Tropics busy, yes, but there is nothing to really worry about

A Busy Map With No Significant Threats to Worry About

A Busy Map With No Significant Threats to Worry About

A look at the NHC Tropical Weather Outlook map and it would seem that things are quite busy as we end the first full week of September. Busy is relative. While there is plenty to track, there are no significant threats to land areas, not even from Leslie.

As it turns out, the upwelling of colder water underneath the slow moving storm has taken a toll on the energy available for it to generate deep convection. This may change as Leslie moves a little faster and over warmer sea surface temps this weekend. As a result, it is possible that Leslie will become a hurricane again but no worries, Bermuda will be just fine and it looks like Newfoundland will as well. Just keep in mind the large swells that are continuing to radiate out from Leslie towards Bermuda and much of the East Coast of the U.S.

Elsewhere, the area in the Gulf of Mexico, 90L, is dwindling away and will not be an issue.

I will be watching a new area of interest just emerging off of Africa now as it has potential for development over the next several days. Odds are it will just turn north somewhere near 60 W longitude but this is not a 100% guarantee.

We are coming up on the peak time of the hurricane season and so far the numbers of named storms and hurricanes is fairly impressive. We have a lot of hurricane season left and the need to remain alert and prepared is certainly there. For this weekend, it looks great out there along our coastal regions. Go enjoy it.

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Bermuda no longer within the cone of uncertainty as Leslie looks to pass well east of there

Leslie Now Forecast to Pass Well East of Bermuda

Leslie Now Forecast to Pass Well East of Bermuda

Just a quick note here to let you know that the NHC has a track forecast now that officially takes Bermuda out of the 72 hour cone of uncertainty. It seems that the pattern is just progressive enough to push Leslie ever so slightly more to the east this weekend – thus keeping the rough weather well to the east of Bermuda.

I made the right call in not flying out there today. I cannot imagine how I would feel looking at the forecast right now knowing that I brought all of the equipment, spent a lot of money and had plans for intercepting nothing but cloudy skies and some light breezes. This is great for Bermuda and I know people there are relieved. I am also grateful to have people who support our efforts as I had offers from people that I have never met who live on Bermuda. There will be a next time, we all know that is inevitable. It just won’t be this weekend.

I’ll have more here tomorrow as we have a lot of hurricane season left.

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Leslie not doing itself any favors by moving so slow

The Lack of Deep Convection Indicates That Leslie is Upwelling the Ocean Underneath Itself

The Lack of Deep Convection Indicates That Leslie is Upwelling the Ocean Underneath Itself

Take a look at the satellite picture of Leslie. There is very little in the way of very deep convection. This means that the hurricane lacks deep thunderstorm activity across its entire circulation. Only a small area of red shows up and this is due to Leslie’s slow movement and the resulting churning up of the Atlantic underneath itself.

We have talked about ocean heat content a lot this season and while there was a decent amount of it in Leslie’s path, it is not like what we see in the Caribbean Sea or parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The warm water does not extend very far down from the surface and the circulation of Leslie is easily dissipating what heat content there is. The result is a shallower hurricane, like Irene was last year along the North Carolina Outer Banks. Shallow hurricanes do not mix the wind down to the surface very efficiently.

As Leslie picks up its forward speed, which we assume it will do eventually, then it will move over fresh heat content and it has a chance to develop deeper convection and strengthen some. However, it does not look like it will have a chance to get too strong which, with the exception of Michael, has been the norm this hurricane season.

The track forecast remains positive for Bermuda and now even more so for Newfoundland. It appears that Leslie will not get much farther west as it moves basically due north right now. The trough of low pressure digging in across the eastern United States should act to literally push Leslie on a more easterly course with time just like a broom sweeping up a big heap of mess and moving it all to one side.

I am optimistic that the worst effects from Leslie will remain well to the east of Bermuda as the center could pass more than 150 miles away. As of the latest advisory from this morning, hurricane force winds only extend out some 25 miles from the center. Even if this doubled as it passed Bermuda, it would not be enough to bring hurricane conditions to the area. Any additional shift to the east could result in Bermuda not seeing a drop of rain from Leslie. That would be remarkable. With these latest developments, I am not traveling to Bermuda as it looks like there would be no reason for me to. I was ready and had quite an arsenal of gear to set up in case Leslie barreled right over the islands but sometimes a small track change can mean huge differences in the resulting effects on land.

Meanwhile, hurricane Michael certainly surprised many of us with its quick ramp up to major hurricane intensity. It won’t matter though as Michael will also be swept out to the east of any land masses.

As for 90L, there is not much potential with this system as conditions are just not very favorable right now. None of the global models show much intensification but you never know with these smaller features and we will certainly keep a close eye on it just in case it tries to mimic Michael, even if by a little bit.

The rest of the Atlantic Basin is relatively quiet today but we are heading towards the very peak time of the hurricane season and I suspect that it won’t be long until we see yet another tropical wave begin to develop somewhere out in the deep tropics.

I’ll have more here tonight plus a video blog posted to our app within the hour.

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Latest GFS provides an “out” for Bermuda- Leslie could pass east enough to spare the island

Latest GFS Model Showing Leslie Farther East of Bermuda

Latest GFS Model Showing Leslie Farther East of Bermuda

I think that Bermuda can thank hurricane Michael for existing. After talking with colleague Mike Watkins just now about the latest GFS run, it is possible, certainly not official by any means, that Michael getting as strong as it has will erode the Atlantic ridge enough to draw Leslie more east than previously forecast. In fact, just looking at the 72 frame from the 00Z GFS, you can clearly see Leslie some 100 miles EAST of Bermuda at 96 hours. If this trend continues, then Bermuda may end up seeing very little in the way of effects from Leslie.

One possible reason, as I mentioned, is that Michael now reaches up to the 500 mb level of the atmosphere. This allows the trough over the eastern U.S. to push Leslie out sooner and thus it never reaches 64W longitude. We’ll have to see if the ECMWF has a similar solution on its 00Z run which will come out in a few more hours. If so, then I would expect the NHC forecast track to subsequently shift east at the 5am ET package.

Obviously, this would spell great news for Bermuda. I would also mean that I have no reason to be out there this weekend. If Leslie fades east soon enough, it might not even rain in Bermuda. That may be a stretch, and this run could be a fluke, but I doubt it. We’ve seen subtle but consistent shifts east in most of the major guidance all day and tonight’s run is really starting to look positive for Bermuda.

I’ll probably stay up for most of the night to monitor things and will have another blog post and even a video blog for our app as we near the 5am advisory package from the NHC. If they say that this model cycle was bogus for what ever reason, I still need to catch a plane at 8:30 am ET. I suspect though that I will be right here this weekend blogging about hurricanes that are over open water. We shall see.

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As Bermuda readies for Leslie, it looks like weak development possible in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Latest ECMWF Model Showing Leslie Very Close to Bermuda

Latest ECMWF Model Showing Leslie Very Close to Bermuda

Leslie is gradually getting better organized and will be a hurricane sooner rather than later. I think it is then only a question of how strong it will become as it moves very close to, or right over, Bermuda this weekend.

I am sure folks there are preparing which is prudent since the wind field extends out so far with the storm. This means that tropical storm conditions will arrive on the island well ahead of the center. While Leslie is forecast to pick up its forward speed, it will not be racing past Bermuda, prolonging the effects.

As was the case with Isaac, the key to Leslie’s future intensity will more than likely be related to how well it develops an inner core structure. Large tropical cyclones typically take longer to tighten up produce a well defined inner core with a ring of convection surrounding the eye. The sooner Leslie is able to accomplish this, the stronger it is likely to become as it passes Bermuda.

This will also have a significant impact on me since I am going to Bermuda tomorrow.

My plan is to take one of my large hardened cases full of weather equipment and other gear that I will set up somewhere on Bermuda to (hopefully) stream live data and video back to our servers and our app.

I will also be working with KittyCode, LLC who is the developer of the hugely popular Hurricane and Hurricane HD set of apps for iOS devices. Both of our sets of apps will contain as many video blog updates as I can put out. Of course, Hurricane and Hurricane HD offer excellent tracking maps and other tools to keep up with the latest on Leslie and other goings on in the tropics. Get Hurricane from the App Store here.

HurricaneTrack for iPhone Tower 1 Screen Shot from Isaac

HurricaneTrack for iPhone Tower 1 Screen Shot from Isaac

As I mentioned, one of my objectives is to set up a complete “wind tower” on the island to capture wind and pressure data every 60 seconds, along with a web cam image, and send this data to our app, HurricaneTrack. I will ONLY be taking one set of gear, that is all that is feasible considering that I am flying it all out there on a passenger jet. The data will feed in to Tower 1 in our app, as seen on the screen shot example from our Isaac field work last week. If all goes well, users of our app will be able to monitor nearly real time weather conditions, along with a web cam image, as Leslie moves through the area.

I will post more about my plans, where I hope to set up, etc. in an update later this afternoon.

Besides Leslie, we are tracking TS Michael but it is of no concern to land areas and will never be.

In the Gulf of Mexico, there is a complex of disturbed weather, perhaps some remnant energy from Isaac that has drifted back south, that could develop some in the coming days. Fortunately, the conditions in the area are not too favorable right now so any development will be limited. However, another round of squally weather is possible for portions of the north and central Gulf Coast region as the disturbance moves southward.

I’ll have much more here later today and will post the daily video blog to our app this afternoon as well. We recently had an update to the app, so if you own it, update it now! We have some GREAT improvements that will prove very helpful going forward.

 

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