As Bermuda readies for Leslie, it looks like weak development possible in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Latest ECMWF Model Showing Leslie Very Close to Bermuda

Latest ECMWF Model Showing Leslie Very Close to Bermuda

Leslie is gradually getting better organized and will be a hurricane sooner rather than later. I think it is then only a question of how strong it will become as it moves very close to, or right over, Bermuda this weekend.

I am sure folks there are preparing which is prudent since the wind field extends out so far with the storm. This means that tropical storm conditions will arrive on the island well ahead of the center. While Leslie is forecast to pick up its forward speed, it will not be racing past Bermuda, prolonging the effects.

As was the case with Isaac, the key to Leslie’s future intensity will more than likely be related to how well it develops an inner core structure. Large tropical cyclones typically take longer to tighten up produce a well defined inner core with a ring of convection surrounding the eye. The sooner Leslie is able to accomplish this, the stronger it is likely to become as it passes Bermuda.

This will also have a significant impact on me since I am going to Bermuda tomorrow.

My plan is to take one of my large hardened cases full of weather equipment and other gear that I will set up somewhere on Bermuda to (hopefully) stream live data and video back to our servers and our app.

I will also be working with KittyCode, LLC who is the developer of the hugely popular Hurricane and Hurricane HD set of apps for iOS devices. Both of our sets of apps will contain as many video blog updates as I can put out. Of course, Hurricane and Hurricane HD offer excellent tracking maps and other tools to keep up with the latest on Leslie and other goings on in the tropics. Get Hurricane from the App Store here.

HurricaneTrack for iPhone Tower 1 Screen Shot from Isaac

HurricaneTrack for iPhone Tower 1 Screen Shot from Isaac

As I mentioned, one of my objectives is to set up a complete “wind tower” on the island to capture wind and pressure data every 60 seconds, along with a web cam image, and send this data to our app, HurricaneTrack. I will ONLY be taking one set of gear, that is all that is feasible considering that I am flying it all out there on a passenger jet. The data will feed in to Tower 1 in our app, as seen on the screen shot example from our Isaac field work last week. If all goes well, users of our app will be able to monitor nearly real time weather conditions, along with a web cam image, as Leslie moves through the area.

I will post more about my plans, where I hope to set up, etc. in an update later this afternoon.

Besides Leslie, we are tracking TS Michael but it is of no concern to land areas and will never be.

In the Gulf of Mexico, there is a complex of disturbed weather, perhaps some remnant energy from Isaac that has drifted back south, that could develop some in the coming days. Fortunately, the conditions in the area are not too favorable right now so any development will be limited. However, another round of squally weather is possible for portions of the north and central Gulf Coast region as the disturbance moves southward.

I’ll have much more here later today and will post the daily video blog to our app this afternoon as well. We recently had an update to the app, so if you own it, update it now! We have some GREAT improvements that will prove very helpful going forward.


Leslie heading towards Bermuda and so will I

The latest from the NHC is more of the same for Leslie. It is a large storm, expected to get larger and get stronger at the same time. It is also forecast to pass very close to Bermuda this weekend but the effects will be there much sooner. Waves, generated by the enormous wind field of Leslie, will pound the island, one set at a time. These waves will just get bigger in time as the storm grows in size and intensity over the warm Atlantic waters. Bermuda could be in for a very rough weekend.

As such, I am going to fly to Bermuda and be on site for what ever Leslie brings. I will have a full update as to my plans and how I intend to cover the effects from Bermuda in tomorrow morning’s update.

Elsewhere in the tropics, Michael is of no concern to land as we also watch some left-over energy from Isaac that is trying to work its way back in to the northern Gulf of Mexico. There is a chance that this piece of energy will in fact develop some but conditions do not seem very favorable there right now. Anything that does pop up over the Gulf will be fairly weak and should move back over land quickly. We’ll watch it in case something bizarre happens but honestly, it looks like more of a rain maker with some squalls than anything serious.

As I said, I’ll have more here in the morning regarding Leslie and my plans to cover its impact on Bermuda.

TS Gordon forecast to become hurricane while we also watch southwest Gulf

Heat Content Track Map Showing TS Gordon

Heat Content Track Map Showing TS Gordon

The NHC is issuing advisories on TS Gordon now which originated as a strong tropical wave several days ago after emerging from the coast of Africa. Gordon is forecast to become a hurricane as it moves off to the east-northeast over the sub-tropical Atlantic. I mention “subtropical” because Gordon formed well outside of the usual “MDR” region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles, south of about 20 N latitude. Conditions in that corridor have been quite unkind to development over the last few weeks and this was the case when the tropical wave that became Gordon traversed the region in recent days.

Now that environmental conditions have improved, we have a tropical storm to track. Note that the ocean heat content is not high at all along Gordon’s path but there’s just enough energy to push the storm to hurricane intensity over the next few days. The forecast track takes Gordon just to the south of the Azores Islands as it moves back towards the eastern Atlantic and eventually, cooler waters.

The next area to monitor will be the southwest Gulf of Mexico as energy from what was once TD 7 moves in to the very warm water and a more favorable environment for development. Several of the global computer models are indicating that a weak area of low pressure will eventually form somewhere in the southwest Gulf within the next five to seven days. I do not see any indications just yet of a strong system which is good news considering that water temps in the western Gulf are quite warm. I think that at the very least, interests in the region can expect an increase in squally weather as the low takes shape though it should be a fairly slow process.

Elsewhere, it seems that the models are also hinting at a potential Cape Verde storm developing over the next week or so from a tropical wave that will move off of Africa. Both the GFS and the ECMWF show this and have been a little more consistent with this scenario over the last few runs. We’ll see – I am not convinced just because of how negative the conditions have been up through the present time. I also know that things can change and we may have an active period coming up that includes a long-track storm originating from Africa. Time will tell…

I wanted to mention too that in today’s video blog that will be posted to the HurricaneTrack app, I will take a look back at hurricane Andrew from 1992. We are coming up on the 20 year anniversary of that category five hurricane and as one of our private clients suggested, it would be good to compare how things were then in terms of information, evacuation orders, etc. and what might happen if an Andrew type hurricane were to happen again today. That, and a detailed look at the tropics, will be part of today’s video blog so check it out later this afternoon. Remember that, unfortunately for now, you have to completely close the app and restart it to get the video blogs to refresh. We will have a nice pull-down refresh coming in the next update which is coming soon!

Gulf system slow to develop, not sure where it is headed

As you know, 96L is being closely monitored for developments as it slowly moves out of the Caribbean Sea and in to the southern Gulf of Mexico. This morning’s satellite pictures reveal very deep convection associated with the system but it still lacks sufficient organization to be classified as a depression. That being said, the NHC continues to note that pressures are falling in the region while upper level winds are forecast to become more conducive for development.

Hopefully the Hurricane Hunters will fly in to the region today and provide much more data on what the structure and overall organization is with 96L.

The future track and intensity will depend a lot on where a solid low level center develops and how quickly the system strengthens. It is interesting to point out that the SHIPS intensity model indicates a moderate tropical storm and not a hurricane. This is obviously good news especially when we also consider that the usually aggressive GFDL and HWRF intensity models both show a very weak system. This can change and probably will as the low takes shape and gets better organized. At least for the time being, we’re not looking at a potential hurricane – let’s hope it stays that way.

As for where this system will end up? It’s too tough to call right now. Some of the model guidance suggests a track in to the central Gulf of Mexico with a turn back to the west and even south of west towards Texas/Mexico. Other models keep the would-be storm heading towards the northeast portion of the Gulf, with possible impacts in Florida. Right now, everyone along the Gulf Coast should just keep an eye on what goes on with 96L today and tomorrow. It’s not moving very fast and there will be plenty of time to react and prepare if needed.

I am on the road today and tomorrow but will post updates regularly. Fortunately, the rest of the tropics remain nice and quiet.


Carlotta inland over Mexico and weakening though heavy rain threat continues; Gulf of Mexico next place to watch

Hurricane Carlotta made landfall last night along the southern Mexican coastline with winds to near 90 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The circulation is now weakening rapidly over the rugged terrain of Mexico but the threat of heavy rains will continue for the next few days. Remember that tropical cyclones release a tremendous amount of heat through rain fall and it takes time for the moisture envelope to totally spin down and dissipate. The mountains of Mexico will also serve as a focusing mechanism to wring out even more moisture and should help to hasten the process. Interests in the region should continue to be aware of the rain threat, especially along the higher elevations where mud slides and flash flooding could occur with little to no warning.

There is another area of interest in the east Pacific but it is farther away from the coast and will likely move in to cooler water before it can develop much.

Now we will turn our attention to the southern and western Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. The pattern is such that there is at leas some potential for a tropical depression to form later next week. Water temps are plenty warm and the current wet phase of the MJO, coupled with the remnants of Carlotta, could trigger a low pressure area to form in the Bay of Campeche. I do not see any indication in the global computer models that anything too strong will come of this but the region will certainly bear watching as we begin the week ahead.