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Area off of GA/SC looking healthier, Invest 94L still sputtering, Bertha revived

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 9:24 PM GMT on July 18, 2008

Things still remain busy in the tropics (at least for July). The area that was over the western Caribbean yesterday -- Invest 95L for those keeping track -- is now over Central America and no longer poses a significant threat of development. Now in the central Caribbean, Invest 94L is continuing to play games with us by first looking like it wants to develop and then fading away. Closer to home, Invest 96L is looking more organized and could develop in a tropical depression or storm by tomorrow. Bertha likewise has again reintensified and is again a hurricane.

Currently Bertha may just be reaching the peak of another intensification trend as she has reformed a nearly complete eyewall. Her convection looks healthy and satellite based intensity estimates now rank Bertha as a hurricane. In addition to strong convection, there is also healthy outflow exhausting from the storm and no signs of significant shear. While this reintensification may be interesting to watch for now, it is not likely to last.

20080718.1945.goes12.x.ir1km.02LBERTHA.55kts-995mb-355N-530W.100pc.jpg
Bertha - Infrared satellite

Currently Bertha is now packing winds of 75 mph, which is minimal hurricane force, with her central pressure is down to 989 mb. Bertha is now picking up steam to the northeast and is headed safely out to sea. She is expected to remain a hurricane overnight, but not much longer.


Bertha - Watches and Warnings

The dynamical models have done a good job forecasting Bertha's movement and development. However, now that we are facing extratropical transition, confidence is limited. Cyclone phase diagrams indicate that over the next two days Bertha will gradually transition to an extratropical storm. HWRF fields indicate that we should first see Bertha grow assymetric, and then transition to a cold core system.

Bertha.phase1.png
Bertha - HWRF phase space

Model forecast tracks all shoot Bertha off to the northeast and continually weaken the storm. Bertha's transition should be complete by Sunday, by which time we may have our eyes turned to other areas.

Click for full size model imagery:


Bertha - Track Forecast



Bertha - Wind Speed Forecast




Another hurricane hunter visited Invest 94L today, but once again was unable to locate a closed circulation. Is anyone noticing a trend here? The eastern Caribbean is typically devoid of tropical development and this just goes to reinforce the rule of thumb. Now that the Invest is in the central Caribbean, climatology suggests that we could see additional development. The warm pool of the western Caribbean is an incredibly powerful fuel for nascent tropical cyclones -- just remember how Wilma went from a tropical storm to the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic... in a mere 24 hours. With that said, Invest 94L is nowhere near ready to rapidly intensify; we would first need a closed circulation and we all know how that has gone.

20080718.1945.goes12.x.ir1km.94LINVEST.30kts-1008mb-137N-710W.100pc.jpg
Invest 94L - Infrared satellite

Invest 94L should continue its march across the Caribbean and we will monitor it the entire (painstaking) way. If this system does develop, there is no telling where it will go as both Central America and the Gulf of Mexico look like reasonable realms. Guidance forecast of systems that have yet to develop are rarely accurate as a fixed center of circulation does no exist to fix, and the strength of the system will dictate would it interacts with its environment.

Click for full size model imagery:

Invest 94L - Track Forecast

The area of disturbed weather off of the Georgia and South Carolina coasts has begun to look better organized. The convection is moderate in strength, but the curved structure of the storms suggest that the system is developing vorticity. The convective outflow looks healthy, and the proximity of the system to land is a natural cause for concern. A hurricane hunter is currently scheduled to investigate the system tomorrow.

20080718.1945.goes12.x.ir1km.96LINVEST.25kts-1012mb-311N-805W.100pc.jpg
Invest 96L - Infrared Satellite

The system is expected to stay very close to the coast and accordingly warrants careful attention. Local weather service offices should already be issuing statements on the storm, so check in with them. The water in this area is very warm as it is fed by the Gulf Stream. Development looks likely so check back soon.

Click for full size model imagery:

Invest 96L - Track Forecast

For those of you who miss him, Jeff Masters will return for you tomorrow and Sunday, but you'll be stuck with me again next week. ;-) Have a fun weekend!

Cheers,
Bryan Woods

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting weatherblog:
haha... Of course I live in Florida and am up here in vacation in Virginia Beach, so I am not suprised there is a tropical storm in my vincinity!

Ahhh so your the culprit!
It looks like 96L oh, TD3 is moving east out to sea and will only brush against the coast with some 30 mph winds...

I'm sure some people thought the same about Alex in '04, and it went on to brush Hatteras with its western eyewall, and bring hurricane force winds.
drak is a pretty smart guy. I listen to him quite a bit.
Quoting centex:
Drak has developed a thing about 94L. I would take his comments with a gain of salt.


No, Drak has been very realistic about 94L and has been correct the whole time. He doesn't have a thing against it.
996. 8 words, Nash! LOL, good job! hehe
1006. Drakoen
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
We love you, Drak; but, your explanations sometimes sound like a sentence out of a Faulkner novel! Thanks for all your help and simpler explanations.


LOL. Maybe I should just shut up
Good evening everybody! I'm back!! What's up motly crew?

Evening, JFV.

We got TD3.
981. kmanislander 10:12 PM EST on July 18, 2008
Merci. Tu es tres gentil!
centex, ignored and reported, I suggest you guys do the same.
Taz under the right conditions once it gets past 75W it could become a powerful hurricane.
1006. Nope, Drak! You keep on pluggin'! It's all good stuff! Thanks!!!
1012. nash28
LOL MLC!! Are we playing Scrabble?? :-)

994. Tazmanian 3:16 AM GMT on July 19, 2008

---
going to protect it from the low to moderate shear in the region as well, according to the CIMSS the shear is about 30kts..
my question is not whether 94l will develop its where it goes once it does?
1015. JRRP
why if TD3 has 30mph and 94L has 35 and is not TD?
984. KoritheMan 11:13 PM EDT on July 18, 2008



Thanks for answering my question. I guess things could change tomorrow for all we know.
1004. MississippiWx 3:19 AM GMT on July 19, 2008
Quoting centex:
Drak has developed a thing about 94L. I would take his comments with a gain of salt.


No, Drak has been very realistic about 94L and has been correct the whole time. He doesn't have a thing against it.


So what do you think will happen here in Jamaica Drak???
Nash, "Tropical Scramble" would be more like it! ;P
1020. sctonya
Drak--Please don't shut up, I am learning alot from you!!!!!
1021. nash28
Ok guys...

A little comic relief is what the Dr. ordered. Off to bed. Have a good night.
1022. Drakoen
I have a 13 letter 5 syllable meteorological word for scrabble ;)
1013. HadesGodWyvern 8:21 PM PDT on July 18, 2008
994. Tazmanian 3:16 AM GMT on July 19, 2008

---
going to protect it from the low to moderate shear in the region as well, according to the CIMSS the shear is about 30kts


thats not good
Quoting Tazmanian:
i 94L be comes a name storm i give Drak 100 BBQ crows to eat


hahahhahahaha
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Hey kman! Can you explain why 94L looks so ragged right now? is this just a phase that will change soon per your analysis. Please enlighten as you seem to know what you are talking about.


My take on 94L now is that shear from the ULL is cutting across the leading edge of the system from the SW. This is preventing it from wrapping the convection around on the West side and that in turn is preventing it from closing off a low center.

It may also just be in a waning phase and the convection could return later. In fact that is what I expect will happen. 94L is like a small fire on a grill that cannot seem to get going. Just smoldering, every now and then a flare up but no sustained fire.

The TCHP ahead could change all of that IF the ULL retrogrades soon enough.
Drak, I don't think you should shut up. You seem to know your stuff. Can you explain why 94L looks so ragged right now? Will this change in due time because of this anticyclone that you and kman keep talking about? This storm is really interesting to me and has proved to be a great learning tool and I have learned alot from this blog. Thanks!!!
night nash thanks for the help and clarity.
Quoting Chicklit:
981. kmanislander 10:12 PM EST on July 18, 2008
Merci. Tu es tres gentil!

Is that thank you your very nice?
1001

Yup, I am! Right when I got here 96L was declared. LOL
Cat, warnings are issued when storm or hurricane conditions are expected within certian time period, I think it's 48 hours. Right now your only in the cone of error.
1008. Chicklit 3:20 AM GMT on July 19, 2008

Thank you !
976. Catwoman, give 'em time! I think they did a pretty good job upgrading 96L! Whether I or any of us like to believe it, the NHC is on top of all that's going on. And, while they nail it almost all of the time, it's still only weather - and they can miss it sometimes, too. But, not too often.

where is the ULL and 94L??? is the ULL moveing a way from 94L???
Thanks kman! You and drak are very helpful!!
Quoting JRRP:
why if TD3 has 30mph and 94L has 35 and is not TD?


It's because TD 3 is more organized than 94L (winds are not the only thing that matters). TD 3 has a well defined closed LLCC; 94L doesn't...
Quoting Tazmanian:
1013. HadesGodWyvern 8:21 PM PDT on July 18, 2008
994. Tazmanian 3:16 AM GMT on July 19, 2008

---
going to protect it from the low to moderate shear in the region as well, according to the CIMSS the shear is about 30kts


thats not good


Again this thing has the potential to become a very powerful hurricane. Look @ the TCHP and now its getting protected by sheer.If it gets an llc watch out GOM this could be a force to be reconed with!
996. nash28 3:17 AM GMT on July 19, 2008

Appreciate it Nash
1038. nash28
Ok, one last thing...

No one, Drak included, has anything against a system developing... None of us (regulars) downcast for the sake of doing so to get a rise out of people....

Are we right sometimes? Yes. Are we way out in left field sometimes and humbled by it? Yes.

For example, I am STILL not writing off 94L. I have explained why. Is it because I WANT IT to form so that I don't have to eat crow, or take heat? Far from it..... The same can be said in reverse...

Always keep your mind open and learn. No one is perfect at this. But everyone can learn from one another.

G'night.
Anybody besides me noticing how long it is taking 95L to get across Central America? Seems it should have crossed by now, but I notice a little midlevel low right at the L of the Bay of Honduras where Guatemala pokes out.

Link

I know I'm probably seeing things but it looks like td3 is moving west. Could it just be convection building?
1041. Drakoen
Quoting nash28:
Kman and Drak- Great explanations of the ULL and outflow.

Anticyclones aid in allowing a system to breathe..


wow I got a complement from Nash. Where did that come from ;P
I am not really worry about Tropical Depression Three that much since I do live on the coast of SC..this storm is not expected to come ashore..

or maybe it will!

and I also that this system will not move in a complete straight line north...

that seems very, very, unlikely!
1038. Well said, Nash. Have a good sleep!
1039. Baha, I wondered about that possibility last night. Could be!
1030. washingaway 11:24 PM EDT on July 18, 2008



Thanks for your reply. Like I said maybe tomorrow things will change. Who knows.
One benefit from living in SFla is that we get to hear Max Mayfield live on the local ABC station news.

His take on TD3 and 94L at 6pm was to kind of dismiss TD3 (then 96L) as being not likely to develop much beyond TD and to kind of concentrate on the potential that 94L has to become a TS and more of a potential threat in the long-term.
Good evening all.

I see we have TD#3... hope everyone stays safe.
Thanks, Bryan!

Invest 95L for those keeping track

You mean, like, everyone here? LOL!
Something else the people with the "emotional" view of Drak need to take into account is that Drak has never said 94L WON'T form. He's always said "it's not a TD because it hasn't got a closed low" or whatever logical, meteorological explanation he has. This is not simply "eyeballing it" the way some of us around here tend to do. He takes time to study the different data from several sources. His blog entries are thorough, well researched, and well supported.

So when he comes in here and says, "94L is an open wave," he's not just shooting the breeze.

And "liking" or "not liking" a system? Did u notice the guy's nickname is Drak? . . lol
1051. Drakoen
.
Good night Nash. Post 1038 needed to be said.

1053. JRRP
Quoting stormdude77:
Quoting JRRP:
why if TD3 has 30mph and 94L has 35 and is not TD?


It's because TD 3 is more organized than 94L (winds are not the only thing that matters). TD 3 has a well defined closed LLCC; 94L doesn't...

thanks
1050. ditto
How unusual is it for a storm to reform its eyewall so far north and reinvigorate into a hurricane? Bertha has been so interesting!

Now I'm watching Invest96 closely.
Hope all the fledglings along the coast and the hatching sea turtles fare okay!

I wonder what the chances are of it making it to hurricane status.
Anybody wanna pool on when 96 gets named Cristobal?


Anyone remember the storm that lingered over the Yucatan for about three weeks last year?

Naaah, it won't happen with 95L, but hey, no denying it too has some impressive rotation even over land.
listenerVT TD 3 never makes it to TS thats my vote in the pool.
Thanks Nash. Very well said. We are all hear to learn.
N E W B L O G!
94L is sure trying hard right now to try it closed off its LLCC right now its this about to hit 75W i think the low is there for 94L but dos it have a closed LLCC we need a new QS for 94L
1049. centex 11:33 PM EDT on July 18, 2008

Centex as a long time observer of Draks analysis and observations......he is very sharp and does not really care to win a popularity vote to cast his opinion. He just tells it how he see's it and that upsets people....
MLC & Nash Thanks. 94l is being bullheaded isn't it? Does all the models still have it going toward Mexico and TX?
Sheri
"The system is currently being steering by a weak high pressure center north of the Bahamas. The flow of the high slackens in the northern Caribbean which could allow for a more northerly component of the system..." From Drak's Blog of 11:05 a.m.
Do you now think 94L will take a more northerly track if it does develop?
Quoting Chicklit:
"The system is currently being steering by a weak high pressure center north of the Bahamas. The flow of the high slackens in the northern Caribbean which could allow for a more northerly component of the system..." From Drak's Blog of 11:05 a.m.
Do you now think 94L will take a more northerly track if it does develop?


yes it will have a more nothernly track if it does indeed deepen.
Ya'll do know there is a new blog up by Dr. Masters...
1066. centex
TS - understand I normallhy repect Drak. Guess I need to lighted up and don't want to to be negative. Just telling others no one is God about this and if someone even Drak says something do not take it as gospel. Me included.
deleted and replaced above
7.0 earthquake off the east coast of Japan an hour ago
Tsunami warning has been issued
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/pager/events/us/2008urah/index.html
And an aftershock
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080719/ap_on_re_as/japan_earthquake_2
this blog seems to be quiet..

bigtrucker check mail..also tropical depression three doesn't pose a big threat?

satellite image has it not looking that well.
1070. 7544
just took a look is td 3 or thye ull pulling 94l n or nw it looks for dmax tonigh to gain more convection to the north then it could look like its going to go over cuba and head for fla . and that little critter in the est atl looks like it going to form at dmax tonight maybe will be 97l soon
Good morning all,

Tropical Storm Warnings are up from the South Santee River in South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.

22% Chance of TS force winds in Wilmington, NC & 16% chance of TS force winds in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Anyhow, y'all take care of things. I'll be at work since there are no mandatory evacuations. I'll try to get some pictures posted tonight.