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 TheCaneWhisperer:
850 Vort Now Present

Shear dropping over the center


Could this be the beginning for some development? Will be watching the updates from the CIMSS regarding vorticity and shear as they come in throughout the day and tonight to see if these trends continue.
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guys its too soon wait in tell june 5th
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115341
2009 Hurricane Season Outlook
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting extreme236:


Rick Astley-Never gonna give you up...we could all use some humor since things seemed a bit too serious about a blob.

LOL are we going to rick n rolled with this storm
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Quoting Drakoen:
Accuweather Blog on the system


Those folks are a full-fledge joke, that's for damn sure.
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
639. Weather456 3:48 PM EDT on May 17, 2009

Hope you treat her with the utmost love and respect.

Quoting WeatherStudent:


I have a special someone too.


lmao who says its a "her"


His dog?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
woo hoo! finally a little rain here on the Ms Gulf Coast, along with a little wind and the termps are much cooler!
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Quoting extreme236:
Actually there is one very interesting thing I noticed about this system...may have to keep an eye on this. Link


Jeez...you may be on to something! :rolleyes:
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Ditto, for how long have y'all two been in a relationship thus far?


My comment was an example...not pertaining to me.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


Could you paste the name of the video.


Rick Astley-Never gonna give you up...we could all use some humor since things seemed a bit too serious about a blob.
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639. Weather456 3:48 PM EDT on May 17, 2009

Hope you treat her with the utmost love and respect.

Quoting WeatherStudent:


I have a special someone too.


lmao who says its a "her"
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
Quoting StormW:
No surface circulation per quikscat.


Doubt there will be much but
You the evening pass hasn't come out yet?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


Hope you treat her with the utmost love and respect.


Ditto, for how long have y'all two been in a relationship thus far?
Quoting extreme236:
Actually there is one very interesting thing I noticed about this system...may have to keep an eye on this. Link


Could you paste the name of the video.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting WeatherStudent:


I have a special someone too.


How does she feel about 2 women in the house having to take care of the baby?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
641. IKE
Quoting Vortex95:
Im guessing weather student is reading accuweather :P.


He should be happy after reading that.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
There must be a reason there is a 70-80 percent rain chance the nxt 2 days calm down everything in due time. It may recover or create new convection. Time will tell. And if you believe accuweather go buy ur canno's
Quoting WeatherStudent:


I have a special someone too.


Hope you treat her with the utmost love and respect.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Actually there is one very interesting thing I noticed about this system...may have to keep an eye on this. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Accuweather Blog on the system
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
A little Sunday afternoon humor can ease the tension before the start of a new week:)
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Quoting Weather456:
This blog is something else. If the storm is not going to develop, why stay here with the constant reminders. Heck if this thing was not forecast by almost all global models and interest to the TPC, I would not be here, I would have a nice walk along the beach with that special someone.

I don't think we need a constant reminder that there isn't a surface circulation, thats already established.

yea your right this blog is something else, but we love it, it hasn't even got started yet
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Im guessing weather student is reading accuweather :P.
Quoting IKE:
None of the models develop this today. Give a day and a half.


Ike,
Now you see why I read your NWS weather office discussions lol.
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Quoting Drakoen:


You're right there is no surface circulation
there isn't any
Quoting sporteguy03:
hurricanehanna,
It also needs to be warm core to be tropical, from reading the Melbourne, FL discussion an upper level cyclone is forecasted over the state with a possible surface reflection under or East of that between Monday Night and Wednesday.


Oh true - thanks for the info!
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this system is not looking better its looking worst, its losing some of its convection which is not good because us here in south florida need the rain due to our terrible drought.
You know, I have to say, I really don't think there is a surface circulation.
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Quoting jrweatherman:
Thanks Drake for pointing out that there is not surface circulation.


You're right there is no surface circulation
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
Surely everyone knows there is now a floater on the Cuba AOI, labeled invest. No number yet but, I suspect there will be one shortly.
The only circulation I see is at the 500 and 200 mb levels, way up in the atmosphere and well removed to the W and NW from the convection.

This has a long way to go to be anything more than a batch of showers.
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Accuweather
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
Quoting Weather456:
This blog is something else. If the storm is not going to develop, why stay here with the constant reminders. Heck if this thing was not forecast by almost all global models and interest to the TPC, I would not be here, I would have a nice walk along the beach with that special someone.

I don't think we need a constant reminder that there isn't a surface circulation, thats already established.


I have a special someone too.
Thanks Drake for pointing out that there is not surface circulation.
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622. IKE
None of the models develop this today. Give a day and a half.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
456 i agree with your rational. persons are over anxious to see something going. it is quite possible that something could get going in the near future hence the term invest
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620. IKE
Quoting extreme236:


And the Mr. Obvious award goes to...*drum roll*


LOL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
There is no surface circulation
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
Quoting jrweatherman:
This nothing system does not have a surface circulation....


And the Mr. Obvious award goes to...*drum roll*
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607. WOAH!!! I don't think we need to do that man.
This nothing system does not have a surface circulation....
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Quoting Weather456:
This blog is something else. If the storm is not going to develop, why stay here with the constant reminders. Heck if this thing was not forecast my almost all global models and interest to the TPC, I would not be here, I would have a nice walk along the beach with that special someone.

I don't think we need a constant reminder that there isn't a surface circulation, thats already established.


LOL
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601
hurricanehanna,
It also needs to be warm core to be tropical, from reading the Melbourne, FL discussion an upper level cyclone is forecasted over the state with a possible surface reflection under or East of that between Monday Night and Wednesday.
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i too see a mid level ciculation at the moment, sat pics show no LLC and again pressures in the vicinity are not dropping indicative of a llc trying to form
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This blog is something else. If the storm is not going to develop, why stay here with the constant reminders. Heck if this thing was not forecast by almost all global models and interest to the TPC, I would not be here, I would have a nice walk along the beach with that special someone.

I don't think we need a constant reminder that there isn't a surface circulation, thats already established.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Welcome everyone........Another season upon us! Finally!!!! Things starting off in my neck of the woods!!!!! Hooray!
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Mid-level low over Central Cuba. It will probably take the frontal boundary and positive vorticity advection to really get things going.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30601

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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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