Good news! Gordon never formed and what we thought might become Helene didn’t either!! Why you ask? There’s lots of dry air and shear in the Atlantic at the moment neither of which contributes to tropical cyclone generation. The dry air comes from Africa, and there’s lots of dry desert air there. The shear is a result of an upper lever trough that just will not quit!
Here’s an image to help explain…
Warmer colors indicate stronger shear. The white stream lines indicate the shear direction. TD7 didn’t stand a chance after being ripped apart by 20-30 kt shear prior to entering the Caribbean where still 20 kt shear prevented any regeneration. Turns out that an upper trough dove down right when TD7 was looking like it was going to become Gordon and, like a hot knife through butter, just tore apart the circulation and organization of the depression which degenerated into an open wave a few days ago.
Currently the NHC is watching the progress of the wave that was thought could become a named system at the same time we all thought Gordon would form…of course if it does form it will be Gordon, but it’s sort of sandwiched between two shear lobes. Both are weakening, so we’ll see. NHC is giving it a 50% chance of development in 48 hours. It’s so far north that the track will likely take it to the North Atlantic where cooler water temps will not be sufficient to help sustain it…
Locally, nothing too exciting. The Red Tide has been confirmed along the upper Texas coast. To all the anglers out there, I sigh with you. Here is the Current Status of the event from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website:
August 13, 2012 – afternoon
TPWD began receiving reports of fish kills on Friday, August 10. The reports were from Quintana Beach to the mouth of the Colorado River and included mostly Gulf menhaden with a few mentions of gafftopsail and hardhead catfish. Additional fish kills were reported over the weekend at Surfside Beach and Galveston; samples were collected from the Surfside jetty and San Luis Pass to look for Karenia brevis. Dead flounder and stingrays have been reported at Kemah and Bacliff; biologists originally thought that low oxygen levels were to blame, but additional investigations will be conducted to determine if K. brevis is the cause. In addition, fishermen reported seeing dead fish and experiencing symptoms of aerosols (e.g., coughing) 4 miles offshore of Galveston.
On Sunday, August 12, the Texas Department of State Health Services found varying levels of K. brevis in their sampling and subsequently closed the following areas to molluscan shellfish harvesting: Conditionally Approved Area 1 of Galveston Bay, the Central and East Approved Areas of Galveston Bay and the Smith Point Approved Area of Galveston Bay.
TPWD and DSHS are working hard to investigate this event. Weather permitting, TPWD hopes to conduct a coastal overflight later this week to get an aerial view of the bloom.
Sightings of dead fish or suspected red tide can be reported 24 hours a day to TPWD’s communication centers, 512-389-4848 (Austin) or 281-842-8100 (La Porte).
A subsequent news release today details the extent of the bloom thus far and mentions the closing of shell fishing grounds in Galveston Bay.
Local weather has been fairly quiet. Expect a pop-up sea breeze storm or two over the next couple of days before rain chances increase on Thursday due to some upper level support moving in from the plains. Will try to detail this in a later post!
Have a great rest of the week!