Forecast for 97L

Posted By: Marty

Forecast for 97L - 09/30/13 12:52 PM

A low pressure system (Invest 97L) over the Central Caribbean is generating heavy rains from Jamaica to the coast of Panama, and is moving northwest at about 8 mph. Satellite loops show 97L has a modest area of disorganized heavy thunderstorms. The broad area of spin 97L had on Sunday is less apparent today. Dry air covers the Northwest Caribbean, and this dry air is slowing development. Ocean temperatures are a very warm 29C (84F), and wind shear has fallen since Sunday, and is now a moderate 10 - 20 knots.

Figure 1. Latest satellite image of Invest 97L.

Forecast for 97L
Marginally favorable conditions for development are expected for the next five days, according to the latest SHIPS model forecast, with moderate levels of wind shear (10 - 20 knots), but an atmosphere that will grow drier as 97L approaches the Northwest Caribbean and Southeast Gulf of Mexico. None of the reliable computer forecast models develop 97L into a tropical depression over the next five days. These models (the GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET) predict a northwesterly track for 97L over the next three days, bringing the center into the Yucatan Channel between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba by Thursday. On this path, 97L will bring heavy rains of 2 - 4" to Jamaica and Southwest Haiti on Monday, to the Cayman Islands and Central and Eastern Cuba on Tuesday and Wednesday, and to Western Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday. It is uncertain if 97L will then turn northeast and affect Florida late in the week, or stay in the Central Gulf of Mexico and head north into Louisiana. In their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 97L 2-day odds of development of 10%, and 5-day odds of 30%.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Forecast for 97L - 10/01/13 02:20 PM

97L is getting a bit better organized. The weather mavens do not expect it to get big, nor strong nor for it to hit Belize.
These are the same weather mavens who told us this would be a very busy year for hurricanes.
What I'm getting at here is that I don't think we can count on the predictors. When I see a round blob, with circulation nearby my instinct is to watch carefully and check my store of goodies. I wouldn't cancel a party but I would buy some extra foodstuffs.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Forecast for 97L - 10/01/13 02:34 PM

Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Forecast for 97L - 10/01/13 08:20 PM

I agree very smart.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Forecast for 97L - 10/03/13 01:16 PM

Tropical Storm Karen Forms in the Gulf of Mexico
Jeff Masters

2:09 PM GMT on October 03, 2013

Hurricane Watches are flying along the U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Karen heads north-northwest into the Gulf of Mexico. Karen, the eleventh named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, formed about 8 am EDT Thursday in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico. It's not often that one sees a new storm start out with 60 mph sustained winds, but that's what an Air Force hurricane hunter plane found this morning near 7:30 am EDT, when they sampled the northern portion of the storm. A ship located about 50 miles northeast of the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula measured sustained winds of 51 mph near the same time. Satellite loops show that Karen is a medium-sized storm with an area of very intense thunderstorms along its northern and eastern flanks. Wind shear has risen since Wednesday, and is now a moderately high 20 knots, thanks to strong upper-level winds out of the west-southwest. These strong winds are keeping any heavy thunderstorms from developing on the west side of Karen's center of circulation, by driving dry air that is over the Yucatan Peninsula and Western Gulf of Mexico into Karen's core. As a result, Karen has a lopsided comma-shape on satellite imagery. Karen has a strong upper-level outflow to its north that is helping ventilate the storm, though, and ocean temperatures are a very warm 29C (84F). Between 7 am and 9:30 am EDT the Hurricane Hunters made three passes though the center of Karen, and the central pressure stayed roughly constant at 1004 mb, so Karen is not undergoing much change.

Figure 1. Odds of receiving more than 4" of rain over a five-day period beginning at 2 am EDT Thursday October 3, 2013, as predicted by the experimental GFDL ensemble model.

Forecast for Karen
Wind shear will steadily increase as the storm heads north-northwest, and shear will reach a high 25 knots by Saturday morning as Karen closes in on the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the latest SHIPS model forecast. The atmosphere will grow drier as Karen moves into the Northern Gulf of Mexico, and the drier air combined with increasing wind shear will retard development, making only slow intensification likely through Friday. A trough of low pressure and an associated cold front will be moving through Louisiana on Saturday, and the associated upper-level westerly winds will be able to turn Karen more to the northeast as it approaches the coast on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The higher shear at that time should be able to induce weakening, and the 8 am EDT Thursday wind probability forecast from NHC gave a 28% chance Karen will be a hurricane at 2 am EDT Saturday, down from 44% on Friday afternoon. Most of the models predict landfall will occur along the western Florida Panhandle Saturday afternoon or evening. The usually reliable European model has Karen making landfall over Eastern Louisiana, though. If Karen does follow this more westerly path, the storm will be weaker, since there is more dry air and higher wind shear to the west. Since almost all of Karen's heavy thunderstorms will be displaced to the east by high wind shear, there will be relatively low rainfall totals of 1 - 3" to the immediate west of where the center makes landfall. Much higher rainfall totals of 4 - 8" can be expected to the east. To judge the possibilities of receiving tropical storm-force winds at your location, I recommend using the NHC wind probability forecast. The highest odds of tropical storm-force winds (45 - 55%) are along the coast from Buras, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Florida.

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