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.

New depression forming in the SW Gulf while 94L develops in east Atlantic

Remnants of TD 7 in the SW Gulf

Remnants of TD 7 in the SW Gulf

Early morning satellite imagery shows that what was once TD 7 is coming back to life again in the southwest Gulf of Mexico. The NHC is indicating a 70% chance of it becoming a tropical depression again before it moves inland this weekend.

Computer models suggest a WNW to NE track towards Mexico as a tropical storm or category one hurricane (SHIPs model shows it reaching hurricane intensity). The overall circulation is fairly small and will only affect a limited area of the southwest to western Gulf and I do not see much impact for Texas. However, it is possible that some of the northern rain bands will move in to south Texas over the weekend. The main threat will be very heavy rains for Mexico with the possibility of a strengthening tropical storm at landfall. The NHC has tasked a recon plane to investigate the area later today if conditions warrant.

Meanwhile, we have a new area of interest just off the African coast that certainly bears watching. It has been designated as invest 94L and should steadily develop as it moves westward over the deep tropics.

All of the global computer models indicate that it will develop and it is likely to become a hurricane at some point since conditions are becoming more favorable along its path. This will be one to watch very closely as we move through the week next week. For now, it is in its early stages of development and we’ll just monitor how it develops over the weekend.

In the east Pacific, Hector has dissipated and there are no other areas of concern brewing in that region. I’ll post another blog here later this afternoon or early evening and will cover all of the goings on in the tropics thoroughly in the video blog to be posted in our app early this afternoon.

TS Gordon forecast to become hurricane while we also watch southwest Gulf

Heat Content Track Map Showing TS Gordon

Heat Content Track Map Showing TS Gordon

The NHC is issuing advisories on TS Gordon now which originated as a strong tropical wave several days ago after emerging from the coast of Africa. Gordon is forecast to become a hurricane as it moves off to the east-northeast over the sub-tropical Atlantic. I mention “subtropical” because Gordon formed well outside of the usual “MDR” region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles, south of about 20 N latitude. Conditions in that corridor have been quite unkind to development over the last few weeks and this was the case when the tropical wave that became Gordon traversed the region in recent days.

Now that environmental conditions have improved, we have a tropical storm to track. Note that the ocean heat content is not high at all along Gordon’s path but there’s just enough energy to push the storm to hurricane intensity over the next few days. The forecast track takes Gordon just to the south of the Azores Islands as it moves back towards the eastern Atlantic and eventually, cooler waters.

The next area to monitor will be the southwest Gulf of Mexico as energy from what was once TD 7 moves in to the very warm water and a more favorable environment for development. Several of the global computer models are indicating that a weak area of low pressure will eventually form somewhere in the southwest Gulf within the next five to seven days. I do not see any indications just yet of a strong system which is good news considering that water temps in the western Gulf are quite warm. I think that at the very least, interests in the region can expect an increase in squally weather as the low takes shape though it should be a fairly slow process.

Elsewhere, it seems that the models are also hinting at a potential Cape Verde storm developing over the next week or so from a tropical wave that will move off of Africa. Both the GFS and the ECMWF show this and have been a little more consistent with this scenario over the last few runs. We’ll see – I am not convinced just because of how negative the conditions have been up through the present time. I also know that things can change and we may have an active period coming up that includes a long-track storm originating from Africa. Time will tell…

I wanted to mention too that in today’s video blog that will be posted to the HurricaneTrack app, I will take a look back at hurricane Andrew from 1992. We are coming up on the 20 year anniversary of that category five hurricane and as one of our private clients suggested, it would be good to compare how things were then in terms of information, evacuation orders, etc. and what might happen if an Andrew type hurricane were to happen again today. That, and a detailed look at the tropics, will be part of today’s video blog so check it out later this afternoon. Remember that, unfortunately for now, you have to completely close the app and restart it to get the video blogs to refresh. We will have a nice pull-down refresh coming in the next update which is coming soon!

New depression forms in the Atlantic, could impact the Azores in a few days

NHC Track Map for TD 8

NHC Track Map for TD 8

Even though it is August 15 and the tropics have some activity, we are not seeing anything out in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico that looks to be of great concern over the coming days.

The NHC did upgrade 93L to TD8 a short time ago and is forecasting it to become a tropical storm as it heads generally towards the Azores Islands in a few days. The depression is within a fairly high surface pressure environment and its deep convection is very limited right now. However, it is situated over warm water, warm enough to allow it to develop anyway, and environmental conditions should allow for a tropical storm to form before the entire system moves over cooler waters.

I will also be watching the western Gulf of Mexico over the next few days as the remnant energy from TD7 moves across Central America and spreads in to the southern and western Gulf. There is some potential in this region for development as the tropical wave settles in and finds better conditions in which to develop. I covered this on the video blog today inside the HurricaneTrack app, a regular daily feature for owners of the app. Elsewhere, the tropics are nice and quiet and even the east Pacific is without any significant areas of development at this time.

Window of opportunity for development approaching? We shall see

MJO Impact Forecast for 8/15 - 8/21

MJO Impact Forecast for 8/15 - 8/21

A look at the tropics this morning reveals that conditions just aren’t very favorable for development. What’s new, right? This seems to be the norm as of late as dry, stable air has been the dominate negative factor across much of the Atlantic Basin. Things may be about to change.

I was reading the latest forecast for the MJO or Madden-Julian Oscillation from the Climate Predication Center and there is a chance that a more favorable pattern is about to set up in the coming days. Basically, an increase in upper level divergence and in tropical convection is forecast for a good deal of the central Atlantic week after next. As you can see on the cropped image that I have embedded in today’s blog, the red areas indicate a high probability of tropical cyclone formation – according to the CPC analysis. As the enhanced phase of the MJO moves our of the east Pacific and across the Atlantic, we may begin to see an increase in development chances next week. However, there is enough uncertainty in the model forecasts for the MJO and how much of an influence it will have on the region that we’ll have to just wait and see if this actually happens.

Since we are also moving deeper in to the climatological peak time of the hurricane season, the chances of development go up anyway. It may be only a matter of time and we’ll see the dry air shrinking as more unstable, moisture-laden air moves in and provides a more fertile environment for tropical storm formation. There’s no way to know for sure so we’ll just have to monitor conditions as they slowly evolve towards the end of the month.

The one certainty for the short term is that there are no areas of immediate concern to deal with anywhere in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Even the east Pacific is quieting down which is usually an indication that the Atlantic is about to become more active. Time will tell.

Click here to view the full graphic mentioned above from the CPC website.

Atlantic virtually dormant while east Pac keeps churning them out

Wow, things could not be much more quiet than they are now across the Atlantic Basin. I see no areas of significant convection that show any signs of development over the next few days. This certainly spells great news for coastal locations all over the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Now keep in mind that climatology suggests that it is towards the end of August and obviously through September that the tropics normally ramp up. We’ll see just how close to climatology we are as we move through the next few weeks. For now, enjoy the quiet.

In the east Pacific, the storms just keep coming off what seems like an assembly line. Right now, there is TS Hector which poses no threat to land and a new area of slowly organizing convection near the coast of Mexico that is destined to develop. This system (actually labeled as 95E) could run parallel to the Mexican coastline in the days ahead, bringing heavy rains and squally conditions to the region. We’ll have to watch it closely this week since it is already impacting land and could continue to do so. I’ll have more here tomorrow, including a look at the growing El Nino, SST anomalies and what the long range models are showing as we move in to the traditional heart of the hurricane season. I’ll also have an update on our iPhone app which has an update due out soon that will add new tracking maps and add some ease-of-use enhancements.