Matthew drenching Central America and Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:35 PM GMT on September 25, 2010

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Tropical Storm Matthew continues to dump heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and neighboring regions of Mexico today. Puerto Barrios, in northern Guatemala, has received 4.57" of rain in the past 24 hours. With Matthew expected to slow down and dissipate by Sunday, the storm's heavy rains of 6 - 15 inches can be expected to cause severe flooding and dangerous mudslides. The rains are of particular concern for Guatemala, which suffered its rainiest August in its history, followed by the landfall of Tropical Depression 11E during the first week of September, which dumped torrential rains on the country that triggered flooding and mudslides that killed at least 48 Guatemalans.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image from NASA's Terra satellite taken yesterday, showing Tropical Storm Matthew approaching landfall.


Figure 2. Forecast rain amounts for the 5-day period beginning at 2am EDT today (Saturday, September 25) as predicted by this morning's 2am EDT (6Z) run of the GFDL. Very heavy rains in excess of eight inches (yellow colors) are predicted for portions of Central America along Matthew's track. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Lisa
Tropical Storm Lisa pulled a bit of a surprise last night, intensifying into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds in the far Eastern Atlantic. Lisa's longitude of 27.9W at the time made it the 10th strongest hurricane so far east in the Atlantic. Record keeping began in 1851, but it is likely that many hurricanes stronger than Lisa were missed prior to the advent of reliable satellite coverage in 1974. Lisa is even farther east than Category 4 Hurricane Julia, which earlier this month set the record for strongest hurricane ever recorded so far east. Lisa's glory will be short-lived, though, as strong upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase tonight, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over the storm. The high shear may be capable of destroying the storm by early next week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

Forecast for the rest of the tropics
Most of the models continue to predict that by Wednesday, the remnants of Matthew, and/or a piece of a tropical disturbance over the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Guatemala, will evolve into a huge and very wet low pressure system that will start spinning over Central America and the Western Caribbean. NHC has been referring to this expected storm as a "monsoon low", and these sorts of storms are very dangerous for Central America and the Western Caribbean, even if they do not develop into a tropical storm. In October 2007, a similar monsoon low I dubbed "the sleeping giant" spent a week spinning over the region, dumping very heavy rains over all of Central America and the countries bordering the Western Caribbean. Rains from this system triggered flooding that killed 45 people in Haiti, damaged thousands of homes in Cuba, and caused havoc in Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Mexico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas. A similar type of storm is likely to develop on Wednesday and Thursday, and most of Central America and the nations surrounding the Western Caribbean can expect to see dangerous flooding rains develop this week in association with this giant low. Most of the models also predict that this big low will eventually develop into a tropical storm or hurricane that would be drawn northwards over Cuba late in the week, and threaten the Bahamas, Florida, or the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. This is an exceptionally difficult system to forecast correctly, and the models have been coming up with some pretty unusual solutions as to what might happen. We'll just have to wait and see what unfolds over the next few days.

I'll have an update Sunday by 2pm.

Jeff Masters

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...LISA MOVING NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE EASTERN
ATLANTIC...EXPECTED TO BECOME A REMNANT LOW LATER TODAY...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...25.6N 29.1W
ABOUT 740 MI...1190 KM NNW OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
ABOUT 865 MI...1395 KM S OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1007 MB...29.74 INCHES

Discussion:

000
WTNT44 KNHC 261431
TCDAT4
TROPICAL DEPRESSION LISA DISCUSSION NUMBER 24
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142010
1100 AM AST SUN SEP 26 2010

LISA HAS LOST NEARLY ALL OF ITS DEEP CONVECTION AND NOW CONSISTS
PRIMARILY OF A TIGHT SWIRL OF LOW-LEVEL CLOUDS. AN 1104 UTC ASCAT
OVERPASS CAPTURED THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE CIRCULATION AND SHOWED
A SMALL AREA OF 25 TO 30 KT WINDS. BASED ON THIS DATA AND
SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS HELD AT 30
KT FOR THIS ADVISORY. THE COMBINATION OF CONTINUED STRONG
SOUTHWESTERLY SHEAR...SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF AROUND 25 C...AND
A STABLE ATMOSPHERE SHOULD PREVENT THE FORMATION OF SIGNIFICANT
CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER OF LISA...THEREFORE...DEGENERATION TO A
REMNANT LOW IS FORECAST TO OCCUR WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS. THE
REMNANT LOW WILL LIKELY PERSIST FOR A FEW DAYS.

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AT 6 KT.
LISA...OR ITS REMNANT LOW...IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE MOVING
NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD TO NORTHWARD FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS STEERED
BETWEEN A RIDGE OVER WESTERN AFRICA AND A TROUGH TO THE WEST OF THE
CYCLONE OVER THE EASTERN ATLANTIC. THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST IS
AGAIN NUDGED SLIGHTLY TO THE WEST...TRENDING TOWARD THE MULTI-MODEL
CONSENSUS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 26/1500Z 25.6N 29.1W 30 KT
12HR VT 27/0000Z 26.4N 29.8W 25 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
24HR VT 27/1200Z 27.5N 30.6W 25 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36HR VT 28/0000Z 28.7N 31.3W 25 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
48HR VT 28/1200Z 29.8N 31.5W 25 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
72HR VT 29/1200Z 31.3N 31.3W 20 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
96HR VT 30/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2163. GetReal
Quoting JupiterKen:
For those of you looking for Levi32, it's ~6:30 in the morning in Alaska.




It is actually 5:40 am in Homer,Ak... Home of Levi.... They are in Alaska time zone(ADT).
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2162. Patrap
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
337 am CDT sun Sep 26 2010


Short term...


A cold front located over central Louisiana and central
Mississippi will continue to push to the south today and
tonight...as a strong upper level vorticity lobe descends into the
lower Mississippi Valley. In advance of the front...a marginally
unstable airmass will remain in place through early tonight.
Although there will be ample warmth and moisture to work with...the
strongest dynamic forcing looks to be Post-frontal. Thus...any
convection ahead of the front will generally remain on the weak
side. Scattered thunderstorm activity is expected...but the severe
threat will be minimal. Ample cloud cover will also keep
temperatures a couple of degrees cooler today...with highs rising
into the upper 80s as opposed to the lower 90s seen yesterday.


The cold front should pull offshore by late this evening...with
strong dry and cold air advection taking hold. Northern and
western zones will see skies clear rapidly late this
evening...with clearing skies expected over coastal zones Monday
morning. Temperatures will plunge into the upper 50s over northern
and western zones and the lower 60s along the coast. In
addition...dewpoints will also fall into the 50s across the
region. This will be the first real taste of Fall weather...and
this pattern should continue into Tuesday. Daytime highs will rise
into the lower 80s tomorrow and Tuesday...with lows once again
dipping into the 50s and lower 60s Monday night. Skies will remain
clear through the period as a very dry and stable airmass takes
hold.


Long term...


Heading into the latter half of the workweek and the upcoming
weekend...beautiful weather is expected to remain in place across
the area. Deep layer northerly flow will continue to drive drier
air into the region...and keep temperatures seasonably cool. This
flow may become enhanced on Thursday and remain so through the
weekend as a strong pressure gradient across the eastern Gulf of
Mexico develops. The strength of this gradient flow is all dependent
on a possible tropical disturbance developing near Cuba. All of
the medium range guidance suggests that this system will remain
embedded on the eastern side of the trough axis and quickly move
up the eastern Seaboard over the weekend. If this disturbance
develops as expected...clear skies...low humidity...and overall
pleasant conditions will continue through next weekend.

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2161. nash28
And October is the month that West FL has to keep on their toes.
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2160. gator23
Quoting sammywammybamy:


This is Possible as Well:


the truth is something will happen what that is, is anyone's guess.
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2159. nash28
Tampa is indeed overdue.
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...MATTHEW WEAKENS TO A REMNANT LOW BUT CONTINUES TO PRODUCE HEAVY
RAINS OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA...


SUMMARY OF 1000 AM CDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.4N 92.9W
ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM S OF VILLAHERMOSA MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...25 MPH...35 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1003 MB...29.62 INCHES

Discussion:

000
WTNT45 KNHC 261435
TCDAT5
TROPICAL DEPRESSION MATTHEW DISCUSSION NUMBER 13
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL152010
1000 AM CDT SUN SEP 26 2010

VISIBLE/INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE
THAT THE DEEP CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE SYSTEM HAS BECOME
DISORGANIZED AND THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NO MORE THAN 20
KT. MATTHEW HAS WEAKENED TO A REMNANT LOW AND THIS WILL BE THE
LAST ADVISORY. THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN MOVING WESTWARD WITH A GRADUALLY
DECREASING FORWARD SPEED. OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO...THE REMNANT
OF MATTHEW WILL LIKELY BECOME EMBEDDED WITHIN A BROAD CYCLONIC GYRE
EXTENDING FROM THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN WESTWARD ACROSS NORTHERN
CENTRAL AMERICA. THE REMNANT IS EXPECTED TO TURN SLOWLY CLOCKWISE
WITHIN THE LARGER CYCLONIC CIRCULATION UNTIL DISSIPATION BY 36 TO
48 HOURS OR SOONER.

EVEN THOUGH THE LOW IS NO LONGER A TROPICAL CYCLONE THE SYSTEM...IN
CONJUNCTION WITH THE BROAD CYCLONIC GYRE...WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE
TORRENTIAL RAINS OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN MEXICO AND CENTRAL
AMERICA OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 26/1500Z 17.4N 92.9W 20 KT
12HR VT 27/0000Z 17.4N 93.4W 20 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
24HR VT 27/1200Z 17.2N 93.5W 20 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36HR VT 28/0000Z 17.1N 93.3W 20 KT...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
48HR VT 28/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER PASCH
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2157. Patrap
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2155. Patrap
Gulf and Tropics (Updated every ~1/2 hour)




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Quoting islander101010:
so how strong is the canadian landfall sw florida?


Depends.. are you talking about the CMC, or all of the Canadian Quebecois snowbirds... either one can't be good.
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2153. Patrap
GOM IR Loop

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Another possible track (NOT INTENSITY) for this system, develops off the Yucatan, meanders a little in the NW Caribbean before going NE. Similar to what the latest CMC run showed.


Link
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2150. hydrus
Quoting islander101010:
so how strong is the canadian landfall sw florida?
...Link...
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2149. gator23
Quoting Legion:




img src="


Action:
Quote
| Ignore User


Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 300





odd.
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so how strong is the canadian landfall sw florida?
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If you look at the 00z CMC 850mb vorticity graph you'll notice that all the western Caribbean really is, is a large area of cyclonic rotation. What happens is, is that a low pressure system apparently develops within this area of rotation and then gets pulled northward by the shortwave trough in about 2-3 days. I currently find this the most realistic scenario (along with the ECMWF and its ensembles), but a lot will change as the system develops.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2146. hydrus
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Track 'could' be somewhat similar to this storm in 1925. See how it just kind of meanders in the Caribbean, then gets picked up by a trough and shoots NE? The intensity will obviously be different, as this was a late season system vs. Late September like what we're dealing with now.
That storm hit Tampa on Dec-1. If my memory is correct....This NCEP model has two storms hitting Florida in roughly the same area...Link
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2144. gator23
Quoting shawn26:
I really hope the CMC does not pan out living in Cape Coral.

Or Tampa, or Miami, or Jacksonville. IF that happens. DOOM
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Quoting JupiterKen:
For those of you looking for Levi32, it's ~6:30 in the morning in Alaska.




A college kid not up at 0630 on a Sunday? Pfft. What's this world coming to? ;)
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2142. gator23
Quoting hydrus:
And there probably be multiple lows centers forming and dissipating, which seems to happen a bit with these systems. Besides the ones that already exist, there seems to be a low center forming in the Gulf of Honduras.

Which would be disasterous
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Track 'could' be somewhat similar to this storm in 1925. See how it just kind of meanders in the Caribbean, then gets picked up by a trough and shoots NE? The intensity will obviously be different, as this was a late season system vs. Late September like what we're dealing with now.
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2140. nash28
Morning all. I hope the models verify. Nothing catastrophic mind you. Just need the rain here in Charleston. Could use a weak low pressure soaker riding the coast.
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For those of you looking for Levi32, it's ~6:30 in the morning in Alaska.

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2137. shawn26
I really hope the CMC does not pan out living in Cape Coral.
Member Since: September 3, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 203
2136. hydrus
Quoting gator23:

It would seem that ALL of penisular Flroida will get hit by something. Scary
And there will probably be multiple lows centers forming and dissipating, which seems to happen a bit with these systems. Besides the ones that already exist, there seems to be a low center forming in the Gulf of Honduras.
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Shields are still up!
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The CMC doesn't bode well for me. Right over my house. But, look at what Africa is throwing off. Hmm.

Link
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Hey, How Accurate are these models?

Are they any good 60-72 hours out?


It can depend. Usually 60-72 hours out is somewhat accurate, but again it depends on the variables.
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Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Judging by the models, I'm fairly confident in saying that some sort of low pressure system will eventually develop in the NW Caribbean by Tuesday night. Beyond that, its all very speculative and iffy. Wind shear is low/marginal 10-15 knots, TCHP is extremely favorable and this low pressure system should move very slowly, perhaps stationary, steering currents have pretty much collapsed there. Best guess, there will be some sort of shortwave trough to the north that could pick this up and shoot it to the NE, either into Cuba or northward.
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2129. gator23
Quoting hydrus:
I am still looking at all the models..But if this does become a major storm, this track is devastating for Florida. And if it is a slow mover, even more so...GEM...Link

It would seem that ALL of penisular Flroida will get hit by something. Scary
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2118. sebastianflorida 10:15 AM EDT on September 26, 2010

Superb forecast made by Crown Weather.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Storm Matthew kills eight in Venezuela
Unfortunately, the category or designation of a tropical system really does not really equal the flooding potential which is the greatest killer.

'Kind of wish, the NHC would add a number, letter and/or color to simply let those in the path of a tropical system be more aware of flooding potential. I realize, this information is already included in advisories but it seems most do not read them.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
can you please post the vorticity map
CIMSS
PSU e-WALL
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
06z GFS developed a second storm in the NW Caribbean in around 120+ hours.
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Quoting hydrus:
I am still looking at all the models..But if this does become a major storm, this track is devastating for Florida. And if it is a slow mover, even more so...GEM...Link
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Keep in mind that this is a low-confidence forecast. I think it'll be down there for another 48-60 hours before getting pulled northward by a shortwave trough. I'm currently in best agreement with the ECMWF and CMC models.


Thank you, both of you. With the models getting closer in agreement, especially within the 60 hour range, I'm taking notice. Hope for the best, but watch closely, you know?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lower level vorticity is good in the area, so it appears to be a prime spot for the development of a low pressure system. It has yet to occur though.

This afternoon's ASCAT pass should help us out.

can you please post the vorticity map
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THIS, FROM CROWN WEATHER, MAKES THE MOST SENSE OUT OF THE MOST UNUSUAL TROPICAL SITUATION OF THE YEAR. My take, 2/3 rds of Florida gets lashed with gusty winds between 35 and 85 miles per hour depending on location, these winds last for 20 to over 30 hours, rain between 10 and 30 inches, serious flooding, maybe even a once in a lifetime flood situation. Most damage from floods, but minimum to moderate wind damage to mobile homes and landscape, and poorly constructed sheds, carports etc. Beach erosion will be another serious issue on both coasts of Florida, and the potential for tornadoe risk will be moderate to high at times.


Now From Crown Weater:

The Caribbean Sea Of Confusion:
The western part of the Caribbean is one big mess of convection this morning thanks to the interaction between what is left of Matthew, a monsoonal low pressure system and energy that is advecting northward from the eastern Pacific. This is a very complex and fairly unusual tropical weather pattern that is going to unfold this week across the Caribbean.

As I have already mentioned, what is left of Matthew will become absorbed into a broad circulation that is forming over the western Caribbean. These monsoonal circulations are much more common over the Western Pacific and fairly uncommon over the Atlantic Basin. From a meteorological point of view, the events that unfold this week in the Caribbean will likely be both fascination and frustrating as this type of event does not happen very often in the Atlantic which will make forecasting it quite difficult.

In most cases in the western Pacific, these types of events produce two or more tropical cyclones and some of the model guidance like the GFS model forecast this type of scenario where Nicole forms in the northwestern Caribbean as soon as Tuesday and tracks north-northeastward into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night and crosses central Florida Thursday night and Friday. At the same time, the GFS model forecasts that some energy will be left behind in the northwestern Caribbean leading to the development of Otto on Friday. The GFS model forecasts that Otto will sit and spin in the northwestern Caribbean through next weekend before lifting northeastward and affecting south Florida next Wednesday (October 6th) . It should be noted that the GFS model also forecasts the development of a third tropical cyclone in the northwestern Caribbean around October 9th.

Another scenario that sometimes happens in the western Pacific is that the tropical system that forms is as large as the entire circulation itself and model guidance like the Canadian, NOGAPS, European ensemble and to some extent the European operational model forecasts this type of scenario.

The European operational and especially the European ensemble models forecast that Nicole will form near the Yucatan Channel on Wednesday and be initially pushed northeastward towards south Florida by Friday. Nicole is then pushed back to the south next weekend as it is left behind by the departing trough of low pressure where the European model forecasts it will sit in the extreme northern Caribbean next Tuesday.

The Canadian model forecasts that Nicole will develop near the western tip of Cuba on Tuesday and lift northward into the eastern Gulf of Mexico during Wednesday and track across central Florida Wednesday night. The Canadian model forecasts that Nicole will then lift into the southeastern United States during Thursday and Thursday night.

Ok, here are my thoughts on all of this: To be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure how things are going to unfold this week in the western Caribbean and I do not trust any of the model guidance right now. None of the forecast models agree with one another and even the ensemble models do not agree with their operational counterparts. I will say that while I don’t trust any of the model guidance right now, I do think that the GFS model seems somewhat unrealistic in its forecast of multiple tropical cyclones forming. If I were to lean towards a model solution, it would be towards the European operational and European ensemble model in a track of Nicole that takes it very near south Florida and the Florida Keys by Friday and then potentially being left behind next weekend into the following week in the northern Caribbean.

What do we actually have somewhat of a consensus on right now?? Well, we do know that a low pressure system is currently developing in the western Caribbean and it will have a large circulation associated with it. I do think that since the circulation will be large that development into a tropical cyclone should be slow to occur. The model solutions seem to agree that a good portion of the state of Florida will be affected by whatever comes out of the northwest Caribbean.

Now, I did mention that I expect that slow development is forecast and I am not anticipating a rapid spinup. I am not exactly confident on that consensus as ocean water temperatures in the northwest Caribbean are extremely warm and environmental conditions are quite favorable. So, rapid organization and intensification is a distinct possibility.

As I mentioned yesterday, it would be unwise and foolish to make a specific track forecast due to high uncertainty of this system. Once we get better consensus and an actual system to track, we should be able to start coming up with a more specific track forecast.

Needless to say, I will be monitoring things very closely this week and all interests in the western Caribbean and in Florida should pay very close attention to the possibility of a tropical cyclone forming this week and tracking towards Florida later this week.
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Quoting weatherwart:


What's concerning to me is that a system forms, spins up quickly in that bathtub down there and is suddenly at my front door.

If and when we do have a system, how fast do you see it getting pulled up?
Keep in mind that this is a low-confidence forecast. I think it'll be down there for another 48-60 hours before getting pulled northward by a shortwave trough. I'm currently in best agreement with the ECMWF and CMC models.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2115. hydrus
Quoting weatherwart:


What's concerning to me is that a system forms, spins up quickly in that bathtub down there and is suddenly at my front door.

If and when we do have a system, how fast do you see it getting pulled up?
I am still looking at all the models..But if this does become a major storm, this track is devastating for Florida. And if it is a slow mover, even more so...GEM...Link
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lower level vorticity is good in the area, so it appears to be a prime spot for the development of a low pressure system. It has yet to occur though.

This afternoon's ASCAT pass should help us out.



What's concerning to me is that a system forms, spins up quickly in that bathtub down there and is suddenly at my front door.

If and when we do have a system, how fast do you see it getting pulled up?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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