Tropical Storm Lee lingers off Louisiana coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:16 AM GMT on September 04, 2011

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Tropical Storm Lee continues to bring heavy rain, moderately strong wind gusts, and tornado risk to the Gulf Coast states east of Texas. Lee is 55 miles south of Lafayette, Louisiana, and is drifting almost due north at 4 mph. Lee's central pressure dropped to 988 mb since this morning, but has maximum sustained wind speeds that have decreased to 50mph. The National Hurricane Center has extended the tropical storm warning eastward to Destin, Florida. Since this morning, New Orleans Lakefront Airport has received about another inch of rain for a storm total of 6.87 inches. Rainfall estimates from radar suggest some locations, especially close to the coast, might have already seen up to 8 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Lee. Although the New Orleans area is in a dry slot of the storm, more rain can be expected through the night in the form of isolated storms with heavy downpours. Louisiana's Jefferson Parish officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for three towns earlier today: Lafitte, Crown Point, and Barataria. Heavy rain and tidal surge pushed the water of Bayou Barataria into the surrounding low-lying areas, and officials warned that if residents didn't leave, they might become stranded for a couple of days.


Figure 1. Infrared satellite of Tropical Storm Lee captured around 6pm EDT. Source: NOAA.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Lee
Lee's forecast hasn't changed much since this morning. Dry air is being pulled in from the west, which is giving the storm a very subtropical appearance, and is mitigating intensification. Earlier today, two centers of circulation were visible in satellite and confirmed by Hurricane Hunters. The centers were rotating around each other in full Fujiwara fashion, and although they were scientifically interesting, it meant that there was no clear center of circulation, and probably helped to weaken storm. The National Hurricane Center expects that Lee will come ashore in Louisiana later this evening and linger over the region until Monday, when it will finally be pushed north by a mid-latitude wave.

Lee's tornado threat
A tornado watch is in effect for southern Louisiana and portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle until 10pm CDT. The forecast is for small and short-lived tornadoes, but the threat for tornado damage is still there. A PhD student at Georgia Tech (and my former group member), James Belanger, runs a skillful model to predict the number of tornadoes that a tropical cyclone could produce. The model uses variables such as the size of the storm, the maximum wind speed, and moisture. For the 2008 hurricane season, the model accurately predicted the number of tornadoes that would be spawned from a quite a few tropical cyclones, including Hurricane Dolly, Tropical Storm Edouard, Tropical Storm Fay, and Hurricane Ike. Given today's forecast track and intensity, Belanger's model is forecasting 30-40 tornadoes could be spawned from Tropical Storm Lee, mainly in the Southeast states east of and including Louisiana.

Interestingly, although the nose of dry air that's being pulled in from drought-stricken Texas (visible in the satellite image above) is acting to keep the storm weak, it's also playing a role in the number of tornadoes that could be spawned from Lee. The dry air is a crucial component for the storm to develop discrete, isolated thunderstorm cells (versus a large shield of heavy rain). The discrete cells, just like during severe weather season, are the storms that are most capable of producing a tornado.

Angela

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1587. oceanblues32
5:18 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Not if this run verifies, just look at the gap between the CONUS High and the Bermuda High, of course anything past 5 days is too far out for me :)
what do u mean if this run verifies what would happen to florida we have been very lucky
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1586. EYEStoSEA
4:18 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
1585. VAbeachhurricanes
4:07 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
So I wake up this morning to see Katia almost a cat 3, and the cone shifted west?! who was left in charge?!
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6145
1584. Skyepony (Mod)
3:49 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Had to compare model preformace on Lee..especially where the GFNI stood..


Model error for Lee in nm.
Model Name 0hr 24hr 48hr 72hr
GFNI 0 70.5 75.4 -
GFDI 0 62.5 63.3 63.6
GFDL 18.0 42.9 62.7 77.9
GFDN 7.9 52.1 55.8 -
CMC 24.3 56.8 73.9 108.4
EGRR 24.7 52.6 90.8 -
AVNO 28.2 43.3 51.4 48.6
BAMD - 65.8 73.5 84.8
BAMM - 59.5 97.4 155.6
BAMS - 81.0 154.5 248.4
AEMN 26.9 61.2 97.8 118.2
HWRF 21.4 70.3 85.1 138.3
LBAR 0 66.2 97.3 85.5
LGEM 0 58.7 62.8 126.0
NAM 28.0 71.0 41.8 48.5

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37442
1583. CaribBoy
3:48 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
So let's see how this evolves next few days
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5982
1582. CaribBoy
3:47 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Hopefully the 40W AOI won't go NORTH!! Please go west and give us rain. Even if it becomes a TS before us, this still fine! Tropical Storm aren't bad for our tiny islands, we are not as vulnerable as hispaniola. Irene was a 50-60kts TS when she passed through, and she didn't do much at all (60MPH gusts and only 2.5 inches of rain)!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5982
1581. HCW
3:46 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Radar is back on after an 8 hour power outage

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1580. CaribBoy
3:43 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Link

TWAVE AT 40W COULD BE THE NEXT INVEST. HOPEFULLY THE NE ISLANDS WILL GET SOME DECENT RAIN FROM IT.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5982
1579. Skyepony (Mod)
3:41 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
GFDL & HWRF has been going okay by the numbers with Katia..you can even see the eye wall replacement cycles they have planned for Katia. & statistically we're at out upper limits for another annular type storm globally this year.. they're rare.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37442
1578. CaribBoy
3:39 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
AOI in the CATL has good turning...
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5982
1577. Skyepony (Mod)
3:38 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Tazmanian:



no trust me thats a eye starting too pop out


Starting is the right word here.. We've gone from Uniform Central Dense Overcast scene to an EMBEDDED CENTER~ Arc of convection within central overcast cloud region.. know your scene types.. now with pictures.. Start around page 27..but I expect the regulars to have already read the whole thing;)

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37442
1576. BahaHurican
3:38 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting primez:
Long time lurker here. Just stopped by to post that I have this gut feeling that Katia is going to develop into an annular hurricane similar to Isabel. Any thoughts?
Not seeing much out there to support this right now...

Quoting P451:


I'm glad you brought up the NHC. Through all the model runs they were a steady hand. They put up their cone heading for the LA coast and they stuck with it. No fancy curves or loops or anything. Just straight in. Lee followed it.

For Katia, especially after seeing how Lee has behaved, I would be inclined to agree that Katia will slide between NC and Bermuda and up and out.

It would even appear that it will continue curving and not affect the Canadian Maritimes either.

It's still a little early to be certain and disregard the system but it appears that this will occur.

A timely reminder IMO that it's not enough to look at the models, which represent mere possibilities. There must be some skill in analysis of data, real time imagery and the varied model output in order to develop a reasonable forecast. IMO this is why NHC forecasts generally, though not always, outperform individual and even ensemble models.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21559
1575. sugarsand
3:37 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting NavarreMark:
The cover for my gas grill disappeared during the night. Lost more pears from the tree. The DOOM is thick this morning. STAY SAFE


Friend of mine lives in Navarre. She got home from work at 2am and said there was a tornado in Navarre during early morning hrs.
Member Since: September 13, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 2953
1574. CaribBoy
3:37 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting overwash12:
The models shifted right as expected,they flip-flop again!


Once again, Katia is only marine concern.
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1573. WeatherNerdPR
3:36 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5630
1572. CaribBoy
3:35 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Ameister12:


Katia, the perfect example of ... a FISH. I knew it would be so since the begining... but I was told it was too early to be too confident. Katia won't affect any land mass, so NEXT please!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5982
1571. taco2me61
3:35 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting scott39:
SW and NW Mobile County where I live had some close calls with tornados last night. We were under a tornado warning from about 11:45pm until 1:15am. The local news interrupted the TV show and gave me a lesson on what "hook" like possible tornados look like. At one time I counted 5 seperate ones down in the GOM just W of Dauphin Island going N into Mobile. Thankfully most lost thier "hook" like signature once over land. One strong cell went over my house, but at that time looked not to be a tornado in the making. It was still strong with winds and rain..................Can we expect more rain bands from Lee as it moves in our direction?


I'm thinking we will have a lot more of those to come... As "Lee" gets closewr to us here in Mobile the Tor-Con will be going up.... Its Pouring right now and would not surprise me to have a warning coming soon ....

Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3241
1570. baytwntx11
3:35 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
New blog is up.....
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1569. AllyBama
3:34 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Oh NO!...my lull ended too quick. lol
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 132 Comments: 20635
1568. GTcooliebai
3:33 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Well I think this is how we all envisioned Katia would look like, a classic Cape Verde Storm :)
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1567. hurricanehunter27
3:33 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
katia may get bumped up to mid cat 3 or cat 4 depeding on how cold the tops will be in the eye wall.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3841
1566. ackee
3:33 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting aspectre:
1540 ackee "poll time: where will katia go?"

Texas. I'm Texcasting everything until the storm proves that it's going elsewhere through sustained movement away from Texas... or the Drought breaks, whichever comes first
well if GFS is right seem like storm that tracks into the carrb and then GULF hopeful texas will get some rain from it
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1355
1565. Beachfoxx
3:32 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Yes.
Quoting scott39:
SW and NW Mobile County where I live had some close calls with tornados last night. We were under a tornado warning from about 11:45pm until 1:15am. The local news interrupted the TV show and gave me a lesson on what "hook" like possible tornados look like. At one time I counted 5 seperate ones down in the GOM just W of Dauphin Island going N into Mobile. Thankfully most lost thier "hook" like signature once over land. One strong cell went over my house, but at that time looked not to be a tornado in the making. It was still strong with winds and rain..................Can we expect more rain bands from Lee as it moves in our direction?
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29383
1564. Seastep
3:31 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
NEW BLOG
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
1563. ncstorm
3:31 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:




wwwwhhhaaatttt??
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14602
1562. scott39
3:31 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
SW and NW Mobile County where I live had some close calls with tornados last night. We were under a tornado warning from about 11:45pm until 1:15am. The local news interrupted the TV show and gave me a lesson on what "hook" like possible tornados look like. At one time I counted 5 seperate ones down in the GOM just W of Dauphin Island going N into Mobile. Thankfully most lost thier "hook" like signature once over land. One strong cell went over my house, but at that time looked not to be a tornado in the making. It was still strong with winds and rain..................Can we expect more rain bands from Lee as it moves in our direction?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6744
1561. ncstorm
3:30 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
5am Wind advisory from the NHC
CAPE HATTERAS 34 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 2( 2) 11(13)
CAPE HATTERAS 50 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 3( 3)
CAPE HATTERAS 64 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 1( 1)

MOREHEAD CITY 34 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 1( 1) 11(12)
MOREHEAD CITY 50 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 3( 3)

WILMINGTON NC 34 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 1( 1) 8( 9)

11Am Wind Advisory
CAPE HATTERAS 34 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 3( 3) 17(20)
CAPE HATTERAS 50 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 5( 5)
CAPE HATTERAS 64 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 1( 1)

MOREHEAD CITY 34 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 2( 2) 14(16)
MOREHEAD CITY 50 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 5( 5)
MOREHEAD CITY 64 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 2( 2)

WILMINGTON NC 34 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 1( 1) 12(13)
WILMINGTON NC 50 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 4( 4)
WILMINGTON NC 64 X X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) X( X) 1( 1)
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14602
1560. Beachfoxx
3:30 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
I suppose while over bay it would be. Radar indicates another t'nado on so. Walton co.
Quoting BDADUDE:

Wouldnt that be a
waterspout?
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29383
1559. aspectre
3:30 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Click to see the 4Sept_12pmGMT mapping for TS.Lee
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6amGMT's TS.Lee has been reevaluated&altered to Hurricane status for H.Katia's_12pmGMT_ATCF
20.9n57.8w has also been re-evaluated&altered
21.1n58.0w, 21.6n58.8w are now the most recent positions
Starting 3Sept_12pmGMT and ending 4Sept_12pmGMT

The 4 eastern line-segments represent HurricaneKatia's path
and the westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the
ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 6amGMT then 12pmGMT :
H.Katia's travel-speed was 10.3mph(16.6k/h) on a heading of 303.9degrees*(NW)
H.Katia was headed toward passage over Beaufort,SouthCarolina ~6days from now

Copy&paste 19.4n55.5w, 19.4n55.5w-19.9n56.2w, 19.9n56.2w-20.4n57.0w, 20.4n57.0w-21.1n58.0w, 21.1n58.0w-21.6n58.8w, bft, 21.1n58.0w-32.322n80.454w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 4Sept_6amGMT)

* 303.75degrees is midway between WNW and NW
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1558. aspectre
3:29 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
1540 ackee "poll time: where will katia go?"

Texas :-) I'm Texcasting everything until after the TropicalCyclone proves that it's going elsewhere through a sustained increase in distance away from Texas... or the Drought breaks, whichever comes first
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
1557. Ameister12
3:29 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Tazmanian:



no trust me thats a eye starting too pop out


Yeah, I know it's an eye.
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1556. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:29 PM GMT on September 04, 2011


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31537
1555. GTcooliebai
3:29 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting ackee:
poll time where will katia go ?

A NC
B out to sea
C NEW YORK
D CLOSE BRUSH UP THE EAST COAST
E fl
F NEW ENGLAND
G canada

which model do u trust the most will KATIA track ?

A GFS
B ECMWF
C CMC
D NOGAPS
e ukmet
F GFDL
G HWRF
D,G;B
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1554. Beachfoxx
3:27 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Hey Taco -

Watching radar, will head downstairs if it gets bad. Lull of storm right now.

Quoting taco2me61:


Good Morning BeachFox,
You all becareful.... I chased those types of tornados yesterday from Mobile to Pass Christian MS.... Although I did see 1 water spout in MS Sound. But by the time I got my camera out it was gone....

Taco :o)
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29383
1553. Tazmanian
3:27 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Ameister12:

Possibly. Could just be a dry spot.

*Sarcasm flag on*



no trust me thats a eye starting too pop out
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114767
1552. GTcooliebai
3:27 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting scooster67:
How long can Florida keep getting luck?



Not if this run verifies, just look at the gap between the CONUS High and the Bermuda High, of course anything past 5 days is too far out for me :)
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1551. Seastep
3:26 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
The H to Katia's N has strengthened. Hope it doesn't build W too much as the ULL moves out.

Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
1550. Ameister12
3:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I think katia may have an eye starting to peep out.

Possibly. Could just be a dry spot.

*Sarcasm flag on*
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4903
1549. Seastep
3:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
I'm happy...
normally I say that I am happy when storms to the east of me cross 22 North

today 21.9 is enough to make me happy.


LOL. 25 is my number, even though there is the occasional Ike.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
1547. BDADUDE
3:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Villa Tasso - mirimar Beach. Going north across bay.

Wouldnt that be a
waterspout?
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 602
1546. Beachfoxx
3:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Interesting… we had turtles in fron yard & frogs. Live on bay, normally see them on the bayside of house.
Quoting Jebekarue:
Pensacola here, was keeping an eye out for strange bug/animal behavior only thing i really noticed the last few days was an increase in spiders webbing the outside of my house...kinda creepy
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29383
1545. taco2me61
3:25 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Tornado in bay according to NWS. going to be long day... Power back on.


Good Morning BeachFox,
You all becareful.... I chased those types of tornados yesterday from Mobile to Pass Christian MS.... Although I did see 1 water spout in MS Sound. But by the time I got my camera out it was gone....

Taco :o)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3241
1544. Tazmanian
3:24 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting ncstorm:


HWRF only goes out to 126 hours..





ok thanks
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114767
1543. Tazmanian
3:24 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting ackee:
poll time where will katia go ?

A NC
B out to sea
C NEW YORK
D CLOSE BRUSH UP THE EAST COAST
E fl
F NEW ENGLAND
G canada

which model do u trust the most will KATIA track ?

A GFS
B ECMWF
C CMC
D NOGAPS
e ukmet
F GFDL
G HWRF



i pick C
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114767
1542. Beachfoxx
3:23 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Villa Tasso - mirimar Beach. Going north across bay.
Quoting JGreco:



Where Choctawhatchee Bay....I live near the bay..is there ant specifics??
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29383
1541. ncstorm
3:23 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting Tazmanian:



and what about the other mode run


HWRF only goes out to 126 hours..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14602
1540. ackee
3:22 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
poll time where will katia go ?

A NC
B out to sea
C NEW YORK
D CLOSE BRUSH UP THE EAST COAST
E fl
F NEW ENGLAND
G canada

which model do u trust the most will KATIA track ?

A GFS
B ECMWF
C CMC
D NOGAPS
e ukmet
F GFDL
G HWRF
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1355
1539. WeatherNerdPR
3:20 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Beautiful...

WTF:
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5630
1538. Tazmanian
3:20 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
euro shows katia scraping or making landfall in eastern NC then make a sharp east north east turn



and what about the other mode run
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114767
1537. Barefootontherocks
3:20 PM GMT on September 04, 2011
Quoting P451:


It's not a matter of liking something or not.

It's an observation that usually when you have a hurricane whose pressure drops significantly you would expect a color enhanced IR image to show a more solid and broad region of -70C into the -80Cs range.

For reasons unknown, Katia remains broad in the -60s, with some -70Cs.

Her visible presentation reflects a deepening storm. Yet she doesn't appear to have the truly deep convection you would expect to find.

While that may come, and should come, it is curious that it is not there.


Always been and always will be reasons unknown with these storms.
:)

Taz's wisdom in saying "like it or not," I think was meant to convey this simple fact - Tropical cyclones are what they are. They often do the unexpected, and no amount of head-scratching or second-guessing will change that.
:)
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 151 Comments: 18383

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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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