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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Wow, Karen skipped TD status and went straight for a 60 MPH TS and with hurricane watches in Florida.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
3015. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
3014. GatorWX

Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2876
3013. nolajet
Quoting 3003. Chucktown:


Doesn't matter, social media is where it's at today. Even though I'm in the TV biz, its a dying outlet. Just like newspapers were years ago, TV is not too far behind. Unless its actually breaking while on air, its old news already.


Very true. The Today Show just said again, "potentially now tropical storm Karen." Local met is using outdated information as well. I knew from this blog that 97l had been upgraded at least 20-30 minutes before my local news announced it.
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Hm, with the government shutdown & everyone under the sun talking about it, I wasn't even aware there was an invest out in the Gulf. Color me surprised that Karen came about.

I would have no qualms with it changing course and coming our way here in Florida, and stalling out. I wouldn't even argue the strength level. Our aquifers are still badly on the low side, and just because it looks soggy topside doesn't mean we don't need more of the wet stuff. We do, like no tomorrow. It would be a long shot, but one in an area with their water source drying up can hope.
Aquifer levels: http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/news/2013/wrmu2013-0 9.pdf

And I'd like to point out that I'm not all giddy over the prospect of property damage and such, no matter how far-fetched or non-existent receiving a storm in my area right now is. Don't be a dolt. That's part of living in storm-prone environment anyway, knowing that you could end up with nothing to your name with just one storm. What concerns me more is that what we've taken from underground still has to be replenished, lest residents completely ok with having none at all.
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3011. Torito
Quoting 3004. ncstorm:
Ivan anyone??



I hope not, but you never know. it is 2013, you know...
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
SHRIMP!
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Quoting 2954. HeinrichFrogswatter:


You are kidding, right? "keep our respective communities up to date." Every local met on every television station in an area that will potentially be affected will be reporting on this. The NHC didn't turn off the lights and go home. As you said, they are still issuing advisories. The comment section of this blog is a place of opinion and bickering. Fascinating as it is, I'm not sure how that makes this comment section to Dr. Master's blog "so important".

I am working today and do not have access to tv or my local mets. So am depending on this blog to keep me updated until I can get more local info. So issuing info here and sharing respectfully all data about this system is greatly appreciated and I find your pompas comment very unnecessary. Thanks to all of for updates. Gtratly appreciated.
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3008. Patrap
NOAA-19 SST images show the effect of a frontal passage on sea surface temperatures in Lake Pontchartrain. Average temperatures decreased approximately 4 C after the front passed.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
3007. GatorWX

Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2876
3006. LargoFl
folks prepare..GFS at 988MB geez..............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38255
3005. barbamz
Another center pass.


Deep convection is more and more waning.


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3004. ncstorm
Ivan anyone??

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Quoting 2993. CaneHunter031472:


Well, if you are so egocentric as not to help your comunity in whatever you can be my guest. Local mets will be informing the public I'm sure, but it will never hurt knocking on your neighbor's door to let them know, Especially when most people are fed up with the news. I found out this was happening because I work for the Coast Guard and they told me last night. this is why I'm out of furlough because it is all hands on deck here. If you don't feel like helping your neighbor then go lay down on the beach on Saturday and get out of the way stupid.


Doesn't matter, social media is where it's at today. Even though I'm in the TV biz, its a dying outlet. Just like newspapers were years ago, TV is not too far behind. Unless its actually breaking while on air, its old news already.
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Quoting 2984. oceanspringsMS:


Pretty easy to have that attitude when you live north of Austin




I guess you might make a fair point. I have never lived through a hurricane...but I have seen my share of death and destruction...and trust me, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Sorry if I offended you.
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We see comments often how we are so excited to see potential danger and destruction of people's lives and property. Nothing could be further from the truth from virtually all of us. See how this blog has absolutely blown up? We've been waiting all season for an exciting storm, this is the love of following the tropics. When one of these storms reaches the Gulf it's exciting and when it has the potential to be land falling it garners lots of attention. It's been a boring season and most love to see activity. There's no duplicity in watching in awe at exciting systems and it being carried to the extent of callousness towards others. I and most here pray and or care deeply that people will be in harms way, but that in no way means we can't enjoy our first exciting storm of the season. It's just not a fair comparison. Should we not be here blogging? Should we hate tropical systems that could be land falling? By no means. Our not wanting harm to come out of this will have absolutely no affect on what Karen does. We have been awed by nature since time began, that's never going to change.
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2999. Patrap
Quoting 2997. dearmas:


Thanks!! Ok now dumb question, when do the 18z's come out??


Shortly after 2 pm CDT. One can check UTC time also here on wunderground ,just pull up your local page and click on your local radar to see UTC time there.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
2998. Patrap


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
2997. dearmas
Quoting 2980. Patrap:


The 18 Z models will have the TEAL Flight DATA inputted in the solution.


Thanks!! Ok now dumb question, when do the 18z's come out??
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Here is yesterday's NOAA Gulf SST analysis; shows a little warm pool located in about the same area where the current forecast takes Karen up to hurricane strength and drops her back down as temps cool off closer to the coast..........That variable is static and not subject to any major variation through landfall.

Link

Dry air and sheer will also play a factor in keeping the storm at bay.
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2995. LargoFl
GFS is showing a well developed cyclone approaching the gulf coast this weekend...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38255
2994. GatorWX
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2876
Just the way the cloud shield is pointed, out ahead of the storm, I think it will make landfall a little further east than forecast --- along the lines of the GFS. Just my opinion though since they say the clouds out ahead of the storm sometimes point towards it's future movement.

Looks like I will get some heavy rain in Washington, DC from the storm, once she becomes post-tropical. That's good news since we are running below normal in the rainfall category.
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2990. Patrap
NOLA Slidell Long Range Radar

Nothing quite like 4 NOAA weather Alert radios squawking the Warnings and Watches here.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
Quoting 2946. Sfloridacat5:
The NHC has Karen becoming a hurricane, but weakens her to a Tropical Storm before landfall.


It's one to watch closely. Conditions are quite volatile. Dry air, shearing, etc. Through the loop and into the GoM waters, some deeper and warmer than others (all very conducive still) all along the tracks northwards. It can get stronger, weaker, stronger again, etc, all the way to landfall.

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Quoting 2983. opal92nwf:
Wow, woke up and first thing I checked was my local weather page. I was startled to see there being a hurricane watch for my area!



XD XD XD
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6164
KAREN was already here last evening.

Anyways GREAT DAY for some WISHCASTERS
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6164
2986. LargoFl
people on the pannhandle of florida need to stay alert to any changes in track because..........NOTE THAT A TRACK FARTHER
EAST WOULD LIKELY RESULT IN A STRONGER STORM...WHILE KAREN WOULD
LIKELY BE WEAKER IF IT TAKES A TRACK FARTHER WEST.

Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/97l-i n-western-caribbean-still-a-threat-to-develop#du1U W0q1lYCvlzsk.99
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38255
2985. beell
Quoting 2972. nrtiwlnvragn:
With tropical storm looming, Hurricane Hunters cope with shutdown

Excerpt:

But with 250 civilians and Air Reserve Technicians of the 403rd Wing, which includes the 53rd WRS, furloughed because of the government shutdown, the squadron is shorthanded — and working for free. The crews are to be back paid when legislators agree on a budget.


Bravo to the crews!!!!


How many of us would pay to ride or support them!
But I second your sentiment. A salute.
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Quoting 2964. muddertracker:
Re: 2960

No one here wants people to die. We are weather fanatics who love tracking storms...not watch people's "livelihoods" destroyed.

Jeez. Add some fiber to your diet.


Pretty easy to have that attitude when you live north of Austin
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Wow, woke up and first thing I checked was my local weather page. I was startled to see there being a hurricane watch for my area!

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2982. GatorWX
200 miles west of Naples...




Bueno!
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2876
Quoting 2975. dearmas:
Do the models have the updated information from the hurricane hunters mission from this morning?


Yes...what Pat said...
Member Since: May 11, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 320
2980. Patrap
Quoting 2975. dearmas:
Do the models have the updated information from the hurricane hunters mission from this morning?


The 18 Z models will have the TEAL Flight DATA inputted in the solution.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
Quoting 2971. GeorgiaStormz:
Is all that dry air around karen a problem?


Dry air has been chewing away at her western side. So its definately not helping her.
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2977. Patrap
Tropical Storm Watch, Ack'

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
2976. JNTenne
Quoting 2971. GeorgiaStormz:
Is all that dry air around karen a problem?
it's just Texas sending its greetings...
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2975. dearmas
Do the models have the updated information from the hurricane hunters mission from this morning?
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Quoting 2971. GeorgiaStormz:
Is all that dry air around karen a problem?


It will most likely be a limiter of intensification. At the moment it looks like she has managed to keep most of it at bay with a strong moisture field.
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2973. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953
With tropical storm looming, Hurricane Hunters cope with shutdown

Excerpt:

But with 250 civilians and Air Reserve Technicians of the 403rd Wing, which includes the 53rd WRS, furloughed because of the government shutdown, the squadron is shorthanded — and working for free. The crews are to be back paid when legislators agree on a budget.


Bravo to the crews!!!!
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Is all that dry air around karen a problem?
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Quoting 2965. Patrap:


Looks like quite a bit of shear across the northern Gulf Coast.
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Hey Pat looks like Karma will come in the form of Karen :).
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Quoting 2878. CaneHunter031472:


Today, this blog will prove it's worth. If the NHC will remain on Furlough it is up to us to keep our respective comunities up to date. Be serious about it, don't wishcast or downcast east cast or west cast. Just look at thefacts and always advise your respective comunities to look for official information from local government and the NHC which i am sure will be issuing advisories. This is why this blog is so important.


LOL
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I did not see this coming
A storm and 60mph.....but i've been busy so..



maybe it'll bring severe wx to GA...more likely heavy rain.
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2966. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127953

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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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