Keeping an eye on the western Caribbean for possible development

1:55 pm ET October 23, 2017

Caribbean Sea satellite photo

Caribbean Sea satellite photo

Not much going on in the Atlantic Basin as we start the week. However, we are watching an area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean Sea for possible development over the next several days.

As of this afternoon, the NHC is indicating only a 40% chance of further development over the next five days. The global models are not too bullish on much happening with this system although if it does happen to gather itself and bundle the available energy, we could see a tropical storm form from the larger area of low pressure (also known as low pressure gyre). It is getting a little late in the season to be expecting much but we will keep an eye on the system just in case.

I have posted a new video discussion covering this topic and more – check it out here::



Nothing out there now but maybe something towards the end of October

1:15 PM Friday, October 20

The weekend will feature a quiet conditions across the Atlantic basin. However, this time of year, the Western Caribbean is often a breeding ground for potential tropical storm is and hurricanes.

Right now, there’s nothing to be concerned with but that may change over the next week to 10 days. Overall, the consensus of most of the global computer models is to lower pressures in the Western Caribbean by the end of the month.

It is also worth noting that a favorable period of upward motion, also known as the MJO,  is forecast to develop across the eastern Pacific and into the Western Caribbean by early November.

The bottom line is that it is still very much hurricane season and water temperatures can easily support intense hurricanes.  Remember, it’s not just intense hurricanes that we need to worry about – even tropical storms can dump heavy rain fall that ultimately leads to catastrophic flooding events.

We just need to keep an eye on the region over the next couple of weeks to see what may or may not happen.

Check out my latest video discussion posted below.


Ophelia post-tropical now as it moves across Ireland today

Post-tropical Ophelia moving over Ireland this morning.

Post-tropical Ophelia moving over Ireland this morning. Click or tap on image for full size.

9:15 AM ET October 16

Just look at that satellite photo of what was at one time category three hurricane Ophelia. Quite impressive to say the least! Unfortunately, Ireland is underneath those swirling clouds and reports are that more than 100,000 people are without power as a result of the storm.

Ophelia transitioned from a concentrated warm-core hurricane to a more spread out ocean storm with energy being derived from the processes of the atmosphere more so than those of heat being drawn out of the ocean – as a hurricane would do. In the end, the results are almost the same: strong wind (possibly reaching hurricane force in some areas), storm surge and high waves at the coast along with periods of heavy rain.

Luckily for Ireland and eventually the northwest portions of the United Kingdom, Ophelia is moving very fast and the low pressure area will fill quickly, bringing a swift end to the storm by this time tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we are watching invest area 92L to the north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Right now, it is very disorganized and is likely to remain that way as it moves generally off to the north and west for today and tomorrow followed by a turn towards the northeast as a strong cold front pushes off the East Coast.

Upper level winds and the interaction with the approaching frontal system will mean that 92L has little chance of becoming a tropical storm but it is likely to bring rain and an increase in wind for Bermuda over the next few days.

Outside of that, long range model guidance suggests one more area of interest could develop in about a week to ten days down in the western Caribbean. All of the reliable global computer models show a lowering of pressures in the region as a favorable MJO pattern moves through. This means conditions would be more favorable for upward motion and thus tropical thunderstorms to develop and possibly lead to another storm taking shape. It’s too soon to know for sure if this is going to happen but the signs are beginning to show within the models and as such, and considering the climatology of the region, we should pay close attention over the coming days.

I go over all of this and more in today’s video discussion posted below.


Hurricane Ophelia likely to bring strong winds, rain to British Isles in its post-tropical state

Updated: 8:40 AM ET Oct 12

Ophelia is the 10th hurricane in a row to develop in the Atlantic Basin, something that has not happened in more than 100 years. Fortunately for U.S. interests, Ophelia is far from land and will not be of concern – unless you have friends or family in the British Isles.

Right now, the hurricane is over fairly warm water and as such is maintaining hurricane structure and intensity. Top winds are 85 mph and we could see that increase some today and tomorrow before the hurricane turns more to the northeast and over cooler waters.

As this turn happens, Ophelia will begin to lose its deep warm core structure and transition in to a larger, spread out storm system with heavy rain and near hurricane-force winds as it moves in to the mid-latitudes and towards the British Isles. This will be a high impact event for portions of the northwest coast of areas such as Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is rare to have something like this occur but not unprecedented.

I have prepared a video discussion for today with more details on Ophelia plus a look at the surprise near-La Nina event that we have in place right now; a far cry from the El Nino that many thought was coming for 2017.

M. Sudduth



Nate is a hurricane and is quickly approaching the Central Gulf Coast

Updated: 5pm ET Sat Oct 7

New video discussion posted:

M. Sudduth

Updated: 7:30 AM ET Sat Oct 7

Been a really long night – got a lot of equipment set up ahead of Nate. Going to get some rest now – but first, here is a video discussion with the latest info, including a look at the projected storm surge values as well as the heavy rain threat.

M. Sudduth