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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359. IKE
Cold front is almost through here....clouds are gathering east and south of south Florida....

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well,well,well...looky here 72hrs,from the NHC:
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Quoting WeatherStudent:



Damn, either looks can be down-right awfully mis-leading and deceiving or we've got something in our hands to contain with, which is it? lol.


Misleading I'd say, at least until we get any definate signs of organization, besides model runs.
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Cuba radar- Link
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Link<
Member Since: September 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 434
353. IKE
I think "scottsvb" was on here last year and is a met. If he's the same one, he's pretty sharp.

Quoting CybrTeddy:
Was Drak banned?


No...I just checked.
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Was Drak banned?
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Kingston, JM (Airport)
Updated: 39 min 39 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
77 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 78%
Dew Point: 70 °F
Wind: 12 mph from the NNW
Pressure: 29.89 in (Steady)
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Nice picture 456.
First invest of the season?!
Time will tell.
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Looks like models are in agreement on development and motion. The 64 dollar question is point of origin. Looks to be se of fla. if present convection holds together and keeps drifting north.
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I've just made sure rain gauge is empty.... Hope we get an inch or more! Enjoy your Sunday.... Looks like it may be a good day to go to a movie!
Quoting IKE:


I've had almost an inch of rain today, so far.

You'll get yours too.
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344. IKE
Quoting AussieStorm:
night all... happy weather watching.
Cheers AussieStorm


L8R.....

Training rains here.
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342. IKE
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Hi all...

Hey Ike, quite colorful on radar up your way.... All I'm getting is dark clouds to the west and lots of rumbles and grumbles.


I've had almost an inch of rain today, so far.

You'll get yours too.
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night all... happy weather watching.
Cheers AussieStorm
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Hi all...

Hey Ike, quite colorful on radar up your way.... All I'm getting is dark clouds to the west and lots of rumbles and grumbles.
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Nothing too impressive.

img src="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
" width="360" height="300" alt="" />
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Quoting scottsvb:
If everyone wants to see where the low might form....look around Cubas N coast and between the Keys and Andros Island...

Im out for now!


same area I'm now watching....tomorrow our new feature w/be very near KW,IMO....
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335. IKE
I still see a spin just off/on the north coast of Cuba. It was there earlier today and it's still there now.
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no low on the map yet:
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332. IKE
Quoting scottsvb:
If everyone wants to see where the low might form....look around Cubas N coast and between the Keys and Andros Island...

Im out for now!


Aren't you a met?
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Quoting scottsvb:
Listen peeps...this isnt close to being a TD or a Invest... this is a mid-level trough...with mid level low vortexs from
that trough. A center will form NW of there around central cuba or between the FL Straits and Andros Island later Monday into Monday night. By Monday...a invest will probably go up then.


Its not close to being a TD but it is getting close to be an invest. They'll declare it once it persists more, it has model support from almost every global Model.
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If everyone wants to see where the low might form....look around Cubas N coast and between the Keys and Andros Island...

Im out for now!
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328. IKE
I live just north of the middle I10 symbol...

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Stormchaser2007 those covective those convective bursts your looking viewing are due to an interaction with decaying frontal boundary.I see nothing at the surface in that area and pressure are quite high.If we do get an investigation up for the this area it will likely come tommorow or tuesday.Unfortunatly if the 12z GFS track pans out southeast florida would be on the subsidence side of things so we would not get heavy amounts of precip.
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Listen peeps...this isnt close to being a TD or a Invest... this is a mid-level trough...with mid level low vortexs from
that trough. A center will form NW of there around central cuba or between the FL Straits and Andros Island later Monday into Monday night. By Monday...a invest will probably go up then.
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Cool and Rainy here IKE.. sweet



Los Radar
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Quoting cybergrump:
all hands that this blob will become a invest at 5pm type a 1.

2
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323. IKE
12Z UKMET

I have rain and thunder outside my window and 68 degrees.
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NCEP/EMC Tracking of Cyclogenesis in Models



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Quoting IKE:
Was this posted earlier?


Unlikely lol.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30577
all hands that this blob will become a invest at 5pm type a 1.
Member Since: September 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 434
Cyber is there a troll on. Looks like S. Fla to get the much needed rain. Hope it doesn't go east of S. Fla before it shifts back west, the lake central, S Fla need this.
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UKMET takes it into the Bahamas and follow the GFS. Much more aggressive:
Link
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316. IKE
Was this posted earlier?
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Nice graphics Patrap...thanks!
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I am headed to germany. what's up with this subtropical low
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Damm,how could I have missed this,there is actually a ULL stregthening over central cubas north coast....thats what will be drawn NW across the southern/central peninsula w/associated moisture being pulled up from the area near jamaica.....its all starting to fall in place now for a STS mid week somewhere in the eastern GOM if the ULL moves slow enough or meanders,IMO...wow!!!
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As usual CMC bombs this.

img
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this be come there is a LCC or not dos not mean we have a TD or TS
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255

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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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