NHC begins new era of forecast advisories today

Newly designated "potential tropical cyclone two" and the 5-day track map. What does this mean? Watch the video discussion to learn more.

Newly designated “potential tropical cyclone two” and the 5-day track map. What does this mean? Watch the video discussion to learn more.

It looks as though invest area 92L will go on to become a tropical storm at some point. The shower and thunderstorm activity associated with it has become better organized as today has progressed and as a result, the NHC has begun issuing advisories on it….even though it is not yet a tropical depression or a storm.

This new initiative by the NHC was slated for starting this season though I am sure not many people thought it would be implemented so soon, especially for a tropical wave out in the tropical Atlantic. This is certainly highly unusual to say the least.

I have prepared a special video discussion covering this developing situation which you may view below. I’ll have more coverage here tomorrow, including the latest concerning 93L in the NW Caribbean Sea – which is also forecast to strengthen further and likely become a tropical storm.

M. Sudduth 5:20 PM ET June 18

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92L in the tropical Atlantic bears watching as we wait and see about potential Gulf system

The hurricane season is getting off to a somewhat busy start. While we have not had a new named storm since the beginning of the season, that may be about to change.

Currently, the NHC is monitoring two areas for possible development. One is way out in the deep tropics and has been designated as invest area 92L. The other is a slowly organizing system in the western Caribbean that has potential for further development once it reaches the southern Gulf of Mexico.

I am most interested right now in 92L out in the deep tropics. It has the potential to become a tropical depression and maybe a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands in about 5 days.

The Gulf system is less of a concern at the moment since it is unclear whether or not a low pressure area will ever actually take shape. Could be a large lop-sided area of showers and storms with some tropical storm force winds on the east side, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

I go over all of this and more in my video discussion for today which is posted below.

M. Sudduth 2:30 PM ET June 16

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Weak low pressure moving across Florida worth watching, Edouard stays well out to sea

Invest area 92L moving over southern Florida this afternoon

Invest area 92L moving over southern Florida this afternoon

A weak low pressure area, easy to spot on visible satellite imagery, is crossing south Florida this afternoon. Strong upper level winds have kept it from becoming any better organized by pushing the deep convection away from the low level center.

The low has brought periods of heavy rain to portions of south Florida but so far, nothing widespread has occurred and it looks to remain that way.

Forecasts from various computer models indicate the low will move westward and in to the Gulf of Mexico by tonight. Normally this would be cause for concern since Gulf water temps are in the mid to upper 80s. However, the strong upper level wind pattern is not likely to abate anytime soon. This should keep the low from strengthening too much as it gets pushed across the Gulf towards Texas.

It is obviously worth watching since we’re in the peak of the hurricane season and water temps are so warm. However, without any significant strengthening indicated by the models, I am not too concerned just yet. The low could bring heavy rain to any land areas that it eventually interacts with but beyond that, I see little to be concerned with.

Meanwhile, TS Edouard formed yesterday in the open Atlantic well to the east of the Lesser Antilles. The NHC is forecasting Edouard to turn out in to the Atlantic with a path that takes it northward between 55 and 60 degrees west longitude. This will keep it away from Bermuda. Edouard is forecast to become the season’s fourth hurricane which will help to add to the ACE score which is a numeric method of measuring how active a hurricane season has been. Right now the ACE score is around 20, well below the long term normal of about 100 or so. Edouard should add a few points to the total but it looks like we are going to end up well below the average unless a particularly intense hurricane forms before the end of November.

In the east Pacific, TS Odile continues to move to the west-northwest. It is expected to turn more northwest with time, parallel to the Baja peninsula but well offshore. Higher surf will be felt once again up and down a good deal of the Pacific coast from the Baja up in to southern California – especially once Odile becomes a hurricane. In fact, it is forecast to become a strong hurricane peaking out at 105 mph.

The rest of the east Pacific remains active with disturbances and another depression but none of them pose any threat to land at the moment.

I’ll keep an eye on the low over Florida and will post any updates to Twitter with a full blog post here tomorrow.

M. Sudduth 1:34 PM ET Sept 12

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Copious amount of moisture for parts of Southeast but no development seen with 92L

Radar image showing the large amount of rain across portions of the Southeast

Radar image showing the large amount of rain across portions of the Southeast

There is an awful lot of rain spreading across portions of the Southeast this morning but it’s not associated with the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico – at least not directly.

Looking at satellite imagery, it is easy to tell that 92L has not become any better organized over night. The energy is not focusing around the weak low pressure center and continues to be spread out. As long as this continues, the system will not develop.

The pattern we’ve seen in place across the Southeast for the past several days will persist through the weekend with a change finally coming early next week. The front hung up across the area will fade and a return to a more typical summertime pattern will ensue. However, all of the rain that has fallen and that is still coming presents a problem to consider for later on: what if we get a tropical storm or hurricane landfall in this area over the next few weeks? I am concerned about the flood risk for the Southeast should a tropical cyclone pay a visit. So far, there’s not been any risk of that since Alberto back in June. We are coming up on the peak time of the season and there is a lot of talk in the hurricane forecasting world of a busy period coming up as the overall pattern seems to be heading towards one more conducive for development. We’ve seen a lot of rain across a good deal of the Southeast this summer. Rivers will be swollen and the ground saturated. Let’s hope this is not a set-up to a major flood event as we progress through the peak of the season.

In the east Atlantic, Erin remains a weak tropical storm as it fights the dry air still in place. This is not much of a surprise and I think it won’t be too much longer until we see the dry air ease up and the real meat of the season kicks in. In fact, another strong tropical wave is emerging from the coast of Africa now with potential for development over the next several days. At least for now, there are no threats for land areas to worry about.

I’ll post another update this evening concerning 92L and the rest of the tropics.

M. Sudduth 8:57am ET August 17

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92L has the spin but lacks the organized convection

Vorticity chart showing the spin (red blob) associated with 92L in the Gulf of Mexico

Vorticity chart showing the spin (red blob) associated with 92L in the Gulf of Mexico

A quick post about 92L this evening. As you can see by the 850mb vorticity map that I have included here, the system has the spin or vorticity that it needs to thrive. What’s lacking is organized deep convection wrapping around this spin. Without the convection wrapping around the center of circulation, which is clearly seen in satellite imagery, the low pressure area will remain fairly weak.

The shear values are not too strong but apparently are just strong enough to displace the main area of showers and thunderstorms off to the east and north of the center. Until and unless this shear lets up more, 92L won’t develop much despite sitting over very warm Gulf of Mexico water.

Computer guidance points towards Texas or northern Mexico but this is for the center. The worst weather, for now at least, is located well away from the center. It’s possible that Texas could see some beneficial rain from this system but how much and where is tough to say right now. The low should move steadily off to the west or west-northwest over the weekend.

We’ll see what the NHC says about this feature tonight and then see how it looks tomorrow morning. The Hurricane Hunters can get out there fairly quickly if need be should things look more interesting in the morning. For now, it’s something to watch but poses no major threat of impact over the weekend.

I’ll post more here in the morning.

M. Sudduth 4:35pm ET August 16

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