John crunches Baja; two Atlantic systems to watch

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:34 PM GMT on September 02, 2006

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Hurricane John crunched ashore the eastern side of Mexico's Baja Peninsula last night at 5pm PDT as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph maximum winds. The east side of the Baja Peninsula is relatively sparsely populated, and John largely spared the resort towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Radar from Guasave shows John is moving up the Baja Peninsula, and is now battering the capital, La Paz, as a Category 1 hurricane. John will continue to weaken as it moves northwest along the Baja Peninsula, and should die before it reaches the U.S. However, moisture from the hurricane will likely bring flooding rains to portions of the Southwest early next week.


Figure 1. Radar from Hurricane John at landfall, 8:38pm EDT Friday 9/1/06. Image credit: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional of Mexico.

NHC declares a new "invest" on tropical wave in Lesser Antilles
The tropical wave surrounded by a cloud of African dust and dry air that I've been commenting on ever since it left the coast of Africa, is now an official threat. NHC has designated this wave "Invest 99L" this morning. The wave is near 15N 61W, right on top of the Lesser Antilles Islands. It is surrounded by a large cloud of dry air and African dust, but has slowly been able to pump more moisture into its center each night over the past few days as thunderstorm development kicks up then dies away. The thunderstorm activity has picked up considerably this morning, the first time the disturbance has been able to build thunderstorms during the daytime hours. The disturbance is tracking west at 15 mph into a large upper trough of low pressure over Cuba and Hispaniola that is creating about 10-20 knots of shear over 99L. The trough is expected to weaken and move west over the next few days, potentially creating a low shear environment over most of the Caribbean. This could allow intensification of 99L into a tropical depression by Monday.


Figure 2. Preliminary model tracks for Invest 99L. These models are described at the NHC web site.

The mid-Atlantic tropical wave to watch
A tropical wave near 11N 39W, midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, was declared "Invest 98L" last night by NHC. However, the wave no longer has a well-defined low level circulation. Instead, this disturbance has a long oval area of circulation extending across 10 degrees of longitude, from about 33W to 43W, as seen in a QuikSCAT satellite pass from 4:11am EDT this morning. The heaviest thunderstorm activity has shifted eastward several hundred miles since last night, from 40W to about 35W. It appears that if this disturbance develops, it will happen from this more easterly position. The model runs from last night and this morning (Figure 3) all used the more westerly position of 40W, so can be disregarded. The system is moving slowly west at 10 mph, and could be near or north of the Lesser Antilles Islands on Thursday. Wind shear over the system is low, 5-10 knots, and the wave is over warm SSTs of 83-86F (28.5-30 C). Wind shear is forecast to remain low over the next few days, and the system has the potential to become a tropical depression by Monday. A modest inhibiting factor might be the large area of dry air and African dust to the wave's north.


Figure 3. Preliminary model tracks for Invest 98L. These models are described at the NHC web site.

New wave coming off the coast of Africa
A strong new tropical wave is emerging from the coast of Africa today near the Cape Verde Islands. Some of the computer models continue to develop this wave into a tropical storm or hurricane by the middle of next week.

Which of these three waves should most concern us? Both the wave coming off Africa today and the one in the middle of the Atlantic--98L--will probably end up recurving out to sea. However, 99L is already in the Caribbean and is forecast to enter a low shear environment, so this is the one to be most concerned with.

Dr. Gray's September 1 forecast
The hurricane forecast team at Colorado State University headed by Phil Klotzback and Dr. Bill Gray issued their September forecast for Atlantic hurricane activity today. They predict 5 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes for September, which is about normal for that month. They predict an additional 2 named storms and one hurricane in October, and one named storm in November. This would give the hurricane season of 2006 total of 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. An average season has 11 named storms and 6 hurricanes. They credited dry air from the Sahara and more El Nino-like conditions than expected for the lower than average hurricane activity observed in August. Prices of oil, natural gas, and heating oil futures fell on commodity markets by 1-3% on the news of the forecast. The Klotzbach/Gray team originally forecast that 17 named storms would form this year.

Typhoon Ioke
Typhoon Ioke is now not even a Category 4 storm, having weakened a to mere strong Category 3 typhoon with 125 mph winds. It still has a chance to re-strengthen to a Category 4 in the next few days, before increasing wind shear and cooler waters will permanently take it out of Category 4 territory.

Next update
I'll have an update Sunday morning, unless there's some major development today to report.

Jeff Masters

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1337. ClearH2OFla
2:02 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Where is everyone
1336. ClearH2OFla
1:22 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Well all look like the major hurricane season we were supposed to have has fizzeled out. Guess we'll have to wait til next year to track some storms
1335. MarylandGirl
1:08 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Ernie was not good for so MD. we got 10" rain, gust of 60+, trees down, flooding, 18 hour power outages and some mandatory evacuations. Enough, if this is a TD we do not need anything else. I am not liking the early models, please let them be way off.
Member Since: September 10, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 486
1333. SWLAStormFanatic
1:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
New blog up
1332. Pipsneyy
1:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Do you think we will have a depression later today?
1331. hurricane667
1:05 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
they just dropped 98L invest on the navy site
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 161
1330. JupiterFL
1:05 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Randrewl,
I was playing golf at Abacoa. The storm started rolling in on the 17th hole. Those clouds came in fast and by the time we got to the 18th green it was pooring.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
1329. vortextrance
1:04 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Well, I am going to split with the difference between the two systems and put it at 12N and 44W though if 98L does indeed take over it will be further west which is a good thing. The present shear is under 10 knots over the center and the forecast should keep it low in the short term. There is some dry air to the west and that is the best hope in slowing down development. The steering currents should keep it on a west track over the next couple of days imo. All of this could change if 90L takes over.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
1328. code1
1:03 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Good morning from the panhandle guys and gals. Off to pay homage to the GOM today. To those of you on the Atlantic, I suggest you do the same. lol Have a great day all!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
1326. GoofOff
1:00 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
for=from (the west)
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 438
1325. GoofOff
12:57 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
As Randrewl was saying the other day, seems to be a force field along the coast where we are. Storms come for the west with lots of rain, get to I-95 and die. We have had some rain, but right along the east coast, they seem to fizzle out before they reach us.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 438
1324. Proplayer
12:57 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
I think the clowns show up at 9:30am I think
1322. Cavin Rawlins
12:55 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1321. JupiterFL
12:54 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
How long until the clowns show up predicting a Cat 5 in the gulf? Can't wait for those again. We are pretty much caught up on rain here. We were way behind but the last 2 weeks we have gotten a bunch. We actually got less rain for Ernesto then any of the days since.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
1320. Cavin Rawlins
12:53 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
90L Invest 30mph....1008mbar

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1319. Proplayer
12:50 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
I think NHC can't get it together becase Max is leveing LOL
1318. GoofOff
12:50 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
LOL, good answer Nash. I think Airplane and Caddyshack were my all time favorite flix.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 438
1316. GoofOff
12:45 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
I don't care which of them (90 or 98) wins. As long as they don't do any more than the other systems this year, it is fine with me. I had all the hurricanes I needed to see in the previous 2 years. I'm only about one and one half miles inland (east side of US 1) from the Atlantic in Port St. Lucie, FL and while we could use some rain, I can water my yard. Don't need the accompaning winds like last year. We probably didn't get much more than an 1" from Ernesto and the winds were not too strong. No damage or power outages that I know of in this area. It can keep this up for another 2 months and be just fine by me.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 438
1315. Proplayer
12:44 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Thank you
1313. Proplayer
12:42 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
vortextrance...Read the discussion. NHC is now working 98L
1311. nash28
12:42 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Another Airplane referrence:

"An Invest?!? What is it?"

"It's an area of disturbed weather in the tropics that the NHC deems worthy of further investigation for possible cyclone development. But that's not important right now."
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1309. vortextrance
12:41 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Your right Randrewl the discussion totally contradicts the outlook. I guess they got all there bases covered.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
1307. Proplayer
12:40 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Randrewl can you post that link thank you
1305. sandcrab39565
12:38 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Good work Randrewl you and Nash have tag teamed it and made it less confusing thanks
Member Since: June 25, 2006 Posts: 36 Comments: 9972
1303. nash28
12:35 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Boy, I wish Dr. Masters updated earlier. I really want to hear his take on this complex situation.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1301. vortextrance
12:35 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
According to the NHC 90L is the one to watch.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
1300. Cavin Rawlins
12:34 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Corrected heading:

Weather456’s Tropical and Subtropical Weather Discussion for The North Atlantic Ocean.............Part One...Eastern Periphery……
Sunday, September 3, 2006
8:31 AM AST
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1299. Cavin Rawlins
12:33 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Weather456’s Tropical and Subtropical Weather Discussion for The North Atlantic Ocean.............Part One...Western Periphery……
Sunday, September 3, 2006
8:31 AM AST


The Upper Level ridge over the eastern Caribbean sea and Western Atlantic Ocean, south of 25N, is waning.

A westward moving tropical wave (99L) along 65W, that produce showers and T-Storms over some of the Lesser Antilles yesterday, is now spreading moisture into Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic today. This wave is also accompanied by a weak 101mbar low located along the axis at 14.5N.

Another wave (98L) along 43W, accompanied by a broad area of low pressure (1008mbar) at 11N/43W, and numerous showers along its axis and the ITCZ.

Just behind that low (98L) is another circulation (90L). This one has a bit more organized convection, and divergence aloft (outflow) with some banding features. Quiksat and 800mb streamline winds imagery revealed an almost closed circulation with winds of 20knots. The wave is located under 0-10knots of shear and SSTs are about 80degrees, so development is likely over the next couple of days as it moves WNW.

A ship moving south near the wave this morning, measure a ENE wind of 15knots, an air temperature of 28C and atmospheric pressure of 1008.8mbars.

Another interesting wave located along 22W, moving west, just south of the Cape Verde Islands, accompanied by showers and T-Storms that are mainly along the ITCZ. This wave is under the ridge of an ULH, proving some Upper Air Divergence and marginal wind shear of about 20knots. A ship moving directly into the wave axis, measure a 1008mbar pressure, cloudy skies with light to moderate rainfall and an air temperature of 26C. Though there is large amounts of dust located north of the wave.

The ULL that was located 45W, yesterday, has been smack to death or just absorbed by a more powerful trough coming down from extreme Eastern Canada. The trough is large and strong and dips all the way south to 34N. The trough is so strong that it is bringing 100knots of wind shear to some parts of the North Atlantic.

As mentioned before the trough is accompanied by cold front extending from 30N/55W to near 55N/25W, where a developing low/gale is located.

Another ULL/trough is found near the Canary Islands producing numerous showers over Southern Spain/Portugal, Morocco and Western Sahara.

An the extra topical low mention yesterday has moved into Western Europe.

Two surface Highs are found West of Spain in the Eastern Atlantic.

Wether456
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1298. nash28
12:33 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
The models are probably saying the same thing we are. Would one of you engulf the other so we can decide on an Invest here!!!!
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1297. vortextrance
12:31 PM GMT on September 03, 2006

90L looks like it will be a depression by tonight. 98L is going away. Also the dry air around 99L continues to diminish. With the forecast for the shear to slack in the Caribbean over the next couple of days 99L's prospects are looking up.
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 700
1295. nash28
12:26 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Yes, thank you Rand.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1294. ncforecaster
12:26 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
To summarize previous comment 98L should typically absorb 90L for that is generrally the historical solution. (read previos post for specifics).:) I hope each of you have a truly blessed day and great rest of the Holiday weekend, for I have yet to get to bed myself.(lol)

Most sincerely,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1374
1292. nash28
12:24 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Ok then. It's 98L. Done. Over with.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1289. nash28
12:22 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Well, that helps Rand:-)
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1288. Proplayer
12:21 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
I think it is going right up the r's
1287. Hellsniper223
12:21 PM GMT on September 03, 2006
Its WRITTEN IN STONE baby... Cat7...
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16

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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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