Tropics heating up

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:00 PM GMT on November 10, 2005

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The persistent area of low pressure and storminess that has affected the ocean areas between Panama and Nicaragua has expanded today and become better organized. A weak circulation at mid levels of the atmosphere was evident on visible satellite imagery this afternoon, as was some upper-level outflow to the north. Intense thunderstorms now cover much of Panama and the surrounding ocean areas, and these storms will bring heavy rains to Panama and Costa Rica the next two days as they move westward at about 10 mph. Wind shear over the area is about 10 knots, which may allow some slow development over the next few days. The GFS computer model continues to show that early next week this area of disurbed weather may start to move slowly northward and develop into a tropical storm.


Figure 1. GFS model forecast seven days from now, showing a tropical storm with copious rainfall (bright green colors) forming in the south-central Caribbean Sea.

It is highly uncertain what land areas might be at risk if such a development does occur. The three main possibilities would be:

1) A track like Hurricane Beta into Nicaragua.

2) A track like Hurricane Michelle in 2001, which struck southern Cuba then passed northeastwards through the Bahamas.

3) A track like "Wrong-Way Lenny" of 1999, the only hurricane ever recorded that took an extended west-to-east path through the Caribbean.

Anything that works its way far enough north is going to get picked up and quickly recurved northeastward by one of the many troughs of low pressure migrating across North America. This means that except for a low threat to South Florida, the U.S. would not be at risk. Additionally, given that there has only ever been one storm knicknamed "Wrong-Way", the eastern Caribbean would probably not be at risk, either. I'll be able to spend my vacation in Puerto Rico next week at the beach, instead of taking shelter at the Internet Cafe and writing blog entries. The primary area at risk would be Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Hispanolia, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands.

I'll be back with an update tomorrow morning. Remember that the computer models are rather poor at forecasting tropical storm development, and nothing at all may develop next week. But given that this is the Hurricane Season of 2005, I'd give at least 50/50 odds we'll see a Tropical Storm Gamma by late next week in the central Caribbean.

Jeff Masters

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34. caneman
2:38 PM GMT on November 11, 2005
Death to tropical blobs. Death To Gamma. May the gods of wind shear tear you to pieces!
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
33. billsfaninsofla
2:00 PM GMT on November 11, 2005
Taco... thanks for caution.. roofer came highly recommended and licnesed and insured.. it's scary though, hate having to make these decisions under such circumstances, however when you have mold growing indoors and no roof over your head, (or at least not much of one), these decisions must be made..
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5795
32. ProgressivePulse
8:31 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
What you see in Dr. Masters post is Friday of next week. During that time "said system" is forcast to cross or almost to cross into the pacific. After that the GFS suggests that it will loop back to the carribian and travel N to NW. These Forcasts will not happen until next week so have a great weekend as will I, night all.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
31. ProgressivePulse
8:21 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
GFS is hinting on a comeback of that system, back into the carribian.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
30. ProgressivePulse
8:19 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Hey theBlur, the storm they are THINKING will develop is early to mid next week, convection passing to the pacific right now will pass.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
29. theboldman
6:35 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
hey progressive stop trying to be GOD and controlling the other people trying to be GOD
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
28. weatherluver18
6:25 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
ahhhhhhhh debate here tooo evrywere i go
27. ProgressivePulse
6:19 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Seen a post about a company claming to have reduced and changed Rita's path and intensity. I am outraged at this, be it true, who plays GOD. Hurricane's, unfortunatley damaging, cleanse the earth. The more crap we produce the bigger the storms get. You start to limit the storms they will not clean what they are supposed to. People choose to live in Hurricane Belts, you limit the earth's ability to cleanse itself we are all screwed.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
26. jetra2
5:49 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Sweet...

From a meteorological (sp?) standpoint, at least!
25. ProgressivePulse
5:46 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
All I have to say is "Please God, No".
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
24. Hecker
4:45 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
The circulaation looks to be over land right now. Will this one belong to the Atlantic or to the East Pacific if it develops? The signs look ambiguous to me.


Member Since: June 29, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 311
23. weatherluver18
4:35 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
names not jeff is that your name
22. weatherluver18
4:35 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
huh just honoring the holiday is that wrong or something
21. OSHNBLU
4:31 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
we've all had enough storms...all of Fl lets hope Gamma Rays don't develop. however, we have had such a season...anything is possible. and without storms what will we blog about?
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 117 Comments: 5218
20. BahaHurican
4:30 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
A spelling correction, Jeff:

nicknamed rather than knick-named . . .

Or did u do that on purpose?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
19. weatherluver18
4:29 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
18. dcw
4:27 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Math is getting really confusing. Sines of Alpha, Tangents of Beta, and now you're going to mess me up with a Gamma? :hate:
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
17. theBlur
4:21 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Back to the potential storm, no, I do not think it will develop into much. Too much dry air on the NW side (I like to think that the upper air moisture is a good key to development/direction, but that is just me).

Don't think this will be a Γ (that's an upper-case gamma for the non-greek collegians among us).
16. 8888888889gg
3:33 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
i like the iwin web pages i am on it all the time they can not do that
15. taco2me61
3:06 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Hey Billsfan,
Be real careful about who you pay too, there has been alot of people lose there money that way...(just a thought) and I also agree with you I know we can't even have a strong storm either...
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
14. billsfaninsofla
2:56 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
CG, Taco.... and everyone......ditto.... what's left of our roof will not survive anything stron...... and TRY to get temp housing in Broward County????? LOL........has new meaning Lots of Luck...even though we don't have insurance money (yet) we're hiring a roofer tomorrow and giving him a deposit..... out of our pocket but I can't wait for them..
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5795
13. taco2me61
2:20 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
I agree with you cgables, that would be just the end of it for me... I think we have had enough... Heck I am still waiting on my insurance to send me money to fix what I lost from Katrina...and I know no one in s fl needs anymore either...
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
12. cgableshurrycanegal
2:12 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
taco, we are so shell-shocked here in So FL this would be the final insult, a REALLY late season hit...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
11. cgableshurrycanegal
2:09 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Dr. M, Your first time to PR? Beautiful island. I hope you see more than San Juan. Esp. more than a shelter or Internet Cafe! ::G::
We are still doing alot of clean-up here and there are still a number of folks w/out power... let alone the displaced people (10,000+) that are being bounced about from pillar to post while the authorities try to decide where to house them, and others who haven't left their condemned homes...
We don't need to be the only slim possibility on a potential Gamma hit parade... ugh...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
10. taco2me61
2:08 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
cgables,
I think the same way >>> just fade away, we have had enough...
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
9. cgableshurrycanegal
2:04 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Hi All,
What a trio of scenarios. Let's let it not be Gamma...
Just fade away you yucky blob, you...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
8. matilda101
1:55 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Gamma what about possible Gamma next week?
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
7. taco2me61
1:53 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Hi all is there anyone on here tonight???
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
6. squeak
1:21 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
I can see what the shear analysis says, but since late this aft it has looked to me like there is less than 10kts shear south of 10N right north of that bend of western Panama. That is where you're seeing some rotation isn't it (west of 80W).
5. code1
1:13 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
NO TO GAMMA!!!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
4. code1
1:11 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Dr. M, hope you have a great vacation and will not have the need to blog! Take some much needed rest with your family.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
3. theboldman
12:39 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
dont tell me is there a chance of another devlopment
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
2. SMU88
12:37 AM GMT on November 11, 2005
Where does Dr. Masters get that GFS model? I went to the National Hurricance center's version and it does not look like that one.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 29

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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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