Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Peak of Hurricane Season

September 10th marks the high point of hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin, the midway point if you will of the season.  Lets hope the second half is just as quiet as the first.

This year has been rather dull in spite of all the high projections made at the start of the season.

So far we have seen 8 systems and all have been tropical storms, yet there is something interesting about the system we are presently tracking.

The Latest "First Hurricane"
The latest "first-hurricane" to manifest itself during the satellite era was Gustav on September 11th of 2002. It reached hurricane status at 8am.

As of Tuesday morning, Tropical Storm Humberto is in the Far Eastern Atlantic trying hard not to make history. It is forecast to become a hurricane later today keeping the old record intact. We'll be following closely.


This is the forecast track for Humberto:


Back from the Dead
Something else we are keeping tabs on is Gabrielle, back from the dead.  NHC says the remnants have regenerated and are back as a tropical storm aiming for Bermuda.



This is the forecast track for Gabrielle:









Sunday, September 8, 2013

Could we see the 1st Atlantic Hurricane for 2013?

It has been a rather quiet year as far as the tropics are concerned. There have only been 7 systems named and none have reached hurricane status. This is great news.

Now we start the work week with a brand new depression that promises to intensify rather quickly and maybe reach hurricane intensity by Wednesday.


This is Tropical Depression #9. NHC has had it in its sights for quite a while monitoring it for days, even before it moved off the West Coast of Africa.


Models indicate it may become Tropical Storm "Humberto" on Monday and maybe reach hurricane strength by midweek. It will impact the Cape Verde Islands with some wind and rain, but after that it should only be a worry for the shipping lanes.

HURRICANE FACTOID
If this season ended with just one hurricane, it would rank as one of the most hurricane free years in recorded history.

Here are some of the most notable seasons:
YEAR              NUMBER OF HURRICANES
1925                                     1
1905                                     1
1914                                     0
1904                                     0

Of course back then there were no satellites, so the possibility exists of many storms having gone undetected.

REALITY CHECK:
We are almost at the halfway mark for the season. The peak of activity is the 10th of September, so there is still a second half to go. NHC still expects more systems to develop in the coming months, so please do not let your guard down. But wouldn't it be great if we were to finish with a quiet year? Keep those fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Watching 5 areas, including Gabrielle

Tropical Storm Gabrielle formed from an area of low pressure in the Eastern Caribbean Sea on Wednesday. Since its birth, it has not looked impressive on satellite imagery.

Most of the alleged tropical storm force winds remain tightly packed near the illusive center of circulation.  At times there have been moments and flurries of activity that suggest strengthening, but most of the thunderstorms are to the Northeast of the center.

It does have good outflow in the upper levels, but for the time being, there are no signs of further organization.

Meanwhile, the center is getting harder and harder to detect.

NHC sent a recon plane to get a better handle on this system and as of Thursday morning, Gabrielle has been downgraded to a depression.



FUTURE TRACK:
Where it will go if it survives is more certain.

High pressure to its East and the jet stream to its NW, will carry what is left of "Gabrielle" northwest and into Hispaniola


For now, the islands will be dealing with tropical downpours.

IN THE SHORT TERM:
Heavy rains continue across Puerto Rico.

  • A Flash Flood warning is in place 
  • 3-6 inches of rain are possible through Friday, with some areas getting as much as 12"
The Dominican Republic is on alert as they too may get heavy downpours

  • A land and mudslide watch is in place

MORE ACTIVITY:
Besides weak Gabrielle, there are four other areas NHC is watching.



From the Gulf to the Atlantic:

  • There is an elongated area of low pressure in the Bay of Campeche.  Because it is moving over warm waters, NHC gives it a 30% chance it could develop into a depression or a storm as it aims for Central Mexico.
  • Right next door to Gabrielle is a Tropical Wave . NHC gives it a 20% chance that it could turn into a mature tropical system in about 5 days. Right now, its proximity to Gabrielle is hindering its growth potential.
  • A Tropical Wave roughly 500 miles West of the Cape Verde islands is showing some signs of life. NHC keeps its chances at 10% over the next 5 days.

But we are not done: (NOT PICTURED) Most models suggest a disturbance over Africa will move into the Atlantic waters in a few days with a decent chance for organization. NHC is already giving it a 30% chance for growth once it moves into the Eastern Atlantic waters.




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Invest 97L

NEW AREA TO WATCH:

There is an area of disturbed weather by the Lesser Antilles that NHC is keeping tabs on, they have deemed it invest 97L, (Invest for an area they would like to investigate further).

As of this moment there is plenty of clouds and rain covering much of the Leeward Islands.

Puerto Rico should see some of that rain on Wednesday.

This feature has a moderate chance for development, but in about three days, those chances may go up higher.


HEAVY RAIN EXPECTED:

This is the latest from the Puerto Rican Weather office:

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of Puerto Rico including the US Virgin Islands until Friday.

Heavy rain can be expected through Wednesday night.

Total rainfall may reach between 3-6 inches leading to localized flooding, land and mudslides.

MODEL FORECASTS:

Where it may end up will be determined by the Bermuda High, whose long range tentacles reach into the Caribbean, Cuba and Florida.

If this high stays put, then the disturbance will move due West across the Caribbean Sea. If it weakens and moves East, then the clouds and rain will move towards the Bahamas.

If this second scenario holds, then we may see some rain here by the weekend.

The models are split about 50-50 on what will happen with 97L. A recon plane is scheduled for Wednesday, in order to get a better idea of the disturbance's structure and health.