November is typically a quiet month in the tropics and in fact, it is extremely rare for there to be a November hurricane threat to the United States. Cooler near-shore sea surface temperatures combined with increasingly stronger upper level winds usually keeps a lid on things – but not always.
During the last few weeks of the hurricane season, we look to the Caribbean Sea and southwest Atlantic for the best chances of development. Right on cue, both areas have something to monitor over the next few days.
The first area of interest is a broad area of low pressure tucked in to the northwest Caribbean off the coast of Belize. While it looks fairly impressive on satellite imagery, the forecast calls for it to move inland over the Yucatan soon and then over the southwest Gulf of Mexico by this weekend. Although water temps are warm enough in the region, strong upper level winds ahead of an approaching cold front, combined with land interaction, should limit development. Heavy rain and periods of gusty winds are possible as the tropical low moves across the Yucatan over the next day or two.
Meanwhile, another tropical wave has flared up as it enters the eastern Caribbean Sea. This is the second area that the NHC mentions on their latest outlook. It has a slightly better chance of development over the next few days and this is shown by most of the reliable global computer models. It is possible that this system could eventually become a tropical storm over the southwest Atlantic sometime next week. So far, with the exception of heavy rain and gusty winds spreading in to the Lesser Antilles, there does not appear to be any significant threat to land from this feature. It will be something to monitor but as I mentioned earlier, hurricane threats this late in the season are few and far between.
The eastern Pacific has returned to being very quiet for the time being. After super-hurricane Patricia, this is definitely great news. Water temps are still very warm off of Mexico and Central America and even though the season usually slows down in this region during November, it would not surprise me in the least if we saw one more storm or hurricane develop somewhere in the extreme southeast Pacific before all is said and done. For now, nothing is brewing but the pattern suggests that perhaps that will change in the longer term.
I’ll have more tomorrow.
M. Sudduth 8:30 AM ET Nov 5