Tropical Depression Five forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:55 PM GMT on August 24, 2006

Share this Blog
0
+

The Hurricane Hunters found a closed circulation and surface winds of 35 mph in the tropical wave moving through the Lesser Antilles, so this system is now Tropical Depression Five. Here's the 3:30pm EDT statement from NHC:

Reports from an Air Force reconnaissance plane indicate that the tropical wave moving westward through the Windward Islands has developed a closed wind circulation...and advisories on either a tropical depression or tropical storm will be initiated at 5 PM AST. Maximum winds at this time appear to be just below tropical storm strength...but it is possible that stronger winds may be observed prior to advisory time.

The new center that developed 100 miles north of the South American coast this morning is beginning to consolidate, with a new line of intense thunderstorms developing to the south of the center. This new spiral band joins the older spiral band to the east, which has brought wind gusts as high as 51 mph to the Islands today. It is clear that this will be Tropical Storm Ernesto in short order.

Current conditions in the islands
Barbados reported sustained winds of 32 mph at 5am this morning, and wind gusts as high as 51 mph. Togabo had wind gusts to 36 mph, and sustained winds of 33 mph with wind gusts to 43 mph were observed on St. Lucia. A QuikSCAT satellite pass from 6:30am EDT shows a large area of 35 mph winds to the north of the center. Radar from Martinique shows the heavy bands of rain spreading over the islands. Winds on Martinique have gusted to 35 mph so far today.

Wind shear
Upper level winds out of the west are creating about 5-10 knots of wind shear over the center, which is not significantly inhibiting development. The shear is forecast to remain low through the next five days. There is a zone of very high shear to the system's north, but it is forecast to retreat to the west ahead of the developing storm. The evolution of the shear pattern over the past 24 hours has matched what the GFS has said would happen, so this gives me confidence that the shear forecast is correct, at least for the next day. This system does have the potential to become a hurricane by early next week.

The computer models
The latest 8am EDT (12Z) computer model runs were all initialized with the old center position, and thus are unreliable. We'll have to wait until the 18Z (2pm EDT) model runs are available late tonight before we can put much stock in any of the computer model solutions. With this in mind, here is my what the latest 12Z computer models say:

The Canadian model continues to be very consistent, and develops Ernesto into a hurricane south of Jamaica, that then tracks into the Gulf of Mexico. The NOGAPS model is also consistent, assuming a more southerly track will occur with little development due to close proximity to the South American coast. This forecast is already incorrect, and can be discounted. The GFS takes a weak tropical storm across the Dominican Republic on Saturday, then into the Bahamas. The GFDL takes a strong tropical storm into Haiti on Sunday, then on a long path over eastern Cuba. On Tuesday, the GFDL has the system emerging from the coast of Cuba as a weak tropical storm and passing through the Florida Keys. The run-to-run consistency of the GFDL has been poor, and both the GFDL and GFS have not done a good job forecasting the initial track of the storm so far.


Figure 1. Current satellite image of TD 5.


Figure 2. Preliminary model tracks for TD 5.

Debby
Tropical Storm Debby remains a minimal tropical storm today, but is expected to slowly intensify in response to some warmer waters along her path the next two days. By the time Debby turns north this weekend, she could attain hurricane status. Early next week, Debby is expected to get caught up in the jet stream and die in the North Atlantic.

My next update will probably be Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 2587 - 2537

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52Blog Index

2587. BigToe
11:06 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
Afternoon All,
Gee, 1st Pluto's gone and now Ernie'e COC is uncovered. You miss alot when you go to work.
Rand... go for it...answer the GULF question
Member Since: June 12, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
2581. fla1963
2:03 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
I think this passed TD status along time ago!
2580. a654321r
2:01 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
Watching the visual loop, it seems like the COC is right on the western part of Ernesto. At least there is a hint to that.
2579. tornado7
2:00 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
so twc said the shear wont affect the td
2578. BrnGrl
1:57 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
did I say something wrong? :)
2576. emagirl
1:54 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
just watched TWC they are saying that they think the wind shear will either be gone by the time TD5 makes it or that it wont affect it they are talking like this storm will make it and strengthen....i have a bad feeling
2574. BahaHurican
1:53 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
People here keep hoping the TD5 goes west - less damage that way. However, there is just no easy way out with this storm, unless it fizzles altogether. The whole western and northern Caribbean Sea is ringed by higly populated areas.

Best we can hope for is that people in the affected area are prepared. It's good to see people from all the isles checking in, too. I hope people on the Hondurus / Belize coast are also monitoring. Right now the forecast track seems fairly certain, but when storms get to that area of the western Caribbean where Wilma intensified last year, lots of things change very quickly. The NHC doesn't seem too confident about their intensity forecast, and we all know that larger, more intense storms can behave very differently from Twaves and TDs. So everybody in the area should be at least monitoring forecasts.

Here in the Bahamas I haven't run out to buy extra water or pulled out my shutters or anything. But like other weather-savvy Bahamians, I'm keeping a weather eye on the SE Caribbean. (and that's not just because I like following the storms).
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
2572. StormJunkie
1:52 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
I saw it Sav...It only looks like it will have about 48 hours to sit there before it starts moving back towards the coast...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16866
2570. thelmores
1:51 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
"The area off the Carolina coast continues to build convection...."

Hey SJ.... if i started drawing circles and squiglt lines and circles off the sc coast, it would take a while!!! LOL



Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
2569. Cavin Rawlins
1:51 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
A new blog is up
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2566. BrnGrl
1:46 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
total weather newbie here...

so, let's just say -hypothetically- that Ernie makes it into the Gulf...does anyone see anything to steer it away from Freeport/Galveston? The only thing that saved us from Rita last year was an area of high pressure sitting over Houston. Could we be that lucky again?

2565. guygee
1:46 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
New Blog.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3171
2564. SavannahStorm
1:46 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
SJ- Did you see my earlier post about the Carolina system? I'm picking up some rotation on radar.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2343
2563. HCW
1:46 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
This storm needs to slow down if it wants to bomb out . When it does slow down it may be in a 20 to 30kt shear zone

Hardcoreweather.com

Link
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
2562. thelmores
1:45 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
what are the chances that the high mountains of Hispaniola can take out Ernesto???

would hate to see the poor people their if that did happens, half the island has little or no vegitation, and floods easily with massive mud slides......

be nice if we could add this storm to the fraveyard..... i just dont see that.... yet!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
2561. StormJunkie
1:44 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
The area off the Carolina coast continues to build convection....
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16866
2560. ricderr
1:43 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
Hell I remember when they found that planet!
hmmmm...let's see..that was before electricity.....running water....one room schools....damn rand..you're old!!!!!...lol
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21752
2559. BahaHurican
1:41 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
September is worse, MiamiFisher.

(Well, for old people, anyway)
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
2557. PascMississippi
1:40 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
MiamiFisher, there are many functions going on on Tuesday. There will be rememberence services all over the place.
2554. PascMississippi
1:39 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
MiamiFisher, Tuesday is our anniversary. I really do not want to think it. That was a terrible day!
2553. Cavin Rawlins
1:39 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
9:15amEDT- Tropical Depression 05 continues to fire convection in the SE Caribbean Sea.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2552. JupiterFL
1:39 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
windows.... I was in Mexico last year for Emily. The locals refused to admit that a hurricane was coming until the last minute. Most of the people in my resort were from Michigan and such. Me being from Florida knew better. Spent 2 days in a Mexican hurricane shelter. Pure hell. Would have rather stayed in my destroyed resort.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
2551. BrandonC
1:38 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
Thx though Raylog and StormJunkie...BTW Storm your site is very nice...And just so my two cents are in on this storm... From what I'm seeing I would have to agree with some earlier bloggers that the center is not as far west as the NHC has it. The shear obviously is eating away at some of the western most convection however I think the center is somewhat embedded inside the thunderstorms.
2550. StormJunkie
1:38 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
SW....looks like someone may have given the Canadian some of that ganja....
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16866
2547. ricderr
1:37 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
27...where in the yucatan....when the kids were younger...we liked to go to merida....hike the ruins...then head up and over to cozumel and dive....not a big fan of cozumel but i could retire to merida
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21752
2544. Raylog
1:35 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
2543. StormJunkie
1:35 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
Ntl Bouy Data center
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16866
2542. ricderr
1:34 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
stormW..and may i ad...."da da da boom"..humor before 10 am..morning fischer
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21752
2541. BrandonC
1:34 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
nevermind I found it...
2539. BrandonC
1:33 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
Can someone give me a link to see the buoys out there??
2538. nolesjeff
1:33 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
I want to hear ST's take.
Member Since: June 20, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1391
2537. kylejourdan2006
1:32 PM GMT on August 25, 2006
thelmores - Yes, Hurricane Hunters might find tropical storm force winds but some of those high wind areas you have pointed out might be rain contaminated.
Member Since: July 18, 2006 Posts: 32 Comments: 1521

Viewing: 2587 - 2537

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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