No major issues in the tropics right now – just one area to monitor in NW Caribbean

Map showing location of invest area 95L over the NW Caribbean Sea

Map showing location of invest area 95L over the NW Caribbean Sea

The tropics remain quiet for the most part as we begin to approach the end of June. Only one area, tucked away in the NW Caribbean Sea, is of any concern and even it has a low chance of development.

This morning’s update from the NHC indicates that a tropical wave and a weak area of low pressure is present just off the coast from the Yucatan peninsula, over the northwest Caribbean Sea. It is rather disorganized with limited convection associated with it.

As with the precursor to what became TS Danielle, the main threat here will be periods of heavy rain for portions of Central America as the wave/low moves across over the next few days. And, as was the case with Danielle, if the low has enough warm water to work with once over the southern Bay of Campeche, there is potential for some additional development. Right now, nothing indicates any major issues arising from this system but it is something to monitor.

Computer models indicate that a track similar to Danielle would be likely which means more rain possible for eastern Mexico over the weekend. I see no reason to believe that this system would be of any concern to Texas or elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, the Pacific remains virtually shut down, quite a stark contrast to last year when several hurricanes had formed by now. This is truly remarkable and I do not see the trend ending anytime soon. Perhaps within the next 10 days something will try to get going as a strong upward motion (MJO) pulse is forecast to move through the region, helping to promote tropical convection and thus increasing the chances for development.

I will have more here tomorrow.

M. Sudduth 10:50 AM ET June 23

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

Tropics busy around the globe

It is August and the tropics are busy. There is quite a lot to talk about so let’s begin with the Atlantic._The NHC mentions a weak low pressure area currently located over north-central Florida on their latest outlook. The low is over land but it is producing a large area of disorganized convective activity (thunderstorms) that persist over parts of Florida and adjacent Gulf waters.

The low and the stalled frontal boundary that has been draped across Florida for the past few days has produced excessive rainfall in some locations around the Tampa Bay region. Flooding along small streams, creeks and even some major river systems is occurring and will be a problem for the next day or two.

Forecast models show the low pressure area moving northeast along the coastal waters from Georgia up through the Carolinas early this week, eventually moving on out to sea with little additional development. However, periods of heavy rain are possible as the low slowly tracks along the coast – keep this in mind if you’re headed out to the beach over the next few days.

In the far eastern Atlantic, there is a chance that we will see development later this week as a strong tropical wave emerges from the coast of Africa. The GFS model in particular is quite enthusiastic with this scenario and if it comes to pass, we could see the next Atlantic named storm form before the week is out. Other models are not nearly as bullish on development and if something were to get going that far east, it would likely suffer substantial weakening as it moved west in to the extremely hostile environment of the tropical Atlantic.

Meanwhile, in the central Pacific, Guillermo is barely hanging on as a hurricane and will continue to weaken as a result of stronger upper level winds pushing the deep thunderstorms away from the low level center. This shear, as it is called, will continue and Guillermo is expected to weaken to a tropical storm later today.

Interests in Hawaii should be prepared for rougher than normal surf conditions, heavy rain and some gusty winds as Guillermo closes in later in the week. Fortunately, it is not forecast to be anywhere near hurricane intensity due to the strong upper level wind pattern around Hawaii. The impacts from the storm will be minimal on the whole but some localized areas of heavier rain could cause flooding issues which are impossible to pinpoint this far out.

Elsewhere in the east Pacific, invest area 92E is on course to become a hurricane far from land. It will likely track west-northwest away from Mexico and shouldn’t be an issue for Hawaii either.

Last but not least is super-typhoon Soudelor in the western Pacific. Top winds are likely over 160 miles per hour now as it travels westward over the open Pacific. It will take a few days, but it looks like a direct impact on Taiwan and then mainland China is in store as the typhoon churns westward. This will likely be a big news maker and I will be following it closely.

M. Sudduth 9:00 AM ET Aug 3



Not much going on in the Atlantic but out in the west Pacifc, look out!

NHC Tropical Weather Outlook map highlighting a few areas of interest in the Atlantic

NHC Tropical Weather Outlook map highlighting a few areas of interest in the Atlantic

So far, 95L has not done much which is obviously good news. Overall, the pattern does not look very conducive for much to happen and I suspect that we’ll soon see chances for development begin to go down.

However, for now, there is still some window of opportunity for this system to develop but none of the better models indicate that it will amount to much. I do think it will lend some of its energy to a trough that will dip south, possibly bringing some heavy rain to portions of the Gulf Coast and Southeast. It’s hard to pinpoint which areas will receive the most rain but it does look like a fairly widespread event – something to keep in mind as we approach the weekend, it could be a wet one for a lot of people.

The only other area worth mentioning this morning is well east of Florida. It may try to develop some over the warm Atlantic waters but will move away from the U.S. and not bother any land areas.

In the east Pacific, hurricane Manuel is stationary with winds of 75 mph. The relentless rain from this system continues across portions of Mexico and it will, unfortunately, take a few days for this to stop. The steering pattern is just not allowing the hurricane to move much and thus very heavy rain is falling across the region to the northwest of Mazatlan.

Typhoon Usagi track map showing a significant threat to Taiwan and China

Typhoon Usagi track map showing a significant threat to Taiwan and China

Meanwhile, a significant typhoon is about to impact Taiwan and eventual mainland China in the west Pacific. Their season is also very slow this year, part of a substantial downturn in activity globally but this typhoon means business. Top winds are forecast to peak at over 140 knots which would make it the equivalent of a category five hurricane in the Atlantic. It will likely produce tremendous rains for Taiwan and eventually mainland China and could end up impacting Hong Kong directly. This is probably going to be a major news story in the coming days so stay tuned. It may be a slow season for global tropical cyclone activity but this typhoon, named Usagi, goes to show that sometimes, one big event is enough.

I’ll have more here tomorrow.

M. Sudduth 8:55 am ET Sept 19