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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Quoting 270. TXCWC:


yup, problem is if you want to see any serious development the center is already over land...will have to wait for it to come out on Gulf side to see if she has anything in store for us



Finally, a closed Low over land! Crazy!
Quoting 270. TXCWC:


yup, problem is if you want to see any serious development the center is already over land...will have to wait for it to come out on Gulf side to see if she has anything in store for us



Finally, a closed llc over LAND.
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Quoting 285. EyEtoEyE:
. Not so fast ! Have you seen the NHCs track forecast , west , then west southwest , tell me whose right the models ,or the NHC !


Models seem split on Erin some out to sea others are west toward PR.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4737
Quoting 210. TimSoCal:
All aboard the wave train.

That's a biggin.
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Quoting 283. SouthernIllinois:

And smilies. :) And colors. pretty pink and purple.
Wow that's bright! :D
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287. Skyepony (Mod)
Click pick for loop..
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Quoting 251. xcool:
don't give up on 92l just yet 12z gfs quite interesting


12Z GFS sent a decent storm right into Mobile.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4737
Quoting 252. StormWx:
All current signs point to weakening in the long run and a right turn to sea for Erin.

. Not so fast ! Have you seen the NHCs track forecast , west , then west southwest , tell me whose right the models ,or the NHC !
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GFS showing a track into southeast TEXAS this morning. shaking my head as I finish coffee sip #4.

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Well...seems as though models are coming back on board with 92L.

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Quoting 232. Skyepony:
92L..land is hurting it, but may feed it some daytime convection..



Excellent Visible Satellite. We should be able to see the center crossing the Yucatan on Visible Satellite loop this afternoon.
But once the center gets back over water (GOM) it will be interesing to watch. I don't think anyone (or any model) really knows the future of 92L.
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Quoting 271. StormWx:


Jason, I believe its already out in the sea. But will it recurve, and when, that is the question!
where is invest 92L going?
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Quoting 272. louisianaboy444:


Well we will never know will we. With a storm this close to land yesterday I honestly do not know who dropped the ball not sending at least one flight in to check things out.

They must have had sufficient evidence that a closed low never existed or would exist until after the Yucatan crossing


True we probably won't know whether or not he has a coc.
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Quoting 265. opal92nwf:
Well look at that Bermuda high and associated ridging to the East. I really think we are not going to have another 2010, track wise, with this high.

I see a weakness!
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Quoting 264. StormWx:
For anyone wondering the history of storms that formed near where Erin has formed, and the tracks they have taken, lets take a look at this graphic.



For those thinking it will make a run at the Caribbean, no storm has ever made it there from where Erin formed.

For those thinking it will make a run at the east coast, well, one has made it. Now can the bashing stop about forecasting a recurve to sea? TIA :-)



Nice graph. See instead of mocking me you can make great post as this one here. Keep it up!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4737
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42142
Quoting 255. Kumo:


60's to lower 70's for lows are normal up in the Texas Panhandle during this part of Summer. Amarillo sits at between 3600 to 3700 feet in elevation and their dry air and clear skies promote radiational cooling in the overnight hours. That part of Texas has also been known to get blizzards and down below zero during December and January.

We're usually about 10 degrees warmer this time of day down here in the Houston area. It's been a pleasant summer here, we can more or less count the days that we have been over 100F on one hand. Big departure from last years blistering temps. Though we're finally starting to see some of the GOM moisture make it up our way, unfortunately the comfortable conditions aren't going to last.


We've had 29 100+ degree days in 2013 with 16 of them consecutive up until yesterday here in Austin. Still far from the 89 100+ degree days we had in 2011 but this year is shaping up to be on the high end of normal warm here. I've noticed H-town getting more diurnal storms coming off the coast so that's good.
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NAVGEM looks like it is back on board with 92L, it's a wait and see here guys, until there is nothing left of it then we can move on to the next one. It also picks up TS Erin.

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Quoting 266. Drakoen:
3 land stations south of a suspect circulation west of Cozumel reporting westerly winds.


Well we will never know will we. With a storm this close to land yesterday I honestly do not know who dropped the ball not sending at least one flight in to check things out.

They must have had sufficient evidence that a closed low never existed or would exist until after the Yucatan crossing
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270. TXCWC
Quoting 250. PinholeEye:
Convection really blossoming again with 92L.


yup, problem is if you want to see any serious development the center is already over land...will have to wait for it to come out on Gulf side to see if she has anything in store for us

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Quoting 265. opal92nwf:
Well look at that Bermuda high and associated ridging to the East. I really think we are not going to have another 2010, track wise, with this high.

that why tropical storm erin go back to the west and maybe it will hit the usa..I do not see it going north anything soon.
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Quoting 257. Drakoen:
I think there is an oversensitivity issue with this blog and emotions are not well portrayed through text. I made my statement and questions as any inquiring scientist would make; it was not to berate or ridicule someone on their opinion.

No worries, mate! :)

I just saw your comments as belittling since you offered a strawman rebuttal instead of discussing the specifics of my post that you disagreed with.

All is good in Seminole Nation!
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3 land stations south of a suspect circulation west of Cozumel reporting westerly winds.
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Well look at that Bermuda high and associated ridging to the East. I really think we are not going to have another 2010, track wise, with this high.

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Quoting 178. truecajun:


i think they call that a Yin Yang situation?? I'll leave it to the pros to better answer you, but I recall watching something like that happen before


Thanks for trying! I know I've seen multiple storms heading in different directions before, but would really like to know if two storms can generate from the same system!
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42142

tropical storm erin will not going out to sea yet!
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Quoting 239. hurricanehanna:
if I read the scheduled recon flights correctly, is the first flight not taking off until 5 pm today?


Pat's the one you should ask: my suspicion is the ejecting blob heading N is ripe for examining. The half that is partly over MX cannot be flown over or dropsonded.
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258. JLPR2
Quoting 231. seminolesfan:

Look dude. I know you are smart. We all do. That isn't the point. There are TONS of smart folks around.

What is your hypothesis? You asked a question, did you not?

What is with the attitude? You talk to Levi the same way. For some reason...

What are you trying to prove? Can you cite peer-reviewed evidence against my theory? Because that is how the scientific method works.
Want to disprove a theory? Gotta find one that fits better!


My only problem was the direct answer you provided as in not leaving space for doubt even though you answered with "your theory". I actually see Drak interested in learning more about the subject since he is right, there have been many TW/ disturbances with formidable mid level features and nothing at the surface.

Maybe next time a little disclaimer at the end sort of like, "I think it was caused by this, but this is just a theory of mine."

All I can say I don't see anything wrong, or any attitude, he just wanted more info or proof.
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I think there is an oversensitivity issue with this blog and emotions are not well portrayed through text. I made my statement and questions as any inquiring scientist would make; it was not to berate or ridicule someone on their opinion.
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Quoting 254. SouthernIllinois:

Another season like 2010, the year of the re-curve. More Earl like storms. That is what it is shaping up to be.

Still, it will be active...I hope.
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255. Kumo
Quoting 112. ncstorm:



and this is August?? Even some parts of Texas has 70's


60's to lower 70's for lows are normal up in the Texas Panhandle during this part of Summer. Amarillo sits at between 3600 to 3700 feet in elevation and their dry air and clear skies promote radiational cooling in the overnight hours. That part of Texas has also been known to get blizzards and down below zero during December and January.

We're usually about 10 degrees warmer this time of day down here in the Houston area. It's been a pleasant summer here, we can more or less count the days that we have been over 100F on one hand. Big departure from last years blistering temps. Though we're finally starting to see some of the GOM moisture make it up our way, unfortunately the comfortable conditions aren't going to last.
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253. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 238. PinholeEye:


Lack of mountains in the Yucatan (pretty flat area) shouldn't do too much damage to 92L...


I said it was hurting it not killing it:P Doesn't appear to be helping it much at the moment.. Storms always fair better over open water but can organize a little over smaller areas of flat swamp. Daytime heating might kick off some afternoon showers to moisten the left side a little. If you click that pic you can see the loop. Considerable clouds across the land today may limit the land heating & instability that can create.
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251. xcool
don't give up on 92l just yet 12z gfs quite interesting
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Convection really blossoming again with 92L.
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gee by my house you can actually FEEL the tropical humidity building up..clouds are building overhead also..when that west coast sea breeze kicks in,there is going to be some good storms this afternoon.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42142
CATL TROPICAL WAVE SOON TO BE 94L. LOOKING GOOD. THIS COULD BE CRIBBEAN CRUISER
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42142
Quoting 241. Jedkins01:



You are making an argument against yourself? What about your own hypothesis?

Common man, you too are smart, but what Drak said is true, its merely speculation...

There's nothing wrong with discussing possibilities, but it is nothing but speculation. We don't want to make a habit of turning hypotheses into something more than it is.


I see what you are getting at Jed.

I don't see how 'speculation' is now off-topic here.

That is basically ALL this comments section is...

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Quoting 230. Mikla:
12Z GFS @ 96hours: Erin losing strength, new low off Africa...

Maybe Erin will pave the way for other storms.
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Quoting 168. Drakoen:
92L had pristine conditions for development yesterday. It just goes to show that we don't understand fully the governing physical and dynamic mechanisms behind tropical cyclone development.
Reminds me of Hurricane Carlos in 2009 they have good conditions ahead but never strengthen and even weaken.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4467

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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.

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