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 atmoaggie:


Odd how most software not written by Micro$#!T works that way.


I cant stand IE! Or Windows for that matter.

Im running a Mac with Bootcamp. I love it...
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
in lakeview we had severe weather, the waterspout, hail, and damadging winds with 2 1/2 inches of rain. But yes we are still very down and could use another tropical/sub-tropical system
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1008. Drakoen
.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Yeah ive been using it for about three years now. I have never once switched to another browser.


Odd how most software not written by Micro$#!T works that way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Jeez...you two...please...enough.

lol ya think?
this happens every year and this year i have read a lot of stuff from people talking about other people doing those things and then they turn right around and do it themselves.
WEATHER PEOPLE WEATHER, that is what we are all here for, at least most of us.
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
1005. amd
Quoting IKE:
18Z NOGAPS does the same thing!


almost looks like a low develops in the gulf and pulls the system from the northern bahamas over the state of florida, and into the gulf.

Even though 18Z models can be notoriously inaccurate, that would be very interesting if it occurs.
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Quoting weatherman874:
oh thanks, I got about 2 inches from Fay..my sister and I went out to the lake and got in the paper for it. I hope we do get something; it has been very dry until the last 3 days and ive gotten 3 1/2 inches and still counting


We sure could use it. The last few days has amounted to very little in Covington...might be listed as 'trace', honestly.

The potential for rain will not really be forecastable for a number of days, yet, though.
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1003. IKE
Quoting MississippiWx:


Probably waiting on the next trof to pick it up.


Yup. Doesn't appear to throw a great deal of moisture over the land to it's north though. Don't need any flooding here.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
it looks as if the large low in the northwest atlantic is having a huge effect on the short term track of this system

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/nwatl/loop-wv.html
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1001. Drakoen
Quoting Weather456:
Your arrogance, ego and self absorption will be your downfall. You feel because you read a few habby hints, you have power over anyone? Your still a deep loser with no life whatsoever and no amount of computer models, satellite imagery, etc will change that.


I'm glad you are showing your true colors. I won't call you any names. You'll lead yourself into your demise.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
1000. IKE
Jeez...you two...please...enough.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


Life without Firefox, I can't imagine it.


Yeah ive been using it for about three years now. I have never once switched to another browser.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
Quoting IKE:
GFS and NOGAPS have it sitting south of the Floriad panhandle for days....


Probably waiting on the next trof to pick it up.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
weather456 was praised by dr masters a few days ago, right?


Somebody gotta same something.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hurricanealley:
Good News,looks like south florida is going to be spared.



Spared from what , the rain ? If that's what you are saying then no, we need the rain REAL bad.
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


No problem.


Life without Firefox, I can't imagine it.
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
weather456 was praised by dr masters a few days ago, right?


Dont add fuel to the fire. Please....
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
992. IKE
GFS and NOGAPS have it sitting south of the Florida panhandle for days....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting canesrule1:
No i downloaded firefox and its great, thank you sooooooo much.


No problem.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
It appears that blog sanity is Diurnal also :)

I am understanding the approaching front will go Stationary over central Florida tomorrow?
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
oh thanks, I got about 2 inches from Fay..my sister and I went out to the lake and got in the paper for it. I hope we do get something; it has been very dry until the last 3 days and ive gotten 3 1/2 inches and still counting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You and you, go watch a movie. Build a pig feeder for those migrating Hummin pigs. Go for a walk. Chill.

Come back no sooner than 01 UTC. Please.

Ya know, you are not required to respond to anyone here. some might think better of ya if ya didn't.
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Quoting kingzfan104:
any chance this develops and hits se florida?


Very slim chance
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as of right now throw all the model runs out of the window. Until this thing develops a LLC we will not know for sure where it will go. As we saw with many storms last year the MLC can change really easily especially where this system is located. a developing system like this is very easily affected by d-min and d-max and during these cycles things can change with a system very easily.

Last night and early this morning the models were supposedly bringing the low towards the FL panhandle
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any chance this develops and hits se florida?
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Quoting hurricanealley:
Good News,looks like south florida is going to be spared.


We still need the rain. Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Still having trouble with images?
No i downloaded firefox and its great, thank you sooooooo much.
Quoting Drakoen:


I see you here just as much as I am. Talking about the pot calling the kettle black. I don't know why people like you are here but yet you are still here. Don't even try me.



Can we get back to the tropics?
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Quoting weatherman874:
is there any chance that New Orleans will get some rain from this system?


A bit early to tell. We got almost nothing at all from Fay, for example.
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976. IKE
NOGAPS is just like the GFS.

South Florida may not get much of anything in rain.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
oh stop already, sheesh
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
Quoting Twinkster:



?


The 18Z and 6Z Model runs for the most part lack a certain amount of up to date data. What data, I am not sure, maybe someone else can elaborate. The lacking data is regenerated from the previous 00Z or 12Z run and paired with the standard update. However, this is not always the case. If needed, they will update this data on all runs. I believe it is mainly upper air data that is lacking but not 100% sure.

So yes the 00Z and 12Z are for the most part the best ones to look at.
could be another fay and just wet the whole state like last year....needless to say we need it up here in the panhandle...
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Good News,looks like south florida is going to be spared.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
did you no this blog would be even more nuts if that was there in AUG


If I were a newbie, I might find that hard to believe, but, alas, it is too accurate.

I hope those two can avoid talking to one another for a couple of hours...otherwise regretful things might be said.
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is there any chance that New Orleans will get some rain from this system?
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roflmao
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Quoting canesrule1:


Still having trouble with images?
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
did you no this blog would be even more nuts if that was there in AUG
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114767
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


No...Thats just the same convective burst thats been happening for hours now.

I was wondering because the visible was showing strong convection there
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Is the center trying to relocate south of Haiti


No...Thats just the same convective burst that have been happening for hours now.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
Quoting CosmicEvents:

Oh boy.
Here we go again.
Different year, same ol' stuff.
Before anyone else says it, let me be the first to invoke the 2 famous words this year.
In that last image, do I see a pinhole eye?



lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114767

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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.