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):






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14. jasonweatherman2010
2:24 AM GMT on July 02, 2011
Strong wave east of the Antilles looks interesting we better watch it
Member Since: April 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2278
13. sky1989
12:30 AM GMT on July 01, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Well, like any medium- long-range forecast, the MJO predictions are prone to significant errors. I have seen them do some wildly different things from reality, but I have also seen them perform very well. The UKMET is one of the better models of the bunch that we have. With this particular forecast, I kind of doubt we will see the full intensity that the UKMET is showing, but it will probably still be a strong punch, and it is supported by all the other models.

That's the other thing: model consensus. There are up to 8 different ensemble sets available from the CPC site, and if you see them all roughly agreeing on the same kind of pattern in the same octants, then it is more likely to come true.

On another note, you mentioned the likelyhood of strong storms resulting from a strong MJO burst. That's actually not always true. Although a strong MJO can aid in allowing hurricanes to intensify, it has a lot more to do with helping them form. Once they get going, often it won't matter very much what phase the MJO is in to determine their maximum intensity, but rather the specific environment around the cyclone once it is mature.


Thank you- That makes a lot of sense as tropical disturbances (depressions) require sufficient moisture which can be argued as the number 1 ingredient. Other factors such as wind shear, ventilation, and sea surface temperatures actually determine the potential intensification of a system. I guess this explains how you can have a very moisture laden system that is weak like Allison in 2001 or Bill in 2003.
Member Since: June 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 88
11. Levi32
10:40 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting sky1989:
Levi,

I must agree with the others that you did a great job with Arlene as well as 94L.

I mostly lurk here, but I have a few questions unanswered that I have not seen anyone else ask. I understand that the MJO is supposed to enter an upward phase, and according to some like the UKMET, it could be quite a significant upward phase. If this were to verify, we could have some very formidable storms on our hands during early July (making me think of Dennis and Emily of 2005). My main question regards how reliable do you think these forcasts are? I never recall a model going so far into octant 1 with the MJO. I have seen them forecast upward motion, only for neutral motion to verify.

Thanks for any thoughts you can impart on this matter.


Well, like any medium- long-range forecast, the MJO predictions are prone to significant errors. I have seen them do some wildly different things from reality, but I have also seen them perform very well. The UKMET is one of the better models of the bunch that we have. With this particular forecast, I kind of doubt we will see the full intensity that the UKMET is showing, but it will probably still be a strong punch, and it is supported by all the other models.

That's the other thing: model consensus. There are up to 8 different ensemble sets available from the CPC site, and if you see them all roughly agreeing on the same kind of pattern in the same octants, then it is more likely to come true.

On another note, you mentioned the likelyhood of strong storms resulting from a strong MJO burst. That's actually not always true. Although a strong MJO can aid in allowing hurricanes to intensify, it has a lot more to do with helping them form. Once they get going, often it won't matter very much what phase the MJO is in to determine their maximum intensity, but rather the specific environment around the cyclone once it is mature.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26780
10. sky1989
8:33 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Levi,

I must agree with the others that you did a great job with Arlene as well as 94L.

I mostly lurk here, but I have a few questions unanswered that I have not seen anyone else ask. I understand that the MJO is supposed to enter an upward phase, and according to some like the UKMET, it could be quite a significant upward phase. If this were to verify, we could have some very formidable storms on our hands during early July (making me think of Dennis and Emily of 2005). My main question regards how reliable do you think these forcasts are? I never recall a model going so far into octant 1 with the MJO. I have seen them forecast upward motion, only for neutral motion to verify.

Thanks for any thoughts you can impart on this matter.
Member Since: June 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 88
9. Levi32
8:02 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Thank you, all :)
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26780
8. TomTaylor
6:21 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Quoting AllStar17:
Thank you very much! Excellent forecast for Arlene.
agreed.

Great job with Arlene, Levi
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
7. AllStar17
5:12 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Thank you very much! Excellent forecast for Arlene.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5373
6. FormerTigergirl
5:00 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Thanks Levi...again a great synopsis!! Hoping we get some rain soon here on the upper Texas coast
Member Since: July 6, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
5. hydrus
4:37 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Strong wave east of the Antilles looks interesting. Thanks for the update.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 26897
4. InTheCone
3:58 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Thanks for the update, it won't kill us to have to read once in awhile:) Although, I will be the first to admit, I am addicted to the video tidbits!
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1990
3. PTXer
2:47 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Thanks Levi. Sleeping in is a good thing...
Member Since: January 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
1. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:34 PM GMT on June 30, 2011
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842

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