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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I don't really care if it's an invest or not I think it's impressive for mid-May
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
WTF is a Wilam?? LOL


LOL!!!
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
489. Drakoen 6:47 PM GMT on May 17, 2009 Hide this comment.

Quoting StormW:
Drak,
Can you link me to that Cuban radar site?

TIA



google it.

StormW, you can hit http://hurricanewarning1.com/radar.html for links to any publicly available coastal radar worldwide.

I have this saved permanently on my blog if ya lose it.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


NO!!!!!!!!!!!! For real?


Not an official invest, and its no big deal if it was one, you can calm down a bit lol
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
WTF is a Wilam?? LOL


Yea cat 8 wilam that came through miami 2 years ago.Iam done
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
WTF is a Wilam?? LOL

LOL
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Quoting Weather456:
Drak, I meant to ask you, what if the front miss this. I was thinking about it.


If the front missed it then it would probably travel west towards the western Caribbean before getting picked up by the next trough of low pressure.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Current SSD forcaster on duty as placed a floater in this area this does not mean this area is an invest.
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WTF is a Wilam?? LOL
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Floater 1 over it.

img
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ooooh boy here we go again!!!!
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Quoting Drakoen:
Invest on SSD


And the NHC satellite page says Invest under Atlantic Floater 1, but for now the images are for the southern plains...
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whats the sight that it says it is an invest
StormW

LINK
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hurricane23:
weatherstudent have you ever experience a full fledged tropical cyclone?


I doubt it
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cuban radar
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Drak, I meant to ask you, what if the front miss this. I was thinking about it.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
WOW! some people just keep setting themselves up for more and more punishment.. when will they learn?

Drak will this wind hurt me?
Drak will this be a TS?
Drak will we be flooded?
Drak HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1837
weatherstudent have you ever experience a full fledged tropical cyclone?
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Quoting StormW:
Drak,
Can you link me to that Cuban radar site?

TIA


google it.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Just performed a complete update on my CCHS Weather Center website including newly updated forecasts and first Graphical Tropical Update of the year. Hope you all enjoy.

Possible Pre-Season Subtropical System?
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Invest

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Drakoen:
Invest on SSD


And so it begins. Welcome to hurricane season 2009, folks!!
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Invest on SSD
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Models have a harder time deal with the wind speeds on land than the ocean.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
There you go WeatherStudent...expect 15 mph winds (per the image Weather456 posted).
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
http://sirocco.accuweather.com/sat_mosaic_640x480_public/IR/isacar.gif

Check it out
Quoting Vortex95:
and your saying all gale force winds would cease once it gets over land?


The coastal areas would probably receive some Gale force winds.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting jeffs713:
Hello all!

I just got all the data compiled for the contest predicting tropical systems this season, and just posted *all* of it to my blog. (jeffs713's blog)

Here are a couple of highlights from the data I compiled with Ossqss' help.





Thanks jeffs713, great job !
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Wouldn't winds of that magnitude cause sperodic power outages and small three branches to break off tress and whatnot?
don't forget to get out your flashlights and batteries

but the lights are on
theres nobody at home
lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
Where is Eddye?
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GFS/UKMET Blended +72hrs Winds (knots)

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
THIS
SYSTEM WOULD ALSO BE A POTENTIALLY SERIOUS MARINE THREAT BOTH OVER
THE GULF AND OFF THE FL/SE US ATLANTIC COASTS...ALL UNDER A
STALLED FRONTAL DRAPE.


from hpc latest update
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Wouldn't winds of that magnitude cause sperodic power outages and small three branches to break off tress and whatnot?


Learn how to spell!!
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Wouldn't winds of that magnitude cause sperodic power outages and small three branches to break off tress and whatnot?


It's gonna rip your house up from it's foundation.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Are you serious? we had more than our share last year.
Quoting jeffs713:
Hello all!

I just got all the data compiled for the contest predicting tropical systems this season, and just posted *all* of it to my blog. (jeffs713's blog)

Here are a couple of highlights from the data I compiled with Ossqss' help.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Vortex95:
I'd guess the gales would be scattered about the system. Weather student may get his wish and get an hour worth of 50mph winds with 60mph gusts and live the night with candles :P.


Negative those gale force winds will likely remain offshore marine interest.
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460. IKE
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Wouldn't winds of that magnitude cause sperodic power outages and small three branches to break off tress and whatnot?


OMG....you just being silly.

Grow up.
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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.