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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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11453
Quoting 1604. Drakoen:
System continues to gradually deepen with that 1005mb pressure reading.



You and Scott both kinda won today. You guys should call a truce and make up lol.


This isn't horseshoes or hand grenades. Was it a tropical cyclone or not? :-)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Quoting 1699. thehypeneverends:
what gets me is that when a storm is comming they start opening up free sand bag stations for people who need them but they only allow 10 per family.... what is 10 gonna do


Sandbag the dog house ? (small dog)
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1713. sar2401
Quoting taco2me61:


That's the very reason why I got mine today.... It will be "That Bad" :o)
Just saying

Taco :o)

Yes, indeed. A normal day at Walmart is enough torture, but being there listening to people yell "Where be dose flashlights?" and "How come all y'all are out of beer already?" is enough to drive any sane person right over the edge. :-)
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1712. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1711. beell
Quoting 1631. Drakoen:


That's simply because of its dependence of the GFS model, Beell loves the GFS and Drak is not too far behind.


Yes, I use it every day. Every 6 hr run and almost every level. Very exciting, lol. Happy to be in good company there!

The GFS is my baseline. I trust its synoptics to evaluate an environment and potential for cyclogenesis using ALL standard levels offered by the model. After a disturbance takes shape, synoptics are again used to evaluate intensification and then track. Other guidance fills in the holes. I think I understand its weaknesses and biases (still get burned often enough).

I don't trust it at all for a literal depiction of intensity or track. Not into chasing little red "L"'s around on a surface chart without trying to understand why they (the "L"'s) are there in the first place.

And it makes a great sketchpad to illustrate an idea.

(off soapbox)



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And as 97L has became the main focus of the blog, Jerry is still puttering away out in the open Atlantic. His 15 minutes of fame are obviously over.


Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 1383
Quoting 1689. CybrTeddy:
Member Since: October 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 2


Our friend Buzzard is back. The only perma-banned name I remember.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11453
1707. sar2401
Quoting Tribucanes:
NHC hedging their bets, this could have been easily classified. I think the NHC wants more time to see where this is headed in development over the next eight hours and it gives them the time to format an intensity likelihood. Winds already found suggest this could be anywhere from a 60mph TS to a 110mph hurricane in the coming days. Conditions great now for RI possibly and then not so great in the coming days. So much depends on the next 24-48hr strengthening. If this gets to be a strong system in the next 24 then it will likely overcome unfavorable conditions ahead and become a hurricane, while if it is a weak 45-50mph TS in the next 24-48 then that's all it's likely to be. Hard intensity to nail to say the least.

Or it will be a tropical wave or depression, as the findings of the hurricane hunters suggested. No one can complain they didn't spend enough time in the area trying to sniff out a storm. 97L is moving too fast. It's getting into the Gulf far faster than the continental trough that could have helped Karen strengthen will be there. There will still be enough energy for a TD, and it will make landfall somewhere on the Panhandle. It will head NNE, bringing Alabama some much needed rain. Hopefully the areas of the Panhandle that had so much rain earlier have now dried out. It should get picked up by the trough over Georgia and carried out to sea. A 6" to 8" storm that should be mostly beneficial. The one thing it won't be is a major hurricane.
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Quoting 1690. sar2401:

No one knows but there's a lot of guessing going on right now. Could go over the Ycatan, get into the Bay of Campeche, and die, as so many of the other storms this year have done. Might get ripped up by wind shear and dry air and the remains go into Texas. Might get strong enough to develop into a weak tropical storm and bring rain to the Panhandle and Alabama. Just keep an eye on it and listen to what the NHC and your local NWS office says. They are the ones who actually know what's happening. If you live in Alabama, tomorrow would be a good time to gas up and get any supplies you think you might need. As soon as the Alabama media says any kind of storm is coming, a full-fledged gas, milk, and bread panic will begin. :-)


That's the very reason why I got mine today.... It will be "That Bad" :o)
Just saying

Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
Quoting 1690. sar2401:

No one knows but there's a lot of guessing going on right now. Could go over the Ycatan, get into the Bay of Campeche, and die, as so many of the other storms this year have done. Might get ripped up by wind shear and dry air and the remains go into Texas. Might get strong enough to develop into a weak tropical storm and bring rain to the Panhandle and Alabama. Just keep an eye on it and listen to what the NHC and your local NWS office says. They are the ones who actually know what's happening. If you live in Alabama, tomorrow would be a good time to gas up and get any supplies you think you might need. As soon as the Alabama media says any kind of storm is coming, a full-fledged gas, milk, and bread panic will begin. :-)


But everybody in Alabama (or wherever it is to make landfall) should keep a cool head. It will most likely be a tropical storm at landfall. No reason to panic, just make any necessary preparations to prepare for a possible windstorm (and flooding if in a susceptible area).
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1703. FOREX
Quoting 1702. wunderweatherman123:
i havent been here in a while whats new?


To be honest, nothing.
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i havent been here in a while whats new?
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Quoting 1688. thehypeneverends:
I;m not sending it anywhere.. thats what the weather just said. and maybe just a td mess

I was just kidding with ya :o)
I really don't think any of them have a clue where it's going :o) Just Saying

Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
@ 27 N 92 W and still gettin' my groceries delivered

Friday.....(Yayyyyy!)
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Quoting 1689. CybrTeddy:
Member Since: October 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
JFV??
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Quoting 1693. Hurricane614:
So what was going on when the HH found those really high winds? Were the winds really that high?

The 100+mph winds? That was when they were ascending, not anywhere remotely close to the strength of 97L. There have also been some rain-contaminated winds, so not valid, that were in the upper TS force range.
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Quoting 1694. sporteguy03:

Wrongasusual again who loves East Central Florida more then anyone I know.


!!!
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Quoting 1691. CybrTeddy:
Hook.. line.. sinker..

Wrongasusual again who loves East Central Florida more then anyone I know.
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So what was going on when the HH found those really high winds? Were the winds really that high?
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Quoting 1663. sar2401:

What??? That can't be right!!! Many of our "expert" forecasters and HH report interpreters were sure this was a minimum TS...some even thought it was a HURRICANE!!! Is is because those incompetent hurricane hunter pilots just can find a 999 low center????

You've just got to love this place once the stormgasms take over. :-)


Only a few excitement casters thought this was a Tropical Storm... as stated, we need a tighter circulation..there were no W or NW winds near a tight llc...now later tonight, they might change..expect a TS by thursday sometime.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1723
Hook.. line.. sinker..
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1690. sar2401
Quoting thehypeneverends:
I was just watching the weather here, they said 97l should go over the tip of the yucitan then into the central gulf where shear might keep it from developing then into alabama

No one knows but there's a lot of guessing going on right now. Could go over the Ycatan, get into the Bay of Campeche, and die, as so many of the other storms this year have done. Might get ripped up by wind shear and dry air and the remains go into Texas. Might get strong enough to develop into a weak tropical storm and bring rain to the Panhandle and Alabama. Just keep an eye on it and listen to what the NHC and your local NWS office says. They are the ones who actually know what's happening. If you live in Alabama, tomorrow would be a good time to gas up and get any supplies you think you might need. As soon as the Alabama media says any kind of storm is coming, a full-fledged gas, milk, and bread panic will begin. :-)
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Member Since: October 1, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
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1687. MahFL
Super cold clouds and getting bigger...



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Quoting 1682. thehypeneverends:
cant agree any more with you. east central florida has been a direct hit like 58 times since 2005 when its 5 or more days out and they have been safe everytime


East Central Florida???? Where is that? lol.
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Quoting 1662. RGVtropicalWx13:

It may miss the Yucatan all together


Even if it did go a bit over the Yucatan (and I don't think it will), this land area does not tend to affect weak tropical cyclones much, especially if the stay is brief.

This system really has that "look" to it. It's about time. Due to the forecast for hostile upper level winds as this system moves N/NE in the GOM, I have to assume it will end up like the rest of the storms this season. The models look to suggest a FL Panhandle landfall, with a NNE/NE trajectory. This type of track is what is climatologically favored in October anyhow. I hope we get some good rain out of it.
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Sheesh, two errors in my last post, which are corrected. Wife keeps telling me I should proofread more often :-)
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Quoting 1675. thehypeneverends:
I was just watching the weather here, they said 97l should go over the tip of the yucitan then into the central gulf where shear might keep it from developing then into alabama


Hey, Hey, Hey, there's no reason why you should send it to Alabama :-)
Just saying :o)


Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
Get those F5 buttons in good working order, sure tomorrow the blog will be in hyperdrive
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Quoting 1670. GeoffreyWPB:


Look likes it's going to barely "thread the needle."


Going directly through,has a Masters licence now:)
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1679. Patrap
Note the Bands expanding over the Yucatan Peninsula on the systems West side.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
We kinda figured there may be no closed low under the deck. For what it's worth anyway, SSD moved the low under the CDO type feature @ 20N 85W

Big tops going up in the NW Quad at last visible.

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1677. sar2401
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Hey guys LOL I guess we got hurricane Karen now


If only they knew what they were doing. I'm certain there's a hurricane center lurking somewhere in the track. We'll just have to wait for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service hurricane hunting Eurocopter EC135 to give us the real scoop. :-)
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1676. auburn (Mod)
The Models have 97L coming right over my house..thats the good thing about models though..if they target you early on your probably pretty safe and out of the picture by the time the system hits :)
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1674. OneDrop
Quoting 1602. kmanislander:


Maybe I wont be called a hater any more for taking the position I have taken with 97L all day LOL
You are one of the most reasonable guys on here. I always respect your take on things.
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1673. Pallis
Quoting 1653. Patrap:
Been friends with Kman over 5 years, but I'm no Lawyer.

I'm Mo a Sea Shanty doodler.

O.K., cause for a second there I thought you were my uncle that is younger than me. His name is Patrick, and you kind of remind me of him sometimes.
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One could make an argument that it's well-defined enough for classification. Overall, however, the center is pretty broad and weak. I agree with the NHC's decision to wait until the next recon flight.

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Well lets see just how much crow and fresca will be passed around by this weekend lol! How do you like your crow?
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Quoting 1665. Patrap:
97L seems to be a fine navigator as she heads slowly toward the Yucatan Channel, leaving the Caribbean by Morn now.



Look likes it's going to barely "thread the needle."
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11453
1669. barbamz

Cancun webcam with 97L right now, looking nice at sunset (saved image; update and timelapse of the whole day here)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 58 Comments: 6314
NHC hedging their bets, this could have been easily classified. I think the NHC wants more time to see where this is headed in development over the next eight hours and it gives them the time to format an intensity likelihood. Winds already found suggest this could be anywhere from a 60mph TS to a 110mph hurricane in the coming days. Conditions great now for RI possibly and then not so great in the coming days. So much depends on the next 24-48hr strengthening. If this gets to be a strong system in the next 24 then it will likely overcome unfavorable conditions ahead and become a hurricane, while if it is a weak 45-50mph TS in the next 24-48 then that's all it's likely to be. Hard intensity to nail to say the least.
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Oh, wow! Fitow's eyewall is absolutely massive. Very cool.
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Quoting 1658. wunderkidcayman:
Hey guys LOL I guess we got hurricane Karen now



Always the jokester. Have another Coors. :)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11453

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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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