Caribbean Disturbance 92L Moving Over the Yucatan; Erin Forms Off of Africa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:40 PM GMT on August 15, 2013

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The tropical wave in the Western Caribbean near the Yucatan Peninsula (92L) is growing more organized this morning, after an evening when it lost most of its heavy thunderstorm activity. Satellite loops show a modest-sized area of heavy thunderstorms that are increasing in intensity and areal coverage, but there are a no signs of a surface circulation. Winds at surface stations in the Western Caribbean also do not show a surface circulation. The highest surface wind reports this Thursday morning were at Western Caribbean buoy 42056 about 140 miles east southeast of Cozumel, which had east winds of 25 mph, gusting to 34 mph, at 10 am EDT. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots over the the wave, which should allow slow development today until its west-northwest movement at 10 - 15 mph carries it over the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday afternoon. Four hurricane hunter flights were scheduled to fly into 92L today--an Air Force mission tasked to provide a center fix early this afternoon, two NOAA P-3 missions aimed at collecting real-time radar data to feed into the HWRF model, and a flight by the NOAA jet to collect dropsonde data around the periphery of 92L. However, all of these flights were cancelled, given that 92L did not organize as much as much as it could have.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Invest 92L taken at 12:30 pm EDT Thursday August 15, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Forecast for 92L
92L will trek across the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday evening and arrive in the Southern Gulf of Mexico on Friday, when it will have the opportunity to strengthen. The 06Z Thursday SHIPS model forecast predicts that 92L will remain in an area of low to moderate wind shear through Saturday, and ocean temperatures will be a favorable 29 - 30°C. The topography of the Southern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche can aid in getting a storm spinning more readily, but 92L may be far enough north that this influence will be negligible. Given all these factors, 92L should be able to become at least a tropical depression by Saturday, A trough of low pressure over the northern Gulf of Mexico will dip down by Saturday evening over the Central Gulf of Mexico, potentially increasing wind shear to a high 20 - 30 knots, stalling any further intensification. This trough may also be able to pull the storm northwards to a landfall between Eastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, as the 00Z Thursday run of the European model is suggesting. This would bring a plenty of tropical moisture into the Southeast U.S., resulting in a large area of 4+" of rain. However, the other models show a more westerly track for 92L, with landfalls possible in Texas or Mexico south of the Texas border, and there is high uncertainty where 92L may go once it enters the Gulf of Mexico. In their 8 am EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 92L a 50% of developing by Saturday, and a 60% chance of developing by Tuesday.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Erin taken at 10:30 am EDT Thursday August 15, 2013. At the time, Erin had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical Storm Erin
The season's fifth named storm of the year, Tropical Storm Erin, has formed over the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Erin is over warm waters of 27°C and is under a moderate 10 - 15 knots of wind shear, which should allow continued development today and Friday. Erin is a small storm, as seen on satellite loops. The 12Z Thursday SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear will be low to moderate for the next five days, which favors development. However, the waters beneath Erin will steadily cool to a marginal 26°C by Friday, and the atmosphere will steadily get drier, as the storm encounters the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), discouraging development. Erin's west-northwest motion will cut the storm off on Sunday from a moist source of air to its south--the semi-permanent band of tropical thunderstorms called the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.) The storm should weaken beginning on Sunday, which would result in Erin turning more to the west as the east-to-west blowing surface trade winds begin to dominate the steering of the shallower storm. We may see a situation like occurred for Tropical Storm Dorian in late July--intensification to a 60 mph tropical storm, followed by a slow decay and dissipation. The latest run of the GFS model calls for Erin to dissipate well before reaching the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Typhoon Utor dissipates
Typhoon Utor has dissipated after hitting Southeast China about 150 miles southwest of Hong Kong on Wednesday as a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds. The typhoon is being blamed for 1 death in China, and sank a 21-person cargo ship off the coast. In the Philippines, where Utor hit as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds on Monday, 8 deaths are being blamed on the storm, and damage is estimated at $20 million.

Jeff Masters

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1642. Levi32
It's not completely over yet for 92L. Often it's hard to tell what these things will look like on the other side of the Yucatan. Also, visible satellite imagery suggests that the system is influencing the low-level flow over a much larger area than yesterday. ATCF confirms this by reporting the radius of the circulation to be 200 nautical miles. The larger a disturbance is, the harder it is to stretch it to the point of death, but we'll see how it looks once back over water.

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1641. sar2401
Quoting Chicklit:

That dry air sure acts like a good shield. Not even a few scattered clouds north of the MDR.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16289

Quoting 1620. kmanislander:
Good evening

This feature out near 43 W that I have been watching is starting to become more interesting.Still lots of room for this to develop before it reaches the islands.


FIM, CMC, HWRF, NAVGEM, seem to like this feature. Could get a mention in an upcoming TWO.
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1639. Patrap
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
415 PM CDT Thursday Aug 15 2013


Short term...


Main forecast issue is the timing and placement of the heavier
rainfall that will likely occur along the stalled frontal boundary
due to a combination of disturbances initially in the
westerlies...then later on from the southerly tropical flow and
any tropical low pressure area. Main weather feature of importance
is the middle/upper level trough that is forecast to persist over
the lower Mississippi Valley and adjacent Gulf Coast region. There
is very good model agreement that the trough axis will sharpen
with the base well south into the northwest Gulf of Mexico Friday
night into Saturday before gradually lifting back north Sunday an
Sunday night. The upper ridge that is anchored to the east and
southeast of the trough will act to steer a broad area of low
pressure both at the surface and in the middle levels from the
extreme northwest Caribbean Sea into the southern and western Gulf
of Mexico through the weekend. Some of this deep moisture...along
with middle level vorticity maxima...will be drawn north through the
central Gulf towards the north Gulf Coast over the weekend. Once
again...the timing and placement of the northwest/west edge of the
more concentrated showers and thunderstorms will be
difficult to forecast...however using a blend of the models over
the last several days there is some consistency suggesting the
cutoff between higher rain chances and heavy rain potential will
be near and southeast of the frontal boundary near the coast to
just inland.


Most of the reliable models do not show significant tropical
development due to the effects of shear and interaction with the
Yucatan Peninsula...however the National Hurricane Center
indicates there is a 50 percent chance of tropical cyclone
development within 48 hours and 60 percent within 5 days. Once
again...it is hard to hang your hat on any specific model since
there is so much variability and inconsistency...so the main focus
at this time is to expect some impacts from heavy
rainfall...stronger winds and elevated seas in the coastal
waters...and higher than normal tides this weekend. Please refer
to the latest briefings from our office along with the latest
outlook from the National Hurricane Center.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1638. sar2401
Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
hmm??? Wouldn't 92L shoot off towards the northeast?




With the NAM, it could have it shoot off for Loss Angeles. :-) Shows how desperate we are even looking at that thing.
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Quoting 1633. LAbonbon:


Dude, that looks so ominous


Pretty high based due to the high temperature to dewpoint spread, but definitely looks like a big hail producer. You can see the hail core being pushed out by the RFD.
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1636. sar2401
Quoting tornadodude:
This was the tornado-warned storm near Clovis earlier via @ariley081 on Twitter:


That is one oddball looking storm, especially for Clovis, which gets, what, a couple of tornadoes a decade? Did this ever turn into a confirmed tornado?
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hmm??? Wouldn't 92L shoot off towards the northeast?



Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8677
bunch o nothin
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Quoting 1630. tornadodude:
This was the tornado-warned storm near Clovis earlier via @ariley081 on Twitter:



Dude, that looks so ominous
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1632. sar2401
Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
Interesting the difference between the 2 at the same resolution.


One thing I'll say for the FIM models is that they been consistent. The have showed a storm in the Mobile/Pensacola area since 92L became an invest. I don't know how the models are seeded, but one would think that the track should have had a little more change. It's either spectacularly right or spectacularly wrong now.
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This was the tornado-warned storm near Clovis earlier via @ariley081 on Twitter:

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Quoting 1623. GTstormChaserCaleb:


Odd how the best 850 vort of 92L comes when it is over land !
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TWC pretty much is saying its over for 92L.

My forecast did great so far, storm heads into BOC then Mexico. Good Job Levi.
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1627. JLPR2
I see a few of you are watching the disturbance around 42-43W.



Hmm... Now if this one managed to develop it would be quite the surprise.
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Quoting 1620. kmanislander:
Good evening

This feature out near 43 W that I have been watching is starting to become more interesting.Still lots of room for this to develop before it reaches the islands.


i think invest coming soon with this area !
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Quoting 1623. GTstormChaserCaleb:


Is it just my imagination, or are there some deeper oranges over the Yucatan than there were over the Gulf of Honduras last night and this morning?
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1624. scott39
Quoting 1621. hydrus:
That is some funky weather Pat. I have been watching this stuff for a long time. Only 2 or 3 times have I seen something this strange in the gulf.Edit.In August..:)
ALOT of rain!
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Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8677
1622. scott39
92L has a 24 hour window in the GOM to be at least a TD. Im guessing landfall from W LA. to Al/Fl line. Lot of rain!
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1621. hydrus
Quoting 1608. Patrap:


I'm watching that ULL takin the Mojo in from 3 quadrants mid Gom.


Dont bet the farm on the Surface Low.


That is some funky weather Pat. I have been watching this stuff for a long time. Only 2 or 3 times have I seen something this strange in the gulf.Edit.In August..:)
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Good evening

This feature out near 43 W that I have been watching is starting to become more interesting.Still lots of room for this to develop before it reaches the islands.

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Quoting Levi32:
Dr. Maue is so lucky to have ECMWF data paid for. He's developing ECMWF ensemble plots for tropical cyclones now. Awesome stuff.



From what I've heard, there's a lot more coming...
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1618. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting 1600. Patrap:
Good men drilling for America died in the BP disaster and many hundreds more are maimed for life from the clean up.

Yeah, loads of LOL.





Amen, Pat ! BP and LOL should never be in the same zip code...
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1616. Patrap
Quoting 1615. GTstormChaserCaleb:
That would be something else if the ULL spins down to the surface aye Pat?


Nothing would surprise me more, but in this new 2.0 Atmo, keep ya eye on it.
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Quoting 1608. Patrap:


I'm watching that ULL takin the Mojo in from 3 quadrants mid Gom.


Dont bet the farm on the Surface Low.


That would be something else if the ULL spins down to the surface aye Pat?
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8677
GMZ001-160845-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
444 PM EDT THU AUG 15 2013


.SYNOPSIS...A TROPICAL WAVE IS MOVING ACROSS THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA WITH A LOW PRESSURE ALONG THE WAVE AXIS NEAR 20N89W.
THE LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE OFFSHORE THE NW YUCATAN PENINSULA TO
NEAR 21.4N 91.2W FRI AFTERNOON...NEAR 23.4N 92.6W SAT AFTERNOON...
REACH NEAR 25.4N 93.3W SUN AFTERNOON...AND MOVE INLAND MON NIGHT
OVER SW LOUISIANA...WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF TROPICAL CYCLONE
FORMATION WHILE MOVING THROUGH THE GULF OF MEXICO.
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1613. scott39
Quoting 1610. scott39:
92L weaker----W stronger----N
These are the models for now.
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And with darkness the storm evaporates..

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1611. nash36
Quoting 1603. moonlightcowboy:


Dang, Pat! Is TX gonna get some rain after all?


Perhaps. But the models have been windshield wipers on every subsequent run. We went from MX/TX to LA/MS back to MX again.

Until this ever gets its act together, the models are going to be all over the place.
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1610. scott39
92L weaker----W stronger----N
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East Africa- the breeding grounds for cv storms. Here is the 2nd in line behind Erin.
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1608. Patrap
Quoting 1603. moonlightcowboy:


Dang, Pat! Is TX gonna get some rain after all?


I'm watching that ULL takin the Mojo in from 3 quadrants mid Gom.


Dont bet the farm on the Surface Low.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting 1598. tornadodude:


LOL should have!

They were in May, but yes, I was with him in Moore the night the tornado hit. It was crazy. He is a strong dude, but there were plenty of tears that night.


He is the Jesse Ventura of weather. No doubt! Heading out now! Have a good nite WU. Busy days ahead :b
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Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8677
What I see:-

1.) 92L has been split in half, the first half will head north east toward the Florida Panhandle and cause a ton of flooding issues in that area. The second half, which is where our storm will develop, looks to be heading towards Texas. It will have a few more days over water to develop as opposed to the more eastern path it's cousin will take.

2.) Yesterday I mentioned the wave out ahead of Erin as having a possibility to develop if it dipped to the south of the Leeward Islands. At the time it looked like it had a much higher chance to skirt the northern faces of the islands, but today it looks like it might actually dip to the south. I believe this wave could be very interesting to watch over the next week or so.

3.) Erin has struggled a bit of late, but will likely start strengthening again come the next D-max. It's a pretty small storm so it has the potential to strengthen relatively quickly, but maybe not quite to Hurricane Strength. Will likely move out to sea.

4.) The Next African Wave will move off Africa and almost immediately be classified as 94L. It's still a bit early to determine how strong this wave will become, because we dont know how much Erin is going to weaken the wall of dry air it's heading into. But I do believe this will certainly be named sometime in the next week, It's a very powerful wave.
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Quoting 1592. Patrap:


Dang, Pat! Is TX gonna get some rain after all?
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Interesting the small area of shear from that pesky ull to the north of 92L is decreasing..
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Quoting 1468. stormgirI:
now that one could be a little stinker if it develops cuz it'll get wedged between the two highs.
It could develop. The tropical switch is not turned on completely yet. When that happens all h◆◆◆ may break loose.
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1600. Patrap
Good men drilling for America died in the BP disaster and many hundreds more are maimed for life from the clean up.

Yeah, loads of LOL.



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1599. scott39
It will be nice when and if the hurricane hunters can get out there to get some samples of 92L. Watching the models right now is like watching a spinning wheel for the game craps.
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Quoting 1596. Hurricanes305:


Lol XD that sound very cool I heard he was shaken up during the Tornado outbreaks in June in Oklahoma. BTY They should of also giving you a cup for your snow cone.


LOL should have!

They were in May, but yes, I was with him in Moore the night the tornado hit. It was crazy. He is a strong dude, but there were plenty of tears that night.
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1597. 10Speed
Quoting GTstormChaserCaleb:
Well after days of being down, the Experimental FIM ZEUS 30 km. ran.


Hmmm ... check Mobile and Pensacola.
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Quoting 1555. tornadodude:


I had the honor of storm chasing with Cantore back in May when he came out with us and TVN. One cool dude. Gave me a weather channel hat lol

Here I am wearing the hat in Nebraska back in May haha



Lol XD that sound very cool I heard he was shaken up during the Tornado outbreaks in June in Oklahoma. BTY They should of also giving you a cup for your snow cone.
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1595. mrmombq
Quoting 1594. tornadodude:


Oh, that? That's just a BP well...

LOL
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Quoting 1593. mrmombq:
That big black swirl in the center looks like a black hole sucking everything in.


Oh, that? That's just a BP well...

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1593. mrmombq
Quoting 1589. GatorWX:

That big black swirl in the middle of the GOM looks like a black hole sucking everything in.
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1592. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093

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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.