Tropics not very active this weekend on the Atlantic side

Water Vapor Image Showing the Dry Air Across the Atlantic

Water Vapor Image Showing the Dry Air Across the Atlantic

Despite the recent flurry of activity which included hurricane Ernesto, the Atlantic Basin is fairly quiet this weekend. It seems that quite an abundance of dry air remains in place across much of the tropical Atlantic and this is precluding any significant development. Even the long range computer models are not showing much change in the next week to 10 days. This is not uncommon for this time of year and it may not be until near the end of the month that we see conditions become more supportive for sustained and/or vigorous development.

In the east Pacific, the remnants of Ernesto have in fact made it over Mexico and have re-developed in to TD 8-E (the “E” is for east Pacific of course). The forecast calls for it to become a hurricane as it tracks away from Mexico through the weekend and in to early next week.

So enjoy the weekend without any worries in the tropics.

TD7 not much of a threat while Ernesto will live on…in the east Pacific

Conditions across the tropical Atlantic are just not very favorable right now. There is simply too much mid-level dry air and pockets of unfavorable upper level winds are widespread. For these reasons, it looks as though, once again, the global models will be correct in forecasting what will likely turn out to be a very weak system in TD7.

Looking at the latest satellite photos, there is very little convection and the envelope of energy with the depression is fairly small. As the NHC noted on their early morning discussion, this makes it vulnerable to effects such as dry air and shear more so than a larger, more potent circulation would. I do not see TD7 being much of a problem for anyone unless of course there is a sudden and unexpected change in the environmental conditions ahead of it. I doubt it.

Meanwhile, something remarkable is going to happen. Think about this…the tropical wave that became hurricane Ernesto has traveled from Africa, all the way across the tropical Atlantic, through the gauntlet of the eastern Caribbean Sea, made landfall twice in Mexico and is now poised to emerge in the east Pacific where it can live another day. That’s right, Ernesto, or at least a bulk of its energy, is about to finish quite an incredible trek across the mountainous terrain of Mexico to cross in to the east Pacific. Now, it will not be named Ernesto if it does in fact regenerate, which is very likely to happen. Instead, it will take on the next name of the east Pacific, Hector. It is quite rare to have a tropical cyclone cross over land from one distinct basin to another. What’s even more interesting about this, there is a possibility that the regenerated system could eventually affect the Baja region. Who would have thought this to be the case a week ago or more when we were tracking something that, at one point, could have ended up making landfall anywhere from Florida to Texas. Now, it’s eventual final landfall could easily be along the Pacific coast of Mexico. Needless to say, folks in that region need to monitor what happens and I’ll post updates about it here along with video blogs in our HurricaneTrack app throughout the upcoming weekend.

The remainder of the Atlantic is somewhat busy with invest area 93L off the coast of Africa. Here again we see that conditions are only marginal for development and the global models show next to nothing over the next week to 10 days anywhere in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf. I am not sure if it’s climatology (i.e. we are simply still just a little too early in the season to see prolific, sustained development) or if something else is going on related to the growing El Nino in the Pacific. I’ll take a closer look in today’s video blog to be posted in our app this afternoon. What ever the reason, it’s great news for coastal dwellers who will not have to deal with any hurricanes this weekend for sure and probably all of next week as well.

Some thoughts on TD7

Wide Atlantic Tracking map showing TD 7

Wide Atlantic Tracking map showing TD 7

We now have TD7 in the tropical Atlantic and it is forecast to become a tropical storm as it passes through the Lesser Antilles and in to the Caribbean Sea. The path looks very similar to Ernesto’s though TD7 has formed quite a bit farther to the east than Ernesto.

It is interesting that once again, the global models, namely the GFS and ECMWF, do very little with the depression while the less “sophisticated” statistical intensity models make it a moderate to strong tropical storm. As I mentioned in this mornings video blog for our app, there seems to be a lack of vertical instability across the Atlantic Basin again this season and this is perhaps putting a literal lid on things. We saw this time after time last season and ended up with a lot of named storms but not many intense ones overall.

Never the less, we’ll be tracking yet another tropical cyclone in to the eastern Caribbean over the next few days and since it is on the maps, we need to take it seriously- just in case the global models have missed some piece of info that would otherwise make TD7 something more than they depict it.

Note that the fast motion of the depression is also something that needs to be considered. When they move fast, like we saw with Ernesto, they tend to outrun their own deep convection and lose organization. It will be another interesting duel between the dynamic models and the statistical models as we track TD 7 steadily westward. I’ll have more tomorrow morning.

New update to HurricaneTrack for iPhone coming soon

Atlantic Wide Map to be added to HurricaneTrack

Atlantic Wide Map to be added to HurricaneTrack

I wanted to let you all know that we are pushing an update to HurricaneTrack that will include our very own tracking maps as well as a few other enhancements that will make the app more functional and easier to use.

The tracking maps will be a great addition to the app. In fact, we are adding five total maps in this update: wide Atlantic, western Atlantic, and three TCHP (tropical cyclone heat potential) maps.

All of the maps are generated by our servers and will be updated within minutes of each advisory package, including intermediate advisories.

One of three TCHP Track Maps coming to HurricaneTrack

One of three TCHP Track Maps coming to HurricaneTrack

The TCHP maps are exclusive to HurricaneTrack and will plot tropical cyclone tracks over tropical cyclone heat potential background maps. This will give the user a look at not only past, current and forecast positions, but also WHERE the track forecast shows the track over NOAA’s heat potential maps. As you may know, oceanic heat content is a big driver in hurricane intensity and giving our app users a constantly updating look at the track over the TCHP map will prove to be a useful tool, especially when combined with the daily Hurricane Outlook and Discussion videos.

We are also implementing an auto-refresh feature for the video blogs and some improvements to the Twitter feed that I think users will really appreciate.

Looking ahead, we have some major upgrades planned for the future and are limited only by funding resources. So, the more apps we sell now, the better we can make it for everyone later. Get the word out, share the link to the App Store on your social media feeds and please, above all else, leave a review. We’ll take everything in to consideration, the great and the not-so-great reviews, it all matters. This app is for YOU and we are working on making it live up to its full potential and your feedback is part of that.

Of course, I still believe that, for now, the real power of the app will be during landfalls as we will be able to post video blogs, photos and live weather data right from where the tropical storm or hurricane is making landfall. No other app will get you in to the middle of the storm like HurricaneTrack. After all, it’s what we’ve done on the site since day one in 1999.

And for those who are wondering about the Android version….we’re working on it. Once this update for iPhone is complete, we can finish up work on the Android version and set a release date.


Ernesto skirting the southern Bay of Campeche as rest of tropics brew but not yet boiling

Atlantic Conditions

Atlantic Conditions

TS Ernesto is close to making its final landfall along the Mexican coast this morning in the extreme southern Bay of Campeche. Top winds were near 70mph as of the latest NHC advisory at 5am ET. There is still a window of opportunity for Ernesto to become a hurricane again but time is running out – luckily. Once Ernesto is on shore, it will obviously weaken and do so quickly over the increasingly rugged terrain of Mexico. However, the threat of excessive rain fall will exist for a couple of days until the circulation completely dissipates.

Elsewhere, hurricane Gilma in the east Pacific poses no threat to land and never will. There is also invest area 93-E (E for east Pacific) which bears watching over the next few days but should not become a problem for land areas either, at least not in the near term.

The Atlantic Basin, aside from Ernesto, is not looking too bad. Even though 92L is out in the open Atlantic between Africa and the Lesser Antilles, I see little reason to believe that it will amount to much over the coming days. The pattern is actually quite negative in the upper levels for development right now. A series of large and persistent upper level low pressure areas is creating a lot of strong winds aloft which in turn is preventing much from happening in the deep tropics. None of the global models, which handled Ernesto very well, show 92L developing in to anything to worry about. It may still bring a period of squally weather to the Lesser Antilles this weekend but that should be about it.

A large tropical wave is about to emerge from Africa and it could develop once it reaches the warm Atlantic but here too, the global models simply do not show much happening. Perhaps the warming of the Pacific is finally taking its toll on the Atlantic in terms of strong upper level winds. Perhaps it is something else. I don’t know for sure but the signs are not there right now for anything serious to brew up over the next few days. We know how quickly this can change so we’ll certainly want to keep tabs on conditions as we move deeper in to August.

I’ll have another blog post later this morning concerning the first update we’re about to push to the HurricaneTrack app.