Possible development of a subtropical or a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean?

April 20th, 2011 |
MIMIC Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product

The National Hurricane Center initiated Invest 91 to monitor the potential development of a subtropical or even possibly a tropical cyclone over the western Atlantic Ocean on 20 April 2011. AWIPS images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product (above; click image to play animation) showed that a tongue of moisture was being advected northward from the band of higher moisture along the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) — and this moisture plume was being wrapped into the circulation of the developing disturbance.

A closer look at the MIMIC TPW product at 14:00 UTC along with an overlay of ASCAT scatterometer winds (below) revealed a well-defined cyclonic circulation at the surface, with gale force winds within the northwest quadrant of the storm.

MIMIC TPW product + ASCAT surface winds + Surface analysis

MIMIC TPW product + ASCAT surface winds + Surface analysis

===== 22 APRIL UPDATE =====

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images

Animations of GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (above) and GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (below) from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site continued to show very well-defined cyclonic circulations associated with the feature on 22 April 2011.

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR images

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR images

GOES-13 6.5 µm water vapor channel images (below) indicated that dry mid-tropospheric air was wrapping into the system from the south and east.

GOES-13 6.5 µm water vapor channel images

GOES-13 6.5 µm water vapor channel images

A comparison of AWIPS images of the POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible channel with ASCAT scatterometer surface wind data (below) revealed the development of deep convective elements just to the north of the low-level circulation center.

POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible image + ASCAT scatterometer surface winds

POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible image + ASCAT scatterometer surface winds

A sequence of three POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible channel images (below) showed the evolution of the convective elements associated with the disturbance during the day.

POES AVHRR 0.66 µm visible channel images

POES AVHRR 0.66 µm visible channel images