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August 2013

Tropical Development Possible Near Yucatan Later This Week – Flooding Currently Main Threat

   Posted by Levi at 11:51pm on August 12, 2013

If you have trouble viewing the embedded video below, try the direct Youtube link.




  • helen murphy says:

    thanks Levi. appreciate having a heads up re the possible heavy rains for central america (honduras)

  • Anonymous says:

    Any imapcts possible to TX from this, Levi?

    • jim jackson says:

      I would say that only south texas would stand any chance of receiving much needed rain. it would depend naturally on the strength of the storm.and the track of it. that is if it even made a storm. The people on houston tv weren’t too concerned about it. there is still a lot of shear going on. but they did leave open a slight possibility of something developing.

    • Levi says:

      In this pattern it would be very hard to get a system into Texas. It would be more likely to head to the north gulf coast or into Mexico. If the system takes the western route and things get timed just right, it could sneak far enough north to give southern Texas some rain, but this isn’t really the pattern to soak Texas, unfortunately.

  • roatangardener says:

    as usual flooding rains are not what we need but some steady rain for a day or two would be very welcomed here on roatan at the moment. thanks for the thorough explanation.

  • Storm says:

    Nice update Levi. As you said, depends on where we get development. I know the forecast steering maps agree with the FIM solution right now.

  • Mike Glaskott says:

    Great report Levi!
    THe NHC is currently only giving this system a 10-30% chance of developing at all, is it possible that there wont be any sort of development at all?

    • Levi says:

      Development isn’t guaranteed, especially with such a large system that has to take time to consolidate. The Yucatan Peninsula could also be too much of a hindrance to development. I think the odds of development are higher than the NHC is currently giving, though.

  • Eric (weather advance) says:

    Good video Levi. I’ll say is I’m surprised u didn’t jump on Dolly from 1996, one of your pre-season hurricane analog yrs. That storm’s timing of year is just about exactly on what we’re dealing with now, forming on August 19, & formed just west of Jamaica, went into Yucatan as a hurricane & Bay of Campeche on your more likely southern track for potential Erin. I looked at 500mb pattern in the days surrounding its formation & the pattern does appear fairly similar with the one being you mentioned in your video, & unlike in TS Florence, the axis of the Texas ridge is further north & is located in similar position to where it’s being depicted in model guidance. Only difference I find is that although there does appear to be some sort of stalled frontal boundary over the southern US & near the northern Gulf indicated by wind sudden wind shifts observed over the northern Gulf of Mexico & near the northern Gulf coast in the Plymouth State map archive (link) this is confirmed by the GOES-* satellite imagery from Aug 19, 1996 at 18z showing what appears to be a stalled frontal boundary to the north of Dolly. The issue I see here is that the associated washed out frontal boundary & subtropical high pressure area are noticeably further south with Dolly than what’s being depicted by the current model guidance, this suggests that the pattern was relatively suppressive in terms of track for this storm, as opposed to what could be coming down the road here where all of the significant pressure anomalies are a bit further north. Dolly kind of developed in generally the middle of the of the wave axis that our potential Erin will form in & of course became a minimal hurricane while it neared the Yucatan, few things to consider with the track of this upcoming system.

  • Eric (weather advance) says:

    I want to add, & you probably already know, this yr is shows a lot of similarities thus far to 1996, not just in the conditions at hand but actual storm systems, including TS Andrea earlier in the year taking a similar path to TS Josephine in 1996 & hurricane Bertha, quite an anomaly in July, possibly suggestive of how our July was to turn out in deep tropics. Specifically in “prime development region” south of 20 north & east of 60 west we observed 2 tropical cyclones of tropical storm strength or greater, a feat that has only occurred once in all hurricane seasons since 1950 & that season was 1979 & of course that year didn’t technically have 2 cyclones of TS strength or greater in July. Ana stands as only storm on record to develop east of the Antilles in June. Technically, this yr is 1st time since 1950 we’ve observed 2 systems of TS strength or greater in July in “prime development region” of Atlantic, south of 20N, east of 60W, quite amazing & indicative of very active Cape Verde season ahead. I also noted in that satellite imagery of Dolly very powerful tropical wave (likely TD #5 already) emerging off the African coast, interestingly this would later become the very powerful hurricane Edouard, which was followed by Fran & Gustav. This and the other interesting factors I’ve mentioned like -IOD & neutral ENSO yrs, my hurricane analogs I developed on March 24 (added 1996 later) (1960, 1969, 1979, 1996, 2004, & 2010) along with increasing Sahel rainfall much like in the 1920-1965 period when stronger African waves were commonplace, (only imagine what storms were like then, like 1928 Lake Okeechobee, may soon find out in the next several years). Interesting times ahead for sure, certainly don’t buy some of the model solutions like the GFS for no cape verde storms through Aug 27, data & observed conditions at hand don’t support such a solution.

  • Eric (weather advance) says:

    I’ll just put this fact out there. I know there’s been a lot of talk about how this year seems to resemble the 2004 hurricane season that devastated Florida, interestingly enough, this year is the 1st time since 1926 we’ve observed 2 tropical systems of at least tropical storm strength or greater form east of the Lesser Antilles in July, & the 1926 hurricane season of course was also a very bad year for Florida, the year of the Great Miami Hurricane. Hmm…

    • Bdaman says:

      Lots of variables not considered. What was the condition of the Arctic and Antarctic. Now we have record level Ice extent at both poles and are, and have been in a fall like pattern for the last several weeks as series of low pressure continue to draw down cold air from the Arctic. The Arctic is running 125 consecutive days below normal temperatures and dropped below 32F two weeks earlier than normal. We are cooling now. Back during the period late 20’s to 30’s we were headed for substantial warming including the Arctic.

      ‘Average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945’

      • Bdaman says:

        Try this exercise at the Cryosphere, not sure how cry and sphere were put together. March 1st widely accepted as first of spring, some say April. Compare April 30th 2013 to April 30 1979 the beginning of the record. Decrease 2013 by one year leaving the beginning date of April 30th 1979. If it says no image available skip that year and go to the next.

        When finished do the reverse. Leave April 30th 2013 as the end date and increase April 30th 1979 by one year increments.repeat 10 times.

        Dates preset to start

        Cryosphere Today Daily Sea Ice Comparison
        Not only is ice increasing the snow cap is increasing. We are cooling now.

        • Bdaman says:

          The above example COULD be the reason why the United States is in the longest stretch in the written hurricane record to go without a MAJOR Hurricane Strike Cat 3 or Higher, approx 8 years. World Wide Tropical Cyclone Activity remains between the 30-40 year lows, 4 years in a row and also show a decrease in the number of stronger Tropical Cyclones.

  • Dave P. says:

    Both you graphs show arrows to southern Texas then you say Texas wont get anything.Which is it?

    • Levi says:

      The graphic below shows a track window between the two orange arrows, meant to represent the possible spray of tracks through the western gulf. Texas is left out of that window. I think it would take a special timetable to get this system into Texas, and it’s one of the least likely things to happen.

  • Dave P. says:

    Is it possible that the second short wave brings it north out of the B.O.C. then gets under the Texas ridge that shunts it westward,like Hurricane Britt in 1999 ?

    • Levi says:

      That’s why the orange track window in my graphic bends a bit northward and then back westward, but as I said above, it would be very difficult to get it all the way to Texas. If things happen just right, some rain could get into southern Texas, but getting the low itself into the TX coast seems unlikely at this time.

  • Eric (weather advance) says:

    I’m very intrigued by the fact at how similar our current satellite in the Atlantic seems to resemble August 18, 1996, which had Dolly developing in the NW Caribbean much like 92L & a strong AEW was emerging off the coast as well, like 93L. That strong AEW started a train of storms that were to develop near Africa, with that system becoming major hurricane Edouard (absolutely beautiful annular hurricane), interesting.

  • Dave P. says:

    Either way Levi ,I enjoy your blog very much.You use common sense plus computer models to base your opinion.Most mets use models only,which makes you stand above the rest.

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