TD 3 growing more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:01 PM GMT on July 22, 2010

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Tropical Depression Three is steadily organizing, and appears poised to become a much stronger storm than was forecast. Water vapor satellite loops show that the upper level low to the west of TD 3 that has been bringing high levels of wind shear to the storm is now moving faster to the west than predicted. This faster motion has resulted in a reduction in wind shear over TD 3, to a moderate 10 knots. Satellite images of TD 3 show that the storm is taking advantage of the lower shear by developing several low-level spiral bands to the north and east of the center. However, the center of circulation is still exposed to view, and dry air is still getting injected into the core of the storm from the southwest. The storm's heavy thunderstorms have not increased in intensity this afternoon, and the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near the core of the storm is still limited. TD 3 will need to build more intense thunderstorms near its center before significant intensification can occur. TD 3 is a small storm, and surface observations in the Bahamas do not show the circulation very well. An outer rain band of TD 3 is now visible on Miami long-range radar, and a flood watch has been issued for all of South Florida. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm at present, and have found top surface winds of 35 - 40 mph.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of TD 3.

Track Forecast for TD 3
The storm is in a straightforward steering current environment, and TD 3 should progress steadily to the west-northwest through Sunday. This will bring the storm ashore over the Florida Keys or South Florida on Friday, and into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) foresee a track more to the north than the previous set of model runs. This increases the threat to the oil spill region, and I give a 40% chance that the oil spill region will see tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or higher this weekend. Oil recovery and relief well drilling operations should cease. If TD 3 makes a direct hit on the oil spill region as a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds, it will likely drive a storm surge of 3 - 6 feet with high waves on top into the Louisiana marshlands, fouling a large area with oil. Oil would also penetrate into Lake Pontchartrain, which lies just two feet above sea level. However, the wave action of the storm will dilute the oil to some degree, which may limit the damage to the marshlands.

If you are wondering about the specific probabilities of receiving tropical storm force winds at your location, I recommend the wind probability product from NHC. The latest 5 pm probabilities of various locations getting tropical storm force winds, 39 mph or higher:

Marathon 55%
Marco Island 43%
Miami 34%
New Orleans 33%
Galveston 13%

Intensity Forecast for TD 3
The primary detriment to development of TD 3 for the next three days will be the presence of the large upper-level low to its west. If the low remains in its present location, relative to TD 3, it will bring wind shear of about 10 knots to the storm. This will allow for steady intensification of perhaps 20 mph per day, and TD 3 could be a hurricane by Sunday at that pace. However, if the upper-level low slows down a bit, relative to TD 3, more shear and dry air will affect the storm, potentially weakening it. None of the computer models is calling for TD 3 to strengthen into a hurricane, but if the shear continues at 10 knots, I expect TD 3 will become a hurricane. My low-confidence intensity forecast gives TD 3 a 40% chance of becoming a hurricane. NHC is putting the odds of TD 3 being a hurricane at 2 pm Sunday at 15% with their 5pm advisory.

98L
An area of disturbed weather (98L) has developed in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. This system is under a low amount of shear, 5 - 10 knots, and probably does not have enough time to organize into a tropical depression before making landfall along the Mexican coast a few hundred miles south of the Texas border on Friday.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil 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's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Next update
I'll have an update in the morning. ABC World News Tonight will probably show a sound bite I did for them today, on their 6:30pm broadcast.

Jeff Masters

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Lots of back roads but I-10 is the main corridor headed west and i think east til around BR then 12 pops in
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Bonnie's got a cute little windfield of tropical storm force. We've seen eyes of cyclones that were bigger.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
2615. xcool
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First rain band coming in over my house. Fairly strong
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2613. angiest
Blog hiccuped.
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2611. GetReal
One point that has not been brought up here tonight (maybe I missed it) is that Bonnie has consolidated itself into a very small compact ball of consistent convection. These smaller systems only needs small gaps of favorable UL conditions to survive in, and in some cases strengthen unexpectedly.

That is why, IMO, that Bonnie can not be simply written off yet as just a rain event for S. Florida and the northern GOM.
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2610. scott39
Quoting Levi32:


I still think it is. We'll see if it tries to put on some more distance from Bonnie over the next couple days, but I don't expect anything stronger in the gulf than what we are seeing now.
thanks, Do you know how many degrees in longitude or lattitude the ULL would have to be from Bonnie to have an effect and vise versa not to?
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Quoting omgonozohshite:


You are the man so far with this storm, spot on the whole way.

StormW speaks in such generalizations that he cant be right or wrong, LMFAO


Thanks man. I try my best, take pride in my forecasting, and genuinely care about others. I don't turn it into an ego booster or competition like others on here.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
Quoting Patrap:


Seems someone missed the Gustav Evac..

pffthhhhhhhhh.


www.evacuteer.org




On the morning of Saturday August 30th, 2008, in response to the approach of Hurricane Gustav, local officials activated the City Assisted Evacuation Plan for the first time since its inception in 2006. The purpose of the CAEP is “to help citizens who want to evacuate during an emergency, but lack the capability to self-evacuate,” by utilizing trains, buses, and planes. During the CAEP, over 200 volunteers assisted evacuation operations at the Union Passenger Terminal from which evacuees left the city. Volunteers were also on hand at City Hall inside the New Orleans 311 information center registering evacuees. An equal number were present to assist the re-entry of the 20,000 beneficiaries of the CAEP.

evacuee bus drop-off What Americans saw during the two days of evacuating were tens of thousands of New Orleanians leaving their city on chartered buses. What they didn’t see were volunteers, young and old, native and newly-moved, offering their skills and manpower to assist the evacuation.

They translated to non-English speakers. Helped seniors off platforms. Tagged pets with registration collars. Distributed water and snacks. Lugged heavy baggage. Many of these evacuation volunteers had no idea what was in store for them over the course of their time, but were willing to help however they were needed.

The Gustav CAEP was a success, but simultaneously revealed many areas that could be improved. Stronger initial coordination and planning, for example, would allow willing volunteers to report to pick-up locations across the city at pre-determined times rather than all converging on the embarkation stations. Early identification of job responsibilities combined with annual and pertinent trainings would allow specialized volunteers to more effectively and efficiently perform their duties. Finally, conducting outreach and establishing relationships with organizations that desire to assist the evacuation of high-need populations will allow greater empowerment of evacuation volunteers across the city.

Thus, Evacuteer.org was launched on June 2, 2009 as an organization of New Orleans citizens committed to serving as “evacuteers” upon the future initiation of the CAEP. The organization received its 501c3 charitable status in September 2009 and is committed to a public/private funding model.


Saw this firsthand. What a good job (after Katrina). The buses pulled up at the shelter in Shreveport, followed by the semis with the pets on board. We registered everyone's pets and the people went to the shelter net door. We sheltered 1100 animals there. Awesome job!
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Hurricane Hunter inbound.



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Landfall Points

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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2606. angiest
Quoting Detrina:
Sure they have roads, just not as many coming from the coast, at least that is my understanding from friends that went back after Katrina. From my understanding it would take them almost twice as long to get out in the event they needed to in the lower parish areas. I don't know that for a fact, just participating in the general conversation. Does it hurt anything for them to have their SOE if they think they need it?



More to the point, I doubt the lower LA parishes are served by very many freeways. Pat, am I right this is mostly 2 lane roads down there? And what freeways there might be would go into New Orleans anyway (or other large cities). That doesn't make evac any easier.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Nope. Air boat is the only way to get to MS or TX. We all keep our cars in the Wallyworld parking lot in Gulfport.


And the people there all live like Bobby Bouchet, momma. Cookin alligator, mmmm.
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Quoting Kristina40:


It is going to hit Florida as a Tropical Storm and a weak one at that. They don't know for sure what it might be when it hits LA and it is going to run straight through the oil slick. They MUST err on the side of caution. If they are wrong, they get egg on their face and everybody forgets it in a few days. If they don't and this thing somehow intensifies they are called incompetent.



erring on the side of caution,and being prepared is neccessary!

but a state of emergency for the entire state of Louisana i wonder about so early?
atleast until a reliable forecast is put out.

for a very weak tropical storm 1,000 miles away?

but then again im just a blogger and im not running for office. [laughs]

In reality they should of already been prepared for this
along time ago considering we are already in the middle
of an active hurricanes season.

I just fear the consequences of crying wolf too much i guess.
It may hurt successful chances for future evacuations which
would not be a good thing.
Member Since: July 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
2602. gator23
Quoting RobertM320:


And you've got more roads, a more affluent populaton and you're not below sea level.

folks, I am truly sorry if my basic fun fact somehow implied that Louisiana was overreacting to this storm. I will cease to ever speak about Louisiana again.
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2601. Patrap
keep an eye on er CCHS,..


Im gonna head to da WUnderland Upstairs.

Later gators and Cajuns.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125613
Quoting atmoaggie:
Nope. Air boat is the only way to get to MS or TX. We all keep our cars in the Wallyworld parking lot in Gulfport.
No wonder I can never find a parkin spot there....LOL
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Quoting chrisdscane:
sry for caps but ima scream it

KATRINA LOOKED WORSE WAS IN ABOUT THE SAME CONDITIONS WAS IN COOLER WATER ALITTLE LESS SHEAR AND NO UPPER LOW SO BASIKLY THE SAME SITUATION AND LOOKED WUT HAPPEN SRY FOR CAPS BUT IM VENTING


It is not the same situation. Entirely different because Katrina had much more ideal conditions to work with. This storm is surrounded by a much more hostile environment.
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I have some questions if y'all don't mind. Dr master suggested this could become a cane. Is that still underconsideration. It's a pretty short time frame
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2597. hydrus
Quoting gator23:

huh?
1)I am quite sure they have roads in Louisiana and I expect Patrap will be along shortly to confirm it.
2)Apparently you are not familiar with the term "food for thought" its like a fun fact.
Good evening Gator. Yes, they do have roads in Louisiana, but they are some of the worst in the country. Most are in terrible condition and are extremely dangerous. Louisiana ranks second in the country for the most deadliest roads. Montana is #1.
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Evening all,

This system has been really annoying. I ate three crows when I said three different times (on my blog) that 97L wouldn't develop. Then it looked like this afternoon conditions had improved for development a lot, and it looked like a small tropical cyclone ready to take off, so I forecasted by the time Bonnie reaches S FL a range of max winds 60-90 mph. Now, I currently lean toward the 60 mph end of that forecast range.

This system is not as straightforward as 98L, which I feel I am about to eat a cookie for that one because it hasn't become anything stronger than a TD as I predicting early this morning.
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Quoting louisianaweatherguy:


lol
Check yer WUmail. Messaged if that isn't something you're used to doing.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


It appears the Ridge is going to break down faster then thought....i further track to the right will be coming.....Could be a Panhandle storm....IMO


Yup. Not big, but I agree.
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2593. Detrina
Quoting gator23:

no I was not. I let that go. Lord what a bunch sensitive people.


Lol well I don't know about the rest of the *sensitive people* but you sound pretty argumentative to me:) Can we talk about something else now..like where is this silly storm going?
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Checking the Vorticity at all levels......it does not show a De-cupled system....

850mb Vorticity


700mb Vorticity


500mb Vorticity


LOOKS pretty stacked to me all the way to the top.....it might be tilted some but, nothing shows this being De-coupled....visible would show that tomorrow tho.
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2589. gator23
Quoting Kristina40:


I rarely even post Patrap but I don't think LA declaring a State of Emergency was a bad idea. If nothing else because of the oil situation. Gator is trying to compare LA declaring a SOE with Miami/Dade not.

no I was not. I let that go. Lord what a bunch sensitive people.
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sry for caps but ima scream it

KATRINA LOOKED WORSE WAS IN ABOUT THE SAME CONDITIONS WAS IN COOLER WATER ALITTLE LESS SHEAR AND NO UPPER LOW SO BASIKLY THE SAME SITUATION AND LOOKED WUT HAPPEN SRY FOR CAPS BUT IM VENTING
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1052
Quoting atmoaggie:
Nope. Air boat is the only way to get to MS or TX. We all keep our cars in the Wallyworld parking lot in Gulfport.


that was funny...lol

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2586. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
Levi, Is the ULLs position still in line with Bonnie not having the most favorable conditions in the GOM for further developement? Im on the E side edge of that cone and I dont like it! Give me some good news!


I still think it is. We'll see if it tries to put on some more distance from Bonnie over the next couple days, but I don't expect anything stronger in the gulf than what we are seeing now.
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2585. angiest
Quoting scott39:
Levi, Is the ULLs position still in line with Bonnie not having the most favorable conditions in the GOM for further developement? Im on the E side edge of that cone and I dont like it! Give me some good news!


I think that one will come down to which is moving west the fastest.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well we lost the daylight at a bad time....we'll see what it looks like in the morning, but I'm pretty sure it's decoupled. It's not the worst one we've ever seen.

As for them getting back together it really depends. Often the surface center gets sucked back under the mid-level one but that can't really happen here. What may be more likely is that the current mid-level center dissipates and a new one forms closer to the surface center out over the gulf, assuming the storm is even able to strengthen, and they become vertically stacked then.


It's hard to tell what's going on for sure, do you have a link with some surface observations to look at? May give a hint. I've lost most of my links after a recent hardware disaster.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
I'm prepared for an all-nighter tracking Tropical Storm Bonnie since we're under Tropical Storm Warnings here.


I will be up with ya! SE CC here :)
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......so when they gonna move the track futher north???the center should be going over near islmarada,FL IMO...maybe a bit north like key largo!!!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
It's about the numbers that live below 5 feet above sea level or less, not who's food is better.


lol
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2580. xcool
hmm west move
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Quoting gator23:


a million more people live in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties than in the entire state of Louisiana. food for thought.


And you've got more roads, a more affluent populaton and you're not below sea level.
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2577. Detrina
Sure they have roads, just not as many coming from the coast, at least that is my understanding from friends that went back after Katrina. From my understanding it would take them almost twice as long to get out in the event they needed to in the lower parish areas. I don't know that for a fact, just participating in the general conversation. Does it hurt anything for them to have their SOE if they think they need it?
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Quoting Patrap:


I live in Hammond.. Dont think the track could get any close to Hammond and BR than that does...
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Galveston area roll call! It should be interesting to see what the local employers start doing if there is a tropical storm rolling towards the area on Sunday. Even if it does make landfall in Louisiana, I'm thinking everybody is going to err on the side of caution. Looks like we might get an extended weekend...
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looks like it made a more west turn at the end of new image
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2572. gator23
Quoting Patrap:
Quoting gator23:


a million more people live in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties than in the entire state of Louisiana. food for thought.




You really havent a clue what your talking about ,..ever.

Between NOLA,Orleans Parish,Jefferson Parish to its West and the N Shore..there are 1,000,000people in the Metro area .

Go to bed.

Ya boring us to death


why would you assume I am somehow attacking you? Please explain what I said that was annoying to you. Dont be so sensitive.
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2571. bappit
Quoting atmoaggie:
Ehh.


Eh? Eh?

The NHC mentioned confluence.
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2570. Levi32
Quoting pipelines:
I have to disagree with you on this one. If the fact the two centers are decoupled (which I think is very questionable at this point based on lack of evidence) the supposed LLC that you can see on the visible right before dusk is already so far removed at that time and moving so quickly away from the MLC that there is no way those two centers could be realigned in the future. That LLC will dissipate and the only chance Bonnie has of becoming vertically stacked again is forming a new LLC under the MLC.

Again I don't think the centers are decoupled, maybe not perfectly stacked, but not decoupled. I'm basing this on shortwave imagery which shows low level clouds pretty well at night and I see nothing south of Bonnie that resembles a naked LLC.

Just my 2 cents.



Well we lost the daylight at a bad time....we'll see what it looks like in the morning, but I'm pretty sure it's decoupled. It's not the worst one we've ever seen.

As for them getting back together it really depends. Often the surface center gets sucked back under the mid-level one but that can't really happen here. What may be more likely is that the current mid-level center dissipates and a new one forms closer to the surface center out over the gulf, assuming the storm is even able to strengthen, and they become vertically stacked then.
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2569. scott39
Levi, Is the ULLs position still in line with Bonnie not having the most favorable conditions in the GOM for further developement? Im on the E side edge of that cone and I dont like it! Give me some good news!
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About JeffMasters

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