Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra

Invest 95L Unlikely to Become Very Strong - Blustery Rain-Maker for Gulf Coast

By: Levi32, 6:12 PM GMT on September 18, 2013

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In what seems to be the theme this year, another low pressure area has crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and made its way into the Bay of Campeche. Unlike its predecessor, Hurricane Ingrid, Invest 95L will not be able to develop quickly. A northwesterly flow aloft over the BOC, in part due to the upper ridge left behind by Ingrid, is piling up and causing air to sink in front of 95L, while simultaneously shearing the system. This is not allowing convection to develop to its north or west. Such hostile conditions will persist until around Friday night, when 95L will be aligned more with the upper ridge axis, where there will be less shear.

By this time, 95L may be within a couple hundred miles of the Mexican coast, but right now it seems unlikely to actually move inland there, as a shortwave trough digging towards the north gulf coast will erode the mid-level steering ridge to the north of 95L. The result will likely be that 95L stalls and then moves northeastward. However, true strengthening will likely remain difficult. The trough will bring a cold front towards the gulf coast, and the orientation of the front (SW to NE) suggests that 95L may become strung out to the northeast along the front, or even split into two pieces, a tropical system to the south and a baroclinic (non-tropical) system attached to the tail-end of the front. While a splitting could allow a tropical system to remain intact, with the front to the north spreading energy out, significant strengthening seems unlikely.

Another potential scenario is that instead of 95L staying separate from the front, it merges with it and strengthens non-tropically, a scenario portrayed by the UKMET. This would in some ways be analogous to Tropical Storm Lee from 2011. The strengthening would not be tropical in nature, and winds would likely not exceed low-end tropical storm force. Either of these scenarios is possible, but both would mean a blustery autumn rainstorm from Louisiana eastward, and not much more than that.

Current information on 95L including its satellite floater and model track forecasts can be viewed here. Also don't forget to check my Facebook feed for more frequent updates than here on the blog.

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Ingrid About to Become a Hurricane - Will Hit Mexico Near Tampico in About 48 Hours

By: Levi32, 8:14 PM GMT on September 14, 2013

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TD #10 to Strengthen for Days over Water before Hitting Mexico

By: Levi32, 1:17 AM GMT on September 13, 2013

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Storm Likely to Form in SW Gulf of Mexico - Will Threaten Mexico and Possibly S TX

By: Levi32, 11:36 PM GMT on September 11, 2013

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There appear to be some quirks with how the mouse and annotations rendered in the video, probably due to my new computer. I'll try to work those out next time.

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Updated: 11:36 PM GMT on September 11, 2013

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Ex-Gabrielle and New African Wave to be Watched, and SW Atlantic to Remain Active

By: Levi32, 7:29 PM GMT on September 07, 2013

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Tropical Depression #7 Forms - Flooding in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola Main Threat

By: Levi32, 11:46 PM GMT on September 04, 2013

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Invest 97L a Development Threat this Week - Will Bring Heavy Rain To Greater Antilles

By: Levi32, 10:45 PM GMT on September 02, 2013

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Invest 97L remains elongated today, with the main low centered just north of Barbados, but the overall circulation extending for hundreds of miles WSW and ENE of that location. The system has made no westward progress during the last 24 hours due to low pressure feeding back in a favorable environment near the lesser Antilles. The system should eventually assume a general WNW motion. Due to slower movement than expected, 97L is likely to gain latitude as the subtropical ridge to the north is weakened by a front off of the Carolinas in a few days, and interaction with the greater Antilles appears likely. Heavy rains will be the main concern for the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba as the system moves somewhat lethargically northwestward. Although the exact track of the system remains uncertain due to its broad nature and vulnerability to center reformations, the system is expected to end up in the general vicinity of Cuba or the Bahamas in 4-6 days. This solution is supported by the 12z runs of the ECMWF and UKMET.

The current environment around 97L remains rather favorable, with anticyclonic wind flow aloft, and a deep moisture field from the surface to 700mb. The main impediment to development remains the system's elongated structure, being exacerbated now by interaction with another low pressure system to the ESE that is closing distance with 97L. As the system moves westward, development, if any, is expected to be slow, as the system will take time to consolidate, and the central Caribbean trade winds tend to cause low-level divergence and hostile conditions for tropical waves. Potential interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba may also hamper development. However, if 97L can consolidate over open water north or south of the big islands, the environment will become mostly favorable for development of a tropical cyclone late this week and possibly into next week once the system gets farther west and north. With a disturbance this large, we are in a bit of a wait and see game to see if it consolidates, and if so, where and when.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave moving across central America into the western Gulf of Mexico will be monitored for potential development in an unstable atmosphere. For now, no computer models show significant development. A tropical wave is forecasted by most of the global models to develop off of Africa in about a week from now. This will be discussed more once the timetable gets closer.


Updated: 10:47 PM GMT on September 02, 2013

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Invest 97L a Development Threat in the Caribbean This Week

By: Levi32, 1:25 AM GMT on September 02, 2013

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Updated: 1:29 AM GMT on September 02, 2013

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About Levi32

Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

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MesoWest NERRS METEOROLOGICAL SITE AT KAC AK US
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