Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tropical Depression Erin and Gulf of Mexico Blob: August 17, Update A

I *have* to share this most amazingly unusual rendition of Ludwig van Beethovan’s 9th symphony!! It was posted by Phil Plait in one of his Bad Astronomy blog posts. <An aside> I met him once (Phil, not Ludwig) and I have a book signed by him (Phil, not Ludwig). In this book he promotes a B-movie website, Stomptokyo ( One of the owners of Stomptokyo, Chris Holland, set up and helped me maintain this blog ...and thus you see virtual karma in action. J <End aside>  

Beethovan’s 9th is played on theremins, an electrical instrument that operates by sensing the electric field generated as your hand is waved around it – so there is no actual contact with the instrument. This is so cool that I might have to watch it again for the 10th time (today)… I do highly recommend watching this video! J  

Now that you have seen/heard great achievements by humans, back to great achievements by Mother Nature (although not so great in this case, fortunately!)… ;-)

Gulf of Mexico Blob

Our Gulf of Mexico blob wasn’t stuck for too long and was on the move earlier today. He has continued to deteriorate during the day and is so disorganized now that I can’t even see a center of circulation. Convection has also decreased this evening so although he will still be in the Gulf in some form tomorrow, I think we may not see anywhere near as much convection. Because he is over warmer waters he has generated more rain and thunderstorms than TS Erin today!

Tropical Depression Erin

She has officially been downgraded to a Tropical Depression with winds of 35mph, central pressure 1008mb. The forecast says she will have dissipated on Monday. She is moving WNW at 12mph, and is located at 20.7N, 37.7W.

Hmm. I’m not sure I agree with downgrading her to a Tropical Depression at the moment (maybe tomorrow). The circulation is still pretty good in the lower half of the troposphere and she is still generating some strong convection, albeit over a smaller area:

Erin is a pernicious little storm. There are a couple of factors working against her, but she’s still hanging on! First, she is experiencing some strong wind shear from the southwest causing the clouds to stream off to the northeast as you can see in the IR satellite image. Second, there is a lot of dry air surrounding her. However, sea surface water temperatures are around 26-27 deg C with waters warmer than 26.5 deg C in the upper 75m in some areas, which is enough to allow her to keep going. It does look like she’s going to head into an area of stronger wind shear tomorrow, which is why I think she’ll deteriorate further and may be a TD by tomorrow.   

Manana kiddos!

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DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for SUCH an amazing video! Of course I had to post on my FB page :)