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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UKMET graph
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30840

Blog Update


Area of Interest #1


Area of Interest #2
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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
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


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


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"
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I suggest Tylenol or Advil
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30840
403. IKE
Quoting WeatherStudent:


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


Now I'm really laughing.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
398. WeatherStudent 2:12 PM AST on May 17, 2009
Quoting IKE:


Maybe it's time for you to go take a walk on the beach or feed the baby.

Nothing is going to happen today. The models don't form whatever forms for another 36-48 hours.


I don't have a child, Ikster! If only I did.


You c-r-a-c-k me up
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I don't have a child, Ikster! If only I did.


Last year you said you did lol
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NVM, found it.

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397. IKE
Quoting WeatherStudent:
LOL


Maybe it's time for you to go take a walk on the beach or feed the baby.

Nothing is going to happen today. The models don't form whatever forms for another 36-48 hours.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
I generally do have a bias to the UKMET model when it comes to tropical development, so IMO it does add some credability to this system to see it developing something.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


169

WTNT80 EGRR 171800


MET OFFICE TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE FOR NORTH-EAST PACIFIC

AND ATLANTIC

GLOBAL MODEL DATA TIME 12UTC 17.05.2009

NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 36 HOURS
FORECAST POSITION AT T 36 : 25.9N 79.8W

VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY
-------------- -------- -------- --------
00UTC 19.05.2009 25.9N 79.8W WEAK
12UTC 19.05.2009 25.9N 79.0W MODERATE INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY
00UTC 20.05.2009 26.5N 79.4W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 20.05.2009 27.9N 80.3W MODERATE WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 21.05.2009 26.5N 83.5W MODERATE WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 21.05.2009 26.7N 83.5W MODERATE LITTLE CHANGE
00UTC 22.05.2009 27.2N 84.2W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 22.05.2009 28.1N 84.7W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 23.05.2009 29.0N 85.8W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 23.05.2009 30.0N 87.9W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY


THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS GUIDANCE FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
RSMCS. IT REQUIRES INTERPRETATION BY TROPICAL CYCLONE SPECIALISTS
AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A FINAL PRODUCT


MET OFFICE, EXETER, UK

TOO 171636





Can i have a link?
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393. IKE
Quoting Weather456:


Yea

I think the pharmacy is open today, have to go pick up a pack of headon.


LOL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860


169

WTNT80 EGRR 171800


MET OFFICE TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE FOR NORTH-EAST PACIFIC

AND ATLANTIC

GLOBAL MODEL DATA TIME 12UTC 17.05.2009

NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 36 HOURS
FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 36 : 25.9N 79.8W

VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY
-------------- -------- -------- --------
00UTC 19.05.2009 25.9N 79.8W WEAK
12UTC 19.05.2009 25.9N 79.0W MODERATE INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY
00UTC 20.05.2009 26.5N 79.4W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 20.05.2009 27.9N 80.3W MODERATE WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 21.05.2009 26.5N 83.5W MODERATE WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 21.05.2009 26.7N 83.5W MODERATE LITTLE CHANGE
00UTC 22.05.2009 27.2N 84.2W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 22.05.2009 28.1N 84.7W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 23.05.2009 29.0N 85.8W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 23.05.2009 30.0N 87.9W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY


THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS GUIDANCE FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
RSMCS. IT REQUIRES INTERPRETATION BY TROPICAL CYCLONE SPECIALISTS
AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A FINAL PRODUCT


MET OFFICE, EXETER, UK

TOO 171636


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:
I seriously do not know what to think anymore about this system, I really don't. Is it gonna develop or isn't it gonna develop, that is the conundrum. Thoughts anyone?


Sugar rush?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:
I seriously do not know what to think anymore about this system, I really don't. Is it gonna develop or isn't it gonna develop, that is the conundrum. Thoughts anyone?


If anything were to develop, it would be nothing too concerning.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I stood outside my balcony this morning and I felt the feeling and the sensation as if something tropical was headed my way, and by gosh, that would appear to be the actualy case.
your really too much you know that
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Is that from the NHC, 456?


Yea

I think the pharmacy is open today, have to go pick up a pack of headon.
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2pm

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:


But were still gonna see TS winds down here, right Adrian? At least in gusts?


NO-depending on which model you like winds along the coastal areas could gust to 35-40 and inland areas in the 15-20mph range.A tornado threat could be present based on some of the dynamics coming together.
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Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30840
WeatherStudent- Have you gotten any rain yet in Fort Lauderdale?

West Palm has already gotten .04 inches.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
We just got a 3 minute drenching...
Quoting IKE:
Cold front is almost through here....clouds are gathering east and south of south Florida....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A surface low is trying to develop in my opinion.

Kingston is reporting NNW winds and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti is reporting SSE winds.

It will be interesting to see if shear continues to drop- Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Link, please, Adrian.


Thought i already give you my model link page lol. View here
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Hello all, Been away for awhile wll its that time of year again, hows every one i see IKE & PTRAP are still here good to see old friends are still around, whats up with this trough looks very colorfull on avn still too early for any development though that cold front driving southward will tear this thing apart IMO.
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12z Nogaps all but drops the mess in the gulf on this run.Nothing to look at on cuban radar
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AOI/00/00L
MARK
17.4N/75.2W
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<

<
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try'n to slide her right up fl's west coast.....
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Doesnt look too bad.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Link
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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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