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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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Nice cat 1.
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Good afternoon everyone!!! Good to be back on the blog!! Hi Levi.....still following your blog!!! Keep it up man!!!
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Quoting MississippiWx:
The CMC takes 96L over me. Yeah, that's not happening.


I think The Upper Texas/ Louisiana/ Mississippi coasts may have to watch this closely....if it stalls and meanders right off the coast a brief landfall could be possible
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96L WunderMap®
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


That is hurricane strengh by CMC?
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691. Skyepony (Mod)
Recon down to 1003.6 mb (~ 29.64 inHg) with the winds still coming out of the NE. The last few mins the extrapolated pressure is blank as the plane drops from ~ 1,070 feet to 945' in 30secs.
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Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15788
Quoting Drakoen:


The high pressure system that I think you are looking at is in association with the trough that would pick up 96L. If you look at the 500mb charts, the ridge is oriented meridionally over the plains with a strong shortwave in the east.


So are you trying to say its plausible? I just don't see it.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


LOL So much for an upgrade i think the HWRF model has pointed at every state on the gulf coast
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:

I would prefer the UKM but dont think its gonna happen that way but would say more likely HWRF
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
200 nautical miles off of Naples, Florida..Station 42003
NDBC
Location: 26.044N 85.612W
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 16:50:00 UTC
Winds: SE (140°) at 31.1 kt gusting to 38.9 kt
Significant Wave Height: 13.8 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 11 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SSE (163°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.65 in and falling
Air Temperature: 78.6 F
Water Temperature: 82.4 F
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Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:


A category 2 isnt minimal pal.


haha yes I know but i kind of just split Hurricanes into above Cat 3's or below Cat 3's
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Quoting ncstorm:
its going to be crow next week for a lot of bloggers..I'll see if I can round up a tasty recipe..


That's why I don't make projections. I just wishcast storms away from me.
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Quoting Levi32:


Good to see you here Drak.


Good to see you as well.

I've posted my thoughts on this system in post 404 in this blog.
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96L Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Notice the nicely-saturated environment in the NW quad of 96L despite the lack of convection. It's soupy out in the Gulf of Mexico, with plenty of moisture to support development of convection all around the storm once wind shear dies down a bit.

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Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:


A category 2 isnt minimal pal.
Yes it is. You know it is to.
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Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:


A category 2 isnt minimal pal.

Technically it is... Cat 3. and above is considered a major hurricane
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting MississippiWx:
The CMC takes 96L over me. Yeah, that's not happening.


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15788
Quoting catastropheadjuster:


MWX- Thanks for telling me. I didn't know Ike was banned, He was helpful on here to. What part of Miss. you live? I'm right outside of Mobile,Al. I don't think by reading we have much to worry about. They said by sunday at Gulf Shores the waves where gonna be 5-7Ft they have red flags flying everywhere because of Rip Currents.

Sheri


Yep - there have been a few long time posters banned in the last couple of years, mostly due to stupid arguments with trolls and when admin advised them to stop, they ended up arguing with admin. Some of this happened in chat; but the trolls were able to bring it back to the main blog. I for one am sorry to see that they are gone. Luckily for us, we still have some very knowledgeable people here.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Not huge...it had Louisiana on the 00z run. CMC most likely being unrealistic taking 96L into a ridge.


The high pressure system that I think you are looking at is in association with the trough that would pick up 96L. If you look at the 500mb charts, the ridge is oriented meridionally over the plains with a strong shortwave in the east.
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Quoting ncstorm:


HUGE shift eastward..
huge shift! ugh! I'm starting to worry about my house just south of Sarasota and the constant rains tha may occur
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CMC has 20" of rain falling.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15788
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Not huge...it had Louisiana on the 00z run. CMC most likely being unrealistic taking 96L into a ridge.


Sorry..I didnt even run the 00z run all the way through this morning..I just assume it was still being left with Texas since no one really say NO was the bullseye with it..
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


That is a plausible scenario if she follows into the weakness left by the departing ULL stradling the LX/TX border but I have no idea how strong she will become over the next 24 hours.


That takes it right over the area that just had a ridiculous amount of rain in a short period of time.

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36933
The CMC takes 96L over me. Yeah, that's not happening.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Heads to Texas than C. Otherwise B.

I second that motion :P
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting Doppler22:
I wanted to do a poll :)

so Debby may form in the Gulf but how strong will she peak as?
A) Low End Tropical Storm
B) Upper end Tropical Storm
C) Minimal Hurricane (Categories 1 and 2)
D) Major Hurricane
E) Won't develope


B. Upper end Tropical Storms like most have done this time of year.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Levi has posted the link to it. See post 640.

Not a huge shift eastward but it has moved eastward. The idea of the system stalling in the northern GOM, as shown in other models as well, I definitely think is feasible in the period where the steering currents are not well defined.


Good to see you here Drak.
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its going to be crow next week for a lot of bloggers..I'll see if I can round up a tasty recipe..
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Quoting Doppler22:
I wanted to do a poll :)

so Debby may form in the Gulf but how strong will she peak as?
A) Low End Tropical Storm
B) Upper end Tropical Storm
C) Minimal Hurricane (Categories 1 and 2)
D) Major Hurricane
E) Won't develope
Heads to Texas than C. Otherwise B.
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12z ukmet tries to get close to LA then moves wsw toward south tx
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Quoting Levi32:
12z CMC still stalls and moves 96L into Louisiana with time.


That is a plausible scenario if she follows into the weakness left by the departing ULL stradling the LX/TX border but I have no idea how strong she will become over the next 24 hours.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8811
Quoting catastropheadjuster:


MWX- Thanks for telling me. I didn't know Ike was banned, He was helpful on here to. What part of Miss. you live? I'm right outside of Mobile,Al. I don't think by reading we have much to worry about. They said by sunday at Gulf Shores the waves where gonna be 5-7Ft they have red flags flying everywhere because of Rip Currents.

Sheri


I live about 50 miles inland in Hattiesburg. Was down your way last weekend in Orange Beach. It's one of my favorite places in the world. Coming down another time in July as well!
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
I wanted to do a poll :)

so Debby may form in the Gulf but how strong will she peak as?
A) Low End Tropical Storm
B) Upper end Tropical Storm
C) Minimal Hurricane (Categories 1 and 2)
D) Major Hurricane
E) Won't develope
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Quoting spathy:


That would be just too funny,,,,, and um, not good!
Maybe the GFS has in mind a trip further south around thruthe florida straits and up the east coast like Irene, I mean if the GFS is gonna dream(as per a lot of the bloggers on here) ya might as well dream real big!!.....lol
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5133
Quoting LargoFl:
...................OMG


Jedkins.. This is what you've been waiting/praying for my friend. Here comes the rain!
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Does anyone have a good link where i can find all the model runs nice and neat...I have links everywhere and its getting old..Thanks
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655. 7544
Quoting LargoFl:
...................OMG


wow its not going to move nne is it
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Quoting ncstorm:


HUGE shift eastward..


Not huge...it had Louisiana on the 00z run. CMC most likely being unrealistic taking 96L into a ridge.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting louisianaboy444:


LINK?


Levi has posted the link to it. See post 640.

Not a huge shift eastward but it has moved eastward. The idea of the system stalling in the northern GOM, as shown in other models as well, I definitely think is feasible in the period where the steering currents are not well defined.
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The 12Z CMC apparently has beef with NOLA. Not a good run for them.
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Quoting louisianaboy444:


LINK?


Nevermind
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Quoting ncstorm:


HUGE shift eastward..


It's the same path pretty much as the 00z, slightly more eastbound.

If the ECMWF starts shifting east, be concerned then.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23590
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36933
The hunters will try to determine exactly where the COC is located but looking at the big picture loops, pre-Debbie is starting to develop outflow channels in all quadrants with the exception of the Western quadrant. She is also expanding her moisture field ever so slowly towards the West and the ULL near the Texas border in the Gulf is slowly retro-grading to the West as well. This should allow her to mix out some of that dryer air to the West and really blossom later tonight as the ULL moves away.

You can see the ULL moving West and the dry air mixing out on the WV loop.

Link

You can see the current location of the ULL on the 200mb CIMMS graph. Once the ULL clears out, sheer will be a little more favorable on her Western flank as well.

Link

Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8811
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Personally, I don't think they're going to find a closed circulation with 96L, maybe at the very last pass.


I don't think a closed circulation is going to be a problem. However, they two eddies swirling around one another might not make for a "defined center." If it does, we will have at least a TD.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Remember Nate? The perfect circle cone, lol.
Almost all of the storms last year wanted to make me pull my hair out. Either we did not know where they were going or if they would develop. Not to mention they were all fairly weak. In other news the 2 storm possibility sound interesting. Having 4 storms before July would be incredible.
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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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