Wet subtropical storm possible for Florida this weekend

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:29 PM GMT on October 05, 2011

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A large low pressure system with heavy rains is expected to develop over Cuba and South Florida on Saturday. The counter-clockwise flow around this low will bring strong winds and heavy rains to much of the Florida coast on Saturday, and these conditions will spread northwards to Georgia by Sunday and South Carolina by Monday. Most of the models develop this system into a tropical or subtropical storm, but the potential location of such a storm is still murky. The ECMWF model predicts the storm will form in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday, then move north into the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday. If this track verifies, the oil rigs off the coast of Southeast Louisiana may experience a one or two day period of sustained winds above tropical storm force Monday or Tuesday. The GFS and NOGAPS models put the storm on the other side of Florida, over the Northwestern Bahamas, and predict the storm will move northwards and hit North Carolina on Wednesday. The UKMET model is in-between, developing the storm right on top of Florida. Since the storm is going to be getting its start as a cold-cored upper-level low pressure system with some dry air aloft, it will probably start out subtropical, with a large band of heavy rain developing well north of the center, bringing heavy rains to a wide region of the Southeast U.S. Subtropical storms cannot intensify quickly, due to their lack of an organized inner core. If the storm follows the path of the GFS model, it could be similar to Subtropical Storm Four of October 4, 1974. That storm brought 10 - 14 inches of rain to the east coast of Florida and strong onshore winds of 30 - 40 mph that caused beach erosion and coastal flooding. The extended forecast discussion from NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center has a more technical discussion of this coming storm for those interested.


Figure 1. Rainfall forecast for the 5-day period ending at 8 am EDT Monday, October 10, 2011. The storm system affecting Florida this weekend is expected to bring up to 7 inches of rain along the coast. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Tropical Storm Philippe no threat to land
In the middle Atlantic, Tropical Storm Philippe is about to interact with a frontal system and turn northeastward out to sea. Satellite loops show Philippe is a small system with a modest amount heavy thunderstorm activity, with the surface circulation partially exposed to view by wind shear. Wind shear will remain in the moderate range today, which may allow the storm to intensify into a hurricane, as predicted by several of the intensity forecast models. By Thursday, wind shear will rise to a very high 30 - 50 knots, which should cause rapid weakening. Philippe will not trouble any land areas.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Philippe. The band of clouds to the northwest of Philippe is associated with a cold front that is expected to absorb the storm and recurve it to the northeast on Thursday.

Jeff Masters

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61. 7544
Quoting wpb:
...HOWEVER UNCERTAINTIES ON WX CONDITIONS FOR SUNDAY STILL
PRETTY HIGH. THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN THROUGH THIS
PERIOD...ESPECIALLY ACROSS EASTERN AREAS OF SOUTH FLORIDA



for this weekend darn tia
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Miami NWS Discussion

.LONG TERM...SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY...TOUGHEST PART OF THIS
FORECAST PACKAGE. LONG RANGE MODELS SHOW A WEAK UPPER LOW
DEVELOPING JUST SW OF THE LOCAL AREA BY FRIDAY NIGHT AND MOVING
SLOWLY WESTWARD. ACCORDING TO GFS AND TO SOME DEGREE, THE ECMWF,
THIS LOW SHOULD INTERACT WITH THE STRONG LOW LVL MOIST ATLANTIC
FLOW TO FURTHER ENHANCE THE SHOWER ACTIVITY. GFS NOW HAS A SFC LOW
DEVELOPING ALONG THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY MENTIONED BEFORE, BUT
FURTHER WESTWARD. IN FACT MOVES IT NORTHWARD OVER THE FLORIDA
PENINSULA. 00Z ECMWF STILL POINTS TO A DEVELOPMENT OVER THE ERN
GULF OF MEXICO. THIS, OF COURSE, PRODUCES TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS.
GFS NOW SHOWS THE HEAVIEST PRECIP OVER CENTRAL FLORIDA SATURDAY
THROUGH SUNDAY AS A CONVERGENCE BANDS DEVELOPS NORTH OF THE
DEVELOPING LOW. ECMWF, ON THE OTHER HAND, HAS A BAND DEVELOPING
ACROSS THE LOCAL AREA AS THE LOW BEGINS TO DEVELOP JUST NW CUBA
SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY. DECIDED TO INCREASE THE CHANCE FOR RAIN
ALL AREAS SATURDAY TO ACCOUNT FOR THE INCREASED EAST FLOW AND THE
POSSIBILITY OF THE SFC LOW BEING JUST SOUTH OR SOUTHWEST OF SOUTH
FLORIDA...HOWEVER UNCERTAINTIES ON WX CONDITIONS FOR SUNDAY STILL
PRETTY HIGH. THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN THROUGH THIS
PERIOD...ESPECIALLY ACROSS EASTERN AREAS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.

THE STRONG EAST FLOW WILL ALSO RESULT IN AN INCREASED RISK OF RIP
CURRENTS AND POSSIBLY BEACH EROSION ALONG THE ATLANTIC BEACHES
THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

.MARINE...MARINE CONDITIONS SHOULD CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE WITH
WINDS AND SEAS STAYING IN THE CAUTION CRITERIA TONIGHT BUT
POSSIBLY REACHING SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY CRITERIA BY FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10971
59. wpb
...HOWEVER UNCERTAINTIES ON WX CONDITIONS FOR SUNDAY STILL
PRETTY HIGH. THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN THROUGH THIS
PERIOD...ESPECIALLY ACROSS EASTERN AREAS OF SOUTH FLORIDA
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Looks like the GFS 12 tracks farther W with potential developement.
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30 day temperature forecast for the Caribbean showing the very warm water sticking around as the next MJO moves through. The Caribbean does not seem to cool off much anyway. Even during the winter months.
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Nuts. I have my golf club championship in Orlando this weekend, I got my mother-in-law to come up from Naples to help with my 3-year-old while I'm out, and I may have just wasted a favor if we get washed out.
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I think Philippe will have an ACE above 13 by the time he is done.
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Meanwhile, check out that noreaster in the Canadian Maritimes. Very impressive looking.

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WHY is there some haze and dust in the Lesser Antilles in October! And where is the rain.. ? This is usually the wettest month.. It looks like june (dust) and march (dry). So bored!
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52. 7544
Quoting Keys99:
NWS Key West Calls This a REX BLOCK

"LONG TERM (FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY)...
GUIDANCE AGREES ON THE GENERAL IDEA OF A PRONOUNCED REX BLOCK
CONFIGURATION TAKING SHAPE ACROSS EASTERN NORTH AMERICA DURING THE
LONG TERM PERIOD..."


what does that mean lol
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It will be better for Florida if a strong low does not develop for a lot of reasons. Not getting strong winds is one. But the other is that if a strong low develops subsidence near the low may cut off rainfall. A big breezy disorganized soaking would be best for all concerned I think!
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Thanks for the update Dr. Masters..
Been dry my way..could use some of that "L" developing moisture..then i can winterize my yard and plants.
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49. 7544
Quoting Seflhurricane:
if some of the models verify we would see very heavy rain 2-4 Inches with higher amounts and very gusty winds 20-30mph ( can change if system forms quickly ). but in general near TS conditions


ok gthanks ill agree with you if this does form fast nhc will have to rush to put up warnings prob the same day it develops iots too close to home not too thanks again
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Quoting 7544:
what can south fl expext from this in the miami area tia
if some of the models verify we would see very heavy rain 2-4 Inches with higher amounts and very gusty winds 20-30mph ( can change if system forms quickly ). but in general near TS conditions
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47. 7544
what can south fl expext from this in the miami area tia
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Levi by the way looks to me if something forms the NHC would have to issue TS Warnings rather fast since it would form very close to florids
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2990
Quoting Seflhurricane:
levi for some reason i believe the only 2 areas to see for development IMO is in the central/Nw bahamas and the NW carribean convection has been stewing there for days with that old front ??


That's the general area where we should see development begin.
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both systems in the epac might turn north twc just said
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4317
Quoting Levi32:
To be blunt, this may be a situation where we have to throw out the Canadian and NOGAPS models for considering specific track and intensity. These two models have a big problem with tropical processes that occur north of the subtropical jetstream. As a result, they always try to start development south of the jet, no matter how ridiculous it looks when they do it. They are doing it here again and it is unrealistic.
levi for some reason i believe the only 2 areas to see for development IMO is in the central/Nw bahamas and the NW carribean convection has been stewing there for days with that old front ??
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2990
To be blunt, this may be a situation where we have to throw out the Canadian and NOGAPS models for considering specific track and intensity. These two models have a big problem with tropical processes that occur north of the subtropical jetstream. As a result, they always try to start development south of the jet, no matter how ridiculous it looks when they do it. They are doing it here again and it is unrealistic.
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most direct impacts should be on fl's east coast ,w/breezy lighter rains along the west coast
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
the low will form off cubas north central coast imo or maybe evenoff the south central coast imo
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
I think you may see further wavering of the models. FWIW, Joe Bastardi does not seem to believe in the Gulf solution.
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hopefully not just a tease the system to the south of mexico does have potential seems like it is well on the way to status
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4317
GFS and NAM form a low right over Florida. It will be interesting if we see another shift so this Low can get in the Eastern GOM.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6043
Quoting OrchidGrower:
Really hoping you guys are right (Jedkins, et al) about a West Florida formation/track being more likely. I know here in the Cape Coral area I'm not ready to see the rainy season come to an end yet!


I wish we had a rainy season year round! I hate continuous drier weather patterns. Rain makes everything on land better! Green plants and lots of life. That's why I love the jungle, well, the mountains in jungles are nicer cause its still just as wet, if not wetter, just cooler and less mosquitoes!

It looks like we have a big rain maker coming in, which is nice cause October is normally a pretty dry month in Florida. But even in the dry season, we can get big rain makers on occasion! Ive had a ton of rain this wet wet season so I don't need any more, but I will certainly take more!
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The GFS has actually shifted West now most recently, which makes sense.
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Blocks in meteorology are large scale patterns in the atmospheric pressure field that are nearly stationary, effectively "blocking" or redirecting migratory cyclones. They are also known as blocking highs or blocking anticyclones.[1] These blocks can remain in place for several days or even weeks, causing the areas affected by them to have the same kind of weather for an extended period of time (e.g.- precipitation for some areas, clear skies for others).[2] In the Northern Hemisphere, extended blocking occurs most frequently in the spring over the eastern Pacific and Atlantic oceans.[1]

Similarly in northern Europe anticyclonic blocks over western Russia and Scandinavia during the winter months can bring sub-zero easterly winds on their southern flanks, sometimes extending into the Atlantic ocean and forcing the prevailing jetstream as far south as Portugal and Spain. Northern and Western European severe winters such as 1947, 1962-3 and 2009-10 are caused by such blocks. Blocking highs were a key feature of the extreme winter droughts in south-eastern Australia in 2006 [3]
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Really hoping you guys are right (Jedkins, et al) about a West Florida formation/track being more likely. I know here in the Cape Coral area I'm not ready to see the rainy season come to an end yet!
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Cut off Highs and Lows

When an upper level high or low pressure system becomes stuck in place due to a lack of steering currents, it is known as being "cut off". The usual pattern which leads to this is the jet stream retreating to the north, leaving the then cut off system behind.[6] Whether or not the system is of high or low pressure variety dictates the weather that the block causes. Precisely this situation occurred over the southwestern United States in late spring and early summer of 2007, when a cut off low system hovering over the region brought unusually cool temperatures and an extraordinary amount of rain to Texas and Oklahoma (see June 2007 Texas flooding).

If the block is a high, it will usually lead to dry, warm weather as the air beneath it is compressed and warmed; and rainy, cooler weather if the block is a low.[6]
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so hopefully texas gets some rain acc/ to twc the developing tw in the e pac has a good chance of moving north eventually texas
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4317
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I agree that we;re more likely to see development west of Florida over the Gulf. This is because the general surge of southerly air will situate itself between the yucatan and cuba, thereby enhancing vorticity to the west of the surge...


Exactly, and most of the time low pressure does initiate on the tail end of fronts because its easier for counter-clockwise flow around low pressure to occur there. Its also often where the last area of greatest lift remains along a stalled boundary. I don't see any signs of how low pressure would form in the Bahamas, it seems kind of what the NWS refers to as "spurious generation" of low pressure.
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Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, October 5th, with Video
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Quoting entrelac:
I was looking at the smoke column last night thinking, "What has Bastop done to anger the powers that be?". They just can't seem to catch a break out there.


Probably a bunch of kids knowing is was windy day and saw what happened last time...
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Quoting Jedkins01:
I'm not really sure why most people keep talking about the system forming on the East side of Florida so much as if that is the consensus. I mean, there isn't exactly a consensus at all yet, but if there was one, it would be on the West side of Florida. Why? Well, the GFS is really the only main model showing it forming in the Bahamas and moving up the East Coast. Whereas multiple models are saying it will move right up over Florida or on the West side of Florida.

Furthermore, look to the South, what makes most since to you, low pressure initiation between Cuba and Mexico, the Florida straights, or the Bahamas? The Florida Straights over to between Mexico and Cuba are more likely places for low pressure formation, not only because there is more lift over that part of the stalled front, but also because the tail end of fronts is a classic place for cyclone formation.

I'm not saying it won't form on the east side of Florida, but that seems the least likely of the solutions, which is why I'm not sure why the HPC is going with that thinking. The local NWS offices in Central and South Florida also make note that low pressure on the tail end of fronts is more common rather then it forming further east.


Anyways, we shall see.
I agree that we;re more likely to see development west of Florida over the Gulf. This is because the general surge of southerly air will situate itself between the yucatan and cuba, thereby enhancing vorticity to the west of the surge...
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Thank you Dr. Masters,appears the sunsine state is going to be so sunny this holiday weekend.


I guess it could pass as sarcasm. :)
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I'm not really sure why most people keep talking about the system forming on the East side of Florida so much as if that is the consensus. I mean, there isn't exactly a consensus at all yet, but if there was one, it would be on the West side of Florida. Why? Well, the GFS and NOGAPS are really the only main models showing it forming in the Bahamas and moving up the East Coast. Whereas multiple models are saying it will move right up over Florida or on the West side of Florida.

Furthermore, look to the South, what makes most since to you, low pressure initiation between Cuba and Mexico, the Florida straights, or the Bahamas? The Florida Straights over to between Mexico and Cuba are more likely places for low pressure formation, not only because there is more lift over that part of the stalled front, but also because the tail end of fronts is a classic place for cyclone formation.

I'm not saying it won't form on the east side of Florida, but that seems the least likely of the solutions, which is why I'm not sure why the HPC is going with that thinking. The local NWS offices in Central and South Florida also make note that low pressure on the tail end of fronts is more common rather then it forming further east.


Anyways, we shall see.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Bastrop County:

Almost exactly to the date of the devastating Bastrop Complex Fire which burned 1649 homes, a new fire started yesterday about 3 miles north of the northern end of the previous fire along FM 2336 near Camp Swift. The fire has burned 1,000 acres since yesterday afternoon requiring an evacuation of 30 homes and is 25% contained
I was looking at the smoke column last night thinking, "What has Bastop done to anger the powers that be?". They just can't seem to catch a break out there.
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Monday, wave forecast model

Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6043
Thx Doc
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4927
Just for fun I looked up my city FT. Myers and compared it to Philadelphia and Pittsburg (Total number of days with sun per year)

Ft. Myers - 266 days
Philadelphia - 205 days
Pittsburg - 162

Pittsburg must be a gloomy place.Over 200 days per year without sunshine.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6043
Quoting rmbjoe1954:


???


Wow,I guess I better start proofreading what I write.

I meant to say Looks like the sunshine state is not going to be so sunny this holiday weekend.
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Quoting poikoo:
what is tampa area expecting?
So far just breezy conditions and a decent chance of showers.
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NWS Key West Calls This a REX BLOCK

"LONG TERM (FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY)...
GUIDANCE AGREES ON THE GENERAL IDEA OF A PRONOUNCED REX BLOCK
CONFIGURATION TAKING SHAPE ACROSS EASTERN NORTH AMERICA DURING THE
LONG TERM PERIOD..."
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Quoting BullShoalsAR:

It's called having a sense of humor, Big Joe.


It's always sunny in Florida as well as in Philadelphia.
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It sure would be nice if this low would develop a little further west so Alabama could get some rain out of it. We're still about 6" below normal and I sure don't see much else on the horizon that can help us.
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Guess I need to make sure the bilge pump on the boat is operational, throw out an extra line or 2 and clean out the gutters on the house....
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Thank you Dr. Masters,appears the sunsine state is going to be so sunny this holiday weekend.


???
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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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