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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2716. LargoFl
Quoting 2712. EllasD:

oh!! we are ready, just need top off the gas tank at 3.02 a gallon, pick up some ice, booze and dog chews
good glad you got the chews!!
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40978
2715. WxLogic
If the LLC is where the HH is heading then is definitely well displaced from the convection from my point of view.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Getting close to center 1005.6 mb

115630 2151N 08747W 9809 00218 0056 +225 +202 005012 013 017 001 00
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more and more systems are skipping the td classification. looking for perfection before classifying a td nowaday
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2712. EllasD
Quoting 2666. LargoFl:
time to prepare and be ready just in case..ALL models have a storm hitting the northern gulf coast,exactly where is still a bit uncertain...good luck up there..stay safe.

oh!! we are ready, just need top off the gas tank at 3.02 a gallon, pick up some ice, booze and dog chews
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There looks like there is still some westerly shear undercutting the outflow.

This will by no means be a major hurricane. I doubt it'll even be a marginal hurricane.

A fairly typical run of the mill tropical cyclone for the north Gulf Coast, with the added bonus of [more than usual] torrential rain as the system interacts with an upper-level trough.
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2710. GetReal




Karen is moving at a pretty could pace towards the NW or NNW. IMO she will beat the front to the north central GOM.
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Gator.

I wanna see a vis.
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2708. JNTenne
Still on track to head over the warmer part of the GOM...
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Quoting 2699. GatorWX:


Still not that pretty.
Excited for that?
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2706. IKE

Quoting prcane4you:
So are you happy?
Not really. Don't need wind or rain here.
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2705. vis0
CREDIT: 3 RADAR SITES 2 from  CONAGUA 1from Cuba/ IR/Vis from erau.edu
I (couldn't  sync it well at all why i left it low quality)
SUBJECT: 97L STILL?? VERY SMALL DIMENSION
PERIOD:
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but I guess we have a lot of younguns on here now except Doug Ike and i lol




I'm young at heart tho.
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2703. GatorWX

Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3783
Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 40 knots (~ 46.0mph)

Coordinates : 22N 88W
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2701. EllasD
Quoting 2660. prcane4you:
For NOLA?


NOLA doesn't want a K storm either. I would be shocked if it went that far west
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2700. beell
Quoting 2658. GatorWX:
Morning all,

A lil bit of dry air on nw side it appears, but overall....not bad.



There is a distinct possibility that soon-to-be Karen has about 24 hrs to intensify. Dry air in combination with shear is already degrading the west side with some of this dry air possibly wrapping into the south side.

I would advise folks to take a good hard look at that WV loop before pushing the panic button.
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2699. GatorWX


Still not that pretty.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3783
2698. JNTenne
Good morning Cancun....

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Quoting 2690. islander101010:
stormtracker..in.the.house?
No,he's busy now looking for trolls.
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2696. VR46L
Quoting 2657. LargoFl:
UKMET at 72 hours...................


Seems to be frontal / extrop on many of the models at landfall ...
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A special advisory is very likely to be issued if recon finds a closed COC. (They could've already found it, I'm not sure though)
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2694. LargoFl
Unlike most natural disasters, there often is at least some early warning before a hurricane-sometimes hours or even a few days. It's important to take advantage of that time to consider your options, review your safety plans and make preparations.

First and foremost, it is important to carefully monitor local weather reports and follow all advisories from local authorities about precautions and evacuation. Then, as time permits, to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and property be sure to follow these preparation tips.

People (and Pets)

◾Create an evacuation plan. Map the safest areas and routes through which to evacuate your home. Identify multiple emergency transit routes in all directions and a primary and a secondary meeting location. Know where your nearest evacuation shelters are located.
◾Prepare an easily transportable emergency kit.
◾Identify an out-of-area contact. Designate a friend or a family member in another state who can act as a communication traffic manager, and make sure that person has your updated contact list (children's schools, doctors' offices, employer, etc.).
◾Educate your family. Make sure that everyone in your family can identify hurricane warnings and understands what to do when warnings are given.
◾Ensure that drinkable water is available. Fill up bathtubs and sinks.
◾Fill up the gas tank in case you need to evacuate.
◾Know where and how family pets will be cared for.
Property

◾Make your home hurricane-ready. Install hurricane shutters, prune your trees and secure loose roof shingles or tiles.
◾Secure, close and lock all doors and windows. Close all curtains and drapes for protection against shattered glass.
Possessions

◾Protect documentation. Make copies of all important documents (passport, driver's license, birth certificate, financial documentation, auto registration and license, property deeds, will, etc.) and keep copies with an out-of-area contact.
◾Create a home inventory on your smartphone or iPad with the easy-to-use Liberty Mutual Home Gallery® app. This will be helpful in identifying missing or damaged items and will make filing your insurance claim much easier if necessary.
◾Turn off all electronics. Make sure that circuit breakers are turned off and all home electronics are unplugged to prevent damage from power surges.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40978
Quoting 2680. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Recon has fully descended and is still finding hurricane-force flight-level winds with surface winds near 60 mph.

Am I dreaming?

Dreaming why? Are you happy because a hurricane is forming?
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2692. WxLogic
Almost a Hurricane... interesting.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Quoting 2688. mrmombq:
wow from a wave to 60 mph storm impressive


It's been a surface low for quite some time, after being a wave and before being a tropical storm.
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stormtracker..in.the.house?
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Quoting 2684. TheDawnAwakening:
I believe we have TS Karen finally.



Ugh... Another K storm toward the MS/AL gulf coast... go figure.
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2688. mrmombq
Quoting 2685. Bobbyweather:
RECCO Observation
Remarks Section...

Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 50 knots (~ 57.5mph)
wow from a wave to 60 mph storm impressive
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Quoting 2666. LargoFl:
time to prepare and be ready just in case..ALL models have a storm hitting the northern gulf coast,exactly where is still a bit uncertain...good luck up there..stay safe.
As always wishing a hurricane to form and then stay safe and good luck.Some people around are crazy.
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2686. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40978
RECCO Observation
Remarks Section...

Surface Wind Speed (likely by SFMR): 50 knots (~ 57.5mph)
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I believe we have TS Karen finally.
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Quoting 2673. GatorWX:




Can't wait for some vis shots.


If it is a TS now then I would expect a more easterly track. Does this make sense? USCG called me back from furlough just for this.
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2682. LargoFl
Quoting 2679. CybrTeddy:
Flight level winds are 77mph, surface 63.

If this is named, it could go all the way up to 65mph at the very first advisory.
looks like we get Karen sooner than expected..wow
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40978
Karen is likely here and with 50mph.
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Recon has fully descended and is still finding hurricane-force flight-level winds with surface winds near 60 mph.

Am I dreaming?

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Flight level winds are 77mph, surface 63.

If this is named, it could go all the way up to 65mph at the very first advisory.
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Quoting 2637. IKE:
Based on what I see on recon...It's Karen.

43.1 knots (~ 49.6 mph)
Tropical Storm

So are you happy?
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51.7 knots (~ 59.5 mph)
Tropical Storm


I really think it's time to designate this TS Karen.
(Although the extrapolated pressure is unusally high)
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Quoting 2643. SAINTHURRIFAN:
Ike i would say Biloxi ole jim loves the Beau Rivage.Also this system still reminds me of juan without the loops.Posted that several times but I guess we have a lot of younguns on here now except Doug Ike and i lol
Oh I would say there are at least a few of us older ones still here. But I would say there are a "Lot" of younger ones now aswell :o)

Taco :o)
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So I've had a peaceful summer of not worrying about Tropical systems and now that it's October I wake up and find out Karen might be coming our way. I really hope not. We're still not dried out from all the summer flooding here in PC. Ugh.
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2674. mrmombq
Recon finding alot of 50 mph surface winds now.
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2673. GatorWX
Quoting 2653. Drakoen:
Circulation has become much more defined overnight. Likely a TS now




Can't wait for some vis shots.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3783
From 78° at 63 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 72.4 mph)
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2671. IKE
51.7 knots (~ 59.5 mph)
Tropical Storm
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Quoting 2659. Carnoustie:
very strange system,large blob with no real spin to it.


??? eehh ??
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2669. GetReal


Amazing... I hope this is not correct because the NHC is going to catch some flak for not upgrading earlier.
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Quoting 2663. allancalderini:
This is like 2007 all the weak systems after only two strong storms.Maybe this year is like that one.would be terrible though as the last part of the season the storms form closer to land.


Yea, but 2007's two strong storms were absolute monsters . Only Igor and Gustav compare to Dean and Felix.
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Quoting 2654. SLU:

Wow! Hurricane-force flight winds!
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2666. LargoFl
Quoting 2656. EllasD:

stop that! no K storm for Biloxi
time to prepare and be ready just in case..ALL models have a storm hitting the northern gulf coast,exactly where is still a bit uncertain...good luck up there..stay safe.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40978

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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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