Time to watch the Western Caribbean

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 10:37 PM GMT on October 13, 2005

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The large upper level low pressure system that has been anchored over the ocean between Bermuda and Puerto Rico the past week has finally begun to lift northwards. As a result, the amount of wind shear over the western Caribbean has begun to drop today, resulting in an increase in thunderstorm activity over a weak low pressure area centered 150 miles southeast of Jamaica. However, there is no edivence of any upper-level outflow setting up, or any low-level spiral banding. The wind shear over the disurbance is still a rather high 10 - 20 knots, which should prevent any tropical development through Friday. However, the global computer models are forecasting this shear to drop below 10 knots by Saturday, which could allow a tropical depression to develop. Now that it is mid-October, the western Caribbean is the primary area we need to be concerned about for tropical storm development. Water temperatures are still very high there, up to 32 C near Jamaica. Historically, the worst hurricanes to form in the last half of October have all been western Caribbean hurricanes.

Any development that occurs this weekend would appear to primarily be a threat to Honduras and Nicaragua, according to the UKMET, NOGAPS, and GFS models. Let's hope the atmosphere is not setting up for a repeat of 1998's Hurricane Mitch, which formed in the western Caribbean in late October and hit Honduras as a Category 5 hurricane, killing over 10,000.


Figure 1. Current Sea Surface Temperatures compiled by NOAA's AOML.

Cape Verdes tropical disturbance
A concentrated are of thunderstorms has developed about 450 miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands this afternoon. While there is no surface circulation apparent on satellite imagery yet, some modest upper-level outflow has developed to the north, and the system is headed towards an area of low wind shear. Some further development of this system is possible over the next few days as it tracks west-northwest over the open ocean. Tropical storms devloping this far east in mid-October are never a threat to the Caribbean or North America; only the Azores Islands needs to be concerned about development in this region.

New England
New England, and particularly the New York City region, continues to get soaked by an endless stream of tropical moisture. Several small low pressure areas have formed along the axis of disturbed weather stretching from New York southeastwards towards Bermuda, but wind shear is too high and water temperatures too marginal for any significant tropical development to occur in this region. The axis of the line of disurbed weather is forecast to move slowly northeast in to Maine this weekend, finally bringing an end to the rains.

Jeff Masters

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Dock Under Water at High Tide During Storm (stearnspoint)
Dock Under Water at High Tide During Storm

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163. hurricanewayne
9:14 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
WOW look at that Blob in the Carr. Cant believe there arent any invest models kicking in. looks like a depression already
162. subtropic
2:42 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Noticed that in the new blog Dr. Jeff changed "Tropical storms devloping [sic] this far east in mid-October are never a threat to the Caribbean or North America" to "Tropical storms devloping [sic] this far east in mid-October are very rarely a threat to the Caribbean or North America.

A wise decision.
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
161. subtropic
2:31 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Fall??? What's fall?
Hi Raemi!
Dr Jeff has a new blog.
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
160. pirateotobx
2:19 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
well at least here on the coast of North Carolina I can relax and not woorry about hurricanes for another year....it's 68 degrees outside....the forecast for the weekend has it down in the 40's at night..I love the fall....
159. weatherspirit
2:02 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
good mornin' all. I've updated my blog with Hurricane Katrina aftermath photos...

Link
158. palmbeacher
1:40 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Ive decided NO MORE storms
157. gbreezegirl
1:34 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Good morning all!
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 274
156. thelmores
1:32 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
"Tomorrow, I'll answer the question, If Katrina's winds were only of Category 1 stregth at landfall, how could she have carried a Category 5 storm surge to the coast?"

darn it! :( was looking forward to that too!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
155. napleswx
1:20 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Yeah, exactly. Don't speak too soon. CMC has a system developing south of Cuba and heading north skirting the Florida east coast. Another one?
154. palmbeacher
1:14 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Don't speak to soon.....
153. cairophoto
1:04 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Seems that hurricane season finally ended for good
152. JupiterFL
12:52 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Storm,
Remember JohnsonWax. He did just what you are talking about and came on here spewing his own personal views with the name of his company as his tag. I was thinking, at the time that I would never do that on the board itself.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
151. oriondarkwood
11:57 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Okay Okay get our of here night crowd, I got to clean this place up for the morning crowd and don't forgot to put your bottles in the recycle bin and not the trash like last time (LOL)


GOOD MORNING WEATHER UNDERGROUND!!!

Kick Dreamyland in the arse, grab some Joe and breathe in the fresh air (or smoggy air depending on where your from). Looks like me my late some action this weekend. I am already putting out the fish storm vibes..
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 41
150. theboldman
7:39 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
oh boy two kids playing video games all night im gone talk to you all later
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
149. StormJunkie
7:38 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Have a good night Jeff. It's game time.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
148. theboldman
7:38 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
oh ok right
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
147. theboldman
7:37 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
now im squashed between two pancakes
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
146. StormJunkie
7:37 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
It is a production plant, but I would rather not name names since my views on this blog do not represent the company I work for.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
145. leftyy420
7:36 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
sj put on head set
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
144. theboldman
7:36 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
then who do you work for that has shifts over night
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
143. StormJunkie
7:34 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Just 2nd shift.


bosses are ok most of the time, but I am kinda head on 2nd shift.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
142. StormJunkie
7:33 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
No more work til next week, so pretty good.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
141. theboldman
7:33 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
wow you must have a tough boss keeping you up so late
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
140. theboldman
7:32 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
its going good how about you
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
139. StormJunkie
7:31 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Work nights.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
138. theboldman
7:31 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
tooo bad cause this is when all the trolls lurk lol
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
137. StormJunkie
7:31 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
How's it going Jeff?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
136. theboldman
7:31 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
so storm you like to stay up late too
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
135. theboldman
7:30 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
hey
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
134. StormJunkie
7:27 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Hello?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
133. arcturus
5:44 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
I am one county north of Philadelphia and this area just set a record for October rainfall after the driest September on record. Been watching the radar signatures train over central Jersey and Long Island all night and now there is a huge swath of heavy rain moving in from the east i suspect flooding will be big news in that area tomorrow.
132. dashwildwood
5:30 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
arc, i read JBs column daily. I agree somewhat with what they have been saying about the storm hitting the northeast. Its the remnants of TD 22 and it seems to have held its low level circulation together very well via satellite. I wouldnt be suprised to see some wind gusts hit tropical storm force in that area but overall the storm doesnt look all that impressive. It will continue to compound the flooding problem in the northeast and im sure it will bring some tidal flooding with it.
131. arcturus
5:21 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Something interesting going on tonight here in the northeast. Is anybody monitoring what AccuWeather is calling a Rogue storm heading towards Long Island. JB is forecasting a strong storm surge and tropical storm force winds for the island.

Link
130. billsfaninsofla
4:16 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
September birthday here, if anyone was keeping a count..
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5247
129. HIEXPRESS
4:09 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Not a "Scientist" but I did stay at...
New thing they just discovered - Inertia! Large circulations have to move a lot of air (mass) and take a long time to spin up - It seems that many in Florida expected Katrina to reach Cat 1 a lot faster than it did. Once it got going, it struck with a lot of energy here. I find it hard to believe that it could have lost so much velocity in such a short period of time in LA/MS.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
128. dcw
3:03 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Hey guys!

Since these systems probably won't be developing tonight, I'm wondering if there an any experienced DMs here? I've always wanted to try a full game of D&D, if you happen to be intrested go here, we can start in, say, 10 minutes, if a suitable DM can be found?
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
127. 8888888889gg
3:01 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
theboldman hey there i think you got some there on your last post
126. theboldman
2:56 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
WARNING BLOG ADDICTAVITUS

may keep the person up all night

may cause lack of sleep

may cause you getting fired from your job because your too tired to work
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
125. LakeWorthFinn
2:50 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
night all, thank you all for great comments
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 67 Comments: 7198
124. hurricanechaser
2:46 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
man I type too slow. I'm sorry I missed you Paweatherfan and Tornadoty...have a great night guys. LOL
123. hurricanechaser
2:44 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Paweatherfan,
I saw your comment as I was exiting this blog and didn't want to leave without thanking you for your kind comments and I agree with your excellent observations and presumptions as well.
122. tornadoty
2:44 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Good night, everyone. It's been a pleasure tonight.
121. weatherspirit
2:42 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
I'v eupdated my blog with Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Photos...

Link
120. paweatherfan
2:42 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
my bed is calling me also
c ya tomorrow
119. tornadoty
2:41 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
It's ok, hurricanechaser.

Oh, and, uh, you've got mail.
118. paweatherfan
2:40 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Hurricanechaser nice artical,
I agree cat1 it was not and to consider Kartina cat 1 is absurd. I wish we could get some instruments that can survive these storms to really have some hard evidence as to what the winds are. Anemoter blew off in Andrew at 164mph would love to know what the peak gusts may have been. Anyway, I agree cat 1 no way and you have made as valid an argument as any in the artical that would suggest cat 3 intensity.
117. hurricanechaser
2:40 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
I have to get my little girl to bed but I want to let everyone on here know that I enjoy reading each of your comments and look forward to talking with you all again later. In the meantime, I hope you have a great night.
116. hurricanechaser
2:38 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
tornadoty,
Thats even more impressive that you recalled Mitchs landfall intensity so well. I apologize if I came acrossed as being offended. In reality, I appreciated your observations and please feel free to correct me anytime I inadvertingly provide incorrect information. I'd much rather have someone point out my mistake than to pass along misinformation unintentionally. I am one of the worst typists, please forgive my many typos.. LOL :)
115. LakeWorthFinn
2:34 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
any coments on this spinning?
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-bd-loop.html
(Don't know how to make a direct link)

How is the shear on the Jamaica blob?
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 67 Comments: 7198
114. tornadoty
2:33 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
Your welcome, hurricanechaser.
113. tornadoty
2:32 AM GMT on October 14, 2005
I did not mean to insult you hurricanewatcher. In fact, your correction wasn't up when I typed that comment. But, Mitch's damage wass from freshwater flooding, not surge. And yes, it really doesn't matter in the end what intensity a hurricane is. Any hurricane can be destructive.

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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.