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Gulf of Mexico disturbance; Ultramarathon today in Death Valley

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

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

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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128. buckeyefan1
5:04 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Message board link is on the main page. It is the icon with the lightning strike on it in the middle of the page. message board
On there there is a parachat icon that works like IM(instant message)for real time discussions. I am usually on there. Please feel free to drop by!
Thank you all again!
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127. buckeyefan1
5:00 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Red....sorry it took so long to respond. I went to lunch! Here is the link to our site! Please feel free to post on the message board!
Any sugesstions that you all have on what info you would like to see is GREATLY appriciated!!
Thanks again everyone! :-D
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126. C2News
5:01 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
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123. rapidintensify
4:51 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
LOL Randrewl, at these very unorganized stages of development history shows that the centers of circulation reform quite often, just never know where!
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122. hurricanealley
4:50 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
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119. rapidintensify
4:44 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
If the LLC in the GOM reforms even 50 miles to the east, we could be dealing with a major concern mid to late week for the Northern or Western gulf.
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118. palmettobug53
4:44 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
TOMS See Aerosols, on the menu at left on this page.
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116. Weather456
12:41 PM AST on July 24, 2006
JP, african dust. at 11am EDT on July 24.
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114. hurricane23
12:36 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
I agree nash this wave might be a threat to somewere along the eastcoast and that includes florida but for now iam just watching and waiting to see if more convection continues to flare up.
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113. Weather456
12:36 PM AST on July 24, 2006
Trouper415, yeah i see it, even on visible.

Looks like the warm waters is taking its part.
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112. Weather456
12:34 PM AST on July 24, 2006
CATL Wave has increase in convection from 3 days ago. all it needs is more convection. I give until Friday, when its near me in the Leeward Islands.
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111. Trouper415
4:31 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Last few frames show it starting to blow up.

Good water vapor loop


Good Rainbow Satellite


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110. V26R
4:36 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Has anyone actualy did research to determine if the Dust from Africa does supress Storms in the East Atlantic?
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108. StormJunkie
4:34 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
amazin, which one are you talking about?
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107. nash28
4:33 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Hey hurricane23. I think the wave out E. of the Antilles is going to be something to watch for residents in FL as well as the east coast. I believe this wave will make its way through the dry air and shear into the carrib...
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105. Weather456
12:33 PM AST on July 24, 2006
amazinwxman, you took the word right out of my mouth...LOL
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103. StormJunkie
4:27 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
LF, I have seen several of those circulations with little to no convection persist for several days. It is a wait and see situation.

Alright ya'll check back in later.

StormJunkie.com-Forecast models, imagery, marine data, wind data, preparedness info and much more.
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102. amazinwxman
4:30 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
surface low has formed now guys it could be a TD anywhere from 5pm TWO and on. The showers/storms also are better organized a lil' better. It's getting it's act together or at least really trying (bless it's heart).
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100. Weather456
12:25 PM AST on July 24, 2006
SJ, I will still hold on to the 2 disturbances. It is better too hold on to them, so they dont catch me off guard. If they dont develop, well it has happen several times this year, so it is nothing new.
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99. hurricane23
12:28 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Ok Floater 2 has know been put on this LOW.

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98. Weather456
12:22 PM AST on July 24, 2006
jphurricane2006, it could happen. But another that could happen, is that Daniel dies out move west and become a disturbance in the WPAC.
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96. littlefish
4:20 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Agreed SJ, that spin looks pretty out in the central Atlantic, but there's not much but skin and bones to it right now. It'll have to fight dust and dry air. And maybe yet more wind shear (it's everywhere, man!) when it gets near the Antilles. Nice little spin though. And no shear where it is at presently.
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95. wxwatcher
4:15 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Actually JP, you can see the convection on the short range KBRO radar. The long range shows a mass of convection over the gulf and it looks as if it has a more NW motion than the almost due North motion we saw last night.

That's certainly not good for further development... but is great news for South Texas as they could sure use the rain.

I'm going to agree with EWX and CRP to an extent in that it's going to come ashore somewhere near BRO, then move NNW toward Alice and George West, then toward SAT, and then off to the NE with the bulk of the heavy rainfall along and just east of that track.
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94. tbonehfx
4:15 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Thanks Rand and Weatherguy03 for those windshear links. Novice question: What is the significance of high negative windshear values? I undersatnd why they are negative, since it is simply a difference in upper and lower atmosphere windspeeds, but what impact would these shear values have on cyclone formation?
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93. littlefish
4:17 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Problem with BOC is close to land and huge wind shear. Problem with Eastern Atlantic is African dust... I do like the swirl though that Dr M pointed out, but the dust is chasing it down from behind.
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91. hurricane23
12:16 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Recon is suppose to investigate the area on thursday.NHC is clearly watching this very closely.
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90. StormJunkie
4:07 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Afternoon :)

456, that next wave in your picture is way too far south, and unless it gains some latitude then it has no chance.

As for 98L, it has an outside chance of making TD, but it should be on land before it can pick up too much strength. I also noticed that there was no GFDL 00z or 06Z run for 98L, did they cancel the invest?

The central Atl wave is pretty interesting though. Very well defined circulation. As the good Dr said, this area will need to be watched if it fights off the dry air. Also of note is the CMC model and its forecast of this wave. I am not putting any credit in to the CMC yet due to it wanting to develop everything this year. That being said, keep an eye on that wave.
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89. Weather456
12:16 PM AST on July 24, 2006
ihave27windows. agree with you on that. 98L is pulling along.....just waiting, until it makes its move.
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88. Weather456
12:14 PM AST on July 24, 2006
JP, cape verde waves are the worst. They are so more organized than those NW caribbean waves and Upper level features.

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86. hurricane23
12:14 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Yea JP its getting to that time of year.Its been queit till now but the heart of the season is still in front of us.
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85. ihave27windows
4:15 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
I'm a complete novice here, but, I gotta tell ya, the BOC looks very ominous to me.
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83. hurricane23
12:12 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Yea guys this could get interesting....
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81. Weather456
12:08 PM AST on July 24, 2006
hurricane23, Thursday they are goin into the CATL wave
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78. hurricane23
12:07 PM EDT on July 24, 2006
Guys iam getting the feeling things are about to get going across the atlantic....


1000 AM EDT MON 24 JUL 2006
VALID 25/1100Z TO 26/1100Z JUL 2006
TSPOD NUMBER.....06-055

18.0N 060.0W FOR 27/1800Z.

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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