Tropical depression forming near North Carolina?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:00 PM GMT on June 27, 2006

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Satellite and radar data from the past few hours indicate that a tropical depression may be forming about 140 miles south of Cape Fear, North Carolina. This system is moving north to north-northeast at 15-20 mph, and will bring high winds and heavy rain to coastal North Carolina late this afternoon and tonight. Tropical storm warnings may be issued for portions of the North Carolina coast early this afternoon, after the Hurricane Hunters have had a chance to check out the system. An airplane is scheduled to arrive at the storm around noon EDT today.

Here's the special advisory put out by NHC at 7:30am EDT:

Special tropical disturbance statement
730 am EDT Tue Jun 27 2006

Satellite and radar information indicate that a small low pressure system could be forming about 140 miles south of Cape Fear North Carolina. This system has the potential to develop into a tropical depression at any time as it moves north to north-northeastward at 15 to 20 mph. An Air Force Reserve reconnaisance aircraft will investigate the system later this morning to determine if a closed circulation exists at the surface.

Residents along the North Carolina coast should closely monitor the progress of this system today as tropical storm warnings could be required with little notice. Even if this system does not form into a tropical cyclone... showers and thunderstorms accompanied by locally heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds will gradually spread onshore the North Carolina coast today and early tonight.


The Long range radar loop out of Wilmington, NC shows an extensive area of heavy rain off the coast, and some spiral banding starting to form. Wind shear is low, the waters beneath are warm, and conditions appear favorable for a tropical depression to form. The system only has about 6-10 hours over water before it comes ashore, so it is unlikely we will get more than a 45 mph tropical storm. Heavy rain will be the main threat from this system, and regions of coastal North Carolina near and to the right of where the center comes ashore can expect 4-6 inches of rain over the next day. Coastal Virginia and Maryland should see rains of at least 1-3 inches from this system on Wednesday, but the bulk of the rain should stay east of Washington D.C., which has suffered extensive flooding the past few days.


Figure 1. Current radar from North Carolina.

Disturbance east of the Windward Islands
A tropical wave about 800 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands is tracking west-northwest at 15 mph. The heavy thunderstorm activity surrounding this system is being sheared by strong upper level winds. This system is moving towards an area of higher wind shear, and is not expected to develop.


Figure 2. Preliminary model tracks for the disturbance east of the Windward Islands.

I'll be back with up update early this afternoon after the Hurricane Hunters arrive at the North Carolina storm.

Jeff Masters

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304. thelmores
7:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
guess this is one of those storms that "sit on the fence"......

landfall is iminent for "whatever you want to call it!" LOL
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
303. AM91091
7:12 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
who knows IKE it may reemerge into the Atlantic tonight
302. FLCrackerGirl
7:11 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
Dr M Has New Post Up!
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
301. IKE
7:11 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
It's moving on shore...the Bahama blob has run out of time it looks........
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
300. AM91091
7:11 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
ok after looking at that I'm convinced the NHC needsa to immediatly upgrade this instead of saying that it should have been Beryl post-season
299. TampaCat5
7:11 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
hmm this didn't post last time.
For those that have a subsciption to wunderground, pull up the north carolina radar and animate the last 40 frames, 1.5x zoom. There is quite clearly a closed surface circulation zooming north at quite a clip, it hsould be onshore quite soon.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 4 Comments: 445
297. quakeman55
7:09 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
I even see spiral banding on all sides of the storm, particularly the north and the south sides.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
296. AM91091
7:09 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
If Beryl forms today, then the 2006 "B" storm will have formed 1 day early than 2005's "B" storm Bret.
295. tacotoe
7:09 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
When it reverses course and skirts around the tip of the keys I am betting it strenghens in the gulf and hits New Orleans as a cat 5 next Friday or possibly Saturday in the early morning hours.
294. quakeman55
7:08 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
According to the Morehead City radar, it's unmistakable there is a circulation, and a fairly good-looking one, about to come onshore.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
293. AM91091
7:08 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
Link? Mabye it has now developed a closed circulation
291. TampaCat5
7:06 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
TPA, OK. Much clearer on wunderground's radar. (I was using nws). That's quit planely a center of circulation and does even look a bit like a tropical storm as far as radar presentation goes.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 4 Comments: 445
289. AM91091
7:04 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb_latest/danger_atl_latestBW.gif...look, it is now suggesting development in 12-24 hrs. anywheree between NC and New England! I guess I better make sure I have nothing out that can blow away
288. AM91091
7:01 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
IT MAY HAVE 40 KT. WINDS BUT IT DOESNT HAVE A CLOSED CIRCULATION!!!!
287. Cavin Rawlins
7:01 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
000
WONT41 KNHC 271829
DSAAT
SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
228 PM EDT TUE JUN 27 2006

RECENT INFORMATION FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
INDICATES THE AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER IS CENTERED ABOUT 35 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF CAPE LOOKOUT NORTH CAROLINA. WHILE THERE IS A SMALL
AREA OF GALE FORCE WINDS ON ITS EAST SIDE... THE SYSTEM DOES NOT
HAVE A CLOSED SURFACE CIRCULATION..
. AND IS THEREFORE NOT A
TROPICAL CYCLONE AT THIS TIME. THE AIRCRAFT WILL CONTINUE TO
INVESTIGATE THE SYSTEM THIS AFTERNOON.


THERE IS STILL THE POTENTIAL FOR THIS SYSTEM TO DEVELOP INTO A
TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES NORTH TO NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD AT 20 TO 25
MPH. RESIDENTS IN COASTAL REGIONS OF NORTH CAROLINA... VIRGINIA...
AND THE DELMARVA PENINSULA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
THIS SYSTEM TODAY AS TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS COULD BE REQUIRED WITH
LITTLE NOTICE.
EVEN IF THIS SYSTEM DOES NOT FORM INTO A TROPICAL
CYCLONE... IT WILL PRODUCE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WITH LOCALLY
HEAVY RAINFALL AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC AREA
TODAY AND TONIGHT.

FORECASTER STEWART

$$
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
285. WSI
7:01 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
"i would like to know the nhc's explanation for at least not calling this a depression......."

Their public reasoning in the statement was the lack of circulation.

Now if there were a small circulation, and they haven't publicly classified it, who knows.
284. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:00 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
oh my such misspelling..

*meteorological
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45301
281. thelmores
6:59 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
i agree fsu...... at the least, we should have called it a tropical depression.....

i agree no tropical storm..... but this storm certainly fits "my definition" of tropical depression, particularly if you include turtle's information that there IS a closed circulation, all be it a SMALL one.....

oh well, strong tropical disturbance, weak depression..... guess there is little difference.....

i would like to know the nhc's explanation for at least not calling this a depression.......
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
280. TampaCat5
6:59 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
TPA, small eyewall like feature?? Where? Are you sure you're not looking in the west Pacific?
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 4 Comments: 445
279. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:59 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
heh that is what happened to Jelawat yesterday it was at tropical storm strength but the Japan Meteoroligal Agency had to name the storm not the NRL.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45301
276. WSI
6:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
"wsi, it has a small closed circulation, they decided not to declare it though."

Their statement says otherwise turtle..

"WHILE THERE IS A SMALL AREA OF GALE FORCE WINDS ON ITS EAST SIDE... THE SYSTEM DOES NOT
HAVE A CLOSED SURFACE CIRCULATION..."

You have the inside track though. ;)

275. TampaCat5
6:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
looking at radar, I would have to concur, this system has run out of room to develop. No obvious circulation and what looks most likely to turn into one is almost onshore.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 4 Comments: 445
273. WSI
6:55 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
"WSI.. im not talking about 91L"

My mistake.
272. weatherboyfsu
6:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
I just looked at the Wilmington Radar loop and cant believe that we dont have some kind recognition of an organized storm. It clearly shows rotation of convection and i have seen much worse areas classified depressions. Not that this matters much in the grand scheme of things but it is quite impressive on radar for not being a storm. I do know that the NHC has used radar to classify storms and to upgrade storms. So we have about another 2 hours or so before this is coming on shore............
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
271. turtlehurricane
6:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
wsi, it has a small closed circulation, they decided not to declare it though.
Member Since: July 22, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 469
269. thelmores
6:52 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
man, inaccu-weather is out to lunch....

i agree with the good dr., onland by 4pm.... and if there is no depression now, wouldnt think they will upgrade it within the next hour, before landfall....

appears they do have a doppler indicated tornado near morehead city......
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
268. WSI
6:51 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
"Also. they don't mention anything about an unfavorable enviornment."


Well if it gets onshore, game over.
265. guygee
6:48 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
I still don't see any northerly winds at any reporting stations anywhere...based on the Wilmington composite radar loop at most it is just pulling down a narrow band of north winds, and apparently not much at the surface. Winds on the west side are not impressive, based on observations at all stations. I am surprised this thing is not stronger based on the radar and satellite loops, but the measured observations at the ground stations and buoys don't lie...

txweather may be right that the NHC wouldn't put up a warning this late unless the situation was very serious, as it might do more harm than good, especially if the winds on the stronger east side stay mostly offshore. Flooding could be a much larger problem than winds with this TD/disturbance (whatever). Flood watches are already up, so that base is covered.
Here's a recent special marine warning from Wilmington NWS:
MARINE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC
217 PM EDT TUE JUN 27 2006

AMZ158-170-271930-
/O.CON.KMHX.MA.W.0105.000000T0000Z-060627T1930Z/
217 PM EDT TUE JUN 27 2006

...A SPECIAL MARINE WARNING CONTINUES UNTIL 330 PM EDT FOR WATERS BETWEEN CAPE LOOKOUT AND SURF CITY NC OUT 20 NM...

AT 214 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A STORMS...CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WIND SPEEDS OVER 35 KNOTS WITH GUSTS UPWARDS OF 50 KNOTS FROM SURF CITY TO CAPE LOOKOUT...OR ABOUT 18 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BIG TEN FATHOM...MOVING NORTH AT 25 MPH.

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. BOAT HANDLING BECOMES DIFFICULT IN STRONG GUSTY WINDS...STEEP WAVES...AND HEAVY RAIN. BOATERS ARE VULNERABLE TO LIGHTNING STRIKES. MARINERS SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION. MOVE TO PROTECTED WATERS. AVOID HEADING INTO THE STORM WHILE SEEKING SHELTER.

THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE SUDDEN WATERSPOUTS. WATERSPOUTS CAN EASILY OVERTURN BOATS AND CREATE LOCALLY HAZARDOUS SEAS. SEEK SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY.

MONITOR NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON DANGEROUS MARINE WEATHER.

LAT...LON 3405 7697 3407 7675 3465 7680 3457 7714


Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3167
262. WSI
6:46 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
Should say..

I wanted to *see*.....
261. WSI
6:45 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
"I was being sarcastic about AccuWeather"

I know. I wanted to really say what they had to hyp.. I mean say. :)
260. hurricane23
6:45 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
my blog is up guys on 91L....
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13786
258. AM91091
6:40 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
so now the NHC seems to suggest it could head up the coast..hmmm
257. quakeman55
6:38 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
Yeah b/c it already has tropical storm-force winds with it.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
256. WSI
6:38 PM GMT on June 27, 2006
From their site (accuweather)...

"A plane is investigating the area of low pressure along the South Carolina coast and has found winds of between 45 and 50 knots at flight level along with a circulation. This sytem could be named shortly. The next name on the list is Beryl."

WINDS MEAN NOTHING WITHOUT A CLOSED CIRCULATION! They even say they found a circulation. Oops.

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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.