Still watching for a potential early-season Atlantic subtropical storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:10 PM GMT on May 16, 2009

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The latest 00Z and 12Z runs of the GFS, UKMET, NOGAPS, and ECMWF global dynamical computer models continue to indicate the possibility of an early season subtropical storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico 3 - 7 days from now. A modest area of low shear air is expected to open up between the polar jet stream to the north and the subtropical jet stream to the south, between Cuba and the northern Gulf of Mexico. The models have not been consistent with the timing or the size of this low shear area, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them back off again from this forecast with Sunday's set of runs. Nevertheless, I'll call once again for a 10% chance of development of a subtropical depression in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, 4 - 7 days from now. There isn't much of a disturbance at present to look at--there are some scattered showers between Cuba and Jamaica, but they are under a hefty 30 knots of wind shear. These showers should gradually increase in intensity and areal coverage over the next two days, and phase space diagrams from Florida State University indicate that an extratropical low may form near the western tip of Cuba 2 - 3 days from now. The storm may then gradually transition to a subtropical or tropical system later in the week, if the shear is low enough. Even if the shear is high and the storm remains extratropical, it could be a substantial rain-maker where it comes ashore. The models target the northern Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle as the most likely landfall location, but it is too early to place any confidence in this track.

There is also about a 10% chance a subtropical storm may form in the mid-Atlantic a few hundred miles east of Bermuda. There, a large upper-level cold low has cut off from the jet stream, and it may spin in place long enough over the next week to develop a warm core and be classified as a subtropical storm. It is unlikely that a subtropical storm forming that far out in the Atlantic this early in the year would pose a threat to any land areas, with the possible exception of Bermuda.

Climatology of early-season Atlantic tropical cyclones
Tropical storms are uncommon in the Atlantic before June 1, with only 26 named storms on record between 1851 - 2008. Five of these have made it to hurricane strength, and only one--Hurricane Able of 1951--made it to major hurricane status. Last year's Tropical Storm Arthur may be the deadliest May tropical cyclone on record. Though only a 40 mph tropical storm at landfall, Arthur killed five people in Belize and caused $78 million in damage. Three early-season storms have brought hurricane-force winds to land. The March 1908 hurricane swept through the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, destroying at least 24 boats and causing damage to buildings on St. Bartholomew. Hurricane Able of 1951 brought sustained winds of 90 - 95 mph to the northern Bahama Islands, but caused little damage. Hurricane 2 of May 1908 hit North Carolina's Outer Banks as a Category 1 hurricane, but also caused little damage.


Figure 1. Tracking map for the earliest hurricane to make landfall, the March 1908 hurricane in the northern Lesser Antilles Islands.

List of all early season (formed in January - May) Atlantic named storms
May 31, 2008: Tropical Storm Arthur
May 6, 2007: Subtropical Storm Andrea
April 18, 2003: Tropical Storm Ana
April 21, 1992: Subtropical Storm 1
May 6, 1981: Tropical Storm Arlene
January 18, 1978: Subtropical Storm 1
May 21, 1976: Subtropical Storm 1
May 23, 1972: Subtropical Storm Alpha
May 17, 1970: Hurricane Alma (Category 1)
May 28, 1959: Tropical Storm Arlene
February 2, 1953: Tropical Storm Alice
May 25, 1952: Tropical Storm 1
May 15, 1951: Hurricane Able (Category 3)
May 22, 1948: Tropical Storm 1
May 19, 1940: Tropical Storm 1
May 27, 1934: Tropical Storm 1
May 14, 1933: Tropical Storm 1
May 5, 1932: Tropical Storm 1
May 13, 1916: Tropical Storm 1
May 24, 1908: Hurricane 2 (Category 1)
March 6, 1908: Hurricane 1 (Category 2)
May 27, 1890: Tropical Storm 1
May 16, 1889: Hurricane 1 (Category 1)
May 17, 1887: Tropical Storm 2
May 15, 1887: Tropical Storm 1
May 30, 1865: Tropical Storm 1

I'll have an update Sunday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Drakoen:
You can see the mid level rotation on satellite imagery.


I see it Drak
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
The Flow from the Easterlies shows up well there Drak.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668


GOM, Caribbean,animated view,GOES-12
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Quoting WeatherStudent:
how can i wall paper that 456?


Click on the image to open the full resolution.

Once its fully loaded (hope you have high speed internet) right click on it and select:

Set as background - internet explorer

OR

Use image on desktop - opera

Or

Set as desktop background - firefox
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
You can see the mid level rotation on satellite imagery.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30565
June 1 is on a Monday, that is correct.
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right click and set as desktop background weatherstudent :)
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TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION


BY MON...MANY OF THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE SHOWING LOW PRES DEVELOP OVER CUBA OR THE SE GULF...EITHER EXTRATROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL...AND MOVING GENERALLY N. ITS DEVELOPMENT AND TRACK IS UNCERTAIN BUT MODELS ARE IN ENOUGH AGREEMENT TO WARRANT GALE HEADLINES OVER A PORTION OF THE E AND MIDDLE WATERS FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK.


LATEST VIS/SHORTWAVE IR IMAGES SHOW CYCLONIC ROTATION IN THE MID LEVEL CLOUDS ALONG 79W JUST S OF CUBA. THIS FEATURE MAY BUILD CLOSER TO THE SFC OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND DRIFT GENERALLY NWD
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Recommended Desktop Wallpaper
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CONUS front on the Move,the other Player comes on down.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54434
Quoting SevereHurricane:
I wish it was an invest just so I can see what the GFDL and HWRF would do with it.


I hear ya.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Quoting Weather456:
Something interesting to note...If subtropical storm Ana do form, it would be the second time that a the name Ana was used for a subtropical storm before the season begins. The other was breifly subtropical storm Ana in 2003.


I know,
It would be very wierd if it were to occur.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting Littleninjagrl:
Sorry WPB :( I'll send some your way.


We shall see tomorrow. They are telling me that I have a 50% chance of rain, but I'll believe it when I see it.
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I wish it was an invest just so I can see what the GFDL and HWRF would do with it.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Thanks CYBER!!!!!

TTY guys
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Something interesting to note...If subtropical storm Ana do form, it would be the second time that a the name Ana was used for a subtropical storm before the season begins. The other was breifly subtropical storm Ana in 2003.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
335 PM PDT SAT MAY 16 2009

A SUBTROPICAL SHORTWAVE WILL APPROACH NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FROM THE
SOUTH ON MONDAY. WHILE WE WILL LIKELY BE LOOKING AT ELEVATED
INSTABILITY EACH OF THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS…THE SHORTWAVE WILL BRING
EXTRA MOISTURE AND A POSSIBLE TRIGGER FOR THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT.
THE NAM CURRENTLY BRINGS THE LIFTED INDEX DOWN TOWARDS -5C AND CAPE
VALUES IN THE 1500-2000 J/KG RANGE MONDAY AFTERNOON
OVER THE
NORTHERN SIERRA…BOTH VERY SOLID BY CALIFORNIA STANDARDS


WOW dont you think this is way too high for CALIFORNIA STANDARDS
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115243
Sorry WPB :( I'll send some your way.
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
So catch me up to speed! Whats going on? I haven't been on all day been shooting hoops with the boys... let me know... Thanks!!!!!


Most if not all the major models agree on a system heading up in the gulf next week. We already have a blob were it suppose to orginate, south of Cuba and there is a low of about 1011 - 1010 MB there. There is also an Extra-Tropical low in the CATL that is slowly gaining some tropical characteristics.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24186
Quoting stormpetrol:
PLEASE, Let's don't worry about who is who, just read & ignore or don't read at all, post your own valid comment and move on. Let The Administrators of the site do the rest. I really used to enjoy this site and blog but lately it's been hard to really concentrate on all the real good posts for all BS in between.


Isn't that the truth. For some of us who come on here to read and learn about the tropics it is really hard to have to read the nonsense. I'm usually on here just to see what is going to happen since I have two parents in NOLA who are ill and will have to be moved even for a CAT 1 storm. Well I have to go cover the plants and flowers. Having frost tonight in the northern suburbs of Chicago!! Looking forward to some warmer weather here in Chicago. Although it's been a nice Spring. Thanks to you guys for such great info. You know who you are.
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Time for a Relaxing NASA Tutorial on Hot Towers..

A Wu-seasonal Fav.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Quoting weatherblog:
I think the CATL system will be 90L soon and the caribbean one will be 91L in 24 hours.



I think I agree, July/August activity in May.

I'll be the first of the season to say this..
(season started in my opinion for us today)
We'll see how it looks at DMAX.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24186
So catch me up to speed! Whats going on? I haven't been on all day been shooting hoops with the boys... let me know... Thanks!!!!!
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Copyright 2004-2009, Dept. of Meteorology
The Pennsylvania State University
E-Wall

adios,...


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Hmmm Very interesting.

Well that's all folks, thanks for your time! Have a good night.
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Here's Thursday wind gusts by Accuweather



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Quoting Littleninjagrl:
WOW!!! its pouring outside right now. And windy too. How much of Florida do you think will get rain from this system coming? Hopefully all of it.


Rub it in. Its partly cloudy in West Palm Beach. Nice breeze though.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
that look like the same track that fay took


Its somewhat similar...
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
WOW!!! its pouring outside right now. And windy too. How much of Florida do you think will get rain from this system coming? Hopefully all of it.
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that look like the same track that fay took
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115243
-- EMC Cyclogenesis Tracking Page --

Model Cycle: 2009051618
Multi-Model


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Ahmen Taz, how's Cali by the way?



thing are good this send some rain




i no evere one how about this i send you the heat thats CA is get why you send me all of that rain that FL will be get you can have the heat and i can have the rain
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115243
I saw someone mention this earlier, but just in case you missed it there was an earthquake in Texas. Link
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497. IKE
Quoting Weather456:
Ike, here some additional info on the JMA, apparently a newly discovered medium range model.

The Japan Meteorological Agency's worldwide medium-range model.


Thanks....supper is calling.
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Quoting NorthxCakalaky:
Next question! Final very important question.

Post #463 (Drake) And many others that fit in this category.

Have you ever received any permission from these other sources on "just copying and pasting", their work? Or giving credit to them on all of their work on every one of your posts?




Why do I fit this category?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30565
Stormpetrol...You took the words right out of my mouth. I don't post much becuase I don't know much about the weather in order to make contributions but I love reading the comments especially from a handful on here that really seem to know what they are talking about. It does get hard to scroll through all the BS! I use ignore but them someone will just go and quote them so we are back to sqaure one again. *sighs* such is life I guess.
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494. IKE
Quoting panamasteve:
Good news for Florida--looks like parts are gonna get some needed rain!

Bad news for Florida--we don't need the tourists scared away on Memorial Day weekend....


Agree...bad timing, IF it happens.
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Ike, here some additional info on the JMA, apparently a newly discovered medium range model.

The Japan Meteorological Agency's worldwide medium-range model.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Good news for Florida--looks like parts are gonna get some needed rain!

Bad news for Florida--we don't need the tourists scared away on Memorial Day weekend....
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490. IKE
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Do you live near FSU, IKE? Cause I'm off to your neck-of-the-woods come early fall of this year. I got accepted into that University to continue my academic studies in meteorology up there.


Yup...I'm about 120 miles west of Tallahassee.
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Quoting Weather456:


There have been mentions by Accuweather, TWC and NWS.


And,

Gulfcoastwx.com
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
LOL the Administrators are nevere here when you need them
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115243

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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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