The tropics are a littler busier today, more typical of what we should be seeing this time of year.
Tropical storm Dolly, which was upgraded overnight, is moving toward the coast of Mexico with about 50 mph winds. Fortunately, strong upper level winds out of the north have kept Dolly from getting stronger especially considering the very warm water it is tracking across. The primary threat for Mexico will be an abundance of very heavy rain and an increase in waves along the coast. This also means a short period of time for additional wave energy to move up in to Texas, providing a short window of opportunity for surfers to take advantage.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, not much going on as of now. The NHC is indicating that a tropical wave is forecast to emerge from Africa in a few days with a good chance of development. Almost all of the global model guidance shows this happening and conditions do seem to be much more suitable now. We’ll wait and see, even if it does develop, it will be more than a week away from any land outside of the Cape Verde Islands.
There is also an upper level low that is producing some areas of concentrated convection just east of Florida and over the Bahamas. Sometimes these can work their way down to the surface and generate in to a more typical warm-core tropical cyclone. I don’t see that happening on any of the models right now but it’s something to keep an eye on and will continue to bring periods of showers and thunderstorms to the Bahamas and offshore waters of Florida and Cuba over the next few days.
In the east Pacific, TS Norbert has developed just off the coast of Mexico. The official NHC forecast takes Norbert roughly parallel along the coast with modest strengthening indicated. Some model guidance suggests a track closer to the Baja and with a much stronger system. Obviously, interests along the Baja and even mainland Mexico should monitor Norbert closely. Water temps in this region are running well above the long term average and we have seen some very strong hurricanes in this area so far this year. Do not be surprised if the NHC bumps up the intensity quite a bit in the coming days.
By the way, ever wonder what happens when we get to 99L for those “areas of interest” in the Atlantic? We start over again with 90L. The NHC uses this method of labeling suspect areas of weather instead of just calling them blobs of clouds or tropical disturbances. The naming designation also helps to initialize computer models and assign resources such as recon and satellite fixes. The numbers 90-99 are used with the letter “L” for Atlantic. The same labeling system is used in the Pacific except the letter “E” is used for East Pacific. Before Dolly became a tropical depression, it was 99L, the last in the series, and so we will start again with the next area of interest in the Atlantic being labeled as 90L. In case you wanted to know, now you do.
I’ll have more here tomorrow.
M. Sudduth 1:02 PM ET Sept 2