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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46 mph.. thats debby huh?
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Quoting ncstorm:
Look towards africa..

now.its.getting.interesting
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Quoting reedzone:


Maybe no upgrade at 5 p.m.

That's the typical 18Z update. Look for a renumber between 3PM EDT and 4PM EDT.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32039
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Looks like HH gonna pinpoint that further east circ?
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1040. Patrap
Best Track Position and Intensity as of:

Saturday, June 23, 2012 18:00 Z

Location at the time:

308 statue miles (495 km) to the S (184°) from
Pensacola, FL, USA.

Wind (1 min. avg.):

40 knots (~46 mph | 21 m/s | 74 km/h)

Pressure:

1001 mb (29.56 inHg | 1001 hPa)

Coordinates:

26.0N 87.6W

Source:
National Hurricane Center's (NHC) Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (ATCF) System and not from any available advisory data
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting ncstorm:
Look towards africa..



No offense but we have a tropical storm developing in the GOM that is going to impact a lot of people.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
AL, 96, 2012062318, , BEST, 0, 260N, 876W, 40, 1001, LO,


Maybe no upgrade at 5 p.m.
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1037. Patrap
BEST, 0, 26.0N, 87.6W, 40, 1001, LO,
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
I wonder if there is anything under the convection, another vertex possibly...
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http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?zo ommode=pan&prevzoom=zoom&num=6&frame=0&delay=15&sc ale=1.000&noclutter=0&ID=TBW&type=N0R&showstorms=1 0&lat=27.97827911&lon=-82.78092194&label=Clearwate r,%20FL&map.x=400&map.y=240&scale=1.000¢erx=40 0¢ery=240&showlabels=1&rainsnow=0&lightning=0& lerror=20&num_stns_min=2&num_stns_max=9999&avg_off =9999&smooth=0
Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 443
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
AL, 96, 2012062318, , BEST, 0, 260N, 876W, 40, 1001, LO,




omg 96L up too 45mph winds all ready we this need too find a close low and we could really see this take off
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115097
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I don't use google earth for recon... The link I gave contains the actual observations direct from recon, and they have reported no west winds.

Maybe I'm wrong and they have, but I don't think they've seen west winds.


see 1023, and they are going back again
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
1032. Gorty
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I don't use google earth for recon... The link I gave contains the actual observations direct from recon, and they have reported no west winds.

Maybe I'm wrong and they have, but I don't think they've seen west winds.


someone posted from a chat that the NHC will upgrade it to TS Debby
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Quoting bigwes6844:
wow this storm is gonna be a last min. decision and watches and warning are gonna be huge probably from texas to Florida


And some people will be caught unaware. I'm amazed at how many friends knew nothing about what has been going on in the Gulf.
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1029. GPTGUY
Quoting Patrap:


Yeah, was a slow mover over Biloxi,


Oh don't I know it..while the eye was stalled over Biloxi..I was constantly hammered by the western eyewall north of Gulfport.
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1028. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38500
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


on google earth it is clear

winds from the east on top, from the west on the bottom, but stronger on top.

on the s of the coc, winds were from w at 25mph, n of the coc, winds were from east at 40mph.
At the surface


it is strange that the coc is going south though, unless there is another one and they are circling each other

I don't use google earth for recon... The link I gave contains the actual observations direct from recon, and they have reported no west winds.

Maybe I'm wrong and they have, but I don't think they've seen west winds.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7782
1026. LargoFl
Quoting bigwes6844:
wow this storm is gonna be a last min. decision and watches and warning are gonna be huge probably from texas to Florida
I think your right
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38500
AL, 96, 2012062318, , BEST, 0, 260N, 876W, 40, 1001, LO,
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1024. ncstorm
Quoting washingtonian115:
Takes it up to a moderate tropical storm I see...


hurricane..:(
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
See the wind shift, google earth has terrible vis but the coc is under there

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3471
1021. Patrap
Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

..click image for Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Found something?

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wow this storm is gonna be a last min. decision and watches and warning are gonna be huge probably from texas to Florida
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1018. ncstorm
Look towards africa..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
ECMWF continues to show a hurricane landfall.




and all most the same place IKE did in 2008
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115097
ECMWF continues to show a hurricane landfall.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32039
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1014. Patrap
18:18:30Z 26.300N 87.000W 973.3 mb
(~ 28.74 inHg) 260 meters
(~ 853 feet) 1002.7 mb
(~ 29.61 inHg) - From 153° at 10 knots
(From the SSE at ~ 11.5 mph) 23.0°C*
(~ 73.4°F*) 23.0°C*
(~ 73.4°F*) 10 knots
(~ 11.5 mph) 4 knots
(~ 4.6 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 4.0 knots (~ 4.6 mph)
40.0%
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 18:09:00Z (first observation), the observation was 274 miles (441 km) to the S (173°) from Pensacola, FL, USA.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

No west winds

Link


on google earth it is clear

winds from the east on top, from the west on the bottom, but stronger on top.

on the s of the coc, winds were from w at 25mph, n of the coc, winds were from east at 40mph.
At the surface


it is strange that the coc is going south though, unless there is another one and they are circling each other
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
12z ECMWF 4 days out (96 hours):



Minimal hurricane.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10247

BOC looks favorable in the weeks to come
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Ridge to the north, upper air low moving SW down the TX coast, the steering direction is pretty obvious down the road
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1009. Patrap
Quoting GPTGUY:


LOL a few weeks later Pat we took one for the team over here on the MS Coast with Georges!


Yeah, was a slow mover over Biloxi,
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting seriousman1:


WELL THAT SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THE FLORIDA TEXAS ISSUE...LEVI RIGHT ON THE NOSE AGAIN...


Still a 'forecast'.... let's see how reality pans out.
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Quoting ncstorm:
Takes it up to a moderate tropical storm I see...
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12z ECMWF 4 days out (96 hours):

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1005. GPTGUY
Quoting Patrap:


Thanx for taking that one for the team.


LOL a few weeks later Pat we took one for the team over here on the MS Coast with Georges!
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1004. Patrap
Gulf of Mexico (Updated every ~10-15 mins)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
1003. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38500
So Texas and Florida are looking like they are possibly out of the picture now? Sorry, been reading pages to catch up... Why is that the wishcasters (not all people, just those who wanted a cane) don't appear to be getting their wish and those of us who are saying 'no, thank you' maybe under the gun. I think I may consider becoming a wishcaster, that way I'll be safe.

But we still don't know where this is going. It's been an interesting week, or is that a week and a half?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1001. Orcasystems
6:20 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Quoting WhereIsTheStorm:


The Hurricane Hunter is still in the blob and several here are posting the chat info. There is nothing official at this time.


I am watching it on GE.. there is no Vortex, if there was we would have a TS. They are now searching the North eastern part, which appears to be better organized.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
1000. Hurricanes101
6:20 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
I dont know I am looking at the Euro and it almost seems like it blatantly ignores the weakness that is present
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7688
999. ncstorm
6:19 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
988 mb
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
998. GeorgiaStormz
6:19 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Where? I haven't seen any here.


on google earth, i see a center not under the cloud deck, google earth has terrible vis ,but it assume it is where the swirl is, and north of it and south of it there are winds in opposite directions west and east

the center is broad enough that on the uturn, they experienced the wind shift again.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
997. Patrap
6:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Quoting jpsb:
Tides are up in Galveston Bay. This could be another Francis for us, days of a fetch piling up water then the storm rolls in. TD Francis did a good bit of damage here in San Leon.


Thanx for taking that one for the team.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
996. Tribucanes
6:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Maybe it's real time sensitive because it's a real back and forth between the experts. But once a consensus has been reached it's okay to pass on to the public. Hopefully that's the case, I like that it can be shared. The NHC chat.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437

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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.