Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Evening Invest 99 update...still disorganized

Invest 99 is now sitting just north of Central Cuba.  It is a little better organized today compared to yesterday as more showers and thunderstorms have developed around this system.  However, it overall is still disorganized.  It is still fighting off wind shear and some dry air.  Invest 99 is moving to the WNW and will enter the Florida Straits on Sunday.  NHC is giving it a medium chance for development in 2 days and in 5 days.  The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate the system on Sunday.

Once it enters the Florida Straits, the system will have slightly better conditions for development.  Then it is forecast to continue to move to the WNW into the Eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday.  At this point, there will be better conditions for development where water temperatures are in the upper 80s.  However, the forecast models are still very uncertain of where Invest 99 will go.  The spaghetti plots show it could go anywhere from the Central Texas Coast to South Florida - basically anywhere in the Northern Gulf of Mexico! It is hard to put any faith into them right now.  Like I had mentioned yesterday, until there is a closed center of circulation and a developed area of low pressure, the forecast models will continue to have a hard time showing where the system will go.  Right now, they are best used to look for trends.  The trends I'm seeing show it moving at least into the Eastern Gulf and a lot of them show it turning north.  This will be something I will watch over the next few days.  

The latest GFS model now shows the system staying weak and possibly making a landfall over the Big Bend of Florida on Friday.  This morning, the model showed the system not developing into anything, so that is a change between the two runs. It is LIKELY this will change many more times too!


The Euro (ECMWF) now shows it developing into at least a tropical storm, if not more, and heading toward Pensacola, FL on Saturday.  This morning it had it as a weak low moving up the East Coast of Florida and staying out a sea.  Obviously, this is MUCH different than what it shows now, and it will LIKELY change again many times!  


Again, you can't put much faith into the models right now.  All you can do is use these as a guide!!  We will just have to wait and see what Invest 99 will do tomorrow and early this week. I know you want to know for sure what it will do, but I just can't answer that right now.  There are WAAAAAAAAY too many uncertainties in place to make that call.  

Since there have been SOOOO many changes already in what Invest 99 could so, and there will be SOOO many more changes coming, make sure you get the latest updates from me or any other reliable meteorologist.  Please be careful not to get caught up in some of these Facebook pages that are doing updates! They may have a lot of "likes", but know they most of them are not being updated by degreed  meteorologists! Did you know that?!?  It is true, so use caution if you see those pages show up in your feeds.  

Now is still a good time to get prepared just in case this system does develop in the Gulf of Mexico.  Have a plan of what to do and where to go.  Please stay tuned to WWL-TV and my updates here, on Facebook and Twitter.  Have a good night, and I will post another update on Sunday. -Dave

Friday, August 26, 2016

Invest 99 remains poorly organized and the future of it is uncertain this morning

Invest 99 remains poorly organized on this Friday Morning.  It remains a broad area of low pressure

that is associated with a tropical wave located near Eastern Cuba. This low is producing only a few showers and storms to the south and east of the of the center.  This system continues to fight wind shear and dry air.  Conditions are not expected to get any better today as it moves to the west around 13 mph.  If it continues to move to the west, it could get ripped up over the mountains of Cuba. Also, the shear would have to relax for it to develop further.  As of this morning, it does not look like this will happen today.  NHC is giving is a low chance for development in 2 days and a medium chance in 5 days.

The low is forecast to continue on a W-NW track this weekend, and there is a chance it could get into the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical wave.  If it does get into the Gulf, then conditions could be a little more favorable for development late this weekend and early next week.  However, the forecast models are still not in agreement, and there is a large spread in possible tracks for Invest 99.  As of this morning, the Euro (ECMWF) model now has only a weak system that tracks north into the Bahamas and stays out a sea.  The GFS model now shows it remaining weak, but it does take it into the Northern Gulf.  Therefore, until there is an actual closed center of circulation, the forecast models will continue to have a hard time showing where the system will go.

Needless to say, there is still plenty of uncertainty of where it could go.  This forecast will continue to change each day, so stay aware of the changes.  Only trust meteorologists and reliable sources for updates on this system!

Now is a good time to be prepared just in case it does develop into something in the Gulf of Mexico. Have a plan of what to do and where to go.  Stay tuned to WWL-TV and my social media updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. -Dave

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Invest 99 remains poorly organized as is moves into the Bahamas

We are closely watching the slow development of Invest 99.  Hurricane Hunters flew into it this morning, and good news...it is still not developed!  Actually, it looks worse than it did 24 hours ago.  It is a broad area of low pressure - meaning a large area of circulation, and it continues to lack a well-defined center. The system remains disorganized as it sits north of the Island of Hispaniola. 

Most of the storms are now absent from the system.  The nearest ones are over the Dominican Republic and Haiti, not near the center of lowest pressure thanks to moderate wind shear and dry air aloft. You need the storms to be close to and around the center for it to develop. If it can get better organized, there is a chance it could become a tropical depression, but it does not look like that will happen for at least a few days as it quickly moves to the WNW at 21 mph.  Another thing you typically need for development is for the movement to be less than 18 mph - something it doesn't have right now.  Hurricane Hunters will fly into it again later today, so we will get some more data from it into the models.

Forecast models are still not agreeing with how strong it will be or where it will go.  There is a very wide spread in the models.  The eastern side of the models show it could move NW and stay east of Florida without ever making landfall. The western spread show it could go across the Gulf of Mexico and make a landfall over South Texas or Mexico. This morning, the GFS shows little development of the system, and has it moving up the West Coast of Florida.  The Euro (ECMWF) still develops it into a possible hurricane, but now has it over the West Coast of Florida. (See images below) Yesterday, the Euro had it over Western Louisiana. There is an upper-level area of high pressure over the Eastern U.S., and this is what will steer Invest 99.  If it is weak, then it would pull the system more to the north.  If it is weak, then it would steer it more to the NW and West. We will also have to watch this to see how strong it gets.  There is a chance that if this system can get out of the dry air and wind shear over the Bahamas, it could develop into something this weekend.  Also, if it could make it into the Gulf, there is a chance it could try to develop into something there since conditions are more favorable for development. Again, we will have to wait and see. 

0Z 8/25/16 ECMWF, forecast time 1 AM Wednesday, Aug. 31

6Z 8/25/16 GFS, forecast time 1 AM Wednesday, Aug. 31
Clearly, there are A LOT of uncertainties with this system, and it is too early to speculate on what specific impacts might occur from the Bahamas, Florida or Gulf of Mexico. Right now, it looks like this could be at least a heavy rain maker for Hispaniola, Bahamas and Florida regardless if it develops.


Here is my Noon Weathercast Update on Invest 99:
http://www.wwltv.com/weather/video-forecast/noon-8-25-pinpoint-forecast/308221943

What you should do now: 
  • Realize it is the end of August, and it's very common for tropical systems to form this time of year.
  • Keep an eye on Invest 99 over the next few days. 
  • Watch my updates on WWL-TV each day.  
  • Stay calm and have a plan in case something comes our way.
  • Remember, the Baton Rouge area is going to be out of commission for evacuation purposes due to the flooding.  Many of the hotels are already full.
  • Please know that there is A LOT of uncertainty in the forecast, and expect plenty of daily changes.

It is not the time to get overly excited about this, but just stay weather aware. It is the end of August, and historically we are in the Prime for tropical systems to come toward Louisiana.  Stay tuned for updates later today. -Dave

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Watching Invest 99 closely as it gets better organized in the Caribbean

I'm still keeping a close eye on how Invest 99 develops. Hurricane Hunters find that #Invest99 still lacks a well-defined circulation, but it's producing tropical-storm force winds in squalls over the Northern Leeward Islands. However, this system could become a tropical storm or tropical depression at any time during the next couple of days. Conditions could become more favorable for development when the system is near the Bahamas by the weekend. At the moment it is a broad (large) area of low pressure. If there is evidence that it does develop a closed low, then we could have a tropical depression or storm later today or Thursday.  


It is currently going through some dry air and wind shear, so the conditions are not very favorable for significant development over the next couple of days.  Right now, the bulk of the thunderstorms are not wrapping around anything.  They are getting blown off to the SE.  However, in the next few days the system will move out of the dry air and wind shear as it moves NW into the Bahamas.  

Please know that it is very difficult to forecast developing tropical systems.  When you take a look at the latest forecast model plots, take them with a grain of salt.  Until this broad area of low pressure forms into something, the models will only have limited data.  Every time the Hurricane Hunters fly into it, all of the new data will get ingested into the model runs.  This will give them better accuracy on where the storm could go.  


Now there have been a number of social media posts showing a storm in the Gulf of Mexico next week.  While one main model, the European (ECMWF) is showing that, many other models are not.  The Euro continues to show a tropical system in the Gulf, but it can't decide on where it may make landfall.  The GFS has shown possible landfalls on either side of the Florida Peninsula.  Below are images of the forecast models for 1 PM next Wednesday, August 31. You can clearly see the two models DO NOT agree on where Invest 99, or what is develops into, will go.

Euro 8/24/16 0Z Run: Forecast time: 1 PM Wednesday, August 31



GFS 12Z 8/24/16 Run: Forecast time: 1 PM Wednesday, August 31

Could this move across South Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico? Yes. But, it is not a certainty. If it does, it could wind up anywhere from Brownsville, TX to Panama City Beach by the middle of next week. Needless to say, we will continue to watch it closely.  By the way...the last hurricane to make landfall in the United States was Hurricane Arthur on July 4, 2014.  


What you should do now: 


  • Realize it is the end of August, and it is very common for tropical systems to form this time of year.
  • Keep an eye on Invest 99 over the next few days. 
  • Watch my updates on WWL-TV each day.  
  • Stay calm and have a plan in case something comes our way.
  • Remember, the Baton Rouge area is going to be out of commission for evacuation purposes due to the flooding.  Many of the hotels are already full.
  • Please know that there is A LOT of uncertainty in the forecast, and expect plenty of changes.


Here is my latest video forecast: 


Again, it is not the time to get overly excited about this, but just stay weather aware. It is the end of August, and historically we are in the Prime for tropical systems to come toward Louisiana.  -Dave

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A possible tropical system in the Gulf? What??

I'm sure you have seen or heard talk today either on air or across social media sites about a possible tropical system (Invest 99) in the Gulf of Mexico next week. What you may have seen is just one run of the European Forecast Model. The model is developing a possible hurricane from poorly organized tropical wave as of this writing, and moving it from the Bahamas into the Gulf of Mexico.

   
ECMWF 12Z Tue., Forecast time: 7 AM, Wed. Aug 31
Currently, this tropical wave is located a couple hundred miles from the Lesser Antilles. It is getting better organized, but Hurricane Hunters flew into it today, and found the wave elongated (stretched out) with a poorly defined circulation. It is fighting off dry air and some wind shear. However, it is forecast to become better organized over the next few days as it moves NW over warmer waters and less wind shear. It will head toward the Leeward Islands, Greater Antilles and the Bahamas.

Please know that tropical systems are very difficult to forecast in their development stages, so when you take a look at the forecast model plots, take them with a grain of salt. Hurricane Hunters are going to investigate Invest 99 again on Wednesday. If they find it better developed, then a tropical depression could form. NHC is giving it a high chance (70%) for development over the next 5 days.



NHC 5 Day Tropical Weather Outlook
Tuesday Evening IR Satellite of Invest 99

Now if Invest 99 does develop, you will likely see a change in the forecast model plots.  The reason for this is that it will now get all the data from the Hurricane Hunters and NOAA planes ingested into the model runs.  This will help to give the models more accuracy.  Right now, there is not much data going into the models.  It is also worth noting that the GFS and Euro models have many ensemble forecasts too. This means that each time the model runs (GFS 4 times a day, Euro twice a day) there are different starting conditions put into the model, and you get a number of different outputs. Here is the GFS and Euro ensembles today..check out the HUGE spread in where Invest 99 could go just based off of these two models!

Euro 12Z Forecast Ensembles take Invest 99 from Mexico to out to sea in the Atlantic

GFS 18Z Forecast Ensembles take Invest 99 from East Texas to South Florida

Latest forecast models plots
My Thoughts: This is what I'm watching right now...the forecast models are showing a large area of high pressure located off the East Coast of the U.S.  This would cause Invest 99 to steer/move NW to W toward the Bahamas, Florida and then possibly the Gulf of Mexico.  This tropical wave will move into a more favorable area for development over the next few days over the Bahamas, and the trends are for it to become a tropical depression by the weekend. IF, and I say IF, this system were to develop and head into the Gulf, it would be a week away.

I know with the record flooding we had across SE Louisiana recently, the last thing we need is a tropical system and more rain.  

What you should do now: 

  • Realize it is the end of August, and it is very common for tropical systems to form this time of year.
  • Keep an eye on Invest 99 over the next few days. 
  • Watch my updates on WWL-TV each day.  
  • Stay calm and have a plan in case something comes our way.
  • Remember, the Baton Rouge area is going to be out of commission for evacuation purposes due to the flooding.  Many of the hotels are already full.
  • Please know that there is A LOT of uncertainty in the forecast, and expect plenty of changes.
Now is not the time to get overly excited, but just stay weather aware. -Dave