No major issues in the tropics right now – just one area to monitor in NW Caribbean

Map showing location of invest area 95L over the NW Caribbean Sea

Map showing location of invest area 95L over the NW Caribbean Sea

The tropics remain quiet for the most part as we begin to approach the end of June. Only one area, tucked away in the NW Caribbean Sea, is of any concern and even it has a low chance of development.

This morning’s update from the NHC indicates that a tropical wave and a weak area of low pressure is present just off the coast from the Yucatan peninsula, over the northwest Caribbean Sea. It is rather disorganized with limited convection associated with it.

As with the precursor to what became TS Danielle, the main threat here will be periods of heavy rain for portions of Central America as the wave/low moves across over the next few days. And, as was the case with Danielle, if the low has enough warm water to work with once over the southern Bay of Campeche, there is potential for some additional development. Right now, nothing indicates any major issues arising from this system but it is something to monitor.

Computer models indicate that a track similar to Danielle would be likely which means more rain possible for eastern Mexico over the weekend. I see no reason to believe that this system would be of any concern to Texas or elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, the Pacific remains virtually shut down, quite a stark contrast to last year when several hurricanes had formed by now. This is truly remarkable and I do not see the trend ending anytime soon. Perhaps within the next 10 days something will try to get going as a strong upward motion (MJO) pulse is forecast to move through the region, helping to promote tropical convection and thus increasing the chances for development.

I will have more here tomorrow.

M. Sudduth 10:50 AM ET June 23


Danielle forms this morning – heavy rain spreading in to eastern Mexico

Track map showing TS Danielle which will be inland over Mexico by later today

Track map showing TS Danielle which will be inland over Mexico by later today

The NHC upgraded TD4 to TS Danielle this morning and thus setting a record for the earliest formation of the 4th named storm. I am beginning to wonder if this is in fact a sign of things to come? Danielle originated from a tropical wave and not an old frontal boundary or other non-tropical feature. Water temps across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are warmer than average and it’s only June. I suppose it’s a bit early to speculate on August and September but at this pace, it will be a very busy season if things keep going like they have been.

As for Danielle, the obvious major hazard for Mexico will be continued heavy rain, this is especially true for the high-terrain areas as the storm makes landfall. Once inland, as is typically the case in this region, the system will quickly die out. Fortunately for Texas, where more rain is the last thing anyone needs right now, Danielle is too far south and has no chance of making in to the Lone Star State.

The rest of the tropics, including the east Pacific, are nice and quiet as we begin the first official week of summer. I don’t see anything in the global models so suggest further development any place else in the near future. However, the GFS is remarkably persistent in showing a low pressure area in the northwest Caribbean Sea around the 10 day time frame. This is just a bit too far out in time for me to be very concerned about it but the pattern suggests that perhaps this isn’t too far-fetched, especially considering how busy the season has been already. It’s something to monitor but nothing is imminent.

I’ll have more here later today when I post my video discussion.

M. Sudduth 9:45 AM ET June 20



Recon will investigate 94L in the Bay of Campeche, let us know if tropical depression or storm has formed

Graphical forecast map showing the low pressure and and associated high seas info for portions of the Bay of Campeche

Graphical forecast map showing the low pressure and and associated high seas info for portions of the Bay of Campeche

Despite the odds, it looks like the tropical wave and associated low pressure area that moved out of the Caribbean Sea and over the Yucatan may in fact develop later today, if not already.

You may recall just a few days ago, the NHC indicated only a 10% chance of development due to land interaction primarily. Yet, 10% is not 0% and the low pressure area, weak as it may be, has managed to remain over the warm water of the southern Bay of Campeche. As such, convection has blossomed overnight in to this morning and we could be dealing with another tropical system before the day is out.

The Hurricane Hunters are due to fly in and investigate later this afternoon, assuming the system doesn’t fall apart before then. Their information will help to determine just what is going on in the area and whether or not we have the next depression or possibly even a tropical storm. If it’s a storm, the name will be Danielle.

The primary threat will be very heavy rain for portions of eastern Mexico as the low approaches. There is a chance it will go on to become a tropical storm but the wind will not have a chance to ramp up much before landfall later tomorrow.

The rest of the tropics remain quiet for now although a vigorous tropical wave is moving in to the eastern Caribbean with quite a flare up of thunderstorm activity. This will bring squally weather to portions of the Windward and Leeward Islands today and tomorrow. Beyond that, we will have to monitor where the energy tracks as there are some indications in the long range models that the northwest Caribbean could get active within the next 10 days.

I’ll have more here later today, including a video discussion on the latest goings on with 94L and the rest of the tropics.

M. Sudduth 11:30 AM ET June 19


No issues from the tropics going in to the weekend

As we move past the middle of June, the tropics remain quiet with no significant areas of concern to burden ourselves with as we head in to the weekend.

The NHC is monitoring a tropical wave currently moving through the northwest Caribbean Sea with limited and disorganized convection. Land interaction should prevent the system from organizing further but expect periods of heavy rain and some gusty winds as the wave energy passes by the Yucatan and surrounding areas.

In the east Pacific, the anemic season continues. Yet another candidate for first named storm of the season looks like it will fizzle before reaching that status. The system is located about 200 or so miles off the coast of Mexico with decent organization this morning. However, cooler water awaits and it is likely that the disturbance won’t be able to strengthen much, if at all, before moving in to the more stable environment. As such, it appears that the east Pacific will continue to be void of its first named storm. As a side note – this time last year, three hurricanes (strong at that) had already formed – what a difference a year can make!

Also of note – a backdoor cold front sagging south over the Mid-Atlantic states is likely to produce a non-tropical area of low pressure this weekend in to early next week just off the coast. While water temps are warm enough in the region to support tropical characteristics, I don’t think this will become much more than a hybrid type storm since it has frontal origins. Boating interests will be the most affected should be system even develop. Some of the models suggest it will, others not so much. No matter, the steering pattern tells me that even if it does develop, it will stay offshore. Something to monitor but nothing to spoil weekend plans.

I’ll have more here over the weekend as needed.

M. Sudduth 10:50 AM ET June 17


Tropics quiet for now, SSTs going up in some places while we prepare to test HURRB

Posted a video blog today highlighting the quiet time we have ahead. Also noted the rising sea surface temperatures in the northeast Atlantic, a stark contrast to where the region was this time last year. While things are quiet, the team heads to Kansas to test out our hurricane weather balloon project. All of this covered in today’s video discussion: