Sunday, August 19, 2012

Invest 94 Poses Serious Threat To Gulf of Mexico

I have looked at a lot of data this evening and have come to the conclusion that the Gulf of Mexico is indeed at risk from Invest 94, soon to be Tropical cyclone Isaac.

Above is the steering flow at 250-850mb. The steering flow is like seeing a current of water in a sink take a small object and move it around within that current's reach. The steering flow shows where storms may go by identifying wind patterns at different levels of the atmosphere.
In the above chart, we recognize Invest 94 at 40W in longitude, and is shown as a blob of yellow and orange. At the moment, this is not the ideal chart, but if/when rapid strengthening occurs, this is the chart that model forecasts indicate should be used.
If we were to use this to give a rough estimate on the possible track of Invest 94, I could easily see it drifting west and following the band of winds that cuts through the Caribbean. However, the system would likely stay north of the full extent of the current, opting to enter the northern Caribbean and continue west, as model guidance is in agreement with at this time.

This map is the 0 hour analysis (not a forecast) of the Atlantic Ocean in the 500mb heights, with added MSLP. We can see Hurricane Gordon to the upper right corner of the image, which is moving towards Europe. But notice the massive high pressure regime in place across the Atlantic. This is a primary reason why I believe the new model trend of westward motion is right and why the Gulf of Mexico is at risk.
As many of you know, high pressure systems spin winds in a clockwise formation, while low pressure systems go counter-clockwise. This clockwise motion of winds would keep Invest 94 in the southern part of the Atlantic and move it towards the Caribbean. Typically, we will see a a few cracks in between high pressure systems, and these cracks will shoot the invest north. However, now that there are multiple high pressure systems, there are next to no cracks for the system to break through and move north.

I am having a feeling that the Gulf of Mexico is indeed at risk on this. I have not had much success with when I use my instinct on weather events like this, but current and forecast atmospheric conditions, combined with the strength and steering flow of the system tells me that a westward motion will continue with this system, and westward enough to put the Gulf of Mexico on alert.

I decided to run the Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (TCF) Model for Invest 94 at this time, only for track and not intensity.
You can find the TCF's Home page by clicking here.

TCF 7:00 PM Run


ERN WX said...

Still a LONG way out. Track is very difficult. On a side note 2009-2010 winter may be the best analog year.

ERN WX said...

A winter comment. It is looking like the OH Valley AND the East will be getting abv nrml snfl this year. The more I look at things, the more obvious it becomes. Blend 2002-2003 and 2009-2010 and that will be winter. Andrew, did you do that? I and others have been pushing for it. Watch out President's day too. Mike, made a good point about that. Overall until November I wouldn't put the snowfall otlk abv 125% for any area. November we can go crazy if needs be........................... Ice age?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? No:].............. Cold?!?!?!?!?!?! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO I have a snowboard??? In my car........................... Point is winter WILL be BETTER than last excuse. CPC otlk is garbage. ANdrew, I can't wait to see your winter fcst.

WinterStorm said...

Yeah, the CPC likes to go with what is "typical". This El Nino will he different. Did anybody see this winter forecast?

Very informative. And it puts Michigan in the "Worst of Winter category! I like this one:-) Also, can't wait to see your forecast this winter, Andrew! Things are really looking good.

Andrew said...

ERN WX and WinterStorm: Great thoughts on the winter. It's always great to have your input on this site (as well as others). Thanks for sharing that outlook, WinterStorm!