No threats in the tropics today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:06 PM GMT on September 03, 2005

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The new KatrinaBlog

The new KatrinaBlog for all Katrina-related discussions is worth continuing for a few more days. I know it is not an ideal solution and creates some problems for those who wish to communicate about everyting that is going on, but given the volume of posts I think we should continue this separation a while longer. Today, I am featuring a guest blogger on the KatrinaBlog--my wife, who is an emergency physician who will be on her way to the Gulf next week for a two-week shift wherever she's needed. I have also asked another wunderground blogger to assist me in managing and posting to the KatrinaBlog; this blog deserves more time and energy than one person (me) can provide. Again, this is an experiment that may fail, and your feedback is important on judging the success of this effort.

No TD 15
A tropical wave midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles continues to look unimpressive as it tracks westward at 15 mph. However, the wave is beginning to work its way farther north away from the equator, which might help it get the extra spin needed to develop. We'll have to continue to watch this wave. It could start to develop when it gets closer to the Leeward Islands on Monday or Tuesday, where low wind shear and warm waters should be conducive to develpment.

Development by the Bahamas
Clouds have continued to slowly increase in an area of disturbed weather near and east of the Bahamas. Wind shear is still too high today for a tropical depression to form, but as the wind shear continues to decrease the next few days, something could develop in this region. The latest GFS model run shows that any storm that develops in this area would move slowly, and might push towards the Carolinas.

Tropical Storm Maria
Maria appears on her way to becoming the 5th hurricane of this unbelievable hurricane season. However, we are going to get lucky with this 13th storm of the season. Maria is tracking northward over open ocean, and has little chance of impacting any land areas. For those keeping track, Maria is the earliest 13th named storm ever, beating the record set in 1933, when the 13th tropical storm formed on September 8.
We're not quite halfway though hurricane season yet; historically, the halfway point comes September 10.

Jeff Masters

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246. Weatherwatcher007
3:50 PM GMT on September 04, 2005


245. ssredfish
3:26 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
Fairhope, Alabama

One part of the surge effect...
What you need to use is the anology of a straw in a glass. The glass has the same amount of water in it but when you create less pressure in the straw the water rises in the straw. Atmospherice Pressure is pushing down on the water - if you reduce this pressure then the water will rise.

The second part is the constant pushing/moving of water from the wind. I live in the Mobile, Alabama area and we have seen the bay extremely high from a hurricane and very low. This water is being displaced from one area to another. On any windy day on the bay one side (depending on east or west wind) will have more water washing on it's banks than the other.
Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 15
244. weatherguy03
3:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
if you look at Miami radar you can see where this system is trying to develop....Link...
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
243. turtlehurricane
3:24 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
i hav updated my blog. its an update on the bahamnas situation.
Member Since: July 22, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 469
242. Skyepony (Mod)
3:16 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
As for the thing off the east coast of Fl~ Melbourne today is feeling alot more tropical. 81 degrees F comin down US1 at 6am, a steady E wind has picked up, with low clouds flyin from the ENE over head misting rain from seamingly nowhere. The only thing we're missin is the feelin of being able to cut the air with a knife. It is insiteing that nervous feel that David gave me for 5 years or more & those 2 instilled again last year, when ever conditions are feelin ripe for tropical weather.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 300 Comments: 41247
241. comtrader
3:13 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
after a quick read of a paper modeling storm surges the big effects are wind dragging water and the topological configuration of the basin as the water is push to shore. apparently the topological features of the shoreline are very important as the surges can vary enormously within just a few kilometers.
240. comtrader
2:51 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
i cant imagine that storm surge has anything to do with the gravitational attraction between the storm overhead and the sea below. the mass of the water is so much greater than that of the storm that if gravity were the dominant force then the storm would be like an oil slick.

while i dont know the answer my guess would be the air pressure differential between the storm area and the surrounding area. the higher pressure outside the storm would push down harder around the storm allowing water to rise in the center of the storm.

now that i've guessed i'll try to look it up..
239. whitewabit (Mod)
2:44 PM GMT on September 04, 2005

yes this year is truely amazing. Have heard 6 more hurricanes ,with 3 being cat 3 or higher.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 374 Comments: 35077
238. CFLweather
2:38 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
We have to look at all possibilities when it comes to this low pressure system off the coast of Florida. Stationary, or slow moving storms are historically hard to predict. This year we have seen development of several storms in this very area, and normally this area is only predominantly active in September and October.

Any storm that gets the chance to churn in this area with low shear is going to get its act together rather quickly, much like Katrina before she made her first landfall in South Florida.

Keep in mind this is the 2005 season and anything can and will happen. More major hurricanes are STILL possible, this time last year Frances was making landfall, and we are already at Maria this year, simply amazing.
237. whitewabit (Mod)
2:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2005

have been watching that area too. will they go up the east coast and then out to sea?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 374 Comments: 35077
236. Weatherwatcher007
2:14 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
93 Invest,

The Navy is now tracking the area of convection in the bahamas. Two areas seem to be developing and the shear may relax later on. I can see why the NOGAPS and UKM models develop something tropical now.
235. Weatherwatcher007
2:06 PM GMT on September 04, 2005

Both the NOGAPS and UKM take the area in the bahamas close to the southeast coast in about 108 hours.


What does everyone think?
234. JaxAdjuster
1:35 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
I saw someone asking about Stormtop. I can tell you that if he is in South La, or Ms, you won't be hearing from him for a while.

They still won't let us into those states.

Good morning everyone. Still holding down the fort Lefty? I saw an apology on here the other day from Cat. Interesting.
233. oriondarkwood
1:27 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
willdd1979 and dashwildwood,

I know where both of ya'll live I grew up in NC around a small town 20 miles north of Ft. Bragg and know Raliegh well also (having made many of trips their in my youth and having friends in the area). I moved out of the area in 1995.
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
232. hmfynn
12:40 PM GMT on September 04, 2005
Ah geez, I don't like this...

someone PLEASE give me some kind of explanation that this thing is coming right back to LA.
231. ejstrick
6:46 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Back from the bar!!! Any new developments?
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
230. franck
5:54 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
As to the question of how storm size affects storm surge, the simple answer should be the gravitational attraction of objects. Naturally, the larger and more dense the storm the greater vertical pull on the body of water underneath. This combines with the forward speed of the waves, which also reduces gravitational pull.
Considering damage from storm winds the destructive nature of a hurricane has more to do with pulsing winds than sheer windspeed. The longer period of time winds pulse between lower and higher speed the more damage, especially when combined with moisture propelled horizontally at practically the same speed. An examination of how structures are wind-rated with regard to these phenomena might reveal that coastal buildings will not stand nearly as much as is claimed.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
229. armacjm
5:49 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Thanks for the input on getting flood insurance from FEMA. I didn't know that and will definitely look into it. I agree. If one heads our way - I'm gone. I'll watch it from CNN rather than my lanai.
228. dashwildwood
5:28 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
I am in Raleigh
227. willdd1979
5:21 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
the storm surge wouldn't be too bad on the NC coast the water is shallow I know the layout of the coast I am born and raised in NC and live in Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg which is 100 miles from Wilmington, NC. And hurricane turtle I wasn't offended by that link and I am an african american male 26 yrs of age.
226. johnsonwax
5:14 AM GMT on September 04, 2005

Only FEMA issues flood insurance. I don't believe any private insurers offer flood insurance. I also don't believe there are any restrictions on who can get FEMA flood insurance.
225. johnsonwax
5:12 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Well, if you're sitting at 14' and there's a 12' surge, you may still be soaked.

You may have a 12' surge above a 3' tide.

You may also have wave action above a 12' surge+tide. A gentleman was interviewed on CNN who didn't evacuate from Waveland, I believe. He said he stayed because he knew he was 9' above the predicted 28' max surge, yet his house flooded somewhat - waves made up the difference.

IIRC, the surge indicates the calm water level above the tide level. Leftyy's got the best advice, of course - just get the hell out of the way.
224. leftyy420
5:11 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
dunno but it shouldn't be a problemto get flood insurance as that is actually issued thru ur insuarance company but is inssuarnce from the federal govt. so should not be a problem.

i live in va here but any where from sc to va is my chasing ground lol
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
223. willdd1979
5:04 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
I want a NC storm too I'm only 100 miles from the coast. Who else is in NC and where at?
222. armacjm
5:04 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Thanks for the info. I wonder if any insurance company will write flood insurance now - after New Orleans. We had trouble getting basic insurance because we're so close to the shore. Unquote. Most companies wouldn't even talk to us. I think it's good to look into it though. I appreciate your help.
221. leftyy420
5:00 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
yeah thats about right but not all coastal areas are a vulnerable to surge so if a storm is comming look and see what the surge they predict and leave if evacs are ordered. also make sure u have flood insurance if u own ur home
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
220. armacjm
4:37 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Lefty, my house is about a mile from the gulf, and I'm sitting at 14.2'. So, if a surge of 15' is predicted, then I'm at risk to get water in the house, and if 22' is predicted, then I'm soaked? Am I doing the math right?
219. leftyy420
4:30 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
how far a surge goes inland depends on the elevation of the land as a surg is a rise in sealevel. so a 20 fuoot surge will move sea level up 20 feet. best bet though is to mive some miles inland if a major hurricane is comming and you live in a low elevated area. there is no avg cause it depends on the land elevation
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
218. armacjm
4:18 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Hello all. I'm new to this blog, and to Florida, and have been lurking for awhile. I moved to the gulf side of Florida in time for Charley and the rest. Just far inland does a surge normally go? I know there are many variables, but is there some type of average?
217. leftyy420
3:25 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
i was already to go meet irene , had my bags packed and evrything, than the track shifted and she recurved and i was so mad lol. so if a storm does form off the coast of florida i am sort of wanting it to move inland around sc/nc but that is not why i predcited to go there, my predictions were based on the models. i would like to chase one this year. it be nice lol
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
216. leftyy420
3:22 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
oh yeah, i was posting that for the guy who was asking me about surge. you have to know ur sorroundings. i have only chased one storm, isabeal, but i have been in a couple when i was younger. i didn't decide to chase storms till 2003 and agreed with my wife to not go to far as she does not like me chasing them at all so i was unable to go to florida last year and it was killing me after the rush i got from isabeal. i can not watch them on tv with out wanting to go run to my car and flying down their lol
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
215. killdevilmax
3:18 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
I don't chase just hunker but I certainly enjoy them.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
214. leftyy420
3:16 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
yeah, the water will pile up one way and when the winds switch it pushes back the other way but it has more force as it is using gravity. if ur going to chase a storm u have to be aware of those things to not get urself stuck in a bad situation.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
213. weatherguy03
3:15 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
No i meant what program do you use to make them
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
212. killdevilmax
3:14 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Sloshing- taht's a good one, I'll use it.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
211. leftyy420
3:13 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
yeah kildevil, ur actualy refering to sloshing. tat is what the term would be when the winds pile the water up like that
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
210. killdevilmax
3:07 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
I've been on the outer banks since 1988 and stayed for every storm. I live 3.5 miles back from the beach on an island on Albemarle sound. During Floyd I'm not sure what the storm surge officually was but the water behind my house rose to about el. 4.5', the highest I have ever seen it. This was surge in a sense but not from the ocean. The large volume of water in the Albemarle, Pamlico and Currituck Sounds,(all one body of water) doesn't see much change from ocean tides but the levels are dictated by the wind. When Floyd made landfall the winds were out of the east and northeast. all the water was pushed out of the northern sounds to the south. You could practically walk a mile out into the sound on dry ground. As it passed the wind clocked around SW and blew all the water back up north. I watched the water rise 9 feet in 45 mins. Anywhere near the ocean is not a good place to be. hwy 12 south of oregon inlet gets breached on a regular basis even from noreasters. My place is ground level el. +11' so i may get wet in the future. During floyd inland got hammered bad. there was 2 weeks of steady rain before the storm and when floyd dumped the rivers were already near flood stage. The tar river went 35' over flood stage. My daughter was at college in Greenville and the water went all the way to the eaves. Being anywhere near the ocean or low ground for a hurricane here I wouldn't recommend.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 322
209. hurricane79
3:07 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
The earlier overlay I made was from GOES.
208. weatherguy03
3:03 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
hey hurr79 i posted this earlier in the other blog. What do you use to make your overlays?
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
207. hurricane79
3:01 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
007, not too many on this blog right now so it seems.
206. Weatherwatcher007
2:54 AM GMT on September 04, 2005

Sorry if I offended anyone by my comments, I will man up to them and apoligize I just did not think it was funny at all. As a black-american, I thought there has been some bias in the media BUT that is to be discussed at another time and another place. Race had nothing to do with the delay of supplies in NOLA.

As for the tropics. . .
Maybe there is a circulation forming lefty to the east of the bahamas. . .

I thought I could have gotten a better link but I'm in a hurry. I think thm models have been inaccurate sometimes when predicting the strength of a trof or ridge of high pressure so anything concerning track is possible. As for intensity, it is WAY too early to predict.

This is my last comment for tonight and I am sorry if I offended anyone in my comments earlier. Just something to think about.
205. hurricane79
2:54 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
The upper level trough over 62W is well defined. I may change my perspective in the areas West of 62W as long as that trough persists. It is unusual for a trough that strength this time of year, and, any ridge downstream or upstream would be amplified.
204. hurricane79
2:48 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
New NHC outlook is out. Does not shed too much light,but may prompt the Navy to issue a new Invest Model solution
203. hurricane79
2:44 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
caneguy, there does appear to be a weak area of low pressure in the SW Gulf, but is pushing SW in response to the high pressure to its North. It will slowly move SW over the next 72 hours, then may turn NW. Something to possibly watch in the 3 to 5 day range
202. leftyy420
2:43 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
its cool man. i was at va beach for thw landfall of isabeal and i remebred it was not as big of a surge i thought it would be, but it still did plenty of beach erroison
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
201. leftyy420
2:42 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
no the shear is high and the steering currents take it into mexico in 2-3 days cancun. development is highley unlikely
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
200. lowpressure
2:42 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
i remember isabelle and you r right that does bring it into prespective here for me. i am only 17 miles inlad so ido get concerned and excited, although i dont want devistation... thanks for remembering that
199. hurricane79
2:41 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
Yes, a meso low would be at the mid levels, and a low level low at the surface. Ex: From the early times of Katrina, many of us thought there was a mid level center North of Puerto Rico. I moved slowly West for a few days, finally, when enough storms persisted near the mid level center, that a low level center formed.
198. hurricane79
2:40 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
From looking at the slope of the continental shelves, the worst storm surges should be from the mouth of the Mississippi, Eastward through the West Coast of Florida. The East Coast would not experience as extreme of a storm surge.
197. lowpressure
2:39 AM GMT on September 04, 2005
for lefty or 79.... in a broad area of low pressure as off the FL coast, is ther any corolation between a meso low that could form from a large area of t-storms and where and actual well defind surface low forms??
196. cancaneguy
2:38 AM GMT on September 04, 2005

Anyone think much will come of this Low? Water temsp in the GOM are still pretty high even though the certian terrmible hurricane recently went through.

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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