5 Day Tropical Weather Outlook map from the NHC showing the high chance of development for invest area 93L. Click or tap for full size.
The NHC has upped the chances of development for 93L to 80% now. Upper level winds are just favorable enough for it to organize more and with the system over very warm Caribbean waters, it won’t take much for it to become a depression or storm later today.
A Hurricane Hunter crew is en route to investigate the system and we will know more by 5pm ET about what is happening and whether or not a depression or storm has in fact formed. Interests from the Caymans, to Cuba and the Florida Keys should be prepared for squally weather with heavy rain and gusty winds at times as the system passes by. Later tomorrow it looks as though what ever this becomes will cross through portions of the Bahamas on its way out in to the open Atlantic.
Also, part of the heat and moisture from the Caribbean connection to 93L will get pulled in to an approaching strong trough of low pressure – the one I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post – and is likely to bring a potent storm to parts of New England later this weekend.
I take a look at this and more in my latest video discussion posted below:
It is a darn good thing that 93L is just an area of interest and not a hurricane, let alone a major hurricane. Aside from the obvious reasons, let’s just say that if it were a hurricane, we would be talking about the potential for a massive storm to impact the East Coast this weekend. As it is, with what’s down in the Caribbean now, we’re talking about a fairly significant event taking shape.
The current situation
Invest areas 93L in the western Caribbean and 92E in the Southeast Pacific
Right now, invest area 93L is hugging the coast of Nicaragua and this is keeping it from developing further for the time being. It is also worth noting that there is another area of disturbed weather, east Pacific invest area 92E, that is close enough to the Caribbean system that I believe it is also keeping a lid on development since the two weather systems are competing for available latent heat energy within the same general area. In fact, the NHC indicates that 92E has the chance of becoming a tropical depression at some point over the next few days over the southeast Pacific, rather close to the coast of Central America.
As for 93L, over the next couple of days there is a small window of opportunity for it to become better organized and perhaps attain tropical depression status. In this case, don’t focus on the meteorological term – it won’t matter much – the impacts are coming and they have the potential of being substantial for a large swath of real estate from the Florida Keys up to Maine.
Tomorrow through the weekend
00z ECMWF snap shot showing the low pressure area developing quickly off the DE/NJ coast this coming Sunday (graphic courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com)
As the disturbance lifts northward tomorrow and in to Saturday, it will bring periods of heavy rain and squalls to Cuba, the Florida Keys and in to south Florida. It will be breezy too with winds gusting to 35 mph or higher in some exposed locations, especially in the Keys. Obviously, this will not be nearly as big a deal as a tropical storm or hurricane but in the wake of Irma, any disruptive weather is enough to rattle nerves and maybe knock out power to some areas weakened by the September hurricane.
The next phase of the event begins to take shape Sunday as a strong and deep trough of low pressure moves in to the East with a lot of upper level energy associated with it.
In the meantime, over the Atlantic, the tropical heat and energy associated with 93L will become part of the equation and make for a stormy period as Sunday progresses.
As it looks right now, the ECMWF model has the best handle on things and shows a potent area of low pressure moving up the East Coast, strengthening as it does so, especially off of Delaware and New Jersey. This low, combined with the approach of the strong upper level energy and trough, will likely result in more heavy rain for parts of the region, extending in to New England late in to the weekend and early Monday. How much, how long and exactly where remains to be seen but the set up is there for a lot of rain and wind – along with coastal impacts.
The biggest unknown right now is exactly how much of the heat energy of 93L gets pulled in to the upper level trough. The more it all phases together in to one intense low pressure area, then the higher the impacts will be. If the energy remains just offshore and ahead of the trough, we’ll see a significant storm but not the powerhouse event that could take place if the whole thing phases. It’s just impossible to know until it’s upon us really – so we’re going to have to wait and see – as usual.
The bottom line here is that a tropical disturbance, which itself has a lot of energy associated with even if it is not a named storm or a hurricane, has the potential of getting “mixed up” with a very strong trough of low pressure and its associated upper level energy to combine in to a powerful coastal storm this weekend.
We still have a day or so to watch as the model guidance flushes out and gives us more details of what to expect but for now, it looks like a moderate chance of a high-impact event taking shape this weekend. Stay tuned!
I’ve posted a video discussion on the situation below: