Western Caribbean disturbance 96L close to tropical depression status

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:21 PM GMT on October 23, 2011

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A region of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean (Invest 96L) has become more organized this morning, and is close to tropical depression status. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate 96L this afternoon at 2 pm EDT to see if a tropical depression has formed. The system is located just offshore from the Nicaragua/Honduras border, and is bringing heavy rains to northeastern Honduras. Visible satellite loops show that 96L is close to having a well-developed surface circulation, but the heavy thunderstorm activity is all on the west side of the center, due to a large region of dry air to the east. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots due to strong upper-level winds out of the east, and these winds are injecting dry air into 96L's east side, keeping any heavy thunderstorms from developing on that side. Water temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C, and these warm waters extend to great depth.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of 96L.

Forecast for 96L
I expect 96L will be able to organize into a tropical depression later today or on Monday, though this process will be slowed by the dry air to the storm's east, and perhaps by proximity to the land areas of Nicaragua and Honduras. NHC gave 96L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday in their 8 am Tropical Weather Outlook today. Steering currents favor a motion to the west-northwest or northwest, and it is likely that heavy rains from 96L will spread over Belize by Tuesday night, when the storm will probably be called Tropical Storm Rina. Heavy rains from the storm will spread over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, including Cozumel and Cancun, by Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday, 96L will be encountering a dry airmass with high wind shear that lies over the extreme northwestern Caribbean. Since 96L is a small storm, these hostile conditions should cause the storm to weaken significantly before any potential landfall occurs.

97L
A broad region of low pressure near 11°N, 55°W, about 300 hundred miles east of the southern Lesser Antilles Islands (Invest 97L), is moving slowly west-northwest towards the Lesser Antilles. This low has very limited heavy thunderstorm activity, due to dry air. NHC is giving 97L just a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday. 97L is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, and this shear is expected to drop to the low range, less than 10 knots, by Monday, when the storm will be in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. By the time 97L approaches Jamaica in the Central Caribbean on Friday, the storm should find a moister environment, and could develop into a tropical depression then, as predicted by the NOGAPS model.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting reedzone:


Wilma was a Category 2/3 storm when it hit Florida around this time in 2005. Anything can happen, don't just look at the science of thing, look at what mother nature can do.


2005 was a whole different game. It is very hard to compare the two, that year almost everything formed. This year not so much most likely due to the vertical instability.
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929. JLPR2
Latest GFS run is interesting.

Yeah... That's Rina in 162hrs making loops in the W.Caribbean.
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Here comes the pick-up.... Will Rina take it or leave it?



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Quoting hurricane23:


Tampa? Very unlikely rina ever tracks that far north in my opinion. If this storm were to make a pass at sfl it will in a weakened state. Very hostile upper environment lies in the gulf at the present time.


Wilma was a Category 2/3 storm when it hit Florida around this time in 2005. Anything can happen, don't just look at the science of thing, look at what mother nature can do.
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That fanning out of the cirrus in sunlinepr's comment 921 makes me think that at least some shear capture is happening now. That may cause the center to go/relocate a bit further north than the center of the NHC cone.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Right now...Rina will go south of Florida. The cold front and the NHC track do not match up. But conditions can change on a dime.


True. We'll know all by Halloween anyway!
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97L has almost disapeared

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920. Skyepony (Mod)
ASCAT was repaired today & is back online..fresh pass..
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919. Skyepony (Mod)
Rina has a Uniform CDO Final T=2.2
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918. JLPR2
At 4z Rina is looking nice.



Maybe the center is relocating considering the shape of the convection.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


What's your opinion? Mine is that Rina avoids the Yucatan and hits far south/southeast FL as a Cat 1, around 985 mb.


Right now...Rina will go south of Florida. The cold front and the NHC track do not match up. But conditions can change on a dime.
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Have a great night, everyone!
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What about this wave (behind 97L)?... looks like it isn't any longer in an unfavorable latitude an looks like it will enter a low shear area and could reach the Carib...

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One more observation before I go to sleep: judging by the improved cirrus outflow and expanding convection I'm starting to believe that wind shear is lessening. Perhaps the upper-level ridge discussed by Stewart in the discussion is trying to establish itself.
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THE LATEST
*Click image to enlarge (image can further be enlarged in the Link Window by clicking anywhere on it)
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The convective pattern is slowly improving. Convection is trying to build farther SE towards the LLC:

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last comment before I am off to bed Rina COC I say is at 17N 82W or relocating to there forecast track I say takes it N-NNW the NW the by morn I sould seen it just about 100 pr so miles away from me
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Just timing and how strong Rina is.


What's your opinion? Mine is that Rina avoids the Yucatan and hits far south/southeast FL as a Cat 1, around 985 mb.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


Possible.


Just timing and how strong Rina is.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
,likely imo,dying over the yucatan or a reminant low/td racing east as a trough clears the area


Possible.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Before Rina goes to Florida she will need to avoid a lengthy landfall in the Yucatan. Rina dying over the Yucatan or being gravely weakend is still a possibility.
,likely imo,dying over the yucatan or a reminant low/td racing east as a trough clears the area
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Before Rina goes to Florida she will need to avoid a lengthy landfall in the Yucatan. Rina dying over the Yucatan or being gravely weakend is still a possibility.
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Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

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My best guess is that if Rina hits Florida it will be on an Irene 1999 or Mitch 1998 type path. With Irene as the upper bound for strength and Mitch as a lower bound in strength.

I'll say cat 1 strength. With the caveat that if Rina manages to capture shear and use it to ventilate the system instead of shearing it, an upper end Cat 2 would be possible. That's not very likely. But possible.

Wilma captured shear and used it to augment her outflow. So did Josephine in 1996. Both were October storms that landfalled in Florida. Shear capture happens but not very often.
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center getting tucked into deep convection look at the cords then look at the latest sat image
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Invest97L's_12amGMT_ATCF : Starting 23Oct_12amGMT and ending 24Oct_12amGMT

The 4 line-segments represent Invest97L's now westnorthwestward path

Copy&paste 10.9n55.7w-11.4n55.8w, 11.4n55.8w-11.6n56.0w, 11.6n56.0w-11.7n56.3w, 11.7n56.3w-12.0n56.9w, bgi, slu into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 23Oct_6pmGMT)
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Quoting RukusBoondocks:
local met said we tampa needs to watch Rina


Tampa? Very unlikely rina ever tracks that far north in my opinion. If this storm were to make a pass at sfl it will in a weakened state. Very hostile upper environment lies in the gulf at the present time.
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Big increase in comments today. 900+ before midnight.
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Quoting RukusBoondocks:
local met said we tampa needs to watch Rina


Agree for sure....but the shear will be a problem for anything that far North unless things really change a lot....WHICH MIGHT HAPPEN
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Grothar?


I've seen him here before but don't know him. I know he's well liked but never talked to him before he left.

But I was thinking of a potato ;)
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local met said we tampa needs to watch Rina
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893. JLPR2
Neat spin near 8N 33W

RAMSDIS Floater

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Storm Relative 16km Geostationary Water Vapor Imagery

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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


What has eyes and can't see?


Grothar?
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Quoting YouCaneDoIt:


LOL! YES!!


Haha I gotta agree too. Luck is the future!
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Quoting Patrap:
00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
TD #18
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)





Early Model Wind Forecast



WOW what a butt whippin your Saints put on the Colts tonite......WOW
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Eye am not going to say it...



What has eyes and can't see?
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00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
TD #18
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)





Early Model Wind Forecast

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


What's that supposed to mean?


I thought you wanted me to talk that way. Nice analysis before.
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at 16.9N 84.8 Is one big new spin...WOW i would not think a new center is trying to relocate,,,must be mid level there.
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Eye am not going to say it...

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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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