Loc: Austin, Tx
95L in Gulf of Mexico, LLC & Convection Separated Monday AM
Sat Oct 15 2011 12:04 PM
12:00 PM Update 17 October 2011
Morning visible satellite images show that a tight low level circulation now exists in the south-central Gulf of Mexico, just off the ne tip of the Yucatan. At the present time, most of this vortex is exposed, with the deepest convection and mid-level circulation well off to its east-northeast.
It is not clear if this is a satellite vortex rotating within and around a larger circulation. It is also possible that this vortex does in fact denote the primary center of 95L, and was even present over land, however obscured by clouds at all levels; and it is not yet clear if a new LLC has already formed, or is currently developing, within the deep convection to its east-northeast.
95L is probably right on the line between being classified as a sheared Tropical Cyclone, and not. Recon is scheduled to head in later this afternoon and we should have a much better idea of what is going on then.
Regardless of technicalities, 95L is producing a significant area of moderate to very heavy rain, and pockets of wind to tropical storm force, all primarily within its northeast quadrant. With ground already saturated over much of south Florida, it may only take just a little bit more rain to produce flooding. Accordingly, the National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches that include several counties in the southern portion of the state.
In addition to the potential for flooding, strong pressure gradients have been building, which will likely result in regions of windy conditions even well ahead of 95L.
8:00 AM Update 17 October 2011
There is a short window for tropical or subtropical development from the 95L, but it is slowly moving and forming more northward and will likely start affecting even central Florida (parts of South Florida are already getting rain). Interestingly today should be relatively warm while the rest of the week will be much more wet and cooler until Wednesday or Thursday, but then the temperature drops with lows in the upper 50s in central Florida late this week.
South Florida still will likely see the most rain out of this system, but as a minimal tropical storm there won't be too much to prepare for except making sure your windows are closed during the rain.
11:20 AM Update 16 October 2011
The area being tracked as 95L has become better organized this morning, and based on ground observations the center is located just onshore of Belize, later today it may reform over open water, and thus has a 50% chance for development over the next two days.
Those along the Yucatan and Cuba likely will be affected, and longer range models suggest the possibility of a Tropical Storm forming from this system approaching southwest Florida later this week. Therefore it will be a system worth closely watching. Conditions do not favor any rapid strengthening, but slow gradual strengthening is possible.
Aircraft recon is scheduled to investigate the area tomorrow afternoon.
Some remnants from eastern Pacific TD#12 have crossed over into the northwestern Caribbean, and are gradually becoming better organized. This area is now being tracked as Invest 95L.
A small area of low pressure, late season wave, currently traveling through the central Atlantic is also getting some attention. We will have much more time to watch this feature, should it manage to hold together and eventually come closer to land. Marginal upper-level winds and nearby dry air should tend to keep further development, if any, slow to occur.
Our immediate attention focuses on newly-tagged Invest 95L. This area of low pressure has become more concentrated over the past 24 hours, and deep convection is continuing to blow up near or over the approximate center, which as of this Saturday morning is located roughly in the vicinity of 17.5N 86.5W.
Early model runs have suggested a motion that would take it back over Belize, Gautemala, and/or the Yucatan. However, the system still appears to be gradually pulling away from these. Given that it has just been "tagged," model runs may not be of much assistance until tonight, at the earliest.
Environmental conditions are somewhat favorable for further development, particularly if it stays at least mostly offshore, and a Tropical Cyclone could be forming over this weekend.
Given the copious moisture associated with Invest 95L, the greatest concern at the present time is for the potential of dangerous flooding rains to occur over locations in and around the northwest Caribbean.
Edited by cieldumort (Mon Oct 17 2011 12:12 PM)