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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1392. sar2401
Quoting MississippiWx:
1. A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...ACCOMPANIED BY A LARGE AREA OF
DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS...IS LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL
YUCATAN PENINSULA. LITTLE OR NO DEVELOPMENT OF THE LOW IS EXPECTED
WHILE IT REMAINS OVER LAND TONIGHT...BUT THERE IS STILL POTENTIAL
FOR DEVELOPMENT ONCE THE DISTURBANCE MOVES OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO
ON FRIDAY. AFTER THAT TIME...THE LOW IS FORECAST TO MOVE TOWARD THE
CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO WHERE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS WOULD ONLY FAVOR
SLOW DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND A HIGH CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE DISTURBANCE ON FRIDAY...
IF NECESSARY.

Only thing added was that last sentence, and still with the "IF NECESSARY" qualifier added. I hope they really do fly it so we'll have some idea what 92L is really doing.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16033
1390. Patrap
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1389. Patrap
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1388. Patrap
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1386. ncstorm
I see my post of Ms. Pepsi was removed..I guess I should have posted it for 2 minutes and then replaced it with a weather image like some regulars do..funny, I didnt get a warning..but I understand, its active season..



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Can someone tell me what the ensemble model tracks shows. I thought it shows previous storm tracks but I was told that wasn't the case.
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1384. Patrap
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1380. cg2916
Quoting 1376. CycloneOz:
08/15/2013 Daily Update - GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector Animation

This is a long loop animation from the GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector imagery. Featured is the designation of TS Erin earlier today and the track conditions ahead of TS Erin, including tracking forecasts by the NHC for 08/15/2013.

There is also an area of interest near the Yucatan Peninsula on 08/15/2013. Watch out for this one!



Hey Oz, how is Ecuador suiting you?
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1. A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...ACCOMPANIED BY A LARGE AREA OF
DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS...IS LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL
YUCATAN PENINSULA. LITTLE OR NO DEVELOPMENT OF THE LOW IS EXPECTED
WHILE IT REMAINS OVER LAND TONIGHT...BUT THERE IS STILL POTENTIAL
FOR DEVELOPMENT ONCE THE DISTURBANCE MOVES OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO
ON FRIDAY. AFTER THAT TIME...THE LOW IS FORECAST TO MOVE TOWARD THE
CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO WHERE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS WOULD ONLY FAVOR
SLOW DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50
PERCENT...
OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND A HIGH CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE DISTURBANCE ON FRIDAY...
IF NECESSARY.
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08/15/2013 Daily Update - GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector Animation

This is a long loop animation from the GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector imagery. Featured is the designation of TS Erin earlier today and the track conditions ahead of TS Erin, including tracking forecasts by the NHC for 08/15/2013.

There is also an area of interest near the Yucatan Peninsula on 08/15/2013. Watch out for this one!

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1375. sar2401
Quoting ProphetessofDoom:
Ok, so I asked this earlier, but never saw an answer. (I do hope I haven't been assigned troll status! I normally, lurk and when I do comment, I do not state outlandish predictions, nor do I think I've offended anyone with the exception of Socialmargie.) so if someone could help...
Can two tropical systems develop from one invest? For instance, if there were two competing coc's, then could they move far enough away from each other and develop on their own? Thanks!

I suppose it's possible but it seems highly unlikely. Most invests have a hard enough time forming one COC, let alone two. If someone else has heard of this actually happen, chime in, but I never have.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16033
1371. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 1370. sar2401:

I'm certainly addicted in that, if I go without the morphine, I'll go into withdrawals, which are really bad. The distinction, I think, is habituated rather than addicted. If I took them just to get high, then I'd be addicted to the sensations of being high. Since I'm in chronic acute pain, it just reduces the pain to a tolerable level. I've never taken drugs recreationally, so I don't really know what it feels like, but recreational users tell me it's really good. I would be more than happy never to take another pill if I could get rid of the pain some other way.


take this discussion off Dr Masters Blog or I will !!
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Ok, so I asked this earlier, but never saw an answer. (I do hope I haven't been assigned troll status! I normally, lurk and when I do comment, I do not state outlandish predictions, nor do I think I've offended anyone with the exception of Socialmargie.) so if someone could help...
Can two tropical systems develop from one invest? For instance, if there were two competing coc's, then could they move far enough away from each other and develop on their own? Thanks!
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Quoting 1317. oceanspringsMS:
I have a very hard time wrapping my mind around why anyone would consider a major hurricane NOT making landfall on the GOM a "bust" season. Seems to me a lot of people have their priorities and perspectives skewed.


I think many people just have this perception that every season is supposed to look like 2005, at least many of the people I've seen saying these things on this blog.

I posted a couple weeks back that the average date for the first hurricane in the Atlantic between 1966 adn 209 is August 10th, with the average date for the first major being September 4th

Seasons where the first hurricane formed after August 10th:

1967: Hurricane Arlene - September 3 (named on August 30th)
1974: Hurricane Becky - August 26th
1976: Hurricane Candice - August 21st
1977: Hurricane Anita - August 30th

Fast forward to the 90's and 2000's

1991: Hurricane Bob - August 17th
1992: Hurricane Andrew - August 22nd
1999: Hurricane Bret - August 21st (of note 1999 ended up with 12/8/5)
2001: Hurricane Erin - September 9th
2007: Hurricane Dean - August 16th
2009: Hurricane Bill - August 17th
2011: First Hurricane was IRENE - August 22nd
Season to Note-- 2010: Hurricane Alex formed the end of June and we didn't see another Hurricane until Danielle on August 23rd (season ended in 19/12/5)

My point being that despite out "slow start" to the season, there is no way to claim it will be a bust of a season...still way too much time left, and many of the seasons I listed above produced strong hurricanes that both cause terrible destruction and loss of life and recurves out to sea. Just because we are 5 day past the average formation date of the first hurricane is no justification to label this season a bust... seasons like 1999, 2007 and 2011 should serve as reminders of this.

::stepping of the soapbox now:: (and sorry for the long post, just wanted to make my point. I don't speak much, and tend to watch more...but these 'bust' claims are outrageous and unnecessary
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Near the "V"


Mexico Automatic Stations
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Quoting 1361. hurricane23:
waiting with open arms :0)



The parade is just starting.
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98W in the WPAC



OSCAT got a good pass on it earlier



It should become the next TD in the WPAC in a day or so (possibly sooner).
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waiting with open arms :0)

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Looks like its Bon Voyage for Erin.
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Hey lets all watch 40w instead
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I have lurked here for several years. I hope you don't mind if I ask what might be a lame question of you pros, semi-pros, and enthusiasts.

When you have a system in its infancy that has yet to use up the majority of the resources and potential energy from the region waters move over a stretch of land like the Yucatan, does it leave more room for development when it arrives over water again?

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Quoting 1351. sar2401:

I know what you mean (he said, about to take his second [prescribed] 30mgs of morphine for the day). It's hard to explain what a huge thing it is to have narcotics available unless you have chronic but acute pain. I would not be able to get out of bed in the morning without them. It's also weird that, when you're in pain, you don't get any kind of buzz from taking narcotics - it just goes right to the pain center of your brain, not the pleasure center. There are times, however, when I do think the drugs make me see wierd faces in satellite photos. :-)


Go forward 1 minute.



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1356. sar2401
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Spinning pretty good on the ghcc loop, of course the more you click on Speed+ the more it spins......

And if you watch it long enough, you get vertigo and pass out. :-) I'm really sick of watching three or four areas spinning at once. Just form one low, dang it, or dissipate.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 16033
Quoting 1188. Levi32:


They aren't the same, but are closely linked. Stable air creates dry air because a stable air layer sinks, which compresses it and dries it. My point was that although the eastern north Atlanic is always dry in an absolute sense, it is currently not drier than normal, but it is more stable than normal due to high pressure there. If Erin had formed in this location in 2010 or 2012, I wager she would have become a hurricane. Right now she probably won't.
That makes sense. The assumption I was under was that there were some sort of an air mass present that was either dry and unstable or moist and stable, which would make absolutely no sense lol. I get you now.

You're referring more towards the convective suppression due to an above average MSLP in the northern Atlantic.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Ok Grothar, we are intrigued. You have been hinting at something for a bit now. Are you leaving us hanging?

Are you implying that the Cuban blobette is acquiring its own outflow pattern and organizing into something that should be watched - with a feeder band extending to the south?

Just a very uneducated guess.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Sure is quiet. Must be dinner time.
See ya all.
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Quoting 1337. AussieStorm:


Yes we are but have the effects of very strong pain killers running through my body.


Your back bad tonight? Hope the meds help.
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1349. Dakster
Quoting 1337. AussieStorm:


Yes we are but have the effects of very strong pain killers running through my body.


Are you OK? Did I miss something whilst I was away on vacay?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10414
Still firing some convection even as the sun sets.

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Spinning pretty good on the ghcc loop, of course the more you click on Speed+ the more it spins......
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Quoting 1335. Levi32:


I see an elongated area of low pressure?

may be it could reform no shear in sw gulf right now
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Quoting 1291. hurricanes2018:
tropical storm erin is hit very dry air now because it moving wnw right into the dry air!
good....for blobzilla #2...
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Quoting 1341. Grothar:


You're catching all the songs. Who do you think you are, Peter Frampton?


LOL....Touche Professor!
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Quoting 1312. Tazmanian:
92L is one sloppy mess


That phrase sounds like a broken record thus far in our hurricane season.
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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.