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 CybrTeddy:


Then what was Hurricane Earl then?
Apparently that was just a typical afternoon thunderstorm to him.
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1132. VR46L
A closer look in IR . LSU Northern Gulf Imagery

Loop Embedded

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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Good morning Teddy! You guys stay safe over there.


Already had several tornadoes brush by overnight, conditions starting to deteriorate as the morning has gone on.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24172
1130. flcanes
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Is that feeder band in the Gulf going to make it across the state to affect the east coast?


Unless if the track shifts east, no
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1129. JDSmith
Looks to me as if Andrea is losing ground in regard to strengthening. We may see 5/10mph in additional strengthening, but that's it.

Convective diurnal maximum has passed and shear should be on the rise due to the approaching frontal boundary. Also, dry air... Holy cow, dry air... Expect convection to become very displaced from the COC. There will be no CDO on this one, folks. No 'cane today.




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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Andrea is definitely moving ENE at the moment.

The deeper reds are just offshore and probably contain the stronger winds, going to need to monitor that area.
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Is that feeder band in the Gulf going to make it across the state to affect the east coast?

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Then what was Hurricane Earl then?


Good morning Teddy! You guys stay safe over there.
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Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24172
Me too
Quoting flcanes:
Its moving ENE now i think
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1122. flcanes
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
I think she comes in just south of cross city but don't hold me too it

I kind of agree
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1121. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting flcanes:
Its moving ENE now i think
I think she comes in just south of cross city but don't hold me too it
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Quoting CaribBoy:
FL is the best place to be for weather fans! N Leewards are just TOO BORING

When something approach my area it almost always weakens or dissipate :(


Then what was Hurricane Earl then?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24172
Andrea is definitely moving ENE at the moment.

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1117. flcanes
And tornados are dropping everywhere :(
Keep me posted
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Anyone else notice how well the "comma" of this storm in the last image of the latest radar loop fits so well into the coastline of Florida's big bend area. It's amazing how these storms have eroded the landscape over the eons.
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1115. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting washingtonian115:
Just as long as we don't go into a drought Keeper like 2012.Don't want a repeat of that.2013 is different.
2013 has been 2013 we got a lot more of 2013 yet to come
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1114. flcanes
Its moving ENE now i think
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


That would be something as I called Cedar Key days ago. Hows the weather by you? Getting worse as It appears Andrea is getting closer to your area?
The rain is still falling at a steady rate with occasional wind gusts.
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My Wife is in Dallas (road trip with the kid too)visiting her sister and was supposed to drive back to the Big Bend today....I called then off because of the storm and told them to come back on Sat when things calmed down.

Good call for Me too.....Another two nights by myself in the house with the Dog, Chicken Wings, and a few beers. Looking foward to it and the storm................ :)
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1110. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
her coc is right under her now just as its coming in if it can wrap up tight real tight might do it dry air shear and land interaction is about to kill this thing for the time being till off east conus coast
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Just as long as we don't go into a drought Keeper like 2012.Don't want a repeat of that.2013 is different.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17083
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
gonna be close tracker real close can she do it maybe she is lagging with her approach


I agree! I give it a small chance of happening but it's a chance none the less.
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Quoting mikatnight:


Careful what you wish for. Where you are, such words could come back to haunt you! (lol) Ok, now I'm really leaving for work...


Good day!
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Agree on the eastward shift, new tracks should reflect this, especially with new HH data later today.
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Quoting CaribBoy:
FL is the best place to be for weather fans! N Leewards are just TOO BORING


Careful what you wish for. Where you are, such words could come back to haunt you! (lol) Ok, now I'm really leaving for work...
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I do not see Andrea heading NNE. I see it going east.
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1102. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Watch that band wrap all the way around the center. If that happens then a Hurricane isn't out of the question.
gonna be close tracker real close can she do it maybe she is lagging with her approach
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Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles...220 km
primarily to the east of the center.
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1100. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting washingtonian115:
We're going to get a pretty good dose of rain here in D.C.Should knock out that nasty pollen in the air for a while.
gonna rain even here wash 3 4 days off and on rain all in association of Andrea
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


yeah been watching the radar and it appears Andrea is getting closer to Tampa while strengthening some.



You were right about Andrea becoming a strong TS, so I trust you. I belive we will see the cone shift east in the next few runs as well.
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FL is the best place to be for weather fans! N Leewards are just TOO BORING

When something approach my area it almost always weakens or dissipate :(
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
full hi res vis anim

watch for tropical tornado day with possible hurricane force gusts embedded





Watch that band wrap all the way around the center. If that happens then a Hurricane isn't out of the question.
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1094. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
full hi res vis anim

watch for tropical tornado day with possible hurricane force gusts embedded



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Quoting SouthernIllinois:
Latest GFS (06Z) Total Accumulated Precipitation Amounts Out to 96 Hours.

We're going to get a pretty good dose of rain here in D.C.Should knock out that nasty pollen in the air for a while.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17083
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Watch this make landfall on Cedar Key.


That would be something as I called Cedar Key days ago. Hows the weather by you? Getting worse as It appears Andrea is getting closer to your area?
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I'll go with 10-20% chance to hit Hurricane status. She's still fighting a bit of dry air in her eye and is entering cooler water. Could be a bit rough.

BUT if she is able to close her eye off, she will drop a few points of pressure and her wind will follow depending on how close she gets to shore by time this happens.

Everything depends on what the Eye does at this point.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Watch this make landfall on Cedar Key.


Within a reasonable spread, and looking at the loops, probably anywhere between St. Marks and Cedar Key later this evening.
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Quoting FIUStormChaser:


East of the Models?


yeah been watching the radar and it appears Andrea is getting closer to Tampa while strengthening some.

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1087. RevInFL
For some reason I cannot find how wide of a storm Andrea has become. Can someone post it for me? I am curious on how long we will feel the effects of her. TIA
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I give her a 20%-40% chance of hurricane status.
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1085. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
coming about to the ne south of cross city now
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Good morning All,

I'm just checking in and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought Andrea would have goten this strong. I was thinking yesterday that she might get to 50MPH but to get close to 70, nope.... All I can say is she is a "Fighter"



Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
gnarly here in east central florida taking a good dumping not your average thunderstorm
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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.