Gathering extratropical storm set to drench Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:11 PM GMT on May 17, 2009

Share this Blog
2
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 210 - 160

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33Blog Index

Quoting WeatherStudent:
That's OK, Taz. It's folks like him that end up abandining the blog without trace once Mother Nature proves them wrong.


Why the drama?
Why can't we just have a normal discussion?
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
where is evere geting that i said TS??? i said STS not TS where is evere one geting that from??? that i said it??
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
Hello all for 2009,
...sigh,

looks like it is time
for me to get out my gallon jug
of Blob and Troll Repellent

here in the Turks & Caicos

CRS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cg2916:

STS?


Subtropical storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


You tracking an Incoming bogey keepa?

rain maker pat waitin on 90L to be declared been doing some math iam gonna track it to someones front door very impress with the sustanability of overall system feeding off the water nicly with day heat for added effect
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting StormJunkie:
Latest GFS has this thing crossing N Fla and hanging out in the NE Gulf for quite some time. Could be a lot of rain for some.

It's extratropical.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Judging by the sheer tendency map..
I am starting to think an Anti-Cyclone might be developing over Possible 90L. Also visible is a rotation in the mid-levels evident on radar.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:
That's OK, Taz. It's folks like him that end up abandining the blog without trace once Mother Nature proves them wrong.


A TS tomorrow?? The most I see it becoming is a Sub-tropical system...and your just so full of drama it's a joke to read your comments. You playing conservative when you know damn well you wan't the sytem to get as big as it can before make landfall in your neighborhood.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ossqss:
The visible is starting to look comma-ish.IMHO

Link

Not in mine.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
how much rain/wind/cloud cover do you think we will get in Jamaica
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Latest GFS has this thing crossing N Fla and hanging out in the NE Gulf for quite some time. Could be a lot of rain for some.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The visible is starting to look comma-ish.IMHO

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Shear Tendency- Link
Actual Shear- Link


Interesting to see shear lowering.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SevereHurricane:


FAY


Dolly was far more painful than Fay to endure in my opinion. Just wouldn't develop a LLC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
this could all so be a STS later on


STS?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shear Tendency- Link
Actual Shear- Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
this could all so be a STS later on

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
Quoting jeffs713:
MLC, the loop eddy that spun off in the GOM pulled away fairly early this season, and it isn't that much warmer overall than the rest of the GOM. It has a deeper 26C thermocline, but its surface temp is nearly identical to the background. It will probably dissipate along the coast in July, and generally be a non-factor except for early season storms.

What I am personally cautious about is that the same thing happened last year (a very early eddy spun off)... and the loop current decided to spin off an extra eddy in late July. THAT would cause some problems.

Yeah, agreed and never said it just spun off. Eddys, on average, separate from the loop current about every 9.5 months, occasionally separating as short as six and as much as 11 months. Obviously, it will linger. It's warmer water over a wider and deeper area - sure, it helps to bring overall temps up. It was just a look-see - not intended to add to the huge CAT 5 thoughts of this early system, lol. And, yes, obviously it has an opportunity to spin off another eddy, perhaps right in the heart of the season - hence the reason for the post. Too often, we forget that these things make storms really pop. Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:
This reminds me of a storm we tracked last year that seemed to have a mid level circulation for an eternity.


FAY
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
AOI
TRACK MARK
17N/75W
additional towering dev se of previous and current dev area



AOI/00/00L
TRACK MARK
17N/75W


You tracking an Incoming bogey keepa?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625
Quoting Drakoen:
Just SE of Jamaica, Stormchaser.


Thank you. I knew it was under the cloud canopy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneAddict:


There isnt going to be anything tropical or sub-tropical tomorrow...Your always the one asking the questions and now your speaking as if your a big contribution the this blog...Don't even say it will be a TS tomorrow..nothing but an exta-tropical or hybrid system will come of this.



you dont no that no one nos that i think we will see a name storm from this it may not be right now but it could be later on all you have too do is this watch wait and see what comes out of it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
Quoting Drakoen:
This reminds me of a storm we tracked last year that seemed to have a mid level circulation for an eternity.


Which one?
Dolly, Fay, Kyle?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AOI
TRACK MARK
17N/75W
additional towering dev se of previous and current dev area



AOI/00/00L
TRACK MARK
17N/75W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
i dont get it, how to post a pic, I use safari
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:



Buddy, i meant, invest: yes, TS: no, at least not quite yet, but certainly by tomorrow, ok, no harm.


There isnt going to be anything tropical or sub-tropical tomorrow...Your always the one asking the questions and now your speaking as if your a big contribution the this blog...Don't even say it will be a TS tomorrow..nothing but an exta-tropical or hybrid system will come of this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like Florida is gonna get some rain!

Hopefully I do not get any here in NC because last night there was a flash flood warning and a storm produced 8inches of rain right over the reservoir. A mudslide closed a major road.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This thing isn't supposed to be anything but an extratropical low, guys.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

GOM 60 Hour Surface Current Forecast,Loop Current and Eddys
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Umm...when is 9:60 am??


10 o' clock in the morning? lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29918
MLC, the loop eddy that spun off in the GOM pulled away fairly early this season, and it isn't that much warmer overall than the rest of the GOM. It has a deeper 26C thermocline, but its surface temp is nearly identical to the background. It will probably dissipate along the coast in July, and generally be a non-factor except for early season storms.

What I am personally cautious about is that the same thing happened last year (a very early eddy spun off)... and the loop current decided to spin off an extra eddy in late July. THAT would cause some problems.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
forget it
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Umm...when is 9:60 am??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:
A quick hit and run and hit and go question, invest by which time today?
I would say before 9PM (EST) for sure
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
456 is mostly correct on the invest statement..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


Look to the right of the page under recommended Links ,..How to start your own blog, and add blog images and links

The answer you seek is right in front ya ..
Thank you sooooo much
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
dont worry weatherstudent no harm, ur cool, im just saying in that pic you can see a lot of convection and its organized.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
How do you post a pic, can someone please tell me, THANK YOU!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Look to the right of the page under recommended Links ,..How to start your own blog, and add blog images and links

The answer you seek is right in front of ya ..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625

Viewing: 210 - 160

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
58 °F
Scattered Clouds