TX/MX border 2 days ago...but that was before this regenerated northward below an upper divergence maximum at the boundary of the west Gulf ULL and adjacent upper ridging (Lee in 2011 generated below a similarly-setup divergence maximum). Now if I shift my thinking further north...this is a westward turn such that it tracks along and parallel to the south Louisiana shore. It'll be interesting to see how the NHC 5 PM track compares with this thought...can't wait...
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


1476.


Already modified.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
That upper level low is going to continue to shread this thing into pieces...
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1503. Patrap


LARGE GOES-13 Low Cloud Product Image
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1501. LargoFl
weather is getting bad down south of us............Special Marine Warning

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
GMZ656-676-232100-
/O.NEW.KMFL.MA.W.0175.120623T1932Z-120623T2100Z/

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
332 PM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SPECIAL MARINE WARNING FOR...
COASTAL WATERS FROM CHOKOLOSKEE TO BONITA BEACH FL OUT TO 60 NM

* UNTIL 500 PM EDT

* AT 324 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED TWO
LINES OF THUNDERSTORMS...CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WATERSPOUTS. ONE LINE
WAS FROM 25 NM WEST OF BONITA BEACH TO 21 NM SOUTHWEST OF CAPE
ROMANO...MOVING NORTH AT 10 KNOTS...AND THE OTHER LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS
WAS FROM 50 NM WEST OF BONITA BEACH TO 55 NM SOUTHWEST OF CAPE ROMANO
MOVING NORTH AT 10 KNOTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

AS THUNDERSTORMS MOVE OVER THE WATER...MARINERS CAN EXPECT STRONG
GUSTY WINDS...HIGH SEAS...DANGEROUS LIGHTNING...AND HEAVY RAIN. MOVE
TO SAFE HARBOR OR STAY CLOSE TO SHORE UNTIL THE STORM PASSES. IF
CAUGHT ON THE OPEN WATER...MAKE SURE ALL SAFETY GEAR IS AVAILABLE AND
LIFE JACKETS ARE BEING WORN BY YOU AND YOUR CREW.

WATERSPOUTS CAN EASILY OVERTURN BOATS AND CREATE LOCALLY HAZARDOUS
SEAS. YOUR BEST COURSE OF EVASIVE ACTION IF THREATENED BY A
WATERSPOUT IS TO MOVE AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE FROM ITS APPARENT
MOVEMENT. SEEK SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY.

REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO THE COAST GUARD. THEY WILL RELAY YOUR REPORT
TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN MIAMI.

&&

LAT...LON 2630 8183 2617 8181 2614 8178 2605 8179
2604 8174 2599 8171 2598 8165 2593 8162
2594 8159 2590 8157 2592 8156 2590 8146
2582 8136 2559 8197 2547 8263 2562 8269
2594 8290
TIME...MOT...LOC 1929Z 197DEG 12KT 2630 8230 2556 8187

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33230
Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Again, no offense, but you have it heading NW immedietly when it is clearly stalled out or making a loop. And if it did head west, a ridge would make it go due west into Central or South Texas.


From what I've seen on the visible, Debby has been almost stalled all day, with maybe the slightest north movement. When she does begin to move after the ridge begins building in, it'll be slowly northwest and then more of west. I just don't see anything that'll cause an east or northeast movement.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
1499. rxse7en
Quoting stormpetrol:
Link

Center appears to have southward drift in this loop.
I'm not seeing it. Are you following the center at ~86W26N or that exposed circulation at ~88W25N?
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Why a TS? I dont see any HH obs that have 40 mph winds


TS are not necessarily classified by the winds right in the CoC.

It is very common for the maximum winds in a TS to be far from the center, in the outer squalls.

There are several squalls west of Tampa which have sustained wind radar estimates above 36knots, and since the wind is more or less quartering away, the radar may actually be slightly under-estimating the speed.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1494
Quoting Jedkins01:



I'm expecting much of it to slowly make progress into western Florida, the rain bands aren't just rotating into the area, the whole complex is slowly drifting northeast if you closely examine satellite and long range radar out of Tampa. It may take a while to fully move in and really start soaking us, but once it does it will be around for a while.
Thanks.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3616
1496. Patrap
Best put a nother case o Fresca on ice, and a Muzzle/Large Hammer for well, u know
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.