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Caribbean disturbance to watch

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:38 PM GMT on January 23, 2006

This strangest of winters has produced yet another oddity--a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean that looks very much like something one would see at the height of hurricane season. Strong westerly winds aloft--typical for this time of year--have kept the Caribbean free of tropical disturbances ever since Tropical Storm Gamma dissipated in November. However, beginning yesterday, a split in the upper level wind flow coming across Central America created an area of low shear of 5-10 knots over the western Caribbean. This morning, an intense area of deep convection developed in this low-shear area, off the coast of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. This disturbance does have some upper-level cirrus clouds indicating outflow to the north, but not enough organization to be worried about looking for a surface circulation. Water temperatures are 26-27 C in the western Caribbean, which is warm enough to support a tropical storm. Wind shear is expected to remain low enough through Tuesday night to allow some slow development as the system moves west or west-northwest at about 15 mph. By Wednesday, wind shear is forecast to sustantially increase, and the disturbance's motion should bring it over Belize and Mexico's Yucatan. These factors make it unlikely we'll see a tropical depression. Still, it is quite remarkable that we are even talking about a system of this nature in January!



Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

The circulation is almost closed...from wind maps, it seems to be open for about 120 from northeast to south-southeast.
OMG!!! I haven't been on WU for DAYS and I come back to THIS??? LOL!!! Maybe I should stay away sick again!!!
I wouldn't put anything past the hurricane gods and goddesses to start the season this early in the year.
Anything seems to be a go. We have been and are about 8* above normal for our winter season with a few brief shots of very cold air tossed in for good measure. I don't suppose that is also playing into this forecast?
hmmmmmm reminds me of Bill Maher.... "NEW RULES"
thanks Jeff..

hi FC & CG..

yeah CG weather been warm here..got a bit of rain up here yesterday, not much or enough though. However, those with blue roofs don't want it. (as a former blue roof member I can sympathize)
By the way, to get a symbol, hold down Alt and push 176 on your num pad, then let go of alt.

♠ <- random ASCIIing.
I remember some years ago Sarasota had a no name storm about this time of year. It really hit hard and threw sailboats from Sarasota Bay all over the land. Longboat Key was flooded and so was St. Armands Key, so this could happen. What a not happy thought.
When was this, ogal?
Quikscat shows there is no surface circulation.
Ogal... I seem to remember it also.. could it have been in '92 or '93?
That's Snow Language lol wow there are TONS like τΦΘΘ over 1000!!!!
I wouldn't be surprised at all if TD 1 Appears this week
billsfan, we haven't had much precip here either... good thing for all the blue tarp people, not for the dust and left-over mulched hurricane debris that is blowing around... :( and, of course, the lawns and vegetation could use a good soaking to bring things up to par...
and so it begins the season of 2006
http://forecast.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/shadow/forecasts.html
Wow.........look at the western caribbean....sound the ALARMS....global warming, global warming, global warming.......very interesting....this has to stop so I can make some money....cant get no work done............The National Hurricane Center may have to change the Official Season dates.
I think it would develop, but it will run out of water ☺
has the NHC commented on it yet? that discussion could be funny if the right forecaster writes it... a few of them have a sense of humor
20. dcw
They have. However, they've dismissed it as upper level divergence (I have no idea what that is, only that it generally is conducive.
I hope that is all in jest weatherboyfsu. I dont even think its going to develop anymore. I thought it had a chance today, but it appears to have done nothing. Tomorrow it might still have a chance, but it will probably be a depression at most if is does develop. It would probably strike Mexico or Central America and dissipate if it even did, not threat to us in the US, probably not a threat to anyone.
the update te the N storm is now out by the nhc
Ahh, so you noticed that too, Dr. Jeff.
Saw it yesterday as a convective circular blob NE of Honduras, likely remnants of old frontal trof (had one similar last week).
Checked and saw no evidence of pressure falls then or this morning. It does have a slight cyclonic twist today as it moves to the WNW. Appears mostly a mid to upper level disturbance so far that might be broadly reflected at the surface... surface pressures remain stable, largely 1011-1014 mb or higher across area. Noted Puerto Lempira, Honduras at 3 pm EST was 29.83"/1010 mb, lowest I could find...and not unusual for late aftn, more typical low period of daily barometric oscillation, rising now.
Other obs at 5 pm EST...Belize - 1012 mb, Cozumel - 1015 mb, Buoy 42056 (19.87N 85.06W, just N of disturbance) - 1013 mb, and ship reports all day show same. None that would indicate cyclogenesis for now, but watch these locations next 12-24 hrs for any BP falls.
While it should continue westward across Yucatan and come under influence of continental high building southward next few days, suppressing possible development...might be interesting if it hangs up over lower Bay of Campeche, rather than dissipating inland as expected.
Another slight possibility (but doubtful) would be a NW drift around periphery of retreating Atl. ridge toward the current advancing frontal trof across Gulf. We'll see.

Still...that's an unusually impressive signature on the satellite view to see at this time.
Then again, maybe not unusual...after what we've witnessed.
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
705 PM EST MON JAN 23 2006

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHEASTERN
SECTIONS OF SOUTH AMERICA...AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE
AFRICAN COAST FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
IS BASED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...
RADAR...AND METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS.

BASED ON 1800 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
2315 UTC.

..ITCZ...
ITCZ AXIS IS CENTERED ALONG 6N10W 3N24W 2N35W 1.5N50W. WIDELY
SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS WITHIN AROUND 2O0 NM ON EITHER
SIDE OF THE AXIS. CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG
CONVECTION ARE FROM 4N-5.5N BETWEEN 35W-40W.

...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
A COLD FRONT EXTENDS FROM A 1016 MB LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER
ALABAMA ACROSS THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE GULF TO VERACRUZ
MEXICO ALONG 30N89W 25N93W 21N97W. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
ISOLATED TSTMS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY OVER THE
GULF. S-SE WINDS OF 10-15 KT ARE FOUND AHEAD OF THE FRONT.
NORTHERLY WINDS OF 15-20 KT ARE BLOWING BEHIND THE FRONT...WITH
HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING INTO THE AREA. THE COLD FRONT WILL BE
ACROSS CENTRAL FLORIDA TO VERACRUZ MEXICO TOMORROW AFTERNOON AND
WILL MOVE OUT OF THE AREA ON WED. IN THE UPPER LEVELS...
SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW DOMINATES MEXICO AND THE GULF...CAUSED BY THE
CIRCULATIONS OF A DEEP LAYER TROUGH OVER THE CENTRAL U.S. AND AN
UPPER HIGH OVER THE CARIBBEAN. UPPER LEVEL MOISTURE AND
SCATTERED HIGH CLOUDS IS OVER NORTHERN MEXICO AND TEXAS THEN
CONTINUES NE ACROSS SE U.S.

CARIBBEAN SEA...
A SURFACE TROUGH OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN ALONG 85-86W IS
PRODUCING CLUSTERS OF MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION FROM
16N-21N WEST OF 83W. SIMILAR ACTIVITY IS ALSO AFFECTING PORTIONS
OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA/CHANNEL...EASTERN HONDURAS AND NE
NICARAGUA. FARTHER EAST...TYPICAL PATCHES OF MOISTURE IN THE
FORM OF LOW-LEVEL CLOUDS AND ISOLATED SHOWERS ARE STREAMING
WESTWARD DRIVEN BY MODERATE TO STRONG TRADE WINDS BETWEEN 20-25
KTS. THE TRADE WINDS WILL REMAIN MODERATE TO STRONG OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND GALE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST
ACROSS THE SW CARIBBEAN...MAINLY WITHIN 120 NM OF THE COAST OF
COLOMBIA DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. IN THE UPPER LEVELS...AN
UPPER HIGH IS CENTERED OVER CENTRAL CUBA...PRODUCING MODERATE TO
STRONG SUBSIDENCE/DRY AIR ACROSS THE BASIN EXCEPT FOR THE AREA
OF SHOWERS/TSTMS IN THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN WEST OF 80W. THE
SURFACE TROUGH WILL MOVE WESTWARD ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
AND WILL BE ABSORBED BY THE COLD FRONT OVER THE GULF DURING THE
NEXT 24-36 HOURS.


ATLANTIC OCEAN...
A 1027 MB HIGH PRESSURE LOCATED NORTH OF THE AREA NEAR 35N-57W
HAS CAUSED SURFACE RIDGING OVER THE ATLANTIC BASIN WEST OF 30W.
A WEAK 1012 MB LOW IS LOCATED NEAR 32N26W. A COLD FRONT EXTENDS
FROM THE LOW ALONG 28N23W 23N25W. BROKEN TO OVERCAST SKIES AND
SCATTERED SHOWERS ARE WITHIN AROUND 150 NM AHEAD OF THE FRONT.
THIS LOW WILL LIKELY DISSIPATE IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS OR SO. FAIR
AND QUIET WEATHER PREVAILS ACROSS MOST OF THE ATLANTIC BASIN.
THE SURFACE HIGH IS FORECAST TO MOVE SEWARD INTO THE CENTRAL
ATLANTIC TOMORROW. IN THE UPPER LEVELS...A BROAD UPPER HIGH IS
CENTERED OVER CENTRAL CUBA AND COVERS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN WEST OF
40W. STRONG SUBSIDENCE AND VERY DRY UPPER AIR COVERS THE AREA
FROM 15N-30N W OF 40W. OVER THE EASTERN ATLANTIC...A DEEP
LAYERED TROUGH IS ALONG 23-25W N OF 20N. A TROPICAL JET OF
80-100 KT ALONG 14N-50W 16N30W AND THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS IS
PRODUCING ABUNDANT HIGH CLOUDS SOUTH OF 15N FROM THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS ALL THE WAY EAST TO THE COAST OF AFRICA.

$$
GR
Please NOOOOOO not in January!!!!

glad to see it appears to be going away now......
Good Lawd have mercy! SHOO! SCAT! GO AWAY!
( Bug fanning her apron at that pesky crittur ! )
No Name Storm March 13 1993.
Hope that this helps you all out. Did some research. Remember it well.
Looks like convection is increasing. Somewhat put a stake through this thing and call it a year until July.
That was "superstorm" 1993...This was 100% cold core if I remember right...I remember watching the squall line cross Florida and slam right into us in Port Orange,FL (Daytona)..Power was out for 8 hours. This was the one that dumped all the snow in the northeast.
30. F5
I was in Myrtle Beach during the super storm of 93. We had hurricane force winds one day, which forced us to miss playing golf. The next day, we did play, but there was snow/ice on the course and it was about 35 deg with 30+ mph winds. If that's not the coldest I've ever been on a golf course, I don't know what is. It warmed up a bit each day thereafter, but our last day was still only around 55. Worst golf trip I've ever been on.

The drive home to MI from there was worse. We drove through Asheville, then over to Lexington, then up 75 to Detroit. In NC, the interstate was down to 1 lane with snow piled up 8 - 10 feet from drifts/plowing. By the time we got to Lexington, the snow was much less but still nigh 8 - 12 inches. The drive through OH wasn't bad, and MI didn't really have anything.

I'll never forget that trip
I guess this is a year round season with no end until 2007!

Oh boy, what will happen this summer?
Levi32 -- BITE UR TONGUE!!!

I've had enough with the 2005 hurricane season (especially since I can never show my face in N.O. b/c of my name!). I hope NEVER to see Jim Cantore in my neighborhood over the next 12 months! *LOL*
Posted By: K8tina at 7:05 PM PST on January 23, 2006.
Levi32 -- BITE UR TONGUE!!!

I've had enough with the 2005 hurricane season (especially since I can never show my face in N.O. b/c of my name!). I hope NEVER to see Jim Cantore in my neighborhood over the next 12 months! *LOL*

WHAT? WHAT? DO NOT SAY THAT
i love Jim Cantore i hop i see him back out there in fl doing is live updat for 2006 to keep ever one safe
Wild. Just freakin' wild. Maybe I need one to form and turn up the East Coast to get my durn snow. Durn?
What is the vector of the desurbance?

Could it cut the Yucatan and move into the bay of campeche?
300 degrees
atmosweather mail for you
You guys are acting like this is a tropical storm or something. Its a decent wave that found it way to a small area of the Caribbean that happened to be in low shear. It has 24 hours or so of life left before upper level shear kicks back in and tears it apart. And for cripes sake cyclonebuster, drop your tunnels idea until you get some more proof. Those are exactly the unsubstantiated claims I'm talking about. Besides are you going to protect the world from hurricanes? I would think it would be expensive enough to build and maintain enough of these tunnels to cool the gulf stream, if you could even get them to work.
HurricaneMyles whats up so what are the ch that this may be come td 1 or if it do be come td 1 and all of you bloger out there cool it watch this may not be around for march longer may be for the next 12 to 24 hours in then that it
43. Inyo
seriously, i think of this tunnels guy as a crazy drunk with a beard holding a sign and yelling at passing cars about 'MY TUNNELS! MY PRECIOUS TUNNELS! GOVERNMENET CONSPIRACY!'

also i really don't think this guy invented the idea, either.. i remember hearing about it several years ago.
Dr. Masters:

Yes, this is very early to say the least. But I have been telling my weather team since late Dec. to expect an early start this year due to SST anomalies. This one just might be the kickoff, but it's got a low prob. of doing it. One only has to go to the history for 1886 to see the similarity of this early development scenario. If this isn't the one that starts the season, then one to follow in the not too distant future will take advantage of the anomalous SST's in the Central Gulf for sure. Wind shear will play a part in this disturbance's possible development over the 72 hour timeframe, but for now it's anybody's guess.

We'll all stay tuned....
Not quite sure where you see the similarity to 1886, besides early storms forming in that area below the Yucatan in the NW Caribbean. Besides that it was at a completely different time of the year. Early in the season this is a good place to see development. I believe Arlene and Cindy formed in that area last year. They had a lot more to work with though. Much light shear in the long run and SST that were well into the summer cycle. The water now is barely 80 degrees and maybe a tad lower. It looks unlikely that this will develop, but Ill never give a storm 0% chance after seeing the late season craziness last year.
Hey everyone,

I have to say that this is not unprecedented if one has followed the tropics for more than two decades. I have seen disturbances similar to this one that so many are attributing to of all things (global warming again). In the past, such rare but not unprecendented disturbances were very short lived due to strong shear which is the prevailing reason why we don't get year round storms moreso than cooler waters, although that naturally plays a major role outside of the Carribean.

The only reason this is getting so much attention is that it shows up as a WEAK disturbance after a record setting season where there is so much hype for 2006. I can assure you that you will NOT see a tropical storm from this and write this down for me, there will NOT be another season like 2005 in our lifetimes, unless the NHC starts naming all cold core systems and disturbances in the future.

The talk about a year round hurricane season is also unreasonable and I can assure you that we will not see a storm form in every month of one season ever. Please try to keep everything in perspective, and there are no weather Gods or Goddesses, only the One true God of the universe who alone either controls all events or allows them.

Thanks,
Tony


47. Inyo
and that god..

is THOR god of lightning!


but seriously, i was wishing for a repeat of the rainy season of last year in southern California, but this one is just turning out to be a dud like so many rainy seasons here are.

i am sad.
I remember the Superstorm of '93... it dumped two inches of snow on Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.
I think that was the storm which clobbered us in the northeast with like 2 and a 1/2 feet of snow, if I remember. I was only 9 at the time.
Raysfan70 wrote:

"No Name Storm March 13 1993. Hope that this helps you all out. Did some research. Remember it well."

That was the SUPERSTORM OF 1993...I remember the weekend of March 13-14, 1993 very well..I was living in the DC area at the time, and that winter had actually been unusually quiet in the DC area until that weekend. I worked nights as a security guard while going to college...I remember that Saturday night, being on the top floor of a building in Rosslyn, VA...right across the Potomac River from DC...looking out the windows and watching around two feet of snow fall, with winds gusting to hurricane force. What a night! It was the only time in my life where I saw the NWS put up a blizzard warning for the DC area.

That storm was, hands down, the most far-reaching weather event of the 20th Century.
Wow, this January has felt more like June of most seasons...I'd laugh if this developed. Remember we're only about 5 weeks away from the coldest the waters get all year, so it's all uphill starting in March...