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 2353. daddyjames:


Its been totally struggling. Satellite appearance has been deceiving.


Interesting. Well, 97l has done a MUCH better job of hiding it than the rest of the storms this season then. It reminds me of a typical robust developing system during the typical peak season of development in the W. Caribbean. Not the pitiful storms lately.
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Quoting 2408. whitewabit:


they are forecasting a severe tornado out break tomorrow in the northern plain states ..


Looking forward to it Wabit, that and to see if NAM's 40 inch snow prediction comes even close to true.
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Quoting 2404. KoritheMan:


I'll yield to their judgment, since I haven't personally evaluated the validity of that statement.

We'll see, as always.
Remember in recent times the GFS has had a tendency to over amplify troughs. So keep that in mind. It's hard to say if it will turn sharply towards the northeast before reaching the coast or after. That's why you folks up in NOLA should keep an eye on this as well as those who are in the Big Bend area.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7473
See you guys at 1am.
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Quoting 2409. terrebonne74:
Is the front the main steering pattern that will determine the direction this storm goes? Also, if it moves slower does that mean a more west track?


Correct. It's all about the front. Everything else is in place.

The location of the center could also matter to a degree, but if the front is slow, I don't think it will make that much of a difference.
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Scott, what radar are you using to pinpoint that WNW movement? I tried the one from Cancun, but the center is still out of range on that one.
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Some damaging storms out there in the Midwest, slow movers too, lots of rain coming down.



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Is the front the main steering pattern that will determine the direction this storm goes? Also, if it moves slower does that mean a more west track?
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2408. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 2405. Astrometeor:
It's quiet. Too quiet.



Can't wait for spring when these maps will be more interesting!


they are forecasting a severe tornado out break tomorrow in the northern plain states ..
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 361 Comments: 31206
Been out of the loop and this one snuck up on me.That Canadian model disturbs me as I am north of Grand Isle and south of NOLA. C'mon front and sweep that girl outta here before bothering anybody too much! Welcome St Roch! My Mom (86) grew up there. Is the market finished yet?
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Hey everybody look what i see? SNOW!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2517
It's quiet. Too quiet.



Can't wait for spring when these maps will be more interesting!
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Quoting 2402. LAbonbon:


Thought the discussion about the GFS being more accurate in terms of the timing of the front, as compared to the Euro, to be interesting. That's the first I'd heard that.


I'll yield to their judgment, since I haven't personally evaluated the validity of that statement.

We'll see, as always.
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Here is the thing this system is going to have to take some jogs to the west to reach the point at which the GFS and its ensemble members has it in 12 hrs.



Because I see a system currently shooting the gap. And the models initialization have had to adjust east with every run so far.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7473
Quoting 2396. KoritheMan:


I actually forgot to check the New Orleans forecast office at all. I suppose I should start doing that.


Thought the discussion about the GFS being more accurate in terms of the timing of the recent fronts, as compared to the Euro, to be interesting. That's the first I'd heard that.
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1817
Quoting 2386. GTstormChaserCaleb:
This is the Canadian model, not sure if it has been posted.



MissWx posted it in chat earlier. Not sure about the blog.
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2400. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 2395. redwagon:




Hotter picture
that picture normally scares peeps i normally wait till i need to scare em before posting it
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Quoting 2397. scottsvb:
97L has jogged more WNW over the past1-2 hrs on radar
"Karen"reminds me of Gustav a little.
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Quoting 2394. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I love gumbo.
You should down for some,it taste real good.If anybody didn't know,I live in Louisiana too.
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97L has jogged more WNW over the past1-2 hrs on radar
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1600
Quoting 2393. LAbonbon:


Kori, did you see this from NWS/New Orleans (from this afternoon)

"Long term...
the main focus late week through the weekend relates to the tropics.
A tropical wave is currently tracking northwest across the western
Carribean just east of the Yucatan. A hurricane hunter aircraft is
currently flying through the system to investigate. The latest from
the National Hurricane Center currently is calling for a 70 percent
chance of this wave developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 5
days. Medium range models send mixed messages on the development of
the wave. The European model (ecmwf) keeps it open while the GFS suggests a closed
circulation develops. These models were not designed to forecast
cyclogenesis of tropical cyclones. However... can give a good idea
of timing. Unfortunately...large differences between the two at this
time. The GFS brings the tropical system across the coastal waters
Friday night/Saturday morning. European model (ecmwf) about 24 hours slower with a
similar but slightly further west track. The main determining
factor is approaching upper trough and associated cold front.
The
initial closed upper low will drop out of the Pacific northeast
towards the Rocky Mountains. From there the low will curl northeast
towards the upper Mississippi River valley while the base of the
trough still surges south and east on Saturday. The GFS has been
more accurate with faster solutions with the most recent couple
frontal passages which leads to leaning towards it vs the European model (ecmwf).
If
thats the case and the County Warning Area remains on the western side of the
tropical system...most of the rain will remain east of the area with
only coastal waters and adjacent parishes/counties being impacted
with very rough seas and coastal flooding. If upper trough is
slower...the tropical system will make it further north before
curving northeast. At this time...the general consensus of model solutions
bring the trough in faster so the tropical system curves northeast
earlier but the range does go from the western side of the County Warning Area to
the Florida Panhandle so it remains to be seen which Route it/ll
take. No big changes made to probability of precipitation this weekend but may need too drop
probability of precipitation if on the dry side of things."


I actually forgot to check the New Orleans forecast office at all. I suppose I should start doing that.
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Quoting 2389. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
bigger picture





Hotter picture
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Quoting 2390. bigwes6844:
ughh!! Karen plz be nice to us well bring u sum gumbo
I love gumbo.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7473
Quoting 2316. KoritheMan:


I don't think there is one. The ECMWF has a historically preferred track record to the GFS, but the GFS is a close second. Some successes of each:

GFS:

- Nailed Debby's eventual toward turn Florida when the ECMWF said Louisiana. Everyone thought the Euro would win (including myself).

ECMWF:

- Nailed Isaac's Louisiana landfall well before the GFS (or any of the other models) did. GFS eventually followed suit.

- Completely godstomped forecasts for Sandy, being literally the only model that called for a US landfall initially.


Kori, did you see this from NWS/New Orleans (from this afternoon)

"Long term...
the main focus late week through the weekend relates to the tropics.
A tropical wave is currently tracking northwest across the western
Carribean just east of the Yucatan. A hurricane hunter aircraft is
currently flying through the system to investigate. The latest from
the National Hurricane Center currently is calling for a 70 percent
chance of this wave developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 5
days. Medium range models send mixed messages on the development of
the wave. The European model (ecmwf) keeps it open while the GFS suggests a closed
circulation develops. These models were not designed to forecast
cyclogenesis of tropical cyclones. However... can give a good idea
of timing. Unfortunately...large differences between the two at this
time. The GFS brings the tropical system across the coastal waters
Friday night/Saturday morning. European model (ecmwf) about 24 hours slower with a
similar but slightly further west track. The main determining
factor is approaching upper trough and associated cold front.
The
initial closed upper low will drop out of the Pacific northeast
towards the Rocky Mountains. From there the low will curl northeast
towards the upper Mississippi River valley while the base of the
trough still surges south and east on Saturday. The GFS has been
more accurate with faster solutions with the most recent couple
frontal passages which leads to leaning towards it vs the European model (ecmwf).
If
thats the case and the County Warning Area remains on the western side of the
tropical system...most of the rain will remain east of the area with
only coastal waters and adjacent parishes/counties being impacted
with very rough seas and coastal flooding. If upper trough is
slower...the tropical system will make it further north before
curving northeast. At this time...the general consensus of model solutions
bring the trough in faster so the tropical system curves northeast
earlier but the range does go from the western side of the County Warning Area to
the Florida Panhandle so it remains to be seen which Route it/ll
take. No big changes made to probability of precipitation this weekend but may need too drop
probability of precipitation if on the dry side of things."
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1817
Quoting 2384. bigwes6844:
Well kori I must say u taught me this! If a storm would ever hit Southeastern La. Troughing in the Rockies and High pressure in the Northeast. It looks like its gonna be that way smh! Another K storm doing magical tricks


Yes sir.

In this instance it's all about timing.
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Quoting 2388. GTstormChaserCaleb:
And the NAVGEM...waiting on the FIM, don't think I'll stay up for it though have class early in the morning. Does anyone know if the hurricane hunters left Mississippi yet?

I'm not sure right now.
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Quoting 2386. GTstormChaserCaleb:
This is the Canadian model, not sure if it has been posted.

ughh!! Karen plz be nice to us well bring u sum gumbo
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2517
2389. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
bigger picture

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And the NAVGEM...waiting on the FIM, don't think I'll stay up for it though have class early in the morning. Does anyone know if the hurricane hunters left Mississippi yet?

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7473
Quoting 2379. sunlinepr:
Cold front - temps down... SSTs will eventually go down.... season will go down...


Departure from normal lows
yeah pretty much I heard 50s on the northshore by us and the southshore morning lows in the 60s! Nice! High temps low 80s! Lovely!!!! Come on cold front!
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2517
This is the Canadian model, not sure if it has been posted.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7473
Quoting 2376. Patrap:


Talk about rapid Tighten Up.. wait, is there a song?
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Well kori I must say u taught me this! If a storm would ever hit Southeastern La. Troughing in the Rockies and High pressure in the Northeast. It looks like its gonna be that way smh! Another K storm doing magical tricks
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2517
2383. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting 2374. whitewabit:


Don't think its going to be on time ..
yeah well i go back to work friday ill let everyone know the bad news. i had a feeling that this darn front would do this ugh!! Now i gotta get batteries. thank God I get paid friday
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2517
THe GFS develops 97L to a 70kt hurricane before landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
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Quoting 2336. Astrometeor:


godstomped?

What? Does? That? Mean?


It's like being devilsquashed, but with more avocado and trumpets.
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Cold front - temps down... SSTs will eventually go down.... season will go down...


Departure from normal lows

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Quoting 2371. bigwes6844:
Theres ya cold front taking its sweet time coming down! Ughh!!
See that mass of clouds from that cold front,it looks rather interesting.
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2377. whitewabit (Mod)
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 361 Comments: 31206
2376. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting 2362. CCkid00:

i'm to the northwest of you....Denham Springs. had a LOT of Isaac flooding just a few miles down the road from us.....Port Vincent, Manchac, Maurpas, etc.


Im about 4 blocks north of the river in NOLA...lucky that we escaped any flooding...lots of wind though...people south of us got it bad...Slidell too...Isaac was an interesting storm...woke up to 50 mph sustained winds for the next 3 or 4 hrs before it died down...strangely all the rain had moved past us...
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2374. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 2371. bigwes6844:
Theres ya clod front taking its sweet time coming down! Ughh!!


Don't think its going to be on time ..
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Quoting 2368. Walshy:
2005 Hurricane Cindy
perfect example! good stuff walsh
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2372. whitewabit (Mod)
USGS Earthquake web site works ok ..
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 361 Comments: 31206
Theres ya cold front taking its sweet time coming down! Ughh!!
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2517
File:Fran 1996 track.png


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fran_1996_track .png

was in sixth grade when Fran roared through Raleigh, about a month late, but thought Id post anyways
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Quoting 2363. Drakoen:


Yes, i'm using the TVCN as a correction to the OP GFS eastern forecast.


Cool. You're one of the few people here I actually consider credible. We've had some good discussions in the past.
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2368. Walshy
2005 Hurricane Cindy
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2367. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 2357. sunlinepr:


Thanks Keep...



here is the link for world map


Link
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Quoting 2351. CCkid00:

so neighbor...........what do YOU think of this thing. any chance it could still come to our neck of the woods?


It's a possibility. I would say about 20 or 30%. I'm stubbornly sticking to a Mississippi landfall for now, and I would say based on model output, the Louisiana solution is unlikely for now.

But I've done this for long enough to know that things are not set in stone. We have 3 or 4 days left before landfall, and a lot can still change. We saw that with Isaac.

It's important to follow the consensus, but there are times when personal intuition is preferred over blindly following the guidance.

MS/AL/FL area seems most likely for now, but again, things can change very quickly.
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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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