South Florida disturbance; African dust

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:39 PM GMT on July 06, 2006

An area of disturbed weather over South Florida, the Bahama Islands, and Cuba is associated with a broad trough of surface low pressure and an upper-level low pressure system. Wind shear is down to 5-15 knots, which is marginally favorable for development. Water temperatures are very favorable, 28 - 29 C. The center of the upper low has drifted to a position at the extreme southwestern corner of Florida. There are a few impressive thunderstorms kicking up near the center of circulation, but this activity is of pretty limited coverage, and development into a tropical depression is unlikely today. Winds at the surface do show a U-shaped pattern (a trough) curving around an axis of low pressure in the region, but there is no closed circulation at the surface. There is only a closed circulation in the upper atmosphere.

Development is being hindered by the system's close proximity to land, and it will do better if it can move away from the coast. The NOGAPS model is suggesting that the low may move more into the Gulf of Mexico and show some slow development, but the rest of the models disagree. They indicate that the current low will not develop at all, but that a new low associated with the same surface trough of low pressure will develop on Saturday south of the Carolinas. This system would then get swept up the coast this weekend, possibly bringing strong winds to Cape Hatteras. The storm would continue moving up the coast, passing several hundred miles east of Cape Cod on Sunday night.

Figure 1. Current satellite image of the blob of disturbed weather over South Florida.

The rest of the tropical Atlantic is quiet today. A large area of African dust covers the entire Atlantic between Africa and the eastern Caribbean, and will act to suppress tropical storm formation in those regions over the next few days.

Jeff Masters

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227. snowboy
7:18 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Randrewl, it could have formed from the remnants - anyways, it is situated perfectly for development and we'll see what happens over the next couple of days..
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2556
226. quakeman55
7:18 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Oh yes...Ivan really raked classes were suspended for three weeks after that, as the University of West Florida's main campus is in Pensacola. It's a relatively small university of about 8,000 students (as opposed to the 30,000 or whatever that go to UF), and Ivan managed to down 2,000 trees on campus. Talk about a cleanup job!
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
225. louastu
7:17 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
New blog is up.
220. Cavin Rawlins
7:10 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season both had 4 major land falling hurricanes in the US, but yet the 2005 season was more destructive and costlier than 2004. What factors contributed to the difference between the two seasons in terms of damages and deaths?
NB: Major in terms of Effects not wind speeds.

comments or answers
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
219. Caymanite
7:10 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Center of blob is closer to Puerto Cabeza Honduras if anyone can find wx report from there
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
217. SouthLAOkie
7:07 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Much appreciated guys! The suggested links are now in the ol' Favorites.

Yes, Quakeman...have been a few times. We moved to South LA (Denham Springs) a few years ago from OK, & I love being so much closer to the beaches of MS/AL/FL. It is a great place to visit, I just worry about it lately w/all the increased activity...and I remember some relatives in Pensacola really taking a beating from Ivan. All I ask is 5-6 clear days at the beach!

Thanks again guys, & I may be "bugging" you again as the trip approaches. And hey, I'm a quick learner, so maybe someday I'll actually contribute something!
215. snowboy
7:07 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
as if there weren't enough to keep an eye on, just saw this which is showing up nicely on the wv images:
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2556
212. quakeman55
7:02 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
There are a few stations that are, like Tegucigalpa, Catacamas, and Nueva Ocotepeque. But I don't know how far away from the blob those sites are.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
210. WSI
7:00 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
I was 10 at the time, and we didn't have power for 10 days. No school for us either, LOL!
209. FloridaSurfr
6:58 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
I was about 45 miles inland but we got hit pretty hard. The tornados were the worst part for us. We lived in the middle of the woods. Lost thousands of trees and didn't have power for a month. I was about 12 or so at the time so it was kind of fun not having school and all.
207. WSI
6:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
FloridaSurfr, I live in NC, and Hugo was a CAT1 up here. Tore us up bad up here. Couldn't imagine what it was like down there for you all.
206. quakeman55
6:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
BTW the blob is offshore from Nicaragua and Honduras, not Costa Rica. So a reading from Honduras would be better...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
204. FloridaSurfr
6:53 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Hey StormJunkie... Are you in Charleston? I grew up in Summerville. Boy was Hugo a fun one!
203. quakeman55
6:52 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Have you ever been to this area before, Okie? If not, and even if you have, you'll enjoy it once you get here. You should not have anything to worry about in terms of tropical weather; it won't be like last year where we had Category 3 Hurricane Dennis come ashore just west of Navarre Beach on July 10. In terms of the tourist season, it was the worst time of year that it could have hit. Tourists eventually did return though.
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
202. FloridaSurfr
6:51 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Howdy guys and gals. I've been lurking around here for a couple of weeks and just wanted to say that this is a very informative and entertaining forum.
As a surfer I try to stay educated and a couple of days ahead of the waves. I live in Tampa so hurricane season is my only hope of catching warm waves.
200. WSI
6:40 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Hey Okie. Welcome!

"The high SSTs scare me.."

Just remember, that is but one part of the equation. It's not good to have high SST's, but its not the end of the world either. Dr. M even had a blog a week or two ago about how some parts of the Atlantic cooled off because of cloud cover. A lot can happen that can fluctuate them either way. has a nice tropical forecasting tutorial that covers the basics. You might find it interesting since you are new to tropical weather. Shows many of the variables that go into tropical systems, including SST's. Again, welcome!
199. rescueguy
6:39 PM GMT on July 06, 2006

you getting the rain yet? Its pouring here, off Dorchester Road.

I think this thing is gonna ride up the coast like the last one, but we'll have to watch and see!
Member Since: September 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
197. snowboy
6:34 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
things are perking around S FLA, we could see something come out of this yet - but it won't be today..
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2556
196. StormJunkie
6:33 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Welcome Okie

You can find some great information at

Three low pressure centers?

I'll talk to ya'll later, got to get back to work.

Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 17164
195. thelmores
6:30 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
looks to me the ull low has emerged on the atlantic coast near ft. lauderdale......

quite a bit of covection to the east......

guess we'll see if anything happens if this low move away from land a little....
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3833
193. SouthLAOkie
6:24 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Hey guys, first post here. Have been a weather nut for years - mainly dealing w/tornadoes (as you can probably tell by the Okie in the screenname!). Hurricanes are a new, fascinating element for me & I've got to find a way to ride w/the Hurricane Hunters someday!

Anyway, was wondering if anyone had any insight/predictions regarding the FL Panhandle in the coming days. Got a family vacation set for Destin/Ft Walton area starting July 14th (wk from Friday). I'd assume our latest "blob" will have done whatever its going to do by then. Or am I wrong? The high SSTs scare me...but I don't know much else about the models or other forecasts regarding other key factors. Any insight is appreciated, and I will be watching very closely over the next week.

192. sails1
6:21 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Looks like the ULL has moved generally east/ne toward the eastcoast of FL and has hit some the hot GulfSteam waters and the convection has responded. If that trouf stalls, the the NW, this system may linger off the southeast coast of FL and develop. What are your guys/gals thoughts on this developing weather system?
Member Since: May 26, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 72
190. quakeman55
6:19 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Looks like the Gainesville reading just dropped back to 90, haha. I guess it has been experiencing some trouble. Take a look at today's history so far. 77 to 91 from 6:53 to 7:53 AM? I don't quite think so. lol
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
189. nash28
6:14 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Hey guys. Send some of that rain up to Tampa will ya?? Seems like the moisture is moving AWAY from us when it was supposed to be moving toward the Gulf.

Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
188. snowboy
6:13 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
thanks for the update SUGARKING, hope you and yours are not too badly affected by the storms..
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2556
187. WhatHurricane
6:08 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Is the ULL under convection?
186. PBG00
6:08 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
I just drove through that blob Rand..I have another blob over my house now
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
185. CounterClockWise
6:06 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
We are getting hammered in Port St. Lucie, possible funnel cloud, raining to hard to geta good look.
183. PBG00
6:03 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Getting real dark and nasty here..afternoon everyone
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
182. txweather
5:59 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Hey I need to go, but here's a neat site.It mentions many aircraft incidents and safety issues. I was browsing wake turbulence and cell phone. Kids PLEASE don't use cell phones on planes.
181. MZT
5:55 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Saharan dust and the inhibition of storms, may just be giving the Gulf and Carribbean more time to heat up. August/Sept will be interesting.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 812
180. wxmanfla
5:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
Wicked storms across Palm Beach County currently. No warnings yet, but 37 mph gust at PBIA at 1:33pm. I've had 1 1/2" of rain in 30 minutes at my house and 1" in just 13 minutes, here in Boynton Beach.
179. hurricane23
5:54 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
good afternnoon guys just checking in.....
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
178. rwdobson
5:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2006
it's not 106 in gainesville. pre-frontal compression or not, it's just not that hot. the gainesville NWS would be mentioning the excessive heat in the short-term forecast if it were real...instead their forecast calls for low 90s.

Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1653

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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