Tropical Storm Barry Forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:49 PM GMT on June 19, 2013

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Data from the Air Force Hurricane Hunters this afternoon indicates that Tropical Storm Barry has formed in the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico. The aircraft measured winds at their flight level of 1000 feet as high as 47 mph, which implies winds of at least 40 mph at the surface, using the usual 10% reduction rule for winds measured at 1000 feet. Barry has a small but growing area of heavy thunderstorms, as seen on satellite loops. The thunderstorms are steadily showing more organization this afternoon, and low-level spiral bands have begun to appear. Wind shear was a moderate 15 knots on Wednesday afternoon, but is expected to fall to the light range, 5 - 10 knots, during the 12 hours before landfall. Barry is taking a very similar track Tropical Storm Marco of 2008. That storm spun up quickly in the Bay of Campeche and developed sustained winds of 65 mph before making landfall in Veracruz State of Mexico. Small storms like Barry and Marco (which was the smallest tropical storm ever recorded in the Atlantic) can experience very rapid fluctuations in intensity. The Bay of Campeche is a region where the topography aids the spin-up of tropical cyclones, and I expect Barry will have time to attain sustained winds of 65 mph before making landfall late Thursday morning or early Thursday afternoon near Veracruz, Mexico. However, since the storm is so small, these winds would affect only a very small portion of the coast. Heavy rain will be the main threat from Barry, regardless of whether or not it makes landfall as a weak or strong tropical storm. A ridge of high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico should keep any of Barry's rains from reaching the U.S. Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, none of the reliable computer models is showing tropical cyclone development in the next seven days.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Barry at 12:40 pm EDT June 19, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Barry's place in history
Barry is the second named storm of June 2013, and its formation date of June 19 is a full six weeks earlier than the usual August 1 date of formation of the season's second storm. Only two hurricane seasons since 1851 have had as many as three tropical storms form in June: 1936 and 1968. The formation of two Gulf of Mexico storms so early in the year does not necessarily suggest that we will have an active hurricane season. June storms forming in the Caribbean and Tropical Atlantic are typically a harbinger of an active hurricane season, though.

The formation of Tropical Storm Andrea and now Tropical Storm Barry in June continues a pattern of an unusually large number of early-season Atlantic named storms we've seen in recent years. Climatologically, June is the second quietest month of the Atlantic hurricane season, behind November. During the period 1870 - 2012, we averaged one named storm every two years in June, and 0.7 named storms per year during May and June. In the nineteen years since the current active hurricane period began in 1995, there have been sixteen June named storms (if we include 2013's Tropical Storm Andrea and Tropical Storm Barry.) June activity has nearly doubled since 1995, and May activity has more than doubled (there were seventeen May storms in the 75-year period 1870 - 1994, compared to six in the nineteen-year period 1995 - 2013.) Some of this difference can be attributed to observation gaps, due to the lack of satellite data before 1966. However, even during the satellite era, we have seen an increase in both early season (May - June) and late season (November - December) Atlantic tropical storms. Dr. Jim Kossin of the University of Wisconsin looked at the reasons for this in a 2008 paper titled, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?" He concluded that there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with warming Sea Surface Temperature but the uncertainty in these relationships is high." He found that hurricane season for both the period 1950-2007 and 1980-2007 got longer by 5 - 10 days per decade (see my blog post on the paper.)

Portlight receives $25K grant to help victims of Oklahoma tornadoes
The disaster relief charity founded by members of the wunderground community, Portlight.org, announced this week that they had received a $25,000 grant from Americares.org to replace wheelchairs, scooters, ramps and other equipment lost or damaged in the May and June 2013 storms in Oklahoma. About 200 Oklahomans with mobility issues are expected to benefit over the next 45 days. The program is an extension of a partnership that began earlier this year to install ramps for New Jersey residents affected by Superstorm Sandy. It was also announced earlier this month that Portlight and the American Red Cross have signed a Letter of Agreement to work together in disaster response, in order to improve shelter accessibility and share resources and information.Visit Portlight's wunderground blog to learn more or to donate to this worthy cause.


Figure 2. Portlight volunteers hard at work in Moore, Oklahoma, after the devastating May 20, 2013 tornado.

Jeff Masters

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Mid level circulation fakeout or a relocation north?

Only the Campeche Crawler knows!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8627
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You would think the blog wouldn't be this quiet when a Tropical Cyclone is making landfall in the Atlantic..... I've seen more traffic on here from a GFS model 15 days out.....



Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
Quoting MississippiWx:
The coordinates for the center of Barry according to the 8pm update from the NHC:



Either Barry is very unorganized or the center has jumped north in a more centralized location.


Looks like twisting and turning about 30 miles to the NE of NHC plot?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting all4hurricanes:

I always kinda thought the NHC avoided 55mph but why?


Can't translate 55 mph into kt.
45 kt...50 mph
50 kt...60 mph


47kt?... ~55 mph...err. failed.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting Articuno:


Where ya been...I saw you post 100,000 years ago....or there bouts..:)
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Quoting ncstorm:
why was my picture removed of James Gandolfini?? really you cant pay respect here?? but cursing is allowed on the blog..unbelievable!! maybe i ought to just say the **** with it all and get 10 plusses??
You have been here a long time, and you are aware of the recent changes here on the Doctors blog..I am a little amazed that you are so upset about this..Its not personal NC.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

I always kinda thought the NHC avoided 55mph but why?


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Reply to Comment 354

1. Syria
2. Syria
3. Disagree
Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting floridaT:
I am really curious as to what the polar ice cap will look like come September

Chances are very good that it won't be pretty.
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Quoting notanotherwrong:
can barry come to florida?


I have a more logical idea

How about the Hurricane Hunters pick you up from your location and drop you with a dropsonde into Barry's circulation? (smiley face)
Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
why was my picture removed of James Gandolfini?? really you cant pay respect here?? but cursing is allowed on the blog..unbelievable!! maybe i ought to just say the **** with it all and get 10 plusses??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
351. Skyepony (Mod)
1:03 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting AussieStorm:

Hey Ped

Anyone notice "Kermit" is now flying above the Atlanta area?


I did & got distracted before posting about it. Senex7. More air quality research.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 170 Comments: 38088
350. FIUStormChaser
1:03 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting Patrap:
TS Barry

RGB Loop

click image for loop



Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
349. wxchaser97
1:02 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Seems legit.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7946
348. Matt74
1:02 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Fairly new hear and i learn alot from you guys. This is probably a dumb question but is it more common for a center reformation in weaker or stronger storms or does it not matter? tia
Member Since: June 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 329
347. TylerStanfield
1:02 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:
The coordinates for the center of Barry according to the 8pm update from the NHC:



Either Barry is very unorganized or the center has jumped north in a more centralized location.

Looking at visible satellite these new convective blow ups have pulled the center and tightened it up and pulled it northward. It really has organized well and wrapped up nicely, it only has about 6-8 hours before landfall, but Barry could definitely become a 50-60 mph storm.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 1346
346. BaltimoreBrian
1:01 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
I thought the comments would be racking up faster with a tropical storm in the Gulf!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8627
345. Patrap
1:00 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
GOM SST Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128609
344. Patrap
12:58 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128609
343. Patrap
12:58 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128609
342. CybrTeddy
12:57 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting clwstmchasr:


To take it further, the U.S. could get hit by ten Cat 5 hurricanes but if one doesn't hit them they would call the season a bust.


Talking to you "nostorminflorida."
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24134
341. AussieStorm
12:55 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting PedleyCA:
Is there anybody out there Sup Aussie...

Hey Ped

Anyone notice "Kermit" is now flying above the Atlanta area?

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
340. Tropicsweatherpr
12:52 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
00z Best Track:

AL, 02, 2013062000, , BEST, 0, 196N, 956W, 40, 1005, TS

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14301
339. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:49 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting all4hurricanes:

I always kinda thought the NHC avoided 55mph but why?

There is no appropriate rounded knots conversion. 45 knots is 50 mph, 50 knots equates to 60 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32227
338. Chicklit
12:49 AM GMT on June 20, 2013


Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11345
336. PedleyCA
12:48 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Is there anybody out there Sup Aussie...
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5885
335. Patrap
12:48 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
TS Barry

RGB Loop

click image for loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128609
334. all4hurricanes
12:47 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

Its 50 or 60 mph...no 55 mph Taz.

I always kinda thought the NHC avoided 55mph but why?
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
333. AussieStorm
12:44 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting FIUStormChaser:
Hello anyone there?

Nope
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
331. FIUStormChaser
12:40 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Hello anyone there?
Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
330. stormpetrol
12:26 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
I have the center of Barry at 20.5N/95W, but that's just my take.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7922
329. PedleyCA
12:24 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting VR46L:


They have been showing that for two days ... will be interesting if it happens .. Have allot of affection for EPAC storms as most dont bring devastation and look sweet


Me too....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5885
328. FIUStormChaser
12:22 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:


I stated earlier that I thought a new center was forming AOA 20.5N, but as I said that recon went home (of course).


It's a shame, It would be interesting to see just how strong Barry has become, however at least we have three Buoy's located to the SW and W of Barry that will record and observe the wind as he eventually makes his way ashore.
Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
327. interstatelover7166
12:20 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
I knew the BOC was excellent for spinning up storms
Member Since: October 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 422
326. MississippiWx
12:15 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting FIUStormChaser:


Where would you put the center? I think somewhere between 20-21N


I stated earlier that I thought a new center was forming AOA 20.5N, but as I said that recon went home (of course).
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10278
325. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:15 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Here's another loop.

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32227
324. FIUStormChaser
12:13 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:
The coordinates for the center of Barry according to the 8pm update from the NHC:



Either Barry is very unorganized or the center has jumped north in a more centralized location.


Where would you put the center? I think somewhere between 20-21N
Member Since: May 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 774
323. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:12 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:
The coordinates for the center of Barry according to the 8pm update from the NHC:



Either Barry is very unorganized or the center has jumped north in a more centralized location.

Yeah, I'd bet on it being more north.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32227
322. weatherh98
12:12 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:
The coordinates for the center of Barry according to the 8pm update from the NHC:



Either Barry is very unorganized or the center has jumped north in a more centralized location.


Your second conclusion methinks
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6534
321. barbamz
12:12 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
And for all those who have enough from unusual tropical weather, have a look at New Zealand right now:

Winter blast: 'Quite ugly' night to come
By Kieran Campbell
Updated 11:25 AM Thursday Jun 20, 2013

The widely anticipated polar blast has brought heavy snow to central parts of the South Island, with meteorologists warning "the storm is still to come".
Heavy snow warnings remain in place for parts of Marlborough, Canterbury, Southland and central and eastern Otago.


"It's a wild world ..."

Good night for now!

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 5992

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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.