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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Isn't some good tropical action the recipe for less contention? Who knows who is going be right? StormTrackerScott being perhaps overly bullish is perfectly fine. This is developing far faster than thought and certainly looks like a TD now at least. We may well be looking at a 60-80 mph storm over the weekend. Not even out of the question this RI's into a 100 mph storm in 48-72 hours. There are some here who are intentionally divisive, Scott doesn't fit that bill. I like Scott as a blogger and aren't there some who are far worse? When this tightens up, chances are it's not going to look as impressive as it does now as a broad area of strong convection with a surface circulation that may or may not be closed. As this consolidates over the evening we'll know a lot more.
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Quoting 801. opal92nwf:
Can we stop bullying people? Just because someone says something we don't agree with doesn't mean we have to bash them. Our focus is on 97L now, and we are all throwing our opinions around here because that is what this blog is about.


True but when someone says its a TS and nearing Hurricane strength and telling people to be ready for a Cat 3 or higher storm-Scaring people who come on here and don't know any better, that's a cause for concern. Not everyone is smart in the world to know to just take the NHC and their local weather forecasts as the Main Source of Information. It's okay to speculate on what is going on...it's a public blog, but you have to not overdue it to cause alarm in people that isn't warrented yet.
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814. IKE

Quoting GetReal:


Hmmmmmm!
Yeah...it is.
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Quoting 804. ncstorm:


reminds me of Debby was forming..and a lot of those people who are "experts" were completely wrong..

I just sit back and observe


The NHC was completely wrong with Debby, so that's not really a fair storm to use. The only people forecasting Florida were, in fact, Florida residents. No coincidence really. Lol.
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97L is organizing well today, perhaps TD or Karen later..
Stormtrackerscott, take a chill pill bud, I was kinda in ur postition a few years ago on here. Btw, I am typing from my phone so I apologize for the errors lol.
It will be interesting tonight.. best not to overhype what is mainly going to be a lopsided TS Karen this weekend.
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omg wow folks 97L is the attention please everybody this could be something serious. lets keep focus on a potential land falling system.
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2749
Quoting 795. LargoFl:
at this point in time there is NO model that brings 97 anywhere in or near tampa...stay alert over the next few days for any changes...
Largo...So far it looks like the brunt of the storm will miss you... But maybe a crappy day this weekend
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Hmmmmmm!
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Quit arguing people...

...you are all correct!

Good grief. It's a weather blog, lol. What point are you proving? Is it making you feel bigger?? Do you understand how the ignore feature works? Some of you are hilarious!
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I've got that Faaaall time, Faaaall time saddddness, I've got that......


Raining again in SE TX

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Quoting 801. opal92nwf:
Can we stop bullying people? Just because someone says something we don't agree with doesn't mean we have to bash them. Our focus is on 97L now, and we are all throwing our opinions around here because that is what this blog is about.


reminds me of Debby was forming..and a lot of those people who are "experts" were completely wrong..

I just sit back and observe
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Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2749
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
Can we stop bullying people? Just because someone says something we don't agree with doesn't mean we have to bash them. Our focus is on 97L now, and we are all throwing our opinions around here because that is what this blog is about.
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Quoting 795. LargoFl:
at this point in time there is NO model that brings 97 anywhere in or near tampa...stay alert over the next few days for any changes...

Although if the BAMM or BAMD were to verify Tampa could experience some effects possibly similiar to Andrea maybe. I'd rather those models go to Texas give them a good rainmaker, they sure could use it.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
Quoting 769. CaribBoy:
Blog ambiance




YES.
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Quoting 769. CaribBoy:
Blog ambiance

Is that a troll?
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Winter Storm Atlas officially named (by TWC)
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at this point in time there is NO model that brings 97 anywhere in or near tampa...stay alert over the next few days for any changes...
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interesting to note that the bouy data for 42056 has lower pressure and higher winds than the data from the hurricane hunters. any thoughts?
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peeps need to lighten up a little and just track the thing instead of trying to out forecast each other
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting 787. CybrTeddy:


TCHP isn't a terrible factor against 97L, given that 97L isn't likely to be stationary. It's the abundance of dry air and shear that'll hurt it.

SHIPS and LGEM are very much against this becoming a serious threat.
V (KT) LAND 30 34 32 39 44 49 56 55 59 39 30 28 28
V (KT) LGE mod 30 33 31 36 38 42 45 46 46 34 29 28 28


You can already observe the shear to the north and west in the visual images.
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Quoting 776. opal92nwf:

And seems to be doing an effective job
She's trying to moist........wow I like that.That's the best comment of the day.
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taz? thought we'd be doing winter storm reports by now
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Quoting 773. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


It looks very impressive on that image...
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20131002 1745 19.3 85.2 T1.5/1.5 97L 97L
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Quoting 770. Neapolitan:
Why's that? After a brief trip through waters with very high TCHP (> 100 kJ cm-2), 97L will spend many hours moving across waters with pretty low TCHP (< 40 kJ cm-2).

Nah, I see a good rainmaker, but not much more than that.


TCHP isn't a terrible factor against 97L, given that 97L isn't likely to be stationary. It's the abundance of dry air and shear that'll hurt it.

SHIPS and LGEM are very much against this becoming a serious threat.
V (KT) LAND 30 34 32 39 44 49 56 55 59 39 30 28 28
V (KT) LGE mod 30 33 31 36 38 42 45 46 46 34 29 28 28
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Quoting 739. RitaEvac:
Beaumont....



Lol....
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Lots of heavy rain continuing in Cayman. The wind has come down, but around 9 AM this morning it was very strong, with tropical storm force conditions in a squall. Although 97L has a large core, I think it has enough time and good enough conditions to ramp up to a Hurricane while in the GOM and before shear starts weakening it. I'm no expert, just a weather hobbyist, so take that prediction with a pound of salt.
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Everybody will be disappointed if this thing were to stall down there and pull a Mitch track but over the Yucatan and no where near strength of Mitch....and never even make it to the gulf coast, lol

October ALLLLLLLLLL over
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Quoting 777. CosmicEvents:

huh...that's actually a reason to be LESS concerned.
Do you know what you're looking at?


Some of the highest heat content across the Globe sitting in the NW Caribbean.
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Quoting 765. StormTrackerScott:


Wait 19N 85W is mid level? Think again sir.



Why do you think it is at the surface?
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Quoting 769. CaribBoy:
Blog ambiance



Nah, just trying to combat over-inflation of the observations.
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... what's the point in me using ignore anymore? I feel like I'm still going to see the user in question's posts either way.
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Quoting 771. StormTrackerScott:


That's funny your a met and you post wrong forecast all the time.

19N sir


Now that is funny
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So far the recon hasn't found anything particular with 97L....


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Quoting 751. StormTrackerScott:
This is one reason to be concerned if I lived across the northern Gulf Coast.

huh...that's actually a reason to be LESS concerned.
Do you know what you're looking at?
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Quoting 764. WxGeekVA:
She's trying to moisten the environment in front of her too.


And seems to be doing an effective job
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wave heights up to 8ft
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2749
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
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Quoting 756. scottsvb:


Well scott, you said this will be a TS when recon gets in there and will be a hurricane soon and maybe a extreme 1 (cat 3 or higher)... lets see what 5pm says.
This could be a hurricane in the NE GOM in 3 days..I even stated that last night but your current obs are based on midlevel sat judgements and anyone who has taken classes or just followed weather for years knows that a tropical system isn't based by the midlevel.


That's funny your a met and you post wrong forecast all the time.

19N sir
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Quoting 751. StormTrackerScott:
This is one reason to be concerned if I lived across the northern Gulf Coast.

Why's that? After a brief trip through waters with very high TCHP (> 100 kJ cm-2), 97L will spend many hours moving across waters with pretty low TCHP (< 40 kJ cm-2).

Nah, I see a good rainmaker, but not much more than that.
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Blog ambiance

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I will give you all this, and I dont usually do this. It does look pretty good, but it has to survive DMIN and I am afraid that might destroy all the work it has done today.
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Quoting 747. LargoFl:
now it would be GOOD, if it takes a left hand hook and goes into texas..they Need the rains there.

I hope the BAM Models keep going left and not staying right.
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Time: 19:05:00Z
Coordinates: 18.2167N 84.3W
Acft. Static Air Press: 977.4 mb (~ 28.86 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 293 meters (~ 961 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1010.7 mb (~ 29.85 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 155 at 26 knots (From the SSE at ~ 29.9 mph)
Air Temp: 21.8C (~ 71.2F)
Dew Pt: 21.2C (~ 70.2F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 28 knots (~ 32.2 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 28 knots* (~ 32.2 mph*
)
SFMR Rain Rate: 5 mm/hr* (~ 0.20 in/hr*)

???
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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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