Tropical Depression Eight on the way?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:03 PM GMT on July 28, 2005

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Tropical Storm Franklin continues its defiant trek across the Atlantic, but its days are surely numbered. It's currently moving over warm Gulf Stream waters, but in two days time, it will pass north of the Gulf Stream and encounter waters below 80F, which cannot sustain a tropical storm.

With Franklin likely to finally die, that means it must be time for a new storm to develop--after all, this is the Hurricane Season of 2005. We've had at least one active tropical storm continuously since Cindy formed on July 3, making this year's stretch of 25 straight days with tropical cyclone activity the longest such July stretch on record. The previous record was in 1979, with 21 consecutive days of July activity. And sure enough, we have a potential Tropical Depression Eight brewing in the Atlantic. The tropical wave near 20N 50W approaching the Lesser Antilles began forming a more concentrated area of thunderstorms last night, and that trend has continued today as the wave moves steadily west-northwestward at 15 mph. An impressive upper-level outflow channel has opened to the north, and satellite loops show high cirrus clouds blowing off the tops of the wave's thunderstorms streaming to the northeast. There is no obvious circulation yet. The wave is over 28 - 29C water, with warmer 29 - 30C water ahead of it. By tonight, the wave looks to have lower wind shear affecting it as well, and I expect we will have Tropical Depression Eight by tomorrow night.


If the storm develops, the immediate threat will be to the northern Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. However, the steering flow looks to be west-northwesterly over the system the next few days, and the GFS model (which does not develop it and keeps it a tropical wave) has the system tracking north of the islands and approaching the East Coast of the U.S. At this point, it's anybody's guess what part of the East Coast might be most at risk. There is a moderately strong trough pushing off of the East Coast on Tuesday, and it's quite possible that this trough would recurve the storm out to sea before it hits the coast. I think the Hurricane Season of 2005 owes us a break!

Dr. Jeff Masters

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423. txweather
6:49 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
Hawkeye, you wonder why I said we need a high threshold of proof. If we were going from 45-50 or even from 70-75 I'd not call for irrefutable proof. Even here its not beyond a resonable doubt but to go up to the highest level to me requires a higherleve than jst a 51% belief. You even see this in an operational sense. For example it reasonable they could have uped Emily to 160 at one point(very borderline), I suspect they didn't want to get it up a category when it was so borderline. Same with the hurricane upgrade.

Also the damage analysis WASN'T the basis for the upgrade. It was reanalysis of the dropsonde,radar and recon. Yes it was very close and certainly was a 5 at one point prior to landfall. There is one place where there was good evidence based on damage that alone could have justified the upgrade, but to me that wasn't enough. Certainly not conclusive, if damage analysis has been so conclusive they would have upgraded in the post storm. Yes I do understand damage analaysis, I am even trained and experienced in doing such analysis(not my primary area, more a skill I learned for VORTEX years ago, so I'm by no means an expert)

But I guess we all just have to agree to disagree, we're both intelligent experienced people and thats our right. though I do have a last question and I'll shut up:), If the situation was opposite and evidence occured later that caused it to be downgraded, would they have been so quick to anounce almost in celebatory fashion? Btw I am eager to see the result of the rest of the change(even though this will cause me no end in headaches fixing my analysis of years). Especially the 60's I've read that winds were believed to be overestimated by 15% in those years so maybe they'll lower some winds that aren;t justified.

Also to people who say "I was there it was 5". I can only add experience like that only counts if you have something to compare it to. If you have been through another 140 then you think Andrew was worse you have a good point. But people generally overestimate how high winds when they don't have a reference, thats why damagae analysis is based on damage not on feelings. I seens this many times.

Now back to our regular programming, the disturbance still doesn't impress me as I said yesterday. If the recon finds it worthy of calling a depression it would surprise me, but then again it happens.
422. WildHorseDesertTx
4:56 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
The cluster of thunderstorms that is located south of Louisiana seems to be drifting WSW towards the Corpus Christi, TX area....I doubt it is going to ba more than some rain showers tho.

This morning the purple sage(s) are all dropping thier blooms, the ground is carpeted with purple all around them...very pretty!
Member Since: July 23, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 107
421. Denials
4:29 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
New Blog Post
420. OSHNBLU
4:06 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
been looking to WU for info since last season...watching blogs for a a bit. love the info and perspectives....keep it up folks. even if your opionions are questioned...keep them real and keep them coming.
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 117 Comments: 5210
419. Alec
3:48 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
im leaving now. you guys keep it pg-13 and dont fight too much. ill be back later...............Alec.....out!!
418. punkasshans
3:48 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
stormtop doesnt seem to want to answer ANY questions.

anyway, storms develop all the time from frontal systems that stall out in the gulf. I remember many instances over the last 10 years where this has occured (however, i can not name them) It is always possible. If enough convection moves out over the open waters and the front falls apart, then the low can develop and turn into a storm

dont count it out

the bahamas' storm, however, does not look tropical in nature. however, watch over the next few hours and see if that convection continues. continued convection could mean some slow deepening of the low. However, the low at this moment is not over the convection
417. Alec
3:47 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
you sound pretty darn concerned stormtop. lighten up. it probably wont become a cat6.
416. Alec
3:41 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
nada means nothing i suppose. You biligual stormtop?
415. Hawkeyewx
3:41 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
The disturbance in the Bahamas has better convection than the one near PR. Definitely no low pressure at the surface yet in the Bahamas, though.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1923
414. STORMTOP
3:39 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
alec thats not my concern right now..it looks like nada..
413. Alec
3:39 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
so how do you differentiate an upper low and a surface low on satellite and vapor loops stormtop?
412. Alec
3:38 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
i was talking about the one in the bahamas stormtop.
411. Denials
3:38 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
Looking at the satellite I just don't see much impressive in that wave.
410. Alec
3:37 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
yes, only if a low develops off the front like last year with Alex. i dont see that happening though.
409. STORMTOP
3:36 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
LOL OF COURSE ALEC BUT YOU DONT HAVE AND UPPER LOW YOU HAVE A SURFACE LOW S OF PR...
408. HurricaneKing
3:36 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
Another question can something develop off the old front off the midatlantic coast?
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
407. Alec
3:34 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
do you agree that an upper level low has to reach the surface with a closed circulation before it gets classified as a trop. depression stormtop?
406. orlandocanewatcher
3:34 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
thanks punk....you guys have a great day and I'll be back later to read everyones predictions for all the waves..
405. punkasshans
3:32 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
thats what we are talking about in the bahamas, read up

as alec and i and a few others stated, its an upper level low. .that does not usually result in tropical development
404. STORMTOP
3:32 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
HURR KING THAT MEANS NADA.....
403. Alec
3:31 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
you do it stormtop.
402. orlandocanewatcher
3:30 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
that little blob off the coast of Fl...is that just supposed to ruin my weekend at the waterpark?? can anyone elaborate a little...thanks
401. Alec
3:30 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
pictures*
400. Alec
3:30 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
i concede...............................
399. punkasshans
3:29 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
I have been watching that bahamas system. there just isnt a surface low. it looks nice on satellite pictres though
398. HurricaneKing
3:29 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
Yes but it can develop.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
397. STORMTOP
3:28 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
no this is serious buss here i am saying on the record they didnt call it a tropical depression because the recon plane wasnt down there..at 4pm you get the first advisory on TD 8.....IT MAY EVEN BE HARVEY..THE PR RARAR IS SHOWING HEAVY ACTIVITY S OF THE ISLAND....
396. Alec
3:27 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
the upper level low has to reach the surface and have a closed circulation before they will classify it as a depression.
395. HurricaneKing
3:26 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
What about this
SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS HAVE INCREASED
IN CENTRAL BAHAMAS. THIS ACTIVITY IS ASSOCIATED WITH A WESTWARD
MOVING TROPICAL WAVE AND AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW. SURFACE PRESSURES ARE
HIGH AND THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF SURFACE CIRCULATION. FURTHER
DEVELOPMENT... IF ANY...WILL BE SLOW TO OCCUR.

Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
394. Alec
3:26 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
you've been spectating us stormtop? tell us a joke. lol
393. Denials
3:25 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
so you think they are wrong about the upper level winds, stormtop?
392. STORMTOP
3:24 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
just like i said gang they wont name it until after the recon plane gets down there....
391. Denials
3:24 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
From the 10:30 update

SATELLITE IMAGES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE HAS DEVELOPED IN THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS ASSOCIATED WITH A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE. ALTHOUGH UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT...THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM LATER TODAY OR SATURDAY...AS THE SYSTEM MOVES TOWARD THE WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST AT 15 MPH. AN AIR FORCE PLANE IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE SYSTEM THIS AFTERNOON. SQUALLY WEATHER WILL LIKELY OCCUR OVER THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS... THE VIRGIN ISLANDS... PUERTO RICO...AND HISPANIOLA TODAY AND SATURDAY. THIS AREA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.
390. Hawkeyewx
3:23 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
A TD could form later today or tomorrow, but I don't see one now.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1923
389. Alec
3:22 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
say something other than "still here" "not here" or "leaving here"
388. HurricaneKing
3:21 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
leaving here.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
387. Alec
3:21 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
stormtop left hawkeye.
386. Alec
3:21 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
say something other than "still here" or "not here"
385. Hawkeyewx
3:21 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
Sorry Stormtop, I just don't see any evidence whatsoever there is a TD south of Puerto Rico.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1923
384. HurricaneKing
3:20 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
not here.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
383. Alec
3:18 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
say something hurricaneking other than "still here" lol
382. HurricaneKing
3:17 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
still here.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
381. Alec
3:17 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
i know. as soon as stormtop left, they all suddenly quit posting.
380. punkasshans
3:16 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
I posted. . anyway, it seems everyone has left
379. Alec
3:13 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
i must be talking to myself again.
378. punkasshans
3:08 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
that weather station he built. . damn it really is a lightning rod!
377. Alec
3:05 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
that was very funny mobile. post some on here so we can laugh to death.
376. punkasshans
3:02 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
I think is interesting, they changed the 1-2-3 rule, now they have a box big enough to include the circulation noticed by stormtop

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb_latest/refresh/danger_atl_latestBW+gif/144541123_sm.gif
375. Alec
3:02 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
what do you mean stormtop? just because convection fires doesnt automatically make it a tropical threat. You definately will have fun in Aug and Sept when it really gets cranking.
374. HurricaneKing
3:01 PM GMT on July 29, 2005
You should see mobilehurricanes blog.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465

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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.