Hurricane Jose a concern for sure but Maria could be an epic disaster for the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico

9:45 PM ET Saturday, September 16, 2017

I have posted a video discussion covering the latest concerning Jose which is likely going to miss the East Coast in terms of direct impacts. However, the rip currents and large ocean swells are something to take seriously – check local weather sources for specific info regarding beach conditions and potential hazards.

Maria is an entirely different situation. I am VERY concerned about the well being of people in portions of the Leeward Islands as they continue to struggle day to day in recovery mode in the wake of category five hurricane Irma. The track and intensity for Maria is quite alarming and I address this and more in my evening video post:

M. Sudduth


Two tropical waves to monitor in the Atlantic

Satellite photo with invest areas 96L and 97L indicated

Satellite photo with invest areas 96L and 97L indicated (click to view full size)

We now have two areas to keep tabs on in the deep tropics. Both systems are far from land and really don’t have much of a future ahead of them due to limiting factors in the atmosphere.

The first, invest area 96L, is the eastern most tropical wave with a weak surface low associated with it. Overall, the system has become better organized since yesterday. The development of new convection or thunderstorm activity seems to be persisting though it is not very strong due to weak instability and overall upward motion in the region. This will likely keep 96L from strengthening too much in the coming days as it moves steadily westward over the open Atlantic.

Next we have area 97L which is moving a lot faster towards the west due to strong high pressure to its north. Convection is limited right now and the quick pace of movement will likely help to hinder additional development as the wave of low pressure continues westward.

It does appear that portions of the Leeward Islands will experience a period of squally weather as the tropical wave passes through this weekend. Interests in the region, especially boaters out in the open water, need to be aware of this system.

The fast movement of 97L means that what ever energy survives the coming days could end up in the western Caribbean early next week and while computer models are not indicating development there, we’ll have to watch to be sure. I still think it is just a little early to expect prolific development out of these tropical waves just yet. Give it another couple of weeks and things will probably be different and this makes sense considering the normal uptick in activity as we head in to August.

Meanwhile, the eastern Pacific refuses to shut down completely. We now have invest area 91E which is well on its way to developing well off the coast of Mexico. Fortunately, the steering pattern remains locked in for now and what ever manages to get going will move farther out in to the Pacific and not be an issue for Mexico.

I will have more here over the weekend.

M. Sudduth 11 AM ET July 29

Tropics quite active as we enter second 10 day period of the month

Satellite photo showing 97L (left, near the Bahamas) and 98L (right, near the Lesser Antilles)

Satellite photo showing 97L (left, near the Bahamas) and 98L (right, near the Lesser Antilles)

There is quite a lot going on this morning with two very active systems in the Atlantic Basin. One is 97L near the Bahamas and the other, 98L nearing the Lesser Antilles.

First up- 97L. The small low pressure system has probably been a tropical depression for a few hours but it is not bothering any land areas so it does not really matter all that much. The NHC may upgrade it later this morning but the window of opportunity for it to intensify further is rapidly closing. However, the system has a vigorous and well defined low pressure area and is producing persistent convection and therefore has some time left to strengthen a little more. The big inhibitor will be very strong upper level winds that are approaching from the west. These winds will quickly disrupt the process of upward motion and shear out the low quite efficiently.

Next we have 98L which continues to get better organized as it approaches the Lesser Antilles. The main impact right now will be an increase in tropical downpours accompanied by periods of gusty winds. These conditions will spread across a good deal of the Lesser Antilles later today and through the upcoming weekend.

There is a good chance that 98L will become a tropical storm at some point over the next 72 hours or so and this could make for a rather stormy period for the islands. I do not see any solid indication that 98L will become a hurricane while passing through the region but its fairly slow movement means a prolonged period of heavy rains.

The steering pattern is such that we should see the system turn northwest and eventually north as it feels the effects of a strong trough in the western Atlantic. This is very common for this time of year and should easily turn what ever develops away from the Bahamas and Florida by early next week.

The remainder of the Atlantic and Caribbean are quiet with no additional areas of interest noted this morning.

In the east Pacific, there is a disturbance well to the south of Mexico that has potential for development as it moves westward and away from land.

I’ll have more on the two Atlantic features this afternoon with a complete video blog analysis posted to our iPhone app early this afternoon.