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A Gulf of Mexico and an Eastern Atlantic Disturbance Worth Watching

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:53 PM GMT on July 06, 2013

A tropical disturbance (designated 94L by NHC on Friday) is over the Western Gulf of Mexico, and is headed north towards the Texas/Louisiana coast at 5 - 10 mph. Satellite loops show a modest area of disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity that has been steadily growing this morning. Wind shear has fallen to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, since Friday, and the lower wind shear is likely responsible for the increase in thunderstorm activity. A trough of low pressure over the Western Gulf of Mexico is pumping dry air into the west side of 94L, interfering with development. The disturbance should move inland by Sunday morning, bringing heavy rains of 1 - 3" along the Upper Texas and Western Louisiana coasts through Monday morning. None of the reliable forecast models predict that the disturbance will develop, and the disturbance has only a day over water with marginal conditions for development. In their 8 am EDT July 6 Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Monday.


Figure 1. The Saturday morning NHC Tropical Weather Outlook shows two "Invests" worth watching: 94L over the Gulf of Mexico (area 1), and 95L over the Eastern Atlantic (area 2.) Both were given 20% chances of developing by Monday. Image credit: NHC.

Cape Verdes tropical wave 95L
As we approach mid-July, it's time to begin turning our attention to tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa. We have our first such system worthy of attention today, a tropical wave designated 95L over the Eastern Atlantic near 8°N 33°W, about 800 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Satellite loops show a modest area of heavy thunderstorms that is showing a moderate amount of spin. Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 20 knots, and ocean temperatures are warm, 28°C. The 8 am EDT Saturday forecast from the SHIPS model predicted that 95L would encounter cooler waters of 27.5°C over the weekend as it headed west to west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph. Wind shear is expected to remain moderate though Monday, which may allow for some additional organization. However, 95L is embedded in a very large area of dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), and July African waves typically have considerable trouble getting organized in the very dry air of the SAL. The disturbance could arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Tuesday. A band a strong upper-level winds associated with the subtropical jet stream is expected to be over the northern islands at that time, and if 95L has penetrated as far north as 15°N latitude by that time, it will have to face very high wind shear of 30+ knots. But if 95L stays farther to the south, wind shear should be lower, giving the storm a better chance of development. None of the reliable forecast models predict that 95L will develop. In their 8 am EDT July 6 Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Monday.


Figure 2. MODIS image of 95L taken at approximately 11 am EDT Saturday, July 6, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A large upper-level cold-cored low pressure system a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico will move west over the next dew days, arriving in the Bahamas by Sunday and South Florida by Tuesday. The models do not show that this low will will acquire a surface circulation, and there is only minimal heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it.

In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Erick is brushing the southwestern coast of Mexico, and is expected to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday afternoon. Erick will bring heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches to Southwest Mexico, but the core of the storm is currently expected to remain just offshore. Erick will likely weaken to a tropical storm on Monday, when it will pass just south of Baja.

Cool San Francisco time-lapse fog video
Videographer Simon Christen has created a spectacular 4-minute time-lapse video of fog rushing in past the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. He writes: ""Adrift" is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born. The weather conditions have to be just right for the fog to glide over the hills and under the bridge. I developed a system for trying to guess when to make the drive out to shoot, which involved checking the weather forecast, satellite images and webcams multiple times a day. For about 2 years, if the weather looked promising, I would set my alarm to 5am, recheck the webcams, and then set off on the 45-minute drive to the Marin Headlands. I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands."


Video 1. Adrift from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

Jeff Masters


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

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Quoting 903. MississippiWx:


We will see. Trade winds are going to be a problem for it unless it is already a closed low. If it can establish itself and become strong enough before the trade winds increase, it might be able to survive them.



Yeah, and it needs to find the brake handle, but sure looks pretty good.
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Quoting 900. FOREX:


I see pf as a tropical storm in 48 hours and a minimal hurricane in 96 hours. After that I am not sure. If it slows down it will encounter more dry air.


We will see. Trade winds are going to be a problem for it unless it is already a closed low. If it can establish itself and become strong enough before the trade winds increase, it might be able to survive them.
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I think 95l has a chance to become a td become before hitting the antillies...then it will likely become a wave again after hitting the tutt like shear zone. Like I said,I think most development or bigger development will be near jamaica - cuba where shear is low and ssts will be high. I think this could be a longer term issue,not so much a shorter term issue.
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900. FOREX
Quoting 896. MississippiWx:


Yet again, you have no evidence to back up your claims. Not sure if this attitude you have is in response to you being wrong about 94L blowing up into a formidable system or what, but 95L is way more organized than the system you were hyping yesterday.


I see 95L as a tropical storm in 48 hours and a minimal hurricane in 96 hours. After that I am not sure. If it slows down it will encounter more dry air.
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!!!!!!
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Quoting 891. TylerStanfield:
Judging off what DMIN has done to 95L. Im thinking the NHC will stick with 30%.


Looks like just as much convection as ever. In fact, this is probably the strongest the convection has been yet.

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Quoting 887. moonlightcowboy:


Respect, fellas, but that's not banding thought it does have that appearance. There is no rotating surface low. What you're seeing are low-level easterlies underneath the trough. I mentioned this last night, but I think you two old cluckers (like me) had turned in already! :) I'd tried to sleep earlier, couldn't, got back up and saw your posts, but missed y'all I guess. I still think you're going to get a heap of rain, likely some good gusts too.


Yes, I Saw your reply last night (Thanks by the way). You mentioned that it was probably proper of me to mention that it appeared they were running out from underneath the Mobile Bay rain-blob.

I did read (and do appreciate) your feedback. Thanks again.
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Quoting 885. Camille33:
I have seen way better low level circulation not get named, this circulation excuse me but it is horrible looking.


Yet again, you have no evidence to back up your claims. Not sure if this attitude you have is in response to you being wrong about 94L blowing up into a formidable system or what, but 95L is way more organized than the system you were hyping yesterday.
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Quoting 881. TropicalTrouble2013:
Grathar, it's been ages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How's WU's number one fan doing after his health scare back in May?

I got a sneaky suspicious you may be JFV?
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Quoting 870. sar2401:

Again, you're looking at some pictures and videos, as well as getting the usual non-pilot eyewitness reports. Things aren't always what they look like, or as originally reported. With a triple 7, you still have the computers trying to fly the plane as well, not just the pilots.
Well, actually, I'm not paying any attention to eyewitness reports; as I stated earlier, they are generally unreliable. No, I'm basing my speculations on the field of debris that stretches from the seawall along nearly half a mile of tarmac, clear indication that both the tail section and the aircraft's belly began disintegrating at the moment of impact and continued to bleed off kinetic energy until the plane came to a full stop in the dirt. That, and my own decades of flying experience (instrument/commercial single- and multi-engine land/water w/ high-performance rating).
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Quoting 884. Patrap:


"We have Blob-sign the likes of which even god himself has not seen."

-Credit and apologies to "Dune".
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Judging off what DMIN has done to 95L. Im thinking the NHC will stick with 30%.
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invest 95L had rain to the west of the center. I see some of the center with no rain at all!!
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We've been geting steady 25 kt winds with gusts as high as 34 kts in and around rain squalls offshore
140 miles south of Intracoastal City, LA today.
Hope those that need the rain most ashore get some in
E.Tex/SW LA.
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Quoting 880. Patrap:


The Air France 320 into the treeline



EeeYYUuuuuPp! Dat's de one!!! (Listen to the comments in that Vid if able.)
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Quoting 863. MechEngMet:


Much more pronounced and evident than last night. ...IF that's what it was last night. Remember that banding looking thing moving SE to NW over the lake area?


Respect, fellas, but that's not banding though it does have that appearance. There is no rotating surface low. What you're seeing are low-level easterlies underneath the trough. I mentioned this last night, but I think you two old cluckers (like me) had turned in already! :) I'd tried to sleep earlier, couldn't, got back up and saw your posts, but missed y'all I guess. I still think you're going to get a heap of rain, likely some good gusts too.
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I have seen way better low level circulation not get named, this circulation excuse me but it is horrible looking.
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Quoting 873. hurricanes2018:
invest 95L center got less rain with it maybe starting to weaking now.

Yep and like I said people always want to rush to judgement and not let something actually form a closed circulation.
This is not a td... this is most likely a vigorous tropical wave with an elongated surface low.
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AL952013 - INVEST

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

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The Air France 320 into the treeline
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18Z

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Those 8 years as a USMC Air Winger go a long ways.

; )


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Quoting 870. sar2401:

Again, you're looking at some pictures and videos, as well as getting the usual non-pilot eyewitness reports. Things aren't always what they look like, or as originally reported. With a triple 7, you still have the computers trying to fly the plane as well, not just the pilots.


Do you remember an Airbus that went down after trying to do a TOGA? It just slowly settled into the trees at the far end of the field...? Remember that one?

The pilots wanted to go around, the computer wanted to land. I Guess the computers won that argument.

It remains to be seen if the computers or the pilot were at fault in this recent SF incident.


...But seriously. Severe Clear VFR conditions, No known mechanical issues..., If that pilot were in a C-180 I doubt he would have been short. Still scratchin my head on what could have caused him/it (pilot/plane) to be short.
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The Aircraft hit the Jetty and lost the End cap with elevators and Rudder,...et al.

After that, Newton was at the helm.



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Quoting Patrap:
Hard to do a go around when yer Rudder and Elevators are on the threshold behind you and yer main Gear has been sheared.

He went for full Power way too late as per Passenger and eyewitnesses.

After the impact he vaulted a ways down,then hit belly first and spun to a stop off the runway.




Unless you're a pilot with a commercial rating and you witnessed the crash, you are making a lot of assumptions based on pictures and non-expert reports. It's likely the story will change over the next several days. Very few pilots I know give snarky answers about what they think the cause of accident was.
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invest 95L center got less rain with it maybe starting to weaking now.
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Patrap - Do you have green balls in the Atlantic still?

Or are you down to just one?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Yes, I'm making that assumption as the vertical stabilizer and both elevators are lying on the runway just beyond the threshold. And any pilot with a 777 type rating would have known s/he was too low, so the huge plane-rattling bang as the craft struck the water and/or the seawall, the tail section fell off just aft of the pressure bulkhead, and the main gear were sheared off would likely have come as no surprise...

Again, you're looking at some pictures and videos, as well as getting the usual non-pilot eyewitness reports. Things aren't always what they look like, or as originally reported. With a triple 7, you still have the computers trying to fly the plane as well, not just the pilots.
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Quoting 856. Camille33:
Shear forecasts can change though,so we can't assume it will be right.As of now though shear using the ships/gfs interpretation is hefty in central car.


then why does it still intensify it?

SHIPS mainly takes it north of the central Caribbean does it not?
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other low riding wave too watch
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, that's interesting, and probably an indication that the plane--or at least part of it--may have hit the water prior to the seawall. It's also interesting that several eyewitnesses say the plane was "coming in at a weird angle", though whether that means more shallow than it should have or from a different direction, it's hard to say; eyewitnesses can be very unreliable, as we all know. At the moment, however, it looks like either a mechanical malfunction or pilot error...

Anyway, this is the first fatal accident involving a passenger-carrying jumbo jet in the US since AA 587 went down in Long Island in November of 2001. That's a pretty decent record, if you ask me...
\Yeah, you're way more likely to die in a vehcile accident on the way to an airport than flying on a scheduled airline. I was a GA pilot for 35 years. I witnessed plenty of accident aftermatchs but only witnessed one actual crash, and that one was a no-doubt pilot error crash. I've learned that most information coming out in the hours after an accident is usually wrong.
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Quoting 858. sar2401:

You're making the assumption the hull separation was immediate and that the pilot realized the seriousness of the situation. Normal procedure for a bump and go landing would be to go around right and have the tower look at the damage. The triple 7's computers would try to make just such a recovery from a missed landing.
Yes, I'm making that assumption as the vertical stabilizer and both elevators are lying on the runway just beyond the threshold. And any pilot with a 777 type rating would have known s/he was too low, so the huge plane-rattling bang as the craft struck the water and/or the seawall, the tail section fell off just aft of the pressure bulkhead, and the main gear were sheared off would likely have come as no surprise... That's not to say instinct and/or software wouldn't have immediately brought the throttles to 100%, but the futility of that would have been quickly apparent.

From where the plane hit the seawall to where it came to rest is less than 2500 feet. That's substantially less than half the distance a loaded 777 needs to stop. Talk about deceleration...
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Hard to do a go around when yer Rudder and Elevators are on the threshold behind you and yer main Gear has been sheared.

He went for full Power way too late as per Passenger and eyewitnesses.

After the impact he vaulted a ways down,then hit belly first and spun to a stop off the runway.



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Quoting 860. Tazmanian:
we may have a vary powerfull hurricane in a few days
I do not think so more like a tropical d in a few days.
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Quoting 846. Patrap:
Curved banding showing on the NOLA long range radar.





Much more pronounced and evident than last night. ...IF that's what it was last night. Remember that banding looking thing moving SE to NW over the lake area?
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ex-94.onshore.tomorrow..???.
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Quoting 324. redwagon:


Roger that. I think I'm just gonna call 95L for TX since I cannot find a good analog going back to 1937.

I can't find anything forming this far South, period, any classification of storm.

I made a prediction last night be it wrong or right...that AL95 (95L) will head to Freeport TX. How strong? I have no idea. Just a prediction I made.
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we may have a vary powerfull hurricane in a few days
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Quoting 848. Astrometeor:
>@Neapolitan They pulled a piece of tail debris out of the water about 6-10 feet from the rock jetty. Not sure what that means for the plane.
Well, that's interesting, and probably an indication that the plane--or at least part of it--may have hit the water prior to the seawall. It's also interesting that several eyewitnesses say the plane was "coming in at a weird angle", though whether that means more shallow than it should have or from a different direction, it's hard to say; eyewitnesses can be very unreliable, as we all know. At the moment, however, it looks like either a mechanical malfunction or pilot error...

Anyway, this is the first fatal accident involving a passenger-carrying jumbo jet in the US since AA 587 went down in Long Island in November of 2001. That's a pretty decent record, if you ask me...
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, the approach ends of both runways are virtually identical. And I doubt the pilot was attempting a go-around after impact; any pilot would have realized the aft portion of the plane had been left behind:

SFO

You're making the assumption the hull separation was immediate and that the pilot realized the seriousness of the situation. Normal procedure for a bump and go landing would be to go around right and have the tower look at the damage. The triple 7's computers would try to make just such a recovery from a missed landing.
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wind shear by sunday will likey be 5 two 10kt in the central caribbean
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Shear forecasts can change though,so we can't assume it will be right.As of now though shear using the ships/gfs interpretation is hefty in central car.
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Quoting 850. Camille33:

Shear in central caribbean too strong and likely to rip apart 95l once it goes there.It may re-form in the west caribbean depending on if land interaction is not too over baring for it.




that ULL will be hiting FL by early next week takeing the strong wind shear with it that is what caseing the wind shear when the ULL makes land fall in FL that wind shear will be gone by time 95L gets there wind shear has been droping there all day has the ULL been moveing W and a way from that area
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Hey Skye, any windscat, ascat or quikscat passes on 95L? :P
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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