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 luvtogolf:
Crown Weather says no chance for Florida. Expect landfall around Corpus Christi as a minimal hurricane.


It does seem that way. The ridge will be in place, and the envelope is open to the west right now anyway.
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So I get that the storm may move north and stall.. or it may not stall at all.. who knows..

When will we most likely know definitively which way it will move?

By monday morning?
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Quoting E46Pilot:
Not seeing any rotation out of this yet. There is some nice banding and outflow to the north east but, too much dry air in the west.

However.....what is that circulation out in the Atlantic??

An Upper Level Low.
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Quoting E46Pilot:
Not seeing any rotation out of this yet. There is some nice banding and outflow to the north east but, too much dry air in the west.

However.....what is that circulation out in the Atlantic??


That's an upper-level low.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting luvtogolf:
Crown Weather says no chance for Florida. Expect landfall around Corpus Christi as a minimal hurricane.
Not a big fan od Crown.Do not know for sure if this statement was what they said, if so, How can anyone, repeat, "anyone" say it will or it won't when even the NHC is not sure what will happen. I am very skeptical of this type of statement.
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Not seeing any rotation out of this yet. There is some nice banding and outflow to the north east but, too much dry air in the west.

However.....what is that circulation out in the Atlantic??

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poll time

how strong will Debby be at Landfall?

A: 40 mph or less
B: 50 mph
C: 60-70 mph
D: 75-90 mph
E: stronger than 90 mph
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Quoting mobileshadow:
This is the first Tropical system since the BP oil spill that will effect the Northern Gulf Of Mexico. It's either going to break the oil up or bring it to places that you would never expect to see oil . Debby the Oil Cane :(


TS Lee?
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Quoting weatherlover94:
UKMET showing Galveston Texas as a landfall location

Seems like somewhwere around Galveston will be the landfall area
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1140
Quoting Tribucanes:
Strongest winds in the southeast flank of Debby? (gonna go ahead and call her that) Any chance this could be found to be already a 50/55mph TS?

Honestly it wouldn't surprise me... A lot of times these big, ugly systems have winds stronger than it appears and often not near the center too.
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This is the first Tropical system since the BP oil spill that will effect the Northern Gulf Of Mexico. It's either going to break the oil up or bring it to places that you would never expect to see oil . Debby the Oil Cane :(
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 183
184. Gorty
Quoting RTSplayer:


Euro suggests a couple weak waves will form and pass through the Caribbean between now and then, but it doesn't do anything with them, they just move west into Central America as "weak waves".


Thanks. You are a good help :)
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
Strongest winds in the southeast flank of Debby? (gonna go ahead and call her that) Any chance this could be found to be already a 50/55mph TS?
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181. Gorty
And this upcoming October will already be the one year anniversary of the record breaking snow storm that affected me badly! Tons of downed trees/big branches and limbs and power lines/poles. my power was out for about a week. We were so unprepared that we were chopping wood and getting wood ready for a fire on the day of the storm. So luckily my grandmother had power.

I got 10 inches of heavy-wet snow from it.
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
Quoting Gorty:


So will the tropics be quiet after Debby for a while?


Euro suggests a couple weak waves will form and pass through the Caribbean between now and then, but it doesn't do anything with them, they just move west into Central America as "weak waves".
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The 12z run of the NAM wants to send the invest due North then to the West
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UKMET showing Galveston Texas as a landfall location
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Quoting weatherlover94:
Are any of the models showing a hurricane so far this morning ?

ECMWF, CMC, UKMET.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting ILOVESTORMS23:
still waiting on the 4 to 10 inches of rain they have been forcasting for central florida the past 3 days so far not a drop didnt get the 4 to 8 inches from beryl either that was forcasted nor any wind. another goof


We've been getting all your rain down here in Miami. Please take it. It was raining so hard last night and the swales at the sides of the road were so full, it was difficult to see the center line on the streets driving home.
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UKMET
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1140
Crown Weather says no chance for Florida. Expect landfall around Corpus Christi as a minimal hurricane.
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from pinellas county emergency management, this is when we here in this county would be under an evacuation order...........All mobile home residents are required to evacuate when any evacuation order is issued, regardless of their evacuation level. This has not changed from past years. Mobile homes are considered unsafe to weather even a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm.
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Based on radar estimated 1 hour running totals, if the eastern bands were to train over someone for 24 hours on land, they would get over 19 inches of rain.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Departing at noon, should reach the storm around 2PM EDT.


Thank you ;)
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Nope, Wisconsin, I have no horse in the race. My percentages were based on given likely tracks by the models. So it'll probably hit New Orleans.
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Quoting KeyWestwx:
Hey- if you live in palm beach The breakers hotel has an excellent streaming webcam focused on the ocean and beach http://www.earthcam.com/usa/florida/palmbeach
The closest I can get to the Breakers is a drive-by on A1A.........I will have to check out the web cam.thanks
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Are any of the models showing a hurricane so far this morning ?
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Storm probability map that Keeper likes to show had some purple in Western Africa over land. So some low probability the next wave off may be conducive.
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Quoting AllStar17:


Would it really them 2 hours to get there? Are they stopping at Dunkin' Donuts? LOL.
Allstar.They are not law enforcement officers
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Thank you Tropical.........Someone here does not read my whole post
Hey- if you live in palm beach The breakers hotel has an excellent streaming webcam focused on the ocean and beach http://www.earthcam.com/usa/florida/palmbeach
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164. Gorty
Quoting RTSplayer:


The next significant tropical wave that the GFS picks up on is at the very end of the model run, so that could be exaggerated. It's two weeks out, so probably still on the middle or east side of the African continent.


So will the tropics be quiet after Debby for a while?
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
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Quoting AllStar17:


Would it really them 2 hours to get there? Are they stopping at Dunkin' Donuts? LOL.


that means we could have Debby at 5:00 pm
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12z yesterday 30 hours


00z today-30 hours


Yep, it became consolidated better
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Because they'll use the models merely as partial input, not the entire basis of their forecast. Along with the models, they'll incorporate their combined hundreds of years of education, wisdom, and experience to come up with a best guess (and probably a very large initial cone).


Where's that restaurant that has to great pies in Naples:
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
anyone think that this jump to the north could favor a more eastern track? It is much closer to the front than it was yesterday


Not much of a trough left on the WV loop. Though the possibility is there.

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Quoting tornadodude:
Leaving for intercept soon. Destination....


Oh crap..



What a jumbled up mess lol
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Departing at noon, should reach the storm around 2PM EDT.


Would it really them 2 hours to get there? Are they stopping at Dunkin' Donuts? LOL.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
156. wxmod


BeijingAir ‏@BeijingAir

06-23-2012 22:00; PM2.5; 224.0; 274; Very Unhealthy (at 24-hour exposure at this level)
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Quoting Tribucanes:
60percent Texas 35percent Alabama/Florida 5percent other

and let me guess that you live in Texas and want a storm :)
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 183
Quoting Gorty:
So is Earnesto coming up next in the next couple weeks or not?


The next significant tropical wave that the GFS picks up on is at the very end of the model run, so that could be exaggerated. It's two weeks out, so probably still on the middle or east side of the African continent.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
My guess is an ATCF renumber to "Debby" before that--perhaps within the next 90 minutes or so--followed by official NHC classification shortly thereafter via a Special Outlook.


That could very well happen.. with a TWO at 2 p.m. saying advisories will be issued shortly. 100% chance as well...
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
Link

1km...you can really see those low level clouds getting sucked in....imo this thing is ready to go...
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Quoting dearmas:
What time does reon go out today???

Thanks ;)

Departing at noon, should reach the storm around 2PM EDT.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting tornadodude:
Leaving for intercept soon. Destination....


Oh crap..



well..... at least they agree that it won't go due south (considering the green one as an outlier..


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Quoting tornadodude:
Leaving for intercept soon. Destination....


Oh crap..



... which way will it go ... which way will it go ...
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I've made a NEW BLOG on 96L, feel free to peruse and comment as you wish!

96L: To Be, or Not To Be?
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Read the "mobile home" part.Been through a brush with Andrew, Headon with Francis and Jeanne, And a horrible time with Wilma...This was all in a CBS house.As I said.Hate to be in a mobile home in a Cat 2
People overreact to storms, I have been in Nor'easters with 60-65mph winds with almost 90 mph gusts, but if it had a name, Holy Crap, thats 2 weeks of news there.
A TS is not that bad, unless of course you live in a super flood prone area
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.