97L in Western Caribbean Still a Threat to Develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:58 PM GMT on October 02, 2013

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A tropical disturbance (Invest 97L) over the Western Caribbean is moving to the northwest at 10 mph and is generating heavy rains over the Cayman Islands and Western Cuba. Grand Cayman Island had picked up 2.32" (59 mm) of rain as of 9:30 am EDT on Wednesday. Satellite loops show that 97L has a modest area of heavy thunderstorms that have increased substantially in areal coverage and in intensity since Tuesday, but there is little rotation apparent. Cayman Islands radar also does not show any rotation to the echoes, but there are several prominent low-level bands of heavy rain. The storm has low wind shear of 5 - 10 knots to work with, as well as an upper-air anticyclone aloft that is providing good ventilation above it. Dry air is over the Yucatan Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico, as seen on water vapor satellite loops, and this dry air is slowing development. Ocean temperatures are a very warm 29°C (84°F). An Air Force hurricane hunter flight is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.


Figure 1. Wind forecast for 2 pm EDT Saturday October 5, 2013, from runs of the GFS model done six hours apart. The more recent run, initialized at 06Z (2 am EDT) on Wednesday, October 2 (left panel) predicts that 97L will have top winds below 35 knots (40 mph, light orange colors). This run showed the center of 97L making landfall in the Florida Panhandle about 120 miles east of Alabama late Saturday afternoon.The run initialized six hours earlier, at 00Z (right panel), showed a stronger storm, with top winds of 40 - 45 knots (46 - 52 mph.) This run showed the center of 97L making landfall near the Alabama/Florida border Saturday night. The images were generated using our wundermap with the model layer turned on.

Forecast for 97L: development into at least a tropical depression likely
Wind shear is expected to remain low on Wednesday, then steadily increase to the moderate range on Thursday, then to the high range on Friday, according to the latest SHIPS model forecast. On Wednesday night, 97L will cross the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, bringing 3 - 6" of rain to the peninsula and to Western Cuba. Passage over the Yucatan will act to disrupt the storm. The atmosphere will grow drier as 97L moves northwards over the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday and Friday, and the drier air combined with increasing wind shear will retard development, making rapid intensification unlikely. A trough of low pressure and an associated cold front will be moving through Louisiana on Saturday, and the associated upper-level westerly winds will be able to turn 97L more to the northeast as it approaches the coast on Friday. The GFS model develops 97L into a tropical storm, and predicts landfall will occur along the Florida Panhandle. The European model, which does not develop 97L into a tropical storm, is farther west, taking the storm over Eastern Louisiana. In their 8 am EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 97L 2-day odds of development of 40%, and 5-day odds of 50%. I give a 30% chance 97L will be Tropical Storm Karen with top winds of 40 - 60 mph at landfall between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Saturday, a 5% chance it will be stronger, and a 65% chance it will be a tropical depression or mere tropical disturbance. Heavy rains of 3 - 6" can be expected falling the coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle on Saturday, even if 97L does not develop into a tropical depression.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of 97L, taken at 12:30 pm EDT on October 2, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical Storm Jerry in the Central Atlantic no threat
Tropical Storm Jerry continues to slowly wander over the Central Atlantic, far from land. Jerry is not a threat to any land areas.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 2513. LAbonbon:
I've given myself a headache flipping between webpages and squinting at models. Time to hit the hay. Good night, everyone.
nite! sleep well my friend mite wake up to TS Karen
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2751
Quoting 2511. bigwes6844:
yeah dats even worse! meaning east side for us and the surge would be bad because of the size of the storm


yup, and the UKM/CMC look to be over Fourchon/Grand Isle.

You all have fun with the next round of models...I'll be catching some zzz's
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a sign that the models are on the way
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2751
I've given myself a headache flipping between webpages and squinting at models. Time to hit the hay. Good night, everyone.
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6z models should be out in a few minutes folks
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Quoting 2509. LAbonbon:


Actually, if you zoom in, it looks more like Atchafalaya/Morgan City
yeah dats even worse! meaning east side for us and the surge would be bad because of the size of the storm
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Quoting 2505. bigwes6844:
yep even fim9 saying center comes along grand isle


Actually, if you zoom in, it looks more like Atchafalaya/Morgan City
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2507. IKE
Woke up and had to check on pre-Karen. This radar should be lighting up in the next 24-48-72 hours....


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2506. flsky
Storm starvation.

Quoting 2492. swflurker:
WOW. A possible low end TS and the blog goes wild!
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Quoting 2496. KoritheMan:
0z ECMWF still says Louisiana, albeit somewhat further east.

If it continues east at 12z, it's likely the start of a trend toward the GFS solution. If it stays put or heads west again, then the westward scenario is still in play.

Don't let your guard down if you live from Houma to Apalachicola.
yep even fim9 saying center comes along grand isle
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2504. flsky
I'm in ECFL. I just stepped outside and the stars are shining brightly. No bands yet.
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Quoting 2501. traumaboyy:


you aint foolin anyone!


lol
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Quoting 2500. Drakoen:
Hi-res ASCAT pass



Looks like a broad closed circulation.
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Quoting 2498. KoritheMan:
Look how objective I'm being despite wanting this storm! At least nobody can say I wishcast! :P


you aint foolin anyone!
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2500. Drakoen
Hi-res ASCAT pass

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30825
03/0545 UTC 21.5N 86.3W T2.0/2.0 97L
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Look how objective I'm being despite wanting this storm! At least nobody can say I wishcast! :P
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Quoting 2494. southernstorm:

We are just a land mass separating La from AL. We are used to it. I have let down my guard and look what happens.


Been racking my brain trying to remember who said that...

Can't remember, but when I saw the post w/ LA/AL mentioned I thought of that. I know it's a touchy subject :O
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0z ECMWF still says Louisiana, albeit somewhat further east.

If it continues east at 12z, it's likely the start of a trend toward the GFS solution. If it stays put or heads west again, then the westward scenario is still in play.

Don't let your guard down if you live from Houma to Apalachicola.
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Is Brian/Oz chasing this?
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Quoting 2430. LAbonbon:


The Mississippi folks may feel left out again...

We are just a land mass separating La from AL. We are used to it. I have let down my guard and look what happens.
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almost in the GOM!

Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2751
WOW. A possible low end TS and the blog goes wild!
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Quoting 2488. Joanie38:
YAY! Almost 500 comments...lol...only been a member since 2008...lol...I lurk a lot....


You registered two months before I did....Guess I don't lurk quite as much though
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Quoting 2485. traumaboyy:


Sounds good to me.....You gonna chase it??


I doubt it. I don't have the days off. Welcome to life in Walmart, lol.

Now if it comes to Louisiana...
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Quoting 2487. Joanie38:


LOL! I was born in Panama City Florida! We just have to take things hour by hour, min by minute, anxious to know the EXACT TRACK of this.....THING! lol :) :)


Not a patient person....Kori said it would hit out west....that's good enough for me!!
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YAY! Almost 500 comments...lol...only been a member since 2008...lol...I lurk a lot....
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Quoting 2483. traumaboyy:


lol I noticed that...Kori has been wishcasting hurricanaders toward my beloved Panama City for years now and I was gonna give him another chance this morning!!


LOL! I was born in Panama City Florida! We just have to take things hour by hour, min by minute, anxious to know the EXACT TRACK of this.....THING! lol :) :)
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Sounds good to me.....You gonna chase it??


You can chase a hurricane?? Don't you just wait till they come ashore. Ain't no chasin' in that.
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Quoting 2482. KoritheMan:


I'm kind of rebelling by going against the consensus. I'm saying coastal Mississippi, probably closer to the MS/AL border, rather than the LA/MS border. Not comfortable changing my forecast to the western panhandle until I see the Euro fall in line with that solution as well. Also, the GFS ensembles still say LA/MS/AL, so there's that too.


Sounds good to me.....You gonna chase it??
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97L looks like a fat scorpion.

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Quoting 2480. Joanie38:


I guess we will know for sure sometime later today, sorry, i'm not Kori, lol....


lol I noticed that...Kori has been wishcasting hurricanaders toward my beloved Panama City for years now and I was gonna give him another chance this morning!!
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Quoting 2479. traumaboyy:
Allright Kori, Just bought 2 houses this week!!!!! Where's this dadgummed thing going??


I'm kind of rebelling by going against the consensus. I'm saying coastal Mississippi, probably closer to the MS/AL border, rather than the LA/MS border. Not comfortable changing my forecast to the western panhandle until I see the Euro fall in line with that solution as well. Also, the GFS ensembles still say LA/MS/AL, so there's that too.
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Quoting 2476. CosmicEvents:


...
At the moment it's frankly a scary picture. The last thing you want to see is a cyclone in the Yucatan Channel. Good night all.


+1000
Good Nite Cosmic!
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Quoting 2479. traumaboyy:
Allright Kori, Just bought 2 houses this week!!!!! Where's this dadgummed thing going??


I guess we will know for sure sometime later today, sorry, i'm not Kori, lol....
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Allright Kori, Just bought 2 houses this week!!!!! Where's this dadgummed thing going??
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A recent microwave pass suggests the center of 97L lies along the western edge of the convection:

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Quoting 2473. KoritheMan:


That's actually one reason to think the front could actually evolve as the GFS says it will (eastward solution, away from LA). The longwave troughs this time of year tend to be rather amplified, and the models sometimes underestimate them (i.e., Ike).

But that's still just a climatological forecast.


Make sense Kori, and hello to you!!! :)
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Quoting 2436. Tribucanes:


This will be classified by the 5AM update. This is already a TS, NHC just waiting for HH's fly in to get exact details for classification; conditions are very conducive for intensification over the next 24hrs. Dry air is looking to be less of an inhibitor. This will be, in all likelihood a 50-65mph TS by this time tomorrow night. There is a 0% chance this reaches the coast before a depression is declared. Not saying this will major, no signs of that possibility yet, but signs are clearly there that this may well push hurricane status.
I'm no expert by any means, but by everything that I've learned from watching and reading I'd be shocked if this didn't become a TS, even with all that we've seen not happen this year. Maybe the NHC was waiting on the land interaction before beginning discussions. How much land, if any, it passes over. How long does it stay over land? Does the land slow the forward speed? All those uncertainties would have complicated a forecast 9, or 3 hours ago. Tomorrow, all those questions will have answers and they're able to put out a much higher confidence initial forecast.
.
At the moment it's frankly a scary picture. The last thing you want to see is a cyclone in the Yucatan Channel. Good night all.
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Quoting 2469. whitewabit:


that map was a wave height not the surge ..
yeah im sorry im tripping im looking now
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Quoting 2470. traumaboyy:
Morning Night shift!! Coffee is ready!!


Ahhh, thanks for the coffee!!! :)
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Quoting 2472. Joanie38:


I live in SWLA and have family in Central Louisiana, so I guess anything can happen. I remember Rita whwen it was suppose to go to Texas and it ended up on the TX/LA border..that was one heck of a hurricane to track for sure!!!!


That's actually one reason to think the front could actually evolve as the GFS says it will (eastward solution, away from LA). The longwave troughs this time of year tend to be rather amplified, and the models sometimes underestimate them (i.e., Ike).

But that's still just a climatological forecast.
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Quoting 2465. bigwes6844:
yea it depends on the front its taking all day to get here. There are models bringing it threw grand isle and there are models saying the front will get here and turn it. its gonna be close!


I live in SWLA and have family in Central Louisiana, so I guess anything can happen. I remember Rita whwen it was suppose to go to Texas and it ended up on the TX/LA border..that was one heck of a hurricane to track for sure!!!!
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Quoting 2468. LAbonbon:


Lighten up...we both know that storm's going where it's going. All the wishing either way won't make one whit of difference.

but if you get your cat 1, I'd even be happy for you


I know. I was just kidding too, lol.

Thought that obvious with my sadface there. :P
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Morning Night shift!! Coffee is ready!!
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2469. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 2453. bigwes6844:
on there it looks like 12-16 ft but around the center seems higher


that map was a wave height not the surge ..
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Quoting 2463. KoritheMan:


Oh sure, now I'm the bad guy.

Typical.

:(


Lighten up...we both know that storm's going where it's going. All the wishing either way won't make one whit of difference.

but if you get your cat 1, I'd even be happy for you
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Quoting 2457. Tribucanes:
If Kori finally gets his cat1 to go explore in, I'm expecting some awesome shots and reporting here. He's been waiting and yearning for this chance for quite awhile. Just try and stay out of the national news Kori, I don't want to see you on Storm Stories: Coastguard rescues.
LMAO!!!!!!!
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2751
I can see Kori headed to the bathroom mirror in the dark saying, Karen, Karen, Karen. If you haven't seen Candyman this reference will make little sense. Scary and good movie.
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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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