Gathering extratropical storm set to drench Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:11 PM GMT on May 17, 2009

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A concentrated area of heavy thunderstorms has developed near Jamaica and eastern Cuba, in association with a mid- to upper-level trough of low pressure. The latest 00Z and 06Z runs of the GFS, UKMET, NOGAPS, and ECMWF global dynamical computer models continue to forecast that this disturbance will develop into an extratropical low by Tuesday. The low should bring heavy rain and possible flooding problems to Cuba, Florida, and the Bahamas this week as it lifts northwestward over Florida. Up to eight inches of rain may fall over Florida by Friday (Figure 2), thanks also to a cold front expected to move over the state over the next two days. At present, it appears wind shear will be too high to allow the extratropical storm developing over Cuba to transition into a subtropical or tropical storm. However, if the center emerges into the northern Gulf of Mexico late this week, wind shear may be low enough to allow a transition to a subtropical storm (10% chance).


Figure 1. Latest IR satellite image of the Atlantic, showing the gathering extratropical storm near the eastern tip of Cuba, and the cut-off low spinning in the mid-Atlantic.


Figure 2. Forecast precipitation amount between 8am EDT Sunday 5/17/09 and 8am EDT Friday 5/22/09. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

There has been little change to the large upper-level cold low spinning in the mid-Atlantic a few hundred miles east of Bermuda. The low 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.

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 Monday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Walshy:


what is jfv known to do?


Cause many headaches.
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1108. Drakoen
Quoting Walshy:


what is jfv known to do?


Be extremely annoying. Use "bud" or "Sir" call extreme236: "EX" Constantly ask anything he wants about systems even if you answer him. Shift through different usernames.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29887
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
I guess land shouldn't disrupt the storm's circulation too much since its only at the mid level.
What circulation at this moment it isn't more than a wave
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Accumulated Precipitation to forecast hr 144hrs

Besides FL, the Bahamas and coastal Georgia, South and North Carolina should some precip.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1103. Walshy
Quoting Drakoen:


He's still here under the handle WeatherStudent


what is jfv known to do?
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I'm calling it, I'll say it will be dissipated by tuesday morning if it persists how it is right now.
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As much as we have needed the rain here, I am a bit weary of it at this point. Too much rain and our drainfield gets flooded and can't do laundry and showers have to be kept to a quick quick shower. When I look at the map that doc masters has put up, I am a bit worried about all the moisture. Go figure, a week ago I was complaining that our lawn was dying, now I am thinking I have to take my laundry to a laundrymat.

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I guess land shouldn't disrupt the storm's circulation too much since its only at the mid level.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
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Looks very unhealthy, Don't think it will make it to T.D status
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1094. Drakoen
Quoting kingzfan104:
hey, whatever happened to jfv. last i heard was last year when his wife was hurt or something like that. what ever happened to him?


He's still here under the handle WeatherStudent
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29887
Quoting CaneAddict:
I guess 90L is declared or is yet to be..they have a floater labled "invest".


I'm not concern about it becoming an invest if it does what the models and NHC says it will do. I've seen worst invest.

It had an invest in 2006 that was strangly assigned as it had little convection under 40 knots of shear off the US East Coast but it was taken down less than a day later.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Starting to look weak...Even on rainbow

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1091. Drakoen
It look like its pulling to the NNW.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29887
hey, whatever happened to jfv. last i heard was last year when his wife was hurt or something like that. what ever happened to him?
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
Its so addicting...especially with the recent JFV drama.

and now the other drama
it is entertaining when we dont have anything else to watch. but when we do, its down right irritating


LOL! So true.
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Link

This link is WFTV's future track link for great link for our Central FL bloggers check it out.
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Quoting CaneAddict:
I guess 90L is declared or is yet to be..they have a floater labled "invest".


Yeah it was declared invest by SSD a few hours ago.
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Its so addicting...especially with the recent JFV drama.

and now the other drama
it is entertaining when we dont have anything else to watch. but when we do, its down right irritating
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1085. Ossqss
If you all have not seen them, jeffs713 did a great job with the data this blog prognosticated on the Atlantic season. Many well done histograms . Intersting that the cumulative data averages came in very close to the professional ones. 57 of you participated in the contest.

Link
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
I hope we do not end up with STL, part deux, here. Some folks, in general, are capable of holding a grudge so well, they forgot just whom they have it with and are just sour with everyone.

Out.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
ok guys sorry been out for a while...so who's JFV now?? i mean i know who he was... is he going by a different name now????
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I guess 90L is declared or is yet to be..they have a floater labled "invest".
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1067. weatherman874 6:44 PM AST on May 17, 2009
Do yall agree with the forecast of just 10-12 storms this season? with the possibility of an early storm


Here's my thinking:



Source
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Jeez...sometimes I badly wanna leave this blog but it keeps drawing me in. LOL


Its so addicting...especially with the recent JFV drama.
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GFS+60hrs

It takes the system well north of the Bahamas, much further east than the other models but this does not agree with deep layer flow which has it over the Bahamas at +60hrs. The GFS maybe a little agressive with the front.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
For what is worth, there have been some data shortages in the last two model cycle runs, but it is deemed "Shortage in sub-critical data type - Monitor". No idea what affects it would have.

And on the 12Z - 18Z upper air, 12Z has about 600 obs, 18Z about 50.

NCEP REAL TIME DATA MONITORING SYSTEM


Thanks, I wasn't quite sure but, I was enough to respond to the question. Recon missions fill the upper air gaps when a storm is around and give full data on all runs.
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Jeez...sometimes I badly wanna leave this blog but it keeps drawing me in. LOL
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting CaneAddict:


LOL...JFV now speaks from a whole different perspective..instead of saying "Drak, this could be a potentially dangerous system, right?" or instead of saying "should i get my flashlights and board my windows up". He now speaks as if overnight he became a hurricane expert.


Yeah I was just thinking the same thing. Apparently hes now a Hurricane expert!
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I think the weather channel has things a bit off - says it mostly sunny here but looks like we're in for a bit of rain...

Link
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Oh! All the early season fighting.
It's 77 in my area of Tampa now.
It's not hot enough in the air or for the SST for anything tropical.
This system is what we used to call a Nor'Easter.
But I guess I'll call it a Sou'Easter here.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


It's not all about the convection, buddy.


LOL...JFV now speaks from a whole different perspective..instead of saying "Drak, this could be a potentially dangerous system, right?" or instead of saying "should i get my flashlights and board my windows up". He now speaks as if overnight he became a hurricane expert.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Durinal Minimum and Maximum cycles as your well aware of. This will likely bounce back by night.


Im not expecting a large bounce back. Keep in mind this isnt fully tropical like the other disturbances we tracked last year.
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Yeah I can see it on the loop


Are you speaking of the Caribbean disturbance? Is it possible to have a pinhole eye this early in the game? I thought that was only in intense hurricanes. Although I know a lot, there's always something else to learn!
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Do yall agree with the forecast of just 10-12 storms this season? with the possibility of an early storm
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1066. IKE
Quoting atmoaggie:


If they didn't stop, there would be no disturbance. It's the only one that needs watching at the moment. ;-)


LOL.

Thank God my wife has catfish cooked and ready to be eaten.

BBL.


Quoting JFLORIDA:


The models seem to be in agreement of it crossing the state Ike. One in the GOM it will be a rain factory.


Agree. I doubt the wind will ever be that much of a factor.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1065. Drakoen
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Drak, I appreciate what you've done and I thank you--I just think you both contribute a lot.

And those two bloggers you mentioned don't exist for me anymore, they are blocked, ignored and don't exist.


Yet your support is one sided. You deserve whatever names they call you.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29887
For what is worth, there have been some data shortages in the last two model cycle runs, but it is deemed "Shortage in sub-critical data type - Monitor". No idea what affects it would have.

And on the 12Z - 18Z upper air, 12Z has about 600 obs, 18Z about 50.

NCEP REAL TIME DATA MONITORING SYSTEM
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Wow half an hour ago they declared a flash flood warning for Jamaica till 5 am tommorow
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


If the convection dissipates then whats keeping it from being destroyed by shear? Keep in mind its just a Mid-level circulation.


Durinal Minimum and Maximum cycles as your well aware of. This will likely bounce back by night.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23571
Quoting atmoaggie:


If they didn't stop, there would be no disturbance. It's the only one that needs watching at the moment. ;-)

cute...
Some seem to attract disturbance...year after year
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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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