Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:05 PM GMT on November 12, 2005
The rains have diminished over Panama today as the area of disturbed weather in the south-central Caribbean has weakened. The intensity and areal coverage of the disurbance has decreased since yesterday, although there are still some intense thunderstorms moving ashore along the Nicaraguan coast. Wind shear has increased from 15 to 20 knots since yesterday and contributed to the weakening.
Some slow development of this disturbance is still possible over the coming week, as wind shear values are expected to fall starting Monday. The UKMET and NOGAPS models are still showing a tropical storm forming between Nicaragua and Jamaica by Thursday, but the GFS model is no longer predicting this. The earliest a tropical depression would be likely to form is Tuesday. Friday or later is a more likely bet.
Figure 1. GFS model forecast five days from now, showing a tropical disturbance with copious rainfall (bright green and yellow colors) near Nicaragua. However, the GFS is no longer showing a closed isobar of surface pressure around the rain area, indicating that this is not forecast to be a tropical storm. Click here to see the full GFS forecast for rainfall and surface pressure for the coming 14 days in the Caribbean.
The rains should ease off in Panama and Costa Rica today, which have seen some impressive rainfall amounts the past three days. Some rainfall totals for the 72 hours ending at 7 pm Friday night:
Limon, Costa Rica: 210 mm (8.29 inches)
Jaque, Panama: 166 mm (6.54 inches)
El Porvenir, Panama: 151 mm (5.94 inches)
I'll be back with an update Sunday morning.
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