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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Quoting 547. Grothar:
Windward Passage I say.


JFV would be proud.
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The doom is almost palatable.



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Quoting 488. Jedkins01:


This image has a rather odd appearance in it. Now it is normal to see the reflection of the sunlight reflecting from the water on visible satellite. However, what is strange is a spot on the image of what looks like a reflection of the sun through a "whole in the clouds".

Now, this is perplexing me because how would that happen? Any suggestions for what is causing this? It might just be completely a glitch, I'm not sure.


Looks like it's shining through a hole in the SAL/dust layer.
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:


This is a graphic of EUMETSAT's dust product. Dust is depicted in the pink globs amidst all the blue, and really insignificant as far as inhibiting 95L's development. Dust is relatively sparse, especially out in front of and northwest of 95L.



But, using a WATER VAPOR LOOP, one can easily see that the substantial dry, sinking air in front of and north of 95L is an inhibiting factor. Were it not for its moisture umbilical embedded within the Itcz, 95L's development would wane very quickly.

95L's inhibiting factors are dry air and forward speed, and not much else. Waters are warm, moisture from being embedded in the Itcz, and it's also creating a moisture field in the surrounding area from natural surface lift as it tries to get the tropical engine running. Shear is favorable, but surface vorticity is still elongated (embedding) and there's no focused convergence (embedding). It does seem to be venting fairly well, and imo, this is a sign of continued development as it continues to track westwards.

However, imo, 95L is the most healthy-looking system we've seen thus far this year, and given a few improvements, could be well on its way to becoming a TD/TS and more eventually.

Agreed.
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I see we are at orange with 95L... Models seem to support 95L being a storm that will effect land - even if it just affects land as a thunderstorm.

Had Gro blobbed this on the blog yet?
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All eyes on the gulf, but this jumped out at me:



WOUS64 KWNS 061835
WOU3

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WS 393
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
140 PM CDT SAT JUL 6 2013

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 393 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM CDT
FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

MNC005-027-029-051-057-087-089-107-111-113-119-125 -159-167-
070200-
/O.NEW.KWNS.SV.A.0393.130706T1840Z-130707T0200Z/

MN
. MINNESOTA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BECKER CLAY CLEARWATER
GRANT HUBBARD MAHNOMEN
MARSHALL NORMAN OTTER TAIL
PENNINGTON POLK RED LAKE
WADENA WILKIN


NDC003-005-015-017-021-027-029-031-035-037-039-043 -045-047-051-
059-063-065-069-071-073-077-081-083-085-091-093-09 7-099-103-
070200-
/O.NEW.KWNS.SV.A.0393.130706T1840Z-130707T0200Z/

ND
. NORTH DAKOTA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BARNES BENSON BURLEIGH
CASS DICKEY EDDY
EMMONS FOSTER GRAND FORKS
GRANT GRIGGS KIDDER
LAMOURE LOGAN MCINTOSH
MORTON NELSON OLIVER
PIERCE RAMSEY RANSOM
RICHLAND SARGENT SHERIDAN
SIOUX STEELE STUTSMAN
TRAILL WALSH WELLS


ATTN...WFO...FGF...BIS...
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Windward Passage I say.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 72 Comments: 28794
A general West track will continue later today but by tomorrow it could start to break away from the ITCZ and head WNW or just North of due west reaching the Central Antilles (St. Lucia/Martinique) and Eastern Caribbean area in 3-4 days from then its a big question mark. Does it strengthen enough with the High eroding to its north and feel the weakness and gain some latitude and makes its way into the Bahamas or the ridge remain strong and send it into the Western Caribbean is still way out. Right we will have to watch how it tries to develop before it get to the islands and how it survives without the ITCZ.
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Good afternoon all.

Not surprisingly 94L has not really change a whole lot in organization, though thunderstorms are persisting over the southern part of the disturbance where any defined LLC would be. Nonetheless the system will likely be a rain issue for the upper Texas Coast and inland areas late tomorrow and on into the week as it is not forecast to lift out of the area very quickly, and inland shear is forecast to cause potential mid level forcing which may lead to severe thunderstorms in addition to amplifying the system once it is over land.


Out in the atlantic, per the GFS forecast the cape verde wave is now showing far better signs of organization, and now most of the models are picking it up. Latest runs show it potentially being a threat to south florida in two weeks time or, depending on the ridge scenerio, possibly crossing through the straights into the gulf. Such a forecast is too far out in the future, and the ridge situation too dynamic to make any firm calls yet, by far (especially we must remember with the lack of a closed LLC being fed into the models), to tell where this will go, but because of the strength of the Bermuda high the chances of this being a fish storm do not seem very high to me. This however, will in part be governed by how quickly the system develops itself. As is typical with cape verde storms, the sooner they become deep systems the sooner they tend to turn to the NW, which means they will usually re-curve. If they take their time developing they make it farther west, but at this time of the season Caribbean westerlies at the surface levels can decouple them quite easily. And then there are some, like IKE, which find a way to go all the way through to the Gulf and become a serious problem.


We will simply have to see what happens, but as of now sat images of the system are very promising, and the cyclonic turning is increasing overall.

This is going to be the first "big" system to keep an eye on of the season IF it develops.


1. Cyclonic turning noted in 94L : Link



2. The central atlantic wave, with organized convection and increasing turning. The wave is clearly embeded in strong westerly, by west south west steering currents: Link
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Quoting 538. Grothar:
It looks like 95L wants to go through the Windward passage like Isaac. (Is CyberTeddy on?)







Right here.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Speed can be detrimental, but usually over 20KT as opposed to 20 mph... which is considered borderline.

Speeders do sometimes arrive alive...

But Ted, the CMC got an overhaul... it may be on the money with this one too...

[Geez... the thought of CMC with its typical cat5 bombs being accurate is rather... alarming...]

Hey Baha!

Yeah...especially in the development stage, but they tend to have less impact on stronger systems.
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I think we will be seeing a lot of these hard right curves throughout the season opening up Florida and the Gulf of Mexico as the subtropical ridge holds firm across the tropical atlantic.
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One of Levi's tweets.

@TropicalTidbits

95L should struggle while east of 75W, but could be trouble once it gets farther west in about a week. New video discussion will be out soon
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This is a graphic of EUMETSAT's dust product. Dust is depicted in the pink globs amidst all the blue, and really insignificant as far as inhibiting 95L's development. Dust is relatively sparse, especially out in front of and northwest of 95L.



But, using a WATER VAPOR LOOP, one can easily see that the substantial dry, sinking air in front of and north of 95L is an inhibiting factor. Were it not for its moisture umbilical embedded within the Itcz, 95L's development would wane very quickly.

95L's inhibiting factors are dry air and forward speed, and not much else. Waters are warm, moisture from being embedded in the Itcz, and it's also creating a moisture field in the surrounding area from natural surface lift as it tries to get the tropical engine running. Shear is favorable, but surface vorticity is still elongated (embedding) and there's no focused convergence (embedding). It does seem to be venting fairly well, and imo, this is a sign of continued development as it continues to track westwards.

However, imo, 95L is the most healthy-looking system we've seen thus far this year, and given a few improvements, could be well on its way to becoming a TD/TS and more eventually.
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Quoting 532. Hurricanes305:


12z CMC has an odd path similar to my thinking with the HWRF but have it going west further then a hard right hook into Tampa.
I suppose it will happen again someday right? For now this is wayyy to early to determine exact landfall location, first up will be the Leeward/Windward Islands.
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It looks like 95L wants to go through the Windward passage like Isaac. (Is CyberTeddy on?)




Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 72 Comments: 28794
Quoting 468. SLU:


Dean, Allen, Ivan are three examples of Cape Verde hurricanes which zoomed by at 20 - 25mph and still developed.
Speed can be detrimental, but usually over 20KT as opposed to 20 mph... which is considered borderline.

Speeders do sometimes arrive alive...

Quoting 479. CybrTeddy:
Back tracking from my earlier negativity, I see no reason why for the next 72 hours 95L won't continue to develop. My earlier assumption was that there would be dry air to hamper 95L's development chances, however the SHIPS analysed it showed favorable-marginal moisture ahead of 95L, so that basically blew that argument out of the water. Only the CMC shows 95L developing, and not until it approaches Florida. Outside of that I have absolutely no clue as to why none of the other models show any development. I can't see anything based on the latest SHIPS run that would indicate to me unfavorable conditions ahead. Only when it gets into the Caribbean does it seem conditions will be unfavorable, and that's only if it gets into the central Caribbean. Odds are, this will be a system that goes WNW through most of its life.
But Ted, the CMC got an overhaul... it may be on the money with this one too...

[Geez... the thought of CMC with its typical cat5 bombs being accurate is rather... alarming...]
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Quoting Patrap:
94L Rainbow


There's plenty of moisture in the Gulf at the moment.
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Quoting 530. Patrap:
94L Rainbow

Plenty of convection just what the doctor ordered for Texas still no well define surface circulation.
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Para los de PR y amigos:
Ada Monzon
Oreos? (para los nuevos que han entrado en el perfil...este es nuestro codigo cuando sabemos que vamos a pasar largas horas frente a una computadora velando un sistema tropical-que conste que no hay endoso alguno a la compania, por favor, es que son una de mis galletas favoritas, pero tu te comes las que te gusten!) Bueno, en serio, me parece que sera una semana muy interesante...la onda tropical (es ahora Invest 95L) con su baja presion de 1009 mb en la latitud 7.7 N longitud 30.7 O a las 8 am tiene buena rotacion para estar tan Baja y se mueve rapido al oeste. Aun con el polvo del Sahara que la rodea, esta demasiado organizada. En resumen, la observaremos, pero:
1-los residentes de la region del noreste-centro del Caribe incluyendo Puerto Rico y La Espanola deben estar atentos a su progreso.
2-no esta claro con que fortaleza y distancia pueda llegar a la cercania de PR, pero estimo que como minimo se puede fortalecer a depresion tropical, y pasar a una distancia dentro de un rango de 200 millas del sur de Puerto Rico. Esto pudiera implicar mucha lluvia para la isla entre martes en la noche a miercoles.
3-muy temprano para hacer un analisis mas profundo pues apenas los datos comienzan a fluir y modelos comienzan a correr.
Las boyas deben dar mejores datos en las proximas 24 horas. ADA
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Quoting 523. hurricane23:


didnt see any shift significant shift there most bring it into southern bahamas for now.


the 12z CMC im looking at brings it into west coast of FLA
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Quoting 522. MiamiHurricanes09:
12z CMC sure like 95L.



12z CMC has an odd path similar to my thinking with the HWRF but have it going west further then a hard right hook into Tampa.
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Quoting 522. MiamiHurricanes09:
12z CMC sure likes 95L.

It likes every storm.
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94L Rainbow

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Quoting 516. hurricane23:
updated 18z plots..


Quoting 518. washingtonian115:
They continue to go south.If it does stay south and away from the TUTT and land interaction it could have a chance.
Not really in fact Its consistent with the 12z plots except for the Clips which is an outlier.
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Latest Southern Oscillation Index values

SOI values for 06 Jul 2013

Average for last 30 days: 6.8
Average for last 90 days: 5.7
Daily contribution to SOI calculation: 19.5
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Quoting 526. BahaHurican:
Pat, this may actually bring rain to the TX coast... looks pretty healthy, even if there isn't a "real" low under there... lol


One can see the Ridge Bump it and give, in the end a tad.

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Quoting 449. Patrap:
94L Rainbow Image

Pat, this may actually bring rain to the TX coast... looks pretty healthy, even if there isn't a "real" low under there... lol
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Quoting 393. Drakoen:
First really impressive wave of the season, that actually has a chance. Satellite loops shows it has a decent lower to mid level circulation. Water vapor imagery shows a good amount of moisture which is associated with the ITCZ which is fine for now or else there would be no 95L.


Nice to see you back Drak! Hope things are well with you.
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Quoting 515. BahaHurican:
Spooooky.... I was just thinking how strong early storms in July are more likely to correlate to an active season than those in June... and I thought about Emily... earliest E storm, right?

[shudders]



Your pick, Ivan, began in September...someone mentioned Isabel which is more in line with the latest tracks, but Isabel was later, also.

I think I just got spooked, too. Looks like the only fish storms this year will be squeakers, running up the Eastern seaboard.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
They continue to go south.If it does stay south and away from the TUTT and land interaction it could have a chance.


didnt see any shift significant shift there most bring it into southern bahamas for now.
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12z CMC sure likes 95L.

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Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
Good afternoon Nigel! How is the weather like in Jamaica?

It's pretty windy at the moment, but I can see a bit of dark clouds to our west as well as a bit of thunder.
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Hello everyone, 95L now up to 30%! Still little conservative though understandable as the ITCZ is making this look like a developed storm. Models shifted south taking it into the Caribbean. However, there is not much agreement between the GFS and it ensembles members.

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Quoting 501. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Can't you use sound recorder?


Don't have one.
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Quoting 516. hurricane23:
updated 18z plots..

They continue to go south.If it does stay south and away from the TUTT and land interaction it could have a chance.
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Quoting 512. nigel20:
Thanks Dr. Masters! I see that we have 95L and it's already at 30%. Good afternoon fellow bloggers.
Good afternoon Nigel! How is the weather like in Jamaica?
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updated 18z plots..

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Quoting 433. redwagon:




Best overall analog I can find, given DOB, place of birth, with the GFS liking a Western track.
Spooooky.... I was just thinking how strong early storms in July are more likely to correlate to an active season than those in June... and I thought about Emily... earliest E storm, right?

I just looked at Ivan... which was a TS at 9.1 N. So if 95L gets called before that, it's likely to get into the record books.

[shudders]

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Quoting 507. Hurricanes305:

it has that LOOK to it


I have no idea why, but Im seeing a Hazel 1954,in July rather than Oct
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cmc.!...180hrs
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Thanks Dr. Masters! I see that we have 95L and it's already at 30%. Good afternoon fellow bloggers.
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Quoting 503. MiamiHurricanes09:
I'll hold off judgement on 95L until it completely detaches from the ITCZ and begins to fight off dry air on its own.

In this image the system already looks like a Tropical Storm. Look forward to your analysis later MH09.
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I'm out till 8pm.
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
the center lots of rain on the West of the center that why its at 30% on invest 95L
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Quoting 507. Hurricanes305:

it has that LOOK to it
I agree.
Member Since: June 11, 2013 Posts: 24 Comments: 4135

Quoting 500. hurricanes2018:
INVEST 95L is moving fast
it has that LOOK to it
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Cold core system west of South America is sure throwing some crazy waves at Peru and Chile.
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Quoting 496. moonlightcowboy:


You are misquoting me. Not what I said. If you're going to quote me, quote me correctly, please.

I said "dust" will NOT be a problem. Dry, sinking air of the SAL is a problem. Big difference. Again, many here do not understand that SAL and Dust are NOT the same thing at all. Dust is only a part, a small part actually of what SAL is. SAL is the Saharan Air Layer, not a dust layer. And, dry sinking air is the largest component of SAL which is indeed an inhibiting factor to 95L. Without its umbilical to moisture being embedded in the ITCZ, 95L would vaporize in the dry, sinking air.

Many people use the CIMSS Chart for SAL, and that's fine, but do not confuse the area of orange in the chart as being dust. The orange area in the chart is very largely the dry, sinking air.

It's confusing to several, happens every year. Dust generally resides in the mid-levels (500mb), not at the surface where the low is, where the spin is, where the moisture lift occurs from the surface and generates the thunderstorms around the coc. Dust is NOT an inhibiting factor for 95L. The CIMSS chart is the worst chart for representing dust - use EUMETSAT or TAU's products to determine any dust saturation.

Other than the mis-quote, and misunderstanding of what SAL is, you make a good post! :)
May bad I did misquote you as I though you were referring to both the dry air and the dust. 
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Quoting 495. lottotexas:
A quote from a reliable hurricane forecaster:
"Currently, the low is in an area of semi favorable upper level winds with minimal upper divergence. The current Wind Shear, and Zonal Shear forecast indicate upper level winds may become more conducive through the next 72 hours. Based on this premise, I believe further slow organization should occur, and cannot rule out the probability of 95L becoming a Tropical Depression within that time. As the disturbance approaches the Lesser Antilles, it could meet its demise after 96 hours,as based on the current wind shear forecast, shear is forecast to remain prevalent over the Caribbean for the next 14 – 16 days."


Depends, those shear forecasts change day-to-day.

12z GFS today.


12z GFS yesterday.
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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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