Tropics busy but nothing set to impact land

Atlantic looking fairly busy considering the strong El Nino season

Atlantic looking fairly busy considering the strong El Nino season

We are closing in on the mid-point of the hurricane season in terms of climatology- September 10th marks the traditional peak of the season. Despite a fairly strong El Nino currently dominating the Pacific, the Atlantic Basin has managed to eek out enough activity to keep the maps active. Today is no exception with several areas to monitor in the coming days.

First, we have TS Grace which is likely to weaken and eventually dissipate somewhere in the Caribbean, if not before. It may bring additional rain to the region but it shouldn’t be too much and hopefully nothing like what Erika brought to Dominica recently.

Grace has little chance of making it to the United States as a tropical cyclone due to the persistent band of strong upper level winds and dry mid-level air situated over the deep tropics.

Next up is invest area 92L which is situated to the east-southeast of Bermuda this morning. The NHC says that it consists of a broad area of low pressure that is supposed to be nearly stationary over the next day or two. Water temps in the region are quite warm and most computer guidance suggests that this will become a tropical depression and perhaps a tropical storm before heading on out in to the far north Atlantic. No worries in Bermuda except for a possible increase in surf as the system organizes.

Elsewhere, a rather innocent looking tropical wave is moving through the southeast Caribbean Sea that could end up in a position where it could fester and try to develop down the road. The global models have been hinting at development somewhere in the western Gulf of Mexico within about a week. In fact, for what it’s worth, the often reliable ECMWF has been rather consistent with this scenario over the past few days. Right now, it’s just something to take note of but nothing more. I think that within 72 hours we’ll have a much clearer idea of what may or may not take shape in the Gulf of Mexico as we get in to next week.

Hurricane Linda satellite photo

Hurricane Linda satellite photo

In the east Pacific, hurricane Linda remains well offshore of Mexico and is expected to weaken as it moves to the northwest with time. However, this morning, it sure seems like it’s on a strengthening trend with a clearer eye showing up in satellite imagery. There is likely to be an increase in the wave action along portions of the Baja as the hurricane moves past but the heavy weather should remain far enough to the west to limit any additional impact. Some high-level moisture may get pulled northeast in to the Desert Southwest later in the week as the hurricane has a large circulation associated with it.

I’ll have a thorough video discussion posted later this afternoon that will take a closer look at all of the happenings in the tropics.

M. Sudduth 8:50 AM ET Sept 8


It won’t be Grace…

Satellite image of TS Grace - notice the lack of any significant deep convection or thunderstorm acticity

Satellite image of TS Grace – notice the lack of any significant deep convection or thunderstorm activity

If the United States is going to hit by a hurricane this season, it won’t be Grace. How can I be so confident? The pattern is simply not favorable and Grace will likely never become a hurricane at all, much less impact U.S. shores.

The reason that conditions are so hostile is a little tough to explain. There is just too much dry mid-level air in the deep tropics and this is literally putting a cap on the development of deep convection or thunderstorm activity. If the air cannot rise then tropical cyclones cannot form. Add to the mix the fact that upper level winds are also blowing too fast against the direction of movement and it all equals a “no-go” for Grace from here on out. I fully expect to see the storm weaken to nothing more than an open wave of low pressure by the end of the week if not sooner.

Elsewhere, the Atlantic Basin is quiet this Labor Day 2015. There is some chatter about a possible low pressure area developing in the western Gulf of Mexico in about a week but nothing more, just chatter. We’ll wait and see if the computer guidance begins to latch on more consistently before worrying too much about that.

NHC track map showing the forecast for hurricane Linda in the east Pacific

NHC track map showing the forecast for hurricane Linda in the east Pacific

In the east Pacific, hurricane Linda is gaining strength quickly in the warm water off of Mexico. Fortunately, it is forecast to remain far enough off the coast to keep the impacts to a minimum.

Another area of disturbed weather is now taking shape farther to the south and east of where Linda is located. This should go on to develop steadily over the coming days as it moves roughly parallel to the Mexican coastline but several hundred miles offshore.

M. Sudduth 12:55 PM ET Sept 7