Monday, August 31, 2015

Hurricane History Made

A Hurricane making History !

Can you imagine living in an area that is the birth place of many tropical systems and yet never get hit by a hurricane? Well, that came to an end on Monday.

Hurricane "Fred", became a hurricane Monday at 2 am in the Far (and we mean FAR) Eastern Atlantic. It is impacting the Cape Verde islands with wind and rain. The Cape Verde Islands are just off the West Coast of Africa. 

Satellite imagery:
Shows a well defined system that should remain as a hurricane for at least another day.

It is moving northwest however, and will be entering into some cold waters soon.

That will spell the end of "Fred" and it should dissipate by the weekend if not before.


Cape Verde Season:


This time of year is known as "Cape Verde Season", because plenty of disturbances move off Africa and move either over or near the islands making their way across the Atlantic.

They have seen their fair share of killer tropical storms, but never a full blown hurricane. The deadliest Tropical Storm was in 1984 by the name of "Fran". It had torrential downpours that caused major floods  killing over two dozen people.


Even though the Cape Verde islands have a season named after them, they rarely get hit by a hurricane.

According to NHC's official Hurricane records, "Fred" is the first hurricane to impact the islands since 1892.

They caution that records began in 1851, but those records are unreliable to a certain extent because they can't be verified.

Since the advent of weather satellites in the 1960s, those eyes in the sky help to verify the existence of a storm.

The previous close-call was "Jeanne" in 1998. It reached hurricane strength as it passed south of the islands by roughly 100 miles. 

In the long run, this history making Hurricane will die out over the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Erika Leftovers and New Fred

By now we all know the story of Erika.  It caused great havoc across Dominica with more than 12 inches of rain, leading to flooding land and mudslides. Almost two dozen people lost their lives.

More tropical downpours barreled their way through Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Haiti, before the system fell below tropical depression standards over Cuba.

The remnants slowly made their way into the Florida Straits by Saturday drenching South Florida overnight.

This is what NHC is saying about Ex-Erika on Sunday morning:

It appears there are no signs of re-development at this time, but it could still drop plenty of rain and cause gusty winds across Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico later today and Monday.

But, they add- IF upper-level winds become favorable, it could once again become a tropical cyclone.

These are the chances of Erika's remnants coming back to life.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent
  • Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent

What can we expect?  This is from the local NWS Office:

  • DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF ERIKA WILL CONTINUE MOVING INTO SOUTH FLORIDA THROUGH TONIGHT.
  • THIS WILL CONTINUE THE THREAT FOR VERY HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA WITH RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES...ALONG WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF MUCH HIGHER AMOUNTS WHERE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MOVE OVER THE SAME AREA.
  • FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:


* A PORTION OF SOUTH FLORIDA...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING COASTAL
  BROWARD...COASTAL ...COLLIER...COASTAL MIAMI DADE... COASTAL
  PALM BEACH...FAR SOUTH MIAMI DADE...GLADES...HENDRY... INLAND
  BROWARD...INLAND COLLIER...INLAND MIAMI DADE...INLAND PALM
  BEACH...MAINLAND MONROE...METRO BROWARD...METRO MIAMI DADE AND
  METRO PALM BEACH.


In the Tropics:

There's another new Tropical storm by the name of "Fred".  Its way out in the Far Eastern Atlantic.

These are the top lines from NHC regarding "Fred".

  • Satellite imagery show more rain developing in the system.
  • That rain is wrapping around the center
  • It has a well defined inner core
  • The atmosphere ahead appears favorable for Fred to grow stronger
  • The models take Fred to hurricane status in 24 hours
  • Those same models show weakening in 36 hours.

Based on this track and intensity forecast, the Meteorological Service of the Cape Verde Islands has issued a Hurricane Warning for those islands. We believe this may the first such advisories on record for this region.

Below, you will find the latest model runs, along with its forecast cone. This should just be a worry for the Cape Verde Islands and the shipping lanes.






Friday, August 28, 2015

Error-ka?

What a forecast nightmare for NHC regarding Erika or should I say Error-ka. Just a mere 24 hours ago on Thursday, most of the dynamical models were showing a Category 1 system over South Florida by the early part of next week. Then Mother Nature happened and Erika decided otherwise. As of Friday night, those same models are showing the possibility of Erika falling apart over the weekend.

The 11 pm advisory from Friday night keeps Erika at 45 mph winds. According to the advisory's placement of the center it looks like it made landfall between 8-10 pm. 

What we know for sure is that it will continue to dump plenty of rain for Puerto Rico, Dominican, Republic, and Haiti through Friday morning.

Wind will not be a big issue, but the rain will lead to flooding, land, and mudslides.

If it survives its trek over Haiti, it will then aim for Eastern Cuba. Heavy rain is also expected from there through the Turks and Caicos.


After that, Erika will hug the Northern Coast of Cuba. If it stays over land it should fall apart, but if it can somehow remain over water there is a chance it could keep it together.

NHC is holding off on issuing any advisories for us, just in case Error-ka, decides to ramp back up over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream that run through the Florida Straits.

As of Friday night, Broward is out of the cone of concern, and only extreme Southern Miami-Dade and the Keys remain. Now just because you are not in the cone doesn't mean you won't get some squally weather, on the contrary it looks like heavy rain may be in store from Sunday through Monday.

Stay tuned, and we'll keep you updated.

Do or Die for Erika

Its a crucial day for Erika. Its aiming for our friends in Dominican Republic and Haiti.
It has not gotten any stronger, remaining with winds of 50 mph, and its still not that organized... but don't let that fool you.  Erika dumped plenty of rain over the Leeward Islands on Thursday flooding parts of Dominica and claiming at least 4 lives.

Its been raining in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands all night long. This will be the biggest threat
over portions of the the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti today. These rains could produce flash floods and mud slides.

Satellite, most of the rain remains to the east of the center as well as the strongest of the winds.

The center is not looking healthy and its hard to pin down. This is not good for the models because if they do not have a good staring point, there will be no good ending points.

A recon plane is investigating to get a better idea of Erika's health.

Right now:

  • Tropical storm winds of 39 mph and above are impacting the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico for a few more hours. 
  • Those winds will travel next to portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas
  • By Saturday near the Central Bahamas
  • NW Bahamas Saturday night.
  • Rain totals are expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches

So far according to NHC this is what the models are thinking.:

  • The global models have shifted westward with a faster forward speed.  
  • A west-northwestward motion is expected for the next 2 days. 
  • After that, a northwestward and northward turn and a decrease in forward speed are forecast as Erika moves around the western edge of the Bermuda high.


The updated cone is to the west of and faster than Thursday night's cone.
After that time, the NHC models are not consistent and are left more or less the same to keep some continuity since they really don't have a good grasp on what will happen.


Impacting Erika:
Strong upper winds will continue to shear it.
This may is may even increase during the 48 hours.

What next?
If Erika survives its run-in with Dominican Republic which is home to the largest mountain in all of the Caribbean,  there is a chance for some intensification Saturday and Sunday.

The NHC track now takes Erika inland over Florida, weakening as it moves over the Peninsula.

NHC says: Confidence, as expected with the bad model output, in the intensity forecast remains very low.
In the long run Interests in eastern and central Cuba, as well as the southern Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys, should monitor the progress of Erika.

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The Government of France has discontinued the Tropical Storm
Warning for St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Puerto Rico
* Vieques
* Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Dominican Republic
* Haiti
* Southeastern Bahamas
* Turks and Caicos Islands
* Central Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Northwestern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

This is from the local NWS Miami office:
GLOBAL MODELS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT THAT IT WILL HAVE
SOME IMPACT ON SOUTH FLORIDA LATE IN THE WEEKEND INTO MONDAY AND
THEN MOVE NORTH OF THE REGION THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.
MOISTURE WILL LINGER HOWEVER AS SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW DEVELOPS SO
CHANCES OF RAIN WILL REMAIN HIGH THROUGH MUCH OF NEXT WEEK.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crucial days for Erika

As of Thursday morning, Erika's winds have picked up a little but remains poorly organized.
An early morning recon mission  detected winds of around 50 mph, thats a jump from 40 mph from Wednesday night.

Recon is still checking Erika because today and tomorrow will be very important in determining how strong it may be as it aims for Florida.

Satellite imagery:
Indicates that the center is already in the Caribbean, west of Guadeloupe (aka the Butterfly Islands)), but most of the cloud cover and rain is lagging behind dropping needed rain over the region.

This situation where the western side of Erika is cloudless and and all the rain is on the east side, suggests very strong upper winds keeping Erika from organizing further.

The models show the environment around Erika remaining unfavorable for further strengthening over the next 48 hours.

Erika is churning along to the west with a turn toward the northwest expected by this afternoon or early evening.
If nothing changes,  the center of Erika will move near the Virgin Islands later today.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles mainly to the north and east of the center.

What is happening now?
Wind and rain will continue to impact the Lesser Antilles. Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue over portions of  Leeward Islands then reaching Virgin Islands later today and Puerto Rico tonight.

Erika will continue to drop rain in amounts of 3-5 inches and as much as 8 over portions of the Leeward Islands.

Next in Line?
Tropical storm conditions will reach Puerto Rico later this evening and parts of Dominican Republic by Friday and the southeastern Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands by Friday night.

Rain totals will be between 3-5 inches over the area.

This is from NWS in San Juan, PR:

From San Juan Office:
ON THE FORECAST TRACK...ERIKA IS EXPECTED TO PASS NORTH OF SAN
JUAN PUERTO RICO TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.

MAJOR CONCERN CONTINUE TO BE RAINFALL ACTIVITY. RAINFALL ESTIMATES OVER
THE LOCAL AREA ARE EXPECTED TO BE BETWEEN 3 AND 5 INCHES WITH
ISOLATED MAXIMUMS OF 8 INCHES POSSIBLE. PLEASE REFER TO TCPAT5
AND WFO SJU TROPICAL PRODUCTS FOR DETAILS.

Erika's Future?
The shear that has been impacting Erika and keeping her in check will relax and allow the system to grow if it can survive the next 48 hours.

NHC says, the HWRF and GFDL keep Erika stronger than the statistical while the GFS and ECMWF keep Erika weaker than they did previously.

The forecast has been adjusted upward slightly late in the period, but is well below the intensity consensus given the large uncertainty and spread in the guidance.

So if Erika can defy the odds, it may be close to South Florida by early Sunday/Monday of next week. There is plenty of hot water just offshore to allow Erika to grow stronger. Models hint at the possibility of a category 1 storm.

What should you do?

Stay informed. Plenty of things can change between now and Friday.

For the time being just review your storm plans, make sure you have on hand the supplies you will, and sit tight and wait for Erika's next move.
Check out our on-line prep page for helpful hints.

Click here for a helpful prep guide

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Anguilla
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin
* St. Barthelemy
* Montserrat
* Antigua and Barbuda
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* Puerto Rico
* Vieques
* Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Guadeloupe
* North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Cabo
  Frances Viejo
* Southeastern Bahamas
* Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Meanwhile locally its not a Tropical Storm but it sure feels like it. We will remain with a good chance for storms through the end of the week and beyond if Erika is around.

This is from NWS Miami office:
WEAK MID LEVEL TROUGH AXIS ACROSS THE GULF OF MEXICO COMBINED
WITH DEEP MOISTURE IN PLACE IS ALLOWING NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS TO CONTINUE ACROSS THE EXTREME SOUTHERN TIP OF
FLORIDA THIS MORNING.

GENERAL SOUTHWESTERLY STEERING FLOW SHOULD
ALLOW FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE CONVECTION THROUGH THE DAY TO FOCUS
ACROSS THE INTERIOR AND NORTHEAST COAST.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Erika on the rebound?

As of Wednesday morning, Erika remains a weak Tropical Storm but its showing signs of further organization. On satellite imagery you will notice some clouds moving west to east, these are from strong upper level winds that are keeping Erika in check.

At the same time, the golds,oranges, and reds, represent increased thunderstorm activity. This means Erika is holding its own.

Most of the rain is basically sitting east of the center. The intensity of the storm at 45 mph, up from 40 last night,  is an estimate based on satellite imagery and from a dropsonde launched from a recon plane.

Most models continue to aim Erika towards the Leeward Islands, then the Bahamas, and eventually if nothing changes, South Florida.

Remember, this system is still far away from us, with an uncertain future. Even though we are in the cone, this is not the time to panic. Just make sure you review your supply list and ready your property in case we do get a direct hit.



Erika will remain on a WNW track by the Bermuda high at least for the next three days.
After that, models show a faster moving storm.

GFS takes a much weaker Erika west-northwestward
ECMWF run is stronger with Erika with a track farther to the right.

This is the official cone from NHC:



SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
New tropical storm warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, and several other islands in the northeastern
Caribbean by their respective Meteorological

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Anguilla
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* Montserrat
* Antigua and Barbuda
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* Puerto Rico
* Vieques
* Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Guadeloupe
* St. Martin
* St. Barthelemy

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area, generally within 36
hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

This is what the local weather office is saying:
THE CURRENT OFFICIAL
FORECAST HAS ERIKA REACHING THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AS A TROPICAL
STORM BY SATURDAY EVENING AND INTO THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS AS A
HURRICANE ON SUNDAY EVENING. THERE IS MUCH UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARD
TO THE TRACK AND INTENSITY OF ERIKA, SO THE EXTENDED FORECAST IS
HIGHLY UNCERTAIN. GIVEN THE UNCERTAINTIES...POTENTIAL IMPACTS MAY
NOT BE EXPECTED UNTIL LATE IN THE WEEKEND OR EARLY NEXT WEEK. ALL
INTERESTS IN SOUTH FLORIDA NEED TO CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
TROPICAL STORM ERIKA AS IT TRACKS WEST NORTHWEST THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS.




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

South Florida Needs to Follow Erika

As of Tuesday morning Tropical Storm Erika remains with top winds of 45 mph.  Erika formed Monday night in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean very close to where Danny was a week ago.

Its basically over 700 miles east of the Leeward Islands. If it stays traveling at its present speed,  the center of Erika will approach the Leeward Islands Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Here's the latest:

  • Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center.
  • A recon plane will be out today to check it out.
  • The Bahamas, and South Florida should keep their eyes on Erika, as the models show it could be a hurricane as it nears us by early next week.

Watches and warnings have been issued for many of islands of the Lesser Antilles:

The Meteorological Service of St. Maarten has issued a tropical storm watch for St. Maarten.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Montserrat
* Antigua
* Barbuda
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* Anguilla
* Saba
* St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

This is the forecast cone for Erika. Remember Intensity forecast is the most difficult.


This is from NHC explaining what may happen next:

Erika will be moving over warming SSTs with light to moderate shear
for the next 36 to 48 hours, and the NHC forecast shows steady
intensification during this time. After that, Erika could encounter
increasing westerly shear due to interaction with an upper-level low
near Hispaniola and there is the potential for land interaction with
the Greater Antilles. The HWRF and LGEM models show more
strengthening during this time, while the GFDL and SHIPS models are
less aggressive. There is also disagreement among the global models.
The GFS weakens Erika to a trough by 5 days while the ECMWF has
trended stronger and the UKMET continues to show a more robust
cyclone. The NHC intensity forecast has been adjusted upward a bit
at days 4 and 5 and is close to or a bit below the IVCN intensity
consensus. Due to the large spread in the guidance, the intensity
forecast at days 3-5 is of even lower confidence than usual.


Monday, August 24, 2015

One almost done....One ready to step up

Danny is now a depression, but that may not be entirely accurate. You see the latest recon mission registered winds strong enough to keep it as a tropical storm but due to heavy lightning that developed along the center, the plane had to leave the area. They were not able to get a good fix on its center.

This may not matter as "Danny" will still be impacted by shear or strong opposing upper winds that will continue to weaken it while high pressure pushes it west into the Caribbean.

The system will drop some needed rain over the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico.

I'll post the radar out of Puerto Rico where you'll be able to see when the rain starts moving in across the Leewards.

This is the latest from the Puerto Rican Weather Office:

LATEST FORECAST FROM THE NHC SUGGEST THAT TROPICAL
CYCLONE DANNY WILL MOVE ACROSS THE LOCAL CARIBBEAN WATERS TONIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING.

HOWEVER...AN EXTREMELY MOIST AIR MASS WILL SPREAD OVER USVI AND PR THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING...RAISED THE THREAT OF HEAVY RAIN...
THUNDERSTORMS AND FLOODING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
LOCAL ISLANDS.

ALTHOUGH...DANNY IS FORECAST TO BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION WHEN IT MOVES OVER THE CARIBBEAN WATERS..

EXPECT PERIODS OF INTENSE RAINFALL AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS STARTING TONIGHT AND CONTINUE THROUGH TUESDAY.

DANNY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE 2 TO 4 INCHES OF RAIN OVER THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO THROUGH TUESDAY.

HOWEVER...STRONG OROGRAPHIC ENHANCEMENT OF RAINFALL CAN BE POSSIBLE WITH THIS TROPICAL CYCLONE...LEADING TO HIGHER RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS IN LOCALIZED AREAS.

Once Danny dissipates, the attention turns to an area of clouds and rain in the middle of the Atlantic following in Danny's footsteps. This could be our next storm.


This is what NHC is saying:
Shower and thunderstorm activity associated with a low pressure system located about 1250 miles east of the southern Lesser Antilles
has continued to become better organized since yesterday.

Satellite data also indicates that the low's circulation is gradually becoming
better defined. If current trends continue, a tropical depression is likely to form later today or tonight while the low moves westward
at around 20 mph.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent


This is what the models are suggesting.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Following Danny's Footsteps?

A very weak Danny should provide some needed rain across the Leeward Islands and possibly Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The center is almost completely exposed to the elements and further weakening is expected.

Weakening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Danny is expected to become a tropical depression on Monday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.

What the islands should prepare for:

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of the warning area overnight and early Monday.

Tropical storm conditions
are possible elsewhere over the Leeward Islands from Guadeloupe northward overnight.

RAINFALL: Danny is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain over the Leeward Islands, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Hispaniola

The following is an update from the Puerto Rican weather office:

* FLOODING RAIN:
PREPARE FOR RAINFALL FLOODING HAVING POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS
ACROSS PUERTO RICO AND THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS. POTENTIAL
IMPACTS INCLUDE:
    - RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES MAY QUICKLY BECOME SWOLLEN WITH SWIFTER
      CURRENTS AND OVERSPILL THEIR BANKS IN A FEW PLACES, ESPECIALLY
      IN USUALLY VULNERABLE SPOTS. SMALL STREAMS, CREEKS, CANALS,
      ARROYOS, AND DITCHES OVERFLOW.
    - FLOOD WATERS CAN ENTER SOME STRUCTURES OR WEAKEN FOUNDATIONS.
      SEVERAL PLACES MAY EXPERIENCE EXPANDED AREAS OF RAPID
      INUNDATION AT UNDERPASSES, LOW-LYING SPOTS, AND POOR DRAINAGE
      AREAS. SOME STREETS AND PARKING LOTS TAKE ON MOVING WATER AS
      STORM DRAINS AND RETENTION PONDS OVERFLOW. DRIVING CONDITIONS
      BECOME HAZARDOUS. SOME ROAD AND BRIDGE CLOSURES.

* WIND:
PREPARE FOR HAZARDOUS WIND HAVING POSSIBLE LIMITED IMPACTS ACROSS
PUERTO RICO AND THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS. POTENTIAL IMPACTS INCLUDE:
    - SCATTERED POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.

* TORNADOES:
PREPARE FOR A TORNADO EVENT HAVING POSSIBLE LIMITED IMPACTS ACROSS
PUERTO RICO AND THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS. POTENTIAL IMPACTS INCLUDE:
    - THE OCCURRENCE OF ISOLATED TORNADOES CAN HINDER THE EXECUTION
      OF EMERGENCY PLANS DURING TROPICAL EVENTS.

* SURGE:
LITTLE TO NO IMPACTS ARE ANTICIPATED AT THIS TIME ACROSS PUERTO RICO
AND THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS.

FOLLOWING DANNY'S FOOTSTEPS?

More Activity:
Meanwhile, another system is following in Danny's footsteps. Satellite imagery suggest it is showing signs of growth.

Right now its in the Mid Atlantic between African and the Windward Islands. Its surroundings are favorable for organization and it could become a depression over the next few days.

NHC is giving this feature:
Formation chance through 48 hours...high...70 percent
Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.

Satellite imagery is starting to show some banding, and even thunderstorms developing around the center of circulation.

It still has a long haul ahead but if it can continue its growth process, it just may be a tropical repeat for the Caribbean. Indeed Cape Verde season is underway.


This is what the latest models runs are showing.  Looks like a "Danny wanna-be" . If it were to become a tropical storm it would be called' "Erika".





Danny and a Danny Wanna-be

Hurricane Hunters were out early this Sunday morning to check out Danny in the Atlantic waters east of the Leeward Islands. They found it is very small, moving west at around 15 mph, and still holding its own at Tropical Storm strength of around 50 mph.

Most of the rain shown here in golds, oranges, and reds, are only present on the east and northern side of the system. 

It is still being impacted by strong upper level winds (wind shear), and will be its nemesis in the short term.

This is not a healthy storm. Those 50 mph winds stretch out from the center around 60 miles.

What should the islands expect?:
WIND:  Tropical-storm-force winds are expected within portions of the warning area by late tonight.

RAINFALL: Danny is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain over the Leeward Islands through Monday.

Which Islands are under advisories?:
A tropical storm watch has been issued for Puerto Rico, Vieques,
Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The government of France has discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch
for Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* Puerto Rico
* Vieques
* Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected, in this case within the next 24 hours.
What next?:
Both the GFS and ECMWF global models
continue to depict the system weakening and opening up into a wave within 48
hours.  
Given these signs, the official forecast shows
weakening as in the previous advisories.  However, because of the
uncertainties in tropical cyclone intensity prediction, it is
prudent to issue a tropical storm watch for Puerto Rico and the
U.S. Virgin Islands at this time.

Danny continues westward to west-
northwestward over the next few days as Danny moves on the southern side of a low- to mid-level ridge.
The track model guidance has shifted a little south on this cycle,
and so has the official forecast.  This is close to the latest
dynamical model consensus.  If Danny weakens faster than expected,
it could move even farther south of this track.

The system could bring much-needed rainfall to Puerto Rico over the
next few days.

The NHC track forecast now has Danny coming to an end over Hispaniola by Wednesday. 


Danny may have a wanna be twin. There is another system right behind it trying to organize.
NHC says:
Disorganized showers and thunderstorms are associated with a low pressure area located about 500 
miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for
development, and a tropical depression is likely to form by mid-week while the wave moves quickly westward at around 20 mph. 

By late this week, atmospheric conditions could become less favorable for tropical cyclone formation
  • Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent
  • Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent
This is what the local NWS office is saying regarding both Danny and the system right behind it:

DANNY CONTINUES TO WEAKEN AND DISSIPATION IS FORECAST BY NHC, BUT
WE OF COURSE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS...AS WELL AS ANOTHER AREA
OF INTEREST BEHIND DANNY OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC. THE LATEST
GFS AND ECMWF ARE BULLISH IN DEVELOPING THIS AND KEEP IT JUST EAST
OF THE BAHAMAS AS THE AMPLIFYING TROUGH DEFLECTS IT. EVEN
SO...IT`S A LONG WAYS OUT AND THINGS CAN CHANGE, SO WE WILL
MONITOR THIS ONE AS WELL IN THE DAYS AHEAD. THE NEXT NAME IS
ERIKA






Saturday, August 22, 2015

Danny: Weaker but not done

Danny continues to weaken and is now a tropical storm.  Satellite imagery shows that the SW quadrant is now where the center of the system is located. Strong and dry upper winds are responsible for that.

There are still some golds and oranges in this enhanced satellite view reflecting continued thunderstorm coverage, but not enough to surround the center. It is not a symmetrical nor a healthy system at this point.

According to hurricane hunters:

  • Reports show that Danny has weakened below hurricane strength
  • Top winds are now estimated to be 65 mph with higher gusts
  • Those winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.
  • Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

For the time being, Danny continues to be a nuisance for the shipping lanes.

Advisories still in place:
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
  • Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla
  • Saba and St. Eustatius
  • St. Maarten
  • Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

What's next?
For the time being the forecast track places Danny by the Leeward Islands Sunday night or Monday morning and by Puerto Rico and Hispaniola in 3 to 4 days.


After that?

  • The models are calling for a mid to upper level dip in the jet, that should slide off the East Coast of Florida in 120 hours. 
  • This will force whatever is left of Danny to curve over the Bahamas and make a northwestward turn.
  • The official NHC cone shows that NW turn 
  • We may end up getting some rain from a Depression, wave or disturbance...whatever is left of Danny, by early next week.


Local NWS office says:
This is what they are thinking:
NHC CONTINUES TO WEAKEN HURRICANE  DANNY IN THEIR
CURRENT FORECAST INTO THE
MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.

HOWEVER,  WE STILL NEED TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR DANNY`S PROGRESS AND LATEST FORECASTS.

Danny drops to Cat 1

We mentioned in our previous posts that Danny would go on an intensity roller coaster ride. On Friday it reached category 3 in almost 12 hours and now its going downhill fast.

As of the 11 am advisory, winds are down to 90 mph, a category one. Friday afternoon it was a major system category three.

Danny will continue to aim for the islands. Because of this advisories have gone up for the following locations:

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
The Meteorological Service of Antigua has issued a tropical storm watch for Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla.

The Meteorological Service of Curacao has issued a tropical storm watch for Saba and St. Eustatius.

The Meteorological Service of St. Maarten has issued a tropical storm watch for St. Maarten.

What do the advisories mean?
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. You should start preparing for the possibility of a direct impact. Get all your supplies ready and start protecting your property.

Danny still has some rain, but its only impacting a very small area. As a matter of fact these hurricane force winds only stretch out from the center a mere 15 miles, while tropical storm force winds of over 40 mph stretch out 60 miles.  This system remains a headache for the shipping lanes.

As of Saturday morning;
You no longer see the eye as was possible yesterday.

Most of the rain, shown in oranges and golds, are actually to the east of the center. This means the western side of the system is exposed to the elements. This is due to strong upper level winds known as shear that are tearing Danny apart on the west.

These winds will continue to get stronger as the hurricane heads towards the islands.

More recon planes are scheduled for today to get a better gauge of Danny and determine is real intensity.

Danny will remain on a northwesterly course possibly impacting the Leeward islands by the start of next week.  After that Puerto Rico and Hispaniola may be impacted by Danny as well.

NEW TODAY:
This is from NHC:

  • Although the guidance agrees on the overall trend, there remains a significant discrepancy between the dynamical and statistical model solutions on the weakening rate. 
  • The GFS, ECMWF, and HWRF models show Danny weakening quickly and opening up into a trough over the eastern Caribbean.
  • Conversely, the SHIPS and LGEM models show a slower decay.  
  • The NHC intensity forecast is between these scenarios and is in best agreement with the intensity model consensus.

What this basically means, is that estimating how strong  the system will be 2- 3 days out is very difficult.

The atmosphere is always changing, and the system itself goes through ups and downs.

NHC relies on a host of models. The best ones are not in full agreement, with some weakening it to the point where it is just a wave, while others keep it stronger.

All we can do is watch and wait.



The local NWS Office is not too worried about it:

HURRICANE DANNY IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE TO WEAKEN AS IT HAS DRY
AIR, WIND SHEAR, AND POSSIBLY LAND INTERACTION AHEAD OF IT. GLOBAL
MODELS DEGENERATE DANNY INTO AN OPEN WAVE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO
MONITOR DANNY`S PROGRESS.

Stay tuned, we'll keep you posted.





Friday, August 21, 2015

Danny now a Category 2

We have been saying that Danny would go on an intensity roller coaster ride. We mentioned it would go through moments of strengthening and then weakening,  but this is an extreme jump in strength.

At 11 pm Thursday night it had 80 mph winds, by 5 am this Friday morning, the winds increased to 85 mph, more in line to what was expected. But as of 11 am the wind speed skyrocketed to 105 mph. You can hear the click-click-click of the roller coaster going up.

Those very strong winds extend out from the center a mere 15 miles.  Right now Danny is in an area where the shear, or strong upper winds are light, and the sea surface temps are warm. Dry air has also stayed farther north. It has indeed taken advantage of the favorable surroundings.

Latest Satellite Loop:
On satellite imagery you can see its small but well defined eye. and feeder bands appear more noticeable.

Notice the deep golds, oranges, and reds surrounding the eye. That is where you will find the heaviest of the rain and the strongest winds.

Even though this image looks impressive, Danny remains a very small system. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be dangerous if it struck land as it is right now, but the forecasts call for weakening.

What next?
High pressure should build to the west, pushing Danny to the Lesser Antilles.  It could be near Puerto Rico by early next week.

Danny is at the top of the roller coaster ride and will soon come racing down.  There may be a few more loop de loops but most models say it should weaken.

The latest suite of models dissipate Danny soon after going across the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola.

No one wants a hurricane or tropical storm, but this area of the Caribbean is in its worst drought since 2010. Any rain would be welcome.

NHC says:
it is about to encounter increasing upper-level southwesterly flow associated with a trough over the northeastern Caribbean, with the shear forecast to increase to over 20 kt by 96 hours.  

This, combined with the abundant dry air remaining along the forecast track, should cause Danny to weaken below hurricane strength as it approaches the Caribbean islands. 

They add:
A NOAA aircraft will be conducting a research mission in and around Danny this afternoon, and an Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft will investigate Danny Saturday afternoon.  

These data will provide a better assessment of the intensity and structure of
the hurricane.

This will give the models better information and thus give us a more accurate forecast track and intensity information. As you know intensity outlooks are the most difficult aspect of forecasting. These missions should help.

The local weather office also believes whatever stage Danny is in should be very weak by the time it exits the Caribbean.  As of this moment they are keeping it out of our local forecasts.

Final Note: For my friends throughout the Caribbean, remain vigilant. There is a system headed towards you. It may be weak, it may be strong, but hopefully it should deliver some rain. I am hoping for the best outcome. For us in Florida, just keep watching. It should fall apart, but Mother Nature always has the last word. Keep checking in from time to time, just in case Danny decides to go for a second ride on the coaster.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Don't Discount Danny

Mother Nature has been trying to knock out Danny but it is failing.  On Wednesday, dry air made a big push to weaken the system and dissipate it all together but it refused. As of Thursday Morning, Danny is looking much better, almost thumbing its nose at the dry air trying to rob the moisture it needs to survive.

The visible satellite image is exactly what you would see if you were up in space looking down on earth.

Highlights:

  • More feeder bands are developing
  • Plenty of cloud cover around the center
  • And even an eye appears to be developing


The enhanced satellite view, gives different colors to t-storm activity.

In this imagery you will find:

  • Dark oranges, reds, and golds around the center. This means there is plenty of storms around the center.
  • Notice the clouds on the top part of the view. This is outflow from Danny at the upper levels of the atmosphere. Its almost like the exhaust in your car. In this case though, the more outflow, the better the chances for intensification.

Danny better hurry and take advantage of this window of opportunity where shear is weak and ocean waters are warm. If it does so, there is a chance it may become the season's first hurricane.

Where is it headed?

The models continue to slowly track the system more towards the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas than it did a mere 24 hours ago when it showed more of an impact across the Central Lesser Antilles.  What the models have a hard time forecasting is intensity.

In the short term, Danny has a chance go grow from lack of wind shear, but by the time it nears the islands it is expected to weaken to a tropical storm or even a depression.

The islands are watching closely as they need as much rain as they can get. They are under the worst drought since 2010.



The official cone from NHC, shows Danny becoming a hurricane by Friday and weakening once it reaches the islands.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Danny , No Changes yet

Tropical Storm Danny has changed very little since Tuesday night when top winds were estimated to be at 50 miles per hour. Those tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

On the satellite view you can see bursts of thunderstorm activity in the form of red blobs. This activity has been intermittent.

Finding the exact center is rather difficult today due to all the upper cloud cover.  Because of this, if the models can't get a good starting point, it will not give you a good ending point.

As of early Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Danny was (estimated) located near latitude 11.3 North, longitude 40.2 West.

Danny is moving toward the west near 14 mph, and a track to the west-northwest is expected during the next 2 days.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).

What's working against it?:
It is still fighting some drier air to the north. On this image all the golds and oranges are different intensities of Saharan dust in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere. It is just north of Danny and could play a significant role in its future. Any little jog north from Danny, and that could be the end of the storm.



What's working for it?:
It appears the Bermuda high will keep steering Danny almost due west and just south enough of the dry air to stay alive. Its also moving over warm waters, and the shear will turn very light throughout the next few days. This could give Danny the breathing room it needs to grow and intensify.

Danny could become a hurricane on Thursday. Some models have it near Category 2 status by the weekend as it approaches  the Lesser Antilles.

Where is it going?

The models have shifted more to the NW Wednesday morning.

While on Tuesday they all aimed for the Windward Islands, now they appear to be pointing to the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

No one wants a hurricane, but this region is under the worst drought in 5 years. While they may not want the wind or surge, they would welcome the rain.

The official forecast cone  is closer to the consensus, and calls for a more modest
strengthening with some slight decrease in intensity as Danny approaches the Lesser Antilles.



What is next?
The very long range models are very inconsistent at this point. Some dissipate Danny in the Caribbean, while others turn in NW possibly aiming for the Bahamas. As of this moment, all we can do is wait and see what the next suite of model runs tell us.  Keep checking back for the latest.