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 PackManWx:


They are going to Orlando... Supposed to drive down from NC on Tuesday (be there tuesday night) and stay through Sunday.

They have until Monday at 4PM to change their reservations, so they want to know by then.


It certainly looks like this weather event will decided by Sunday night unless it stalls. Having the ability to wait until Monday at 4PM is great for them. I'm sure they are biting there nails at this point; but they are just going to have to wait and see.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z GFS.. dual systems, same intensity.
I don't believe that.....
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Most notably the NAM, but quite a few other ensemble members.



Still a few strays going to Florida or other parts.

Link??
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I hope if this goes west it doesn't tease Texas and dip south and hit Mexico instead. Mexico can get the next one. Both need it so badly. Might take a large cat. one or two hitting central Texas and really moving inland without rapid dissipation to make any real difference for you fine Texans.
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Quoting AllStar17:
I can just picture it now...the NHC issuing advisories for the entire Gulf coast. LOL.


It's gonna be one big cone just like the one you put out a day or two ago.

This is what you call a "hair-pulling" system. I don't know what solution to lean towards, same can be said between Drak and Levi... makes everything harder lol.

Things are going to get really interesting indeed.
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Very likely we will see tropical storm debbie and tropical storm warnings are likely from morgan city louisiana to indian pass , florida
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The GFS was showing the back to back hits in earlier runs..Debby and Ernesto?
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Everyone thought the CMC was crazy back in 2008 when it showed that track for Fay that actually happened

I think it was the CMC anyway


CMC seems to do better on early tracking then most... but seems to have a big time problem with Intensity. Right at the start it had it going to Texas (about CAT 4).
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Howdy Drakoen, long time no see. Glad to have your input.
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Six years and WU is still the same.

At least school is out, so we don't have to worry about that until August.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Flag and Minimize.
"Ignore User" wonderful tool.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z GFS.. dual systems, same intensity.



It looks like the GFS is shearing off the mid level circulation from 96l, and merging it with the convection currently over the central U.S., which will be in place by 56 hours from now, and then re-develops a new LLC under that. Meanwhile, it continues to strengthen and develop 96L's LLC, and somehow brings that back to the east as well...problem is this scenario is just so far-fetched it's ridiculous.

The ULL is moving away, and 96L's LLC is moving west or WSW right now...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Gfs=unrealistic!!!
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Starting to look more symmetrical around the suppose new LLC while the old COC is being spit out and heading west. It seem like this could be the last center the be ejected by 96L thus meaning the system is just trying to establish a dominant LLC within the convection in order to be upgraded to TS Debby. Lastest shear tendency map suggest by this evening the moderate shearing by an ULL over Mexico which is moving SW will drop to under 15 knots thus giving the system room to develop an outflow channel to its west. Finally this developing anticyclone will align itself with the new LLC. We could instantly, having a TS by then. The GFS has emerge as the dominant model for it was depicting this to happened all the while however it was though to be just some "Convective Feedback." With a develop LLC further NE of the old one Look for a possible shift east towards Florida. There is still uncertainty but it should be watch anywhere from Texas to Florida.
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Seems the area of lowest pressure is east of the marked low. Further more the low was either just ejected or is rotating around a larger low.

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Quoting spathy:


Unbelievable.
It seems the more things change the more they stay the same.

I am starting to think this set up might be possible.
I know....
Crazy talk but who knows!


Everyone thought the CMC was crazy back in 2008 when it showed that track for Fay that actually happened

I think it was the CMC anyway


Also the GFS seems to do pretty well with predicting multiple vorticies
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Quoting txtwister78:

Joe Bastardi changing his thinking this morning...now saying system will take a more westward track and miss the trough. He's got the COC at 26 N 87.5 W


I thought I saw something on here a few days back of him thinking it was going to Texas
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cyber, that model run you just posted

that would be valid Monday night at 8PM correct?
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Hi everyone, I just wrote another blog post on Invest 96L describing the current situation as well computer model track and intensity forecasts.

For anyone interested you can read it here:

Link

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Hey orca!


Morning... another year... another Blob :)
Here we go again.. still trying to figure out who is who in the zoo.
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Quoting Drakoen:
I thought that it was interesting that the CMC that has been so adamant in taking 96L into Mexico now wants to take it into Louisiana. Just gives you an idea of how complicated the steering is for this system.


Long time no talk, Drak. Hope school is going well and looking forward to seeing you around.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z GFS.. dual systems, same intensity.


another llc spun off after landfall? lol
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471. 7544
south fla still stays in the running
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Quoting weatherlover94:


well if they are out we may have an upgrade at 2:00 pm


I thought that we'd have a definitive center by the time they got there today too, but I wouldn't be surprised to still see competing LLCs and no designation even after the flight...unless there's a dramatic change while they're on their way.
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.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z GFS.. dual systems, same intensity.


WOW!
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Over NOLA right now

Hey orca!
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I can just picture it now...the NHC issuing advisories for the entire Gulf coast. LOL.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting Orcasystems:


He has been here many times before... I think this is just the latest reincarnation.


I figured.

;)
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Two eddys just west of the main circulation

This is no tropical storm.... Some could even argue that this circulation isn't even developed enough to be considered a td
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Starting to get first obs from the recon, should be there in an hour or so.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Quoting WPBHurricane05:


Lol...you've been here since June 20th. Both are young forecasters with a lot to learn. Both of their opinions should be respected, but they are just that...opinions (though, a bit more educated).

Just sit back and enjoy the show. Where she goes, nobody knows.


He has been here many times before... I think this is just the latest reincarnation.
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12z GFS.. dual systems, same intensity.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
I'm really feeling bad for the people vacationing on the Carnival Paradise, Legend, and Destiny.... Looks like the Carnival Conquest is heading towards the coc.
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458. 7544
gfs really like this trof take it more east and south than the last run i would not let your guard down yet in fla north and south in less than 96hours
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Does anyone think they have wishcasters at NHC?
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Quoting seriousman1:


NO DISRESPECT TO DRAKE ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!levi and drake is like the siants playing tulane in the super bowl...no contest LEVI wins hands down...DRAKE has a lot more to learn before he competes with LEVI...my money is on levi i would rate the odds like this LEVI IS 1/9 AND DRAKE 99/1


Lol...you've been here since June 20th. Both are young forecasters with a lot to learn. Both of their opinions should be respected, but they are just that...opinions (though, a bit more educated).

Just sit back and enjoy the show. Where she goes, nobody knows.
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I thought that it was interesting that the CMC that has been so adamant in taking 96L into Mexico now wants to take it into Louisiana. Just gives you an idea of how complicated the steering is for this system.
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Levi's site has really good data for tracking Recon:

Tropical Tidbits Recon
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting AllStar17:
Recon info now showing up on Google Earth.


well if they are out we may have an upgrade at 2:00 pm
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Quoting hydrus:
There is very good outflow on the S.E side. This makes me worry.


worry about what?
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Quoting dearmas:
Is recon in flight yet??


Over NOLA right now
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Quoting dearmas:
Is recon in flight yet??


Yes.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Is recon in flight yet??
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267

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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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