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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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.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
456. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


Keeping you out of my sight.


LMAO.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
SCHOOL WILL BE OPEN! Windy rainy weather next 2-3 days.
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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.



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weather student check your inbox
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Gusts, sustained would be much lower than that, unless I'm mistaken that is.


A gale has sustained winds of tropical storm force. Doesn't mean the area felt by it will be very large.
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Quoting hurricane23:
Please (link) no need to paste entire discussion.
I wanted to paste the entire discussion, by the way.
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Quoting hurricane23:
Those gale force winds will likely be experienced over water and 15-25mph over land.


Until the circulation moves on shore.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
NWS Glossary on Gale
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting Drakoen:


Keeping you out of my sight.


LMAO
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Those gale force winds will likely be experienced over water and 15-25mph over land.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Thanks, Drak. Can those types of wind speeds do anything to you and I?


Keeping you out of my sight.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting Vortex95:
436. sorry to be asking what he is asking but is the 39-55mph in gusts or sustained?


Sustained.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
72 hour forecast from TAFB.

img


Thats much further east and north than the previous outlook. They have appeared to gone with the GFS and UKMET solutions. Which now seems possible after the system was located south and east than previously thought
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Please (link) no need to paste entire discussion.
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thanks Ike,
over cast here and raining off and on winds from ese 12mph
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Right there, that's a mdoerate TD, isn't, Adrian? Capable of delivering winds of at least in excess of 40mph, correct?


It's a gale which typically means winds between 39-55 miles per hour. Can you stop asking the same question for the umpteenth time.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Right there, that's a mdoerate TD, isn't, Adrian? Capable of delivering winds of at least in excess of 40mph, correct?


A gale has tropical storm force winds.
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1006 MB Low in 72 Hours according to TAFB.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I didn't know that JFV used to refer to you by that same grammatical formot, go figure, who know, bud.


Bud, all I needed to see lol
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000
AXNT20 KNHC 171748
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT SUN MAY 17 2009

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS
OF SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST
FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED
ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS...WEATHER
OBSERVATIONS...AND RADAR.

BASED ON 1200 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 1715 UTC.

...TROPICAL WAVES...
A TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 42W/43W S OF 12N MOVING W NEAR 15 KT. A
SUBTLE CYCLONIC CURVATURE TO THE LOW-LEVEL CLOUDS IS OBSERVED ON
VISIBLE IMAGERY NEAR THE WAVE AXIS AS SURFACE TO 700 MB MODEL
DATA ALSO POINTS TO A CYCLONIC PERTURBATION IN THE WIND FIELD.
WAVE REMAINS VOID OF ANY DEEP CONVECTION...WITH SCATTERED TO
BROKEN MULTILAYERED CLOUDS FROM 3N-9N BETWEEN 38W-45W.

...ITCZ...

THE ITCZ AXIS IS CENTERED ALONG 8N12W 2N20W CROSSING THE EQUATOR
NEAR 24W TO NE BRAZIL NEAR 4S39W. SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION
IS S OF 4N BETWEEN 14W-29W.

...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
A BROAD UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH IS ACROSS THE CENTRAL CONUS AND
SUPPORTS A COLD FRONT THAT AS OF 1500 UTC ENTERS THE GULF ALONG
THE CENTRAL LOUISIANA COAST NEAR 29N91W AND CONTINUES ALONG
27N95W 23N96W TO TAMPICO MEXICO AND INLAND ACROSS E/CENTRAL
MEXICO AS A STATIONARY FRONT. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS ARE
WITHIN 60 NM EITHER SIDE OF THE COLD FRONT. ANOTHER CONCENTRATED
AREA OF SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS IS OVER THE WRN BAY OF
CAMPECHE FROM 20N-23N W OF 95W. A PRE-FRONTAL SURFACE TROUGH
EXTENDS INTO THE GULF FROM MOBILE BAY SWD ACROSS THE CENTRAL
GULF TO THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NEAR 21N89W. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
ISOLATED TSTMS ARE MAINLY E OF THE SURFACE TROUGH N OF 24N
BETWEEN 85W-88W. CONTINUED MOIST SE SURFACE FLOW N OF A SURFACE
TROUGH ACROSS CENTRAL CUBA EXTENDING INTO THE WRN CARIBBEAN IS
GENERATING SCATTERED SHOWERS ACROSS THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA...SRN
FLORIDA PENINSULA AND SE GULF. EXPECT THE FRONT TO CONTINUE
MOVING SEWD AND WEAKEN BY MONDAY INTO TUESDAY. EARLY NEXT WEEK
AS THE FRONT LIFTS NEWD...MANY OF THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE SHOWING
LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPING OVER CUBA OR THE FLORIDA STRAITS...
EITHER EXTRATROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL...AND MOVING GENERALLY N.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRACK IS UNCERTAIN BUT MODELS ARE IN ENOUGH
AGREEMENT TO WARRANT GALE HEADLINES OVER A PORTION OF THE E AND
MIDDLE WATERS FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK.

CARIBBEAN SEA...
A MIDDLE TO UPPER TROUGH OVER THE WRN CARIBBEAN ALONG WITH A
SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDING FROM CENTRAL CUBA ALONG 79W TO NEAR 16N
IS PRODUCING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS N OF 16N BETWEEN
74W-79W. LIGHTNING DATA SHOWS THE GREATEST CONCENTRATION OF
STRIKES OVER THE ADJACENT WATERS BETWEEN ERN JAMAICA AND SW
HISPANIOLA. LATEST VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES AND GLOBAL MODEL
DATA INDICATE CYCLONIC ROTATION IN THE MID-LEVEL FIELDS ALONG
79W JUST S OF CUBA. THIS FEATURE MAY BUILD CLOSER TO THE SURFACE
OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND DRIFT GENERALLY NWD...
CONTINUING THE THREAT FOR SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS OVER THE
N/CENTRAL CARIBBEAN. STRONG SWLY UPPER FLOW ON THE E SIDE OF THE
AFOREMENTIONED UPPER TROUGH IS ADVECTING MOISTURE ACROSS THE SE
CARIBBEAN AND LESSER ANTILLES. THIS FLOW COMBINED WITH A LOW-
LEVEL TROUGH A COUPLE HUNDRED NM E OF THE AREA OVER THE TROPICAL
N ATLC IS GENERATING SCATTERED SHOWERS ACROSS THE NE CARIBBEAN N
OF 14N AND E OF 65W. MEANWHILE...HIGH PRESSURE CENTERED W OF
BERMUDA IS MAINTAINING 15-20 KT TRADES ACROSS THE MUCH OF THE
AREA E OF 78W AS CAPTURED ON AN EARLIER QSCAT PASS. THESE WINDS
ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN SIMILAR OVER THE ERN ONE-THIRD OF THE
CARIBBEAN THROUGH WED AS THE HIGH WEAKENS IN PLACE OVER THE NEXT
DAY OR TWO.

ATLANTIC OCEAN...
AN OCCLUDED 1005 MB LOW IS QUASI-STATIONARY ALONG THE NRN BORDER
OF THE DISCUSSION AREA NEAR 32N52W. A COLD FRONT EXTENDS FROM
32N47W TO 27N47W CONTINUING SW TO 22N51W AND CONTINUING AS A
STATIONARY FRONT TO 19N55W. FROM 19N55W THE BOUNDARY WEAKENS TO
A SURFACE TROUGH AND EXTENDS SW TO 15N59W. ASSOCIATED SCATTERED
SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS ARE CONFINED TO THE ERN SEMICIRCLE OF
THE LOW N OF 27N BETWEEN 42W AND 49W. S OF 27N...SCATTERED
SHOWERS ARE OBSERVED WITHIN 90/120 NM EITHER SIDE OF THE FRONTAL
BOUNDARY. A SECONDARY WAVE OF ENERGY...ANALYZED AS A DEVELOPING
COLD FRONT EXTENDS FROM 30N48W TO 27N51W TO 27N56W WITH ENHANCED
CLOUDINESS AND POSSIBLE ISOLATED SHOWERS WITHIN 30 NM EITHER
SIDE OF THE FRONT. DEEP LAYER RIDGING W OF THE LOW IS PROVIDING
MAINLY FAIR WEATHER ACROSS MUCH OF THE W ATLC. HOWEVER...WITH
THE PROXIMITY OF THE AFOREMENTIONED SURFACE TROUGH ACROSS
CENTRAL CUBA...SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS SPREAD N OF 18N
BETWEEN 72W-81W OVER THE GREATER ANTILLES...BAHAMAS AND NEARBY
WATERS. SEE CARIBBEAN SECTION FOR MORE DETAILS. SURFACE HIGH
PRESSURE RIDGING AND MAINLY ZONAL FLOW ALOFT DOMINATE MUCH OF
THE E ATLC...SUPPORTING MAINLY FAIR WEATHER.

$$
HUFFMAN
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lol...
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Looks like the NHC is going with the GFS and UKMET on this.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting Vortex95:
I never knew a disturbances path could be that gratifying.


Aphrodisiac
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72 hour forecast from TAFB.

img
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72hr surface map...

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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Nice output there, Drak. Errotic path that it would take as well.


erotic? lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting extreme236:


Cmon you dont have to put up any act, we know your JFV, I can tell it by the way you type, act, and you were the only person who ever called me "EX"


LOL. I just wish he would admit it already.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
It's funny how WeatherStudent's grammar and spelling changed significantly over night.
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417. IKE
Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
Hey IKE do you have the links for the models page, my computer crashed earlier this year and i lost every thing appreciate any help,
thanks,
David


Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
402. WeatherStudent 2:15 PM AST on May 17, 2009
Quoting extreme236:


Last year you said you did lol


Last year? EX, last year I didn't even know about the existence of this superb website



Quoting extreme236:


Cmon you dont have to put up any act, we know your JFV, I can tell it by the way you type, act, and you were the only person who ever called me "EX"


LMAO!!
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting stillwaiting:
what a picture from nasa:


Thats a pretty cool image.
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Quoting Drakoen:
I suggest Tylenol or Advil


Might need a tranquilizer or two during the season
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what a picture from nasa:
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Quoting Weather456:



Can i have a link?



Met Office tropical cyclone guidance messages
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weatherstudent=JFV?
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 693
UKMET graph
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.