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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Thunderstorms seem to be beginning to fire south of the circulation of Debby.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1395. icmoore
So we are on a first name basis with Debby now... Oh, Debby so many have been waiting for your arrival LOL! FINALLY!! She's one of those that likes to keep a guy waiting and waiting and waiting...
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Quoting Gorty:
I really have no idea where her center is. Can someone give an approx. in miles not in lat./long?


From Tropical Atlantic's site.
26.0N 87.6W
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9397
1393. KORBIN
Hurricane Hunter is finding 30kt winds South of the CoC.

Where are the winds from the due South?
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1392. rxse7en
Quoting CybrTeddy:


IMO, Texas bound just north of Brownsville as a 70mph TS or a Category 1 hurricane. Siding with the 12z ECMWF. VERY difficult forecast, hardest one since Fay I would have to say. Very unusual year so far, not full of lame storms like in 2011 until Irene, but very early and strong, we've already had a Hurricane.
Yeah, wouldn't be surprised to see Debby scoot over a saturated Florida, strengthen and head west. Fay was just ridiculous.
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1391. zillaTX
Quoting nigel20:
Now that we have TS Debby, the blog will move in to 5th gear...


Took a nap, woke up with a Debby!!
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1390. guygee
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
so is debby moving S?
or is that just me
The Nth meso-vortex is cyclonically circling the "broad center".
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1389. Gorty
I really have no idea where her center is. Can someone give an approx. in miles not in lat./long?
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Quoting breald:
I don't even see this named on NHC?


Technically it's not Debby yet,, as the NHC hasn't started advisories yet. but the Navy page always 'names' them before the NHC starts advisories. First advisory will be shortly before 5pm EDT, in about an hour.
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Quoting GoMMedic:
We have some VERY SICK people on here.


yea Heaven forbid this should not blow up into a monster and destroy Texas....weird people these days
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1384. nigel20
Quoting CybrTeddy:


IMO, Texas bound just north of Brownsville as a 70mph TS or a Category 1 hurricane. Siding with the 12z ECMWF. VERY difficult forecast, hardest one since Fay I would have to say. Very unusual year so far, not full of lame storms like in 2011, but very early and strong, we've already had a Hurricane out in the Atlantic, and 70mph TS hit Florida and it's not even July.

Agreed...thanks much!
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Debby.....Dallas......Hummmm?
..omg..you're baaadddd....lol
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1382. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42279
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
The Rain is in WPB now!!:)
is that another llc that pooped outta there?
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1380. GHOSTY1
Quoting GoMMedic:
We have some VERY SICK people on here.

Excuse me...what are you trying to infer?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting breald:
I don't even see this named on NHC?
It will be on there by 5:00pm at the latest.
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1377. Patrap
The RGB Loop shows that well.

ZOOM and Skew are active

Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop
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Yowza:

2012
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Quoting washingtonian115:
96L looks ugly.
She looks like she gonna be dead Debby id she get on with the show
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May we break another record with the largest cone of doom? Stay Tuned....
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1373. breald
I don't even see this named on NHC?
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1372. nigel20
Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Not much....been watching this madness in the Gulf (mad not because its strong...but because its the earliest 4th Atlantic tropical storm on record)....

Here is music to fit the moment...

My next blog update will be delayed to around 6 PM in lieu of Debby....

Yeah, i will be eager to hear your thoughts on Debby.
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Quoting Patrap:

If that shear relaxes and she can wrap that convection around she'll blow up fast... Plenty of moisture to make it happen.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8049
Quoting Drakoen:
It looks like Debby might be doing a loop. While the long-term motion may be north, in the short-term its been moving to the south and west.


I am seeing the same thing, as well.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Also, I think this is a good time to clarify.

It's Debby, not Debbie.
By the way there is some history of modification done to the Hurricane Debbie that struck Newfoundland in 1969. "Project Stormfury" in case anyone is interested in reading about it Link
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
So now that we have a TS who wants to guess when the center will get convection over it.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3853
If shear can back off then a cat 2 isn't out of the question.Joe is a little to high with his prediction of a cat 3 which doesn't seem likely.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17860
1366. Patrap
Quoting Drakoen:
It looks like Debby might be doing a loop. While the long-term motion may be north, in the short-term its been moving to the south and west.


Thats the Small vortex spilling out from the MEan..the motion overall has been null last 3 hrs.
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1365. rxse7en
Quoting Grothar:


Thanks for the clarification, Teddie
LOL
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Quoting nigel20:

Hey Teddy...what's your overall(intensity and track)forecast for TS Debby?


IMO, Texas bound just north of Brownsville as a 70mph TS or a Category 1 hurricane. Siding with the 12z ECMWF. VERY difficult forecast, hardest one since Fay I would have to say. Very unusual year so far, not full of lame storms like in 2011 until Irene, but very early and strong, we've already had a Hurricane and 70mph TS hit Florida and it's not even July.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
2012 Hurricane Season breaks another record ..
Tropical Storm Debby is the earliest "D" storm to form before July. This beats 2005 "Hurricane Cindy", which formed in the beginning of July. This is not panning out the way forecasters expected, quite the opposite. So much for the "Average Season" we are supposed to have this year. This shows even the best of the best can be wrong. Expect an active/above average and dangerous Hurricane Season this year due to the position the high pressure is at in the Atlantic. A few more months and this high will be directing storms to the USA without recurving out to sea. Advisories/watches and warnings will be issued at 5 p.m. on newly formed Tropical Storm Debby.
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1362. Patrap
GOES-13 Large GOM Viz Image
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Quoting GHOSTY1:
Looks like Debby is getting alittle bit of convection to start popping up on her northwest side, hopefully it will really start to blow up.
We have some VERY SICK people on here.
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1360. Patrap
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Quoting bigwes6844:
We should be well ahead of the 2005 season right? I believe we are?


For a brief period. We need to start logging some invests and quick as 2012 will quickly fall behind.
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1358. Drakoen
It looks like Debby might be doing a loop. While the long-term motion may be north, in the short-term its been moving to the south and west.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30841
Debby's already pretty low in pressure, seems to me that whenever the convection can wrap around we could see some fairly quick intensification on this system. European showed Debby by 120hrs as a 991mb system already well inland with very tight isobars, which leads one to conclude that at landfall it was probably portrayed as a Hurricane in that scenario.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
1356. rxse7en
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Good shot. Starting to wrap convection around the COC.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
And Chris managed to become a Hurricane...LOL
We weren't suppose to get another storm till August..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17860
Quoting nigel20:

I'm thinking that we'll have no less than 12 storms...what's up NC?

Not much....been watching this madness in the Gulf (mad not because its strong...but because its the earliest 4th Atlantic tropical storm on record)....

Here is music to fit the moment...

My next blog update will be delayed to around 6 PM in lieu of Debby....
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Debby.....Dallas......Hummmm?

Holy Debby, Batman!
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Quoting bigwes6844:
We should be well ahead of the 2005 season right? I believe we are?


12 days ahead. Though I would be somewhat, erm, shocked if we beat 28 this season.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think the NHC will favor the westward solution but have a large cone of uncertainty.

I agree... And due to uncertainties in track they probably won't be too aggressive on intensity.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8049
1350. LargoFl
Suppose debby makes an eastward turn towrds florida today..would she be far enough south NOT to feel that tug to the west?..is that why..the GFS want to put it into Florida?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42279
1349. Grothar
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Also, I think this is a good time to clarify.

It's Debby, not Debbie.


Thanks for the clarification, Teddie
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1348. nigel20
Now that we have TS Debby, the blog will move in to 5th gear...
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Did you know that if you zoom into a rain cell on Google Earth that it actually shows rain falling?
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Can't wait to see NHC track on this thing, I expect we will see a large cone of error.
Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1163

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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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