Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:34 PM GMT on September 16, 2013
Tropical Storm Ingrid hit the Mexican coast about 200 miles south of the Texas border with top sustained winds of 65 mph at approximately 8 am EDT Monday morning. Ingrid weakened below hurricane strength just before landfall, and it appears that strong upper-level winds from the outflow of Tropical Storm Manuel to its west may have been responsible for keeping Ingrid weaker than expected for the past 24 hours. Satellite loops show that Ingrid is a relatively small storm, but the storm is bringing torrential rains to portions of Mexico a few hundred miles south of the Texas border. Flooding from the combined one-two punch of Ingrid on the Atlantic coast and Tropical Storm Manuel on Mexico's Pacific coast are already being blamed for the deaths of 21 people, according to AP. However, Ingrid is also bringing beneficial rains to areas of northern Mexico and South Texas that are in extreme drought.
Figure 1. Radar image from the Brownsville, Texas radar of Tropical Storm Ingrid at landfall, near 8 am EDT September 16, 2013.
Ingrid was the second hurricane of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, and Ingrid's peak intensity of 85 mph on Saturday tied it with Hurricane Humberto as the strongest hurricane of the 2013 season so far. Ingrid's intensification into a hurricane on September 14 came eighteen days later than the usual appearance of the Atlantic's second hurricane of the season, which is August 28. Ingrid is the third named storm to hit Mexico's Gulf of Mexico coast so far in 2013, which is a very high level of tropical activity for the region. Only 1933 (seven storms), 1936 (six storms), and 2005 (five storms) had more tropical storms or hurricanes make landfall on Mexico's Gulf of Mexico coast. Two other years have also had three such landfalls, 1944 and 1931.
Figure 2. Rainfall for the 24-hour period ending at 8 am EDT September 14, 2013 (top) and 8 am EDT September 15, 2013 (bottom). Rainfall amounts in excess of five inches (red colors) affected portions of Mexico both days. Image credit: Conagua.
Figure 3. Predicted rainfall for Tropical Storm Ingrid from the 06Z (2 am EDT) September 16, 2013 run of the HWRF model. Image credit: NOAA/GFDL.
Ingrid's impact on Texas
In South Texas, Ingrid brought a storm surge of one foot on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning to South Padre Island, where a coastal flood warning is in effect. Seas were eight feet high Tuesday morning at buoy 42020, located 58 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, and large waves are causing dangerous surf all along the South Texas coast. No flash flood watches are posted for South Texas ay present, but 2 - 5" of rain may cause some isolated flooding problems. Radar-estimated rainfall from the Brownsville radar shows that some areas north of the city have received 3 - 4" of rain, and coastal and mountain areas of Mexico 100 - 200 miles south of the border have received 5 - 10".
Elsewhere in the Atlantic
The remains of Hurricane Humberto are regenerating back into a tropical storm, but newly re-formed Humberto will stay far out to sea and will not be a threat to any land areas.
An area of disturbed weather over the Western Caribbean will move over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and into the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche by late this week. NHC gave the disturbance 5-day development odds of 20% in their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook. Moisture from the disturbance is likely to stream northeastwards across the Yucatan Peninsula, Western Cuba, Florida, and the Western Bahamas during the period 7 - 14 days from now, bringing heavy rainfall.
The tropical Atlantic will be dominated by dry air this week, and the models are not showing any development from new African tropical waves during the coming week. With the African monsoon now beginning to wane, and the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) expected to be in a phase that will bring sinking air to the tropical Atlantic during the remainder of September, the Cape Verde hurricane season is likely over; I give only a 30% chance that we will see a tropical storm develop between the Lesser Antilles Islands and coast of Africa during the remainder of hurricane season. However, we will likely get several more tropical storms forming in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, or waters near the Bahamas during the remainder of the season.
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