Models suggesting development in western Caribbean with possible threat to Gulf Coast

3:30 PM October 3

12z ECMWF model showing potentially developing storm in 72 hrs in NW Caribbean Sea

12z ECMWF model showing potentially developing storm in 72 hrs in NW Caribbean Sea

It’s October and that means the focus of our attention naturally shifts to the western portions of the Atlantic Basin with particular emphasis on the Caribbean Sea.

As of today, we have an area of broad low pressure that has developed fairly quickly in the waters just east of Costa Rica – in the SW Caribbean Sea.

The NHC indicates a 60% chance of further development over the next five days as it moves generally off to the north and northwest.

Whst is concerning to me is the rapid development seen with the fledgling system in just the past few hours. Water temperatures, especially the upper ocean heat content, are very warm and can easily support rapid intensification.

What do the models “say”?

If we look at the two main global models, the GFS and the ECMWF, we see a divergent path in terms of how strong this system becomes.

The 12z GFS was not very agresssive and had a more loosely developed system where as the 12z ECMWF was quite a bit more concentrated and thus likely more intense. The difference is how the Euro bundles the energy from the get go while the GFS does not.

Bottom line?

The NHC has tagged this as invest 90L and, as I mentioned earlier, suggests a 60% chance of development over the next five days.

Considering the time of year we’re in and the over-achievement of the recent hurricanes, I am more confident than normal that this system has a chance to develop and could become a hurricane. We know so little about why tropical cyclones suddenly go off the deep end with seemingly little warning. We need to watch 90L extremely closely.

I am currently flying back from Florida after retrieving my equipment post-Irma. I’ll have all of my attention focused on this potential threat and will post a video discussion late tonight.

M. Sudduth





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About Mark Sudduth

Greetings! I am Mark Sudduth, the founder and editor of The site began in 1999 as a way to post info concerning tropical storms and hurricanes for any interested visitors. Little did I know how big it would become in the years since. Now, we have millions of visitors from all over the world who have come to rely on the site as a no non-sense, tell it like it is resource for all things hurricane related. We are supported by a combination of corporate sponsors and our loyal Client Services members who subscribe to premium content on our sister site, I am married with six energetic and intelligent children and live in southeast North Carolina. I graduated UNC-Wilmington in 1995 with a BA in Geography and have studied the effects of hurricanes on our society ever since.

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