Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why do we re-set our clocks?


We are all familiar with the saying, "spring forward, and fall back", which relates to setting the clock ahead one hour in spring and one back in the fall. But why do we do it? Here's a blog I wrote sometime ago explaining the tradition.


Here is a brief history of this practice:

18th Century:
Way back in the late 1700's Benjamin Franklin suggested that getting up earlier and enjoying the sunshine would help save lamp oil that otherwise would be wasted by staying up late at night.

19th Century:
When our country was young and most of the cargo was carried by train, companies needed set time zones so they would know where and when the goods would arrive. Time zones, splitting the nation into 4 parts, began in 1883. Until then, major cities set their own times from local astronomical observations.

20th Century:
By 1908, the House of Commons in England debated to change the time in order to eliminate "The Waste of Daylight". The measure failed.

Here in America, in 1918, congress passed a law making the time zones official for all to use but no time change was issued. That changed shortly thereafter as may countries engaged in World War I. The United States adopted Daylight Saving Time, pushing the clocks ahead one hour in order to conserve energy for the war effort. The measure was so unpopular that it was repealed as soon as the war was over.

As World War II emerged in 1944, we went back into Daylight Saving with clocks set ahead 1 hour. It remained this way until 1945. After the War, it was up to individual states whether to observe Daylight Saving.

By 1966 the Department of transportation was created and it took on the responsibility of handling the nation's time laws. They were confronted with a new problem... Television. How could networks tell the whole country at what time their favorite show would air if everyone was observing a different time zone? Over 100 million people were observing Daylight Saving set by local municipalities and customs, it was a mess.

Shortly thereafter, the Uniform Time act of 1966 was passed which called for the clocks to be set forward and backwards in the Spring and Fall. This new law just insisted that the states keep their times in a uniform fashion but did not force anyone to observe Daylight Saving.

21st Century
In 2007, new start and end dates were issued for Daylight Saving Time. It starts at 2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until 2 a.m.on the First Sunday of November.

As of last check, most states observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Why do we still do it?
Proponents say, it saves energy.  We tend to use less electricity during the summer months because we are home fewer hours.  During this time of year, most Americans are enjoying outdoor activities. This means less electrical usage.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a poll suggested that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings."  They also add, that while the amounts of electricity saved per household are small...added up they can be very large.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

New Tropical Storm Philippe to move over us tonight

The area south of Cuba we've been watching has become Tropical Storm Philippe

As of the 5 pm advisory NHC has upgraded tropical depression 18 into a tropical storm. This is quite an interesting system. From time to time it has a typical symmetrical look to it and at others it appears to be lacking some organization.  The satellite imagery suggests plenty of cloud cover and rain across portions of Cuba and the NW Bahamas.

South Florida has seen its fair share of downpours and should still see more through the night.


A new spin has developed within the system that should be absorbed by the main center later tonight.

Models now show the center moving over Florida Bay and into Extreme Southern Miami Dade County later this evening.

Impacts:
The center should make landfall over the Upper Keys / Deep Southern Miami Dade county tonight.
  • Because of the structure of this system, the strongest winds will remain offshore, but cannot rule out a tropical storm force wind gust.
  • The main impact for South Florida will be the rain.  Many areas may get 2 - 4" with isolated spots seeing as much as 6" through tomorrow.




Watches and Warnings:
Because of the forecast track, a tropical storm watch is in effect from the Upper Keys (Craig Key) north to Golden Beach in Southern Broward County.  This means that winds up to 40 mph may be felt over the area during the next 24 hours.

Heavy rain is possible that may lead to street flooding with the best chance in area highlighted in orange .


Tonight through tomorrow morning will probably be the wettest period of this new storms for South Florida. We'll keep you posted.


Potential Tropical Storm 18

A Tropical Storm may brush South Florida this weekend

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Coastal Areas of South Florida from Craig Key in the Upper Keys to Golden Beach in SE Broward County..
.

There is an area of clouds and rain that practically takes up much of the western Caribbean Sea. It is dumping rain from Central America, to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Cuba. Some of this rain is forecast to move over us this weekend.

A recon plane found that the disturbance has become a depression  Earlier, NHC had deemed this a Potential Tropical Cyclone.


What is a Potential Tropical System?
This process of issuing advisories before a storm actually develops, is new.  NHC now has the option of starting advisories on a storm that has yet to organize. This gives areas in the storm's path the chance to prepare.  This new advisory  is known as Potential Tropical Cyclone.

The latest thinking on this Depression, is that it remains large with plenty of moisture, capable of heavy downpours. The 30 - 35 mph winds that have been clocked at times with this disturbance appear to be mostly on the southeastern side, down by Central Cuba.


This big mess will continue to move in our direction, and could still become a tropical storm later in the day.  It has a small window of opportunity to grow as strong upper winds ahead of a front may cut in down to size by Sunday.

Lots of uncertainties
The disturbance is still capable of heavy rains that could lead to flooding, land and mudslides over the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and the Bahamas. 

For South Florida the impacts should be in the form of possible heavy downpours.

This what NHC thinks:

The Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba, northern Bahamas: 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches through Sunday. These rainfall amounts may produce life threatening flash floods and landslides. South Florida, including the Keys: 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches through Sunday. These rainfall totals may produce flash flooding, especially in urbanized areas. WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area in Cuba later today and the northwestern Bahamas tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the central Bahamas tonight or early Sunday. TORNADOES: A couple of brief tornadoes are possible across far South Florida and the Florida Keys from midday through this evening.


The bottom line is just be aware that there is a possibility of heavy rain that may cause flooding. You can monitor the Live Radar here:









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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tropical Storm Nate

A new storm develops in the Western Caribbean Sea and its name is "Nate".

On Thursday morning, "Nate" was just offshore the Nicaraguan coast with top winds registered at 40 mph. It is moving northwest under 10 miles per hour and should impact coastal Nicaragua and Honduras throughout the day.


It should dump plenty of rain across the region:

  • Honduras and Belize can expect 2 - 5 inches with isolated areas getting as much as eight.
  • Eastern Yucatan may see between 4 - 8 inches with some areas as much as 12.
  • Costa Rica and Panama are forecast to get between 5 - 10" with isolated areas up to 20".
  • Nicaragua will see huge downpours of 15 - 20 up to 30 inches in accumulation which will surely lead to flooding , land and mudslides.


Where is it going?
Tropical Storm "Nate" is very close to land and that should keep its growth process in check until it gets into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. While the waters here are not has hot as they were a month ago, there's still plenty of juice to elevate "Nate" to hurricane status on Saturday/Sunday.


The models on Thursday, shifted the cone a little further west as the strong upper level winds that were supposed to nudge east will arrive later than anticipated. This now places the area from Pensacola west to SE Louisiana in the cone of concern. Keep in mind this red area only represent where the eye may be at that time. Impacts can be felt hundreds of miles away from the center.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Irma" Category 5

Early Tuesday morning hurricane hunters found "Irma" to be stronger with winds of 175 mph.



Headlines
  • NHC says there's an increasing chance that South Florida may see some impacts from "Irma"
  • Please prepare now as if we will get a direct hit. We will have a couple of good weather days that will give you the opportunity to prepare your property and get the supplies you need.
  •  A catastrophic event is in store for the Northern Leeward Islands with 175 mph winds, heavy rain, flooding, and a surge of 6 - 9 feet.
  •  Puerto Rico could see winds just as strong with heavy rain starting by Wednesday. You are under a hurricane warning.
  •  Hispaniola has a hurricane watch in effect. Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Cuba will also see some impacts form Irma by the end of the week.


Where is it headed?

All the models place it near the Straits Friday-Saturday, stopping and aiming north across the entire state. The possible "Saving Front" may not arrive in time to deflect the system over the Western Atlantic. Instead, it appears "Irma" will move over us.



Worry Meter

Northern Leeward Islands: EXTREME- You will be impacted by a cat 5 as early as Wednesday morning.

Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba & Bahamas: ELEVATED. Possible cat 5 winds with heavy rain ahead. Finish your preparations now.

South Florida: VERY HIGH: Now is the time to review your hurricane plans, and get the supplies you need. If nothing changes with this forecast, we could be dealing with a powerful Cat 4 by the weekend.
Please take this seriously, it may be very close to us by Friday.




 




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sdfsf

Monday, September 4, 2017

South Florida in the Cone of Concern

Irma still a powerful hurricane that may impact South Florida  by the weekend.


Headlines

  • South Florida is now under the cone of concern of concern. This is the time for you to prepare, check your hurricane plan, and supplies. Do it before watches and warnings are issued. Here's a good link you can use for a list of supplies and steps you can take to get ready.


  • Hurricane force winds will start impacting the Leeward Islands late Tuesday. You should complete your preps and be ready to meet the storm head on.
  • Irma will then make its way towards the Virgin Islands, possibly Hispaniola, Cuba and the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday. You should be preparing now.


Forecast Cone

Everyone inside the cone should be getting ready for a brush with "Irma". Please prepare now for what could be a strong hurricane for South Florida by the weekend.



The Worry Meter
Leeward Islands EXTREME: You can expect tropical storm force winds moving in by Tuesday
Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas: ELEVATED. Get ready now, you may be dealing with a storm by midweek.
South Florida: Moderate to High: get ready now as a system may be here by the weekend.

I'll keep you posted






Concern grows for Florida

As of 11 am Monday morning these are the Watches & Warnings in place:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis
* Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
* Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Guadeloupe
* British Virgin Islands
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Dominica

Headlines

  • "Irma" will move in on the Leeward Islands Tuesday as a major hurricane, strong deadly winds, downpours, and deadly coastal surge. COMPLETE your preps now.
  • The Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will be next feeling the storm on Wednesday. Advisories in place there as well.
  • Watches may be issued for Hispaniola as well as the Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, and Cuba at anytime over the next 24 hours.
  • FLORIDA: NHC now says our chances for "Irma" impacts are growing as we move into the end of the week or weekend. I like to err on the side of caution. Review your plans and supplies now. Do not wait until advisories are issued. I am hoping this will all be an exercise in preparedness. Hoping for the best.
  • NOAA planes will fly today over the continental U.S. to get a better idea of a possible "Saving Front" that may arrive and hopefully protect us from "Irma". This new info will be released by 8 pm tonight.


Health
I wish I had better news, but it is looking better and better on satellite imagery. The eye is much larger with multiple eyewalls.


Nothing is in its way to weaken it or deflect it over 5 days.



Worry Meter:
Leeward Islands: EXTREME- You are in the path of a major hurricane. COMPLETE preps now.

Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas: Elevated- You are in the cone of concern and are likely to be impacted over the next 3 days. Make sure you have the supplies you need.

Florida: Medium- If nothing changes, watches and warnings may be issued for us over the next 24 - 48 hours. I would make sure I have what I need as far as supplies, medicine, pet food etc.
Here's our web site for helpful tips on preparing:     http://wsvn.com/news/surviving-a-storm/

I'll keep you updated

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Worries rise with Irma

The eye of "Irma" may come too close for comfort in the Caribbean.

We start this first week of September, with all eyes fixed on powerful and compact Hurricane "Irma".


Headlines
  • Hurricane watches remain in effect for Antigua, Barbuda,Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St Maarten, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy.
  • If nothing changes with the track, "Irma" should approach the Leeward Islands on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning
  • It is forecast to stay as a major hurricane throughout the week.
  • It may get even stronger over the next 2 days.
  • NHC says, "Irma" may directly affect the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the Turks & Caicos, and the Bahamas. For you in these areas, please monitor your local authorities for updated weather warnings. 
  • Watches & warnings may be issued for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico at any time through Monday.
  • NHC says its still too early to tell if "Irma" may impact Florida or the rest of the U.S. Coastline.
  • I will err on the side of caution and urge you in Florida to review your hurricane plans and supplies. Its always best to be ready before advisories are issued for South Florida.

Health
"Irma" remains a compact but intense system. 

Even though the eye was not visible at times on satellite, an afternoon recon mission found it well formed with a healthy eyewall. This is the ring of destruction where the strongest winds and heaviest of the rainfall resides.

This is the radar image directly from the recon flight.

Hurricane force winds reach out from the center up to 35 miles while tropical storm force winds extend outward 140 miles.

There is really nothing significant ahead of it over the next 5 days to weaken it or deflect it.

It should remain on a mostly West/Southwest course throughout the next 48 hours then start a turn for the northwest after that.

Where is it headed?
The experts at the National Hurricane Center rely on models to give them an idea of where "Irma" may end up. The atmosphere is ever changing and so are the models. They vary from run to tun and can have huge forecast errors 5 - 7 days out. Sometimes as much as 240 miles in both directions. So focusing on a line is not the best course of action. These are used as a gauge and not a preset track.

These are the spaghetti models which show where the center, or eye, may be in the days ahead. Notice how tight they are by the Leeward Islands, this is a clear consensus of where "Irma" will be. They fan out however as they near the Bahamas, Florida, and the East Coast, with each line having a huge forecast error by day 5.



These are individual runs. The European says High Pressure will not budge, shown in the red shaded area, and puts a green blob (Irma) over South Florida by the 10th of September.


The GFS puts an extremely strong hurricane over the Bahamas and near South Florida also on the 10th.


NHC takes these and other models into account and issues their cone of concern.  Everyone in the areas highlighted should be getting ready for the possible arrival of "Irma".  Review your plans and supplies and for you in the islands you should complete your preps as soon as possible.



To give you a better idea of potential impacts, NHC has come up with a graphic that shows more or less the time when you may get Tropical Storm force winds, greater than 39 mph.



The Worry Meter:
Leeward Islands: HIGH. Complete your preparations. Hurricane watches are in place. Follow the advice of local authorities. Gusty winds may approach as early as Tuesday night.

Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks & Caicos Bahamas: ELEVATED. Review what you need and be ready for advisories to be issued soon. Keep a very close eye on the storm.

Florida & U.S. Coast: Moderate. Even though NHC says its too early to tell where it may end up, I would be checking my supplies and hurricane plan just in case. At worst we may be dealing with a hurricane in South Florida by the weekend, at best - this could just be a big scare.

I'll keep you posted.







Irma's Health Check

"Irma" Remains a strong hurricane in the Atlantic


Headlines
  • Expected to remain a major system as it nears the Leeward Islands. Watches & Warnings may be issued later today.
  • The Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico may also be impacted later in the week. Watches and warnings may be issued there sometime Monday.
  • Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks & Caicos & the Bahamas should monitor the path carefully. If nothing changes with the trajectory of the cone, you too may see advisories issued.
  • Florida and the rest of U.S. East Coast, NHC says its too early to determine where "Irma" may finally end up.



Where is it going?

Short term: Most models agree the eye may pass very close to the Leeward Islands by the middle of the week.  Cannot rule out a direct impact.

Long term: By the end of the week it may be anywhere in shaded area which includes, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, parts of Haiti, Turks & Caicos and even the Central Bahamas.



Latest Models

Keep in mind the atmosphere is fluid and ever changing. Forecasts are not set in stone and that is why they are updated every few hours.  Also, the farther out in time you go, the greater the forecast error. By day 5, each one of these little lines has an error of over 240 miles in either direction. These models go out 7 days so the spread is even larger. That is the problem with focusing too much on long range outlooks.



Worry Meter
Leeward Islands: HIGH. I would try and complete all your preparations.  Watches may be issued for you at any time. Do it now and be ready just in case.

Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico: Elevated. Review what you need and be ready for advisories to be issued for you early this week. Keep a close eye on the storm.

Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks & Caicos & the Central Bahamas:  Medium.  Even though this system is far away, and many things can happen, it is forecast to be a strong hurricane by the time it nears the area. Review your hurricane plans and be ready when and if local authorities implement watches and warnings.

Florida & U.S. East Coast: Low. NHC and the models say its too early to tell where "Irma" may end up. I always err on the side of caution and urge you to review your plans & supplies now. At worst we may have a strong hurricane in our hands by next weekend, at best- this may just be an exercise in preparation and readiness.

I'll keep you posted










Saturday, September 2, 2017

Latest Assessment on "Irma"

Hurricane "Irma" remains a strong storm in the Eastern Atlantic over 1000 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

Hurricane Headlines

  • The Leeward Islands should watch it closely.  Models suggest "Irma" may grow in size during the next 3 days, this may determine when advisories will be issued for you. It could also arrive as a major system,  111 mph winds - Cat 3 or above.
  • Recon flights begin on Sunday with NOAA planes, followed by Air Force's Hurricane Hunters on Monday.
  • It is way too early to say whether "Irma" will have any impact on Bahamas, FL, or any other part of the U.S.


"Irma's" Health

The system has changed very little over the last 24 hours and remains an intense but compact hurricane. The strongest winds extend out from the center 25 miles, while tropical storm force reach out to 70 miles.

Its eye is visible .

While "Irma" may be a small system (size-wise), it promises to grow larger over the next 3 days. This will determine when watches and warnings are issued for the Leeward & Virgin Islands.

Even though "Irma" is being impacted by some dry air, it really hasn't taken a huge toll on it.

In the next few days, it should reach warmer waters and additional moisture which could aid in intensification.

At the same time, it will run into some strong upper level winds which may help to weaken it. In this case, the models keep it more or less near Cat 3 strength.

Unfortunately, there is also the possibility "Irma" could get stronger sooner before reaching the shear.


Where is it going?

The official cone from NHC shows the system near the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, & even Eastern Dominican Republic by Thursday. It can be anywhere in the shaded area. After that, models are shifting back and forth and real determination of its final destination is still highly questionable.



High pressure to the North (Bermuda High) will continue to push "Irma"west-southwest. By the end of next week, it will be close to the Western Edge of the Bermuda high. The question will be what "Irma" does next. Depending on how soon it can make the turn north, it may come dangerously close to the Leeward Islands.

They should be ready for dangerous winds, heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding, land and mudslides, and storm surge.



The Worry Meter

For the Leeward Islands & Puerto Rico: Elevated. I would be making sure I had the supplies I need along with food and water. This is a powerful system that promises to be near you in the days ahead.

The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Florida & beyond: Low.
There are too many variables. Review your storm plans and make sure you have what you need. Hopefully this will just be an exercise in preparedness.






Thursday, August 31, 2017

Troubling "Irma"

The National Hurricane Center is following closely the latest developments from Tropical Storm "Irma". This system should become a hurricane today in the Far Eastern Atlantic. Its situated roughly 600 - 700 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Movement shall remain almost due west for the next few days.

The satellite imagery shows a good looking healthy system with developing feeder bands.

The environment surrounding "Irma" will allow it to intensify over the next few days.

It may reach major status with winds over 111 mph as it nears the Lesser Antilles.

There is little shear in its path and water temps are warm so it has the fuel it needs to grow, free of obstacles.

In the long term, it may encounter some dry air that has a small chance at debilitating "Irma".

Where is it headed?
This is a system that needs watching by everyone down the road. It will get pushed West by High Pressure to the north.  This will keep Irma traveling more or less in a west-northwest trajectory. In about 2 - 3 days however, the high dips south aiming "Irma"towards the Islands. After that, models are not in agreement.






Lets review a few of the more detailed model outlooks:
The CMC, shows a small green dot just north of the Leeward Islands in about 5 - 7 days. The darker the color and tighter the lines, the stronger the  system. This model places an intense storm northeast of Puerto Rico. It also keeps high pressure, shown in the red blobs, split open over the East Coast of USA. This may be a path to take but it may include the Bahamas and South Florida in its route.


The European Operational Model maintains the high pressure dome closer to the East Coast keeping "Irma" on a collision course with Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Bahamas, Cuba, So Florida and maybe the Gulf States.



The GFS Model is also buying into High Pressure holding firm and pushing "Irma" towards the Bahamas and possibly South Florida. Notice in this run there's a second little dot by Texas. This model is forecasting another system to possibly hit the Texas/Louisiana coast in the days ahead. Keeping my fingers crossed that does not happen.


The NHC official forecast cone for "Irma" is a mix between the Global and GFS models.
Everyone across the Islands to South Florida should keep monitoring this as it could turn out to be a strong system.







Friday, August 18, 2017

Harvey, a Low, and a Wave.

As we move into the weekend, there is plenty to watch. We start with an area of clouds and rain east of the Lesser Antilles. It is an area of Low pressure with a high chance at becoming a depression or a Tropical Storm over the next few days.

The area has been deemed Invest92L, as a feature NHC would like to INVESTigate further. On satellite it shows up as a red dot towards the right of the picture.

Overnight, this low showed more thunderstorm activity as it moved in a west/northwesterly component at around 20 mph.

If more thunderstorms pop up, it could quickly become  a named system. So far no recon missions have been planned.

The chances for development are at 70%.  If it organizes into a storm it would be called "Irma".


If it does develop, where would it go?
Most models agree that in the short term, 3 - 5 days out, it will move northwesterly, tracking very close to Puerto Rico, Southeastern Bahamas, and Eastern Cuba. After that, it may even reach South Florida.



What does it have working for it?
It is traveling over warm waters and that can give it the fuel it needs to form. Even warmer waters lay ahead as it reaches the Bahamas and Florida Straits.

What does it have working against it?
Now nothing, but in a day or two, strong upper winds pop up that should knock it down or at least keep it in check.

Keep your eyes on this one just in case.

Another Wave to watch:
There is also a Tropical Wave just north of Hispaniola loaded with moisture and heading our way. Waves are very fickle, they can grow quickly or fall apart just as fast. If this one does not fall apart, it could brings us some downpours this weekend.


Tropical Storm Harvey:
It is impacting the Windward Islands with top winds of 40 mph. This is not a huge wind event, but more of a rain producer. Total accumulations of 2 - 4 inches are expected that will lead to localized flooding, land and mudslides.



Once it enters the Caribbean Sea, it should move mostly in a straight line missing most of the islands. Unfortunately it appears it will strike parts of Central America and Mexico, just under Cat 1 strength.



I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Possible Tropical System Later Today

There's plenty of activity in the Tropics, but one area is on the verge of becoming a depression or even a Tropical Storm as early as this evening .  The National Hurricane Center started issuing advisories on this system, calling it "Potential Tropical Cyclone" number 9.  They are doing this before the actual system organizes to give residents in its path an earlier chance at preparations.
The "Nine" is next in line as far as the number of storms so far this season.

The area of low pressure is roughly 350-450 miles east of the Lesser Antilles with top winds of 35 mph.

A recon mission is scheduled for this afternoon and depending on what it finds, they may upgrade its status.

A closer look at satellite imagery shows an impressive spin just East of the Bahamas, THIS IS NOT the one being tracked. This is an area of low pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere. It may cause some rain across the SE Bahamas, but it is NOT tropical.

The area being tracked by NHC is the small spin just east of the Lesser Antilles.

Even if it does not develop, gusty winds will impact islands of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, with possible rain amounts of 2 - 4 inches for Martinique south to Grenada. This will bring along the threat of flooding, land and mudslides.

Watches and Warnings have been issued for the following areas:
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Martinique
* St. Lucia
* Barbados
* St. Vincent and the Grenadines

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Dominica

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area,in this case within 24-36hrs.
A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions are   possible within  watch area, in this case within 24-36 hours.


Where is it headed?

This Potential Tropical Storm (Will be named Harvey), will be a big worry for everyone down the road. After its run-in with the Lesser Antilles, it will shoot a straight line across the Caribbean until reaching Central America.

Intensity forecasting is very difficult and with so much hot water in this area for fuel, this system has a chance to grow strong.


We'll be watching

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tropics are Heating Up

Five areas to watch over the next few days, 
two of which may be headaches down the road.

As of Wednesday morning, we are looking at 5 areas in the Atlantic Basin.
The tropical activity stretches from Hurricane "Gert" in the Western Atlantic to a wave in the Caribbean, two lows in the Mid Atlantic, and another wave off the West Coast of Africa.




Lets review each:

  1. Hurricane Gert: Tied Former Hurricane "Franklin" Tuesday night, for strongest system in 2017 with top winds of 85 mph. A front will move off the East Coast of USA on Wednesday keeping "Gert" away from any land areas. This will be a "Marine Hurricane" or an open water storm.  It should die out sometime over the weekend as it moves over the "Hurricane Graveyard" or the cold waters of the Northern Atlantic.
  2. Tropical Wave in Caribbean: This is a very weak wave with little moisture. Its moving Northwest and if it can survive, the northern edge of the wave may push some added downpours to South Florida, by the end of the week. Waves are very fickle, they can grow quickly or fall apart just as fast. We'll be watching it.
  3. Broad Area of Low Pressure: This feature has a medium chance for development as it moves west. It may be a worry for the islands next week.
  4. Broad Area of Low Pressure: This is traveling North/Northwest. This too has a medium chance of becoming a depression of a tropical storm over the next 5 days.
  5. Tropical Wave: This is just coming off the West Coast of Africa today. NHC is giving it a medium chance for development through next Monday.

Lets focus on Features Three and Four

This is what the National Hurricane Center is saying about the chances each of them have to develop over the next 5 days. If they do form, it should happen somewhere over the areas highlighted. This is NOT a forecast path, but the area models think something may form.

The two Lows are the ones I am watching closely.

The nearest one to the Lesser Antilles is roughly 1000 miles to the East, traveling towards the islands at around 15 - 20 mph.

It has been deemed "Invest91L" as it is an area NHC would like to INVESTigate further.

This area of clouds and rain should navigate into the Caribbean Sea sometime on Friday,

There is a chance it could develop just before crossing over from the Atlantic.

Conditions become less favorable for organization once it enters the Eastern Caribbean Sea.

Early Model Runs on Invest91L:
Models need a good staring point in order to provide an accurate forecast track. Since nothing has organized yet, there is no center fix, therefore they are just offering an educated guess.

If something were to happen with Invest91L, it appears the most likely course will be west over the Lesser Antilles and then the Caribbean.

For you across the Islands, this is a good opportunity to review your supplies just in case Mother Nature whips up a storm.

We are hoping nothing develops, but preparation is always best.

Early Model Runs on Invest92L:
This broad low is situated a few hundred miles west/southwest of Cape Verde. Its moving west/northwest at around 15 - 20 mph. It has a short window of opportunity for development.


First, it has to battle Saharan Dust (shown in the orange shades) which is depriving it of much needed moisture to grow. The dust is encroaching the northern sector of the Low. Second, upper air conditions turn hostile by the weekend.

The models show if anything develops, it will border the Bermuda high sitting to its north and possibly aim for the Bahamas.


Why so much activity?
We are diving head first into a mini season within the hurricane season, known as "Cape Verde Season".

This time of year, disturbances come off the West Coast of Africa and either go over or near the Cape Verde Islands, with some developing down the road. This is why the season is named after the islands.

"Cape Verde Season" runs from Mid August thru October.

These systems tend to be stronger and last longer than most.

The good take away from all this, is that dozens and dozens of these disturbances emerge into the Atlantic, but only one or two organize and go on to become hurricanes.



By the way the peak of hurricane season is right around the corner, that being September 10th.





Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Depression #8

Tropical Depression Number 8 is forecast to become a Tropical Storm on Sunday.

As of 11pm Saturday night, NHC is tracking Depression number 8. Its sitting roughly 250-300 miles Northeast of the Southeastern Bahamas. Its top winds were clocked at 35 mph, but they should grow stronger Sunday with a chance to become a Tropical Storm. If it does intensify, it will be called Tropical Storm "Gert".


Earlier in the day satellite imagery showed the circulation had become better defined and by nighttime the system's spin had improved. This is why it was upgraded to Depression Status.

It has a chance to grow even stronger as it moves over warmer waters with a favorable shear free environment. But it may also encounter some dry air down the road limiting its potential for intensification.

NHC adds:

The statistical guidance and the HWRF favor more significant 
intensification than the global models, which generally do 
not show much deepening.  In deference to the global models, 
the NHC forecast is below the consensus, especially later in
the period. 

Later in the forecast around Wednesday, the depression will leave the tropical region and start losing its identity.

Where is it headed?:
This system should mainly be a worry for the shipping lanes as it is forecast to remain offshore and away from land areas. Even Bermuda should stay clear of this system. .





Chances Growing for Atlantic Low

As of Saturday morning an area of low pressure in the Western Atlantic has a high chance of becoming our next depression or tropical storm.  The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving it a 60% chance for growth in 48 hours, higher chances over five days.  If it were to develop it would do so in the area highlighted in red.

The reason for the higher chances, is that the strong upper level winds (Shear) that was keeping it disorganized have weakened. The low now has breathing room to grow.

As of this update it appears the system , if it develops, should stay away from land and over the open waters of the Atlantic.



The low is just over 100 miles northeast of the Turks & Caicos (SE Bahamas) and looking a little better organized. It will continue to move northwest at around 15 - 20 mph.

The satellite loops shows areas of oranges and reds trying to spin around a fixed center. These are globs of thunderstorms coming together.

If those areas completely close off, looking like a ring, that's an indicator a system has formed.

As of this update, Hurricane Hunters are not scheduled to investigate.

The Turks and Caicos, as well as the Southeastern Bahamas, may get some rain from this Low as it travels nearby.

Where is it Going?
The models are pretty much in unanimous agreement that this low will stay away from any land areas. They suggest the Bermuda high will move East, then a front will move from Central USA to the Coast acting as a roadblock. This will leave only one path for the low to take and thats between Bermuda and the East Coast.  Even Bermuda appears to be outside the projected path. (The black line is base line, not a track or an outlier model)



Even though there may be a track consensus among models, they are not all humming the same tune when it comes to something actually forming.

This is the Canadian Model showing a tight title circle East of Jacksonville indicating good formation by August 14th.

The European Model however, shows a small ring around the same time, suggesting a much weaker or non existent depression or storm.


How strong could it be?
The intensity of a system is one of the most difficult criteria to forecast. The graph has the wind speed on the left and the hours on the bottom.  Notice between 72 and 96 hours, the models show the system near hurricane strength, then quickly loosing steam. ((CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LATEST RUN))


Remember these forecast track projections are not set in stone. Areas even far away from the center can still get impacted by the system. Remember Tropical Storm "Emily" just last month? Even though it moved over Central Florida, our area got hit hard with heavy rain leading to street flooding.

As always this is a good opportunity to review your hurricane plans and supplies just in case Mother Nature throws us a curve ball.

We will keep monitoring and informing you if there are any changes.