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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1560. IKE
Quoting MahFL:
This might be the blob, North of eastern Cuba.

Link


Somewhere down in there something should get going. Doubt it's ever classified as a pure tropical system. Plenty of rain though. Good news for Florida.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1558. MahFL
This might be the blob, North of eastern Cuba.

Link
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1556. IKE
It's cooled off here. I've got 58 degrees, inland Florida panhandle.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1555. aquak9
MahFL- hi from hodges and beach blvd. Another local- good to see ya. Nice pic.
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1554. IKE
6Z GFS has a low out in the northern GOM for 4 or 5 days, ruining someone's Memorial Day weekend plans.

What's this @ 288 hrs.?

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1552. IKE
Here's a good satellite view. Takes a minute to load...Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1551. IKE
Quoting MahFL:
Hi all, we got about 1.6 inches of rain in Orange Park, FL yesterday, much needed. Now..where is da blob ?


Here's your answer.....

"?"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1550. IKE
Quoting RTLSNK:
1545 - IKE

I like that first phrase, "Tonight through Wednesday is where the details become rather blurry"

I've had a few days like that myself. LOL


LOL...this whole system or pre-system>>>>yawn....lol....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1549. MahFL
Hi all, we got about 1.6 inches of rain in Orange Park, FL yesterday, much needed. Now..where is da blob ?
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1548. RTLSNK
1545 - IKE

I like that first phrase, "Tonight through Wednesday is where the details become rather blurry"

I've had a few days like that myself. LOL
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Wind Shear remains 20knots- Link

The system is probably feeling the affect of cooler water temperatures- Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1546. IKE
Mobile,AL. long-term...

"LONG TERM...(WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY)BEGINNING WEDNESDAY
NIGHT...MEDIUM RANGE SOLUTIONS BEGIN TO DIVERGE...WITH SOME GUIDANCE
TAKING THE GUIDANCE NORTH INTO THE WEEKEND...THEN EAST ALONG THE GULF
COAST(GFS). OTHER GUIDANCE(ECMWF) MEANDERS THE GULF SYSTEM WEST INTO THE WEEKEND
BEFORE TAKING IT NORTH THIS WEEKEND. REASON FOR THE DISCREPANCY THE
LATTER HALF OF THE WEEK IS DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS OF WHERE THE
UPPER HIGH OVER THE SW-RN CONUS AT THIS TIME ENDS UP. GFS IS
ADVERTISING OFF THE NEW ENGLAND COAST BY FRIDAY...STALLING IT FOR
24HRS OR SO...THEN WEAKENING AS UPPER ENERGY PASSES ALONG THE US/CA BORDER
...WHILE THE ECMWF TAKES THE UPPER HIGH TO OFF THE DELMARVA
PENINSULA BY THE WEEKEND...THEN MEANDERS IT SOUTH ALONG THE ATLANTIC
COAST AS THE ENERGY PASSES NORTH. GFS ENSEMBLES ARE OF LITTLE HELP
WITH THE SPECIFICS OF THE FORECAST...THOUGH ARE PRETTY CLOSE WITH THE
SYNOPTICS OF THE GFS INTERPRETATION. HAVE PUNTED FOR NOW AND WENT
GFS...THOUGH HAVE LESS THAN AVERAGE CONFIDENCE IN THIS SOLUTION."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1545. IKE
From the Tampa morning discussion...

"TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY IS WHERE THE DETAILS BECOME RATHER
BLURRY WITH OVERALL CONFIDENCE NOT THAT HIGH. NAM/ECMWF/UKMET LOOK
PRETTY SIMILAR WITH SURFACE LOW DRIFTING NORTH INTO/NEAR SOUTH
FLORIDA TUESDAY AND THEN WEST OUT INTO THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO
TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. GFS ON THE OTHER HAND TAKES THE LOW
NORTHEAST EAST OF THE BAHAMAS AND THEN EVENTUALLY WEST BACK TOWARD
THE FLORIDA PENINSULA LATE WEDNESDAY. THIS COULD BE DUE TO SOME
CONVECTIVE FEEDBACK SO FOR NOW WILL GO WITH A BLEND OF THE OTHER
MODELS AND THEREFORE KEEP 50 TO 70 POPS ACROSS THE AREA THROUGH
WEDNESDAY. SOME PART OF THE FORECAST AREA COULD SEE SOME LOCALLY
HEAVY RAINFALL...BUT DOES LOOK LIKE HEAVIEST RAINS SHOULD BE ON
EAST COAST OF FLORIDA IN THE EASTERLY FLOW. DAYTIME HIGH
TEMPERATURES WILL BE BELOW NORMAL THANKS TO THE CLOUDS AND
PRECIPITATION WITH OVERNIGHT LOWS NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL.

.LONG TERM (WEDNESDAY NIGHT-SUNDAY)...STACKED LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM
EXPECTED TO BE SOUTHWEST OF THE REGION AT THE START OF THE PERIOD.
THIS SYSTEM WILL SHIFT NORTHWEST TO THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF FRIDAY AS
HIGH PRESSURE TRIES TO BUILD IN FROM THE EAST. THIS RIDGING WILL
BRING LOWER RAIN CHANCES FOR THE WEEKEND...BUT WILL STILL CARRY AT
LEAST 30 POPS EACH DAY GIVEN THE MUGGY SOUTHERLY FLOW."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Off to school....see ya at 14z
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The 06z GFS is less aggressive as the cyclone moves into Florida. Nevertheless, it is somewhat harmonious with the CMC and the NAM, which seem to be forming dual cyclones.
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Isn't it the D-max about now? This thing isn't looking very well and it's not far from a landfall in cuba
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1541. IKE
Quoting Wundermet:
NAM 06Z Wind Forecast



NAM track seems reasonable.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1540. RTLSNK
54*F in Macon, Ga this morning, 97% humidity.

Interesting blog last night. LOL
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NAM 06Z Wind Forecast

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== PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE REPORT ==

Southern California Seismic Network: a cooperative project of
U.S. Geological Survey, Pasadena California
Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Pasadena, California






Version #Q: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event. This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

A light earthquake occurred at 8:39:36 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 17, 2009.
The magnitude 4.7 event occurred 2 km (1 miles) NNE (12 degrees) of Hawthorne, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 15 km ( 9 miles).


--just trying to downplay some of the 5.0 headlines--thats all :)

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1537. emguy
Evening folks...I don't totally buy into the scenario presented in the models and the forecasts.

I am noticing this evening that a surface low may be evolving around the Caymans. Definate slowing on the trades over the Caymans with some possible reversal of the winds, vis-a-vis some possible westerly components (as seen on shortwave loops). I believe this will probably evolve into the trackable low the models have been hinting at. What we saw today was a cutoff low/upper level low, but it is likely not the show. Weather in this area is always complex during this time of year and the models work to simplify it all. It will be interesting to see if that Cutoff/ULL continues to depart to the north and NNE. If so, winds might become a bit more favorable a good sum sooner than expected and this surface reflection of the Upper Level low may have a better shot at evolving in this environment.
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Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster. Been reading since the 2005 season. Hope to contribute
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I'm out...done for the night. Sweet dreams everyone.
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1534. 0741
we already getting storm here in miami area few min ago
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1533. Patrap
This cold air is a blowing thru uptown NOLA tonight.
The Sky has bands of Low scud ,thats looking ,well..cyclonic already.

If this is the energy,the cold push,rushing Se towards that energy coming N From the Caribbean,.

Somewhere this mix is gonna have a Party.

Current Conditions

New Orleans, Louisiana (Airport)
Updated: 9 min 53 sec ago
Overcast
65 F
Overcast
Humidity: 68%
Dew Point: 54 F
Wind: 21 mph from the NE
Wind Gust: 32 mph
Pressure: 30.11 in (Rising)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Overcast 2700 ft


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128307
Quoting melwerle:


ugh!!!! No way! I would have freaked over that one...

I remember one quake in SD...driving in my car and felt the shaking while I was stopped...thought it was my car and called up the dealership and yelled at them that my car was a piece of junk

Too Funny! LOL Yeah, after I got out of the elevator I took the rest of the day off.
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1531. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
iam outfor some zzzz see ya all in the am
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Quoting CatastrophicDL:

It was definitely scary, but my worst experience out there was about a 4.5 while in a high-rise elevator and being stuck for the next 3 hours! Terrible experience!


ugh!!!! No way! I would have freaked over that one...

I remember one quake in SD...driving in my car and felt the shaking while I was stopped...thought it was my car and called up the dealership and yelled at them that my car was a piece of junk
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did any one no that the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a 7.8
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Quoting melwerle:
1525...i didn't sleep through that - i am surpised your son did!!!

Put a crack in our pool too that far away. Stories to tell on that one - but it was okay -most folks did okay.

It was definitely scary, but my worst experience out there was about a 4.5 while in a high-rise elevator and being stuck for the next 3 hours! Terrible experience!
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1525...i didn't sleep through that - i am surpised your son did!!!

Put a crack in our pool too that far away. Stories to tell on that one - but it was okay -most folks did okay.
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Quoting melwerle:


Actually - the northridge quake was a 6.7. Felt it down in San Diego - and it was strong...double quake.



ok
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Quoting melwerle:


Actually - the northridge quake was a 6.7. Felt it down in San Diego - and it was strong...double quake.

I lived in LA during the Northridge. It definitely was a bit of a scare. I couldn't believe my baby son slept through it!
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Quoting Tazmanian:



the last time LA got hit by one was a 4.0 this one was a 5.0


Actually - the northridge quake was a 6.7. Felt it down in San Diego - and it was strong...double quake.
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Quoting melwerle:


Hush severe - I am going out there to live in a matter of weeks...


oooops,
Im sorry. lol
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


A 7.0 would likely trigger the whole San Andreas Fault causing an earthquake storm.Its only a matter of time.



the last time LA got hit by one was a 4.0 this one was a 5.0
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


A 7.0 would likely trigger the whole San Andreas Fault causing an earthquake storm.Its only a matter of time.


Hush severe - I am going out there to live in a matter of weeks...
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WS, no only 2 of them are in bed. Sunday's nights are usually rough. They are all wound up from the weekend.
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1519. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


24 hr shear map
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
Quoting Tazmanian:
is olny a matter of time befor LA gets hit by a 7.0


A 7.0 would likely trigger the whole San Andreas Fault causing an earthquake storm.Its only a matter of time.
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:

Taz, the first aftershock was 2.5, the second 3.1. Usually they go down in strength.

Hey WS


CATAS Is the football team down for the night...
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting Patrap:
Earthquake Details
Magnitude 3.1
Date-Time

* Monday, May 18, 2009 at 03:45:10 UTC
* Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 08:45:10 PM at epicenter

Location 33.938, 118.356
Depth 11.5 km (7.1 miles)
Region GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances

* 0 km (0 miles) SSE (151 degrees) from Lennox, CA
* 2 km (2 miles) NNW (34 degrees) from Hawthorne, CA
* 2 km (2 miles) SSW (202 degrees) from Inglewood, CA
* 5 km (3 miles) ENE (69 degrees) from El Segundo, CA
* 16 km (10 miles) SW (218 degrees) from Los Angeles Civic Center, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal /- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth /- 0.8 km (0.5 mile


Pat - first congrats on your daughter.

Second, as a former resident, everyone is walking around going "DUDE, that was about a (insert magnitude here)"
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is olny a matter of time befor LA gets hit by a 7.0
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:

Taz, the first aftershock was 2.5, the second 3.1. Usually they go down in strength.

Hey WS



ok
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Quoting Tazmanian:
crap the next earthquake may see may be geting a 6.0 or higher the earthquake are geting stronger and stronger evere time

Taz, the first aftershock was 2.5, the second 3.1. Usually they go down in strength.

Hey WS
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Look at the 2nd forum i posted 2 weeks ago...

Link
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
GFS on its 0z run is showing a extra tropical low with almost no tropical characteristics after 42hrs.. It seem to more of a elongated trough of lower pressure from the Keys to the Bahamas with a weak low on its northend moving back west in response to the building ridge moving over the mid-atlantic later this week.

Overall the system dont look like more than a weak extra-tropical low with rain for florida.I'm not saying this is what will happen..just regarding the gfs Ozrun.
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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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