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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Quoting 473. Sfloridacat5:
GFS 93 hours


almost on top of me...50 miles due north of panama city...I really doubt this, my thinking is mobile bay-Pensacola area. there is a small ull just west of 97 and there is another low in Mississippi that will pull 97 north
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HWRF hurricane at 66 hours......


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Quoting 511. sunlinepr:
This Should be an anomaly



I want the same for me :((
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Quoting 508. LargoFl:

NNE movement should get her outta the hot water soon, hopefully
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WTF?



lol
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This Should be an anomaly

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Quoting 501. StormTrackerScott:


There is a ridge over us so I think we are good. I do think we will see some squally rains though.


That all depends though on how fast it gets up to around 27N and how fast the cold front comes down to the GOM and SE U.S. There are indication the models will slide east some later tonight.
Best guess right now is still somewhere in the panhandle but landfall won't be till sunday morning. We will have a better idea by Friday morning.
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I would love to see a developing system heading towards my area...

But times have really changed it seems.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36876


IMO this general upper level steering will remain in place through Saturday, taking what I believe will be Karen towards the north central Gulf coast.
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T.C.F.A.
97L/XX/XX/XX

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The whirlybirds are really slow to get to the system... at this rate, it will dissipate before they make it there...

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
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Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 2nd day of the month at 17:48Z
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: 16

17:48:30Z 20.733N 85.800W 977.4 mb
(~ 28.86 inHg) 278 meters
(~ 912 feet) 1008.7 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 99° at 11 knots
(From the E at ~ 12.6 mph) 24.2°C
(~ 75.6°F) 22.3°C
(~ 72.1°F) 12 knots
(~ 13.8 mph) 16 knots
(~ 18.4 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 14.7 knots (~ 16.9 mph)
133.3%
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 17:39:00Z (first observation), the observation was 66 miles (107 km) to the E (81°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.

At 17:48:30Z (last observation), the observation was 73 miles (117 km) to the ESE (113°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
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Quoting 491. GeoffreyWPB:


Hi Scott...Safe to say south and central Fla. are off the hook? No hard right turn?


There is a ridge over us so I think we are good. I do think we will see some squally rains though.

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The latest GFS has 97L spinning up quickly just before hitting land...Minimal hurricane.?
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499. HCW
I can't believe the NWS found the long lost

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Quoting 496. StormTrackerScott:


I disagree. Panama City to Appalachacola as a strong TS or cat.1 hurricane.


Lol. When do you not aim anything in the NW Caribbean to that part of Florida? Surprise surprise.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
I expect 30kts or 35kts at the next ACTF.
Member Since: June 11, 2013 Posts: 19 Comments: 2517
Quoting 484. MississippiWx:
12z GFDL ensembles:



Operational GFS is the extreme east of any guidance, even well to the east of its own ensembles. GFS track likely to not verify.


I disagree. Panama City to Appalachacola as a strong TS or cat.1 hurricane.
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Quoting csmda:
Why does this thing look so small on models but right now it's pretty darn big?

And yes, I am al gore, I invented the internet and I know my join date says 1970.


You have shown remarkable restraint. Only 33 comments in 43 years!
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Quoting 470. LargoFl:
storm looks pretty huge in area huh.......



A lot of blow off convection and high clouds to the East of the "system."
But the system is producing a large cloud field.
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Quoting 472. csmda:


Just gotta let new people know ;) Although, I am up for any jokes better than the al gore stuff.


I agree, that is getting a little old. Amazing how long some people seem to hold a "grudge" . . . ;)
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Quoting 477. StormTrackerScott:


LOL. You guys from NOLA to the FL Big Bend needs to watch this as it has the look like it wants to become a hurricane sooner rather than later.

Trust me I am brother, lost my A@$ last year with Isaac's surge
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Quoting 477. StormTrackerScott:


LOL. You guys from NOLA to the FL Big Bend needs to watch this as it has the look like it wants to become a hurricane sooner rather than later.


Hi Scott...Safe to say south and central Fla. are off the hook? No hard right turn?
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36876

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 2nd day of the month at 17:38Z
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: 15

17:38:30Z 21.333N 85.833W 674.5 mb
(~ 19.92 inHg) 3,457 meters
(~ 11,342 feet) 1008.8 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 61° at 22 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 25.3 mph) 8.2°C
(~ 46.8°F) 2.9°C
(~ 37.2°F) 23 knots
(~ 26.4 mph) 28 knots*
(~ 32.2 mph*) 0 mm/hr*
(~ 0 in/hr*) 26.8 knots* (~ 30.8 mph*)
121.7%*
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 17:29:00Z (first observation), the observation was 76 miles (123 km) to the NE (35°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.

At 17:38:30Z (last observation), the observation was 66 miles (106 km) between the ENE and E (79°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
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UHH, no way.... almost anular before landfall....


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estimating LLC around 19.6N and 85.6W movement picked up some over the past 4-6hrs
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Quoting 481. GatorWX:


Track will be interesting my friend.
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Come on cold front!!
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12z GFDL ensembles:



Operational GFS is the extreme east of any guidance, even well to the east of its own ensembles. GFS track likely to not verify.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36876
Quoting 468. FOREX:


Hi Scott, don't you think that with the front not making it south in time that Panama City is in the clear? Maybe a NOLA landfall is more likely?


I think this relocation has put the FL Panhandle in trouble.
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It is really looking more impressive on the latest vis. satellite, although the cloud tops have warmed in other parts of the swirl. What will the plane find? It seems to be getting better outflow aloft.
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479. FOREX
Quoting 473. Sfloridacat5:
GFS 93 hours


I'm thinking this will change way to the West near NOLA.
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Soon we'll see Levis responce to it....

Both of them.... NOLAs Levis
and tropicaltidbits....

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Quoting 464. StormPro:

Last 2 frames looks very healthy Scott. I believe my yucatan and dry air kill for this thing was wrong (eats crow, raw)


LOL. You guys from NOLA to the FL Big Bend needs to watch this as it has the look like it wants to become a hurricane sooner rather than later.
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Recon may very well find a tropical cyclone. Doubtful it becomes anything more intense than a tropical storm throughout its lifetime though.

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sure looks like GFS has it going thru the straights,not into the yucatan..........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36876
recon descending now
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GFS 93 hours
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472. csmda
Quoting 469. daddyjames:


LOL - getting a little tired of peeps pointing that out? ;)

Maybe you should preface each post with "Yes, I know!"


Just gotta let new people know ;) Although, I am up for any jokes better than the al gore stuff.
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Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 2nd day of the month at 17:28Z
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: 14

17:28:30Z 22.083N 86.167W 395.3 mb
(~ 11.67 inHg) 7,674 meters
(~ 25,177 feet) - 405 meters
(~ 1,329 feet) From 115° at 10 knots
(From the ESE at ~ 11.5 mph) -16.1°C
(~ 3.0°F) -20.3°C
(~ -4.5°F) 11 knots
(~ 12.6 mph) 27 knots
(~ 31.0 mph) 0 mm/hr
(~ 0 in/hr) 24.5 knots (~ 28.2 mph)
245.5%
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 17:19:00Z (first observation), the observation was 118 miles (189 km) between the N and NNE (11°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.

At 17:28:30Z (last observation), the observation was 78 miles (125 km) between the NNE and NE (34°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
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storm looks pretty huge in area huh.......
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36876
Quoting 461. csmda:
Why does this thing look so small on models but right now it's pretty darn big?

And yes, I am al gore, I invented the internet and I know my join date says 1970.


LOL - getting a little tired of peeps pointing that out? ;)

Maybe you should preface each post with "Yes, I know!"
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468. FOREX
Quoting 463. StormTrackerScott:
There is ridge over the FL Penisula so we should be safe however a system coming ashore near Panama City would likely bring squally rains with the risk for tornadoes.



Hi Scott, don't you think that with the front not making it south in time that Panama City is in the clear? Maybe a NOLA landfall is more likely?
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The thing I find strange is 97L is heavy loaded on the eastside however the latest GFS shows little if any rain on the eastside of the circulation as it comes up toward the FL Panhandle. Weird.

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Quoting 456. StormTrackerScott:
Center is at 19N 85W moving NW at 9mph
maybe a tropical storm soon
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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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