About Mark Sudduth

Greetings! I am Mark Sudduth, the founder and editor of HurricaneTrack.com. 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, premium.hurricanetrack.com. 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.

Nadine has a ticket out of town as we await the possible arrival of Oscar

Nadine and 96L

Nadine and 96L

As of 5am ET, the NHC had written 75 advisories on Nadine. They began almost a month ago and have just a few more days to go until it looks like the long-lived system will finally hitch a ride in to the North Atlantic and fade away.

So what happens next? Well, we do have a new invest area, 96L, to monitor as we begin October. The NHC gives it a 30% of developing in to a tropical depression over the next couple of days. Several of the global computer models also develop it which is fairly rare for this time of year. The seedling is a tropical wave that emerged from Africa recently. We normally don’t look for development that far east this time of year but it does happen every once in a while.

Even if 96L does go on to develop, it won’t last too long nor will it be a threat to the Caribbean or elsewhere. Upper level winds are just too strong to allow for significant strengthening and the steering pattern remains favorable for avoiding interaction with land.

Beyond this week, I see nothing in the long range model guidance to even remotely suggest we will see anything else develop. This can change, sure, but so far, the outlook is good as we begin the month.

I am currently in Louisiana as I continue my work gathering interviews for the documentary that I am producing. Today, I will head over to Texas and the Bolivar Peninsula which was heavily damaged by hurricane Ike four years ago. I’ll end up in Houston before heading back east tomorrow afternoon to pick up more interviews along the way home. I’ll post updates here each day throughout the week.

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Nothing but Nadine

The tropics are remarkably quiet and have been for most of September. The biggest story has been Nadine which is now a solid hurricane, packing in the ACE points with each  day that it churns over the open Atlantic.

Nadine has been caught in an area where the steering currents have just not been able to sweep the cyclone far enough north to get it caught in the westerlies. Once this eventually happens, and it will, Nadine will finally be gone. However, this process is likely to take another several days and while Nadine will not set the record for the longest-lived Atlantic tropical cyclone, it will come fairly close. The record still goes to Ginger back in 1971 which hung around for 28 days before finally making a landfall in North Carolina. Nadine won’t end with that same fate, that is almost a guarantee, but it will be on the maps for a few more days.

Elsewhere, I see nothing of any significance developing anytime soon across the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. I think we’ll see a quiet start to October but would expect that one more development window will come around by the middle of the month. At that time, we will be looking mainly at the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico if anything that could threaten land is going to develop. So far, the long range models show basically nothing which is excellent news as we enter the last third of the hurricane season.

I am still on the road working on interviews for our new documentary. I’ll be passing through Mississippi and heading in to Louisiana today. By tomorrow evening, I will be in Galveston. So far, I have accumulated quite a few excellent interviews with people in Florida. I’ll talk more about the project in a separate blog post tomorrow.

 

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Wet weekend ahead for portions of the Gulf Coast as low pressure tries to form

A Wide Swath of Heavy Rain Coming for the Gulf Coast

A Wide Swath of Heavy Rain Coming for the Gulf Coast

It looks like a wet weekend is in store for a good deal of the northwest Gulf Coast due to a low pressure area that is forecast to form. The low drops southeast out of Texas today and tomorrow and begins to tap the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This will supply quite a bit of deep tropical moisture and could lead to some very heavy rains across portions of the I-10 corridor later in the weekend.

The low seems to be part of energy coming out of the east Pacific associated with a developing tropical storm just about on the coast of Pacific Mexico now. What the models are indicating is that some of this energy gets pulled in to a developing trough of low pressure that digs in over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi this weekend. The added heat energy from the Pacific system gets a boost of upper level energy from the trough and a surface low develops in response over the northwest Gulf of Mexico. It is quite complex but the end result should be a non-tropical low pressure area gets going and brings wind, coastal flooding issues and very heavy rains to a good deal of the area from Texas to Alabama between late Saturday through Monday.

While I fully expect to see the NHC mention this system once it gets organized, the processes involved with its development lead me to think that it has almost no chance of becoming purely tropical in nature. However, there is an opportunity here for the formation of a sub-tropical storm which has winds spread out over a larger area and temperature profile that is different from a purely tropical system where the winds are concentrated nearer the center that itself is warmer than the surrounding environment. The bottom line is that a period of rather squally weather is coming and folks need to be aware.

As it happens to be, I am about to head over to the Gulf Coast as I make my way to Houston for continuing interview work for a documentary that I am producing with my colleagues Mike Watkins and Jesse Bass. So I will be right in the thick of what ever develops and can post updates here, stream live via our Ustream channel and send video blogs to our iPhone app. It will be an interesting weekend to say the least.

Meanwhile, the system in the east Pacific, invest area 94-E, is producing heavy rains and winds to near tropical storm intensity in the area near the southern Baja peninsula. Fortunately, the weak low pressure center will be onshore later today but the threat of continued torrential rains across portions of Mexico will persist for the remainder of today and early tomorrow. All of this energy will track across Mexico and become the source of the aforementioned Gulf low.

ECMWF MJO Signal Looking a Little More Favorable in October

ECMWF MJO Signal Looking a Little More Favorable in October

Beyond this weekend, it looks as though a weak MJO pulse could move in to the Atlantic Basin just in time for the second climatological peak of the hurricane season that occurs near the middle of the month. While it is too far out in time to begin looking for signs of development, I suspect that we will see something take shape in the western Caribbean within the next two to three weeks. This fits the time of year we are in and the added influence of the wet phase of the MJO could lead to one more development potential during October. Obviously, we will just wait and see how this plays out as there is nothing indicated in the long range models just yet.

As I mentioned, I am on the road right now, currently in Florida, where I have interviewed quite a few people for the documentary. I’ve been working with Mike Watkins to develop the story and shape the ideas in to something that we think will give you a whole new perspective on hurricanes and their impacts on our nation and our culture. I’ll be producing video blogs for our private clients and for our app later this morning and then I’ll hit the road by this afternoon and begin heading over to the Gulf Coast for more interviews. I’ll keep the site updated with another post coming by early this evening.

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As we end September, tropics look to remain peaceful

I am on the road in Florida shooting interviews for our upcoming documentary due out in March. However, it is still hurricane season so let’s take a look at what’s going on across the tropics today.

Nadine is still on the maps as a moderate tropical storm. The forecast keeps Nadine around for the next five days as it moves over warmer sea surface temps. However, increasing shear should eventually take over and hopefully weaken the storm enough to dissipate it. We shall see, Nadine has been around for a while now.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, all is quiet with no areas of development expected nor seen in the various global model forecasts. While October can be a busy month, I do not see much to suggest that we will see any significant development over the next week to 10 days. Once we get in to mid-October, that could change but we’re talking almost three weeks away.

In the eastern Pacific, Miriam is weakening and is no longer forecast to impact the Baja peninsula as the low level center will fade westward as the mid and upper level energy gets sheared off and heads in to Mexico, bringing some rain but that’s about it.

I’ll post more tomorrow as I continue to travel around Florida.

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Nadine back on the maps as we watch Miriam in the east Pacific

TS Nadine Over SSTs Just Warm Enough

TS Nadine Over SSTs Just Warm Enough

If you were sick of hearing about Nadine, well, you might want to cover your eyes for the next week or so because it’s back as a tropical storm again. Since Nadine was not swept up in to the north Atlantic in recent days, it has been allowed to meander in the eastern Atlantic and as high pressure builds to its north, the storm will be moving back westward. This will place Nadine over water temps that are just warm enough to allow for it to re-develop and that is already taking place. Top winds are estimated to be near 60 mph with a pressure of 986 mb. By later in the coming week, the storm is forecast to become a hurricane again and this will continue to add points to the ACE index, which now stands around 90. This index measures the amount energy expended by Atlantic tropical cyclones. Nadine will add several more points over the coming days, like a basketball team blowing out its opponent but they keep running up the score.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, all is quiet with no areas of organized convection seen in satellite imagery. None of the global models develop anything over the next week or more either. I do not think we’ll have much to be concerned with until we get to about mid-October when there is a secondary peak to the hurricane season coming up. More on that later.

TS Miriam Track Map in the East Pacific

TS Miriam Track Map in the East Pacific

In the east Pacific, tropical storm Miriam continues to strengthen well to the southwest of the Mexican coastline. It is forecast to become a hurricane and it could eventually turn back towards the Baja peninsula as the steering pattern begins to change over the northeast Pacific. How soon this turn happens and how strong Miriam will be at that point is difficult to tell right now. Interests along the Baja should keep up with Miriam’s progress.

Quick note to remind our iPhone app owners to update the app to the most current version. We have added 5 tracking maps of our very own plus a new home screen and manual refresh buttons on our social media feeds. These are vast improvements over the original version which debuted on August 1. So go to the App Store on your device and get the update. If you don’t already have HurricaneTrack, get it now and enjoy a daily video blog plus our new maps and plenty of landfall features when we are active in the field.

I’ll have more here tomorrow.

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