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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1542. Patrap
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1541. ncstorm
Quoting 1535. Levi32:


He runs the model plots for Weatherbell, but they are all paywalled. Sometimes he posts specific plots on Twitter, like that one.


Thanks
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1540. Grothar
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Quoting 1518. bayoubug:
The ULL looks like its started to move again to the west..Stubborn ULL needs to get out of the way..


I haven't looked at latest NWS discussion, but the
ULL in the Gulf was connected to another ULL over Mexico via a Upper Level trough....
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Quoting 1529. ProgressivePulse:
Evening All.

Looks like mom nature flipped the switch right on cue this year.


Nah, they are all dying, season is over, bust, bust, SAL, shear, dry air, Llamas dancing, over, bust, fish
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Quoting 1530. ncstorm:


not so north like the GFS..

Levi, will he be posting these on twitter or does he have an actual website?



He works for Weatherbell last I knew... Which is also a paid site..
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1535. Levi32
Quoting 1530. ncstorm:


not so north like the GFS..

Levi, will he be posting these on twitter or does he have an actual website?



He runs the model plots for Weatherbell, but they are all paywalled. Sometimes he posts specific plots on Twitter, like that one.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Quoting 1522. Tropicsweatherpr:
00z Best Track for Erin.

AL, 05, 2013081600, , BEST, 0, 152N, 285W, 35, 1007, TS

They'll probably keep it as a TS at 11PM for continuity but it's not impossible they'll downgrade it as these satellite estimates are very marginal for TS classification.

15/2345 UTC 15.3N 27.9W T1.5/2.0 ERIN -- Atlantic
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1532. Levi32
Quoting 1528. DavidHOUTX:


What are they showing for 92L?

Also, why does the ECMWF make everyone pay for their models? I have always wondered that...


Because it's the best global model in the world, so people demand it, and they saw a financial opportunity. It's a brilliant move by them, although very annoying.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
1531. SLU
Quoting 1510. Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi Tx13. Do you see something like a surprise development from Pouch 20L around 45W?


The CMC loves it

Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4784
1530. ncstorm
Quoting 1520. Levi32:
Dr. Maue is so lucky to have ECMWF data paid for. He's developing ECMWF ensemble plots for tropical cyclones now. Awesome stuff.



not so north like the GFS..

Levi, will he be posting these on twitter or does he have an actual website?

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Evening All.

Looks like mom nature flipped the switch right on cue this year.
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Quoting 1520. Levi32:
Dr. Maue is so lucky to have ECMWF data paid for. He's developing ECMWF ensemble plots for tropical cyclones now. Awesome stuff.



What are they showing for 92L?

Also, why does the ECMWF make everyone pay for their models? I have always wondered that...
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1527. Patrap
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Yes, and there seems to be a monster getting ready to exit Africa.
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Good evening everyone...I'm just so in love with this view.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7358
Quoting 1517. Doppler22:


I don't know about you but I hope both storms develop. It would kind of cool to see two CPAC born storms at once.

I agree, especially since it's been so quiet out there the past few years. For what it's worth, the 18z GFS appeared to show 90C becoming a storm in the West Pac, then merging with another tropical system which became an extratropical system east of Japan by the end of the run.

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00z Best Track for Erin.

AL, 05, 2013081600, , BEST, 0, 152N, 285W, 35, 1007, TS
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Quoting 1494. stormgirI:
the way we are going this year she ain't gonna make it to the podium....
Now look here son, it's only the 15th of August. Hurricane Cleo did not hit Miami until the 27th of August 1964. Donna hit Craig Key on September the 10th 1960. Betsy hit Key Largo on September the 8th 1965. The Great Miami Hurricane did not hit until the 17th of September 1926 when all of Miami Beach went under (5) feet of water. The Great West Palm Beach Hurricane did not hit until the 16th of September 1928 and took 2500 lives. Hurricane Inez did not hit Key Largo until October the 4th 1966 and Hurricane King did not make a direct hit on the city of Miami until October 18th 1950. So we have a long long way's to go. As most of you know all this African Dust and Dry Air can subside at any time and then WATCH OUT!
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1520. Levi32
Dr. Maue is so lucky to have ECMWF data paid for. He's developing ECMWF ensemble plots for tropical cyclones now. Awesome stuff.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Quoting 1479. Levi32:
GFDL ensembles show the potential for some kind of organization in the western gulf, after the trough to the north begins to lift out. The key will be whether there is anything left of 92L to develop, given that most of its moisture will be robbed from it by the trough and deposited on the north gulf coast instead.


Checkmate Levi's haters lol......
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The ULL looks like its started to move again to the west..Stubborn ULL needs to get out of the way..
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Quoting 1511. MAweatherboy1:
90C still at 30kts, pressure up one mb.

CP, 90, 2013081600, , BEST, 0, 125N, 1621W, 30, 1008, LO


I don't know about you but I hope both storms develop. It would kind of cool to see two CPAC born storms at once.
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Its tough to be a forecaster....


NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
415 PM CDT THU 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 MID/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 MID 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 MID 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
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Quoting 1458. DavidHOUTX:
Look at the cluster of tracks in Texas (I LIKE IT )
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1514. ncstorm
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1513. Patrap
One thing in common on the last Decades retired Atlantic names is this, most if not all were after this date.



Food fer thought.


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Quoting 1408. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Invest 90C is experiencing some westerly shear. However, it has a well-defined surface circulation and any increase in thunderstorm activity would result in the formation of a tropical cyclone.



Invest 91C is close to developing as well. The NWS office in Honolulu is calling the center poorly organized, but I'm not seeing it. Wish we had ASCAT.



Next two names are Pewa and Unala.


The CPAC was getting jealous of all the attention the EPAC and the Atlantic have been getting :p
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90C still at 30kts, pressure up one mb.

CP, 90, 2013081600, , BEST, 0, 125N, 1621W, 30, 1008, LO
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Quoting 1496. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Erin had a hard DMIN and may be entraining a little dry air, but I seriously doubt it's dying. Should see convection fire over the next few hours.

The wave over western Africa continues to move west-southwestward. The GFS continues to show its bias in emerging waves too far north.



Hi Tx13. Do you see something like a surprise development from Pouch 20L around 45W?
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Quoting 1496. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Erin had a hard DMIN and may be entraining a little dry air, but I seriously doubt it's dying. Should see convection fire over the next few hours.


Yeah, probably, I'm just really hesitant to have any hope for storms out in its position at this point though since Chantal and Dorian both died on us and conditions still aren't too good out there. Looks like it's trying to suck in some SAL:

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Seems like a long time ago since we had a wave roll off of africa and then turn into a monster hurricane barreling though the carribean and then eventually start the death curl up into the gulf
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 578
1505. ncstorm


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1504. SLU
Quoting 1404. TomTaylor:
Well this was from SLU's comment (1148)...




I think he messed with the scale a bit but 700mb has certainly been drier than normal.


Yep it's very dry at least in the mid-levels. Large parts of the MDR are over 5.5% below average in terms of the 700mb relative humidity.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4784
Opal tore Panama City up pretty bad as well. I didn't live here then but my parents did and I visited shortly after. The destruction was extensive.
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Quoting 1486. stormgirI:
it crapped out fast though.
Say what it hit Pensacola Beach as a cat 3!!
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Quoting 1479. Levi32:
GFDL ensembles show the potential for some kind of organization in the western gulf, after the trough to the north begins to lift out. The key will be whether there is anything left of 92L to develop, given that most of its moisture will be robbed from it by the trough and deposited on the north gulf coast instead.



What about if it tracks northward into the Gulf Coast. That track is the one that is favored it seems by the NHC
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welp the downcast crew has taken over.

Opal crapped out fast? Say that to the people it killed and the damage it did
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Quoting 1491. Grothar:


Yes, my neighbor's husband fell and we had to go over and help. I watched while they picked him up.


Sorry to hear that. is he ok? Obviously you were there for moral support.

obviously, you were hinting at something before, and posed a question to Levi. I was intrigued with what you were trying to get at. I posed an ameteurish answer, which is obviously incorrect. Was wondering what the follow up was.

Edit: Could i say obviously any more than I did. obviously I can :D
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Quoting 1489. MAweatherboy1:
Erin looks like it's dying:


Erin had a hard DMIN and may be entraining a little dry air, but I seriously doubt it's dying. Should see convection fire over the next few hours.

The wave over western Africa continues to move west-southwestward. The GFS continues to show its bias in emerging waves too far north.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31314
when the season started out with Andrea I really thought we would at least have a major by now.. We are approaching the peak of the season but dang we havent even had anything close to a hurricane.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 578
Looks as if anything that try's to get going in the tropics this year just runs into a bunch of roadblocks. But don't dismay. we're just getting started and it's not over till the fat lady sings.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.