First Atlantic Invest, 90L is here; oil now 350 miles west of Key West

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:40 PM GMT on May 21, 2010

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An extratropical low pressure system has developed a few hundred miles northeast of the Bahamas today, and has been designated as the first "Invest" of the year (90L) by the National Hurricane Center. (For those of you who were wondering, a discussion of what an "Invest" is can be found in the Tropical Cyclone FAQ). This low has the potential to develop into the season's first named storm--Alex--and could be a threat to the Southeast U.S. coast by Tuesday. Wind shear is currently 40 knots over the low, and the high shear ripped apart a low level circulation that was attempting to form this morning. Water vapor loops show a large amount of dry, continental air exists to the west of the storm, and this dry air will hamper transition of 90L to a subtropical storm. This system is expected to move slowly northwestward towards the Southeast U.S. coast, and could bring 20 - 30 mph winds and heavy rain to the coast of North Carolina by Tuesday. While the storm will initially form in a region of high wind shear and be entirely extratropical, it will move into a region of lower wind shear in a gap between the polar jet stream to the north and the subtropical jet stream to its south early next week. At that time, the low will be positioned near the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and will have the opportunity to develop a shallow warm core and transition to a subtropical storm. The models are divided on whether the storm will eventually make landfall on the Southeast U.S. coast 5 - 7 days from now, and it is too early to offer odds on this occurring. The counter-clockwise flow of air around this low will probably lead to northeasterly winds over the oil spill region Tuesday through Wednesday, keeping oil away from the coasts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, but pushing oil southwards towards the Loop Current. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more detailed discussions of the potential development of 90L.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 90L this afternoon.

Potential heavy rainfall threat to Haiti next week
Long-range forecasts from the NOGAPS model, and to a lesser extent, the ECMWF and GFS models, continue to predict an increase in moisture and decrease in wind shear over the Western Caribbean 4 - 6 days from now, leading to development of a tropical disturbance with heavy rains in the Western Caribbean early next week. A strong subtropical jet stream over the southern Gulf of Mexico will steer the disturbance to the north and east, and the potential exists for heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches to affect eastern Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic in the Wednesday - Thursday time frame next week. The models are less enthusiastic about the prospects for tropical development than they were in yesterday's runs, and it currently appears that high levels of wind shear will make formation of a tropical depression improbable.

Oil spill continues to impact Louisiana shores
Light southeast to east winds are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Sunday, resulting in potential oiling of Louisiana shorelines from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward 150 miles, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. These winds may be creating strong enough surface currents that the flow of oil southwards towards the Loop Current may be significantly reduced or shut off over the next few days, as suggested by the latest SAR satellite imagery (Figure 2). However, winds will shift to offshore out of the north or northeast by Tuesday, due to counter-clockwise flow of air around the approaching 90L storm. If 90L becomes strong and lingers off the Southeast U.S. coast for several days, a significant amount of oil could get pumped into the Loop Current next week.


Figure 2. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image of the oil spill taken at 11:53pm EDT May 20, 2010, by the European Space Agency's ENVISAT satellite. The plume of oil being drawn south towards the Loop Current appears truncated, and very little oil may be flowing south. Image credit: Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. SAR images have a resolution of 8 - 50 meters, and can be taken through clouds and precipitation.

Oil now 350 miles due west of Key West
Satellite imagery from today's 12:15pm EDT pass of NASA's Terra satellite (Figure 3) shows that a narrow ribbon of oil is caught in the Loop Current. The oil has moved south and then southwest, and the leading edge of the oil is now about 350 miles due west of Key West, Florida. The oil is substantial enough to modify the cumulus clouds in the Gulf of Mexico, though NOAA characterizes this portion of the oil spill as "numerous light sheens with some emulsified patties and streams." The oil is now headed away from the Keys towards a major kink in the Loop Current. By Saturday, the oil should double back towards the Keys in a eastward flowing branch of the Loop Current, and will likely pass just south of Key West by Tuesday. However, this is not a sure thing. As I discussed in my post Wednesday, the Loop Current is very unstable right now, and is ready to cut off into a giant clockwise-rotating eddy, an event that occurs every 6 - 11 months. This event could occur today or tomorrow, in which case the ribbon of southwestward-moving oil would turn due west and then north, eventually winding up back near the site of the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecast Service has a nice discussion on the possibility of the Loop Current cutting off into a Loop Current Eddy. Keep in mind, though, that during the first month that a Loop Current Eddy forms, it exchanges a considerable amount of water with the Loop Current. Even if a Loop Current Eddy forms today, I still expect we will see some oil make the turn eastward and flow past the Florida Keys by Wednesday.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image from NASA's MODIS instrument for 12:15pm EDT May 21, 2010. I've enhanced the region along the eastern boundary of the Loop Current showing the south and southwestward moving ribbon of oil. Note that the oil is substantial enough to be affecting the low level cumulus clouds along portions of the ribbon of oil. The oil has reached the latitude of the Florida Keys.

Oil spill resources
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back with a new post Saturday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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1000. Patrap
Quoting MrstormX:


Why no shading (yellow fits this disturbance)


A invest isnt a disturbance until they call it one.

And they wont unless they see some consistent organized convection.

Esp before June 1.

Esp in marginal SST's...





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Quoting MrstormX:


Why no shading (yellow fits this disturbance)
They don't use shading until June 1st.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Patrap:
No fuel for the 90L engine to get going..warm sided that iz.



One cannot say the same for a possible system in the Caribbean in the future.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553
The localised hurricane models really take 90L up a notch!

12z GFDL HR.66 90L 987.9 mb 71 kts @ 900mb lvl.

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Quoting Patrap:
First rule of the Tropics blogging,or TB 101


Never call a system a Name till a Official source does.

Cuts down on a lotta confusion,and a system in another area may steal ya thunder...and name.

Just saying.BR
>


blog police alert
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where did may go
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Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


keep up the good work Pat!!

the more ppl understand that BP does not give a rats azz about us on the Gulf, the damage they have already caused and the damage to come,then maybe ppl will wake up and stop asking stupid questions.


Thanx..

Im on BP Like a Phat tick on a tired bloodhound.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Quoting kuppenskup:


Yo Im confused. I see people saying 90L is dying and now your saying a Strong TS or a Cat 1 hurricane in the works. What's the official word here?
Well there are people ripping it because of it's lack of convection, but I think that Alex is in the works.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
No fuel for the 90L engine to get going..warm sided that iz.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Quoting Patrap:
from the NHC

There are no tropical cyclones at this time.



Why no shading (yellow fits this disturbance)
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Quoting pottery:

The "official" word is 'intensifying and travelling generally north'
The models are saying so, more and more.


Into a Tropical System or Non Tropical?
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Shhhh... don't tell


GFDL



lool
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from the NHC

There are no tropical cyclones at this time.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
It achieves this intensity over 22C waters, it has to be questioned.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting kuppenskup:


Yo Im confused. I see people saying 90L is dying and now your saying a Strong TS or a Cat 1 hurricane in the works. What's the official word here?

The "official" word is 'intensifying and travelling generally north'
The models are saying so, more and more.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kuppenskup:


Yo Im confused. I see people saying 90L is dying and now your saying a Strong TS or a Cat 1 hurricane in the works. What's the official word here?


neither. 90L is not dying, in fact 90L's going through what we have expected.. no systems going to look good in 50 knot shear. 90L has strong model support, never write something like that off.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553


at 102 still in same area and weaken somewhat
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting atmoaggie:



.. Its set in stone..
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It looks petty intense in that image. It's showing a 90L as a strong TS, almost reaching CAT 1 status.


Yo Im confused. I see people saying 90L is dying and now your saying a Strong TS or a Cat 1 hurricane in the works. What's the official word here?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
First rule of Tropical blogging,or TB 101


Never call a system a Name till a Official source does.

Cuts down on a lotta confusion,and a system in another area may steal ya thunder...and name.

Just saying.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Sheesh I miss Quickscat, ASCAT just sucks!
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Quoting Weather456:
Very strong subtropical storm Alex

Yup, another good model showing 90L as an intense system.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665


Deepwater Horizon Responce Press Conference - May 21, Part 6

Joint Public Affairs Support Element More Videos from Joint Public Affairs Support Element RSS
Video by Lt. Scott Sagisi

Date Taken: 05.21.2010
Posted: 05.21.2010 17:58
Video Location: LA, US
Officials brief the media and answers quest
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Don't worry guys, Taz calling RIP is a phase of development... its how you know its hurricane season now.
ROFLMAO.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Very strong tropical/subtropical storm Alex

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Bordonaro:

That is amazing! I wonder whether or not this is likely to occur??
Well we are beginning to get more and more models turning 90L into a pretty intense system, so the chances are going up.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
I believe 90L was resuscitated. lol
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Quoting Tazmanian:
90L is RIP


Don't worry guys, Taz calling RIP is a phase of development... its how you know its hurricane season now.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553
Post 963.
That shows storm force winds for Wednesday next week. 90L.
If that plays out,(and several on here have been saying that it will) I will have learned a very important lesson.
And I will put some more credence in the model systems.
Great stuff.
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052

WHXX04 KWBC 221717

CHGQLM

ATTENTION...NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER



NCEP COUPLED GFDL HURRICANE MODEL FORECAST MADE FOR



TROPICAL DEPRESSION INVEST 90L



INITIAL TIME 12Z MAY 22



DISCLAIMER ... THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS GUIDANCE. IT

REQUIRES INTERPRETATION BY HURRICANE SPECIALISTS AND SHOULD

NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A FINAL PRODUCT. PLEASE SEE THE TPC/NHC

OFFICIAL FORECAST.





FORECAST STORM POSITION



HOUR LATITUDE LONGITUDE HEADING/SPEED(KT)



0 22.0 69.2 60./ 2.9

6 22.4 69.2 358./ 3.3

12 22.5 68.8 68./ 4.3

18 22.8 68.5 54./ 4.1

24 24.0 67.8 28./13.2

30 25.6 67.4 15./16.4

36 26.6 67.2 8./10.7

42 27.4 67.3 353./ 7.8

48 28.9 67.6 351./14.8

54 30.1 68.4 325./14.1

60 30.8 69.4 306./11.4

66 31.3 70.2 300./ 8.6

72 31.9 70.7 317./ 6.9

78 32.4 71.3 318./ 7.3

84 32.6 71.7 291./ 3.9

90 32.5 71.4 101./ 2.2

96 32.8 70.6 74./ 7.0

102 32.9 70.2 77./ 4.3

108 32.6 69.5 110./ 6.0

114 32.4 68.6 106./ 7.6

120 32.0 67.6 112./ 9.7

126 31.4 65.9 108./15.3


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting pottery:

You think they are gonna base the forecast on our progs. ?
Why not??


Well, actually if you look at the info Jeffs713 put together last year on his blog based on our contest data, we seem to be right in line. Unfortunately, the graphs seem to be gone. http://www.wunderground.com/blog/jeffs713/comment.html?entrynum=3&tstamp=#commenttop


"The WU tropical storm blogging community has a surprisingly similar predictive ability in comparison to the major storm prediction groups, namely Colorado State University's Dr. Gray and Klotzbach, and also Tropical Storm Risk's forecast."
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Quoting xcool:


It looks petty intense in that image. It's showing a 90L as a strong TS, almost reaching CAT 1 status.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194

072

WHXX01 KWBC 221400

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

1400 UTC SAT MAY 22 2010



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL902010) 20100522 1200 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

100522 1200 100523 0000 100523 1200 100524 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 22.4N 69.3W 22.9N 69.6W 23.4N 69.9W 24.0N 69.8W

BAMD 22.4N 69.3W 22.8N 66.7W 24.6N 65.2W 27.4N 65.3W

BAMM 22.4N 69.3W 23.2N 68.5W 24.2N 68.1W 25.7N 68.0W

LBAR 22.4N 69.3W 23.0N 68.5W 23.7N 68.1W 24.8N 68.0W

SHIP 25KTS 29KTS 31KTS 32KTS

DSHP 25KTS 29KTS 31KTS 32KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

100524 1200 100525 1200 100526 1200 100527 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 25.0N 69.6W 29.0N 68.1W 32.8N 68.0W 34.4N 67.1W

BAMD 30.7N 66.4W 35.0N 71.0W 35.4N 77.1W 33.4N 81.5W

BAMM 27.6N 68.2W 31.4N 69.4W 33.7N 71.6W 33.4N 74.1W

LBAR 26.0N 68.0W 29.0N 67.8W 30.7N 66.4W 29.8N 59.8W

SHIP 31KTS 29KTS 31KTS 30KTS

DSHP 31KTS 29KTS 31KTS 30KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 22.4N LONCUR = 69.3W DIRCUR = 60DEG SPDCUR = 3KT

LATM12 = 22.3N LONM12 = 69.9W DIRM12 = 90DEG SPDM12 = 3KT

LATM24 = 22.4N LONM24 = 70.5W

WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 150NM WNDM12 = 20KT

CENPRS = 1010MB OUTPRS = 1013MB OUTRAD = 200NM SDEPTH = M

RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting xcool:



That is amazing! I wonder whether or not this is likely to occur??
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Dakster:
I hear you PATRAP. Just making sure which side of this you are on.



I beg your pardon sport?

Your making sure you know what side the fence Im on...?





I could care less about BP young Man,..
As a Se Louisiana resident ,..my only concern is for the Damage inflicted and the grief its causing us,the Waters and the Living things that depend on it.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
963. xcool


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Quoting Tazmanian:
90L is RIP
so it shall be done
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
Quoting pottery:

That's all very well.!!
But I am talking to my Lawyer right now.
Claims will include, but are not limited to--
Disapointment based on Optimism.
Lack of sleep resulting in a distinct feeling of Blah.
Unnessasary consumption of beer.
Etc.


You sound like Steve Bozell from the Phil Hendrie Show.
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A bit off topic, however the USGS shows a couple of recent quakes near the Baja California quake site from early April:

MAP 4.8 2010/05/22 17:33:17 32.622 -115.802 0.0 22 km ( 13 mi) SSW of Seeley, CA
MAP 5.3 2010/05/22 17:30:57 32.593 -115.756 5.4 23 km ( 14 mi) SSW of Seeley, CA
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I hear you PATRAP. Just making sure which side of this you are on.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
90L is RIP


Shhhh... don't tell


GFDL
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Quoting Ossqss:
I think they were waiting on the input from our prognostication contest, which you can still enter :)

NOAA to Issue 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

"What: Press conference announcing NOAA’s 2010 Atlantic hurricane season outlook

When: Thursday, May 27, 10am ET

Where: National Press Club - 13th Floor; Murrow Room

529 14th St. NW

Washington, DC 20045"


You think they are gonna base the forecast on our progs. ?
Why not??
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Quoting Dakster:


You seem to be very connected to the scene... Although I was half joking - you do post a rather large graphic of the BP LOGO though...



Thats to let the World know who's Well it is..in case they forget.





Live video link from the ROV monitoring the damaged riser




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Quoting IKE:


LOL.

We are gathered here today...to honor an invest that TAZ has RIP-ed. It was a little early....an early bloomer...but has faded into RIP land according to TAZ.

***5-22-10***

$$$
LMAO.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting IKE:


LOL.

We are gathered here today...to honor an invest that TAZ has RIP-ed. It was a little early....an early bloomer...but has faded into RIP land according to TAZ.

***5-22-10***

$$$

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
953. IKE
12Z GFDL keeps 90L offshore the Carolina's....
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I used up 3 photobucket free accounts with the imagery on the Oil Spill the last month.

Dats a lotta bandwidth.

Maybe BP will upgrade me to PRO.

I'll send um a e-mail.

Sheesh.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129449
Quoting Tazmanian:
90L is RIP
Tht's pretty funny, 90L is actually strengthening, wait until Monday morning and tell me if 90L is RIP. Unless you were being sarcastic, which in that case just ignore everything I just wrote above, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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