Gulf of Mexico disturbance; Ultramarathon today in Death Valley

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:01 PM GMT on July 24, 2006

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An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave and a weak trough of surface pressure is generating some intense thunderstorms with strong wind gusts over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. At 10am EDT, the winds at buoy 42002, 275 miles South-Southeast of Sabine, TX, recorded a wind gust of 50 mph. Sustained winds have been in the 25-30 mph range at this buoy the past few hours. The thunderstorm activity has increased since yesterday, but wind shear remains high, 15-25 knots, which is probably too high to allow a tropical depression to develop today. There was a hurricane hunter flight scheduled to take off at 11:30am today to investigate the disturbance, but it was cancelled. The disturbance shows no signs of a ciculation, as one can monitor via Brownsville, TX radar.

Both the GFS and NOGAPS models are forecasting the wind shear to fluctuate up and down through Wednesday, but probably remain above 15 knots. This amount of shear is likely too much for the disturbance to develop into a tropical depression. By Thursday, the wind shear is forecast to drop sharply, increasing the chances for development--if the disturbance hasn't moved over land by then. The disturbance is close to the Mexican coast, and may move ashore by Tuesday near the Texas/Mexico border. NHC has not scheduled a Hurricane Hunter flight for Tuesday.


Figure 1. Preliminary model forecast tracks for the area of disturbed weather in the Southwest Gulf of Mexico.

New wave to watch
A large tropical wave with a surface circulation is near 14N 45W, 1100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands. The wave is moving west at 15 mph, and should reach the Lesser Antilles islands on Thursday. The wave has entered a region of low wind shear of 5-10 knots which is forecast to persist for the next three days, so some slow development is possible. The primary impediment will be dry air--the wave is surrounded by a huge cloud of African dust and dry air, and thunderstorm activity is currently minimal. A Hurricane Hunter airplane is tenatively scheduled to investigate the system on Thursday.


Figure 2. This morning's visible image of a tropical wave to watch 1100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands.

More heat news
The heat continued to set records across the Southwest U.S. over the weekend. On Saturday, the mercury hit an unofficial 120 degrees in Usta, South Dakota, tying that state's all-time high temperature record. The record is expected to be certified by the National Climatic Data Center, according to the local National Weather Service office. The 95 degree low temperature yesterday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport tied the second all-time warmest low temperature. The all-time warmest low temperature was 96 degrees, set on July 15, 2003.

OK, this is NUTS!
The high temperature in Death Valley reached 125 degrees both Saturday and Sunday, which should cheer up the competitors in today's Badwater Ultramarathon, billed as "the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet". The race starts out in Badwater, Death Valley (just down the road from Furnace Creek, Dante's Peak, and other hellishly named Death Valley attractions!). The competitors run non-stop for 135 miles and three days across Death Valley in the heat of day, across three mountain ranges with a combined vertical ascent of 13,000', and finish at 8,000 feet altitude on Mt. Whitney. Not recommended for the sane!

Jeff Masters

Dante's Peak (waytobleu)
View of Badwater
Dante's Peak

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577. ProgressivePulse
8:49 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Were talking the Atlantic here where the High is King.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
575. code1
7:46 PM CDT on July 24, 2006
Fshhead, I didn't mean that in a derogatory manner at all. I have my opinions on it as well, have just kept them to myself. I felt that because I asked Randrewl a question, the chefboy stuck his nose in.
Randrewl, I spent childhood up to high school there and hadn't been back in a long time until '04. A lot has changed!!
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573. ProgressivePulse
8:43 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
CMC is the outlier Randrewl, toss it out. The CMC was predicting a breakdown of the high after Beryl, which as you see did not happen.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
572. Patrap
12:42 AM GMT on July 25, 2006
...latest visible loops show some high angle lighting suggesting closed low forming 25-30 nm NE of Tampico..latest dvorak imagery suggest same..
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569. Fshhead
12:44 AM GMT on July 25, 2006
Posted By: code1 at 7:40 PM CDT on July 24, 2006.
cheffjeff or whoever, I am not one of the global warmer fighters, thank you very much

WELL... I guess thats my cue!!!!!!!
Iam on of the global warming fighters, Thank you very much!!! LOL
Member Since: November 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 9960
566. hurricane23
8:44 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
The 18z GFS brings this system across the islands, Puerto Rico, and then to a position near Eastern Cuba and the southern bahamas. At the same time strong ridging is building in along the east coast from eastern canada. If this pattern verifies then the cyclone would continue w/wnw and across Cuba or Florida and into the Gulf. A potentially very interesting situation is on the horizon over the next 7-15 days.....
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13840
565. Weather456
8:39 PM AST on July 24, 2006
Whether or not the center of Tampico, Mexico. Mexico/Texas will experience flooding rains.

The NHC cares more about warning people about 98L's flash flooding rains than seeing if they could name it TD 03.

Must commend them.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
564. hurricane23
8:43 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
The 18z GFS brings this system across the islands, Puerto Rico, and then to a position near Eastern Cuba and the southern bahamas. At the same time strong ridging is building in along the east coast from eastern canada. If this pattern verifies then the cyclone would continue w/wnw and across Cuba or Florida and into the Gulf. A potentially very interesting situation is on the horizon over the next 7-15 days.....
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13840
563. code1
7:40 PM CDT on July 24, 2006
cheffjeff or whoever, I am not one of the global warmer fighters, thank you very much. I just noted that Randrewl lives close to where I grew up. Simple question there, thanks for the answer Randrewl. Was in Stuart after the storm hit there the year before last.
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562. cjnew
7:42 PM CDT on July 24, 2006
Opal 1995
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559. orlandocanewatcher
12:39 AM GMT on July 25, 2006
WOW! Just got back from vacation in the Grand Canyon and spent some time in Phoenix Airport where we landed for the start of our trip. The heat was incredible!! I was actually happy to get back to Orlando's heat. LOL
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556. Weather456
8:35 PM AST on July 24, 2006
ProgressivePulse, that is why I'm not trusting any models.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
553. chefjeff
8:33 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Randrewl, Pleeeeeeeeeease don't get the global warming people started.
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552. hurricane23
8:35 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Guys it Doesn't really matter if 98L develops an LLC or not, it WILL produce wind gusts to 50-60 kts offshore in squalls over the next 24-48 hours. Outside of the squalls, there isn't much of a pressure gradient out there, only 15-20 kt winds or so.

Late this afternoon, whatever MLC there was does appear to be inland.I Could not find any evidence of any LLC on surface obs or high-res visible images. That's not to say that a weak LLC might not form offshore along the lower Texas coast tomorrow then move quickly inland.

To me the Question is what will the NHC do with this? Remember Grace in 2003? Offshore platforms were reporting 35-45 kt winds in squalls and the NHC called it TS Grace. Recon investigated and could find no evidence of an LLC. It was just a tropical wave. So you never know what the NHC will call a TS (or TD).

I think it won't develop any LLC before the whole mess moves inland into Texas over the next 24 hours or so. But it DOES mean very heavy rain for the Texas coastal counties over the next few days. 5-10 inches may not be that uncommon. Looks like the focus will be southwest of Houston, from just east of Matagorda Bay south to Corpus Christi, maybe a tad farther south. Also, could be some heavy rain inland NW of Corpus Christi and west of Victoria.




Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13840
549. ihave27windows
12:33 AM GMT on July 25, 2006
Must by a typo from the NHC.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They've been making that same typo all day. lol
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548. Weather456
8:33 PM AST on July 24, 2006
I threw away 98L, doesnt seem to have any chance, but it was fun tracking it. Down to more matters, CATL Low, not a wave any more.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
547. code1
7:32 PM CDT on July 24, 2006
Randrewl, where you here last year? I don't recall seeing you.
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544. weatherguy03
8:31 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Not sure JP. that does seem strange. They still need to watch this becasue if it would move back in the water it could develop. And also its close proximity to Texas. They are being vigilant.
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543. Patrap
12:27 AM GMT on July 25, 2006
...always wary of tropical disturbances South of New Orleans..65.Betsy...69.Camille ,..85.Elena,,and the Thing we called Katrina here..watch in real time..my motto..We went from the Jetsons to the Flintstones in 3 hrs last August 29th..watch what you ask for...
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542. ProgressivePulse
8:31 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
THIS CENTRAL ATLC WAVE WILL LIKELY INCREASE IN
FORWARD SPEED OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT TRACKS UNDER A
STRONG LOW-LEVEL RIDGE...BRINGING IT INTO THE TROPICAL ATLC
WATERS TUE NIGHT AND THROUGH THE E CARIBBEAN THU AND FRI.
That statement right there rules out the CMC
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
541. Weather456
8:31 PM AST on July 24, 2006
Taz, yep
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
539. Weather456
8:28 PM AST on July 24, 2006
2004 in the making, God forbid the dust clears, which is going to happen. Unlike wind shear dust clears out as it moves to cover more areas.

And recent warming of the waters near africa was due to dust.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
537. Raysfan70
8:28 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
03 check your mail
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536. ProgressivePulse
8:28 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Baby ummmmmmm "Get in my Bellly" HAHA
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
535. weatherguy03
8:27 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
And what 23 has!..LOL That is PP's baby right there. PP said that one will develop!
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534. ProgressivePulse
8:25 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
That would be the one 23!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
533. weatherguy03
8:25 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Now what 456 has is more interesting. Although the picking up in speed is not a good thing for development.
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532. Tazmanian
5:24 PM PDT on July 24, 2006
so is 99L and 90L be comeing up in a few days or any time now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115387
531. weatherguy03
8:23 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
So, if it is near Tampico, which is on land. And most likely the steering winds are not going to bring it NNE. If anything it may move NNW. Then it isnt gonna develop.
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530. ProgressivePulse
8:23 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Looking at the hyperactive EPAC 456, I say Dr. Grey is about on target with 17.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5452
529. hurricane23
8:24 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
A 1008 MB LOW IS CENTERED ALONG THE COAST OF SENEGAL NEAR 15N16W
MOVING W AT 5-10 KT. SURFACE OBSERVATIONS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
DEPICT LOCATION. SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 11N-16N
BETWEEN 13W-19W.


8 PM Discussion.

Will it be this one that kicks our Cape verde season into gear?
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13840
528. Weather456
8:23 PM AST on July 24, 2006
HIGH AMPLITUDE TROPICAL WAVE WITH PRONOUNCED INVERTED V PATTERN
IS ALONG 45W S OF 20N MOVING WEST NEAR 15 KT. A 1010 MB LOW IS
ON THE WAVE AXIS NEAR 13N. THIS WAVE AND LOW REMAIN WELL-DEFINED
SATELLITE IMAGERY. THIS FEATURE CONTINUES TO BE VOID OF ANY
SIGNIFICANT CONVECTION. SCATTERED SHOWERS ARE FROM 10N-24N
BETWEEN 42W-51W. THIS CENTRAL ATLC WAVE WILL LIKELY INCREASE IN
FORWARD SPEED OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT TRACKS UNDER A
STRONG LOW-LEVEL RIDGE...BRINGING IT INTO THE TROPICAL ATLC
WATERS TUE NIGHT AND THROUGH THE E CARIBBEAN THU AND FRI.

this a not a tropical wave, its a tropical low.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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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