Here we are getting close to late October and the Atlantic hurricane season is still going strong. Believe it or not, we still have Nicole on the map and yes, it is still a hurricane. In fact, the surface wind energy is being translated in to the North Atlantic enough so that large swells are radiating out from Nicole are reaching the Caribbean Sea and the East Coast of the U.S. Nicole is likely to remain a hurricane for another day or so before finally encountering water that is cold enough to strip it of its warm-core tropical characteristics.
In the meantime, an area of disturbed weather has developed in the vicinity of the southeast Bahamas and has some potential for further organization over the next few days. Right now, upper level winds are just too strong to allow much to happen but the system will bring periods of showers and occasional gusty winds to portions of the Bahamas as it drifts slowly eastward.
Later in the week, computer models suggest that upper level winds could relax some and allow for slow development of a weak low pressure area somewhere over the southwest Atlantic. Water temps are still warm enough to support development but we’re getting to the time of year when we can expect to see more of a hybrid look to storms like this where the winds are spread out over a larger area instead of the classic tropical storm look. We’ll see what happens but so far, there are no indications that this system would pose a direct threat to the Southeast coast outside of additional swells and rough seas that it may kick up.
Beyond that, the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are free and clear of any organized disturbances that bear watching for now. However, there are indications that towards the end of the month and in to early November we may see an enhancement of the Madden-Julian Oscillation or MJO. This is a period of favorable upward motion that allows the air in the upper levels of the atmosphere to spread out or diverge, allowing thunderstorms to blossom underneath. With the very warm western Caribbean waters still waiting to be tapped, it is possible that we will see yet another area of interest pop up sometime beyond the next week to ten days. It is not that uncommon to see late season development in the western Caribbean and with a possible favorable MJO pattern, this year may be slightly more active than we’ve seen as of late once we get in to late month and early November.
I will go over everything in more detail during my video discussion which will be posted later this afternoon.
M. Sudduth 8:40 AM ET Oct 17