Tag Archives: Invest 90L

Cyclone Likely to Form Over Gulf of Mexico

A cyclone is likely to form over the Gulf of Mexico during the upcoming weekend.  A broad area of low pressure at the surface is currently centered over the Yucatan Peninsula.  The area of low pressure is currently designated as Invest 90L.  The circulation around the low pressure system is not well organized at the current time.  The center of the surface low is over the Yucatan Peninsula.  Showers and lower clouds are occurring near the center of the low.  Stronger thunderstorms are occurring on the eastern side of the low over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  Sustained winds of 20 m.p.h. to 30 m.p.h. (30 km/h to 50 km/h) were blowing across the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  The winds were weaker over land near the center of circulation.

An upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico was producing strong westerly winds which were blowing over the top of the surface low.  Those winds were causing strong vertical wind shear and the wind shear was one of the reasons why the stronger thunderstorms were occurring east of the center of circulation.  Sinking motion in the western portion of the upper level trough was bringing drier air to the surface and the drier air was inhibiting the formation of thunderstorms in the western side of the surface low.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicated in a Special Tropical Weather Outlook at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday that there is a 70% probability of the formation of a subtropical or tropical depression during the next 48 hours.  NHC has tentatively tasked a reconnaissance aircraft to investigate the low pressure system on Friday afternoon if necessary.

The wind speeds are slower near the axis of the upper level trough.  If the surface low pressure system moves under the axis of the upper level trough, then there would be less vertical wind shear and a cyclone could form.  If thunderstorms develop near the center of circulation after the center moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea or southeastern Gulf of Mexico, then NHC would likely designate the system as a tropical depression.  If the thunderstorms develop farther away from the center of circulation and the circulation does not exhibit a tropical appearance, then NHC could classify the system as a subtropical depression.  NHC would issue advisories on the cyclone even if it is designated a subtropical depression.

There is a strong high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean and the high is likely to steer the surface low toward the north.  The Sea Surface Temperature of the water in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico is near 27°C.  So, there is enough energy to support the formation of a tropical cyclone.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms are likely to continue to form in the eastern side of the circulation because of the vertical wind shear and drier air to the northwest of the surface low.  The low pressure system could slowly organize into a tropical storm during the weekend.

Heavy rain and the potential for flooding are the greatest risks with this low pressure system.  There will be some storm surge along the eastern and northern coasts of the Gulf of Mexico as counterclockwise rotation around the low blows water toward the shore.

Low Pressure Develops Over Southwest Caribbean Sea

An area of low pressure developed over the southwestern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday afternoon and the system was designated Invest 90L.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.0°N and longitude 80.7°W which put it about 200 miles (320 km) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

The circulation of Invest 90L was still organizing on Tuesday afternoon.  The area of low pressure appeared to have a distinct center of circulation.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were forming south and east of the center of circulation.  There were fewer showers and thunderstorms northwest of the center.  There was some upper level divergence that was pumping mass away to the south and west of the center.

Invest 90L will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification.  The Sea Surface Temperature in the southwest Caribbean Sea is near 30°C and the warm water is fairly deep.  The energy content of the water in that area is high.  An upper level ridge centered over the western Gulf of Mexico is producing northeasterly which are blowing toward the northwestern side of Invest 90L.  Those winds are producing some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not likely to be strong enough to prevent the formation of a tropical cyclone.  Invest 90L is likely to become a tropical depression or storm during the next 24 to 48 hours.  If the center remains east of Nicaragua, rapid intensification could occur after the circulation consolidates around the low level center.

Invest 90L is moving slowly toward the west-northwest as it moves near the southern side of a mid-level ridge.  That ridge could steer Invest 90L close to the coast of Nicaragua during the next several days.  The mid-level ridge is forecast to move east to near the Bahamas during the next 24 to 48 hours.  After that time, southerly winds are forecast to steer Invest 90L toward the north.  On its anticipated track the center of Invest 90L could move very close to Nicaragua during the next day or two.  It could bring locally heavy rain to Nicaragua and Honduras.  Invest 90L could move into the Gulf of Mexico in a few days.  The intensity of Invest 90L when it reaches the Gulf will depend on how much it interacts with Nicaragua and the Yucatan peninsula.  If the center stays over water, then it could be a hurricane when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.  If the center spends more time over land, then the system will be weaker when it reaches the Gulf.  Some models are forecasting that a hurricane could make landfall on the northern Gulf Coast during the weekend.

NHC Monitoring Two Areas for Tropical Development

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) was monitoring two areas for possible tropical development on Thursday afternoon.  A strong tropical wave was moving through the southeastern Caribbean Sea and the wave was designated as Invest 90L.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.2°N and longitude 65.8°W which put it about 160 miles (260 km) east of Bonaire.  The tropical wave was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55km/h) and there were gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1011 mb.

Another tropical wave moved off the coast of West Africa on Thursday and NHC designated that wave as Invest 99L.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 99L was located at latitude 10.2°N and longitude 20.9°W which put it about 370 miles (595 km) south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.  The tropical wave was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb.

The tropical wave over the southeastern Caribbean Sea will have the most immediate impact to land.  The wave could bring gusty winds to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao within 24 hours.  The circulation of Invest 90L is elongated in an east-west direction and that is probably because of strong easterly winds blowing in the lower atmosphere.  There are some indications of a counterclockwise rotation on loops of visible satellite imagery, but it is not clear if the rotation extends all the way down to the surface.  The tropical wave is generating winds to near tropical storm force in the northern portion of the wave.  There are numerous thunderstorms developing along the axis of the wave.

Invest 90L is moving under the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing southerly winds which are blowing over the top of the tropical wave and those winds are contributing to moderate vertical wind shear.  The strong easterly winds in the lower levels are also contributing to the shear.  Invest 90L could develop into a tropical cyclone when it moves farther west.  The shear could diminish and the Sea Surface Temperatures in the western Caribbean Sea and Bay of Campeche are very warm.  NHC is indicating that there is a 20% probability Invest 90L will become a tropical cyclone during the next five days.

The tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic has a better chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.  Invest 99L is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It is moving under the eastern end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is causing northeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the tropical wave.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear.  When the wave moves farther west, it will move under weaker winds and the wind shear will decrease.  NHC is indicating that there is a 70% probability that Invest 99L will become a tropical cyclone during the next five days.

Low Pressure Develops East of the Bahamas

An area of low pressure developed east of the Bahamas and the system was designated as Invest 90L on Sunday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 24.0°N and longitude 71.0°W which put it about 260 miles (420 km) east of the Bahamas.  Invest 90L was moving toward the northwest at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

The circulation of Invest 90L consists of a large asymmetrical low pressure system.  Most of the showers and thunderstorms are occurring northeast of the center of circulation.  Those showers and thunderstorms are being generated by convergence of winds from a large high pressure system over the north Atlantic Ocean into the area of low pressure.  A swirl of low clouds has emerged on the southwestern side of the low, but it is unclear if this is the actual center of circulation or is just a transient mesoscale feature.  A strong pressure gradient between the high pressure system and the low is producing an area of winds to tropical storm force northeast of the center of the low.  The winds are weaker in other parts of the circulation.

Invest 90L is in an environment that is mostly unfavorable for tropical cyclones.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25°C.  So, there is less energy in the upper ocean to support tropical development.  An upper level trough over the southeastern U.S. is producing strong southwesterly winds which are blowing across the top of Invest 90L.  Those winds are producing strong vertical wind shear.  Marginal Sea Surface Temperatures and strong vertical wind shear make the classical development of a tropical cyclone unlikely.  However, the temperature in the upper troposphere is also cold and there may be enough instability in the atmosphere to produce thunderstorms.  If the wind shear decrease, then more thunderstorms could develop closer to the center of circulation and a subtropical cyclone could form.

The high over the north Atlantic is blocking northward movement of Invest 90L and the high is steering it toward the northwest.  A general northwesterly motion is expected to continue for another day or so.  Eventually the high will move off to the east and Invest 90L will start to move toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track Invest 90L will stay east of the U.S. and the Bahamas.  Invest 90L could pass close to Bermuda and it has the potential to bring gusty winds.

Invest 90L Organizing North of Panama

The structure of the low pressure system designated as Invest 90L became better organized on Saturday over the southwestern Caribbean Sea north of Panama.  At 7:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 10.8°N and longitude 80.9°W which put it about 220 miles (355 km) east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Invest 90L was moving toward the east at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (70 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

More thunderstorms developed closer to the center of circulation on Saturday.  A band of stronger thunderstorms formed south of the center and a second band of storms developed northeast of the center.  Other rainbands appeared to be forming in other areas of the circulation.  Storms in the band northeast of the center began to produce upper level divergence that was pumping mass away.  An improved convective structure could be a indication that Invest 90L is developing into tropical depression.

The atmospheric environment became more favorable for tropical development on Saturday.  Upper level southwesterly winds which were blowing across the top of the low pressure system weakened on Saturday  and the vertical wind shear lessened.  Less shear allowed more thunderstorms to develop and persist.  Since Invest 90L has meandered over the same part of the southwestern Caribbean Sea for several days, it has mixed slightly cooler water to the surface.  However, the water in that part of the Caribbean Sea is very warm and Invest 90L is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is still near 29°C.  The environment is favorable for development of a tropical cyclone and Invest 90L could become a tropical depression or a tropical storm at any time.

Invest 90L is located underneath an upper level ridge and the steering currents are weak.  The low pressure system drifted toward the east on Saturday and some models are suggesting that Invest 90L could make a slow counterclockwise loop over the southwestern Caribbean Sea during the next few days.

Invest 90L Meandering Over Southwest Caribbean Sea

An area of low pressure designated as Invest 90L has meandered over the southwestern Caribbean Sea during the past several days.  At 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 81.3°W which put it about 170 miles (275 km) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Invest 90L was moving toward the west at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Invest 90L consists of a broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Caribbean Sea.  There is a definite area of counterclockwise rotation, but the is no well defined core at the center of the low.  There is a swirl of low clouds and showers at the center of Invest 90L, but there are no thunderstorms near the center.  Thunderstorms form and dissipate in bands around the periphery of the circulation.

The environment around the southwestern Caribbean Sea is not as favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone as it was earlier this week.  Invest 90L is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However, northerly winds blowing across the Gulf of Mexico have transported drier air over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  The drier air has not reached Invest 90L, but the drier air is just to the northwest of the low pressure system.  An upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico is producing southwesterly winds which are blowing over the top of Invest 90L.  Those winds are generating moderate vertical wind shear which is inhibiting the organization of the low pressure system.  Even with the inhibiting factors the National Hurricane Center is indicating that the probability of the formation of a tropical cyclone during the next five days is 70%.

The fact that there is only a low level circulation means that Invest 90L is being steering by winds closer to the surface.  The winds in the lower levels have been pushing the low pressure system very slowly toward the west.  Guidance from numerical models suggests that Invest 90L could meander over the southwestern Caribbean Sea for several more days.