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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1032. gator23
Quoting Pallis:

I was not sure how far north it would travel last night, but it looks like the storm intensity is heading right about on the northern part of my prediction range this morning. Sarasota/Tampa.


If you look at the wundermap you can see the core of the winds are not there.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


I said 60 to 70 mph and it looks the next update might have 70 mph as andrea is putting on a show this am.


a 70mph storm isnt out of the question, but her north quadrant is looking a bit ragged near the eye, I think some dry air got in which might impede her a bit.
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Look like a Hurricane hit up the street from me! and the rain is coming down big time now!!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4379
think shes done peaking cooler water maybe
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1028. Pallis
Quoting mikatnight:


Just wanted to pop in real quick (busy busy) and offer my congratulations on your forecasts of the past 2 days. I saw a lot of folks doing some major poo pooing on your predictions (I myself was thinking you missed the intensity mark last night), which as we all now know was pretty much spot on.

Have a safe day everyone. I'll check in later.

PS - visit my blog (term used loosely) for the Hurricane Protocol 2013 hurricane guide. Suggestions are appreciated!

I was not sure how far north it would travel last night, but it looks like the storm intensity is heading right about on the northern part of my prediction range this morning. Sarasota/Tampa.
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1027. pcola57
Tampa Bay, FL (KTBW) - Base Reflectivity (0.5)

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Here in Naples, we haven't seen the sun since Sunday morning; it's been four days of overcast skies, rainforest-level humidity, and the occasional passing shower. Yet despite initial calls of possible flood watches and, initially, 5" to 8" or more of rain, we've officially received less than 1.2" for the entire month--and that's counting some that fell before The Great Southwest Florida Rainfall Event Of June 2013 began. Hardly the Noah-like deluge some envisioned, but I suppose it's better than being dry, so that's good news. But the even better news: we can finally stop this silly nonsense about some phantom "Tampa shield".

At least until next week... ;-)
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Moving more east.


Yeah all this talk about the Tampa Sheild well it looks as if Andrea has destroyed it.
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The core actually looks great!

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1022. pcola57


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Quoting Maineweatherguy20023:
So it looks to me like it will be a 70 or 75mph storm before landfall in FL. It will probably weaken to a 50 mph storm over FL but since FL is so flat, the weakening will likely be limited... After emerging, she will stay a 50mph storm until the transition to Post tropical status. After that, she will become stronger and larger with maybe 55-60 mph but as non tropical. These are just my ideas... Nothing official about them :)


Somebody who really knows what they're doing please add your ideas... Thanks!
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Wow, 60 mph! I'm surprised! I guess I'm going to get some of it here in Palatka
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Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 756
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
So where is this 70 mph tropical storm? I see 60.


I said 60 to 70 mph and it looks the next update might have 70 mph as andrea is putting on a show this am.
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So it looks to me like it will be a 70 or 75mph storm before landfall in FL. It will probably weaken to a 50 mph storm over FL but since FL is so flat, the weakening will likely be limited... After emerging, she will stay a 50mph storm until the transition to Post tropical status. After that, she will become stronger and larger with maybe 55-60 mph but as non tropical. These are just my ideas... Nothing official about them :)
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Any damage by you. Here in Orlando traffic signals are blown down in areas as the wind is increasing steadily this morning.



Tornado Warnings...reports of poss touchdown in Loxahatchee. Bunch of rain last several minutes. Exciting, but much to do...
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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.

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1014. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Andrea is intensifying right now. Wow!!



Moving more east.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13929
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

I know that the continental shelf on the ocean is extremely shallow in that part of the State. So I could image to carnage a surge from even a category one might do.


Correct; portions of HWY 98 on the coast wash out every year if a big one hits the Panhandle.....Keeps some of the locals employed after h-season rebuilding it......
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Andrea is intensifying right now. Wow!!

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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
I couldn't have called this any better. I mean really!

So where is this 70 mph tropical storm? I see 60. (I said 50 knt peak btw).
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Quoting mikatnight:


Just wanted to pop in real quick (busy busy) and offer my congratulations on your forecasts of the past 2 days. I saw a lot of folks doing some major poo pooing on your predictions (I myself was thinking you missed the intensity mark last night), which as we all now know was pretty much spot on.

Have a safe day everyone. I'll check in later.

PS - visit my blog (term used loosely) for the Hurricane Protocol 2013 hurricane guide. Suggestions are appreciated!


Any damage by you. Here in Orlando traffic signals are blown down in areas as the wind is increasing steadily this morning.

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PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
758 AM EDT THU JUN 06 2013

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0756 AM HEAVY RAIN 2 NE CARRABELLE 29.87N 84.64W
06/06/2013 M4.50 INCH FRANKLIN FL EMERGENCY MNGR

4.5 INCHES OF RAIN IN 5 HRS
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10838
It's been raining buckets here in Port Saint Lucie in East Central Fl.

We are under a tornado watch as well.
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Oh yeah. Forgot her.
But you are right we will have to see if a trend is set here on more west coast FL. landfalls.
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1004. SLU
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


15:45 UTC.
Quoting Bobbyweather:

I heard it comes back at 1545 UTC (11:45 am EDT) today.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:




*Update #21 *

GOES-13, at 75 degrees West, will return to GOES-East operations on
Thursday, June 6, 2013, at approximately 1534 -1545 UTC (first image at
1545 UTC). Derived products from GOES-13 will begin immediately
following the switchover.

GOES-13 re-activation is proceeding nominally. GOES-13 Sounder remains
off during the outgassing process. The outgassing is proceeding
nominally, and is being done to reduce noise and improve the medium and
short-wave sounder channel products. The outgassing will end on June 5,
2013, at approximately 0359 UTC followed by a cooling off period.
Sounder will be turned on and begin imaging on June 6, 2013, at
approximately 0030 UTC and will be 'within specifications' at
approximately 0359 UTC.



great stuff
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
I bet fried crow might taste good. Some say it taste like chicken. Folks I'm just playing this morning.

Anyways look at this squall line coming ashore on the west coast of Florida.



Just wanted to pop in real quick (busy busy) and offer my congratulations on your forecasts of the past 2 days. I saw a lot of folks doing some major poo pooing on your predictions (I myself was thinking you missed the intensity mark last night), which as we all now know was pretty much spot on.

Have a safe day everyone. I'll check in later.

PS - visit my blog (term used loosely) for the Hurricane Protocol 2013 hurricane guide. Suggestions are appreciated!
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Guys nice coverage,I think we have over 1000 comments now in less than 24 hours.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
I bet fried crow might taste good. Some say it taste like chicken. Folks I'm just playing this morning.

Anyways look at this squall line coming ashore on the west coast of Florida.



You've called it. Excellent, man!
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
2 to 4 inches for me now!


I'm up to 2.22" so far and most of that has been in the last hour. It's coming down in buckets here on the northside of Orlando.

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Roof damage, trees down up the street from me!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4379
Will the band moving onto the west coast have the possibility of affecting Palm Beach County, or will it have moved to the north by the time it reaches the east coast?
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2 to 4 inches for me now!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4379
Quoting SouthernIllinois:
What I often find very interesting is the lack of landfalling storms (whether it be tropical storms or hurricanes) near the Big Bend area of Florida. Maybe Andrea will be a trend setter?


The Big Bend of Florida is actually one of the "safe" zones in Florida with a relatively low number of core landfalls. Our problem here is when major storms head towards the Panhandle and the storm surges devastate our coastal homes and businesses. As our Panhandle freinds know, their location is one of the most active for landfalling hurricanes headed into the Gulf.

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post 955:

You stuck to your guns in face of a fair amount of abuse. Good call on Andrea. But.... will you be this bullish on all storms, and will the crow eventually be passed your way? Anyhow, some vindication for you....
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I keep reading that the "CMC nailed it." and that other models did as well.

I tried going to http://www.canadianweather.org/models/gem00.php
to see for myself, but I can't even make out the system on their maps (Sorry, I'm definitely no expert).

Can someone clarify that map for me? Also, does anyone have any old model runs showing when any models started to "nail it"?

Thanks!
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Quoting robintampabay:



By the way kudos to StormTrackerScott. He called Andrea a few days ago.


Levi called it WEEKS ago
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Quoting Nimitz:


A lot? For the week, I'm at 1" as of yesterday , approx. 1 mi. north of Emerson and just off St. Augustine Rd.


Ha was looking for solid numbers but I guess a lot would cover it. I'm on Merrill Rd one light from JU, about 2.5 miles west of I-295.
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:
What I often find very interesting is the lack of landfalling storms (whether it be tropical storms or hurricanes) near the Big Bend area of Florida. Maybe Andrea will be a trend setter?
Remember we also had Debby last yr. so 2/2.
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Quoting Asrock:


In this video I can see a large circular storm coming out of Texas towards Andrea. Will this have much effect on each other's strength?


Not at all. The upper-level trough over the eastern half of the United States will steer Andrea to the north-northeast and later northeast moving through the East Coast.
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Good Morning Folks. I am working today and this evening in Quincy which is about 20 miles east of Tallahassee in the Fl Big Bend and will keep you posted throughout the day on any incliment weather.

Even through landfall is in the Big Bend area, it appears that we are in the drier slot near the coc with all of the worst weather to out East in the Florida Peninsula as a result of the tilted/displaced nature of this storm due to sheer issues.

Biggest threat so far, other than the rain/flooding issues, looks to be the isolated tornadoes on the Western Coast of Florida with a current warning North of the Tampa Bay area.

Thankfull Andrea was not able to ramp up before heading our way and hope that the minimal storm surge will not impact too many coastal residents negatively.

Stay safe and off the roads as much as possible today in the affected areas.
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GFDL Ensemble showing left-of-track rain swath:






Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10838

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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.