Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.
By: Levi32 , 3:30 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
Please note that these tidbits do NOT reflect the official forecasts of the National Hurricane Center, and should not be taken as such. While tropical cyclones exist in the Atlantic, the official NHC forecasts will be posted in the lower part of this blog. Please refer to those when making decisions, and heed the advisories and evacuation statements of your local National Weather Service Office.
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Tropical Depression #8 is just offshore of Honduras, moving westward along the coast. The recon that went in shortly ago found the center to be northeast of where the NHC had it, and TD 8 could stay several dozen miles offshore of Honduras for the next couple of days, bringing it instead into Belize. Because of this, some additional strengthening may occur, and we could see a moderate tropical storm of 50-60mph strength before landfall in Belize. The environment around TD 8 is the most favorable that it has had so far. Two upper lows to the west are backing away, allowing air to expand over the storm, which helps to lower surface pressures. The western Caribbean has also moistened up a lot over the last couple of days, aided by the fact that the MJO is back over our basin. This should still be mainly a rain even for Honduras and Belize, but Belize should be aware that winds with this may be a bit stronger than they expected as it comes ashore in about 36 hours.
Invest 97L is the next big story that will be on people's minds in a big way next week. This wave passed a buoy last night that showed pressures down to 1007mb, and it has a broad but well-defined circulation. There is dry air still wrapped up with it, but thunderstorms are continuing to fire in the NW quadrant of the circulation, and as this feature comes west, it is moving over warmer water today which will help it mix out the dry air over time. Due to its size and the dry air, development should be slow and gradual, probably not amounting to much in the leeward Antilles, but it may look more like a storm by the time it reaches the Hispaniola/PR area.
97L should cross the leewards near Martinique or Dominica, and I believe it will pass south of Puerto Rico, as opposed to directly over it. That doesn't mean that PR shouldn't expect tropical storm conditions, as if this develops south of them, its size means that conditions will still deteriorate a lot there. There are two main possibilities I see for the long-term track. The first is that 97L moves near Hispaniola and then gets drawn north of the island, then forced to move through the Bahamas towards Florida, perhaps riding up the east coast. The other possibility is that it slips just south of Hispaniola and Cuba, eventually moving into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The entire U.S. coast from the Mississippi River delta to the Carolinas could still see direct effects from this system, and I'm not yet sure which of these path possibilities it will take. We need to see how fast it tries to develop near the eastern Caribbean, as a slow developer will tend to stay south, while a quick ramp-up could mean it gets drawn north of the Caribbean.
The video explains how the pattern favors a U.S. landfall almost no matter what, probably with Caribbean island impacts before that. The pattern also shows us that a landfall in the western gulf is unlikely, despite the need for rain there, and this storm looks like a storm for the Mississippi River delta eastward. If it's a gulf storm, it should be the central-eastern gulf.
We shall see what happens!
Official NHC Forecast for TD #8:
Official NHC Public Advisory for TD #8:
WTNT33 KNHC 191450
TROPICAL DEPRESSION EIGHT ADVISORY NUMBER 3
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082011
1100 AM EDT FRI AUG 19 2011
...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS DEPRESSION JUST BELOW
TROPICAL-STORM STRENGTH...TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED...
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 195 MI...310 KM E OF ISLA ROATAN HONDURAS
ABOUT 315 MI...505 KM ESE OF BELIZE CITY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 275 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...
THE GOVERNMENT OF HONDURAS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR
THE BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS.
THE GOVERNMENT OF BELIZE HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE
COAST OF BELIZE FROM DANGRIGA TOWN SOUTHWARD TO THE BELIZE/GUATEMALA
BORDER. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED FOR THIS
AREA LATER TODAY.
THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE
SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM PUNTA GRUESA
SOUTHWARD TO CHETUMAL.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF HONDURAS
* THE COAST OF GUATEMALA
* THE COAST OF BELIZE FROM DANGRIGA TOWN SOUTHWARD TO THE BELIZE/
* THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM PUNTA GRUESA
SOUTHWARD TO CHETUMAL
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE AT ANY TIME WITHIN THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
AT 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION EIGHT
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 83.7 WEST. THE
DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 10 MPH...17 KM/H. A
GENERAL WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION IS EXPECTED DURING
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF THE
DEPRESSION WILL PASS NEAR THE BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS TONIGHT AND
MOVE ACROSS THE COAST OF BELIZE SATURDAY OR SATURDAY NIGHT.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SATELLITE IMAGERY AND REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE DEPRESSION IS GETTING
BETTER ORGANIZED...AND IT IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A TROPICAL STORM
THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY THE HURRICANE HUNTER
AIRCRAFT IS 1005 MB...29.68 INCHES.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND...TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED OVER THE BAY ISLANDS
OF HONDURAS TONIGHT...AND OVER THE COAST OF BELIZE SATURDAY OR
SATURDAY NIGHT. TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS ARE POSSIBLE ALONG THE
NORTHERN COAST OF HONDURAS TODAY AND TONIGHT...ALONG THE NORTHERN
COAST OF GUATEMALA ON SATURDAY...AND ALONG THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST
OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO SATURDAY OR SATURDAY NIGHT.
RAINFALL...THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL
ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ACROSS HONDURAS...GUATEMALA...AND
BELIZE...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 8 INCHES. THESE
RAINS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES...
ESPECIALLY OVER HIGHER TERRAIN.
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...200 PM EDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM EDT.
Tropical Depression #8 Visible/IR2 Floater:
Tropical Depression #8 Track Forecast Models:
Invest 97L Track Forecast Models:
Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):
Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):
Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:
200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):
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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