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: Posts: Comments:
97L is having a nice flare up...and that's what we want to see if this is going to develop...but problem is that the LLC is off to it's west...or should I say, trough of low pressure. Winds generally been around 25kt-30kts in the rain squalls..but with the blow up, the HH's found winds in excess of TS that developed in the past few hours. 97L isn't completely closed. This will change tonight into Thurs. Chances of this being a TS by 5am is 50-50 but by 11am will go up to 80%.
97L needs to get the it' own T-Storm blow up near the LLC or get pulled into the blow up to its east. We will just have to watch to see this happen.
Still expecting a TS on Thurs sometime and possibly approaching hurricane strength later Friday night or Saturday. Movement will follow the GFS or maybe slightly east depending on how fast the front comes down and the speed of the near term (24hr) movement of 97L
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I'm just glad Karen will be giving me something we've been lacking.The gift of rainfall!.
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1363. LargoFl
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Quoting 1348. RGVtropicalWx13:
TWC is usually wrong.


LMAO!!
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1361. Patrap
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989 Mb in 18z run!!!
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Doesn't appear to be a fully closed LLC yet, but if that blowup of activity persists it may have a close LLC in short order. Other data would suggest a minimal TS once this happens.

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Thanks Largo, Looks like the Bamms are stretched across Northern Fla at the moment.
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Quoting 1351. Sfloridacat5:
A little closer look at landfall area at 90 hours


Looks like more EAST... Scott will be happy :-)
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Lots of upper-level divergence at landfall.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting 1339. FOREX:


TWC just said that blowup ball of convection is well to the east of the lowest pressures, so it may not be over the center.


Maybe TWC have no handle on the situation XD LOL (joke)
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1353. Patrap
Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 2nd day of the month at 21:48Z
Date: October 2, 2013
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 301)
Mission Purpose: Investigate sixth suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)

Mission Number: 1

Observation Number: 40

21:48:30Z 20.283N 85.433W 977.1 mb
(~ 28.85 inHg) 260 meters
(~ 853 feet) - - From 144° at 19 knots
(From the SE at ~ 21.8 mph) 22.3°C*
(~ 72.1°F*) -* 21 knots
(~ 24.1 mph) 22 knots*
(~ 25.3 mph*) 2 mm/hr*
(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 19.9 knots* (~ 22.9 mph*)
104.8%*
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor

HDOB Observations

Independent Calculations from Tropical Atlantic

At 21:39:00Z (first observation), the observation was 95 miles (153 km) to the SE (133°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.

At 21:48:30Z (last observation), the observation was 109 miles (175 km) to the ESE (123°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
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1352. LargoFl
Quoting 1344. BaltimoreBrian:
For LargoFl

GFDL



HWRF





yeah i saw those, ive been following the gfs on this storm..thru numerous runs always the same..a hit near or at the big bend in florida or panhandle..we'll see as time goes on...bamm also puts it in northern florida thru numerous runs..me i hope it goes to texas..we surely do Not need its rains here in the west coast lol
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A little closer look at landfall area at 90 hours
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1349. GatorWX
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TWC is usually wrong.
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Quoting 1338. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The 18z GFS brings Karen into the Panhandle as a minimal hurricane.



and continues to back off my rain :( Luck is always for the same SIGH!
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So as of right now does this look like a Panhandle of Florida landfall?
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Quoting 1326. CybrTeddy:
GFS holding firm with the idea of a decent-TS in the GOMEX from 97L.

Maybe even borderline Hurricane. The third hurricane, and the first hurricane to make US landfall in 2013.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 711
For LargoFl

GFDL



HWRF





Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8041
Quoting 1325. sar2401:

I was waiting for how long it would take before the term "rocket fuel" showed up again. :-) Of course, there's been rocket fuel out there all season, but this time it's different.


Makes a big difference when the outflow is as stellar as it is for 97L at the moment. Able to pull all that heat up and out efficiently.

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Expecting 6 or 7 posts correcting me saying "that's the GFS" in a moment.
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
great floater here..

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1339. FOREX
Quoting 1333. Seflhurricane:
very strong likely hood we will have TS Karen by late tonight , the new ball of convection coming out now would confirm that the center is there


TWC just said that blowup ball of convection is well to the east of the lowest pressures, so it may not be over the center.
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 846
The 18z GFS brings Karen into the Panhandle as a minimal hurricane.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
1337. VR46L
Looks like the mid west has more to worry about in this run of the Gfs

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Quoting 1331. CybrTeddy:
12z ECMWF is weaker, naturally, than the GFS.. but in actuality this would probably be a named storm.


That is the GFS, lol.
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This is a hot spot for RI and historically bad storms. And conditions are rapidly advancing in intensity and organization. Not saying this will be anything more than a 60-70mph TS, but counting anything out of the realm of possibility is an at your own risk endeavor. Even a major is not an impossibility.
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1334. LargoFl
Quoting 1329. hurricanewatcher61:
Are the Bamm models used for a weaker system?
yes and thats the models i watch very closely for this storm..consistantly bringing 97 to northern florida
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very strong likely hood we will have TS Karen by late tonight , the new ball of convection coming out now would confirm that the center is there
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So I am guessing by RECON we now have TS Karen that's nice
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edited due to misinformation
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1330. LargoFl
WOW down to 992 MB!!!!!!!!!!
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Are the Bamm models used for a weaker system?
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Some are wishcasting, while some are downcasting xD
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1327. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8802
GFS holding firm with the idea of a decent-TS in the GOMEX from 97L.
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1325. sar2401
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


ULAC overhead and Rocket Fuel SST's to boot. Things could happen very quickly.

I was waiting for how long it would take before the term "rocket fuel" showed up again. :-) Of course, there's been rocket fuel out there all season, but this time it's different.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9839
Quoting 1312. mrmombq:

Is this surface wind of 65.5 mph a joke or real?

Flight level winds are too low in relation to the surface winds; typically flight level winds are stronger than surface winds, and the rain rate is over 1 inch per hour, suggesting it is rain contaminated. The NHC will throw that data out.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 711
1323. will40
Quoting 1312. mrmombq:

Is this surface wind of 65.5 mph a joke or real?


yes but should have been flagged because of rain rate
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Quoting 1309. hurricane23:
Is this in the atlantic? Sure is developing now with great outflow and nice symmetry. Now just needs to tighten up
I had to do a double take myself as well Andrian.I thought for a second this was a storm somewhere out in the western Pacific.
Quoting 1310. SuperStorm093:
LMAO now that is wishcasting at its finest right here folks
We don't need your B.S today.Thank you :).
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Quoting 1314. CybrTeddy:
Data suggests to me a 40mph storm.
If it had a defined surface circulation.
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FL is so lucky... AS ALWAYS!!!!
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May just be a tad bit early to have a good center. Nothing appears to be holding it back at the moment however. Surely there would be one on the 11pm flight.
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1318. LargoFl
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Quoting 1303. LargoFl:
18z GFS..this COULD turn out to be a very strong tropical storm...


Definately looks like a Florida landfall based on the 18z run.
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Quoting 1269. MississippiWx:


Oh boy. Here we go again. The criticism was not for claims of 97L being a tropical storm currently. Let's get that fact straight now.

Anyway, not debating anymore after this.

I'm with you Drew. The guy may be able to guess well enough to get some respect, but the ego that goes along with his "I'm right, you're wrong" Attitude is childish. I myself, have no respect for anyone that has that mentality.

Anyhow. She sure has organized well structurally today, though recon will need to confirm if what she has under her hood is good enough to be classified as a Tropical Storm. So far, there's not enough data to draw a conclusion besides the fact that gale force winds are taking place in the northeastern side of the system.


I do believe we will have Karen in the next 24-36 Hours, but she will be much different than her predecessors.
2007

2001

1995

1989


Though she may end up being similar in strength, this Karen will more than likely end up being the first to Impact the U.S.
Member Since: June 2, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 711

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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.