Hello, Dolly; so long, Bertha; Cristobal keeps on chugging along

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:17 PM GMT on July 20, 2008

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Tropical Storm Cristobal continues to chug along the coast of North Carolina, dropping welcome rains over the eastern portion of the state. Morehead City radar shows a well-organized storm with plenty of spiral bands of thunderstorms. These bands have only moderate amounts of rainfall, which is fortunate, since Cristobal is moving so slowly. Rainfall amounts from Cristobal have generally been below two inches over eastern North Carolina, with one isolated pocket of four inches just north of Wilmington, NC. Cristobal is over waters of about 27°C, a degree above the threshold of 26°C needed to sustain a tropical storm. Wind shear is about 10 knots over the storm, and is forecast to fall below 5 knots by Monday. There is some dry air at mid and high levels that is interfering with Cristobal, contributing to the storm's relatively low rainfall amounts.

The expected decrease in wind shear may allow Cristobal to intensify to a 60 mph tropical storm by Monday, but conditions do not appear favorable enough to allow the storm to reach hurricane status. None of the models forecast that Cristobal will intensify beyond a 60 mph tropical storm. Cristobal will likely cause minimal or no damage to North Carolina. Cristobal will likely bring winds below 25 mph to Southeast Massachusetts and Nantucket Island on Monday night. However, these regions are likely to receive 2-4 inches of rain from the storm as it zooms by. The HWRF model predicts heavy rain in excess of four inches along the coast of Maine from Bar Harbor to the Canadian border from Cristobal's remnants on Tuesday. Lesser rainfall amounts of 2-4 inches are expected over Nova Scotia.

Links to follow:
Morehead City, NC radar
Southeast U.S. Marine observations and forecasts
Cape Hatteras, NC weather


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Dolly and Cristobal at 1:02 pm EDT Sun July 20, 2008. Image credit: NASA GSFC.

Hello, Dolly!
Wind shear finally relaxed enough over the Western Caribbean today to allow Tropical Storm Dolly to form. Satellite loops show a large area of intense thunderstorms lies to the north of >Dolly's center, and these thunderstorms will bring heavy rains of 4-8" today and tomorrow to the Cayman Islands, Western Cuba, and the northern Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun and Cozumel. This morning's QuikSCAT pass shows a large are of tropical storm force winds affecting the Western Caribbean. There was no closed circulation at the time of the QuikSCAT pass, but the Hurricane Hunters have since found a closed circulation, which one can also see on visible satellite loops. Heavy thunderstorm activity is now starting to build near the center of Dolly, which is the hallmark of an intensifying tropical cyclone.

The upper-level low that prevented Dolly from developing a closed circulation has weakened considerably over the past day, and will continue to weaken and slide southwestward out of Dolly's way today. This will create a low-shear environment for Dolly to intensify in. With very warm waters of 28.5°C ahead of it extending to great depth, Dolly is expected to intensify right up until landfall tonight over the Yucatan Peninsula. It is unlikely Dolly has time to reach hurricane status today, but a 60 mph tropical storm is possible tonight at landfall. Passage over the Yucatan will disrupt Dolly, which should need a day or so to recover once it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico. Steering currents will weaken once it does emerge, and Dolly will probably have at least two days over the warm waters of the Gulf before making landfall near the Texas/Mexico border Wednesday night or Thursday morning. This may allow Dolly to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico, as predicted by the GFDL model. Rainfall amounts at landfall in Texas and northern Mexico are predicted to be in the 2-8" range, according to the HWRF and GFDL models.

Links to follow:
Cozumel, Mexico weather
Buoy 42056

So long, Bertha
Bertha is finally dead, and is now a powerful extratropical storm over the North Atlantic. The remnants of Bertha are expected to deliver tropical storm force winds to Iceland on Monday. Bertha set the record for the longest-lived July hurricane on record (and the longest-lived hurricane so early in the season). Bertha was a hurricane 7.75 days, which eclipses the previous record of 7 days held by Hurricane Emily of 2005. Bertha was also the longest-lived tropical storm on record for July (and for so early in the season), 17.25 days. Bertha was also the farthest east forming tropical storm and hurricane for so early in the season.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Three of our four reliable computer models for are predicting a new tropical depression will develop off the coast of Africa 3-5 days from now.

I'm not sure, but today might mark the first time on record that we've have three named storms on the same day in July in the Atlantic. The year 2005 came close, when Dennis and Emily existed on July 11, and Cindy's extratropical remnants were over New England.

I'll have a full update Monday morning.

Jeff Masters

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3020. thunderblogger
11:32 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Dolly is obviously strengthening currently, one can easily see the circulation center begining to wrap up tighter in the visible sat images.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 124
3019. cirrocumulus
6:46 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Here she goes. On the latest infrared satellite, Dolly is showing higher cloud tops starting to encircle the entire storm.
Member Since: September 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1606
3018. TropicTraveler
3:04 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
As always the comments and discussions are enlightening and educational and I thank you all for the spirited discussions, which I like and feel helps with understanding. I do feel like an idiot about one thing. I see "LOL" used a lot and am not sure what you mean. Laugh out Loud? Little old lady? Lots of Luck?
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 927
3017. moonlightcowboy
2:17 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
3011. New blog???
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
3016. BajaALemt
2:13 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
New Blog up!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
3015. BajaALemt
2:09 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Link

Ships/Buoy Obs near Dolly past 3 hours
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
3014. BajaALemt
2:05 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
LOL mom...I thought you left! *laffs* I am!! I'm off today and tomorrow...wish it was tomorrow and thursday, but ah well. Have fun at work hun! Have some of that fun for ME!!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
3013. CajunSubbie
2:03 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
ok.. and if its about oil? so what? i'm glad they are taking precautions to not cause panic.. more panic = more money out of my pocket and yours.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 12
3012. weatherboyfsu
2:01 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Good morning people,

Hello Dolly, and Cristobal and Bertha.......

Whats up with this Dolly storm? There must be some weird shear affecting her. Seems to be moving very fast and with the ULL to her SW.....pinwheeling around the ULL...Everything is going to depend on how fast she reaches the Mexican coast ......before she can slow down and turn more north.........So if she keeps this forward speed up....the longer the better for the U.S. and worse for Mexico....although it should be weaker if it hits Mexico.....If she can turn more north, that would mean more time over water and possibly more strengthening!
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
3011. Drakoen
1:59 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
New Blog.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30575
3010. 69Viking
1:59 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Good morning all! Yes Dolly looks a little ragged but that's after going over land all night. I think she'll strengthen slowly now that she's back in the GOM. The little bit of shear over the GOM will keep her from strengthening too fast. Good thing for Texas. I guess we can be thankful in Florida that that High is parked over the southeast keeping storms from coming our way at the moment.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3060
3009. Patrap
1:59 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
NASDAQ Blog and futures, 2 Blogs down and to the left.
TYVM.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
3008. JupiterFL
1:57 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Quoting SailorFL:
Prices also rose Monday on concerns that Tropical Storm Dolly may disrupt oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Moore said.

I knew those low lifes on Wall St. would use Dolly as an excuse to rise oil prices.


Could you please refrain from painting with a broad brush. Some of us work in the industry and would appreciate it. The majority of people on Wall Street are smart, ethical people.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
3007. surfmom
1:57 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
last comment b/4 I leave - MLC (2968) re: Drak & StormW you are so right - really enjoy learning and observing these two forecasters -I was totally clueless a year ago - following the forecasts and thinking of these two has been a tremendous learning experience for me - they are both rather amazing at times - incredible blend of science & instinct!!!! Good Day All - BahaA keep an eye on the buoy's LOL
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
3006. Patrap
1:57 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Heres a conspiracy wacko theory.

Looking at the IR Loop and vis..the Storm is having Identity problems.
A new cirrus outflow is well established Ne from the Main CoC.

But is She to Shed that Lil surface circ,..and try to Build that ever rounding eastern one in the Channel?

Dunno.

Stay tuned.
Many Crow left for Dolly a Lady in Boca called to tell me this am.

LOL.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
3005. NearTEXcoast
1:57 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Excellent, if obscure, song reference, extreme!
Member Since: July 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
3004. BajaALemt
1:56 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2980. STSUCKS Yah, maybe sometimes...but whatever kind of casting it is....it's ALL opportunities to LEARN FROM. :)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
3003. ringeaux
1:56 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Iceman- here are 2

Link

Link

got both of those from the kind folks on this site...
Member Since: September 21, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 60
3002. Chicklit
1:55 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
That being said, I don't think anyone doubts she will develop, the question is how much and how quickly. Without vertical stacking other things can't take place, evidently, so we'll just wait and see.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
3001. fmbill
1:55 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Wow...if she doesn't slow down, we may have landfall in 24hrs.

RGB Floater Loop
Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
3000. BahaHurican
1:53 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Quoting extreme236:
Calling Dolly a bust this early is like calling a season a bust in June...you just can't do that yet. We need to see what happens with Dolly today.
Aside from the continued "Hello Dolly" allusion, I think extreme is thinking about what our expectations of Dolly were, and they sure were "Great" ones . . . lol. Don't forget this was on the hot list for almost a week, and it's been looking like a gut-buster since before it crossed the eastern Antilles. So in that sense, yes, she IS a bust, maybe even two.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22357
2999. IcemanMC
1:53 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
can someone please post the HH google earth link, please
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 275
2998. BajaALemt
1:53 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2985. extreme236

LOL!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
2997. Patrap
1:53 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
The info must flow..Dolly Likes a Big Room.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
2996. OSUWXGUY
1:53 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Dolly will still be a force to be reckoned with IMHO.

Massive divergence aloft over very warm water should lead to convection to increase over the center in an hour or two as she separates from the coast and gets off the cool pocket of water near the north coast of the Yucatan.

I expect a period of rapid intensification this evening and overnight tonight.
2995. moonlightcowboy
1:52 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2977. LOL, Chicklit; but, you're exactly right. Lots of liquid real estate left for her to get it together and ramp up still.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
2994. duprk452
1:52 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
The oil platforms won't keep anyone from giving accurate forecasts. Regardless they wait until the very last minute to evacuate rigs. Believe me i've had my fiance' stuck out there for one because they waited too long.
Member Since: September 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 137
2993. Nolehead
1:52 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
surfmom, swell supposed to hit us on Tue. wax that baby up and come on up for some fun in the sun....hope maybe you get something out of it!!!
Member Since: June 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1932
2992. BajaALemt
1:51 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Mornin Pat (I see you're workin on that post count..hehehehe)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
2991. westpcolamom
1:50 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Doesn't anyone here recognize the name "Alex King"?
Probably coincedental....But still...
Things that make you go "hmmmm".....
Recognized it at once. Knew the dad. Could be the same kid.
2990. Chicklit
1:50 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Chicklet oftentimes this blog lives frame by frame on some storms. Later today she could have a CDO over her center and we will all be like "OMG this could be a Cat 3 before landfall" Exactly. If half of this system had just formed where it's at, then there would be little doubt of its development.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
2989. surfmom
1:50 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
last comment b/4 I leave - MLC (2968) re: Drak & StormW you are so right - really enjoy learning and observing these two forecasters -I was totally clueless a year ago - following the forecasts and thinking of these two has been a tremendous learning experience for me - they are both rather amazing at times - incredible blend of science & instinct!!!! Good Day All - BahaA keep an eye on the buoy's LOL
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
2988. cirrocumulus
1:50 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Since last night, the odds have increased at the NOAA website that there will be a hurricane at landfall rather than a tropical storm.
Member Since: September 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1606
2987. IMA
1:49 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2976 & 2977

LMBO @ "bust" - Chicklit, is that your first outburst of Dolly humor? Glad to see someone still, uhm, putting it out there.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 1261
2986. Patrap
1:49 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Floater #2 - AVN Color Infrared Loop,GOM Link

Floater #2 - Visible Loop,GOM Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128866
2985. extreme236
1:48 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Dolly works 9-5 so the work day isn't over yet lol
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2984. putintang3
1:48 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
I keep thinking about a little storm named Humberto that gave a few people a scare in the middle of the night.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309
2983. Drakoen
1:47 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
The surface center is at 22.1N 89.2W, the mid level center is at 22.5N 89W.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30575
2982. extreme236
1:47 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Quoting Chicklit:
I'm astounded that you can doubt given current conditions, this system will have any problems developing. Dolly has just squeezed her big self through a tight little space...give her a few hours and she'll 'bust out' again. JMHO


Chicklet oftentimes this blog lives frame by frame on some storms. Later today she could have a CDO over her center and we will all be like "OMG this could be a Cat 3 before landfall"
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2981. stormtopsRIP
1:47 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
IF you look at Mexico on satelite it looks to have a front on it, wouldn't the front pull DDolly or push her north or south around the front?
2980. STSUCKS
1:46 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Quoting BajaALemt:
Welcome, link. (I dont like TWC until something is actually fixin' to make landfall. Otherwise, Weather Drama Central...although some might argue we ocassionally fit that bill) :)) :))


More like wishcaster central!
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9
2979. Nolehead
1:46 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2929. philliesrock 8:24 AM CDT on July 21, 2008

Phill, please explain????

thxs

It's the oil platforms on the Gulf Coast...therefore a northerly track would shut down more platforms.
Action: Quote | Ignore User




exactly...NHC probably got word from above not to post the tracks...that's why probably there were no forcast tracks on the loops....it's all about the almighty OIL!!
Member Since: June 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1932
2978. extreme236
1:46 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Quoting OUSHAWN:
This is the whole reason why I said earlier this morning that I didn't think it would make it to hurricane satus. It may be in a very favorable environment but it doesn't matter if she keeps fighting herself. It's like a person who needs help and they have tons of people around to help them but if they don't want the help than they won't be helped...bad analogy I know but you get the picture...lol.


She just moved off the coast...she is going to be disorganized. Conditions are very favorable for her to organize quickly.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2977. Chicklit
1:45 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
I'm astounded that you can doubt given current conditions, this system will have any problems developing. Dolly has just squeezed her big self through a tight little space...give her a few hours and she'll 'bust out' again. JMHO
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
2976. extreme236
1:45 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Calling Dolly a bust this early is like calling a season a bust in June...you just can't do that yet. We need to see what happens with Dolly today.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2975. moonlightcowboy
1:45 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2947. Skye, too, has done an excellent job with recon and watching where this storm was headed. Great work.

2962. fmbill, EXCELLENT point! I totally agree.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
2974. BahaHurican
1:44 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
2915. centex 9:18 AM EDT on July 21, 2008
Dolly crossed tip going NW than turned WNW on other side. Will be very interesting to see if it keeps track to WNW it started and how it intensifies since we now have a more pronounced LLC, at least one we can easily track.


Actually, when u average out the track and look at where it was supposed to be based on NHC's forecast from 12-18 hours ago, it's really not that far off track. Further north, I think but not by far.


2933. OUSHAWN 9:27 AM EDT on July 21, 2008
Taz...

. . . the convection to the east on the whane...did I spell that right...lol??


It's spelled wane, the opposite of wax. It means basically decrease incrementally, like the moon after it's full. Wax means increase incrementally, as the moon does when it is moving from new to full.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22357
2973. OUSHAWN
1:44 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
This is the whole reason why I said earlier this morning that I didn't think it would make it to hurricane satus. It may be in a very favorable environment but it doesn't matter if she keeps fighting herself. It's like a person who needs help and they have tons of people around to help them but if they don't want the help than they won't be helped...bad analogy I know but you get the picture...lol.
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
2972. Skyepony (Mod)
1:43 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Storm history


I think the trick with Dolly has been similar to alot of these large systems we've seen lately with the multible vorticies, they are slow to spin up & while they do focus on the mid level well formed circulation & not fret over every surface vorticy, especially around land.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 38314
2971. cirrocumulus
1:43 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
On the latest visible you see the clouds near the center popping up stronger and the system is farther south than the NOAA projected path. The error in path is due to high pressure. On the infrared that corresponds to the center you see cloud tops working into the weaker quadrant. The warm waters have already increased the strength and the storm now is easy to see on satellite.
Member Since: September 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1606
2970. extreme236
1:42 PM GMT on July 21, 2008
Its a little early to tell how fast and how strong Dolly is going to get when it just moved off the Yucatan coast.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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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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