I'm in high school and love meteorology and extreme weather. I've been fascinated by weather since I was 5, and I plan on becoming a meteorologist.
By: wxchaser97 , 6:03 AM GMT on June 20, 2013
Tropical Storm Barry
We are fully underway with the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. We are already up to the second named storm and it is June 19th. Last year we already had Alberto, Beryl, and Chris. They formed from non-tropical processes though, like trough splits and cold-core lows becoming warm core. They also all formed in the subtropical region. This year is different. Both Andrea and Barry, along with invest 92L, formed from tropical origins. Barry and 92L (which was very likely a tropical depression) formed from robust tropical waves. This is interesting because that means conditions are already becoming favorable for stronger tropical waves to come off Africa and begin to develop. Invest 92L strengthened in the central Atlantic which is really telling of better conditions. If we get a Cape Verde storm in July then I think we know an active Cape Verde season is in store. Anyway, like I said, the origins of Barry can be traced to a tropical wave that moved off the African coast. This wave moved along in the southern part of the MDR. After crossing into the Caribbean it began to organize. More organization was noted once it got in the SW Caribbean. Warm SST's, moderate shear, a developing anticyclone, and modest convection were able to get a low forming. The energy for this low was coming from the tropical wave and the monsoon trough to the south. As the disturbance continued to organize, it was designated invest 93L. While 93L was in the SW Caribbean and inland in Central America it had trouble forming a closed low-level-center. It had a vigorous mid-level-center but it was never able to work down a surface one until later. As 93L approached the Yucatan Peninsula, a closed surface circulation did finally form. Conditions were just enough favorable for this to happen. A radar loop from the radar in Belize showed the surface circulation. Surface observations, though there weren't many, showed a circulation that had up to 30kt winds. There was enough evidence that 93L met the qualifications of a tropical cyclone and at 15z on Monday the 17th, the NHC upgraded 93L to Tropical Depression TWO. In order for two to make it to the Bay of Campeche, it would have to cross the Yucatan Peninsula. At the time, there were a couple possibilities as to what would happen to TWO. The LLC could've dissipated and a new one formed farther north, the depression could've dissipated altogether, or it could've maintained its current surface circulation. TD TWO didn't have much to lose crossing the Yucatan. It never got really established in its environment and once it started interacting with land it strewed itself out. The surface circulation barely, I mean barely, made it alive to the coast of the BOC. However, once it got there, it began to take advantage of its surroundings. The LLC began to tighten up as it approached Cd Del Carmen, Mexico. It had survived the journey and it was ready to restrengthen. Convection began to fire over the center again and it continued to tighten up. We had already known that if it survived the Yucatan cross then TWO would likely become Barry. The curvature of the BOC can help spin up decent storms that would otherwise not amount to much. As Barry continued on its WNW track, it continued to organize. Today, an aircraft reconnaissance flight went out to investigate TWO. What they found was a tropical storm. TD TWO was upgraded to Tropical Storm Barry after the recon flight. Right now Barry continues to intensify based on satellite imagery and analysis. The current storm info and satellite can be found below.
...BARRY APPROACHING THE COAST OF THE STATE OF VERACRUZ MEXICO...
SUMMARY OF 100 AM CDT...0600 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 30 MI...45 KM NNE OF VERACRUZ MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...45 MPH...75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES
Forecast and Analysis
Barry is trying to take advantage of its surroundings. The curvature of the BOC is helping the storm spin itself up and strengthen. The BOC has done this in the past a good amount of times and strengthening due to this is not surprising. The waters of the BOC are nice and warm, so that isn't an issue for Barry. The air around and within Barry is moist, which means convection shouldn't have a hard time firing. Barry is firing a good amount of convection right now, in fact, he is building a CDO. This is good to help him possibly intensify a little more before landfall. Shear is light to moderate over Barry, so that isn't having much of an effect on the intensification. The only thing holding Barry back is time. He only has a few more hours until landfall. If it wasn't for that then he could make a run at hurricane status. I also believe that Barry is a 50mph, or maybe even 60mph, tropical storm right now. But because of it's small size there isn't a good scatterometer pass or good satellite estimate lately. Also it has been hours since recon has been in Barry and they would likely find a stronger storm. I will be doing a Tropical Cyclone Report (TCR) on Barry so I can decide how strong he got. As for track, Barry should continue to the west. This is due to riding to the north of him causing mean flow to be to the west, with minor variations from time to time. All the models are, and have been, indicating this too. Barry should bring gusty winds, heavy rain, and flash flooding concerns to southern and central Mexico as he tracks general westward. People in that area need to be taking their tropical cyclone preparedness actions. My forecast track from late Tuesday is verifying pretty well. I have predicted the general track well and the intensities decently. My latest forecast has not changed much besides being pushed up the time frame. It should be noted that, once again, I think Barry is probably stronger than a 45mph TS right now. My two forecasts, the top one from Tuesday afternoon and the bottom from tonight, can be found below.
Have a good night/morning and I'll be back with my last update on Barry after he makes landfall.
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