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A quiet week for the Atlantic; another typhoon for the Philippines?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:51 PM GMT on October 26, 2009

There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss, and none of the computer models is calling for tropical storm formation over the next seven days. This should be a quiet week in the region we need to be most concerned about for a late-season hurricane--the Western Caribbean. Wind shear is forecast to be marginal for tropical storm development this week, and most of the Caribbean is very dry. However, next week moisture will be on the increase and wind shear is expected to be low enough to support tropical storm development, so we will need to be more alert for tropical storm development then. I have a sense that this hurricane season may not be over yet. Wind shear hasn't risen to the high levels we usually see by this time of year, and the waters are still very warm in the Western Caribbean. The past ten years have seen five hurricanes (four of them major hurricanes) form in the Caribbean later than today's date. The five storms were Category 4 Paloma, which became a hurricane on November 7, 2008; Category 1 Noel, which became a hurricane on November 2, 2007; Category 3 Beta, which became a hurricane on October 29, 2005; Category 4 Michelle, which became a hurricane on November 2, 2001; and Category 4 Lenny, which became a hurricane on November 15, 1999.

Figure 1. This morning's water vapor image of the Caribbean shows plenty of dry air in the regions of the Western Caribbean where late-season tropical tropical storm development usually occurs. Image credit: NOAA/SSD.

Another typhoon for the Philippines?
The typhoon-weary Philippine Islands have a new worry--Tropical Depression 23 has formed east of the islands, and appears likely to develop into a typhoon that will threaten the Philippines this weekend. The Philippines got a major reprieve this past weekend, when Super Typhoon Lupit weakened and swerved out to sea unexpectedly, missing the islands.

Next post
I'll have a new post on Tuesday, when I'll present the forecast for winter in the U.S.

Jeff Masters


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