Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:37 PM GMT on September 29, 2005
The Hurricane center released this special advisory at 3 pm EDT today:
"Data from an Air Force Reserve unit reconnaissance aircraft investigating the area of disturbed weather located between the Cayman Islands and Honduras indicate that the system remains disorganized and that a tropical depression has not formed. A large area of light and variable winds with a minimum pressure of 1009 mb...Or 29.80 inches... was detected about 170 miles southwest of Grand Cayman island. However... there is no thunderstorm activity collocated with the area of lowest pressure."
So, we will have to wait another day to see if this system will make up its mind whether or not it wants to be Stan the Man or Mr. Wimpy Tropical Blob. I still believe it will form into a tropical depression, but it's looking dicey for it to be anything more than a depression by the time it encounters the Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday. Once Stan/Mr. Wimpy Tropical Blob crosses the Yucatan, it may have new wind shear and dry air to overcome. If the system does manage to develop, the Mexican Gulf Coast or Texas look like the most likely targets.
Figure 1. The BAMM and GFDL models take the Caribbean disturbance into the Yucatan Peninsula. These models initialiazed the system about 100 miles too far to the southwest with their 2 pm and 8 am runs, respectively.
Several of the global computer models have been persistently forecasting for the past three days that a tropical storm may form in the waters east of the Carolinas or Florida early next week. Any system forming in this region would be forced westward or west-southwestward into the Southeast Coast by a strong ridge of high pressure building in. There is as yet no sign of this development occurring, but we should watch the waters off of the Southeast coast this weekend for development.
The ITCZ is active in the region extending from the African coast westwards for 1000 miles. There is a concentrated area of thunderstorms 600 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands that may slowly develop into a tropical depression over the next few days as it drifts northward.
Hawaii is watching Tropical Storm Kenneth, which is expected to pass though the Islands Friday and Saturday as a tropical depression, and may bring heavy rains and the threat of flash flooding to the islands. Tropical depressions that have passed though the islands in previous years have caused serious flooding problems.
The Baja Peninsula is watching newly-formed Tropical Tropical Storm Otis, which may strike the central Baja Peninsula on Sunday. Otis is also a threat to bring heavy rains and flooding to Arizona and northern Mexico early next week.
Super Typhoon Langwang, a small but intense typhoon with 150 mph sustained winds, is headed towards China and may hit northern Taiwan as a Category 4 storm on Sunday. Longwang is expected to gradually weaken but still hit mainland China on Monday as a Category 3 storm.
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