Gulf of Mexico disturbance; New Orleans levee plan released

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:09 PM GMT on July 13, 2006

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The main area of concern today is a tropical wave off of the west coast of Florida that is kicking off some heavy thunderstorms over the waters surrounding Key West. Wind shear is low enough to permit some slow development of this disturbance over the next day or two as it moves westward or west-northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico at 10 mph. However, the area of thunderstorms is of limited size, surface pressures are not falling, and there are no signs that this area may be a future threat.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico.

An upper level low pressure system is spinning over the western Gulf of Mexico. This low is expected to move ashore over Mexico by Friday without any tropical development occurring.

A tropical wave that moved through the Lesser Antilles Wednesday is in the eastern Caribbean. The wave has limited thunderstorm activty, and there is high wind shear and plenty of dry air in the eastern Caribbean. Development of this wave is unlikely.

The three computer models best at forecasting tropical storm formation (GFS, UKMET, NOGAPS) are all predicting no tropical storm formation in the Atlantic for the next six days. Wind shear is forecast to remain high during this period, then begin a slow decrease through the end of July.

New Orleans flood protection on hold
A long awaited Army Corps of Engineers report on Louisiana coastal protection and restoration came out this week. The report had no specific recommendations on immediate actions to take to protect New Orleans from the next hurricane, saying another 18 months was needed to study the problem. Politicians and scientists immediately criticized the plan, saying that action is needed now. In particular, Governor Blanco of Louisiana and Louisiana's Senators were upset that five specific recommendations that they had agreed on with the Corps in May were stripped out of the proposal:

-- Beginning design work on a barrier and gate plan to protect the New Orleans area from major hurricanes.

-- Closing the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MR-GO) to major ship traffic and beginning environmental restoration of the wetlands adjacent to it.

-- Design work on a plan for rebuilding eroded barrier islands and headlands and building new ones in the Barataria basin, which includes parts of Jefferson, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

-- Authorizing the Morganza-to-Gulf hurricane levee project that stretches along much of the same area and has been awaiting congressional approval for several years.

-- Approval and financing for a variety of smaller restoration projects in southwestern Louisiana.

"These critical projects cannot wait another 18 months to be considered for action by Congress," Blanco said in a statement released Monday.

In the report, the Corps say they have completed emergency repairs to 169 miles of New Orleans levees, which are now as strong or stronger than before Hurricane Katrina. I can't tell from news reports what levee work--if any--is currently going on, I'd be interested to see if any of you know. In particular, is the $3 billion plan to move the pumping stations on the 17th Street Canal and London Avenue Canal to Lake Pontchartrain being worked on? It seems to me that this work is the most critical flood protection measure that needs to be undertaken.

I'll be back with an update this afternoon on the Gulf of Mexico system.

Jeff Masters

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232. thelmores
6:06 PM GMT on July 14, 2006


looks like we are getting some shear from the nw..... if the shear get high enough, it may "expose" the fact that there "appears" to be a circulation below those high clouds.....

guess we'll see! :)
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
231. ProgressivePulse
8:22 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Don't say that 456, lol. I think you just made the hair stand up on the back of the preverbial insurance company neck.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
230. mrpuertorico
7:47 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
just checking the cimss around the southern east caribbean and it seems "the little blob that could" is in a more marginally favorable area and has gotten bolder
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 833
229. txweather
7:21 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
I've lost my links to ship reports, could somebody check the east atlantic(long shot, but curious)
228. txweather
7:19 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
I've lost my links to ship reports, could somebody check the east atlantic(long shot, but curious)
227. guygee
7:18 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Thanks Ike. Otherwise I would be here talking to myself for the next hour (or am I already? LOL)
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3059
226. Cavin Rawlins
7:16 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
WillJax...I agree with you.....conditions appear to be lineing up.....

Guys do you think this will be a 2004 august....we went from Alex to hermine..then ivan

this year can do the same..God forbid..I feel for all of florida....Doesnt appear to me that the Gulf coast will get any action this year.

do you agree?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
225. IKE
7:16 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
The Dr. has a new blog.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
224. txweather
7:15 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
I've lost my links to ship reports, could somebody check the east atlantic(long shot, but curious)
223. guygee
7:13 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
WillJax - Good to hear from you. You hit the nail on the head about IE, I switched from Netscape to Mozilla/Firefox in an early beta release. Mozilla Thunderbird is very good for email, too. I've imported all of my old elm/pine email archives into Thunderbird very easily. It serves as an archive for me full of attached documents going back many years.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3059
222. thelmores
7:10 PM GMT on July 13, 2006



not much on the radar yet..... guess we'll see what happens over the next couple hours.....

as the ull pulls to th sse, conditions only improve west of florida......
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
221. IKE
7:09 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Yup...just west of the keys....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
220. txweather
7:08 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Willjax, actually right now that wave is more than far enough north. Looking at the satellite, if there was ground confirmation, I'd almost consider this a depression. that being said, it is unlikely it could maintain itself for long.
219. IKE
7:08 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
I have to admit....stepping back from my computer screen and watching a visible loop..you can see a spin west of Key West, Florida. Not saying there's anything to it...but there does appear to be a circulation there.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
217. lightning10
7:05 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Wow that wave looks good. I would give it another 24 hours and see if it falls apart.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
215. WillJax
7:04 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Hey guygee, it's been a while. Thanks for the firefox info too, I didn't know that was possible with the pics. Yet another reasons why IE stinks.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 33
214. WillJax
7:00 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Thanks SJ, good to see you too. Excellent site btw, it's a good consolidation of information and I will certainly be visiting it everyday.

Anyway, we're getting into the time of year where Cape Verde storms develop and cross the Atlantic. There's a tropical wave off Africa right now that looks to be pretty healthy, and it's in an environment in which it could develop further. If that wave makes its way a little bit more north then I wouldn't be surprised to see a TD very soon.

The more organized that thing becomes the better chance it will have to cross the Atlantic and enter the eastern Caribbean as a strong wave, TD, or even a named storm. It's pretty obvious that conditions are beginning to line up in a way that'll soon produce storms.



Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 33
213. quakeman55
6:59 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Ok that works...but if only you could animate the image once it's zoomed in...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
211. txweather
6:57 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
F5, i hate to give bad news but, i see no real help to be had. Even if it developed or just stayed a trough it should head west and at worst effect deep south texas. (no guarentess of course, but that seeme reasonable). The 2 easy forecast are wehen you have a strong high or a strong trough. In this case we have the strong high.
207. quakeman55
6:49 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
You can see the broad circulation on the GOM visible satellite too.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
206. quakeman55
6:48 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Nice link Scotsman...especially since it doesn't work :-P
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
205. guygee
6:46 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
txweather - Nice post. I would never wish a hurricane on anyone, but I find some of the guilt trips and mocking that goes on here distasteful, just because I am interested in watching tropical weather that others find uninteresting.

I don't think any current model runs are even initializing any low near the Keys right now, but apparently there is a weak one forming...so I watch and wait.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3059
204. rxse7en
6:46 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
The remains of 96L seem to be flaring up.
Member Since: August 21, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
201. ProgressivePulse
6:40 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
I definatly feel for you guys up there F5, can't imagine what you guys are going through.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
200. txweather
6:39 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Turtle, I agree that devlopement is unlikely from the Keys system, and the the East Atlantic is more interesting(though I would almost give 20:1) against development.

But don't worry about blog mongering, i know for a fact that there were people(some aren't there now, I honestly am not knowledgable about the group there now)),some at the hurricane center that make people on this blog look like pessimist when it came to that.

No matter our level of knowledge you can't but think, hummmm maybe. Yes in your mind you know the odds are hopeless, but you can't help but dream and imagine. The funny thing is that cyclone genesis is SO MYSTERIOUS that there's always the chance. Somebody once asked me if watching storms is as interesting to me know that I know much more. The answer is for movement yes, but for development and intensity no. Because in those domains its still wide open.

Turtle thank you for you insight, it brings back memories of when I had sources there.

TX
198. guygee
6:36 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Hey SJ! I've been meaning to compliment you on your blog, some great info there!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3059
197. F5
6:32 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Interesting...The past few comments I have made in Dr. Master's blog have mysteriously disappeared.

While I don't wish a tropical system on anyone, we are so desparate for rain in N TX that we are probably going to need a system to develop in the Gulf and head up to TX. Otherwise, nothing may break this drought.
196. StormJunkie
6:30 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Afternoon guygee.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
195. StormJunkie
6:29 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Back to work. :(

See ya'll this afternoon :)

SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
194. guygee
6:29 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
WilJax – In Firefox 1.5.x: Tools->Options->Content->Uncheck “Load Images” box.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3059
193. Canesinlowplaces
6:28 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Now that TD2 report posted by Gulf is all-mighty current.
Member Since: July 12, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
192. StormJunkie
6:28 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Just wanted to make sure quake, did not want anyone to be worried for no reason :)

So what is up with 96L? Dang thing still hangin on.

JP, as for Naso, no matter what his age he is very bright person. The difference between him and the Dr is that he can afford to speculate a little more. I do like the fact that he states his points as speculation and not fact. He just gives a decent understanding of different outcomes.

SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
191. thelmores
6:27 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
"a small surface low" may be hard to Recognize.... even to a trained professional! LOL
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189. quakeman55
6:24 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
I think Wetdance is being overly sarcastic.
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188. IKE
6:24 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
That quote of a possible surface low is mentioned on the 2:05 PM EDT tropical weather discussion.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
187. quakeman55
6:23 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
...DISCUSSION...
GULF OF MEXICO...
A SURFACE TROUGH...THAT WAS IN THE W BAHAMAS AND OVER SOUTH
FLORIDA YESTERDAY HAS TRACKED WESTWARD INTO THE EASTERN GULF OF
MEXICO. AS OF 1500 UTC...THE BOUNDARY LIES ALONG 29N86W 26N83W
23N82W. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS ARE WITHIN 90 NM EITHER
SIDE OF THE TROUGH AXIS N OF 26N. DOPPLER RADAR INDICATES A
POSSIBLE SMALL SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING ALONG THE TROUGH NORTHWEST
OF KEY WEST
WHERE THERE IS A LARGER AREA OF RAINFALL SOUTH OF
26N...NAMELY WITHIN 180 NM EITHER SIDE OF THE TROUGH AXIS. THE
OTHER FEATURE IN THE GULF...IS A LARGE UPPER LEVEL LOW WHICH IS
NOW CENTERED NEAR 23N94W. UPPER LEVEL DIFFLUENCE IS GENERATING
ISOLATED/SCATTERED SHOWERS ESPECIALLY ON THE MOIST EAST SIDE OF
THE UPPER LEVEL CIRCULATION FROM THE YUCATAN PENINSULA TO THE
CENTRAL AND WESTERN GULF. BOTH THE UPPER LEVEL LOW AND SFC
TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO TRACK WESTWARD ACROSS THE GULF OF MEXICO
OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. MOISTURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SFC
TROUGH WILL MOVE INTO THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO TOMORROW
ALLOWING THE EASTERN GULF AND FLORIDA TO CLEAR OUT.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
186. StormJunkie
6:22 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Good to see you WJ.

For those who have not seen, StormJunkie.com-models, imagery, wind data, preparedness info and much more, including some great WU blogger storm video.

SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
185. ProgressivePulse
6:22 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Posted By: txweather at 5:16 PM GMT on July 13, 2006.
theelmores, you and taz are good.
DOPPLER RADAR INDICATES A
POSSIBLE SMALL SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING ALONG THE TROUGH NORTHWEST
OF KEY WEST WHERE THERE IS A LARGER AREA OF RAINFALL SOUTH OF
26N...NAMELY WITHIN 180 N

Tx


That is what I was reffering too JP.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
183. StormJunkie
6:21 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
No wetdance, there is nothing out there to be that concerned about at this time. Just weather speculation here. What you see in that WV image is an ULL, the area of interest is to it's east. At least that is what I think you are reffering to.

SJ
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
182. wetdance
6:19 PM GMT on July 13, 2006
Oh Lordy!!!!!!!

Given the size of the Eye of this storm don't you think they should be issuing warnings at least for areas inland as far as Omaha and Kansas City? I am getting quite concerned.

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.