Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra

Arlene makes landfall; Watching the Caribbean again next week

By: Levi32, 2:24 PM GMT on June 30, 2011

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No video today. My body rebelled and made me sleep past my alarm.

Tropical Storm Arlene is making landfall as I type south of Tampico, Mexico as a 65mph tropical storm. The overall idea spoken about here starting June 13th that the southern Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean would have to be watched during the last week of June worked out pretty well, and the forecast for Arlene to make landfall near Tampico verified nicely as well. Yesterday I became more receptive to the idea that Arlene could become a minimal hurricane after she became vertically stacked and had a minor center relocation that appeared to give her a bit more time over water. However, her broad center which I had previously cited all day to be the reason she would not attain hurricane status prevailed, and she was unable to strengthen during the final 12 hours before landfall. Arlene will bring flooding rains to Mexico during the next couple days, both good news for the drought and bad news because flooding destroys lives and property.

Looking ahead...The Atlantic will be a busy place during the first week to 10 days of July. The UKMET is being particularly aggressive with the MJO strength in phase 1 over the next two weeks, implying strong upward motion over the tropical Atlantic. The upper-level pattern over the Atlantic is an amplified one right now, consisting of the ridge associated with Arlene over the Gulf of Mexico, a sharp upper trough east of that over the west-central Caribbean, and yet another upper ridge east of that trough over the eastern Caribbean. It is this latter ridge that we will be watching next for mischief developing underneath. A healthy tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles Islands is firing convection, aided by the upper divergence east of the upper trough in the Caribbean. It will be following the upper ridge east of this trough for the next 4-6 days, and we may have to watch this wave carefully in the NW Caribbean for possible mischief during that period early next week. Of note is that if anything were to develop from this wave, with the Texas ridge shifting west next week, any system in the NW Caribbean would move up into the central Gulf of Mexico, east of where Arlene went.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 2:30 PM GMT on June 30, 2011

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Tropical Storm Arlene forms, will make landfall tomorrow morning

By: Levi32, 2:38 PM GMT on June 29, 2011

**Update as of 5:40pm CDT**

From the latest vortex fix, it appears that Arlene did perform some sort of a center reformation, though it wasn't really that much of a relocation, because it hasn't really made a net movement since 14z this morning. It was at 95.5W then, and it is still at 95.5W now. It is slightly farther north at 21.3N. What probably happened was the center dived southwestward like we saw on the vortex fixes earlier, and now it has reformed slightly to the northeast. This has given Arlene a few more hours over water with which to strengthen, and it has also gotten the low-level center nearly vertically stacked with the mid-level center. With Arlene no longer being decoupled and having extra time over water, hurricane intensity seems more likely to be attained later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

**Update as of 2:20pm CDT**

Arlene looks like a gradually, not rapidly, intensifying tropical storm, probably approaching 50kts intensity now. The mid-level center is displaced slightly NNE of the surface center, which may even be a bit elongated SSW to NNE itself. Gradual intensification will probably continue until landfall. A minimal hurricane cannot be ruled out, but to me seems less likely if Arlene follows the NHC track. A slight reformation of the surface center slightly northeastward is possible as well, which would prolong Arlene's time over water and would result in more time to intensify, making hurricane strength more likely. Either way, Mexico is facing a strong tropical storm that is capable of delivering problems.

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The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season can be officially welcomed in, as Tropical Storm Arlene has formed in the Bay of Campeche. She was upgraded yesterday, skipping TD status, a bit sooner than I thought, but she did get upgraded as expected. Arlene struggled with little convection through last night, but this morning has begun firing lots of deep convection around the center, and is starting to acquire the beginnings of a core structure. The recon is still finding a broad center with the wind maxima well-removed from the center. The low-level center also appears to be slightly displaced southwest of the mid-level center, showing a decoupling that may limit intensification in the near-term. The NHC brings Arlene up to 50kts (60mph) before landfall, which is certainly possible if the system can tighten up a little bit in the 18-24 hours it has before landfall. The recon shows the central pressure is down to 1000mb. The upcoming 10am CDT advisory may not upgrade the winds from 40mph based on recon data, but later today Arlene may be up to 50mph. The upper-level environment, as advertised, has become a lot more favorable for intensification since yesterday, although there is still a little bit of dry air to the northwest of the storm. The main issue with Arlene will be rainfall, as despite the fact that Mexico really needs the rain, too much of it too fast can still cause problems for folks. A 60mph tropical storm can also cause issues with wind along the coastline. Arlene will be coming into the Mexican coast just south of Tampico sometime tomorrow morning. Refer to the National Hurricane Center for the latest advisory information for your area.

Elsewhere...The GFS, UKMET, and most of the other model sets are showing a strong MJO pulse remaining over the Atlantic through the next two weeks. The first 10 days of July are likely to remain active in the tropics, and we may have to watch for further opportunities for tropical development in either the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. A progressive pattern of upper ridges and lows marching east to west will provide pockets of favorable conditions for development, and we will be following these pockets as they travel across the basin. More to come on that after Arlene clears out.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 95L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 95L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 12:20 AM GMT on June 30, 2011

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Invest 95L likely to develop into a tropical depression tonight or tomorrow morning

By: Levi32, 1:15 PM GMT on June 28, 2011



****Tropical Storm Arlene has formed in the Bay of Campeche, forecasted by the NHC to reach 50kts prior to landfall just south of Tampico, Mexico. Please refer to the National Hurricane Center for the latest advisory information****

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Our area of disturbed weather in the southeast Bay of Campeche has been tagged invest 95L, and is slowly organizing this morning. The system remains broad, with a low-level circulation center that may not yet be closed, and convection is not taking a structured pattern yet. However, pressures at the buoy in the middle of the BOC are falling as winds increase, and 95L will likely continue to gradually strengthen today. Upper-level conditions remain marginal as an upper trough to the northwest is still impinging dry air and southwesterly wind shear upon 95L, but this upper trough will be moving out of the way during the next 24 hours, and 95L may find itself beneath very favorable upper-level conditions by tomorrow afternoon. A recon plane is scheduled to investigate 95L later this afternoon if it is not canceled by the NHC, so we will hopefully get a better look at this system.

Given the current rate of organization, I see no reason why this shouldn't be at least a tropical depression before landfall near Tampico, Mexico sometime Thursday morning. The BOC's coastline shape is notorious for helping infant systems wind up fast, so despite the broadness of this monsoonal depression, we may very well see Tropical Storm Arlene form out of this before landfall. Overall, heavy rainfall will still be the main issue for central America and Mexico, though Mexico will be mostly happy to see such rain.

I give 95L a high chance of becoming a tropical depression within the next 48 hours.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 95L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 95L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 12:12 AM GMT on June 29, 2011

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Tropical disturbance still has a shot at development in the Bay of Campeche

By: Levi32, 1:21 PM GMT on June 27, 2011

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The area of disturbed weather we have been monitoring for a few days now has moved inland over the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. A broad area of cyclonic circulation is evident, centered near the southeastern coast of the Bay of Campeche (upon looking up the pronunciation after the video, I have been correct all along in saying "Kam-pay-chay" lol). The system is rather disorganized at the moment, owing to the fact that it is over land, and also due to upper-level winds being unfavorable at the moment. A sharp upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico is forcing dry air towards the system from the northwest, and is imposing up to 30 knots of wind shear over the system out of the southwest. This will change during the next 48 hours as the trough over the Gulf of Mexico splits, leaving a piece to back WSW away from the Bay of Campeche. This will end up ventilating the area, allowing an upper ridge to balloon over the area of low pressure that will then be over the water. With an upper-level low over the central Caribbean helping to ventilate the area as well, conditions aloft will be conducive for tropical development. Given that the models show the low having at least a couple days to cross the Bay of Campeche, it will have a decent shot at trying to become tropical depression #1, though that cannot be guaranteed. Only the ECMWF truly develops it at this point.

Regarding track, my ideas have not changed at all over the past several days. I remain confident that the models had shifted too far south a couple of days ago, and will eventually be forced to shift northward as the ECMWF has in the last 3 runs. Landfall should be near the Tampico area on the central Mexican coastline. My landfall window right now looks to be from about 50 miles south of Tampico to 100 miles north of Tampico. Landfall should be between 48 and 60 hours from now. Regardless of development, this system will be only a rainfall threat, as the slow mover is capable of delivering heavy localized rains to portions of central America that could cause problems. If it comes far enough north, we may even be able to hope for some isolated bands of rain to come into extreme southern Texas.

We shall see what happens!



Invest 95L Model Tracks:



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 8:18 PM GMT on June 27, 2011

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Tropical development still possible in the Bay of Campeche this week

By: Levi32, 5:33 PM GMT on June 26, 2011

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An area of disturbed weather over the Yucatan and western Caribbean continues to be the main feature of interest this afternoon. This feature remains disorganized, and will be moving over the Yucatan Peninsula later today, halting any attempts at organization. The NHC mentions it in the TWO as having a 20% chance of development within the next 48 hours. While most of the models have completely dropped the system due to keeping it inland over central America, I still feel those solutions are too far south, and this will be able to remain over the waters of the Bay of Campeche for a short time as it crosses over to the central Mexican coastline, roughly in the area of Tampico. This means that this system still has a shot at development, albeit a low one. The only model that has come to agree with my forecast is the ECMWF, which now shows a 1003mb low making landfall near Tampico in 96 hours. If I had to choose one model to agree with my forecast above the others, it would be the ECMWF, so this increases my forecast confidence somewhat.

I show in the video why the upper-level environment should become conducive for development while our system is in the Bay of Campeche. With the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico leaving and splitting off, a piece will be backing southwest and ventilating the western gulf. An upper low in the eastern Caribbean will also be providing an equatorward outflow channel to the east, further ventilating the area, allowing the heat buildup from the monsoonal circulation to balloon into an upper anticyclone that would provide favorable conditions aloft over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Overall, I believe this system has a low chance of development, but it still has a chance, and will be coming in farther north than most of the models currently have it. Heavy rains will be the only real concern with this system, as if it develops it will be hard-pressed to get any stronger than a tropical depression. Central America and Mexico will have to be aware of potential flooding as this system moves slowly across the area over the next few days.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Caribbean feature has slight chance of development, but mainly a rainfall issue

By: Levi32, 6:25 PM GMT on June 25, 2011

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The SW Atlantic basin continues to look active this afternoon. An area of convection off the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras is associated with a tropical wave which is interacting with the monsoon trough draped across central America. This feature is being interrupted by the land mass, and this will be the main limiting factor that keeps this from significantly developing. There is also a competing circulation in the eastern Pacific, which is there because central America is in the way. The monsoon trough extends up into the Caribbean, oriented SW to NE, and it's this northeast end of the trough that generally gets most of the surface convergence, as that is where the monsoonal southwesterlies collide with the ESE trade winds. If central America were not right there, the monsoon low would consolidate near where eastern Honduras is. However, since land is there, there is a region of stability and sinking air because the land is much cooler than the water, and thus not all the air can rise near the Caribbean side. As a result, the rest of the air is forced to rise in the eastern Pacific instead, the other body of warm water, which is why we have a secondary low. This low may get drawn northwestward into central America to get tied up with the Caribbean portion over the Yucatan eventually.

The track of this system won't matter a whole lot, but I do think it will get some time over the Bay of Campeche and make landfall near or a little south of Tampico, Mexico. The time spent here after crossing the Yucatan probably won't be enough to get development, but there is still a slight chance that this could try to organize into a tropical depression by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week while it is over the BOC, and thus we will continue to watch it just in case. Regardless, this system will be mainly a rain issue for central America and Mexico.

Looking ahead...the MJO is not going anywhere yet, and the active pattern will continue in the Caribbean area into the first week of July. More discussion on that will come next week. The GFS also tries to resurrect our current system and bring it back north over the Gulf of Mexico out of central America by Day 8, a solution I am inclined not to believe, since it brings it straight towards the Texas ridge which is still sitting directly north of the system by that time on the model. If the ridge shifts, however, we may have to watch for something to come out of central America, but that is a while away yet if it will happen.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Southwest Caribbean getting active; Central America to take the brunt

By: Levi32, 1:25 PM GMT on June 24, 2011

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The southwest Caribbean is starting to look a little more active this morning as the tropical wave we have been talking about is starting to interact with the monsoon trough near central America, and cyclonically curved convective bands are now developing north of Panama. Wind shear is still high over the area, but as convection fires, the released heat is expected to form high pressure aloft over the area and balloon northwest in the path of the system, providing a more favorable environment for tropical development. Some of the convection is on the Pacific side, which will make it harder for this system to fully consolidate in the Caribbean without getting tied up with central America right away. We will have to see if and where a center of low pressure tries to develop, but this system may not get a whole lot of time over water before running into the Yucatan.

After crossing the Yucatan, most of the models show weak development in the Bay of Campeche, though almost all of the models have shifted quite far south since yesterday, keeping it in the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico. I feel they may have shifted a little bit too far, but again it's hard to say without a defined system yet. Minus being tied up with land, the environment will be supportive of tropical development, and with enough time over water, it's possible we could get tropical depression #1 out of this system, and possibly even Arlene if it is not too slow to organize, though these monsoonal systems usually are. One can see how this pattern is coming together for this last week of June as we have been discussing, and evidence of mischief is already showing up. Central America will have to watch this system closely for heavy rainfall and possible flooding over the next several days.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Watching for tropical trouble in the western Caribbean

By: Levi32, 1:42 PM GMT on June 23, 2011

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The tropics remain fairly quiet today. An area of convection over the western Gulf of Mexico is associated with a frontal boundary and a left-over vort max generated by TS Beatriz, and is not a threat for tropical development. We will be watching a tropical wave currently over the central Caribbean along 72W as it enters the western Caribbean, interacting with a monsoonal low near Panama. The models are almost unanimously in agreement on tropical development resulting from this interaction, bringing a tropical depression or storm into the Yucatan Peninsula, and then across into the western Gulf of Mexico. Until we actually start to see the tropical wave start to interact with the monsoon low, there's not much else to be said about the possibility of development. The pattern favoring this has been talked about here since June 13th, and we will just have to see whether we actually get something to develop out of it.

Should something develop, the upper-level steering pattern is very similar to that which steered Hurricane Alex near the same time period last season. Based on the timing the models are currently forecasting, Mexico would be the most likely target, though again, until we actually have something developing, we won't know the exact timing of the system with the upper-level features. A strong ridge moving east over the plains out of the southwestern US will be the main steering influence, with a weakness over the eastern US being the tricky feature. The exact position of the ridge, along with the timing and speed of any potential tropical storm, will be key to the eventual track. Right now I don't see this system curving northward towards the central or eastern gulf coast, but will likely be forced to curve westward into the western gulf coast. Texas should stay alert for this, but Mexico is favored the most in this pattern. Mexico will get hit anyway if this is developed before crossing the Yucatan. I go into this steering pattern in detail in the video. Landfall projections are a bit premature at this time, and again, we must wait to see if we actually get development first of all. I will continue to monitor this situation closely as it evolves.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 12:12 AM GMT on June 24, 2011

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Tropical development possible by next week

By: Levi32, 3:12 PM GMT on June 22, 2011

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The tropical Atlantic remains fairly quiet today. A low-amplitude tropical wave is moving across the Antilles Islands, and will be interacting with a small monsoonal circulation near Panama in 4-5 days. This interaction will have to be watched closely for possible stirring up of mischief in the western Caribbean. This may be the focus area of potential development, as the models are all starting to hint at this area spawning our first storm. The GFS and NOGAPS are the most aggressive, with the CMC only showing the storm on one run and the ECMWF staying to the south with it and not developing it too much, though its ensembles are farther north. Development here would make sense given the pattern I have been talking about, with the SOI burst coming east with the MJO, focusing upward motion in the western Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico as the monsoonal circulation remains strong and pushes north. Development is far from guaranteed here, but the pattern is favorable, and if the models continue to come onboard consistently, then this area will have to be watched closely by this weekend.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 6:40 PM GMT on June 22, 2011

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Beatriz makes landfall; West Atlantic to remain a trouble area near end of June

By: Levi32, 1:26 PM GMT on June 21, 2011

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Turn down the volume for today's video.

I installed new sound drivers in my new linux distribution. It turns out that today my input volume was far too loud, as opposed to being too quiet like it has been. I will have to actually turn it down next time, but hopefully now my videos will actually have decent sound quality. I apologize for any ears that get blasted by this video.

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The tropical Atlantic is fairly quiet today, consisting only of a few low-amplitude tropical waves embedded within the ITCZ. Precipitable water values have increased in the western gulf, with the inflow off the water sparking some showers and thunderstorms in far eastern Texas and western Louisiana, a welcome shower for whomever is lucky enough to be under them. Hurricane Beatriz in the eastern Pacific has moved just over the Mexican coastline, and now appears to be substantially weakening. As expected, Cat 1 will be her maximum intensity, and she will likely be falling off her peak over the next few days as she curves west back out to sea.

I show in the video how we had a large and abrupt negative burst in the SOI dailies, with pressures plummeting at Tahiti last week. Those pressures have since come all the way back up to moderately positive values, and this indicates a Kelvin wave moving across the Pacific, inducing upward motion near and east of it. This is partly what helped Beatriz to form, and this implies that upward motion will continue east into the Caribbean during the next 5-10 days. This pattern has been talked about here for quite a while now, and tropical development out of it is not guaranteed, but the models continue to hint at something trying to get going somewhere in either the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico, the area I've been pinpointing. We know that this pattern favors mischief, and thus we must be watchful during this last week of June, and perhaps the first several days of July as well.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 4:07 PM GMT on June 21, 2011

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Continuing to watch for tropical trouble in a favorable pattern for the end of June

By: Levi32, 1:07 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

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Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Permalink

Watching the western Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico for next week

By: Levi32, 1:52 PM GMT on June 17, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video. Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding what I talk about in the video, or about the weather in general. You can post in either of my blogs or on Youtube. I will do my best to answer.

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Please forgive the jumps and skips in the video today. My software sometimes complains about heavy flash content and doesn't get enough CPU time, causing it to stop recording for a couple of seconds at times.

The Atlantic remains fairly quiet overall this morning, though more active than yesterday. Our Caribbean tropical wave is now just west of Jamaica, interacting with a bit of mid-level energy north of Panama, firing some convection in that region. As I have been mentioning over the last couple days, this tropical wave is indeed starting to look a bit nicer as it comes west, and I expect it will continue to look pretty healthy as it comes into the Yucatan Peninsula over the next couple days. It will be drawing the mid-level feature north of Panama with it, but given how far south it is, it won't have much time over water to try to develop. It will, however, be contributing its energy to the Bay of Campeche, where the tropical wave interacting with the monsoon trough may try to form low pressure in that area in 6-8 days. Another tropical wave, currently near 50W, will be moving towards that general area during the same time frame, contributing its energy to the situation as well.

The GFS and NOGAPS are currently the only models that hint at any kind of development. It would be nice to get some more model support, but it is still several days away. The pattern aloft with an upper ridge over the western Gulf of Mexico looks generally favorable for potential development, but we will have to see what we are dealing with when that time comes. The MJO is also forecast to come into phase 1 by that time, supporting upward motion over the western tropical Atlantic. The message here is that the overall pattern favors development, but doesn't guarantee it. We will have to get in close to this complicated situation later next week before we can draw solid conclusions, but the potential is there and has been voiced here for quite a while now. We will see if anything comes of it.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Continuing to watch for potential tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico next week

By: Levi32, 2:14 PM GMT on June 16, 2011

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The Atlantic remains quiet today. The main area of heat buildup is concentrated in the eastern Pacific, where a broad cyclonic circulation may try to consolidate into Tropical Storm Beatriz over the next few days. We have a tropical wave in the central Caribbean moving westward with little convection, and another wave out near 40W in the central Atlantic. These waves will be piling in towards central America one at a time during the next 7-10 days, building up heat in that region. The central Caribbean wave will be under fairly favorable conditions aloft by the time it reaches the Yucatan, but all I expect from it is to look nicer than it does now as a tropical wave, and it will not have time to do much before running into land.

The monsoon trough will likely shift northward out of the eastern Pacific and more over central America and the Bay of Campeche later next week, possibly allowing an area of low pressure to form in the southern Gulf of Mexico. So far, the GFS is still alone in showing this solution. The NAEFS and CMC ensemble means have periodically hinted at the same thing during the last few days, but not strongly or consistently. One must keep in mind that just because a pattern favors tropical mischief doesn't guarantee that it will happen. I have set up for you guys this pattern that is developing which could allow a tropical disturbance to develop, but until we actually get to the point where that pattern is upon us, we can't know for sure whether we will get one. If we do, Texas and the north gulf coast may get some drought relief from the tropical moisture that will likely be allowed to drift north, but again that's not a guarantee right now. The MJO is forecast to be over our part of the world, in the phase that most June developments occur in, so there is plenty of support in the overall pattern. We will have to watch closely to see how this situation starts to evolve later next week.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 2:28 PM GMT on June 16, 2011

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Atlantic remains quiet; Watching tropical waves and a potential monsoonal invasion

By: Levi32, 3:10 PM GMT on June 15, 2011

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The Atlantic remains quiet today. A tropical wave is currently moving south of Puerto Rico into a confluent environment aloft, which is inducing sinking air around the wave and capping thunderstorm activity. The wave will continue westward through the Caribbean during the next few days, eventually encountering the eastern flank of an upper trough which is forecast to dive down near the Yucatan in 3 days. This may provide a marginally favorable environment for thunderstorm development, and it will be interesting to see what this wave looks like as it approaches the Yucatan. None of the computer models develop this wave at this time. The wave will likely move slowly westward in the vicinity of the Yucatan, perhaps eventually ending up in the Bay of Campeche.

A bigger story down the road may be a monsoonal invasion into the southern Gulf of Mexico and/or the far western Caribbean by June 25th through the end of the month. I have been speaking of this for a while now, and the models continue to hint at increased moisture and low pressure developing beneath a ballooning upper ridge, which would be providing a very favorable upper-level environment. Of particular interest in this situation is the fact that the models are also hinting at a break in the deep-layer ridge developing over the north gulf coast, which may allow any tropical moisture that may be in the southern gulf to lift northward and bring some relief to the severe drought that continues in that region. This will depend on how deep of a monsoonal invasion we get, and whether any tropical disturbance tries to organize within it.

Also of interest in this pattern will be the tropical wave that recently left Africa, and is beginning its journey westward across the entire Atlantic. This wave will be entering the western Caribbean around the time that moisture starts lifting northward from the Pacific, and may interact with the monsoon trough. Such tropical waves can sometimes become catalysts for the development of tropical disturbances within monsoonal circulations. No solid conclusions can be drawn yet about this setup, as it is still 10 days away, but I believe the area of the southern Gulf of Mexico and the far western Caribbean should be watched closely for potential mischief during the last week of June.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Atlantic quiet; Looking for mischief down the road during the last week of June

By: Levi32, 1:24 PM GMT on June 13, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video. Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding what I talk about in the video, or about the weather in general. I will do my best to answer.



The Atlantic basin remains quiet today. The most noticeable feature is a tropical wave approaching the Antilles Islands, with a batch of convection removed to the southeast of the axis. The wave is moving into a confluent environment aloft, and is not expected to develop as it treks across the Caribbean during the next several days.

Looking ahead...June storms find it very difficult to develop in the downward motion phase of the MJO like we are in now, so development during the next week or so is unlikely. The MJO is likely to return during the last week of June, which will provide us with the next opportunity to look for mischief. The GFS and its ensembles have been consistently developing strong upper ridging over the Yucatan Peninsula by that time frame, coinciding with heavy precipitation, indicating a large buildup of heat in that region. This kind of pattern could support monsoonal invasion out of the eastern Pacific into the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico, which could have the potential to spawn a tropical system.

In addition, a well-defined tropical wave just getting ready to exit Africa will likely be in the western Caribbean in 10-12 days, possibly interacting with this favorable pattern aloft and adding to the buildup of heat in that area of the world. This scenario is still quite a ways off into the future, but there is nothing else to look at before then, so I will be seeing how much mischief I can stir up as the days of June continue to march by.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 1:45 PM GMT on June 13, 2011

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Adrian defies my forecast and the models; Gulf of Guinea cools; Invest 94L lives

By: Levi32, 1:09 PM GMT on June 10, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 1:10 PM GMT on June 10, 2011

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Adrian likely to remain weaker than NHC forecast

By: Levi32, 1:30 PM GMT on June 09, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Atlantic to quiet down for a couple weeks; Adrian develops in the eastern Pacific

By: Levi32, 2:38 PM GMT on June 08, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 2:39 PM GMT on June 08, 2011

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Invest 94L dies, but will hopefully bring some rainfall to the eastern gulf

By: Levi32, 1:46 PM GMT on June 07, 2011

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Looking at the satellite loops this morning, all of the mid-upper clouds are moving southwest to northeast across 94L's circulation, indicating that fatal wind shear has taken hold over the system. This is the end of invest 94L, after several attempts at development. I have said all along it would be like pulling teeth to get this to develop and that chances were pretty low overall. Folks in the eastern gulf can still hope for 94L to bring them some rainfall by this weekend when it drifts northward into their region.

Looking ahead...there's not much in store for the next couple weeks, as the MJO downward motion pulse will be over our area of the world soon, keeping things quiet for 10-15 days. After June 20th, we may have to watch for another invasion of moisture from the eastern Pacific into the southern Gulf of Mexico or western Caribbean, which would be another monsoonal situation. Until then, June will seem quiet, which is what it normally is.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 94L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 94L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Invest 94L slowly organizing; will likely bring some rain to Florida later this week

By: Levi32, 1:33 PM GMT on June 06, 2011

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Invest 94L continues to evolve in the northwest Caribbean. The system is slightly more organized than yesterday, with a batch of convection now west of the center as well as east of it, but the center is still exposed between the two. The upper-level sounding at Grand Cayman this morning shows that the moisture layer is deepening compared to yesterday, making the environment more conducive for thunderstorm development. The main impediment on 94L's organization during the next few days will be the upper trough over the western Gulf of Mexico, which is starting to again increase the wind shear over the northwest Caribbean out of the southwest. This would be what prevents 94L from becoming a tropical depression if it does not become one. Further organization, if any, will be a slow process as it has been so far, and chances of development overall are still low.

Low-level steering shows that with the big high pressure still centered over the southern U.S., 94L has nowhere to go for the moment, and will likely sit in the NW Caribbean for the next 2-3 days. By Thursday or Friday, the ridge is forecast to shift east far enough to open a weak alley into the Gulf of Mexico, at which point 94L will likely begin a slow drift northward towards the eastern Gulf of Mexico or Florida. Given that this system will be sheared as it comes north, much of the weather and rainfall will be east of the center, so a track into the eastern gulf would give the Florida peninsula most of the rainfall. This rainfall is looking quite likely for Florida now, and hopefully the baroclinic instability as this system comes north will aid in increasing the amounts of water that fall. Hopefully drought relief will be what this system is remembered for. Flash flooding will have to be watched for in the NW Caribbean countries that get the heaviest thunderstorms over the next few days. I give invest 94L a low chance of becoming a tropical depression during the next 48 hours.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 94L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 94L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Invest 94L still to be watched despite no support from models

By: Levi32, 6:44 PM GMT on June 05, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



The main area of interest this afternoon continues to be Invest 94L in the western Caribbean. The surface low remains broad and somewhat ill-defined, but convection is on the increase east of the center, with improved inflow from yesterday helping to increase surface convergence. The models are still unsupportive of development, with the exception of the Canadian, which unrealistically brings a hurricane into Florida. With the lack of model support, chances seem low in general, but the system should still be watched closely, as broad low pressure areas sitting for several days over the Caribbean can easily stir up mischief with a moderate upper-level environment. Scattered showers going off periodically in the NW Caribbean are slowly moistening the mid-level atmosphere there, making conditions slightly more conducive for further development over the next few days.

Regardless of development, rain chances for Florida and the east gulf states are increasing, as the system has now started moving westnorthwestward, caught beneath the ridge over the eastern United States. I was waiting for this to happen, as it means that the trough over the west Atlantic likely won't be able to grab it. As the pattern flattens later this week, a weakness should develop in the ridge that will allow 94L to drift northward into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, likely affecting Florida the most as it will still be an east-weighted system with most of the heavy weather east of the center.

Overall, the lack of model support continues to dampen expectations, but I still give 94L a chance to develop into a tropical depression over the next few days. Rainfall from this system will likely make it a friend to many.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 94L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 94L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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Invest 94L to be watched for several days, but unlikely to significantly develop

By: Levi32, 6:56 PM GMT on June 04, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



We shall see what happens!

Invest 94L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 94L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 6:59 PM GMT on June 04, 2011

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Model support for Caribbean development wanes despite favorable pattern

By: Levi32, 1:32 PM GMT on June 03, 2011

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Our main area of interest continues to be a broad, elongated area of low pressure in the western-central Caribbean. Although still disorganized, the system is somewhat better-structured than yesterday, as it doesn't have the diffluent area aloft as displaced from the main area of low pressure as it was, and the associated convection with the system this morning shows the potential to be able to consolidate some during the next few days. Most of the convection is still aligned east of the low center, as the upper-level high has not yet ballooned directly over the system, but slightly off to the east. This will change over the next 3 days as a longwave trough dives southeastward into the western Atlantic, forcing the subtropical jet to buckle northward farther west, allowing the upper ridge to fill the entire northwest Caribbean with a favorable environment aloft. In time, this may allow the elongated area of low pressure to consolidate into a more focused system at some point next week.

All of the global models have now dropped the idea of developing this system, except for the 6z NOGAPS this morning. This is interesting given that the models were all forecasting development just a short time ago, and the overall pattern remains favorable. Upper-level winds are such that we could be watching this system for at least another week, and a good chunk of that time will consist of fairly favorable conditions aloft, just about as favorable as it gets in early June. The MJO is also strongly in place over this area of the world, supporting upward motion over the Caribbean. These factors make it hard to believe that this area of convection and low pressure will just vanish over the next few days, but such agreement on no development from the models must be considered strongly. However, I still give this system a low chance, given that conditions support the idea of potential development, and the system still has a lot of time left to sit and brew. Regardless, much-need rainfall will likely spread to the Cayman islands and other areas of the northwest Caribbean during the coming days.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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93L dies; Western Caribbean still needs to be watched

By: Levi32, 1:48 PM GMT on June 02, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



There continues to be quite a bit of activity for the beginning of the hurricane season. Invest 93L in the Gulf of Mexico has lost most of its convection, leaving a weak surface circulation exposed, heading southwestward. This is likely the end of this system, which had a good run, but got overwhelmed by dry air and only quasi-favorable upper winds. South Texas can hope for some of the remaining thunderstorms to reach out to them later today and tonight, but the system is probably headed south of Texas, contrary to the BAM models. I give this system no chance to develop into a tropical depression.

Our 2nd area of interest is in the west-central Caribbean, in the form of a broad, weak area of low pressure east of Nicaragua. Most of the convection is now off to the northeast of the center, near Jamaica and Haiti. This is in response to the main area of upper divergence moving over that area, and also because a tropical wave has moved northwest into the area, bringing an influx of deep moisture and surface convergence. There is a secondary low-level vort max developing near this area, northeast of the main low, and is providing competition that is keeping the system disorganized for now. In order to develop further, this 2nd vort max will have to be reeled in so the system can consolidate.

As the upper-level pattern evolves over the next few days, conditions will become more favorable in the western Caribbean. As the upper low over the Gulf of Mexico continues to back westward, the upper-level ridge will be able to balloon farther west, further lowering the wind shear and pushing the dry air away from the main low pressure area. As a longwave trough dives into the western Atlantic, the diffluent area aloft (air spreading out) will shift west, likely dragging most of the convection that is currently near Haiti with it. This should help the system consolidate a little bit better around the main low pressure region, which by this weekend should start to drift northward slowly. By this time it will have a decent window for potential development. Any development that does occur would be very slow, as broad systems like this early in the season can take countless days to organize, and many never do. Right now only the UKMET and Canadian still support development, but I believe a chance is still there, and we have many days left to watch this system. I would not write it off, but it is not currently anything to be very concerned about. In fact, it will be bringing much-needed rainfall to the islands of the northwest Caribbean over the next several days. I give this system only a very low chance of becoming a tropical depression during the next 48 hours.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






Updated: 2:11 PM GMT on June 02, 2011

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The hurricane season kicks off with two disturbances worth watching

By: Levi32, 3:12 PM GMT on June 01, 2011

If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.



Today marks the beginning of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. There is no waiting for the first activity of the season, as it is already here in the form of two tropical disturbances that both bare watching. The first and most important disturbance this morning is Invest 93L, which actually came as a little bit of a surprise yesterday. It used to be an MCS over the northern U.S. which moved off of New England a couple of days ago. The residual circulation moved over the Gulf Stream where new convection developed and allowed the small system to tighten up a bit under a sweet spot in upper-level winds that has allowed it to develop a little. It likely won't become a tropical depression before making imminent landfall in northeast Florida, but it is currently bringing a batch of heavy rain into Florida which is greatly needed there. There is a chance that 93L will continue to develop in the Gulf of Mexico, but that will depend on if it survives the crossing of Florida. Despite its rapid movement, any encounter with land will likely knock down the system greatly, and if it becomes too disorganized, it will lose its focus of surface convergence. Once it loses that, it will be very hard to get any convection going again. If it does survive, however, it will be trekking across the northern gulf and may bring rainfall to more areas, with Texas being the most likely to get some if it makes it all the way across the gulf. It will likely continue to track beneath that sweet spot in the upper-level winds, and thus it may have to be watched for potential development into a tropical depression if it survives the crossing of Florida. I currently give this system a low chance for development into a tropical depression during the next 48 hours.

The 2nd disturbance of interest is the one in the southwest Caribbean which we have been watching for days now. Cyclonic circulation is evident in the low-level cloud deck just east of Nicaragua, though the westerly winds that were observed at San Andres Island last night have switched back to NNE this morning. Convection has migrated to the northeast of the low center, likely due to a pair of tropical waves coming onto the scene out of the ESE. They are bringing with them a massive batch of moisture that will likely get things going, as enough latent heat is being released now that the subtropical jet is being forced to bulge northwestward, allowing high pressure aloft to build over the central Caribbean and lower the wind shear over the system. By tomorrow I expect we will start to see some slight deepening of the low as it begins to drift NNE in the general direction of Jamaica.

I illustrate in the video how the steering should evolve with this system. With the upper low southwest of Florida still connected to the trailing upper trough over the Bahamas, the mid-level steering around the tropical Atlantic ridge should bring the disturbance NNE initially. As the trough splits away, the SE US ridge will build a little farther east, likely curving the disturbance back towards the NNW or NW for a time, bringing it near or just north of the Cayman Islands. By the weekend, the upper trough digging down on the east side of the US ridge will establish itself over the west Atlantic, reinforcing the northeastward pull on the disturbance, which I think will eventually curve it across Cuba and the Bahamas and on out to sea. This will only be after a good few days of sitting in the Caribbean though, which will allow the system a decent chance at developing into our first (or second) storm of the season. Regardless of development, it will bring much-wanted rainfall to the Cayman Islands and other regions of the northwest Caribbean, possibly even south Florida as well if the ridge brings it far enough northwest. The track and intensity details will be worked out further as time marches along. I give this system a low chance of becoming a tropical depression within the next 48 hours.

We shall see what happens!

Invest 93L Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Invest 93L Model Tracks:





Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):



Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:



200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):






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About Levi32

Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

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MesoWest NERRS METEOROLOGICAL SITE AT KAC AK US
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