Tropics Active Worldwide

By: MAweatherboy1 , 11:42 PM GMT on May 23, 2012

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As the title of my blog suggests, the tropics are very active across the world right now. The main feature right now in the Atlanitc is an area of disturbed weather in the northwest Caribbean Sea. This area, dubbed invest 94L by the National Hurricane Center, is currently very broad and elongated, and the NHC is giving the system a near 0% chance of development over the next 48 hours as it fights moderate to high wind shear which will prevent it from consolidating and developing.


Figure One: Invest 94L is seen in the Caribbean as nothing more than a disorganized region of convection

94L is currently a heavy rain threat to several islands in the Caribbean. Things may get more interesting for 94L when it gets out of the Caribbean and moves into an environment more conducive for development off the Southeast US coast.


Figure Two: Current Atlantic Ocean shear map

As Figure Two shows, 94L is embedded in an area of 20-30 knots of shear. However, once it crosses over into the open Atlantic, it will enter a region of lower shear as the pocket of high shear there now moves out. I question exactly how favorable these conditions will be, however, particularly because 94L has such a long way to go to organize that it would need near perfect conditions to have a chance at development. So, I agree with the NHC that this has a near 0% chance of developing within the next 48 hours, and I give it about a 35-40% chance of developing beyond that time.

Bud Not As Strong As Forecast

Meanwhile, in the East Pac, tropical storm Bud continues to churn in the open waters of the Pacific as it moves slowly towards Mexico. Initially Bud was forecast to be a potentially major problem for Mexico by many, and the NHC initially forecast the storm to be a strong Cat 2 at peak and make landfall in Mexico as a hurricane. I was never optimistic on Bud and forecast him to peak as a 65mph tropical storm, which happens to be his current intensity. Under fairly favorable conditions Bud will probably strengthen a little more over the next couple days and may peak as a low end hurricane, meaning my original forecast may be a bit low. I think at this point a peak of 75-80 mph may be more likely. It also appears at this point that Bud will not make landfall in Mexico but instead only approach the coast before turning back out to sea.


Figure Three: Current official forecast track for Bud.

The only way Bud could potentially be a problem for Mexico is if it approaches closer to the coast than forecast, because since it is growing in size and slow moving, this would bring a major flood threat. I currently do not anticipate that happening, but it should be watched.

First Typhoon of the Season in the West Pac
On the other side of the world, the West Pacifc has its first typhoon of the season, named Sanvu. Sanvu currently has winds of 75 mph and is forecast to strengthen some by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as it is under fairly favorable conditions for further strengthening. Sanvu provided some heavy rains to Guam Monday night but is now over the open ocean and should not threaten any land areas.


Figure Four: Typhoon Sanvu

I had to get my thoughts out on the tropics tonight as I will be on Cape Cod this Saturday and Sunday without my computer so I won't be able to monitor the tropics. It's looking like great weather for my first swim of the year down there: High temperatures should be around 70 with water temperatures in the mid to even upper 50s!! That is unheard of this time of year up here, all thanks to the mild winter.

Thank you as always for reading and have a great rest of your week and a great long weekend!

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About MAweatherboy1

Average 18 year old weather nerd. Freshman at Plymouth State University, majoring in meteorology, with the goal of becoming a professional forecaster.