Eye on Jamaica

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:08 PM GMT on October 14, 2005

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A broad 1006 mb low pressure area is centered just south of Jamaica this morning, and is a definite threat to develop into a tropical depression over the next few days. Some impressive thunderstorms have developed to the south of Jamaica this morning, and the general organization of this system has improved since yesterday. This is largely due to the fact that wind shear overhead has dropped from 15 knots yesterday to 10 knots today. No upper level outflow or low-level spiral banding is apparent on satellite imagery yet.

Global computer models forecast that the shear will continue to decrease over the area Saturday and Sunday, and I think it is 70% likely by Monday that a tropical depression will form. Steering currents are very weak, and the disturbance is expected to stay in the central or western Caribbean for at least the next five days. This is a set-up typical of what we've seen in the past for the formation of late-October hurricanes. It would be no surprise if this system ended up becoming a hurricane five to seven days from now. Water temperatures are still very high--up to 32 C near Jamaica--so the ocean can even support a major hurricane, although this is rare in late October.

The eventual track of any tropical storm or hurricane that forms is impossible to forecast with any reliability, since steering currents are very weak and a some erratic motion is likely. The various computer models either keep the storm in the Caribbean the next seven days, or move it northeast across Cuba and the Bahamas, or move it west or southwest across Central America or Mexico's Yucatan. In other words, anything can happen.


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

Cape Verdes tropical disturbance
A tropical disturbance about 500 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands continues to slowly improve in organization. Visibile satellite imagery and QuikSCAT satellite winds suggest that a surface circulation may be forming here, and some modest upper-level outflow has developed to the north. The system is headed towards an area of low wind shear, which may allow some further development over the next few days as it tracks west-northwest over the open ocean. Tropical storms developing this far east in mid-October are very rarely a threat to the Caribbean or North America.

New England
New England continues to suffer the onslaught of a very wet stream of tropical air from the southeast that has caused nine straight days of rain. The axis of moisture has shifted slightly eastwards today, finally giving New York City a break from the 6 - 8 inches of rain that has fallen the past two days alone. This tropical onslaught will continue moving northeast over the weekend before exiting northern Maine on Sunday.


Figure 2. Lots of rain in the Northeast the past week, but currently just a few areas of major river flooding, in New Jersey.

I'll have an update this afternoon around 3pm, and follow-up then on my post yesterday about Katrina's winds.

Jeff Masters

Flooding Oct 2005 Wayne NJ (wascalwabbitt)
Under water,,,again,,,a view from a different portion of the development
Flooding Oct 2005 Wayne NJ

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132. SAINTHURRIFAN
8:56 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
quick thought tornody curious why you doubt bastardi? if you read his column daily which he updates 4 times a day and see how far in advance he predicts these systems that kind of amazes me although if you said that about masters i could see your point, the final straw was that katrina nonsense he should have not even brought that up, all i can say and a lot of oters have brought out this point bastardi is very good and i agree with lefty and others about masters have a nice day.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 709
131. avlos
8:53 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
dcw.... no offense but major hurricanes in mid to late october are not uncommon in this area .... 2 that come to mind in the last 10 years are Michelle and of course Mitch, and then in early November we had backwards Lenny a few years ago. I personally dont consider that rare, but that's just me.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 8 Comments: 131
130. IKE
8:50 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Dr. Masters has started a new blog.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
129. rwdobson
8:48 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Ok, I was wrong (or just being contrary). That thing does look a lot more impressive on the water vapor loop. It's a TD now, if not now, within the next 24.

And UVa will shock FSU this weekend....
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
128. tornadoty
8:44 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Hi dcw,
I am going to wait about another hour or so before I consider issuing advisories. The situation is right on the border, and though the NHC is not my crutch, I would just like to see what they say.
127. LakeWorthFinn
8:40 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
oooops, threat to FL, things really change in a heartbeat as far as weather is concerned!
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 67 Comments: 7392
126. dcw
8:37 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
The Amateur Hurricane Center
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
125. dcw
8:35 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
I have initiated advisories on the Jamaica system:

Tropical Depression 25Y 4:30 PM EDT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Satellite and Microwave imagery show that the low pressure system south of Jamaica has become much better organized this afternoon...and now has sufficient banding and convection to be classified as a Tropical Depression. For those who did not read the designation convections...the '25Y' means that I am declaring it the 25th Tropical Depression of the season, and the NHC has yet to declare it as TD25. The center is difficult to pinpoint, as the depression is still in the formative stage.
Steering currents are very weak...so only a slight northwesterly drift is shown through 72 hours...after that, the system should pick up some speed and move toward the Yucatan Peninsula or Channel.
The intensity forecast calls for strengthening to a Tropical Storm in 24 hours...a Hurricane in 48-72...and reaching 85kt by 120 hours. Note that a Major Hurricane...though very rare in mid-late October...is a distinct possibility, as the waters of the Northwest Caribbean are very warm.
The likelihood of a Tropical Storm necessitates a Tropical Storm Watch for the island of Jamaica

Initial: 18.0N 78.0W 25kt
12 Hour: 18.5N 78.0W 30kt
24 Hour: 19.0N 78.5W 40kt
36 Hour: 19.5N 79.5W 50kt
48 Hour: 20.5N 80.5W 55kt
72 Hour: 21.0N 83.0W 65kt
96 Hour: 21.5N 87.0W 75kt
120 Hour: 23.5N 90.0W 85kt
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
124. LakeWorthFinn
8:33 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Hi everyone, all leaves are off from trees in Finland. Last year snow came when they were still green. Getting cold here, MISS MY PALM TREES! Will be back in FL in ten days. Dr. Jeff, thanks for reassurance on the future outlook for us living in FL, I just pray the this Jamaica blob will get some winds to move it fast, so it won't stall for days and days like Mich did. Uhhhh.
torn, seems we WILL get at least to Alpha. Though that's cool, but as I said above, I DO NOT HOPE SO given the danger to those on their way.
I'll be glad to spend Xmas in FL, while there's only 4 hrs of daylight in southern Finland at that time, and the sun doesn't even rise for weeks and weeks 800 miles up noth in Lappland.
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 67 Comments: 7392
123. pirateotobx
8:27 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
well at least here on the coast of North Carolina I can relax and not worry 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....
122. billsfaninsofla
8:21 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Torn........ thanks for the link...hope Joe is wrong about a Florida strike..
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5653
121. Hawkeyewx
8:16 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
The surface pressure in Kingston, Jamaica, on the southeast coast of the island, has fallen to 1005 mb and they are reporting a light north wind. There is another blowup of deep convection just off the southeast coast, so this thing does appear ready to develop. Someone mentioned there is still sw shear inhibiting development, but I see absolutely no sw upper level wind over the center. The outflow appears to improving steadily.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1924
120. tornadoty
8:15 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Though I don't normally agree with Bastardi, he has described in his column today what I think is going to happen with the system in the Caribbean:

Link
119. billsfaninsofla
8:12 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Tornadoty... and I think we all agreed months ago that this season doesn't want to conform to the norm...anything goes
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5653
118. rwdobson
8:02 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
As a consultant I am thinking of adding that to every deliverable...it should definitely be on every internet post...
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
117. napleswx
7:46 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Actually that is graphic from South Florida Water Management, but yeah I know what you mean. LOL
116. tornadoty
7:42 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Good afternoon, everyone!

I think that within the next three days, both of these systems will be named, and, going out on a limb here, I think that they will BOTH eventually become hurricanes. The Caribbean storm is in an infamous area for hurricane formation, and the other system is going to be in a rare favorable Eastern Atlantic enviornment (rare for mid-October, that is).
115. rwdobson
7:38 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
I like that Navy link: "if anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product". aye aye captain.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
114. napleswx
7:32 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Ok, Navy has an invest on the system. The area is now 98L, here are some early model plots. Models
113. rwdobson
7:23 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Maybe I'm just being contrary, but that thing near Jamaica has a ways to go before it becomes a TD. Still too much SW flow aloft. If the trough moves out and this thing sits under an upper high, then it may develop.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
112. phelp
7:18 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
let me just say how unbelievably cool people are who have the ability to post first. congratulations!
111. kerigangirl
7:09 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Yeah, the GOES link still shows the rotation... even looks
like it had a small eye. Looks like to me on the last frame
the eye is making landfall now. Strange. Thanks again all.
110. stormydee
7:06 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
well, Im done for now too...catch up with everyone later. :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
109. napleswx
7:05 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Well, Smurfette was the only female I ever saw. Who knows, I suppose we may find out once they have settled into the community.

Anyone know if the Navy has named this blob an investigative area yet, and if so what is its number? The site seems to be down right now.
108. stormydee
7:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
weatherspirit Link 12 hour loop from my area, there seemingly was a little rotation with it earlier, but its gone now...its been raining and the clouds have been hustling all week...I just want the rain to stop so I can see the sun tomorrow. :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
107. weatherspirit
7:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
well, off to work guys... Have fun!
106. weatherspirit
6:57 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Stormy, some of the old internet pages on Google have some radar images from Jamaica. It's probably broken, but that's why the NHC should help them repair it.

Now, closest Sat picture to Jamaica, definitely seeing some outflow and cyclonic circulation over Jamaica (bottom right corner). This might also be nothing, but it looks like a small surface low coming down the East coast of Florida. Things that make you go hmmmm...

Link
105. stormydee
6:57 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
well Naples, I thought Smurfette was dead? There has to be other females...unless they are asexual...eew!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
104. buckeyefan1
6:54 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Thanks stormy!! I'll be back..no more fun at the receptionist desk!! Back to the "cave". Be right back!!
103. napleswx
6:49 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
So Stormy, if they are multiplying then Smurfette must be a busy woman, are they all taking turns?
102. stormydee
6:47 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
spirit, maybe they are getting one soon...did you ever see their radar before? I didn't know they even had one...
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
101. Weathermandan
6:45 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
nope no boat lol only snow tubes....
100. stormydee
6:44 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Wow Dan, do you have a boat? Sounds like you need one...
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
99. weatherspirit
6:43 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
the frustrating thing is, the Jamaica Met Service Link doesn't either have a working radar or they're not publishing it...

98. Weathermandan
6:43 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Nine Consecutive Days of Measurable Rainfall in Mount Place, NY

6pm Wednesday (Rosh Hoshanah) 10/5 to 6pm Thursday 10/6: 0.01
6pm Thursday 10/6 to 6pm Friday 10/7: 0.02
6pm Friday 10/7 to 6pm Saturday 10/8: 0.72
6pm Saturday 10/8 to 6pm Sunday 10/9: 1.75
6pm Sunday 10/9 to 6pm Monday (Columbus Day) 10/10: 0.19
6pm Monday (Columbus Day) 10/10 to 6pm Tuesday 10/11: 0.18
6pm Tuesday 10/11 to 6pm Wednesday 10/12: 4.88
6pm Wednesday 10/12 to 6pm Thursday (Yom Kippur) 10/13: 1.56
6pm Thursday (Yom Kippur) 10/13 to 2:30pm Friday 10/14: 3.94

Nine Day Total: 13.25
97. stormydee
6:42 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
uh oh Naples....they are taking over the state! I wonder how quickly they multiply? Like rabbits? :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
96. buckeyefan1
6:42 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
I know the feeling!! Installation cord, and head of service department that gives no time for anything!! jack of all trades :)
95. napleswx
6:40 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Come to think of it Stormy I have noticed a few mushrooms popping up around the yard and my dog going crazy for them. Also, there is an old man next door who does have a strange resemblance to Gargamel. Hmmmm... I wonder.
94. stormydee
6:39 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
buck u got mail
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
93. stormydee
6:37 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
interesting weatherspirit, winds going in different directions...come on Wilma!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
92. stormydee
6:36 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Oh, were incorporated all right...and its not that small of a job, it does keep me busy most of the time...its just the nice title Im allowed to have, makes me feel special. :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
91. weatherspirit
6:36 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Kingston 77 F / 25 C 89% 29.74 in / 1007 hPa Light Thunderstorm Rain NW at 18 mph / 30 km/h 1:00 PM EST

Montego Bay 82 F / 28 C 89% 29.71 in / 1006 hPa Light Thunderstorm Rain East at 5 mph / 7 km/h 1:15 PM EST


Latest obs for Jamaica... they are an hour old however...
90. buckeyefan1
6:33 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Ok jamica blob.. let's get you a name!!
89. buckeyefan1
6:31 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
No job to small!! LOL I'd love to be in a small office!!
Corporations and the hassle.. not worth it! :)
88. buckeyefan1
6:30 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
I'm always looking for great welders for our stores!! I don't have many across the US, but every little bit helps!! Drop me a line, and I will keep the number handy!!
87. stormydee
6:24 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
oh, I don't do the welding, they do everything, you name it, dream it, see it - they can make it, fix it, or tell u its not worth the time. :-)
I just handle the book keeping. I get to call myself the Office Manager...feels like such a big title for such a small job.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
86. stormydee
6:22 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
So, Naples, seen Papa Smurf or any others arond Naples? Having mushrooms popping in your yard? If you do, please don't step on them, after all that bombing, they need a break and somewhere they can feel safe....We americans will let anything into our country, we are nice like that.
PS- I don't think it was Papa Smurf I got earlier, no white in the blue on the bottom of my shoe and it smelled like poo...must been smurf doo. :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
85. buckeyefan1
6:20 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Yea-worked for about 5 years there!! Couldn't stand the feeling of giving less than what people would pay for!!
Welding...what type? moble,tig..
84. stormydee
6:16 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
Buckeye - u did the insurance thing too? Sucked! Even got my license and then realized, how can I possibly stoop so low to take all this money for pushing papers....the insurance industry is just w-r-o-n-g!!! I remember learning about it..ya, your protecting your future...its all about money and its just evil...not my cup of tea...not that welding is either, but at least its more honest!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
83. buckeyefan1
6:16 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
If the shear stay's low like it's supposed to..this should be Wilma
82. stormydee
6:11 PM GMT on October 14, 2005
No, Link floater 1 on Bermuda and Link floater 2 over the gulf..if only they'd move it south some...to Jamaica...maybe they will soon...
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517

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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.