Tropical disturbance forms in Western Caribbean

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:35 PM GMT on May 31, 2007

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A large area of disturbed weather developed over the Western Caribbean last night. This disturbance is bringing winds of up to 55 mph over the ocean, according to the 7:07am EDT pass of the QuikSCAT satellite. The NOAA Buoy off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula recorded winds this morning at 30mph, gusting to 35mph. There is no circulation evident on QuikSCAT or satellite loops, but the disturbance does have the potential to develop into a tropical depression by Saturday as it moves to the northeast over Western Cuba and South Florida. Wind shear is a not-too-unfriendly 10-20 knots, and the shear is expected to remain at these levels through Saturday. Thereafter, most of the models are indicating that the disturbance will get caught up by a strong trough of low pressure with high shear that should stop further development, and sweep the system northeastward out to sea. I doubt this system has enough time to get organized into a tropical depression before wind shear rips it up, but the disturbance should bring welcome heavy rains to South Florida over the weekend. Lake Okeechobee recorded its record lowest water level yesterday--8.97 feet (about 4 feet below normal). This was the lowest level since record keeping began in 1931, according to a Miami Herald article this morning. The lake has been dropping about 1/2 per rainless day. I expect about an inch of rain over the area this weekend, which should temporarily stabilize the lake water level.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of the Western Caribbean tropical disturbance.

Dr. Bill Gray/Phil Klotzbach hurricane forecast due later today
I'll be posting an updated blog around noon EDT today, when the latest seasonal Atlantic hurricane forecast by Dr. Bill Gray and company will be out. I'll also post an update on the Western Caribbean disturbance.

June outlook and the Barometer Bob show
I'll be posting my forecast for the first two weeks of June tomorrow (June 1). I plan to offer 2-week hurricane activity forecasts on the 1st and 16th of each month (except August 1, when I'll be on vacation). These forecasts will have the probability of hurricane formation for the coming two weeks, where the hurricanes will go if they form due to the prevailing steering currents, plus a look at how sea surface temperatures, wind shear, the trade winds, and dry air coming off of Africa are affecting hurricane formation in the Atlantic.

Tonight, I'll be a guest on the Barometer Bob Show, if you want to hear a sneak preview of my outlook for the first two weeks of June and hear about the tropical blob in the Western Caribbean. You can listen at barometerbobshow.com, or dial in via their toll-free number 1-866-931-8437 (1-866-WE1THER).

Jeff Masters

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240. HIEXPRESS
11:20 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Here on Lk Monroe, on the St. John's River in Central & North East Florida, the 3rd highest and the 2nd lowest water levels (stage) were in the same year, 5 months apart.
Historical Crests
(1) 8.50 ft on 10/15/1953
(2) 8.14 ft on 10/11/1960
(3) 7.47 ft on 10/04/2004
(4) 7.32 ft on 10/13/1948
(5) 7.30 ft on 09/28/1945

Low Water Records
(1) -0.4 ft on 04/05/1945
(2) 0.1 ft on 05/29/2004
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
239. WKendallGuy
6:07 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
hurricane23, (or anyone, I know h23 is near me)

Any esti-guess on winds for Miami? Working on my fence.

tks
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236. MahFL
4:32 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
1 to 2 inches of rain is not going to end the drought in Florida though....
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235. rwdobson
4:26 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
It makes sense that the precip would be spread out over a pretty wide area...this is not going to be a tightly-coiled storm.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1588
234. MTJax
4:15 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Last night but it still counts. Look at the NAM rain accumulation through sunday:

through sunday
233. IKE
4:13 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: MTJax at 11:08 AM CDT on May 31, 2007.
About rain in NE FL


MTJax...that's from last night.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
232. Hellsniper223
4:13 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Haha. I'll wishcast w/ ya IKE. I live in FWB and it hasn't rained here in.. Well.. I don't know.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
231. homegirl
4:12 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
new blog up
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230. WPBHurricane05
4:12 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
New Blog
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
229. IKE
4:11 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: Hellsniper223 at 11:09 AM CDT on May 31, 2007.
IKE where do you live?


Panhandle of Florida...Defuniak Springs...and yes, I'm wishcasting this to move north. Now if it's got 50-60 mph winds..no...someone else can have that. Just want rain.

The HPC seems to think it will move north from what I've read.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
228. StormHype
4:10 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Are there warnings up for SW FL coast yet guys? I've already planning my chase and have reserved a room in Naples for Friday night. Sony in zip-lock, beefaroni packed, and car gassed up. Thanks for all your inspiration.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1200
227. weatherboykris
4:10 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
I haven't seen this much deep convection in that area since Alberto.
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226. weatherboykris
4:09 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: MTJax at 4:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2007.

GFS has been dismissed by the HPC several times with this storm. They are focusing on the NAM.


Yeah,I think the NAM is likely going to be right as well.
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225. hurricane23
4:09 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Look how massive the convection is now extending out to...

fff
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224. Hellsniper223
4:09 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
IKE where do you live?
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223. MTJax
4:08 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
About rain in NE FL

It's an all out model war/mayhem. Here's what's clear: moisture continues to increase in a band from the Gulf of Mexico south into the Caribbean. So we have the moisture -- that's obvious. Question is where will it go and when & how will an area of low pressure develop/move.
The range in model positioning of the low is from the Eastern Gulf to almost the Bahamas which has huge implications. Here are some links to check out a couple models yourself:
The NAM: http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/nam/12/images/nam_slp_084l.gif
The GFS: http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_slp_084l.gif
These are both from the 8am model run & are valid at 8pm Sat. The NAM shows low pressure in the Eastern Gulf & lots of rain moving up the Peninsula; the GFS shows no low, just a trough from the Caribbean through Cuba to between W. Palm & the Bahamas with the rain concentrated much farther south & east. The 2pm NAM forecast model has shifted a couple of hundred miles southeast (http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/nam/18/images/nam_slp_078l.gif) but still clearly shows low pressure & more rain over Fl. The differences would be much more rain via the NAM lasting into Sun. while the GFS would be far less rain including a dry Sun. And this is just 2 models...the European, Canadian, UKMET & NOGAPS can also be thrown into the mix. These all show an area of low pressure & are closer to the NAM solution (farther west & north). So there's the forecasting dilemma. How do we try to make heads or tails of it?! Well, we can start by looking at what we know is there now. This would include the obvious large area of moisture & there also seems to be a weak surface low just off the Yucatan Pensinsula. There's also a trough/upper level disturbance diving through Texas which will eventually move into the Gulf Coast & parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The models have initialized/analyzed all this pretty well with though the GFS looks a little "sluggish" (weak) on these features. So taking this into account + a "diving" trough from Texas, I'm leaning toward some kind of compromise or middleground, consensus in other words, which would mean a low moving across Florida this weekend with rain for the First Coast at least Sat. into Sun. morning but the heaviest rains might end up across Central & South Fl. in this scenario UNLESS the low can get farther north. There is some chance this low might become a hybrid of sorts, or subtropical but significant tropical development seems unlikely at this point. Stay tuned! We could also take into account typical model biases which in the case of the GFS in past years has been to move tropical systems to much & too quickly to the right or east. But there has been some tinkering with the model this year so it remains to be seen if the east bias is still there.

Published Wednesday, May 30, 2007 6:25 PM by mburesh
222. IKE
4:08 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: yesterway at 11:06 AM CDT on May 31, 2007.
I guess it's safe to assume based on the latest language that north Florida will not see rain from the low moving northeast?


It's forecast to move north...yes...north Florida should get rain.
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221. yesterway
4:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
I guess it's safe to assume based on the latest language that north Florida will not see rain from the low moving northeast?
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220. FloridaScuba
4:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
GFS has landfall near Ft. Myers.

Woo Hooo!!! hmm, wonder what i'll wear? :)
219. MTJax
4:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
GFS has been dismissed by the HPC several times with this storm. They are focusing on the NAM.
218. IKE
4:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 11:04 AM CDT on May 31, 2007.
GFS has landfall near Ft. Myers.


I think the GFS is going to be wrong. Looks like a landfall further north and west.
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217. weatherboykris
4:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
That was an hour and a half ago kman.
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215. homegirl
4:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
No Kris, I'm laughing with gulfscotsman.
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214. weatherboykris
4:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Shear forecast.

Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
213. kmanislander
4:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Cancun says NNE @ 5 mph
Is this not correct ??

Link
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212. weatherboykris
4:04 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
GFS has landfall near Ft. Myers.

Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
211. fldoughboy
4:04 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
I really don't think this will make past TD#2 status. There are shearing winds in the East Central part of the gulf according to the weather forecast yesterday.
210. Patrap
4:04 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Cancun,Mex radar..Link
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209. hurricane23
4:03 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Nice few of the banding takeing place...

fff
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208. weatherboykris
4:02 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Given the Cancun observation,I'd put the low further to the NW,thelmores.
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207. IKE
4:02 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: Patrap at 10:58 AM CDT on May 31, 2007.
60 hour GOM wind forecast too...they a changing. Link


The winds are stronger. Still heading toward NW Florida.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
206. weatherboykris
4:02 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: COHurricanes2007 at 4:01 PM GMT on May 31, 2007.

Why is everybody starting to post the same thing... the nhc's special trop. disturbance. It gets annoying. It seems ppl just want to get attention.


Calm down,man.They just all did it so close together they didn't know the others were posting the same thing.
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205. WPBHurricane05
4:01 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
What season had the most sub-tropical storms?
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204. COHurricanes2007
4:01 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Why is everybody starting to post the same thing... the nhc's special trop. disturbance. It gets annoying. It seems ppl just want to get attention.
203. thelmores
4:00 PM GMT on May 31, 2007


maybe it's me..... but I can almost see some ccw rotation here. Could 92l be getting more organized??
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202. kmanislander
4:00 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
It is asymmetrical because of shear
Link
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201. weatherboykris
4:00 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Oh wait....were you laughing at my post?Ok then,continue laughing.LOL
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
200. TheCaneWhisperer
4:00 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Also, in Dr. Grey's Forcast, did you notice that Andrea will not be included in the final tallies!
199. WPBHurricane05
3:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Well tropical or not someone is going to get rain.
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198. weatherboykris
3:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Posted By: homegirl at 3:58 PM GMT on May 31, 2007.

ROFL!!


Well if you'll laugh at nothing,I'll laugh at nothing.LOL!
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197. Joshfsu123
3:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
That is what I am seeing.... this system has a better chance to develop as a "hybrid" or non-tropical low than a tropical system. Already, the low pressure area looks to be off to the west of most of the thunderstorm action and has a curved (comma) look to it.

It can still develop as a tropical system but won't do so in the Gulf of Mexico. We shall see.
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196. Patrap
3:58 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
60 hour GOM wind forecast too...they a changing. Link
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195. homegirl
3:58 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
ROFL!!

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194. IKE
3:58 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
But if it's a non-tropical low...it shouldn't be named.
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193. weatherboykris
3:57 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
So...I geuss the main blog has finally started to get active for the season.We've had nearly 200 posts in just over 2 hours.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
192. WPBHurricane05
3:57 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
CONDITIONS WOULD LIKELY FAVOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT AS A NON-TROPICAL LOW. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...THIS SYSTEM SHOULD BRING HEAVY RAINS ACROSS WESTERN CUBA AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
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191. HurricaneFCast
3:57 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
Dr. Masters Will post a new blog soon.. So You should be ready to switch blogs soon.
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190. Patrap
3:56 PM GMT on May 31, 2007
SHes a jelling.Good read. Heres the GOM SSt's next 60 hours..Link
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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.