Thursday, July 23, 2020

Tropical Storm Gonzalo and the Gulf of Mexico Blobette: July 22, Update A

So, how many of you have taken up free virtual tours of National Parks, cities, the greatest museums, or art galleries in the world during the past few months? Today I decided to visit the Air & Space Museum. Highly recommend it as there's something for everyone in there... a photo from the museum is at the end of this post. :-) 

Tropical Storm Gonzalo
He's a well-behaved dinky little thing at the moment I'd say. Winds are 60mph, which means he's a decent mid-sized Tropical Storm (TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure is 998mb. The NHC forecasts that he'll be a hurricane tomorrow (Thursday). I'd agree with this - there is good circulation in the lower half of the troposphere (although the center of that seems to be closer to 8.5 deg N, not 9.9 deg N) and there is the beginnings of circulation in the upper troposphere - a sign that he's close to being at hurricane strength:
He's still in an area of low wind shear, which is allowing him to develop. It looks like it will remain low at least until he gets into the Caribbean over the weekend. He's currently over water with sea surface temperatures of around 28 deg C, but by tomorrow, he'll be over 29 deg C waters with the upper 100m warmer than 26 deg C. This is warm enough to also help him grow. The only thing that may keep him from developing too quickly between today and when he gets to the Windward Islands is that Saharan Air Layer which is directly in his path. 

Officially, he's at 9.9N, 49.9W, and is heading due W at 12mph: 

I actually think he may be slightly south of this location, but it's close enough. Since yesterday he has been moving a degree or so further south than the NHC center of Cone Of Uncertainty forecast. From the pressure field data I have (which is quite coarse), it looks like he'll stay on that westward track for at least another day or so - all within the Cone of Uncertainty (not to be confused the Pit of Despair (The Princess Bride) - which is where we can dump 2020 once we're finished with it ;-)).

So, dear Mr. TS Gonzalo, if you could just please decrease in intensity from the SAL and stay on a track that clips Grenada bringing the island some lovely rain and a light breeze, and then completely dissipate before entering the Caribbean, that would be just peachy. Thank you. 

Gulf of Mexico Blobette
The Blobette from yesterday is now a Tropical Depression (as I'm sure every news station around the Gulf has been broadcasting when they have a spare second). 

She's currently estimated to be at 25.9N, 88.2 W, heading WNW at 6mph: 
She's really not very well organized at the moment - there is some broad circulation in the lowest level of the troposphere, but it's quite wishy washy and still isn't in alignment with the mid-tropospheric circulation. There isn't much convection either, although you can see her trying... 

She's definitely not a Tropical Storm today. 

The sea surface temperatures are a toasty 28-29 deg C but the warm water is quite shallow so she doesn't have too much to draw from. On the other hand, there isn't much wind shear so I can see some very slow development happening - I agree with the NHC forecast for now. 

As for the track, I can no longer get the high resolution data I used to use, so I will go with the NHC's track. They are basing their information on models. 

She's shaping up to bring some rain and be a little blustery. You know, like a spring day in the UK. Nothing too major. 

But that reminds me, this is a tricksy year all around, so you should be extra prepared by now. In addition to your usual supplies of ice cream (first thing to be eaten if there is the slightest doubt that the power will go), wine, cheese, water, good books, candles, a radio with batteries, more wine, a wine bottle opener, flashlight with batteries, some more water, a hand-fan, a can opener, cans of spaghetti-o's, more cheese, mosquito repellant, and more ice cream, you should also probably have face masks and hand sanitizer. :-)

I think that's all for today, but before I run off, here's the photo from the Air & Space Museum that I mentioned earlier ...
 (Photo credit: 50 Nerds of Grey)

Told you there was something for everyone in there. ;-)  

Until tomorrow pals! 

Twitter: jyovianstorm
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 local weather service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know. 

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