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 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.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Wow I reaaaallly wish there was a live feed from those hurricane hunter aircraft.
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Quoting Drakoen:
New CMC 12z takes 96L into extreme eastern Louisiana.


HUGE shift eastward..
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Quoting Drakoen:
New CMC 12z takes 96L into extreme eastern Louisiana.


LINK?
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Pretty sure I've seen Floodman and sammy around this season. Ike was banned and hasn't circumvented it like most other people do.


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
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Personally, I don't think they're going to find a closed circulation with 96L, maybe at the very last pass.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23880
12z CMC still stalls and moves 96L into Louisiana with time.
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As mentioned, shear is currently the biggest issue holding back the storm.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6536
Quoting MississippiWx:


You clearly weren't around with Dolly.


I started pulling out my hair with that one.

Her and Fay would. never. close. OFF. It was ridiculous. They looked like beauties on satellite, but nothing was going on at the surface for days.

Just goes to show that sometimes you really can't judge what's going on by satellite and you have to look at stuff like the CIMSS puts out, ASCAT, ect.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23880
...................OMG
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37950
New CMC 12z takes 96L into extreme eastern Louisiana.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
Pulling in...

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Big rain shield in the gulf moving on in.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Guess you were not here last year then lol.

Remember Nate? The perfect circle cone, lol.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7733
low clould product
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37950
Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:
This has got to be the worst system I ever tracked.


90% of storms in this area and in this time of year are like this.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I agree... Dry air really isn't a problem...



The problem is definitely shear.
Yep wind shear from the upper level low in the western gulf.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I agree... Dry air really isn't a problem...



The problem is definitely shear.


Yeah... it's that darn ULL off of Texas. It should move away allowing 96L to organize further in due time.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37950
Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:
This has got to be the worst system I ever tracked.
Guess you were not here last year then lol.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting washingaway:
This is why you cannot rely on charts. The graphic below is false. Visial satelite observation shows shear is much higher.





The GFS may have been right all along. The system appears to be spliting in two, with the mid level circulation breaking off to the northeast.


That chart is not wrong. It shows much of the thunderstorms are under 30 knots of shear. Its accompanying chart should make that even clearer.

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Quoting mynameispaul:


Seems like if it goes north or west it hits a lot of dry air.


I think your right too, that ULL is in fact pumping dry into it, I don't care how moist the WV shows the Gulf. At some level dry air has always been in this storm. You could see it all day yesterday with the constant collapsing outflow boundaries along its western side. I do think the longer this meanders the Gulf less the dry air will become an issue.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


I beg to differ on this. I think the two eddies are the center of circulation and that they are beginning to merge to form one main center. Looking at the RGB loops confirms this as one can see all of the lower level clouds rotating around that swirl system. The other supposed turning in the convection is the mid-level center and it isn't stacked. And 96L won't be classified until they meet:


...and that center of circulation is moving West and IMO i think the moisture and convection will follow it. The dry air that people are saying is going to inhibit it in the western Gulf im not seein all that much dry air, although its not as moist im just not seein the 96L killing dry air. The shear also is higher than the map i agree but not by all that much. All just in my opinion.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting TropicalWxBlogger:
This has got to be the worst system I ever tracked.


You clearly weren't around with Dolly.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37950
Quoting catastropheadjuster:
I've just got to say, It's so nice to see alot of the oldies back, not saying you all are old just the handles. I've been lurking like I do all the time and all the new names and hadn't seen none of the regulars started getting worried. but let me ask something some are still missing like Floodman,Ike,Sammywhammy,and a few others. has anyone seen them? Thank you all for coming back, A lot of us like to read what you say and really understand it. I may get reported for this being off subject but I felt like I had to say it.
Gone back to lurking.

Sheri


Pretty sure I've seen Floodman and sammy around this season. Ike was banned and hasn't circumvented it like most other people do.
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Link
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Pressure is already tanking as recon nears 96L's center. It's a short flight from Biloxi.

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Quoting tropicfreak:


I don't think the air is dry enough to hurt the system.... besides look at the moisture field this thing has.

I agree... Dry air really isn't a problem...



The problem is definitely shear.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7733
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37950
I've just got to say, It's so nice to see alot of the oldies back, not saying you all are old just the handles. I've been lurking like I do all the time and all the new names and hadn't seen none of the regulars started getting worried. but let me ask something some are still missing like Floodman,Ike,Sammywhammy,and a few others. has anyone seen them? Thank you all for coming back, A lot of us like to read what you say and really understand it. I may get reported for this being off subject but I felt like I had to say it.
Gone back to lurking.

Sheri
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Quoting nola70119:




Look at all the black areas over the US.

Most of the moisture is south of the storm...the area of black wrapped along that coast, thats all a high pressure that his been there for a few days now.

As the storm moves North it will suck in that air, and see you later.

This isn't real advanced science.


I don't think the air is dry enough to hurt the system.... besides look at the moisture field this thing has.
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Quoting washingaway:
This is why you cannot rely on charts. The graphic below is false. Visial satelite observation shows shear is much higher.





The GFS may have been right all along. The system appears to be spliting in two, with the mid level circulation breaking off to the northeast.


The GFS is showing the convection off the coast of Florida splitting and developing it's low, not the circulation splitting. People seem to be getting this fact confused.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23880
Come on and pump the ridge 96L!!!
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16756
... FWIW..... This is what Impact Weather thinks

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This is why you cannot rely on charts. The graphic below is false. Visial satelite observation shows shear is much higher.





The GFS may have been right all along. The system appears to be spliting in two, with the mid level circulation breaking off to the northeast.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
One simple closer look at the satellite reveals that the 'swirl' we are seeing us not actually be the circulation, rather two eddye's rotating around eachother.

Loop this satellite image, you'll see what I'm talking about.


I beg to differ on this. I think the two eddies are the center of circulation and that they are beginning to merge to form one main center. Looking at the RGB loops confirms this as one can see all of the lower level clouds rotating around that swirl system. The other supposed turning in the convection is the mid-level center and it isn't stacked. And 96L won't be classified until they meet:

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Quoting MississippiWx:


Sure, but they are rotating around a common center, which is basically in between them. The center is very much exposed.


That's what I'm talking about. The circulation is exposed, but the swirls we are seeing aren't the circulation, just eddyes.

Obviously, conditions aren't great but they are no means 'not what we expected', this is exactly what we expected as a matter of fact. As the ULAC expands and the ULL moves out, conditions will improve for development into a tropical cyclone later today or tomorrow.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23880
Quoting ILwthrfan:


I do not like the idea of this stalling, intensification could become a real issue if it ever gets stacked, even if it doesn't the flooding could poise some serious issues over a wide area of the Gulf.


Seems like if it goes north or west it hits a lot of dry air.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
the next 3 name storms up in line after D is E F and G storms

Now thats some funny stuff right there:)
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Cloud motions do not support a "new low" forming under the convection. The exposed center is just that, exposed. Wind shear has been a problem the entire time and is no different right now. The current location of the exposed center is the exact area that the European, CMC, UKM, etc. have been showing consolidation and cyclogenesis.



I do not like the idea of this stalling, intensification could become a real issue if it ever gets stacked, even if it doesn't the flooding could poise some serious issues over a wide area of the Gulf.
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Not that the Weather Channel is always right, but they ID'd the "swirl" as the center of circulation in the past 10 minutes.

Quoting CybrTeddy:
One simple closer look at the satellite reveals that the 'swirl' we are seeing us not actually be the circulation, rather two eddye's rotating around eachother.

Loop this satellite image, you'll see what I'm talking about.
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Movement based on Tropical Atlantic information on the stystem.

6 Hour Average Movement ( About ):

Toward the N or 10°
At 10.2 knots (11.7 mph | 18.9 km/h)

12 Hour Average Movement (About):

Toward the N or 7°
At 10.6 knots (12.2 mph | 19.7 km/h)
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6536
Quoting CybrTeddy:
One simple closer look at the satellite reveals that the 'swirl' we are seeing us not actually be the circulation, rather two eddye's rotating around eachother.

Loop this satellite image, you'll see what I'm talking about.


Sure, but they are rotating around a common center, which is basically in between them. The center is very much exposed.
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Out on the usual limb but there's been a spot of bad weather over the UK

Up to 500 properties were flooded in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, after a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18564518

Drop in the ocean ( or rather from the ocean compared to what other places are getting but all part of warm up the air and turn on the showers!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
One simple closer look at the satellite reveals that the 'swirl' we are seeing us not actually be the circulation, rather two eddye's rotating around eachother.

Loop this satellite image, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Did you get that from stormchaser2007?
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


It's not a defined or dominant LLC

There appears to appear to be two eddys orbiting each other

Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842

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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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