Pattern, time of year, suggest potential for development off SE coast

Water vapor satellite image showing area of disturbed weather well off the Southeast coast

Water vapor satellite image showing area of disturbed weather well off the Southeast coast

As we approach the start of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, we already have something to talk about. Let me say from the start: it does not look like a big deal, so there’s that. However, the overall pattern favors development off the Southeast coast and since it is getting closer to June 1, why not?

The NHC has outlined an area of interest between Bermuda and the Bahamas that is primarily the result of an old frontal boundary tangling up with an upper level piece of energy or trough. While this is not the classic way to get tropical development, it is still one of the ways we see it happen and as such, the computer models have been showing some development of this system for several days now. Development in to what exactly? That remains to be seen but so far, none of the models, nor does the overall look to things, suggest much more than a rain maker for where ever this ends up – likely the Southeast coast later this weekend.

Water temps in the region are only marginal for development though they do get warmer in the Gulf Stream closer to the coast. If this were August, I would be more concerned, it’s May so my level of concern is about a 1 out of 10 – mainly due to the potential for heavy rain and possible rough surf conditions along some of the beaches along the Southeast coast. Keep this in mind and just monitor the situation while you’re out and about over the long holiday weekend.

Beyond that, things are quiet elsewhere in the Atlantic and the same holds true for the east Pacific. I’ll post another update here tomorrow morning.

M. Sudduth 8:40 AM ET May 25

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Copious amount of moisture for parts of Southeast but no development seen with 92L

Radar image showing the large amount of rain across portions of the Southeast

Radar image showing the large amount of rain across portions of the Southeast

There is an awful lot of rain spreading across portions of the Southeast this morning but it’s not associated with the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico – at least not directly.

Looking at satellite imagery, it is easy to tell that 92L has not become any better organized over night. The energy is not focusing around the weak low pressure center and continues to be spread out. As long as this continues, the system will not develop.

The pattern we’ve seen in place across the Southeast for the past several days will persist through the weekend with a change finally coming early next week. The front hung up across the area will fade and a return to a more typical summertime pattern will ensue. However, all of the rain that has fallen and that is still coming presents a problem to consider for later on: what if we get a tropical storm or hurricane landfall in this area over the next few weeks? I am concerned about the flood risk for the Southeast should a tropical cyclone pay a visit. So far, there’s not been any risk of that since Alberto back in June. We are coming up on the peak time of the season and there is a lot of talk in the hurricane forecasting world of a busy period coming up as the overall pattern seems to be heading towards one more conducive for development. We’ve seen a lot of rain across a good deal of the Southeast this summer. Rivers will be swollen and the ground saturated. Let’s hope this is not a set-up to a major flood event as we progress through the peak of the season.

In the east Atlantic, Erin remains a weak tropical storm as it fights the dry air still in place. This is not much of a surprise and I think it won’t be too much longer until we see the dry air ease up and the real meat of the season kicks in. In fact, another strong tropical wave is emerging from the coast of Africa now with potential for development over the next several days. At least for now, there are no threats for land areas to worry about.

I’ll post another update this evening concerning 92L and the rest of the tropics.

M. Sudduth 8:57am ET August 17

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