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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Atlas VS. Karen...THE MAIN EVENT.
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Quoting 2811. cat6band:
Question....does anyone have a map to show where the cold front is presently? That really is the determining factor here as far as landfall...


I honestly think that this will be a Pensacola/Destin FL event and it will be stronger than previously predicted. I like my crow smoked with tators by the way.
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2814. RTLSNK
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2813. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 2811. cat6band:
Question....does anyone have a map to show where the cold front is presently? That really is the determining factor here as far as landfall...



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
Advisories might be delayed due to the furlough. the USCG recalled me this morning out of furlough due to this, and I am sure that most of the NHC people will be recalled as well.
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Question....does anyone have a map to show where the cold front is presently? That really is the determining factor here as far as landfall...
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Quoting 2805. FunnelVortex:


GFS has been very consistant with a Florida Panhandle landall.
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Quoting 2796. mrmombq:
Hurricane watches possible along gulf coast according to twc.


I would say "Don't" wait untill the last minute....
Everyone from the Mouth of the MS River to Pensacola FL needs to get things done.Such as Fuel before some stations run out....


Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
nrt, no 12z Best track yet?
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2807. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
watches and warnings for tropical storm 12l will init soon with a poss Hurricane watch as well
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting islander101010:
more and more systems are skipping the td classification. looking for perfection before classifying a td nowaday
I've noticed that myself. Don't know if this is a policy shift or just access to better data nowadays. It seems in the past, there was more a lean to classify a system as a TD earlier. In the past, have witnessed some rather disorganized storms on satellite imagery that were classified as TD's that made many on this blog question the classification.

IMHO, believe the authorities were trying to error on the side of safety because people pay attention to TD's whereas most had not even heard of an Invest until the last few years unless they were weather professionals or enthusiast.

Would be interested if there are any statistics on where most of the general public obtains weather information today as opposed to a decade ago.
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thanxs.twc...A.game.report
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2802. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
Quoting 2783. clwstmchasr:


Gainsville won't be an issue. Tallahassee will.

There is still a decent spread though from Near Mouth of MS river to the Eastern part of Big Bend of Florida, too soon to say which parts won't be effected.
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Quoting 2788. CybrTeddy:


Probably because it seems like it just closed off its circulation. If it was around 1008mb still then I'd argue this thing is still struggling. Much better defined system this AM.

The ghost of Karen lives on!

Everybody using this font and size today. Interesting.

Anyways, has there been a time when the first advisory had winds of 60 mph? I couldn't find it in Wikipedia. Just curious.
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100%

Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
2798. aquak9
Quoting 2791. rxse7en:
You did mean 12th, right? :)


smiles and waves!
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2797. GatorWX
We'll see if it can expand its moisture envelope on the west side once it moves away from the Yucatan. Otherwise it looks like dry air and westerly shear are going to inhibit any quick strengthening. Looks like coc is on the very edge of convection.



That band developing on the south side of the cyclone should be a benefit.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3787
2796. mrmombq
Hurricane watches possible along gulf coast according to twc.
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2794. GetReal


IMO the HH are finding the center well off to the WNW of where the last models were initiated. There may be a shift slightly to the west in the next runs.


Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8898
2793. barbamz

TPW showing the center of circulation as well (displaced to the convection at the eastern side). Click to enlarge.
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2792. ncstorm
.
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2791. rxse7en
Quoting 2756. islander101010:
stormtrapper scott is the second coming of storm top
You did mean 12th, right? :)
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Quoting 2778. FtMyersgal:
Karen is gonna spoil the football games in Gainsville and Tallahassee Saturday



It will maybe affect Tallahassee. Based on the guidance it would probably not be much of an ordeal for Gainesville as the game is at 7:00 P.M there.
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Quoting 2780. allancalderini:
For such strong winds she has high pressure.


Probably because it seems like it just closed off its circulation. If it was around 1008mb still then I'd argue this thing is still struggling. Much better defined system this AM.

After wandering amiss for 6 years, becoming every major tropical cyclone to impact land since, Karen has finally managed to regenerate into its old self. The ghost of Karen lives on!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24508
2787. SLU
In hindsight, it may have been a TS since 06z

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Quoting 2769. Bobbyweather:

Well, actually, the Recon is already in the storm.


Ya, just woke up, feeding the kid, posted, then came back and refreshed and saw the updates. Fun day ahead.
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Quoting 2756. islander101010:
stormtrapper scott is the second coming of storm top


Wow! YOU are an "old timer" to remember StormTop! Usual lurker here, but wanted to say thank you to all for the great info and updates everyone posts.
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SFMR unflagged 55kts...and yes they missed the center to the SW.
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Quoting 2760. prcane4you:
yeah that guy never fails,he's like the pope.


Don't get carried away.
He argued with me (big time) about a cold front last week. He tried to show me every model run he could find to prove there was no cold front involved in the upcoming weather pattern.

It took him a while to finally realize a front was dropping down. And all I did was check the surface analysis maps for later in the week.
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2781. IKE

Quoting allancalderini:
For such strong winds she has high pressure.
I would agree.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting 2776. IKE:
1005.2 mb
(~ 29.68 inHg)
For such strong winds she has high pressure.
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2779. LargoFl
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Karen is gonna spoil the football games in Gainsville and Tallahassee Saturday
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06Z GFDL


HOUR: 54.0 LONG: -89.78 LAT: 29.24 MIN PRESS (hPa): 984.92 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 62.02
HOUR: 60.0 LONG: -89.69 LAT: 30.04 MIN PRESS (hPa): 986.76 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 59.62
HOUR: 66.0 LONG: -89.26 LAT: 30.75 MIN PRESS (hPa): 985.61 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 54.04
HOUR: 72.0 LONG: -88.67 LAT: 31.41 MIN PRESS (hPa): 988.67 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 34.00


06Z HWRF

HOUR: 84.0 LONG: -86.70 LAT: 29.50 MIN PRESS (hPa): 991.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 54.00
HOUR: 87.0 LONG: -86.10 LAT: 29.80 MIN PRESS (hPa): 992.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 53.00
HOUR: 90.0 LONG: -85.50 LAT: 30.20 MIN PRESS (hPa): 994.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 47.00
HOUR: 93.0 LONG: -85.00 LAT: 30.50 MIN PRESS (hPa): 995.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 37.00
HOUR: 96.0 LONG: -84.50 LAT: 31.10 MIN PRESS (hPa): 996.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 33.00
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2776. IKE
1005.2 mb
(~ 29.68 inHg)
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2775. LargoFl
Quoting 2764. CybrTeddy:
Best guess is perhaps a 75-80mph peak in 60 hours before weakening.
gfs and gem have it at 997 mb at landfall...
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2774. SLU
Tropical storm Karen

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Have been a long time since the last storm to make a jump from invest to 60mph tropical storm.
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2772. mrmombq
"HAS BECOME A TROPICAL STORM AND IS PRODUCING WINDS OF UP TO
60 MPH "
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2771. JNTenne
Quoting 2750. ncstorm:


LOL..not all of them..its not just school kids..

If the rocket fuel is indeed in those waters of the GOM, I hope this isnt something that is going to surprise a lot of people..
Water is warm but with shear and dry air factors intensification will be limited... imo
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I think Karen will show them how insulted she is, for not being named sooner.
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Quoting 2759. Tribucanes:
I know looks can be deceiving, but based on satellite presentation, I'd be surprised if this isn't classified as a 50-60mph TS when they fly through later this morning. What is Karen has stacked nicely and has at least 24hrs. in very ideal conditions. Could see a rapidly intensifying storm later today. Really expecting a 65-70mph TS by 11PM tonight. COC jumping has ended and this has congealed nicely, smart move by NHC to hold off on the HH; now they'll have a good chance to predict the speed and path a lot more accurately than if they flew in earlier in the morning.

Well, actually, the Recon is already in the storm.
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2768. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

2013 Storms




All

Active

Year




Atlantic


green ball12L.TWELVE


green ball11L.JERRY



East Pacific


green ball93E.INVEST



Central Pacific



West Pacific


green ball99W.INVEST


green ball97W.INVEST


green ball22W.FITOW



Indian Ocean


green ball99A.INVEST


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
2767. SLU
Yup. That's a tropical storm there my friends.

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Howz about we keep the two to once per page eh?
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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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