A Gulf of Mexico and an Eastern Atlantic Disturbance Worth Watching

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:53 PM GMT on July 06, 2013

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A tropical disturbance (designated 94L by NHC on Friday) is over the Western Gulf of Mexico, and is headed north towards the Texas/Louisiana coast at 5 - 10 mph. Satellite loops show a modest area of disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity that has been steadily growing this morning. Wind shear has fallen to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, since Friday, and the lower wind shear is likely responsible for the increase in thunderstorm activity. A trough of low pressure over the Western Gulf of Mexico is pumping dry air into the west side of 94L, interfering with development. The disturbance should move inland by Sunday morning, bringing heavy rains of 1 - 3" along the Upper Texas and Western Louisiana coasts through Monday morning. None of the reliable forecast models predict that the disturbance will develop, and the disturbance has only a day over water with marginal conditions for development. In their 8 am EDT July 6 Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Monday.


Figure 1. The Saturday morning NHC Tropical Weather Outlook shows two "Invests" worth watching: 94L over the Gulf of Mexico (area 1), and 95L over the Eastern Atlantic (area 2.) Both were given 20% chances of developing by Monday. Image credit: NHC.

Cape Verdes tropical wave 95L
As we approach mid-July, it's time to begin turning our attention to tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa. We have our first such system worthy of attention today, a tropical wave designated 95L over the Eastern Atlantic near 8°N 33°W, about 800 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Satellite loops show a modest area of heavy thunderstorms that is showing a moderate amount of spin. Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 20 knots, and ocean temperatures are warm, 28°C. The 8 am EDT Saturday forecast from the SHIPS model predicted that 95L would encounter cooler waters of 27.5°C over the weekend as it headed west to west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph. Wind shear is expected to remain moderate though Monday, which may allow for some additional organization. However, 95L is embedded in a very large area of dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), and July African waves typically have considerable trouble getting organized in the very dry air of the SAL. The disturbance could arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Tuesday. A band a strong upper-level winds associated with the subtropical jet stream is expected to be over the northern islands at that time, and if 95L has penetrated as far north as 15°N latitude by that time, it will have to face very high wind shear of 30+ knots. But if 95L stays farther to the south, wind shear should be lower, giving the storm a better chance of development. None of the reliable forecast models predict that 95L will develop. In their 8 am EDT July 6 Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Monday.


Figure 2. MODIS image of 95L taken at approximately 11 am EDT Saturday, July 6, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A large upper-level cold-cored low pressure system a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico will move west over the next dew days, arriving in the Bahamas by Sunday and South Florida by Tuesday. The models do not show that this low will will acquire a surface circulation, and there is only minimal heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it.

In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Erick is brushing the southwestern coast of Mexico, and is expected to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday afternoon. Erick will bring heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches to Southwest Mexico, but the core of the storm is currently expected to remain just offshore. Erick will likely weaken to a tropical storm on Monday, when it will pass just south of Baja.

Cool San Francisco time-lapse fog video
Videographer Simon Christen has created a spectacular 4-minute time-lapse video of fog rushing in past the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. He writes: ""Adrift" is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born. The weather conditions have to be just right for the fog to glide over the hills and under the bridge. I developed a system for trying to guess when to make the drive out to shoot, which involved checking the weather forecast, satellite images and webcams multiple times a day. For about 2 years, if the weather looked promising, I would set my alarm to 5am, recheck the webcams, and then set off on the 45-minute drive to the Marin Headlands. I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands."


Video 1. Adrift from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

Jeff Masters

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1554. Dakster
Quoting 1550. huntsvle:


...i'm not a fan of the CMC in general...and most certainly not out THAT far...I don't find it particularly useful for tropics.


I used to not like the old CMC, but this new one seems to be on the money this year so far - and even this far out. I wouldn't discount it totally.

I don't trust ANYTHING this far out, regardless. so we shall wait and see. I used to think the BEST thing I wanted to see what a hurricane hitting me 7-10 days out, since I knew that was the last place it would be. I will be watching to see if that is the case this year too.
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Quoting 1547. DataNerd:
95L is looking very organized at this hour with strong banding features forming and over all turning increasing.

Expecting them to go to high risk tomorrow at this point. Link


except for the sheering
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Quoting 1544. sar2401:

Thanks, Taco, Cat5hit gave me the perfect lead-in. :-) How's the neck? Get much ran over in Mobile? I got a whole .11".

It was right on "Time" ...wow what a Lead-in :o)
Now as for the rain yesterday we had 3.58" and most of it was by 8am..... Good soaker after that....

Taco :o)
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Quoting 1542. TropicalAnalystwx13:
00z CMC into South Carolina:



Becomes a tropical depression near Hispaniola and a tropical storm over the Bahamas.


Think Astro think. Who lives in the SC/NC area? Umm....

TA, do you know anyone who lives in NC by any chance?
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 103 Comments: 10813
Quoting 1542. TropicalAnalystwx13:
00z CMC into South Carolina:



Becomes a tropical depression near Hispaniola and a tropical storm over the Bahamas.


...i'm not a fan of the CMC in general...and most certainly not out THAT far...I don't find it particularly useful for tropics.
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Quoting sar2401:

Well, it could be a scarf, or it could be a broach, or it could be a pterodactyl....:-)


Haha well played :)
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1548. sar2401
Quoting nigel20:

Wow...thanks for the info sar!

I heard that most schools were out in Jamaica for an entire semester after Hurricane Gilbert...It's said that children didn't go back to school until after the Christmas break due to the level of damage. In excess of 80% of the houses in Jamaica had some level of damage. We lost hundreds of kilometers of roads. Damage to the agricultural sector was about US$500 million (1988). Inflation spiked to over 60% and Gilbert is still the worst natural distater to affect Jamaica...total damages were US$4 billion (1988) which would be a lot more today.

That's about $7.8 billion in 2013 dollars.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
95L is looking very organized at this hour with strong banding features forming and over all turning increasing.

Expecting them to go to high risk tomorrow at this point. Link
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95L LLCOC is near 8.2N 37.8W convection is just starting to refire convection near the LLCOC hence the blue starting to appear on the AVN floater just S of that area I stated
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822
1544. sar2401
Quoting taco2me61:

Best of the Day and yes I'm dying too :o) That was too "Funny"

taco :o)

Thanks, Taco, Cat5hit gave me the perfect lead-in. :-) How's the neck? Get much ran over in Mobile? I got a whole .11".
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
1543. nigel20
Quoting 1531. sar2401:

Ivan and Dennis were the one-two punch for Alabama. Ivan, 2004, was a hurricane until over 100 miles inland, and had TS force winds for almost 200 miles, Millions of trees were destroyed, not to mention structures completely destroyed, tornadoes, death, and injuries. Dennis hit a year later and, although not as damaging as Ivan, took down most of the trees Ivan missed. Because of all the downed trees, we also had hundreds of miles of downed power lines. We were without power for 18 days with Ivan and 13 days with Dennis. The paper mills had a bonanza for the two years after 2005, when they were able to salvage the millions of downed trees to used for chipboard and cardboard boxes. For the next five years, it was almost a depression in the paper business, and trees were being imported from as far away as North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It's only this year that the fast growing yellow pines have reached marketable size again.

Wow...thanks for the info sar!

I heard that most schools were out in Jamaica for an entire semester after Hurricane Gilbert...It's said that children didn't go back to school until after the Christmas break due to the level of damage. In excess of 80% of the houses in Jamaica had some level of damage. We lost hundreds of kilometers of roads. Damage to the agricultural sector alone was about US$500 million (1988). Inflation spiked to over 60% and Gilbert is still the worst natural distater to affect Jamaica...total damages were US$4 billion (1988) which would be a lot more today.
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00z CMC into South Carolina:



Becomes a tropical depression near Hispaniola and a tropical storm over the Bahamas.
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1541. sar2401
Quoting caneswatch:
I am seeing 95L's models now and what is this?

Well, it could be a scarf, or it could be a broach, or it could be a pterodactyl....:-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
Quoting 1533. sar2401:

Yes, I did. Would have a talk with my cats and ask them not to take a Cat5hit in the litter box right after I cleaned it? Thank you. :-)

Best of the Day and yes I'm dying too :o) That was too "Funny"

taco :o)
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1539. sar2401
Quoting huntsvle:


If you use them correctly, the BAM suite is very useful to help you decide a track forecast when the model spread is a bit larger than you'd like. It's nice that it only takes into account winds, because then for just a second you consider just motion and use that to guide your forecast with the correct ensemble.

Agreed, and I often use the BAM ensembles for developing storms that are at least getting near vertically stacked. Being able to see what the S, M, and D models do compared to the GFS, for example, sometimes scouts out wind patterns that will control the path better than other dynamical or statistical models.
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I am seeing 95L's models now and what is this?
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Quoting 1534. huntsvle:


bahaha...OMG i'm dying.

Lolx1000000
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822
The LLCOC of 95L appears to be around 37-38/7.5-8 as seen here.
.

.
The first attempt at leaving the ITCZ looks like the LLCOC will be left behind while the convection blows off and sinks in the swamp. She'll have to refire convection but the second attempt will probably see the convection sheared and sunk in the swamp again. The third attempt, well, if we see the LLCOC catch on fire before sinking into the swamp then the 4th attempt will be one to keep an eye on.
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New TWO out in less than an hour from now
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822
Quoting 1533. sar2401:

Yes, I did. Would have a talk with my cats and ask them not to take a Cat5hit in the litter box right after I cleaned it? Thank you. :-)


bahaha...OMG i'm dying.
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1533. sar2401
Quoting Cat5hit:


Somebody call me?

Yes, I did. Would have a talk with my cats and ask them not to take a Cat5hit in the litter box right after I cleaned it? Thank you. :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
Hurricane Audrey is the strongest June Hurricane...not the first ever...my bad...
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1531. sar2401
Quoting nigel20:

We did get quite a bit of flash flooding from hurricane Dennis just a few days before Emily. Hurricane Dennis was the 10th wettest Tropical cyclone to affect Jamaica...we measured up to 24.54 inches. We also had a fatality associated with hurricane Dennis.


Ivan and Dennis were the one-two punch for Alabama. Ivan, 2004, was a hurricane until over 100 miles inland, and had TS force winds for almost 200 miles, Millions of trees were destroyed, not to mention structures completely destroyed, tornadoes, death, and injuries. Dennis hit a year later and, although not as damaging as Ivan, took down most of the trees Ivan missed. Because of all the downed trees, we also had hundreds of miles of downed power lines. We were without power for 18 days with Ivan and 13 days with Dennis. The paper mills had a bonanza for the two years after 2005, when they were able to salvage the millions of downed trees to used for chipboard and cardboard boxes. For the next five years, it was almost a depression in the paper business, and trees were being imported from as far away as North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It's only this year that the fast growing yellow pines have reached marketable size again.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
Looks like latest GFS shows 95L scrapping with Hispanola and losing. The wave behind 95L strengthening on a westerly path past where 95L is now, then it disappears. But the third wave, the big one over Africa approaching PR area as at least a TS.
Looking busy for so early. Looking like a busy, dangerous season and I will be having a we didn't get hit by a hurricane party if we don't get a major storm on the SE FL coast this year.
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Quoting 1495. Dakster:
What is the earliest a Major Hurricane has formed?

and what is the earliest a Cat 5 Hurricane has formed?

Just thinking out loud here. (Not that I think 95L will be either)


Answer A: Hurricane Audrey

Answer B: Unofficially Hurricane Audrey..I believe it was a category 5 anyway
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Quoting 1523. sar2401:

Ah, OK, I was cleaning cat litter boxes. Yuk! :-)


We're in agreement on that one also. ;)
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1527. nigel20
Quoting 1505. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hurricane Able '51 for the earliest major hurricane in the Atlantic, Hurricane Emily '05 for earliest Category 5 hurricane.

2005 was really an anomaly...I was having summer lessons for Electrical Technology in July. I had my classes canceled twice in matter of a week and a half...first with Dennis, then with Emily. I'm still amazed at how favorable conditions were for development...especially in the Caribbean and the GOM.

The most powerful of them all...Hurricane Wilma.
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Quoting 1522. sar2401:

No, Huntsvle has it exactly right. The BAMD will always show a shallow storm like 95L making sharp turns towards what the current winds are at around 950 mb. The BAMD, and, to a lesser extent, the BAMM, are nearly useless with a shallow storm that has no closed center of circulation and is not vertically stacked. Once that happens, the latter two BAM model do pretty well with path. Using the BAMM or BAMD on something like 95L is just kidding yourself.


Exclude this one sentence from my statement: "BAMD may be finding the apparent ridge that the others are not picking up on." Everything thing else is still absolutely true. BAM-S and a few others like the GFS and CMC may do alright initially with discerning cyclogenesis, but none of them are going to nail eventual track at this point. They've hardly anything to initialize upon at this point. It's still merely a low-level circulation embedded in the Itcz.

Too tired for really useless banter regarding models which I don't follow anyways. :) Y'all have a good night! :)
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Quoting 1522. sar2401:

No, Huntsvle has it exactly right. The BAMD will always show a shallow storm like 95L making sharp turns towards what the current winds are at around 950 mb. The BAMD, and, to a lesser extent, the BAMM, are nearly useless with a shallow storm that has no closed center of circulation and is not vertically stacked. Once that happens, the latter two BAM model do pretty well with path. Using the BAMM or BAMD on something like 95L is just kidding yourself.


If you use them correctly, the BAM suite is very useful to help you decide a track forecast when the model spread is a bit larger than you'd like. It's nice that it only takes into account winds, because then for just a second you consider just motion and use that to guide your forecast with the correct ensemble.
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1523. sar2401
Quoting daddyjames:


Yup we are in agreement. I covered the first part earlier :D

Ah, OK, I was cleaning cat litter boxes. Yuk! :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
1522. sar2401
Quoting moonlightcowboy:


Yup, look at a sfc map. Been saying this for two days now. Even a strong storm has difficulty pushing up against 1016mb of high pressure, much less one that is being reenforced by 1026mb high northwest above it at the Norther Antilles. 95L will not track that far north, and especially not given its current fast forward speed westwards and the fast low/mid level easterly flow. BAMD may be finding the apparent ridge that the others are not picking up on. None of the models are going to be too reliable at this point until there is a definitive closed low and it gains some intensity.

No, Huntsvle has it exactly right. The BAMD will always show a shallow storm like 95L making sharp turns towards what the current winds are at around 950 mb. The BAMD, and, to a lesser extent, the BAMM, are nearly useless with a shallow storm that has no closed center of circulation and is not vertically stacked. Once that happens, the latter two BAM model do pretty well with path. Using the BAMM or BAMD on something like 95L is just kidding yourself.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 19431
Quoting 1467. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Check out the tropical wave over central Africa (I call dibs, saw it first):

Over the past 30-years I've seen many Tropical Waves move off the African coast during the peak of the season that looked like Hurricanes and then they completely fall apart once they hit the water East of the Cape Verde Islands, so try not to get to worked up. Remember is still only Mid-July.
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Quoting 1518. daddyjames:


That far north where?

Into Bahamas E Coast of Florida area
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822
What we have here with the track forecasts is moot until and if we get a CCOC.
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Quoting 1515. wunderkidcayman:
I believe that you will see a drastic change in models and they will shift SW ward I don't think 95L will go that far N that early


That far north where?
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Quoting 1513. sar2401:

In addition, it was very large, even as a wave, and was also TS then a hurricane while still further south than any storm before or since. If 95L grows to a TD the size of Ivan, then I'll start looking for analogies. Until then,it just one of dozens of waves that form every year in the ITCZ and go nowhere. One of the worst mistakes you can make in logic is to prove a case by the exception to the rule. Ivan was a huge exception, but it doesn't increase the chances that anything even remotely resembling Ivan will also be an exception.


Yup we are in agreement. I covered the first part earlier :D
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1516. nigel20
Quoting 1504. wunderkidcayman:

Yeh well she did some bad stuff to us

We did get quite a bit of flash flooding from hurricane Dennis just a few days before Emily. Hurricane Dennis was the 10th wettest Tropical cyclone to affect Jamaica...we measured up to 24.54 inches. We also had a fatality associated with hurricane Dennis.

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I believe that you will see a drastic change in models and they will shift SW ward I don't think 95L will go that far N that early
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822
1514. Dakster
Quoting 1511. huntsvle:


No, I'm saying the BAM-D is looking more at higher level winds at that time, which would cause more of a turn than what a shallow storm would probably take. You have to consider...is a storm being driven by surface level wind fields, 850mb winds, 500mb winds, 300mb winds, 250mb winds...etc.

But like I said originally, they are parameterized to take into account those factors IF the storm is initialized at that level. This one isn't, so the initialization is poor.

Also, keep in mind that if there is no closed center of circulation, tropical models tend to use a best guess about current location as well.

A lot of factors go into it. I don't think the BAM suite sees a weakness in that area, I think it is using a different wind field based off the assumed vertical vorticity (that at this point doesn't exist)


That is how I understand the BAM models work. I like that description better.
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1513. sar2401
Quoting daddyjames:


Yes, but Ivan was already a tropical storm when it dropped south of 9N. It was already a closed circulation.

95L isn't. It most likely won't close its circulation off, if it doesn't do so in the next 12-24 hrs.

In addition, it was very large, even as a wave, and was also TS then a hurricane while still further south than any storm before or since. If 95L grows to a TD the size of Ivan, then I'll start looking for analogies. Until then,it just one of dozens of waves that form every year in the ITCZ and go nowhere. One of the worst mistakes you can make in logic is to prove a case by the exception to the rule. Ivan was a huge exception, but it doesn't increase the chances that anything even remotely resembling Ivan will also be an exception.
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From Wikipedia:

Beta Advection Model (BAM) has been used operationally since 1987 using steering winds averaged through the 850 hPa to 200 hPa layer and the Beta effect which causes a storm to drift northwest due to differences in the coriolis effect across the tropical cyclone.[14] The larger the cyclone, the larger the impact of the beta effect is likely to be.[15] Starting in 1990, three versions of the BAM were run operationally: the BAM shallow (BAMS) average winds in a 850 hPa to 700 hPa layer, the BAM Medium (BAMM) which uses average winds in a 850 hPa to 400 hPa layer, and the BAM Deep (BAMD) which is the same as the pre-1990 BAM.

The upper level steering current is forecast to be coming from North to South in that region at that time. That is why BAMD sends the "storm" towards the south
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Quoting 1503. unknowncomic:
So you're saying the deep storm feels a weakness in the Caribbean.


No, I'm saying the BAM-D is looking more at higher level winds at that time, which would cause more of a turn than what a shallow storm would probably take. You have to consider...is a storm being driven by surface level wind fields, 850mb winds, 500mb winds, 300mb winds, 250mb winds...etc.

But like I said originally, they are parameterized to take into account those factors IF the storm is initialized at that level. This one isn't, so the initialization is poor.

Also, keep in mind that if there is no closed center of circulation, tropical models tend to use a best guess about current location as well.

A lot of factors go into it. I don't think the BAM suite sees a weakness in that area, I think it is using a different wind field based off the assumed vertical vorticity (that at this point doesn't exist)
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Delaying my blog until tomorrow, hopefully before I leave for work in afternoon. Most of my graphics is done, however.
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1509. Dakster
Quoting 1502. huntsvle:


The deep one isn't accurate to follow at this point, because it's assuming that the storm is very deep. You have to consider what the storms height was at initialization. BAM-D is making an inaccurate assumption at this point, and if a storm is a wave, then BAM-D will not initialize properly.


Agree to a point.

I just use the BAM suite as a confluence to the more sophisticated model runs and based on what the storm actually is.
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Quoting 1485. unknowncomic:
Interesting how the BAM-D has it taking an abrupt SW turn. So a stronger storm feels the influence of what, a strong ridge?



Yup, look at a sfc map. Been saying this for two days now. Even a strong storm has difficulty pushing up against 1016mb of high pressure, much less one that is being reenforced by 1026mb high northwest above it at the Norther Antilles. 95L will not track that far north, and especially not given its current fast forward speed westwards and the fast low/mid level easterly flow. BAMD may be finding the apparent ridge that the others are not picking up on. None of the models are going to be too reliable at this point until there is a definitive closed low and it gains some intensity.
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Quoting 1501. redwagon:


I meant Isabel who recurved.

My point is I think '13 will be a hybrid of '04/05. There was a monster Bermuda High '04, and a lot of early CV storms below 10o ...contrasting '05, where the high was tame, but many early CVs. Just look at what's about to jump off Africa.. if 95L can get thus far intact, imagine what a wave who doesn't need the ITCZ can do.

Yeah I know
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822
Quoting 1502. huntsvle:


The deep one isn't accurate to follow at this point, because it's assuming that the storm is very deep. You have to consider what the storms height was at initialization. BAM-D is making an inaccurate assumption at this point, and if a storm is a wave, then BAM-D will not initialize properly.
OK nuff said--won't happen anyway, thanks.
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Quoting 1495. Dakster:
What is the earliest a Major Hurricane has formed?

and what is the earliest a Cat 5 Hurricane has formed?

Just thinking out loud here. (Not that I think 95L will be either)

Hurricane Able '51 for the earliest major hurricane in the Atlantic, Hurricane Emily '05 for earliest Category 5 hurricane.
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Quoting 1490. nigel20:

Emily (2005) was a small and very strong July hurricane. It's eye tracked well to our south here in Jamaica..luckily.

Hurricane Emily

Yeh well she did some bad stuff to us
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12822

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