Cristobal.......and Dolly?

By: Levi32 , 11:07 PM GMT on July 19, 2008

First of all Bertha is back at hurricane status yet again, but is finally showing signs of extratropical transition, and will continue to head out over the north Atlantic posing no threat to anybody.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is located about 100 miles off the NC coast after making a jog to the north this afternoon, bringing him much closer to land. Cristobal has winds of 45mph with a pressure of 1005mb, moving NE at 6mph. This movement is expected to continue over the next several days, and Cristobal may pose a threat to the NC outer banks. Upper-air conditions are fairly ideal for development, and Cristobal is sitting over the gulf stream, where plenty of warm water resides. It would seem that all systems are go, but Cristobal's convection remains quite modest and the system is not really strengthening at this point, with the exception of continued organization of the spiral bands. I believe this is due to dry air being pulled into Cristobal by his own circulation off of the continent. The NW quad has been void of convection from the beginning, and there is a lot of dry air over the land. At this point Cristobal isn't able to overcome this, and until he can, he will remain no stronger than a 45kt system. However, residents in North Carolina should continue to monitor this system very closely, because if Cristobal does overcome the dry air before going out to sea, he could crank up really fast before anyone realizes it. Such is the nature of home-grown developments, we saw it with Humberto last year. For now Cristobal will hopefully be beneficial if he can spread some much-needed rain over the area, which probably won't be much unless he makes landfall.

Our other system, 94L, is still fighting for life in the Caribbean. This system WAS a tropical depression 2 days ago, by definition, and it was an incredible feat that it pulled that off. Since then the circulation has become open once again, but the mid-level circulation is still kicking nicely. Convection has managed to remain healthy and is now consolidating over the mid-level center, which was placed further north of the surface center. 94L has been fighting wind shear due to an ULL to its northwest, but this ULL is now weakening and shear over 94L is under 20 knots now. Eventually this ULL will pull out, providing a much nicer environment for 94L to develop in as it moves into the western Caribbean and GOM.

At this point I don't believe 94L has time to amount to very much before hitting the Yucatan Peninsula, but that's actually a bad thing. When a strong hurricane moves over the Yucatan Peninsula and emerges again over the GOM, the core gets significantly weakened. However, the outer bands of the storm stay over water the whole time. So when the storm moves back over water, what happens is the outside of the storm is in better shape than the core, and a competition between the outer bands and the heart of the system takes place. As a result most major hurricanes never regain their former glory after crossing the Yucatan. Recently, Hurricanes Wilma and Emily of 2005 are good examples of this, as well as Isidore of 2002. But a weaker system of weak TS status or under doesn't have a well set-up core yet, and is far less affected by the journey across the Yucatan than a hurricane is. Therefore 94L may not amount to much prior to hitting the Yucatan, but once it emerges in the GOM we have to watch out, because we will probably have a Cat 1, 2, or 3 hitting the Mexican coastline in 5 days.

Yeah I said Mexico....but Texas needs to watch this very closely as well. The ridge isn't horribly strong north of 94L, and the western periphery is sitting right over the western gulf. A lot of 94L's future track will depend on where it hits the Yucatan, where it exits the Yucatan, and how fast it gets there. A long-wave trough will be digging down into the eastern United States in 3-4 days, which will further weaken the ridge. Some models have 94L making landfall on the western side of the gulf already by this time, so it might not matter, but we will have to see how fast 94L really moves over the coming days. Model consensus has 94L going into Mexico on both coastlines, with the exception of the GFDL and HWRF which continue to be the northerly outliers, taking 94L through the Yucatan Channel and into Texas. The latest GFDL run and the CMC closely agree on a hit to the Mexico/Texas border as a major hurricane, but it's too early to speculate on these solutions. Right now we have to watch and wait. Interests in Texas and Mexico should closely monitor this system.

Cristobal radar imagery:


Cristobal visible satellite imagery (click for loop):


Cristobal model tracks:

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Invest 94L visible satellite imagery (click for loop):


Invest 94L model tracks:



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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28. Levi32
4:42 PM GMT on July 20, 2008
Good morning! Barefoot it's finally sunny here! It's been raining for ever so long.

I will be gone for the next 6 hours so I can't write a blog yet but here's the brief overview of today.

Just as I expected TS Dolly has been named this morning, and I am in very close agreement with the NHC's track this morning, as well as their acknowledgment that Dolly could be much stronger in the gulf. The COC is further SW than we thought, but keep an eye on it for it could jump northeast under the mid-level center (the centers are still de-coupled) and deeper convection.

Cristobal is weak and poses no real threat, hopefully brings some more rain areas of NC before it completely moves out.

We have an absolute monster coming off Africa this morning. Do not ignore it lol. This is going to be our next named storm and could threaten the US 10-15 days out, and that's just pure speculation based on the pattern at this time. Just keep an eye on it, it's had deep convection over land and water for the last 48 hours and it's HUGE.


Alright I'm out, will write a full update later.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
27. Barefootontherocks
4:29 PM GMT on July 20, 2008
Hi Levi,
Hope weather in Homer brings some sun to you today.

Alec,
You’re slippping… I missspppellled “too” last night and you didn’t corrrect me. LOL.

No tropics comment except…
Did anyone mention overcasting?.. A stitch, really. (Pun intended)
:)
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26. Levi32
7:29 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Thanks Shore.

Yes last year the GFDL had the best track record of all the models, it was either last year or 2006....but I'm pretty sure it was last year.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
25. shoreacres
3:56 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Levi, you really have a knack for presenting enough information to give the "big picture" but not so much that confusion sets in.

Do I remember from last year that the GFDL was one of the best for predicting track?
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24. Levi32
3:26 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Crazy as ever lol. But I'm alive! =)
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23. Barefootontherocks
3:18 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Great to see you, to, kiddo. Hope life's treating you well.
:)
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22. Levi32
3:11 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Lol Beell. Thanks!

Yes Barefoot I've known who you are ever since you switched handles =) Great to see you!
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21. Barefootontherocks
3:02 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Stupendous blog Levi.
Great to see you back!
Will look forward reading your updates.
(Barefootontherocks=ex-StormDrain)
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20. stormdude77
3:02 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Great update, Levi! Thanks!
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19. beell
2:55 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Great synopsis Levi.
This is not the work of a spincaster!
(yes, a double pun)
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18. Levi32
12:14 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Lol.....cya later!
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17. quasigeostropic
12:11 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
I'm a NOWcaster tied in with a little "Conservacaster"....LOL

TTYL!!!
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16. Levi32
12:07 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
However I am none of those....I am a FOREcaster lol.
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15. Levi32
12:06 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
You forgot doomcasting and downcasting.....lol. New ones form every day though.
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14. quasigeostropic
12:04 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Various forms....some directly linked to one another--->

Wishcasting
Westcasting
Lesscasting
Morelesscasting
Shutupimthesmartestgoobcasting
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13. Levi32
12:03 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Now that would be something to see......I'll bet that's what STORMTOP does all the time lol.
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12. quasigeostropic
12:00 AM GMT on July 20, 2008
Some people must drive themselves crazy on there.....Like to the point where they start sleep-blogging instead of sleep walking.....
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11. Levi32
11:58 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
You would think so with all the adrenalin rushes they get whenever the GFS forecasts a landfall in Miami in 15 days, or a cluster of thunderstorms develop under 60-knot shear, or when a hurricane wobbles west for 2 satellite frames....lol. It's gotta take a toll someday!
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10. quasigeostropic
11:54 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
It's a mental condition called "wishcasting".....left untreated, it can further develop into a health condition!!!LOL
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9. Levi32
11:50 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
LOL! I just hope I never fall into that biased way of thinking that those guys in the main blog have.
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8. quasigeostropic
11:45 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Levi...Your analysis is too real!!!The folks in the Dr's blog would have a heart attack digesting that info!!!LOL
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7. Levi32
11:42 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Thank you!
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6. ajcamsmom2
11:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Nice analysis...easy for me to understand and that says a lot...thanks...please keep us updated
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5. seflagamma
11:37 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
I know, that is why I do not post there and most of the time I cannot keep up with the information, it runs too fast! LOL
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4. Levi32
11:36 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Lol Shore, good to see you!

Gamma, the only problem with the main blog is that it goes too fast for me to "put a lot of thought" into my comments....lol
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3. seflagamma
11:34 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Hi Shore,
I'm sure you are very interested in this also!
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2. seflagamma
11:33 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Levi,

thanks for updating your blog. I know you put a lot of thought into your comments. I liked our comments over on Dr M's blog.

Will go back and read your header carefully!
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1. shoreacres
11:28 PM GMT on July 19, 2008
Levi!

Now I'm happy! I've been waiting for your update. I'll have to read it later, but - thanks!

Linda
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About Levi32

Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.

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