Not a trace of Don; What's next?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:41 PM GMT on July 30, 2011

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Don is dead

Tropical Storm Don, the fourth named storm of the 2011 season, made landfall near Baffin Bay, Texas yesterday evening around 10pm CDT in less-than-grand fashion. The storm was looking very weak for the 24 hours before landfall, but fizzled rapidly after landfall, and by early Saturday morning, there was barely a trace of the storm to show that it even existed in the first place.

NHC Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake probably said it best in this mornings 5am EDT discussion on the storm:

THE DON IS DEAD. THE CYCLONE LITERALLY EVAPORATED OVER TEXAS ABOUT
AS FAST AS I HAVE EVER SEEN WITHOUT MOUNTAINS INVOLVED. DON HAS NO
CONVECTION...MEAGER RAINFALL...AND ONLY A SLIGHT SIGNATURE IN
SURFACE OBSERVATIONS AND RADAR DATA. THEREFORE...THIS IS THE LAST
ADVISORY ON THIS SYSTEM.


Figure 1. Total precipitation accumulation for the storm, estimated by radar.

The heaviest rainfall was falling south of the storm's center yesterday, so it wasn't surprising that Brownsville saw the most rain, 0.63 inches. KBRO also recorded 18 mph wind gusts. But to the north of the center, where many of the media were located, not a drop of rain fell. Corpus Christi saw zero inches of rain, but did record gale-force wind gusts (39 mph). Harlingen, near Baffin Bay, and close to where the center made landfall, saw 0.20 inches of rain and 18 mph wind gusts. This storm did very, very little to relieve any drought conditions in Southern Texas. And so it continues.

What's next: Invest 91L continues to impress

Invest 91L, which is located near 12°N 48°W in the central Atlantic, continues to impress today, and has shown signs of more organization over the past 24 hours. 91L will probably develop into a tropical cyclone before it reaches the Lesser Antilles, so residents of these islands should remain watchful and prepared. Satellite loops show not only organized thunderstorm activity, but also the makings of a surface circulation. Something this wave has working against it right now is dry air—there's a large mass of Saharan air on the north and east sides of the system, which could at least prevent significant intensification. Also, University of Wisconsin CIMSS analysis shows some strong wind shear (30-40 knots) to the north of the wave. However, I don't expect this to prevent development of the wave. Wind shear out ahead of the system is relatively low (5-15 knots). Moisture is plenty high within the system, and sea surface temperatures are warm and toasty (28°C+) and will only get warmer as 91L moves west into the Caribbean.


Figure 2. Infrared satellite of invest 91L taken at 1:15pm EDT today.

Forecast for 91L
Most of the reliable forecast models (GFS, CMC, FIM, and the ECMWF) have come to agree that 91L will develop, however, they differ on how long-lived that will be. Some of the models are suggesting it will be a short-lived tropical cyclone, not making it out of the Caribbean alive, and some suggest that it will hold together and intensify as it moves north of the Caribbean islands. The forecast track for the system will most likely be to the northwest through the Caribbean, at which point it will take a northeast turn near the Bahamas, never reaching the U.S. coast. HWRF agrees with this track (and also brings the system to category 2 strength by August 3rd). However, there is still some uncertainty that the system could track west, south of the Caribbean islands, and potentially into the Gulf of Mexico. However, none of the models that suggest this solution actually show that the wave will be a tropical cyclone at that point.

The National Hurricane Center is giving this wave an 80% chance of developing into at least Tropical Depression Five over the next 48 hours. Chances are we will see Emily out of this system. A Hurricane Hunter mission is scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm EDT, but I wouldn't be totally surprised to see them call this system this evening, given the threat to the Lesser Antilles.

Watching a northwest Caribbean disturbance

A broad area of disturbed weather is producing some heavy thunderstorms in the northwest Caribbean, southeast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Little to no low-level circulation exists with this feature, and none of the models are picking up on it. The Hurricane Center has "blobbed" this item (as I like to say) with a "near 0%" chance of developing over the next 48 hours. This disturbance could cause major flooding in the region given the amount of thunderstorm activity, and predictability for systems like this (potential Bay of Cempeche tropical cyclones) is very low. Models have a short lead time on development, and they spin up very fast once they enter the Bay of Campeche given the favorable topography of the land surrounding it. The difference between this system, though, and one like Arlene, is that there is very, very little low level circulation already present. Pre-Arlene was a bit more organized before it crossed the Yucatan, and so it's hard to imagine that this disturbance will be able to hold together, should it get that far.

If 91L develops, I'll be back tomorrow with a post.

Angela

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5450. angiest
Quoting Levi32:
0z GFS has issues....91L's center is initialized quite a bit too far southwest.



You should have stopped with GFS has issues....

;)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
78 hrs GFS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jasonweatherman2011:
its not a closed low right now!! do you think its will be a closed low by monday morning


Hey Jason, its very close right now. Might make it at the 5am,,,,,we just need to watch those DATA Bouys.......they won't lie as 91L is right around 2 of them.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting extreme236:


I really don't appreciate your arrogance all the time. You like to just ROFLMAO your way through posts and say things like not a closed low, then a few posts later say it might be closed if not now. I may have misunderstood something that I was led to believe early on from others, but that certainly doesn't make me a "confused individual" and I know what it takes to be a tropical depression.


There's a reason why myself and a lot of other have him on ignore.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
5446. scott39
Quoting IceCoast:
GFS shifts west again through 72 hours. Lets see what the rest of the run shows.
I will take a wild guess...West.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5445. Levi32
0z GFS has issues....91L's center is initialized quite a bit too far southwest.

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5444. angiest
Quoting RukusBoondocks:
could be bad for FL im gonna wake up every hour and check on 91l


Relax. Plenty of time to watch.

You *did* do your hurricane prep by June 1st, right?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting TampaSpin:


Your a mighty confused individual you KNOW! Guess you don't understand the differece in what it takes to be a Tropical Depression.


I really don't appreciate your arrogance all the time. You like to just ROFLMAO your way through posts and say things like not a closed low, then a few posts later say it might be closed soon if not now. I may have misunderstood something that I was led to believe early on from others, but that certainly doesn't make me a "confused individual" and I know what it takes to be a tropical depression.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


Your a mighty confused individual you KNOW! Guess you don't understand the differece in what it takes to be a Tropical Depression.


stop being so cynical jeez
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6703
GFS shifts west again through 72 hours. Lets see what the rest of the run shows.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:
Good Nite Everyone :o)

I will check back in tomorrow and see what our Little 91L is doing....

Play Nice :o)

Taco :o)


Good night, Taco :)
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1496
Quoting taco2me61:
Good Nite Everyone :o)

I will check back in tomorrow and see what our Little 91L is doing....

Play Nice :o)

Taco :o)


you shoulda just went for the smile on all 4 lines
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6703
could be bad for FL im gonna wake up every hour and check on 91l
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


Lol a closed ring around the low indicates a closed low. The NHC says there is a closed low pressure center. Thats all I'm saying. You kept saying sfc low then you changed it to closed low. Link


Your a mighty confused individual you KNOW! Guess you don't understand the differece in what it takes to be a Tropical Depression.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Good Nite Everyone :o)

I will check back in tomorrow and see what our Little 91L is doing....

Play Nice :o)

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, after a lot of confusion and stress on the blog, I think we finally have a consolidated area of low pressure.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
5431. angiest
Quoting MississippiWx:


I'm surprised you survived Don's fury.


A tropical cyclone being eaten by a drought. Would be interesting if it weren't such a disappointment.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
5430. Gearsts
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5429. scott39
Quoting Gearsts:
91L is moving slow
If you call 15mph slow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
72 Hrs....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5426. Gearsts
Quoting scott39:
At the rate of speed that 91L is going...it will be well into the Caribbean in 24 hours.
91L is moving slow
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TxHurricanedude11:
Expect another shift in the 6z model runs in a few hrs.


I'm surprised you survived Don's fury.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
It is very Close to being a Closed Low if not NOW! My guess is those Bouy readings will show a drop in Pressure reading on their next update upcoming.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting TampaSpin:
This system because of its weak status currently is going into the Caribbean toward the Dominican Republic. Those mountians will do some damage to it!


some damage to system and a lot of damage to the residents here
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5421. scott39
Quoting IceCoast:
54 Hrs
91L must be going to put on the brakes now!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


A closed isobar does not necessarily imply a closed circulation of wind vectors.


Beat me to it...lol.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
5419. xcool


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See buoy 41101 interesting
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5415. scott39
At the rate of speed that 91L is going...it will be well into the Caribbean in 24 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
5414. Levi32
Quoting extreme236:


Lol a closed ring around the low indicates a closed low. The NHC says there is a closed low pressure center. Thats all I'm saying. You kept saying sfc low then you changed it to closed low. Link


A closed isobar does not necessarily imply a closed circulation of wind vectors.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
54 Hrs
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5412. wxhatt
Quoting yoboi:
when will it turn north?


There are a lot of factors involved with a turn to the north. Some being how much a storm developes, how the high pressure to it's north is steering it, and if a trough of low pressure influences it.

We will have to see if it developes further to a depression or storm. Recon data will help the models also.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLweather:
On a side note from 91L, I posted this yesterday, but didn't get a reply from anyone. Unfortunately, this article states that federal budget cuts may limit or even cease some hurricane hunter research flights. Anyone hear about this or have any say on it?

Link


The implications would be exactly what the article said -- a reduction in the progression of our understanding of hurricanes. A bad move for sure, but at least we won't be losing recon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


ROFLMAO........IT IS NOT A CLOSED SURFACE LOW.....get a bite!


Lol a closed ring around the low indicates a closed low. The NHC says there is a closed low pressure center. Thats all I'm saying. You kept saying sfc low then you changed it to closed low. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Some mighty horribe observing of systems by many on here for the past few days.....HORRIBLE!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting extreme236:
Lol there is a surface low. The NHC has had a surface low on this wave for DAYS. In the ATCF file it classifies this system as a low.


Wow, that convection to the south of 91L is nuts.

Oops, I quoted the wrong post. LOL.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Quoting P451:
Recon from earlier today actually sampled THREE surface features - three separate vorticies.

The third on the northern part of that wave wasn't known.
The second was tracked mostly through the day - visibly ejected towards the first most dominant feature - now getting run over/absorbed.
The first - we all know about.

Very complex mess - no wonder it's taking so long to close off a well defined circulation.

Nice graphics there .... amazing complexity of this system.

Far too broad to ever be as straightforward as the models claimed to show.
Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 525
48hrs GFS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Yup, We got wet today, rain from about 3:30-4:30, did my duty to god and country. Being a spotter for the NWS. Lots of lightning and wind, all in all, a nice change.
Hey Joe, good evenin to ya. We got a tiny bit of rain over here last night. I never heard it or even saw the ground wet, but when I got in my car this morning rain drops could be seen across the wind shield, so we obviously got something lol

Didn't know you were a spotter though. What are spotters supposed to do? And did you guys get any weather today? I could see some nice thunderheads popping up this afternoon from my house...
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This was tweeted by my local met in Orlando: NOAA G-IV jet shows 5900-5910m heights at 500mb north & NW of trop dist. near Caribbean. Will keep system moving mainly west next 36hrs.
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Quoting P451:
Just an incredible mess of convection all through the region. Insane.



Saw that one flare up and heading to SA earlier. That whole area is just nuts right now. A forecasters dream/nightmare?
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5400. 1344
Quoting Twinkster:


trust me it was much different. Lesss bickering and we would be lucky to get to 1000 comments if there was a major hurricane threatening land


Masters was strict during the period as well so they were no trolls. I hear the blog was much different back then.
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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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