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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gnarly here in east central florida taking a good dumping not your average thunderstorm
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Half and hour has made a huge difference with Andrea; I retract my earlier statement about being in the dry slot in the Big Bend. She has intensified a bit over the last hour or so.
Watch this make landfall on Cedar Key.
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1081. RevInFL
Link

Here is a breakdown for everything officially issued for North Brevard. Funny how just as they issued a special weather statement for wind gusts, a pretty healthy gust came through. I didn't get a chance to get my anemometer on it.
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1079. Mikla
Tornado reported about 10mi W of my house in Boca Raton, FL... out in the Everglades.
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Quoting FunnelVortex:


I give her 10-20% of reaching hurricane status just before landfall.


Agree; but she has gone from low-grade TS to a high-grade TS this morning. I have to drive down closer to the coast for work this afternoon. Looking forward to seeing what conditioons are like down there later today.
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This one
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1076. will40
Quoting RyanSperrey:


Ton's of dry air filtering into it's eye is preventing it from strengthening to rapidly though.


she is leaving the dry air behind
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Half and hour has made a huge difference with Andrea; I retract my earlier statement about being in the dry slot in the Big Bend. She has intensified a bit over the last hour or so.


I give her 10-20% of reaching hurricane status just before landfall.
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Quoting RyanSperrey:


Ton's of dry air filtering into it's eye is preventing it from strengthening to rapidly though.


True. But the structure of it looks good.
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Half and hour has made a huge difference with Andrea; I retract my earlier statement about being in the dry slot in the Big Bend. She has intensified a bit over the last hour or so.
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Quoting FunnelVortex:


Like another Sandy? That won't happen.


Oh hell no, nothing like Sandy - completely different situation.
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Nothing new, but:

AL, 01, 2013060612, , BEST, 0, 278N, 849W, 50, 997, TS, 50, NEQ, 50, 70, 0, 0, 1008, 150, 70, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, ANDREA, M,
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WOW! What a morning here in Palm Beach county
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Quoting Civicane49:
Andrea is becoming more impressive with the convection wrapping around the center and featuring a good curved band to the southeast on both satellite and radar images.


Ton's of dry air filtering into it's eye is preventing it from strengthening to rapidly though.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Andrea is intensifying right now. Wow!!



Way to stick with your guns Scott, nice call. Not an easy one, but like you said climatology speaking for June this isn't the first time we have seen a storm over-perform riding up a front along the East Coast.

I don't think she can strengthen anymore however until she can close off that dry air, as long as that large dry slot is intraining into her south side it "should" keep her check, but she may have other ideas as well.

I hope people from Apalachicola down to Tampa are ready for a bit of surge of water. This storm is tracking right into an area that is geographical proned to enhanced storm surges. Is this coming in at low or high tide?
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Quoting RyanSperrey:
The real story with this storm is going to be what it does to the North-East USA. The CMC, which has been 90% accurate with this storm, is showing Andrea strengthening into a Cat 1 Extra-Tropical Storm around Long Island/Conneticut/Rode Island

(cant really call it a Hurricane since it will be more Nor'easterly in structure by that point, but it will have the same wind impacts as a Hurricane of the same strength, but a larger wind field...IF THIS SCENARIO PLAYS OUT LIKE THE CMC PREDICTS)



Like another Sandy? That won't happen.
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1065. guygee
Picked up another 0.65" of rain between 7:00-8:30 this morning mostly in a brief squall, tapering off now.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3278
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


So many of you folks in Tampa have been saying for how long already that it seem Tampa has a weather shield in place.


There is no such thing as a weather sheild. period.

Any place has a chance of getting hit by nature's fury.
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The real story with this storm is going to be what it does to the North-East USA. The CMC, which has been 90% accurate with this storm, is showing Andrea strengthening into a Cat 1 Extra-Tropical Storm around Long Island/Conneticut/Rode Island

(cant really call it a Hurricane since it will be more Nor'easterly in structure by that point, but it will have the same wind impacts as a Hurricane of the same strength, but a larger wind field...IF THIS SCENARIO PLAYS OUT LIKE THE CMC PREDICTS)

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1062. RevInFL
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
tornado



Yeah it looks like one of Florida's infamous rain-wrapped EF-0 tornadoes, though it could have been a micro-burst. Doesn't look like straight-line damage.
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Link WV Loop
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11473
1060. palmpt
Quoting GTcooliebai:
There is no such thing as this so called "Tampa Shield." The Tampa area took a direct hit in 1921, was hit again in 1950 by Easy, was hit yet again in 1966 by Alma, and took a backdoor hit from Frances and Jeanne in 2004. I hope that clears up some misnomer. :)


I have family in Tampa. They have used their generator a number of times in the past few years. But the shield is a reference to a direct hit from the Gulf, accompanied by worse-case scenario storm surge that would change the face of the Tampa-St. Pete region.
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Good morning from a soggy Longboat Key! Surf is up and it's dark and gloomy. Another band moving on shore now. I'm hoping to make it up to the north end of the island later today to check on flooding up there.
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Composite doppler radar loops when a storm is approaching a US landfall are a wonderful thing to watch and tool for local forecasters to let folks know when bands are headed inshore.

With that being said, and looking at loops at the moment, some nice large banding features at the moment on Andrea which are about to come ashore in Florida all the way from Apalachicola to Tampa Bay simultaneously......Impressinve.
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1057. RevInFL
It is dumping buckets right now in North Brevard. Thankfully, it looks like we will have a little break until this afternoon. Just depends how fast this junk moves.
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Andrea is becoming more impressive with the convection wrapping around the center and featuring a good curved band to the southeast on both satellite and radar images.
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tornado

Quoting Chapelhill:
Details? Pictures? Maybe a weak tornado?
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Quoting cabice:
Definitely moving more to the east.


East of the Models?
Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 880
Tornado touched down in the acreage which outside of Royal Palm Beach. My friend's ex-husband's house was hit directly. Windows are blown out, and trees are down.
Power lines are down, and the school buses are still picking up kids for school.Just a typical rainy day in South Florida.

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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Look like a Hurricane hit up the street from me! and the rain is coming down big time now!!
Details? Pictures? Maybe a weak tornado?
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1051. hydrus
Quoting GTcooliebai:
There is no such thing as this so called "Tampa Shield." The Tampa area took a direct hit in 1921, was hit again in 1950 by Easy, was hit yet again in 1966 by Alma, and took a backdoor hit from Frances and Jeanne in 2004. I hope that clears up some misnomer. :)
They took a nice beating from Agnes too, and several other no name storms also.
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Last night was an interesting time in S Tampa. I got woken up by a very gusty T'Storm (probably the same one that spawned a tornado across the bay). This incoming squall line looks mean.
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From Charleston NWS this AM:

TROPICAL STORM ANDREA WILL ROLL INTO SE GEORGIA LATER THIS EVENING
AND ACCELERATE PAST THE SAVANNAH RIVER INTO SE SOUTH CAROLINA
AFTER 06Z TONIGHT INTO THE LOW COUNTRY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AFTER
DAYBREAK ON FRI. DIRECT IMPACTS FROM ANDREA WILL BE FELT INCLUDING
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ALONG COASTAL AREAS...TORRENTIAL
RAINS...AND POSSIBLY A BRIEF WINDOW FOR ISOLATED TORNADOES ALONG
THE COAST.

OUR FOREMOST CONCERN LOOKS TO BE EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WITH THE
TRACK OF THE SYSTEM RIGHT THROUGH FOR THE FORECAST AREA OVERNIGHT.
MODEL QPF AMOUNTS ARE IN THE 3 TO 5 INCH BALLPARK AND WHILE THE
LOW WILL BE CLIPPING ALONG AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT...AN IMPRESSIVE
MIX OF UPPER DYNAMICS AND DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE SHOULD PROVIDE A
LARGE SWATH OF HEAVY RAINS. THESE RAINS WILL BE FALLING ON SOGGY
SOILS WITH A TIDE COMING IN LATE TONIGHT. THE ECMWF DISPLACES THE
HIGHEST QPF A BIT TO THE W OF PREVIOUS RUNS AND NOW THE 06Z GFS HAS
A SIMILAR QPF PLACEMENT. IT WOULD NOT BE SURPRISING IF WE SOME
LOCATIONS OVER 5-6 INCHES GIVEN THESE TRENDS.

A WINDOW FOR TORNADO POTENTIAL MAY EXIST ALONG THE COAST AS STRONG
SHEAR WILL EXIST. MODEL SOUNDINGS ARE EXTREMELY SATURATED FROM THE
BOUNDARY LAYER BEYOND 20 KFT AND BEST INSTABILITY PROGGED MAINLY
OFFSHORE. WE COLLABORATED WITH SPC OVERNIGHT AND THE SLIGHT RISK
FOR SEVERE WEATHER APPEARED JUSTIFIED AT THIS POINT GIVEN SUBTLE
DEVIATIONS IN THE TRACK OF ANDREA.

WINDY CONDITIONS LIKELY TO DEVELOP ALONG IMMEDIATE COASTAL AREAS
OVERNIGHT WITH A POTENTIAL FOR TROPICAL STORM FORCE WIND GUSTS.



Sounds like we could have a significant coastal flooding event tonight when you combine torrential rain, saturated ground, high tide, and a 1-2 foot surge on top. Poor drainage areas in metro Savannah and Charleston could be in for a bad night.
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1047. xcool
props to the cmc model
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1046. cabice
Definitely moving more to the east.
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1045. hydrus
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
There is no such thing as this so called "Tampa Shield." The Tampa area took a direct hit in 1921, was hit again in 1950 by Easy, was hit yet again in 1966 by Alma, and took a backdoor hit from Frances and Jeanne in 2004. I hope that clears up some misnomer. :)


So many of you folks in Tampa have been saying for how long already that it seem Tampa has a weather shield in place.
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There is no such thing as this so called "Tampa Shield." The Tampa area took a direct hit in 1921, was hit again in 1950 by Easy, was hit yet again in 1966 by Alma, and took a backdoor hit from Frances and Jeanne in 2004. I hope that clears up some misnomer. :)
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1042. gator23
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Yeah all this talk about the Tampa Sheild well it looks as if Andrea has destroyed it.


Well it didn't hit Tampa it wont make landfall near Tampa and the core of the winds are not near Tampa. Sure they are getting walloped with rain but the shield is still in place until there is a direct strike IMO
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Yeah all this talk about the Tampa Sheild well it looks as if Andrea has destroyed it.


Hardly. That happens when a major barrels into Tampa Bay. Not when a TS drops some rain.
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1040. russh46
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
I wonder how bad the storm surge will be in Tampa as Andrea passes just to the north. I suspect some section of Downtown Tampa might flood as the surge comes in.



The advisory is calling for 2-5 feet for tamp northward.
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Yikes !!!
Quoting pcola57:
Tampa Bay, FL (KTBW) - Base Reflectivity (0.5)




Yikes !!!
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Andrea actually reminds me of Alberto from 2006..

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Well first storm of the season, and current NHC track takes it directly over my house. Good, let's get it over with on a TS, and let the bad stuff hit the fish.
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1035. ncstorm
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
I couldn't have called this any better. I mean really!



Good job Scott..

Im off to work people..its all in good fun and has been part of this blog since I started with the crow jokes..I can say a lot of people are getting their crow "feathers" ruffled but if those that had been wrong and Andrea didnt intensify, then a lot of "roosters" would have awaken the blog this morning crowing about how right they were..

in all the Almanac beat everyone on the blog..


Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16578
She's also entering colder bend water now, it's going to be a rough time for her starting now. I dont think she will weaken much if any, but it's going to be hard for her to continue strengthening. Though very possible!
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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