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 , 2:38 PM GMT on November 01, 2006
An area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean is associated with a tropical disturbance (93L). This disturbance has not gotten better organized over the past day, but has some potential for development over the next two days. The system does not have a well-defined surface circulation, but there is a sharp shift in wind direction along a line running from the western tip of Cuba down to the coast of Honduras, roughly along 85W longitude. QuikSCAT satellite-measured winds from 6:33pm EST last night were in the 20-30 mph range. This morning's QuikSCAT pass missed 93L, and we will have to wait until about 8:30pm EST tonight for the next pass to arrive. 93L will be near buoy 42056 at 20N 85W today. Winds at the buoy have been less than 15 mph the past two days. Wind shear increases from about 5 knots near the coast of Honduras to about 30 knots near Cuba. It is possible a well-defined surface circulation could develop along this wind shift line over the next day or two, but it is unlikely we'll see a tropical depression form. If a depression were to form, it would most likely affect Honduras, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatan, since wind shear is too high to the north. The disturbance should bring heavy rains to Belize, Honduras, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday through Friday. At this time, it does not appear that 93L will affect South Florida, although moisture from the surface trough of low pressure 93L is embedded in will increase the chance of rain through Friday. Wind shear is expected to stay above 40 knots over the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas over the next seven days, which will protect those regions from any tropical storms.
Figure 1. Preliminary models tracks for the Western Caribbean disturbance.
Typhoon Cimaron has re-intensified to a major Category 3 storm, but its days of glory are numbered. The same trough of low pressure that is currently acting to steer the storm northwards towards Hong Kong is also expected to bring high wind shear over the storm beginning Thursday, and there is a good chance that Cimaron will get torn apart before it reaches China. Cimaron killed 19 people in the Philippines when it hit the mountainous northern portion of Luzon Island on Sunday. The storm injured 58 others, left 15 people missing, and damaged more than 5,000 homes.
Figure 2. Rainfall estimated by NASA's TRMM satellite for Typhoon Cimaron yesterday.
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