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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Florida in line for impacts from tropical system

NHC indicating a high chance of development in the red area, meaning impacts for Florida early this coming week

NHC indicating a high chance of development in the red area, meaning impacts for Florida early this coming week

It looks like we are on our way to having another tropical system develop and it’s only June 5th. This time, we are looking at the southern Gulf of Mexico where a broad area of low pressure is taking shape, trying to organize enough to become a tropical depression or maybe even a tropical storm by later today.

The NHC indicates a 90% chance of this happening and the Hurricane Hunters will be flying out in to the system this afternoon for a close up look. At that point we’ll know for sure what is going on in the region just north of the Yucatan peninsula, extending in to the southern Gulf and northern Caribbean Sea.

Water temps in the area are plenty warm and it will not surprise me at all to see this get named – if so, it would be “Colin”.

Now, as I said yesterday, before folks in Florida get too nervous about all of this, let’s take a look at something very important: upper level winds. I think this is what keeps the system from becoming very strong. Looking at the latest 200mb wind forecast from the GFS computer model, we can clearly see very strong winds blowing across the top of the would-be storm at the 36 hour mark. This will likely keep the system from being very symmetrical in shape and with that, it should be rather lopsided with most of the wind and rain on the east side of the low pressure center.

GFS 200mb chart from the 6Z run showing the low pressure area at 36 hours. Notice the strong southerly to southwest winds blowing across the storm. This "shear" is not favorable for strengthening but could aid in severe weather for Florida

GFS 200mb chart from the 6Z run showing the low pressure area at 36 hours. Notice the strong southerly to southwest winds blowing across the storm. This “shear” is not favorable for strengthening but could aid in severe weather for Florida (click to enlarge)

On the other hand, there will be substantial impacts for portions of the Florida peninsula. Exactly where and to what extent remains to be seen.

Winds to tropical storm force, maybe reaching 50 mph in some locations, could be expected but it’s tough to know where right now.

Very heavy rain coming from the warm Gulf of Mexico will move in as early as tomorrow afternoon. This is the biggest impact that I see for now and could cause localized flooding. It will be important to monitor your local NWS information and news sources as this will be a dynamic, constantly evolving part of the storm. In other words, it will come down to where the heavy rain bands or squall line(s) set up. Your area could get several inches of rain, along with strong gusty winds, or very little at all. We won’t know until the system is within radar range of NWS sites along the Florida west coast.

Coastal flooding will be a concern in typical onshore, surge prone areas of the west coast. I’ll know more about this once the NHC issues advisories and releases their storm surge and coastal flooding forecasts. I can highlight this better in my video discussion, especially tomorrow.

Severe weather as a whole could be a problem as well. With the very strong upper level wind pattern, it won’t take much to produce isolated tornadic thunderstorms along with possible strong down burst winds during the passage of the storm system. Again, there is no way to know where this might occur until we can see the storms on radar. The severe weather threat is high enough to warrant considerable concern, it’s just impossible to know precisely where and when.

Once the low moves across Florida on Tuesday, it will quickly move in to the Atlantic and could become stronger as it moves out to sea. The impacts along the Atlantic side won’t be as pronounced but even up the coast from Georgia to North Carolina could see heavy rain from the storm – it all depends on the angle of its track once it emerges in to the Atlantic.

I will post a video discussion shortly to follow up on the blog post for today. As new information comes in throughout the day, I will post updates on Twitter and our Facebook page – so be sure to follow along if you’re not already. We also have an app that consolidates all of our info in to one nice package. Search Hurricane Impact in the app store or Google Play.

M. Sudduth 10:25 AM ET June 5

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High chance of seeing another tropical system develop and head towards Florida

Track forecasts from the various computer models showing the potential for a Fllorida landfall from what ever develops in the Gulf of Mexico early next week

Track forecasts from the various computer models showing the potential for a Fllorida landfall from what ever develops in the Gulf of Mexico early next week

The tropics continue to be busy during this young hurricane season with another system developing in the northwest Caribbean Sea this weekend. This time, it will track towards Florida and bring with it copious amounts of rain and the possibility of severe weather.

Overnight, shower and thunderstorm activity has increased quite substantially over portions of the northwest Caribbean Sea. The latest outlook from the National Hurricane Center gives an 80% chance of the system developing in to at least a tropical depression over the next few days. As it slowly organizes, the disturbance will bring heavy rain and occasional gusty winds to portions of the Yucatan peninsula this weekend. After that time, what should eventually become perhaps a tropical storm will move northward in to the Gulf of Mexico and then turn northeast towards Florida.

So far, the computer models only show modest strengthening due to strong upper level winds that will be present over the top of the system as it moves towards Florida. This should keep the wind from being too strong and I do not see any evidence right now to suggest a hurricane threat. On the other hand, I think we all know by now that one does not need a hurricane to have big problems, especially when considering the very heavy rain that is likely headed for Florida.

It is difficult to know this far in advance which areas will receive the heaviest rain. Right now, it looks as though south Florida will be spared the worst of the weather while points farther north, especially along the west coast, could be in for a rough start to the week. The possibility of severe weather exists too as strong upper level winds tearing across the tropical system will help to aid in severe thunderstorms which could bring their own locally intense down burst winds and the chance for tornadoes. This is something that people in the region will need to monitor closely over the next few days.

Once the system develops further, assuming that it does, we will know more about specific impacts to Florida. I think the bottom line is that we will be looking at a large, low-end tropical storm from a wind perspective, with plenty of heavy rain and possible severe weather. While not a hurricane threat, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of understanding all of the hazards associated with even “weak” tropical storms.

I will have another update on this system tomorrow morning.

M. Sudduth 9:00 AM June 4

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Two areas of development likely but far, far from land

93L (left) and 95L (right) both show promise to develop in to tropical depressions over the next day or two

93L (left) and 95L (right) both show promise to develop in to tropical depressions over the next day or two

The deep tropics remain fairly active, despite the strong El Nino in place in the Pacific. Fortunately for coastal dwellers, none of the systems that the NHC is monitoring pose any threat to land.

Up first is invest area 93L, the western most disturbance. As you can see in the satellite photo, it certainly has that look of becoming a tropical depression and may do so later today.

Computer models suggest a short window of opportunity for it to strengthen in to a tropical storm, if it does, it would be named Ida….unless…..

Unless 95L, the eastern most system develops first. It too has become better organized overnight but I think that 93L is well on its way to becoming a depression and eventually a storm.

Steering currents are such that both systems will almost certainly turn north with time and remain well away from land areas. In the end, we could finish the week with two additional named storms and a few more ACE points for the season but that’s it.

Looking ahead, the long range global models do not indicate any solid leads as to where the next area of interest may be. The natural evolution of the season would suggest that we begin watching the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico this time of year but upper level winds have not been favorable at all this season across that region. Water temperatures are slowly coming down from north to south as well and so the sands in the hourglass of the hurricane season will begin to run out quicker as we head towards October. It’s not over until it’s over, no doubt about that, but for the next several days at least, the United States and surrounding countries of the western Atlantic Basin are safe from the threat of hurricanes.

In the eastern Pacific, there are no areas of concern right now and I do not see that changing over the next five to seven days.

I’ll have more here tomorrow.

M. Sudduth 8:20 AM ET Sept 16

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Tropical Atlantic showing signs of life with 93L

5-day graphical tropical weather outlook map from the National Hurricane Center showing 93L over the tropical Atlantic

5-day graphical tropical weather outlook map from the National Hurricane Center showing 93L over the tropical Atlantic

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about how hostile the environment is in the tropical Atlantic when it comes to hurricane development.

Dry air, cooler than average sea surface temps, African dust – it’s all part of the so-called “anti-hurricane season” going on in the deep tropics. So far, the negative conditions has meant there has been absolutely nothing to talk about between Africa and the Caribbean Sea; that is, until now.

It seems that conditions have become a little less hostile in recent days with a let up in what is known as the Saharan Air Layer or SAL. Also, water temps have warmed some in the region compared to where they’ve been over the past month or so. Add to this mix a vigorous tropical wave that exited Africa a few days ago and we have an area of interest: 93L.

The National Hurricane Center indicates that the disturbance has a small window of opportunity for some development over the next day or so as it moves across the deep tropics. However, it is still a bit early for development this far east and eventually, upper level winds are likely to put a lid on strengthening for 93L.

It is interesting to me that we are seeing this happening simply because the deep tropics are supposed to be very unfavorable this hurricane season. While I won’t make too much out of this system’s presence, I do take note of it and will be watching the region a little closer in the coming weeks. Perhaps conditions won’t be quite as negative out that way as some were thinking, time will tell.

For now, it is just something to watch as it travels westward over open water. There are no indications at this time that it will develop much further but even if it does, it is still far out over the Atlantic and would not be an issue for any land areas for several days at least.

Track map showing hurricane Dolores over the eastern Pacific

Track map showing hurricane Dolores over the eastern Pacific

Meanwhile, in the east Pacific, what was once powerful hurricane Dolores is weakening well to the southwest of the Baja. The forecast track takes it northwest to a position that could send fairly significant moisture towards the Southwest U.S. in the coming days. This might help to enhance the rain chances across southern California, Arizona and Nevada. How much so remains to be seen but it’s something to keep an eye on for both beneficial reasons and the potential for flooding.

It’s also worth noting that high surf could be an issue for south facing beaches in southern California as swells generated by the hurricane reach the coastline this weekend. Surfers will obviously love this scenario but need to be careful out there as the sets roll in.

I will have more here over the weekend concerning 93L and Dolores.

M. Sudduth 6:45 AM July 17

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