Tropical Storm Andrea Forms in Gulf of Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:15 PM GMT on June 05, 2013

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The Atlantic has its first named storm of the 2013 hurricane season: Tropical Storm Andrea. An Air Force hurricane hunter plane was able to locate a closed center of circulation, and found surface winds of 40 mph in the large area of thunderstorms on the east side of the center. Satellite loops show that Andrea is a lopsided storm. It's center of circulation is exposed to view, due to a large region of dry air that covers the entire Central and Western Gulf of Mexico. This dry air is from a trough of low pressure whose upper level winds are also creating moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots over Andrea. Wind shear is forecast to rise to the high range, 20 - 40 knots, by Thursday. Andrea is forecast to make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida by Thursday evening, so the system has a short window of time to intensify. Given the large amount of dry air to Andrea's west, and the forecast for increasing shear up until landfall, I expect that the strongest sustained winds Andrea could have before landfall are 50 mph. Heavy rains will be the storm's main threat, though a few isolated EF-0 tornadoes will also be possible in some of the heavier thunderstorms in Andrea's spiral bands. A storm surge of 2 - 4 feet is predicted for Tampa Bay northward to Apalachicola, and rip currents will be a risk for swimmers who brave the high surf. Fort Pickens, located in Gulf Islands National Seashore on a barrier island offshore from Pensacola, Florida, has been closed to visitors due to the approaching storm. A single 2-lane road vulnerable to storm surges runs to Fort Pickens. Officials want to prevent a repeat of the situation that occurred in September 2011, when Tropical Storm Lee pushed a storm surge over the road that blocked it with sand and debris, trapping numerous campers and visitors in Fort Pickens. As of 7 pm EDT, our wundermap with the storm surge layer turned on was showing storm surge levels were less than 1 foot along the Florida coast.


Figure 1. MODIS image of Tropical Storm Andrea in its formative stages, taken at 12:20 pm EDT Wednesday, June 5, 2013, five hours before it was named. Image credit: NASA.

Andrea's place in history
Andrea formed in a typical location for early-season storms. The Gulf of Mexico, Western Caribbean, and Bahamas are the usual areas for the genesis of June tropical storms. Andrea's formation date of June 5 is over a month earlier than the average July 9 date for formation of the season's first named storm. On average, the Atlantic sees one June named storm every two years. In 2012, we'd already had two named storms by this point in the season--Alberto and Beryl. This year is the second time a storm named Andrea has appeared in the Atlantic. The previous incarnation, Subtropical Storm Andrea of 2007, wandered off the U.S. East Coast in May, and never made landfall. The 2013 version of Andrea is highly unlikely to get its name retired, and we'll be seeing a third coming of the storm in 2019.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting scottsvb:


False... many parts of Tampa and St Pete are prone to flooding..especially near 9th street in St Pete,and close to the bay, also Bayshore and parts of S Tampa


Actually, it just seems that way because we get a lot of heavy rain events during the rainy season. However, the area in general is not flood prone and can handle far more rainfall than most regions. Of course there are pockets that flood easier. However that is a given, there will always be pockets of flood prone regions no matter where you live.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6859
Also, another thing that is often overlooked, as you get farther from the radar, a larger volume is being sampled, so you will generally get stronger returns the farther you get from the radar.
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


I do not understand that seeing 65dbz and at from miami radar.....about 110 miles? to naples? how can it be so wrong and only sprinkles or light rain falling?

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531. Skyepony (Mod)
Recon is there, they are descending into the storm.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
I was just reading an interesting article about the ten most vulnerable and overdue cities for hurricanes. Four of the ten were in Florida. But the one that surprised me was Providence, RI.


That seemed a bit odd to me.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


Stay safe and hopefully you'll only get rain and no flooding.

Thanks I will try to update if anything significant happens.
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Rainy in Texas.

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She's holding her own. I think she got slightly weaker this evening but is coming back.. So her pressure probably went up to 1004-1005 and is dropping back down to its current 1002 and might make it down to 999 or 1000 by mid-morning but we'll see. 45mph still seems correct but wouldn't shock me if we get 50mph(if it does break the 1000mb level)
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I was just reading an interesting article about the ten most vulnerable and overdue cities for hurricanes. Four of the ten were in Florida. But the one that surprised me was Providence, RI.
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Quoting scottsvb:


False... many parts of Tampa and St Pete are prone to flooding..especially near 9th street in St Pete,and close to the bay, also Bayshore and parts of S Tampa
Correct, I should have said north Tampa.
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I see that Andrea's track has shifted more to the east after it reaches Virginia. Why the change? Will there be a storm front pushing it out from the west, or is it all the wishful thinking going on up here in the Northeast?

May all the roads in Florida hold up through the rains. We're still waiting for some roads (which were washed out a few weeks ago) to be repaired.
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Quoting tropicalnewbee:


I know what you mean I was hit by Floyd...twice! and we had quite a bit of "fun" when Fay hung out right over us for quite awhile. As scary as it is, it was just a matter of time before the right conditions came into play to cause multiple land-falling storms for the east coast. I am in E.CENT. FL Brevard county, Titusville. We are going to get a decent amount of trouble from Andrea as she crosses and re-strengthens (maybe?) just off the east coast.


Stay safe and hopefully you'll only get rain and no flooding.
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1001.9 mb
(~ 29.59 inHg)
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Time: 05:00:30Z
Coordinates: 26.6667N 86.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.9 mb (~ 24.89 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,502 meters (~ 4,928 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1002.0 mb (~ 29.59 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 39° at 3 knots (From the NE at ~ 3.4 mph)
Air Temp: 16.7°C (~ 62.1°F)
Dew Pt: 15.9°C (~ 60.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 4 knots (~ 4.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 13 knots (~ 14.9 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr (~ 0.04 in/hr)
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Sorry I had to put bold and bigger letters in that post. I wanted to show other that I wasn't faking the picture and that I'm still trustable. Don't take it personal :)

Not at all. It didn't show up on Google image search, which is usually the first sign of a fake...or a picture that was just posted but not indexed yet, which was obviously the case here. I wonder how many equipment violation citations they've gotten so far. :-)
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Quoting TampaCat5:
I don't expect Andrea to be worse than what we had in North Tampa on June 1st. A large area got rains above 5" in about 3 hours or less (that's about the average rainfall for the entire month of June). Intersections became impassible that I have never seen become impassible in my entire life as a Tampa native. A lot of rain in a short amount of time is very dangerous. The Tampa Bay area has good storm water drainage thanks to previous floods and subsequent improvements and can handle plenty of rain as long as it is not all at once.


False... many parts of Tampa and St Pete are prone to flooding..especially near 9th street in St Pete,and close to the bay, also Bayshore and parts of S Tampa
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


I called a hiatus after Ike four years ago. Came close to it failing with Isaac, but he stalled and then went north. We had two days off school for him and with electric. (I'm a teacher and enjoy those days more than the kids sometimes) But being hit by a hurricane is no fun.


I know what you mean I was hit by Floyd...twice! and we had quite a bit of "fun" when Fay hung out right over us for quite awhile. As scary as it is, it was just a matter of time before the right conditions came into play to cause multiple land-falling storms for the east coast. I am in E.CENT. FL Brevard county, Titusville. We are going to get a decent amount of trouble from Andrea as she crosses and re-strengthens (maybe?) just off the east coast.
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Time: 04:51:30Z
Coordinates: 26.9833N 86.65W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.9 mb (~ 24.89 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,522 meters (~ 4,993 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1004.7 mb (~ 29.67 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 54° at 31 knots (From the NE at ~ 35.6 mph)
Air Temp: 16.0°C (~ 60.8°F)
Dew Pt: 15.6°C (~ 60.1°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 32 knots (~ 36.8 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 29 knots (~ 33.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
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I don't expect Andrea to be worse than what we had in North Tampa on June 1st. A large area got rains above 5" in about 3 hours or less (http://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/ViewDailyPrecipR eport.aspx?DailyPrecipReportID=d00ff69a-358d-47f7- b56c-196499a6246c example) (that's about the average rainfall for the entire month of June). Intersections became impassible that I have never seen become impassible in my entire life as a Tampa native. A lot of rain in a short amount of time is very dangerous. The Tampa Bay area has good storm water drainage thanks to previous floods and subsequent improvements and can handle plenty of rain as long as it is not all at once.
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I'm off to bed. Have a good night everybody!
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Thanks for all the answers guys and gals
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Is there some kind of thermal inverson/cap causing the rain to be lighter?

There's a thermal ducting event going on for sure. I'm picking up Jacksonville weather radio from Eufaula AL, and I'm able to hit repeaters in Destin and Panama City, both of which I can't do unless we have thermal ducting.
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Quoting tropicalnewbee:


From the look of the setup of the B/A high and other factors it seems like we might be in for more than our share of land-falling storms this year. Just my humble opinion based on the info from various mets and storm predictions for this season. There might be a fish storm or a few but it seems the east coast is under the gun this year.


I called a hiatus after Ike four years ago. Came close to it failing with Isaac, but he stalled and then went north. We had two days off school for him and with electric. (I'm a teacher and enjoy those days more than the kids sometimes) But being hit by a hurricane is no fun.
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Quoting sar2401:

Arf! That was me. I take it back. That video is hilarious. I wonder why they went to the trouble of putting a wood bumper on the front? Still, I'd say the resale value of that car is nill. :-)
Sorry I had to put bold and bigger letters in that post. I wanted to show other that I wasn't faking the picture and that I'm still trustable. Don't take it personal :)
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510. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting TampaCat5:
Because Naples is so far from the radar. The farther you get the higher up it sees. So it might be picking up precipitation that is not un the ground yet or is still fighting with an updraft.



Looking up for most of the day it looks like the rain isn't hardly reaching the ground.

It just went from a heavy mist to a drizzle here.
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Recon will enter Andrea's NW LLC in about 5 minutes
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
To the guy that said I photoshopped this picture...



This picture is legit. Look at the Youtube video:



Here's the picture of the car before it was what it look like now:






Arf! That was me. I take it back. That video is hilarious. I wonder why they went to the trouble of putting a wood bumper on the front? Still, I'd say the resale value of that car is nill. :-)
Edit: I also noticed they changed out the rims and put a lot more expensive ones on the wreck. What's up with that?
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


I do not understand that seeing 65dbz and at from miami radar.....about 110 miles? to naples? how can it be so wrong and only sprinkles or light rain falling?


Be careful, just because a blogger is reporting something doesn't mean its true. Rainfall in tropical systems is actually heavier than the radar "thinks" in regards to convection. Stratiform precip is about the same regardless though.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6859
Recon underway!!!
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


LOL, nope, just breakfast and now energy food for nights like this.

Despite the forecast of a big season, I hope they all go out to sea and we just have the fun of tracking them.


From the look of the setup of the B/A high and other factors it seems like we might be in for more than our share of land-falling storms this year. Just my humble opinion based on the info from various mets and storm predictions for this season. There might be a fish storm or a few but it seems the east coast is under the gun this year.
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504. Skyepony (Mod)
Observation Time: Thursday, 4:31Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 27.7N 87.5W
Location: 190 miles (306 km) to the S (185°) from Pensacola, FL, USA.
Turbulence: None
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 1,520 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 60° at 24 knots (From the ENE at ~ 27.6 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 15°C
Flight Level Dew Point: 14°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Unknown, either due to darkness or some other cause
850 mb Surface Altitude: 1,486 geopotential meters

Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...

Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 15 knots (~ 17.3mph)

Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...

NW ENTRY PT
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Because Naples is so far from the radar. The farther you get the higher up it sees. So it might be picking up precipitation that is not on the ground yet or is still fighting with an updraft.
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


I do not understand that seeing 65dbz and at from miami radar.....about 110 miles? to naples? how can it be so wrong and only sprinkles or light rain falling?

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502. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Why the loop from HH...possible mech probs? or?

They chucked a dropsonde (calibrating SFMR & things) & did a recco there.


Date: Near the closest hour of 4Z on the 6th day of the month
Highest Mandatory Level For Which Wind Was Reported: 850mb
Coordinates: 27.9N 87.6W
Location: 177 miles (285 km) to the S (188°) from Pensacola, FL, USA.
Marsden Square: 081 (About)

Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
1009mb (29.80 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 26.0°C (78.8°F) 22.3°C (72.1°F) 55° (from the NE) 17 knots (20 mph)
1000mb 82m (269 ft) 25.2°C (77.4°F) 22.0°C (71.6°F) 55° (from the NE) 20 knots (23 mph)
925mb 763m (2,503 ft) 20.2°C (68.4°F) 18.2°C (64.8°F) 80° (from the E) 24 knots (28 mph)
850mb 1,491m (4,892 ft) 17.2°C (63.0°F) 14.1°C (57.4°F) 70° (from the ENE) 25 knots (29 mph)
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Why the loop from HH...possible mech probs? or?

They dropped the keys out of the window again. :-) Actually, I don't really know, but I've heard they fly a predermined flight path and sometimes miss a pass on the GPS, so do a go-round and catch it right...or, they really did drop the keys out of the window again.
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Quoting lobdelse81:
Good evening Aislinnpaps! Thanks for the delicious images of breakfast foods that you provide us each morning. Do you provide dinner too, lol?


LOL, nope, just breakfast and now energy food for nights like this.

Despite the forecast of a big season, I hope they all go out to sea and we just have the fun of tracking them.
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Quoting whitewabit:
Blog Moderation

Ah, thank you. I actually suggested this several years ago and I'm glad to see it was implemented. I've noticed that trolls and other general nuisances were being eliminated much quicker lately but didn't know why.
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Why the loop from HH...possible mech probs? or?
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ime: 04:41:30Z
Coordinates: 27.3667N 87.0667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.3 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,541 meters (~ 5,056 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1007.4 mb (~ 29.75 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 63° at 28 knots (From the ENE at ~ 32.2 mph)
Air Temp: 15.6°C (~ 60.1°F)
Dew Pt: 14.2°C (~ 57.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 28 knots (~ 32.2 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 21 knots (~ 24.1 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
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Quoting sar2401:

I swear, some of the radars dramatically overdepict storms. I've been under some of those red and orange lines and I get a quarter inch, 15 mph gusts, and maybe three flashes of lightning. At least it's not those dang rainbow things though. I've been under what looked like a violent storm shown on a rainbow loop when there were literally clear skies.

It also seems as if radars in the tropics are more likely to underestimate the intensity of storms.
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Is there some kind of thermal inverson/cap causing the rain to be lighter?
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Good evening Aislinnpaps! Thanks for the delicious images of breakfast foods that you provide us each morning. Do you provide dinner too, lol?
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Finally! A good down pour in Sebring area. Good sleep weather...
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Hurricane Hunters are almost there.
Member Since: March 25, 2013 Posts: 29 Comments: 943
Quoting Skyepony:
AF303 is on it's way to Andrea.


I could see her getting to be more than 45kts. There is that warm eddie there & at some point it's going to get whisked by that trof. At which point some baroclonic forcing should take place even once extratropical.

That trough that helped touch this off, now departing in the Atlantic that is the tail so to speak from those tornadoes that included El Reno. This is what I was talking about a few days ago. Having this large unorganized multi-skipping vorticity, playing off the influence of that trough. This brings some tornadic conditions to FL. Watching CAPE





He must have lost internet or something. He disappears on us occasionally without warning. I don't know where he is. He will be back.


He is in Toronto... And I bet he will be back on the blog too.
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"x" marks the spot of the disorganized tropical storm's center.

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Quoting StormJunkie:
I can somewhat understand the satellite being erroneous
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488. Skyepony (Mod)
AF303 is on it's way to Andrea.


I could see her getting to be more than 45kts. There is that warm eddie there & at some point it's going to get whisked by that trof. At which point some baroclonic forcing should take place even once extratropical.

That trough that helped touch this off, now departing in the Atlantic that is the tail so to speak from those tornadoes that included El Reno. This is what I was talking about a few days ago. Having this large unorganized multi-skipping vorticity, playing off the influence of that trough. This brings some tornadic conditions to FL. Watching CAPE




Quoting floridaT:
first named storm and no KEEPER OF THE GATE ?

He must have lost internet or something. He disappears on us occasionally without warning. I don't know where he is. He will be back.
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To the guy that said I photoshopped this picture...



This picture is legit. Look at the Youtube video:



Here's the picture of the car before it is what it look like now:





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Quoting Ameister12:
WPac is beginning to awaken.

It looks pretty ominous.
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radar=echo return? no? this seems to be occurring all over the west coast of florida with this storm.
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Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
Quoting sar2401:

I swear, some of the radars dramatically overdepict storms. I've been under some of those red and orange lines and I get a quarter inch, 15 mph gusts, and maybe three flashes of lightning. At least it's not those dang rainbow things though. I've been under what looked like a violent storm shown on a rainbow loop when there were literally clear skies.


I do not understand that seeing 65dbz and at from miami radar.....about 110 miles? to naples? how can it be so wrong and only sprinkles or light rain falling?
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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.

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