Atlantic Sat Image

Atlantic Sat Image
Clouds over Atlantic

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nothing yet.

Afternoon recon has detected tropical storm force winds. They are still checking for a closed circulation at the surface, but so far nothing.
A hurricane hunter plane investigating the disturbance this morning could not detect  a closed center of circulation at the surface.

As of Monday morning;
  • Coordinates: 13.9N 57.2W
  • Location: About 250 miles East of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles
  • Pressure (MSLP): 1009 mb or 29.80 in
  • Sustained wind speed : 29 mph
This system appears to be smaller this morning on satellite imagery but a little better organized. More and more t-storms are developing around the center of circulation. NHC has dropped  its chances for development at 80%, down from a high of 100% on Sunday afternoon.

A strong tropical cyclone could develop at anytime that could pack a punch making its way northeast towards the islands, through Puerto Rico, and finally impacting the Bahamas.

Even if this low does turn into a tropical cyclone, it will dump plenty of rain across the islands leading to flash flooding dangers. Above are the potential rainfall totals for US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

As I have been mentioning over the last day or so, the longer the system takes to develop, the more it will track west before making a turn to the North. This is being reflected in the latest suite of model runs. They are now showing a possible path through the Windwards, and then Dominican Republic and Haiti. This could be devastating for them , the low could bring heavy rain causing floods, land and mudslides. It could then impact Cuba, the Bahamas and possibly us.

NWS Puerto Rico says they could start feeling some gusty winds and rain by Tuesday.
Everyone in the path of this system should monitor it closely including the Bahamas and Florida.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Much needed rain

Tropical Storm Don is still on schedule to impact Texas late Friday night or early Saturday morning. It is still very ragged looking on satellite imagery.

Don remains rather elongated with most of the northwestern sector exposed to the elements. This is due to some upper level shear and drier air ahead of it.  It now appears this shear will keep Don in check until it moves on shore without further intensification. Rainfall totals are forecast to be between 3-5 inches with some areas getting as much as seven. This is just what the doctor ordered since the region is under an extreme drought.

 Watches and warnings have been issued mainly for Southern Texas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Invest 90, on the verge

This Wednesday morning, the wave over the Yucatan Channel, is ready to become a depression. The nearby shear has relaxed and the warm ocean water is providing plenty of fuel. A recon plane is scheduled to investigate the system in a few hours.

Mexican radar is showing that a surface circulation may be already forming about 50 miles Northeast of Cancun. Meanwhile, satellite imagery shows that more thunderstorms are developing around that possible center of circulation. Because of this, NHC is raising the chances of development from 70% during the overnight, to 80% this morning. This wave may become a Depression later today or even Tropical Storm "Don", down the road.

Storm information valid as of:Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Coordinates:21.9N 86.5W 
Location:56 miles NNE from Cancún,México
Hurricane Hunter:Scheduled for today
Pressure (MSLP):1008 mb (29.77 inches)
Sustained wind speed (1 min. avg.):35 mph 

Plenty of rain can be expected over Western Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula. If this system remains as a depression, it could be the answer to Texas's prayers. They are in a severe drought and this rain would be a huge relief.

The latest suite of  model runs keep the wave tracking northwest and threatening anywhere from Northern Mexico, to Texas and  Louisiana.  NO worries for us.

This tropical wave came to life last week near the Lesser Antilles. It traveled west over the high terrain of Dominican Republic and Haiti keeping it in check until reaching Central Cuba.

In the short term, there is plenty of moisture with this wave and some of it could track here. Expect some showers and t-storms to pop up over our area with a better chance towards the Keys and Southwest Florida.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The tropics are getting very active as evidenced by the two tropical Storms NHC is tracking. We now have Bret and Cindy, none of which should grow any stronger or last that long. Both are only a worry for the shipping lanes.

NHC is also watching one vigorous tropical wave in the far Eastern Atlantic. Models are hinting that this feature could become a tropical depression/storm in about 7 days and be very close to the Bahamas.

Here is some inside info. I didn't mention that on the air because the models that are hinting this are some of the ones under-perfoming this year and so far, are not that reliable. The CMC is one of those under-performing this year and is the one presented below.

Notice the big orange blobs in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific... those are high pressure domes. They tend to push tropical systems along. Now look at the small tight circle near the Bahamas, that is a tropical system. This is forecast out 144 hours.   Lets see what happens
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Then there is a tropical wave and an upper low over Hispaniola. Water vapor imagery is showing some moisture with this feature. It is traveling west. If it holds, it could drag more moisture over our area and bring with it a chance for rain over the next few days.  But remember, waves are very fickle and it could fall apart very quickly. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tropical Storm Bret Weakens

Winds are down from 65 to 60 mph. It appears that drier air is pushing in on the west side, and that usually spells doom for these systems.

Bret has a small window of opportunity to become a hurricane before Mother Nature shuts the door with some hostile upper winds.

The system will continue to track to the Northeast being pushed along by high pressure to the East and upper winds to the Northwest. It should only be a worry for shipping lanes. Bermuda could get some squally weather down the road from Bret.

For South Florida, some lingering moisture could cause scattered t-storms on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, drier air should move in across our area.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Tropical Depression 2

Air force hurricane hunters determined that INVEST 98 was indeed better organized and have called it a Tropical Depression. The recon plane detected tropical storm force winds but discarded this reading as erroneous and left it as a depression.

It sits around 100 miles northwest of Great Abaco island drifting south.  This is what should happen over the next few days.

  • The steering winds are very light and so TD 2 should meander close to us for at least 48 hrs. This could bring us some unsettled weather until Tuesday. We can expect more rain.
  • By Monday, high pressure to the east moves away as a front dives into the southeast. This opens a path in the atmosphere for TD2 to take.  
  • Most models now show a track away from Florida and towards the mid Atlantic.

As with everything tropical,  keep your eyes on this system for any surprises. There is plenty of hot water that it can use for fuel and rapid intensification is always a possibility.  Plus, if the high doesn't budge east, then TD2 will remain very close to us.

More and more the models are coming more in line with a future track away from Florida.

This low developed on Saturday along a stationary front draped across Louisiana, Florida, and the Atlantic Waters.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mixed Signals

We have been very quiet across the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean so far this season. Last year at this time were already into the "B" name, dealing with Tropical Storm Bonnie. Why so slow?

As you recall, NHC is forecasting an above average year.

  • 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which
  • 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:
  • 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).  The average is 11, 6 , and 3.

It appears this slow start is because Mother Nature is sending mixed signals. Last year we were under the influence of La Niña, which as you know, is an above average cooling of the Equatorial Pacific waters.  This cooling impacts ocean and atmospheric currents across the globe. Typically, it makes conditions a tad more favorable in the upper levels of the atmosphere for hurricanes to grow. It was an awful year for folks in the Caribbean, yet for us, 2010 was very uneventful.

In their forecast, NHC suggested we may see more activity in 2011 because La Niña was moving on. They said we would be entering a neutral phase, neither la Niña, nor her brother El Niño, which is an above average warming of the Pacific Ocean waters.

So where are we now?
NOAA says, the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) is in a neutral stage across the equatorial Pacific, with  sea surface temperatures near-average , but they also say that atmospheric circulation still reflects a La Niña year. What gives? It appears the earth is a bit confused.

These are my observations. Until the globe is in sync, we may stay relatively quiet.

  • There is still plenty of African dust blowing off the Saharan desert keeping the Eastern Atlantic dry and storm free. 
  • The Bermuda high appears strong and influencing much of the lower latitudes.  
  • With such little activity thus far, and with so much shear in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere... it's looking more like we are under El Niño effects. Go figure.

Why Mother Nature is sending these mixed signals is a topic for wiser folks. Despite her confusion, activity will increase in the coming months. The Cape Verde conveyor belt will kick in as we move into the most active part of the season, August, September, and October. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Invest 96L is here

...and done! A huge and somewhat organized area of clouds and rain that had been sitting over us the last few days is almost dead. It developed into an area of low pressure West of Tampa. NHC is now giving it a 0, yes 0% chance that it could become a depression during the next 48 hours as it drifts northward. This is down from a 40% chance on Thursday evening. NHC had deemed it an area worthy of investigation calling it INVEST 96L, but this is no more.

The old model runs showed the feature moving north and dragging plenty of moisture.

Long range models suggest this may actually be a blessing in disguise, as much of the associated rainfall will be East of the center.  This means that much of Central Florida could get beneficial rain and put a big dent in our drought.

While this low continues to move away, skies will clear for us, but still expect a few t-storms developing off the sea breeze.

Models hint at improving or drier conditions  but I wouldn't be surprised if we see more rain by the middle of next week. With all this rain over the last few days, all the foliage across South Florida is saying "Ahhhhh!, it feels so good!".

In other Tropical News:
Near Hispaniola, there is a vigorous wave that will dump more rain over the, already drenched, Haiti and Dominican Republic.

Near the Equatorial Atlantic there was another area of disturbed weather that NHC  gave a 10% chance for growth earlier , but that has mostly fallen apart. As of this moment, they don't expect much from it other than rain for the Windward Islands.

Lets hope this is the case with all the activity this year. We can use the rain, but not everything else that typically comes with a tropical system, for now, keep those umbrellas handy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What a mess

Florida is surrounded by plenty of moisture.  It all began on Saturday, July 2nd,  when a huge tropical wave moved over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.  It dumped huge amounts of rain over the region, the most impressive coming out of Dominican Republic.

Rain Amount        Location

The wave then split in two, with the main body tracking west over Jamaica and Western Cuba, and the northern end moving into the Northern Bahamas.

As the Caribbean wave moves into the Yucatan, an upper low over the Gulf of Mexico will pull moisture here and keep us quite soggy on Wednesday.  On Thursday, after a good soaking of the Bahamas, that second wave moves in keeping us wet through the weekend.

Here is the kicker with the wave over the Bahamas. A few models develop this wave into a low and track it north to the Carolinas.  Let's see if anything develops here.
This is the CMC model. On the link below you will notice a closed low developing just off shore Florida and then tracking towards the Middle Atlantic States. Once loaded press the forward button to animate.

CMC model run courtesy FSU

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I hate waves

Waves are one of the most difficult things to forecast. They can grow rather quickly or fall apart just as fast. I've seen good looking waves over the Bahamas heading in our direction full of moisture, only to fall apart overnight and have no impact on us what so ever.

So having said that, I'm giving you a heads up on a wave impacting Jamaica, Cuba, and Eastern Bahamas.

On the image above you can see the cloud cover over that area. The deep blue and red colors represent heavy rain. It already dumped plenty of rain over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. They had been under Flood Advisories while Dominican Republic and Haiti have also alerted their residents to the threat of flooding.

This feature is now splitting in two, the wave across the Caribbean and a disturbance over Eastern Bahamas.

If the wave is still around by Tuesday, expect plenty of tropical rain to move over the islands with the possibility of flash floods. For us, the disturbance will probably arrive here on Wednesday providing more tropical rain.