Will devote this hurricane season to provide up-to-the-minute, basic information when a tropical system is threatening land. Both basins included.
By: hurricaneben, 12:47 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
So no we are not looking at a major hurricane or even a hurricane for that matter. What we're looking at is Tropical Storm Debby, with winds of around 45 MPH and is preparing for a landfall in the Gulf Coast of Florida. Florida is very much used to tropical storms, the last one to hit was just 2 years ago (Bonnie) and that didn't leave much of a mark, Claudette caused minor impacts too and Fay caused considerably major flooding but to many, that was just considered one of these more rare events. Well it appears that this tropical storm is not your typical 'weak system'. Packed with torrential downpours and winds well away from the center, pretty much everyone in Central Florida upwards is getting a major soaker now but the Big Bend (Apalachicola area) is getting the brunt of Debby. Very dangerous flash floods continue to pose a danger to anyone trying to travel in the Wakulla County area where a flash flood emergency has been issued. The Governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency as of recently and anyone in areas affected the most by these floodwaters are encouraged not to travel and seek as high ground as possible. Here in South Florida, Debby is expected to be felt to a much lesser extent today but impacts are out there with brief gusty winds, scattered to numerous showers and a slight chance of a weak tornado or two. Stay safe.
Updated: 12:47 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 4:55 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Yes, while Debby hit somewhat less favorable conditions as she stalled off the Florida Gulf Coast, the large and wet system is starting to weaken somewhat. Now with winds of 45 MPH (down from 60 MPH last night), we know the wind concerns are obviously decreasing. But the track continues to shift east and now the entire Florida Gulf Coast (but especially north of Tampa Bay) is under fire for a likely flash flooding event. Debby is forecast to come ashore the Florida Big Bend hardly as a tropical storm. Isolated rainfall amounts may top 25 inches in parts of North Florida, that's enough to cause very dangerous flooding and especially in low lying areas. So just be aware of that threat if you live in North/West/Central Florida. Remember that fatal tornadoes and moderate flooding has already been reported in much of Central and South Florida over the past day or two from the outer bands and a tornado watch is still up for much of Central and South Florida--it's basically a statewide concern. To sum it up...don't expect anything devastating, but watch out because the flooding potential is particularly high in parts of the Florida Peninsula AND Panhandle.
By: hurricaneben, 11:27 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Tropical Storm Debby is certainly poised to be a major threat to a portion of the US Gulf Coast, and that is primarily at this time the Mobile/Pensacola area eastwards to Appalachicola (so basically the eastern Gulf states). 5 to 10 inches of rainfall widespread, with some areas possibly receiving well over a foot of rainfall in these areas are giving way for a potentially significant flood concern but the threat doesn't end there. Several tornadoes have been reported across the Central and South Florida Peninsula, one which struck the Lake Placid area was deemed fatal. That's all in connection to the outer bands of the large and very wet tropical storm. More rain is on the way for Florida Peninsula tomorrow, but the people who should keep an eye on this one the most is the Florida Panhandle and Alabama Coastlines. Winds, while not as dangerous as the rainfall concern, could cause minor damage as well. Landfall intensity could be as a minimal hurricane perhaps if Debby heads in that direction. There is a lot of uncertainty and while we're not looking at a Katrina type situation, the concerns are increasing for those along the Eastern Gulf Coast...flooding is a threat, especially for those in low lying areas.
By: hurricaneben, 7:31 PM GMT on June 21, 2012
The tropics are really starting to heat up with the area of interest that soaked Florida yesterday now developing and entering an area more favorable for development. Also, the first Atlantic hurricane formed just this morning. Is it a threat? Read ahead for more details.
We do officially have the first Atlantic hurricane this season--Chris, with winds of 75 MPH. It poses no threat to land, fortunately, and only shipping interests should have any concern in Chris. It is expected to weaken starting tonight as it hits cooler waters.
The one that poses the greatest threat to land isn't even a TD yet, but looking at where it's headed and its pace of development, there appears to be a good chance that we might see something form in the Gulf Of Mexico soon. Yesterday, this disturbance drenched South Florida with increased rainfall activity but fortunately, there was no major flooding...unlike what Minnesota saw on the other hand from a completely different weather system. It's tagged as an Invest, and has a 50% chance of TC formation by Friday afternoon. Interests along the Northern Gulf Coast may still be in for a wet weekend/start to next week even if we don't see something form. So there's something brewing close to home and while not a significant concern at this time, it's really something that would be wise to watch.
I'll have an update tomorrow, on the latest on whether the Gulf Coast threat increases or fizzles and the latest on Chris.
By: hurricaneben, 11:56 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
The tropics have really been heating up lately with the formation of our third named storm so far in the season and we're still in June.
We're talking about Tropical Storm Chris, packing winds of 60 MPH. It's not a threat to land and should stay out to sea without significant effects anywhere on land in the next couple of days. It could lose tropical characteristics as early as tomorrow afternoon, so we don't have to worry about Chris much or at all as it harmlessly shoots out to sea and out of our concerns. Now, let me say that as Chris formed yesterday, it broke a record--the earliest forming 'C' storm in the Atlantic Basin since they started naming storms in the first place. Even Cindy of 2005 had a later start (Jul.3) but does that mean we will see total activity near/above 2005? Certainly not, but it does give us quite a boost up the name list, and breaks records.
Minnesota Rampaged By Floods
Speaking of records, parts of Minnesota saw incredible rainfall amounts with some areas picking up over a foot of rainfall in 24 hours--yesterday into this morning, which contributed to large scale flooding--the absolute worst seen in the state since 1972. Roads were washed out, countless water rescues, but luckily no one had died...other than several animals who escaped a local zoo near Duluth (a city hard hit by the floods). Last night, the NWS issued multiple flash flood warnings, flash flood emergencies and a rather stern "Civil Emergency Message" strongly urging against travel in the local area.
Last but definitely not least, we are monitoring an area of interest that is bringing enhanced heavy rainfall and minor flooding (no Minnesota-type floods here, fortunately) to South Florida and is now headed NW into the Gulf Of Mexico and we might actually see this develop quite at a decent pace in the next few days. A TD forming in the Gulf Of Mexico soon? Not very unlikely. The NHC gives this a medium chance of TC formation by Friday evening (30%). Regardless, there could be wet times ahead for much of the Northern Gulf Coast where uncertainty is high with this system. For now, just an area of interest, but one that could be watched for a formidable soaker to US Gulf Coast residents.
By: hurricaneben, 7:17 PM GMT on June 18, 2012
As Carlotta fades, taking with her 2 lives, there are 2 other areas of interest which are being monitored for very possible development: the odds of something forming from them are increasing by the update. We are monitoring 2 Invests: 95L and 95E.
This one is in the Eastern Pacific and has currently has the highest chance of development. It is bringing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides to SW Mexico--an area that does not need all the rain, especially after Carlotta's passing by the end of last week. 95E has a very strong chance of becoming a TD/TS as it passes right offshore the Mexican coastline--a 60% chance of TC formation within' the next 48 hours so everyone along the Pacific Coast of Mexico should monitor this area of interest, mostly for its flood threat.
Finally...something's cooking up in the Atlantic Basin. But it's not quite at TD status yet. It is forecast to continue to organize as it gains (sub)tropical characteristics and might have a very good shot at becoming (S)TS Chris over the next couple of days before it hits unfavorable conditions and loses tropical characteristics. It has a 50% chance of TC formation within' the next 48 hours, so there's a very good chance right there that we will see our third named storm in this basin in 2012--and it's only June. Luckily, it should remain a fish storm and steer clear of land masses.
I'll update tomorrow.
By: hurricaneben, 3:04 PM GMT on June 15, 2012
Carlotta has now officially strengthened into a category one hurricane, with 80 MPH winds. It is moving NW at 12 MPH and should strengthen some more--likely into a category two hurricane before making landfall tomorrow morning and moving along the coastline. This is a rather dangerous situation for folks along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, you guys should have made your preparations already. Set aside the powerful winds and potentially dangerous storm surge, major rainfall amounts possibly topping one foot could also lead to deadly flash flooding and mudslides. Again...Carlotta is now a hurricane, and it is still expected to strengthen. Residents in NW Mexico should have already made their preparations and should heed any instructions given by local authorities.
By: hurricaneben, 3:06 PM GMT on June 14, 2012
Well many residents along the Pacific Coast of Mexico woke up to an unpleasant surprise this morning--a possible hurricane headed straight for their shorelines. Tropical Storm Carlotta is packing winds of 45 MPH and gradually strengthening as it slowly makes its way NW at 9 MPH. It is forecast to grow into a hurricane (that's right) and could be a significant one at that by the time it makes landfall along Mexico's southern coastline and then start to make an unusual turn back out to sea. Now's the time to prepare, dangerous hurricane conditions with powerful wind gusts possibly up to 115 MPH can occur with Carlotta in the Manzanillo area. I'll have an update later today or tomorrow morning.
By: hurricaneben, 10:47 PM GMT on June 13, 2012
Invest 94E has been organizing at a steady rate over the past 1-2 days and now has a high (60%) chance of TC formation by Friday afternoon. Shear is marginal right now and should decrease along the disturbance's path, possibly allowing for a more swift intensification rate. Most models aim at the Pacific Coast of Mexico so chances are unsettled weather will target these shorelines...at the very least, all depending on how strong it gets. For now, it's just an area of interest but that may change pretty soon if 94E organizes much longer. Not a major imminent threat, just one to carefully monitor. There's another area of interest, Invest 95E, which has a much lower chance of development (10%) and all models steer it clear of any land impacts. For now, the biggest weather story is Invest 94L.
Models are hinting at a possible system developing in the next week or two in the Caribbean and possibly affecting the US Gulf Coast. Intensity is widespread, from weak low to minimal hurricane. For now these are just models, nothing's out there yet, I just wanted to point it out since the Atlantic is (currently) quiet.
Have a great day and check back either tomorrow or on Friday for the latest on the tropics.
Updated: 10:48 PM GMT on June 13, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 10:33 PM GMT on June 12, 2012
The Atlantic is still quiet, but not extinct--we're hardly halfway through the first month of the season. The Eastern Pacific is the current topic in the tropics. Just as soon as Invest 93E faded without much intensification, we are monitoring another area of potential--Invest 94E. And yes, this one looks rather likely to affect land (the Pacific coast of Mexico). But it's not even a tropical depression yet, so we have a lot of time to determine what it does and right now it's not an immediate concern. Models generally aim it at the Central American coastline. It has a moderate (30%) chance of TC formation by Thursday afternoon, so the possibility is definitely right there. It's only an Invest, and we have a lot of time to see just what the impacts will be (if any) so don't be concerned at this time. If it doesn't develop, you can just expect locally heavy rainfall and thunderstorms for anyone in its path. I'll have an update tomorrow.
By: hurricaneben, 5:47 PM GMT on June 09, 2012
While there is still not a whole lot in the tropics right now, we do have one area of interest that I'm going to discuss for this blog post but first let's get to a much more imminent and a whole lot bigger threat to land.
Gulf Coast Flooding
Tropical moisture has pumped in incredible rainfall amounts in parts of the Eastern US Gulf Coast (from New Orleans area to the Florida Panhandle) and this has led to an ongoing major flash flooding threat in the Pensacola FL area as well a bit further west towards Mobile AL. Widespread water rescues are being conducted along with confirmed flooding homes--this is getting serious up there and we might see more heavy rainfall to come for the area. A Flash Flood Emergency has been declared and that's not a very common type of emergency you'd see or hear. If you live in NW Florida/S Alabama, or any area that might be seeing flooding, try to avoid travel at all costs and if you do travel--make sure you fully avoid low lying areas. Remember this, if you see flooding, turn around...don't drown.
Now I'm going to discuss Invest 93E, a gradually developing tropical disturbance in the Eastern Pacific. Models take it out to sea, so you don't have to worry about any flash flooding from this one or any other land risk for that matter, but conditions are favorable for further development and I will not rule out the strong possibility of TS Carlotta eventually forming from this one...maybe sooner than later. The NHC gives this a 30% chance of TC formation by Monday afternoon, which is decent so I'll monitor this for development.
Updated: 5:50 PM GMT on June 09, 2012
By: hurricaneben, 11:29 PM GMT on June 04, 2012
The Atlantic remains relatively void of any significant activity for now, as we inch our way into the first several days of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2012. There is one tropical wave in the Atlantic basin which is approaching the Caribbean and may bring some decent rainfall to the NE Caribbean Islands, which may be of interest later on but for now it's just a tropical cluster of showers--not much concern here right now, just watch out for any possible flooding from the rainfall in you're in the Windward Islands. Now in the Western Pacific, we're cooking up a different situation although that basin's not my typical area of discussion. Even though it somewhat missed the Phillippines, the nation suffered from considerable damage as a result as outer rain bands which produced flooding and even reports of a few casualities as a result have come in. It's a category one, almost two, typhoon which shouldn't be of much concern to any other land masses as it should pass well east of Japan as a much weaker system but interests in the east coast of Japan may wanna keep an eye in case this comes any closer to the shorelines than anticipated. I'll have another post within' the next 2-4 days.
By: hurricaneben, 11:52 PM GMT on June 01, 2012
It's finally here--the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, although many of us feel it's been with us for a while by now being that we already got 2 named storms...one of which struck the U.S. nearly at hurricane strength, so it's quite a start, but we've officially started the season and there's not much to talk about at all. A few tropical waves in the Atlantic are traversing their way west, but none look to be in a state favorable for development. There is a tropical storm Mawar east of the Phillippines and it's forecast to strengthen into a category 1/2 typhoon over the next few days but should not pose a direct threat to land, maybe a bit of gusty winds near tropical storm force in the Philippines, but nothing major to talk about and that's out of our typical basins of discussion. I'll have an update in the next couple of days as the tropical season rolls on.