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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I'd be very surprised if this isn't reclassified by 11PM. While this is not officially Karen yet, this is clearly a TS at this point. This gets stacked overnight and we're likely to see takeoff to near hurricane strength by tomorrow.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Quoting 1906. GatorWX:


Trough over LA is a key player right now.
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1914. FOREX
Quoting 1908. GTstormChaserCaleb:
If this is not designated a tropical storm at 11PM, I'm seriously going to eat my keyboard. :P


I'm gonna pull an all nighter and wait. Will you be on very late tonight?
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Quoting 1908. GTstormChaserCaleb:
If this is not designated a tropical storm at 11PM, I'm seriously going to eat my keyboard. :P

Recon isn't departing until 11pm EDT. It will take an hour or two to reach the center, and then a while to investigate the actual storm. If it's to be designated tonight, I'd go with 5am EDT.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30262
TS Andrea was so bad in WPB
This one was 5 minutes up the street from me
The one that did damage in The Acreage has been classified as an EF-1, with approximately 100 mph winds. It was 50 to 100 yards wide and its path was two miles long.



Quoting 1899. reedzone:
I just don't see a westward turn on this to be honest.. Well of course I am also hoping for some action here on the East Coast of FL.. But still, looking at the storm coming down from the Rockies, I see an "Andrea" track from June.

Guess we'll see..
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The deeper the system the more east it moves. Probably 1003 pressure right now and falling fast.

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1910. mobal
Quoting 1886. auburn:


Good to see you posting.hope you are all safe with this system.


Hey Aub, You know me, all will be fine.

I have the Pacific version of that WW2 mini series that I have not watched yet, plus football of course. Bama game will be a bore.....

Hope all is well with you!
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1909. hamla
wonder where cantori is headed?
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If this is not designated a tropical storm at 11PM, I'm seriously going to eat my keyboard. :P
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1906. GatorWX
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2386
One can see how dry air to the west is inhibiting upper-level outflow from expanding in that direction like it is in the other three quadrants. This probably won't get into the core until wind shear increases prior to landfall over the weekend though.

I could see a strong tropical storm at peak, which is once again up from my previous forecast of a moderate tropical storm. *sigh*

97L really has been an over-achiever though.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30262
Quoting 1893. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I mean I'm drooling over this system, it's the best of any system in the Atlantic this year, minus Humberto.


Be careful of the screen and keyboard :)
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1903. GatorWX


Still a bit surprised they didn't classify earlier. It was 50/50 whether or not to consider the data to be enough to justify, but with the Gulf Coast clearly in its sights, I assumed they would. Still looking good though.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2386
This is Invest 97L NOT TS Karen

Some of you need to stop posting bad information
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97L has a pretty robust appearance compared to most of what 2013 has offered.
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1900. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1879. GetReal:



97L looks to be pretty well aligned, top to bottom; along with an ULAC to boot.
all go at the stroke of midnight and towards dmax to follow
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52267
I just don't see a westward turn on this to be honest.. Well of course I am also hoping for some action here on the East Coast of FL.. But still, looking at the storm coming down from the Rockies, I see an "Andrea" track from June.

Guess we'll see..
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Quoting 1864. washingtonian115:
Hey guys!.Wanna know where all your money is going?
Link

Nope; I already know where mine goes.... To Walmart and Target, maybe sometimes to Sears....

Now as for soon to be Karen I think everyone on the North Gulf Coast might want to get lose items put away before it gets close....

Taco :o)
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Probably going to go right through the Yucatan channel.

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1896. mobal
Quoting 1883. GetReal:


I don't have tickets to bayfest, but I do have this system coming to you this weekend anyway... :}


Good to see you GR!
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Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2130
Quoting 1850. Astrometeor:


If I didn't have a SAT test to take Saturday, I would try to get my family to go down to Destin. One of my favorite places to vacation at.


I have to take the SAT test as well this Saturday. Probably the most crucial and pivotal SAT test I'll ever take. If I don't increase my scores, I won't get into the college I want. In any case though, best of luck to you!
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I mean I'm drooling over this system, it's the best of any system in the Atlantic this year, minus Humberto.

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Quoting 1865. beell:


Naming Winter storms probably works great with hashtags


Basically all the explanation TWC needs to give.
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Everyone along the Northern Gulf coast with marine interests or who live on the coast need to watch this very carefully tomorrow for the time-tables to landfall.

Regardless of the configuration, you will need to tie down, or move, your boats to safe harbor and the like and it can get very hectic if you wait until the last minute.......You might have to take off of work tomorrow afternoon or Friday to get the job done if you end up in the cone sometime tomorrow.
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#Karen at 11
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NNW movement now that's interesting!
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1887. RickWPB
Quoting Patrap:
The envelope has reached the Straits, inform the Klingon's were sending TEAL 71 into the Neutral Zone.

Get the bloggers in da Bullpen ASAP


We're going to GRO_CON 2


Ha ha. What are you drinking Pat? It sure ain't Fresca. :-)
Member Since: September 26, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 340
1886. auburn (Mod)
Quoting 1880. mobal:


LOL, so does my wife.


Good to see you posting.hope you are all safe with this system.
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This might be the best looking invest EVER...

Quoting 1841. tropicfreak:
This at one point looked better than Ingrid... but this is by far the best looking invest of the season.

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1884. Thrawst
LOL.

#Karen is the trendiest hashtag on twitter right now, and it hasn't even formed yet.
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1883. GetReal
Quoting 1880. mobal:


LOL, so does my wife.


I don't have tickets to bayfest, but I do have this system coming to you this weekend anyway... :}
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8802
1882. Pallis
Quoting 1665. Patrap:
97L seems to be a fine navigator as she heads slowly toward the Yucatan Channel, leaving the Caribbean by Morn now.

Looks like it will just brush San Miguel and Cancun, but since they are on the west of it I predict not so bad for them. Those traveling to there on cruise ships though ... ehh?. Low tide for the region will be 7:30 to 8:00 AM, so that also helps even though it may be higher than expected. Actually the tides there are usually less than a foot, but storm surge is quite real in flatlands.
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1881. beell
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1880. mobal
Quoting 1878. keithneese:



I have tickets for BayFest, so I'm hoping this thing goes somewhere else!


LOL, so does my wife.
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1879. GetReal



97L looks to be pretty well aligned, top to bottom; along with an ULAC to boot.
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8802
Quoting 1874. mobal:
I predict a nice weekend of watching TV and may be an old movie. Cant work in the yard in rain......



I have tickets for BayFest, so I'm hoping this thing goes somewhere else!
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Quoting 1855. hydrus:
Actually looks like a tropical storm now.
or blobcon 5 status...
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1876. Thrawst
Quoting 1868. sar2401:

Is today over with? I always try to save accounts of my amazing forecast abilities about one day until some time the next day. :-)


HA. Yeah, go for it. :P
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Quoting 1867. wunderkidcayman:

What I didn't say anything to contradict that and the next thing is that condition is not close to rapidly receding so stop saying stuff because little man you ain't here your not experiencing the conditions repeating bold print you ain't here your not experiencing the conditions


You said it WKC! Put up that Cayman radar and show him!
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1874. mobal
I predict a nice weekend of watching TV and may be an old movie. Cant work in the yard in rain......
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Quoting 1859. bwi:
I'm not the blog police, but this might be a good time to remind people to please report, ignore, and dislike asinine and/or inaccurate political comments or insults that are off the topic.

Flame away if you want, but I think this blog's comment section is extremely valuable and informative and it is a great shame when fools would attempt to ruin things for those seeking information on the topic of the day. Other great blogs have had to shut down comments, and I hope that doesn't happen here.

Yes agreed repeating what you said

report, ignore, and dislike asinine and/or inaccurate political comments or insults that are off the topic.

Flame away if you want, but I think this blog's comment section is extremely valuable and informative and it is a great shame when fools would attempt to ruin things for those seeking information on the topic of the day
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Quoting Thrawst:


What is shouting that you were right on a weather blog full of people that don't care who is right and who is wrong, gonna do? Even more discouraging is that you have to say, "just like I said". I'd stop being so stuck up if I were you. It does you no good and in fact it will make you lose respect here on this blog.

Sorry. Rant over. Move on. :)


Add then to your Ignore list like I think everyone else and more on, your giving them a voice.

A nice strong cold change has just come through Sydney. Unfortunately just in time for the International Fleet Review which includes More than 40 warships, 16 Tall Ships and 8000 sailors from around the world in Sydney Harbour for nine days from 3-11 October.


Loop
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Once NHC re-designates the system, whether to TD or TS, they start issuing their track forecasts and the 3-Day track has a pretty good track record.

Can't wait for it to finally happen so that folks can settle down and concentrate on the most important thing; to take appropriate precautions if needed, in accordance with the Official Source, regardless of what anyone on here has to say (including myself).
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Quoting 1818. txjac:



What part of Ohio Ameister12?

Southwestern. I live a couple miles northeast of Cincinnati.
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1869. SirCane
Anyone else surprised this is not a classified storm yet? Could have fooled me! I've seen worse named a storm before. A lot worse!
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1868. sar2401
Quoting Thrawst:


What is shouting that you were right on a weather blog full of people that don't care who is right and who is wrong, gonna do? Even more discouraging is that you have to say, "just like I said". I'd stop being so stuck up if I were you. It does you no good and in fact it will make you lose respect here on this blog.

Sorry. Rant over. Move on. :)

Is today over with? I always try to save accounts of my amazing forecast abilities about one day until some time the next day. :-)
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What time will the dropsond data from the HH go into the models?
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.