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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LOL the Administrators are nevere here when you need them
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Reading back posts is making me feel kind of old. Guys that's not a nice thing to do to a lady!

I see most of the models are still in agreement. I think the GFS scenario would be the best. It would hit the most areas needing rain.
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Admin Notice: When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself. Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering. Material not conforming to these standards should be flagged with the button and ignored.


Rules of the Road — How to ignore a blogger



During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban.
Date:
6:25 PM CDT on May 16, 2009
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
cant we play nic
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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.
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Quoting Ossqss:
Why is there nothing on any of the other web sites formal tropical weather discussions on these potential tropical items ?

Additionally, is this type of behavior to be expected moving forward into season? I have not done this in years past and have found the interaction from most of you quite informative.


There have been mentions by Accuweather, TWC and NWS.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Ossqss:
Why is there nothing on any of the other web sites formal tropical weather discussions on these potential tropical items ?

Additionally, is this type of behavior to be expected moving forward into season? I have not done this in years past and have found the interaction from most of you quite informative.


Yep there will be more of this down the road. Hopefully admin will take action during the season.
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478. IKE
Quoting WeatherStudent:
NO I AM NOT HIM.


No, you're not.

You're WeatherStudentJFV. You are a clone of JFV. Your mannerisms are just like his.

Now, back to the weather.
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477. IKE
Quoting Ossqss:
Why is there nothing on any of the other web sites formal tropical weather discussions on these potential tropical items ?

Additionally, is this type of behavior to be expected moving forward into season? I have not done this in years past and have found the interaction from most of you quite informative.


Honestly yes.

Use the ignore feature. You have to sift threw some of the posts on here. When there's a significant threat it's hard to keep up with the posts, there are so many.
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Quoting Drakoen:


I don't attack. It's just funny to me. I know he is JFV. That's not even a question; it's a statement. I have only been penchant on on person. Don't get it twisted.


Ok maybe its just one person but you are still posting things not related to the blog when you do that. I don't have anything twisted.

Can you just keep posting all the great info you normally do and leave "you know who" out of it? thanks :)
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Quoting Drakoen:


I don't attack. It's just funny to me. I know he is JFV. That's not even a question; it's a statement. I have only been penchant on on person. Don't get it twisted.


Thats exactly how I feel.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Why is there nothing on any of the other web sites formal tropical weather discussions on these potential tropical items ?

Additionally, is this type of behavior to be expected moving forward into season? I have not done this in years past and have found the interaction from most of you quite informative.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Littleninjagrl:
455. Drakoen 11:14 PM GMT on May 16, 2009
When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself. Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering. Material not conforming to these standards should be flagged with the button and ignored.



But wait a minute.....you just posted that and you are constatnly attacking people for being someone they might or might not be. Don't contrdict yourself. I really like reading all the things you post about the weather but....




I don't attack. It's just funny to me. I know he is JFV. That's not even a question; it's a statement. I have only been penchant on on person. Don't get it twisted. I'm not the one.
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470. IKE
System appears to have drifted east, hence the shift of the models.
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This blog really hasn't changed since 2006 when I found it.

Same trolls, different name.
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Maximum Potential Hurricane Intensity


The maps display potential minimum pressure and maximum winds, calculated according to a method developed by Dr. Kerry Emanuel. Dissipative heating is handled according to a method described in Bister and Emanuel (1998). The maps are based on data from the 00Z global operational analysis from NCEP for the date shown on the plot. The top panel shows the potential minimum central pressure for a hurricane at any given location (in millibars). Only values less than 1000mb are shaded. Cyan squares indicate grid points where the algorithm failed to converge. Also shown are the sea surface temperatures (°C). The bottom panel shows the potential maximum wind speed expressed in terms of the type and severity of storm they would represent (TD = Tropical Depression, TS = Tropical Storm, H1-H5 = Hurricanes of category 1-5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale).

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
Oh okay lol. Well yeah the 00Z forecast could be interesting then especially if the new runs continue to forecast development. Regardless of development, the forecast discussions from the NWS make it appear that this will be a decent rainmaker.
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455. Drakoen 11:14 PM GMT on May 16, 2009
When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself. Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering. Material not conforming to these standards should be flagged with the button and ignored.



But wait a minute.....you just posted that and you are constatnly attacking people for being someone they might or might not be. Don't contrdict yourself. I really like reading all the things you post about the weather but....


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The maps are from 12UTC, I don't think they have issued the 18UTC forecast maps as yet.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Drak, the time issued says May 16 2009. Idk maybe not though?


With the latest models. It was issued before 18z.
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461. IKE
Kingston, JM (Airport)
Updated: 16 min 19 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
84 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 66%
Dew Point: 72 °F
Wind: 13 mph from the ESE
Pressure: 29.86 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 90 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 2000 ft
Few 2400 ft
Mostly Cloudy 3800 ft
Mostly Cloudy 22000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 30 ft
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Drak, the time issued says May 16 2009. Idk maybe not though?
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I flag all the erroneous post,..and Its been a "Minus" /"Report" day for a lot of post's today.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
The surface maps from the TAFB show a low forming with a trof in 48 hours just off the western tip of Cuba. Link


I don't think their maps have been updated.
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Alright well looks like im gonna have to go for now. Most of these posts (with the exception of few) are lacking any sign of intelligence.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself. Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering. Material not conforming to these standards should be flagged with the button and ignored.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The surface maps from the TAFB show a low forming with a trof in 48 hours just off the western tip of Cuba. Link
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Quoting Littleninjagrl:
NorthxCakalaky....WTH are you asking all these questions for? (oh yeah research) I forgot. This is a weather blog not the research department. And the question to WeaterStudent was really uncalled for.



Im sorry, its for the Carolina University newspaper. Not all things discussed here will be used. If you dont mind me asking, do you think your gender plays a role in how you are treated on this internet blog?
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I think the CATL system will be 90L soon and the caribbean one will be 91L in 24 hours.

Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
451. IKE
Quoting Weather456:


A japenses-based global dynamic model


Thanks.
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I think dat be what they call them Hannah..

Sure sounds right..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
Quoting WPBHurricane05:


WTF is with these questions?


to get you all ban, some of you all are falling for it.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting WeatherStudent:


What about the UKMET and ECMWF, Drak? Did you diregard those two?


No. Just based on the latest models.
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Quoting Drakoen:
ZOMG!!!! Guys only 4 more hours till the 00z runs. Who wants to stay up with me and my baby...


LOL
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Quoting Patrap:


IH-610 South Loop at BRAESWOOD,Houston

Cloud Tags



Okay - I'm looking at that pic - are cloud tags the little extensions? That's a new word for me.
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NorthxCakalaky....WTH are you asking all these questions for? (oh yeah research) I forgot. This is a weather blog not the research department. And the question to WeaterStudent was really uncalled for.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


WOW, was that called for? What's wrong with my skin-color?



Nothing. Im just asking a question. Do you ever feal as if you are being treated weirdly or bad?
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442. ackee
anyone looking at the low pressure in the mid atlantic ? looks that be subtropical to me
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IH-610 South Loop at BRAESWOOD,Houston

Cloud Tags

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You think a tropical/subtropical storm forms?


Based on the latest NAM, GFS, NOGAPS, that's my thinking. Might be on the 20th if the NHC decides to be more conservative.
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Quoting Drakoen:
ZOMG!!!! Guys only 4 more hours till the 00z runs. Who wants to stay up with me and my baby...


Ill be back for Witch Hour... jk LOL
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting Patrap:


I'll be a Trooper Drak. We can Hang..LOL

Got time to kill till Daughters High School Graduation at 3pm CST tomorrow.


It was a joke...
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Quoting NorthxCakalaky:
Okay next question..

Weatherstudent do you ever feal as if your color plays a role on here as how well you are treated?


WTF is with these questions?
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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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