Watching invest 91L as it brings rain to Florida

Invest area 91L over the Gulf of Mexico

Invest area 91L over the Gulf of Mexico

The area of showers and thunderstorms stretched out over portions of the Gulf of Mexico has brough some rain to the Florida peninsula but that’s about it. The area is also known as “Invest 91L” which is the first stage of a potential tropical cyclone’s life in the computer world. Why? The NHC designates areas of interest with a number, 90-99 and the letter “L” for Atlantic. This is done to initiate model guidance, allocate resources such as satellite floater images and possible recon missions to the system of interst. And, instead of calling every disturbance a system of interest, this numbering/letter system is used. Once we reach 99L, the pattern will begin again with 90L. I have a feeling we’ll see these invest numbers repeated a few times this season.

As for 91L and its future, let’s say it does not look too bright in terms of potential additional development. Upper level winds and the close proximity of mid-level dry air should keep the area from becoming more than it is now: a nuisance. It will spread additional rain over portions of the Florida peninsula for the remainder of the week before finally moving to the northeast, across Florida and in to the Atlantic. Just keep an eye on the radar in your area as these tropical downpours can be quite heavy and if you’re not used to them, you can get caught off guard, especially in traffic situations.

The rest of the torpics, including the east Pacific, are nice and quiet this fourth day of June.

I’ll have another blog post tomorrow.

M. Sudduth

Ernesto gaining organization as we usher in new tropical depression

TS Ernesto with Increasing Convection

TS Ernesto with Increasing Convection

TS Ernesto has developed rather deep convection tonight right over the center of circulation. You can plainly see this improvement in structure on various satellite imagery. The question is, will this be a temporary stay of execution before the inevitable happens and it’s ripped up or are we seeing the start of a significant intensification process? Wish I knew. This part (intensity forecasting) is the toughest aspect of tracking tropical cyclones. So many factors are at play and it is impossible for today’s computer models to grasp the totality of the complex nature of the inner core. So, we can only sit back and watch sat pics as they refresh, giving us another frame to the movie, quite literally. Of course, it helps to have recon out there as well but when none are flying, the eye in the sky, some 22,500 miles above the Earth, is how we watch these systems wax and wane. And tonight, it appears that Ernesto is on the up-tick, how long it lasts remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, out in the far eastern Atlantic, we now have tropical depression six. The NHC began advisories a little while ago and this too will have to be watched as it begins the long trek across the tropical Atlantic. There are some hurdles along its route but conditions seem to be a little more favorable than perhaps was earlier thought this year across the deep tropics and we may see quite a pattern coming up of several developments over the coming weeks.

As for 91L, the disturbance off the Florida coast, while it looks rather impressive on satellite imagery. it still lacks a well defined surface low and without that, it won’t develop much. However, these tropical disturbances can dump a lot of rain and bring gusty winds with any rain squalls that move over your area. Be aware of that this weekend across SE Florida. While there is a chance of further development, I do not see this system becoming a big problem for anyone outside of the heavy precip that is possible.

I’ll have regular updates throughout the weekend with frequent posts on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll also keep adding video blogs to the newly released HurricaneTrack iPhone app. Check it out in the App Store via the banner ad up on the top right column.