TD 16 near tropical storm strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:39 PM GMT on October 28, 2007

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Tropical Depression 16 continues to get more organized today as it chugs slowly west-northwest at 6 mph. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico shows heavy rains affecting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and these rains are expected to spread over Haiti today. Satellite loops show very vigorous thunderstorms reaching high into the atmosphere have developed on the storm's northeast side. A recent microwave satellite image (Figure 1) shows rain rates of up to 1 inch per hour in these thunderstorms. Wind shear has fallen to 15-20 knots this morning, and is expected to fall below 15 knots later today. This should allow TD 16 to continue to develop, and it is probably already Tropical Storm Noel. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and will let us know more later this afternoon. The first flight of the NOAA jet is Monday night.


Figure 1. Microwave satellite image of TD 16 taken at 6:12 am EDT Sunday , 10/28/07. Rainfall rates over 1" per hour (orange colors) were observed to the northeast of the center of TD 16's circulation. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

This is a slow moving system that will dump very dangerous amounts of rain along its path. Of particular concern is the 8 to 12 inches of rain, with possible accumulations of up to 20 inches, forecast to fall over Haiti. Rains of this magnitude have killed thousands of people on Haiti in the recent past. Most recently, Hurricane Jeanne passed just north of Haiti as a tropical depression in 2004, and dumped about 13 inches of rain over the northern mountains. The resulting floods killed over 3,000 people. Heavy rains of up to 18 inches associated with a tropical disturbance in May 2004 also killed thousands.

The latest 00Z and 06Z models runs are similar to previous runs, and do not give us a lot of confidence that we know where TD 16 will go or how strong it will get. The key feature controlling TD 16's path is a trough of low pressure forecast to move off the U.S. East Coast four days from now. If this trough is strong enough, and TD 16 is large enough and far enough north, the trough will force TD 16 across Cuba, into the Bahamas, then northeastward out to sea. Exactly where this recurvature will occur is problematic, with the GFDL and HWRF predicting this will occur over the western Bahamas, and the GFS predicting a path close to Miami in the Eastern Bahamas. In either scenario, it is unlikely that TD 16 would affect South Florida as anything stronger than a Category 1 hurricane, since the storm must get through Cuba first, and deal with higher wind shear to the north of Cuba. If the storm makes a direct hit on South Florida this week, it would likely be as a tropical storm.

Another possibility, preferred by the NOGAPS and ECMWF models, is that TD 16 will stay south of Cuba and make it all the way to the extreme Western Caribbean near Mexico's Yucatan. The trough of low pressure forecast to move off the U.S. East Coast four days from now might not be strong enough to turn TD 16 northeastward in this case, and the storm could stay trapped in the Western Caribbean for many days. This scenario might allow TD 16 to intensify into a hurricane, and possibly a major hurricane, since wind shear is predicted to be light over the area, and the ocean heat content is high. This is the scenario I have been favoring, but this is a low-confidence forecast.

I'll have an update Monday morning, and perhaps late tonight.

Jeff Masters

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1178. 0741
4:27 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
it looking better for florida
1177. BajaALemt
3:51 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
back.....

Yah, most seem pretty clustered to the north
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1176. BahaHurican
3:47 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Wow, GFDL is all by its lonesome on the Wward track at 18Z. I notice several models are bringing Noel through the gap without the eye hitting Cuba or Nrn Haiti.

Link
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
1175. cattlebaroness
3:43 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Baja, did you know that Dr. M. posted a new blog? I went to check email and there was a blog up.
1174. BahaHurican
3:42 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Looking at the satpics, it seems the outer northern edge of Noel is already covering the Turks, Caicos, Mayaguana and Inagua islands in the SE Bahamas. Looks like heavier showers will be in that area by tomorrow morning if Noel does indeed move north rather than west.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
1173. BahaHurican
3:35 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Hey Baja.

No cows here. My grandma used to keep sheep and goats. For the mutton, mainly.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
1172. BajaALemt
3:32 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Nite BaHa
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1171. BahaHurican
3:30 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Evening, all. Stopped 2 read the posts I missed before I commented. I'm going to head to bed now, because I want to be up at 3 so I can look at the sat pics closer to Dmax. The combination of that and the movement of that ULL away from Noel should result in some very interesting changes. I'm still also very curious as to whether the projected NW track will verify, or if we we see a more westerly component to the track once some more pronounced movement is seen.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
1170. BajaALemt
3:24 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Lookin' awful clear out your way ;)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1169. cattlebaroness
3:15 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Baja, I thought about getting a milk cow, but you have to get up soooo early. also if I am gone for long periods of time it would be really bad for the cow. I thought I saw a post early this afternoon and someone was saying sleet in Houston. Must have misread the post.
1168. BajaALemt
3:07 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
They're so cute..when I was growin up, my grampa had dairy cows. Used to LOVE the babies!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1167. cattlebaroness
3:07 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Where are the great minds thinking Noel will go?
1166. cattlebaroness
3:06 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Baja. It is really tiny and of course big ole mama won't let me near it.
1165. BajaALemt
3:05 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Actually, the dewpoint this afternoon was mid-50ish...so we wont be as cold as y'all are
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1164. BajaALemt
3:02 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
brrrrrrrr...dewpoints about 46, so I expect we're headin' down that way
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1163. cattlebaroness
3:00 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Baja, 70 is just not chilly. Morning here are now in the 40's. But the afternoons are still warm.
1162. BajaALemt
2:59 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Awwwwww neat!! A new baby!!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1161. BajaALemt
2:58 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Windy and chilly here. Anything under 70 and I'm chilly :))...how's things out your way?
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1160. cattlebaroness
2:58 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
We have had a couple of beautiful days. And I have a new calf!
1159. 0741
2:55 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
some rain here it getting windy i live here in miami
1158. cattlebaroness
2:54 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
How is everyone's weather out there?
1157. cattlebaroness
2:53 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Evenin Baja, I don't know if my previous post went into cyber...So now I will probably have them back to back.
1156. 0741
2:52 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
it starting look better for florida track move more east
1155. 0741
2:44 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Link 11pm is out
1154. catastropheadjuster
2:44 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
rareaire: Who do you work for? Are you a adjuster?
I see things are getting interesting out there. Where do they think Noel is going?
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3683
1153. 0741
2:39 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
soon 11pm avd be out
1152. BajaALemt
2:35 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Evenin CB
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1151. stormybil
2:34 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
thanks 0741
1150. cattlebaroness
2:33 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Evenin yall. Looks a bit exciting out there. Rareair, I am on stand by for fires and Noel also :)
1149. 0741
2:33 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
yes 2am
1148. stormybil
2:31 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
vortex what time is the plane going in tonight is it at 2 am est thanks
1146. BajaALemt
2:19 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Nite InThe..be well
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1145. 0741
2:17 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
stormybil i update my blog with new miami weather disussion
1144. InTheCone
2:14 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Night all -

Some of you will probably still be here when I get up - lol!!

Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1990
1143. StormHype
2:14 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
local early news in so/ fla wfor says this

noel could miss the front coming down and can spin around and stall again just south of the tip of fla for several days stay tuned


Sure they said that even if it's a 1% chance, because they want max viewers for the next 3-4 days. They frequently wishcast ground zero hits to scare people to tune in every time.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
1142. SouthDadeFish
2:13 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Storm W, are you saying that it could miss the trough because its stalling or that the trough is not strong enough? Also, You're talking about the trough in the midwest and not the one over northern Florida correct?
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
1141. stormybil
2:12 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
. 0741 2:09 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
who going be here ontill 2am avd?
Action: | Ignore User


memememe of corse dmax lots of things happen and we have the plane going in at that time am i right
1140. 0741
2:12 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
stormW how was your day? do you think this be hurr next 24-48 hour??
1139. InTheCone
2:11 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Thanks Storm - very interesting. The longer it sits, the better the chances that the trof misses it.

The NHC is usually pretty good with tracks, but these late season storms could drive even the best "batty" - plus it is almost Halloween!!
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1990
1138. rareaire
2:10 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
So storm your saying if the trof does not get down then its headed west nw then catches the ridge and then rides it east into florida? I really am trying to learn those map things
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1601
1137. 0741
2:09 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
who going be here ontill 2am avd?
1136. BajaALemt
2:09 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Funny you posted that link, Storm. I was looking at this and posted it just a bit ago...

Link

Looks to be moving to the SW....Can also see the "swirl" mentioned in the discussion, above panama.
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1134. rareaire
2:06 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Hey BAJA what ya doin? Im now on standby for the fires in Californisa and as of 15 minutes ago Im now on standby for Florida and or "NOEL"
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1601
1133. stormybil
2:06 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
local early news in so/ fla wfor says this

noel could miss the front coming down and can spin around and stall again just south of the tip of fla for several days stay tuned
1131. InTheCone
2:05 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Exactly, you hit it right on the head! Just isn't that important, but I do love following the weather. Always have!!
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1990
1130. 0741
2:04 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
stormW how was your day? do you think this be hurr next 24-48 hour??
1129. BajaALemt
2:04 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
Rare!! Good evenin!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1128. BajaALemt
2:03 AM GMT on October 29, 2007
I hear ya, InThe. My need to be right just isn't that great anymore *laffs*...I figure, when Im 80 lookin back on my life, I wont even REMEMBER this stuff! In the grand scheme of things...it just ain't THAT important *winks*
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533

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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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