No tropical depression yet near Jamaica

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:48 PM GMT on October 15, 2005

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The broad 1005 mb low pressure area centered just south west of the island of Jamaica has become better organized this morning. The areal coverage of the deep convection continues to increase. Some weak upper-level outflow exists on the west and north sides of the system, and a weak upper level anti-cyclone has developed on top. Wind shear is still decreasing, and is now about 5 knots over the storm. All signs point to development of a tropical depression by Sunday, and a tropical storm by Monday. One complicating factor may be the presence of Jamaica so close to where the center is trying to form. This may slow development by half a day or so at most, since Jamaica is a relatively small island. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system at 4 pm EDT today.

Global computer models forecast that the shear will continue to remain low the next several days over the western Caribbean, where the disturbance is expected to remain. If the system can remain in the western Caribbean for five days, the chances of it growing to hurricane strength are good. The latest GFDL model run even suggests that major hurricane status is possible.


Figure 1.
Early model tracks for the Jamaica disturbance.

Steering currents are expected to remain weak the next five days, and the computer models have a variety of solutions, so pick one:

GFS model: A weak tropical storm with a slow WSW motion, with landfall in Belize in seven days.

UKMET model: A hurricane with a slow WNW motion, winding up in the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula in seven days.

NOGAPS model: Same as GFS, a weak tropical storm with a slow WSW motion, and a landfall in Belize in seven days.

GFDL model: A hurricane that moves WSW and stays in the Western Caribbean the next seven days.

Canadian model: Slow WSW motion as a tropical storm, then sharp northward turn and intensification into a hurricane as it crosses Cuba and passes just offshore Miami through the Bahama Islands.

If this system does eventually affect the U.S., the most likely target would be the Florida Keys or west coast of Florida, as there are many troughs of low pressure whizzing by that would grab this system and steer it to the northeast once it gets far enough north.

Cape Verdes tropical disturbance
A tropical disturbance about 500 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands is experiencing high wind shear that will prohibit development for the next few days as it tracks west-northwest over the open ocean.

Katrina's winds revisited
In my last blog entry on this subject, we discussed the Florida Sun-Sentinel article commenting on new findings that indicate Katrina was only a Category 3 hurricane at first landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi, and a Category 1 hurricane over New Orleans. The article was rather imprecise in its use of the Category system for ranking hurricanes, and I interpreted the article to mean that Katrina was a Category 1 at landfall in Mississippi. Upon re-reading the article, I think what they were trying to say was that Katrina had Category 1 force winds over New Orleans, not that the storm itself was a Category 1. As several of you have pointed out, it is pretty difficult to have a hurricane with a 927 mb pressure (Katrina's pressure at landfall in Mississippi) with just Category 1 winds. Katrina was a least a strong Category 2, and perhaps a weak Category 3 hurricane at landfall in Mississippi. While Katrina did have unusualy high winds aloft compared to surface winds (which NHC noted on one of their discussions during the storm), this difference was not enough to make Katrina a Category 1 hurricane at landfall in Mississippi. Sorry for sowing the confusion!

My next post will be Saturday afternoon about 5pm.

Jeff Masters

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211. seflagamma
9:57 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
This is great people. I leave to do some work (I am at work today) and all I asked before I left is that SE Fla stay out of Wilma's way....but noooooo....all those cutsey outdoor items I finally put back outside where they belong last week may have to come back inside next week....

Really, thanks to all of you that kept up with this and put your postings and predictions. I get a kick reading all of your predictions. With the way this year has gone; nothing is too wild to not come true....
Will keep lurking...
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 299 Comments: 40929
210. paweatherfan
9:27 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Masters has a new posting
209. PCBguy
9:24 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Do you guys think the panhandle is in the clear?
208. hurricanechaser
9:21 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
I think I wil do the same Turtle..hav'nt updated mine since last night.
be bk guys
207. subtropic
9:21 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
This one reminds me (a little) of hurricane Irene. (1999). For those that are interested and don't know the track for Irene, check out this Link
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
206. hurricanechaser
9:20 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
If the trough doesn't dig far enough south and misses it...the Northern Yucatan isn't out of the woods yet..but its looking like the biggest threat is to sw and extreme south Fl.
205. turtlehurricane
9:18 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
i hav updated my blog, it inludes my td 24 forecast
Member Since: July 22, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 469
204. caneman
9:18 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Not another one!
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
203. hurricanechaser
9:17 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
That places Tornado Lefty and Myself in agreement to a POSSIBLE threat to sw and southernmost Fl. as a possible major hurricane which seems most likely on the intensity.
202. tornadoty
9:16 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Lefty, the GFDl has been calling for strong cat. 4/5 for several runs now, it's scary.
201. hurricanechaser
9:16 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
yep Lefty...the center of my predicted path..is soth fl...but my cone of uncertainty runs from Port Charlotte southward through Fl. straits similar to Michelle in 2001.
200. leftyy420
9:14 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
i think its more of a threat to the southern tip of florida id any threat. waiting for the next run of the gfdl. the latest continues to blow up a cat 5 storm so will like to see what it says.

also usc looking horrible. nd taking it to them. hope usc loses so vt will move up into second place
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
199. hurricanechaser
9:14 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
weathermaster I ammended that with my earlier assessment forgot my early prediction would bring it to Orlando..I was simply focusing on landfall which I feel is possible south of Port CHarlotte to Fl. straits.. thats a very narrow cone this far out..leaves lots of room for error of course.
I agrre with your observation..a path very very similar to CHarley and its as logical as any other right now..can't even rule out as far north as Cedar Key just yet, although Id be extremely surprised.
198. tornadoty
9:11 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
This could turn out to be the whipped cream and cherry on top of the ice cream cone from hell.
197. hurricanechaser
9:11 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
thats right..thanks for that..if as far north as Tampa..a problem for Grandparents I'm afraid :(
196. MysteryMeat
9:11 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
That is one poorly written public advisory. Jeez, get a copy editor on the case!

Question -- why is it regular posters here seem to always "predict" extreme storms making landfall in highly-populated areas? I recall someone doing an NHC-style forecast advisory for Rita that had it peaking at 215 mph sustained, never mind no storm has ever had max winds at 200 even. I'm honestly expecting someone to predict that Wilma will split Florida in two forever, seperating Disney World and EPCOT center in seperate states.
Member Since: September 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 260
195. weathermaster
9:10 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
chaser I hope your right... but this doesnt look good at all
194. hurricanechaser
9:10 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
I did mention Port Charlotte area ..lol..so Orlando on a ne motion would get another hit..:)
193. tornadoty
9:09 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
I actually live in Schererville, IN, about 25 mi SE of Chicago, but my grandparents live in Ocala. Who you are thinking of is groundedtruccr, who we were talking to last night and lives in Port Charlotte.
192. hurricanechaser
9:08 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
hey weathermaster..it could be but id say more likely south of that.
191. weathermaster
9:06 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
oh no im in orlando ..is it just me or does this like like a hurricane charley path??
190. hurricanechaser
9:06 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Tornado..please forgive me if I should already know this answer..I don't remeber exactly where you live..or was that Port CHarlotte>?
189. hurricanechaser
9:04 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Id place the cone right now anywhere from northern Yucatan to the Bahamas to keep watch..with the real threat being Cuba naturally, then sw Fl. from Port CHarlotte south to the Fl.straits...more likely Fl. straits than Port Charlotte. It wil depend on how deep the trough dips and where the storm is located when it gets picked up..noone knowws those answers yet and wont for the next 3-5 days.
188. tornadoty
9:03 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Great minds think alike hurricanechaser.
187. tornadoty
9:02 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Did I mention that I want to be VERY wrong?
186. hurricanechaser
9:01 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Thats like the GFDL and GFS agreeing on a similar path:)
185. tornadoty
9:01 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
This is absolutely one time that I want to be VERY VERY VERY wrong.
184. hurricanechaser
9:01 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Actually thats in line with my earl;y assessment that you see below.
183. hurricanechaser
9:00 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Oh Tornado,, I took your advice and sent a message to Dr. Masters.
182. tornadoty
9:00 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
My first call for this storm: Naples, Sunday the 23rd, cat. 3 (120 MPH winds). Just a preliminary guess.
181. hurricanechaser
8:59 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
good job tornado..:)
180. tornadoty
8:58 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Hey hurricanechaser, the NHC thinks like me nowadays, look at the predicted path.
179. hurricanechaser
8:58 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Its so early so we are all speculating right now including the NHC..huge cone as well it should be. HOwver, it does appear that this storm may be recurving and more of a threat to sw FL. and the FLA. straits.
178. tornadoty
8:57 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
I'll update you tomorrow code1 with my thoughts.
177. quakeman55
8:57 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Yep...somebody's gonna be screaming "WILLLLMAAAAAA!!!!!" sounding like some Fred Flintstone during the ending theme. Like we've said before, the females have sure been trouble this year!
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
176. hurricanechaser
8:56 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Hey everyone...I guess the gym wil have to wait till tomorrow...I got caught up in analyzing the depression.
175. code1
8:55 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
I know it is too early to forecast with any specific authority, but, going back to Miami from the panhandle on Monday. Driving this time in order to take my dogs. Don't want to be stuck in the interstate parking lot coming home. Should I leave the dogs and fly or drive and take my chances? Please update tomorrow so that I can change travel plans if needed. Thanks guys!!!!!!!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
174. tornadoty
8:52 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Code1, we have TD 24, NHC expects cat. 2, maybe "a dangeroud hurricane". Turns it in Gulf.
173. tornadoty
8:51 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
From the discussion:

"All indications are that there could be a dangerous hurricane in the northwestern Caribbean Sea in the next 3 to 5 days."
172. code1
8:50 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Update torn, leftyy, quick, soup is on, may need it earlier now!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
171. tornadoty
8:48 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Crap Lefty, NHC calls for turn into GULF. Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap.
170. code1
8:48 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
Leftyy, recon analysis?
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
169. cirrocumulus
8:48 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
It looks like the Caribbean is forming another storm. Last hour looks strong. Enough energy from the southwest and south central Caribbean seem to be feeding in to the storm.
Member Since: September 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1606
168. tornadoty
8:46 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
HERE WE ARE FOLKS TD 24:

Link
167. TropicalExpert
8:45 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
IT IS OFFICIAL...TROPICAL DEPRESSION 24!
166. ndcohn
8:39 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
The Sun Sentinal Article also suggests peak intensity was 141mph... ridiculous for a 902mb central pressure and max fl winds at 160kt. Im sure there is dropsonde data which directly contradicts that assessment, if somehow flight level winds and the pressure arent good enough (which they are).
165. seflagamma
8:37 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
lefty, you got an update yet? Appears we are all waiting on you to get in here with the latest.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 299 Comments: 40929
164. tornadoty
8:35 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
I'm back. What's the latest status on the system?
163. code1
8:07 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
You too Chaser. Finn, I AM JEALOUS!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
162. hurricanechaser
8:06 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
ok before I go..who wants to go chase this one with me if it makes a dramatic turn to threaten these areas..if interested.. leave me a comment in my blog or mail...I'll only be going if its north of Tampa to east of Pensacola... which is not likely but I have to go because Im a free lance videographer for Fox news so its my job..hopefully not too strong to threaten lives or property.
161. leftyy420
8:02 PM GMT on October 15, 2005
winds rotating around a defined center would be considered a closed circulation. also the center should be the area of lowest pressure in the storm
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987

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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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