Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tropical Activity? Already?

There has been some talk, specially at the "Weather Channel" and a few other national outlets, that hurricane season may kick off next week. They are citing the potential for an area of low pressure forming over Cuba, just to our South.

Many of you have contacted me wanting to know my opinion. I have basically mentioned the potential for more rain next week but have stayed away from mentioning anything tropical. The main reason is that NOTHING has developed yet. If it does develop, it will probably get caught by a front and pushed away into the Atlantic.

What to expect:
If it does come together, we can expect a chance for more heavy rain starting on Monday. You should prepare for strong downpours and the possibility of street flooding through midweek.

Hurricane Formation:
Hurricanes and tropical systems need certain ingredients to form. The most important is hot water, with 80 degrees being the tipping point. Over that, and systems have enough fuel to grow, less and formation is very difficult. Present water temps are near 83°. So as long as this and other ingredients are present, systems can form at any time of year. Its only humans that have given Mother Nature a start and end date for hurricane season. (June 1st through the end of November).

The earliest (or latest depending on how you look at it) that formation has happened is Sub Tropical Storm #1 in January 18th in 1978. If the projections for a low to develop by next week come to pass, it would not be anything extraordinary.

What the models are suggesting: 
Here are two model runs. The first is the GFS, which shows a little tight circle in 180 hours east of Florida and the Bahamas.

The second is the CMC model, suggesting a small area of circulation just north of the Bahamas and east of Florida in 150 hours.

I always caution the validity of these long range models suggesting development. As of this moment, nothing has happened, there is no low, and upper winds are streaming out of the Southwest.  Models are never 100% perfect, as a matter of fact short range models were giving us a sunny Friday and Saturday and it appears we may remain mostly cloudy with a slight chance for showers.

This feature is nothing to panic about, but instead use it as a reminder that hurricane season is right around the corner staring June 1st.  So take the time now to slowly prepare for the upcoming season. We've been very lucky for almost a decade... lets hope we stay that way.

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