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Eye on Jamaica

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:08 PM GMT on October 14, 2005

A broad 1006 mb low pressure area is centered just south of Jamaica this morning, and is a definite threat to develop into a tropical depression over the next few days. Some impressive thunderstorms have developed to the south of Jamaica this morning, and the general organization of this system has improved since yesterday. This is largely due to the fact that wind shear overhead has dropped from 15 knots yesterday to 10 knots today. No upper level outflow or low-level spiral banding is apparent on satellite imagery yet.

Global computer models forecast that the shear will continue to decrease over the area Saturday and Sunday, and I think it is 70% likely by Monday that a tropical depression will form. Steering currents are very weak, and the disturbance is expected to stay in the central or western Caribbean for at least the next five days. This is a set-up typical of what we've seen in the past for the formation of late-October hurricanes. It would be no surprise if this system ended up becoming a hurricane five to seven days from now. Water temperatures are still very high--up to 32 C near Jamaica--so the ocean can even support a major hurricane, although this is rare in late October.

The eventual track of any tropical storm or hurricane that forms is impossible to forecast with any reliability, since steering currents are very weak and a some erratic motion is likely. The various computer models either keep the storm in the Caribbean the next seven days, or move it northeast across Cuba and the Bahamas, or move it west or southwest across Central America or Mexico's Yucatan. In other words, anything can happen.

Figure 1. Current Sea Surface Temperatures compiled by NOAA's AOML.

Cape Verdes tropical disturbance
A tropical disturbance about 500 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands continues to slowly improve in organization. Visibile satellite imagery and QuikSCAT satellite winds suggest that a surface circulation may be forming here, and some modest upper-level outflow has developed to the north. The system is headed towards an area of low wind shear, which may allow some further development over the next few days as it tracks west-northwest over the open ocean. Tropical storms developing this far east in mid-October are very rarely a threat to the Caribbean or North America.

New England
New England continues to suffer the onslaught of a very wet stream of tropical air from the southeast that has caused nine straight days of rain. The axis of moisture has shifted slightly eastwards today, finally giving New York City a break from the 6 - 8 inches of rain that has fallen the past two days alone. This tropical onslaught will continue moving northeast over the weekend before exiting northern Maine on Sunday.

Figure 2. Lots of rain in the Northeast the past week, but currently just a few areas of major river flooding, in New Jersey.

I'll have an update this afternoon around 3pm, and follow-up then on my post yesterday about Katrina's winds.

Jeff Masters
Flooding Oct 2005 Wayne NJ
Flooding Oct 2005 Wayne NJ
Under water,,,again,,,a view from a different portion of the development

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

First Post BOO YA
Almost got it. Poo
Southern Hemisphere tropical season is already off and running! Check 9S 82E for details.
Congrats Orion on being first. I am too slow
Don't like the sound of the future of the blob near Jamaica.
Once something is in the Carib it has nowhere to go except across land... I hate that.
I think we have a Wilma wannabe over the mid-Atlantic. We shall see what happens...
I was just packing for a few weeks at the beach. Think I may just give it up until December.
Hello all.....another cloudy, rainy, dreary day on the Space Coast
cgablesgal - I like your necklace!
I spent my day off yesterday at the beach off of Lantana. It was a beautiful day. Offshore clouds but plenty of sun on land and a nice breeze. I love living here! (except for the storms of course.)
I know there is no way to tell yet, but use the WAG system . Should we go to St. Augustine or not>
ok, Gables after Hatehurricanes said something about your necklace I had to check it out. Neat! and the dog is soo cute.
Hey weatherdude! Sunny here! come on down.
Hey palmbeacher! I just may do that. I went to bed last night and it was raining, got up this morning and it was raining, and it's STILL raining.
Jamaica blob is cooking. Circulation is pretty obvious.
Hey everybody. It is beautiful day here in the panhandle. Lower 80s and blue skies. Hope to get the boat out and get to Pensacola Beach this weekend.
Yeah, finally some tropical weather to talk about and watch :-)
ya 65, whats up, do we have a dark cloud lingering over us, or what?
palmbeacher, u r so lucky, I need some sun...missing my D :-)
stormy...this can stop any time now. My neighborhood has mushrooms popping up all over the place.
HateHurricanes - go to the beach, its FL...if you don't like the wather, go around the corner. LOL
I plan to try to get some sunning in tomorrow...hopefully, these clouds will be gone tomorrow as the weather man promised...(maybe he only means Orlando and not the Space Coast).....
65 - You didn't hear the latest? The Smurfs have moved to Brevard Cty...
I have mushrooms ALL over my yard, in the medians in the middle of the road...too bad they weren't coming from cows..LOL
yeah stormy it sort of looked like a mini blob was trying to form about 6 hours ago - right off the beach from where you live I think.
Link This is what we have had to deal with all week
LOL Stormy, I thought that I saw them hiding behind the tress this morning on my way to work
cool link 65. how did you get the red circle around the area. earlier in the year and/or different conditions you might have had the start of something.

The mushrooms must be a central fla inside joke. ;-)
weatherdude, stormy. I am sorry for your yucky day. If it makes you feel any better, I will be leaving work around 2 today and will enjoy the sunshine for you both. You guys have fun with the smurfs. LOL
weatherdude, by your link it looks like I am just below all that crap you are getting. Thank Goodness...
keri, thanks. The red circle was put in by the melbourne weather service. I live near the southeren end of the circle. As far as the mushrooms, we have just had so much rain lately that the ground has not chance to dry out
Thanks palmbeacher, I feel a whole lot better now LOL
We should be out of this for the weekend to be nice, at least I am hoping that we will be
Good, hope you have a better drier weekend. It is supposed to cool off, so I've heard. I can't wait. Highs only in the 80's
I am so looking forward to a bit cooler. Lows here are supposed to be 65-66 this weekend and the highs around 84-85
Hey all! Just stopped in to say hello and goodbye! Going on vacation =) be back Thursday

See Ya!!!
Hello and goodbye 21, have a great vacation!!
Be safe 21, Have Fun!
ah, keri, its been sitting there all week, the darn thing...Ive been checking the winds, though, aint nothing special about it...5-10mph gusts
Thanks Palmbeacher, my boss said I could leave anytime cause the whole shop closes at 12PM now on Fridays (yeah!)...so Ill probably go home and blog.
65-I have this blue stuff on the bottom of my shoe...I hope it wasn't Papa Smurf LOL :-)
Thanks yall.. Hope that thing in the Carribean doesnt form!!

Anyway Gotta go, bye guys =)
Did someone say mushrooms? I don't have any growing in my yard but they used to grow like crazy in Gainesville.
Whats up people..........Good to see that there is no fighting on here today.........shhhhhhhhhhhhh....dont wont to jinx it.........lol.........I guess the circulation at the surface heading NE in front of the Upper level low over Bermuda is not of any concern.....Dr. M did not speak of it.....hmmmmm........It will be interesting to see what happens with wilma and alpha....lol
Lucky you stormy.. closing every Friday at noon.

Thanks to everyone for all the posts and links this season. It's been a wonderful education.... well, except for the cussing out I took from STORMTOP (Hope he/she is doing well though).

Uh-oh, boss just caught me looking at the sats again....
Already been warned a few times. Maybe I should just tell her to get a life and enjoy the weather. LOL
OH NO!!! Not papa Smurf!!! Well, I am sure that he lead a very good life LOL
Hey we do have a big college football weekend coming up...Just trying to look on the bright side since Stormy killed Papa smur.lol
Yep......Im going to enjoy tomorrow.....UF at LSU...USC at ND and FSU at UV......fun...fun...fun.....If wilma develops near jamaica......that will be interesting as well.....
Has anyone notice the circulation on the Floater 1 on NHC....moving NE infront of the Big Upper level low...
Go Irish!!!!! I am an FSU fan and I want USC outta there!!
As far as I know Papa Smurf is already dead, the smurf village was bombed by a bunch of terrorists. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about check out the new UNICEF campaign in Belgium. Link
I will of course be looking for my 'NOLES to beat up on Virginia....but I am also going to be a big Notre Dame fan this weekend. I really hope that they can knock off USC
Exactly weatherboy! GO NOLES
hey all. i've updated my blog with hurricane katrina aftermath photos of Gulfport, MS. it'll show u the power of her storm surge and her wind...

50. dcw
Jamaica system has a weak outflow.

ROFL!!! Hatehurricanes and Palmbeacher!!!
Isn't that a cool necklace? I use it in my hoodoo to work my weather witch magic against tropical cyclones... some success.............
The little one with me is one of my Papillons, Petite, we were doing a therapy dog visit at a nursing home. All the older Cubans were loving the necklace as Dennis had just whalloped their beloved island and they wanted to give it the evil eye!!! ::evil grin::
spirit, went to your blog. thanks.
Another meandering storm - Like a rain bird - washes back & forth -retrograding & raising mushrooms. Think: Gordon '94
Hello, everyone ! Beautiful weather here today. Big change from earlier in the week; was dreary, dreary, dreary. Lows this weekend supposed to be about 60; highs about 80; sunny for at least 4-5 days. Am in no mood to be cooped up here at the office. 4:30 can't come soon enough for me.

Hoodoo? Got to have one. Oh, must tell you:
You were soooo articulate the other night. Nice going.
Hi there everyone!!! For the college football weekend...
GO IRISH!!! You are out of here USC!! Can't wait until Texas plays someone of some caliber....Yea don't worry I still remember me game, shoulda, woulda, coulda!! LOL
Wilma..Alpha where are you!!!
weatherspirit i live 8 miles north of biloxi and the damage inland here and 100 miles north was done bywind not surge this is worse wind damage we have ever sustained in s/ms that includes 1947 storm a four betsy a 4 camille a five freddy a4
elena a 3 and georges a 2 which did little katrina anything less than a 4 is a joke masters and his buddy powell must be reading winds form home in michigan lol this is just a little to much i wonder if the insurance companies are not behind this?
Well, buckeyefan, you certainly timed your move here to SC just right. LOL. Hugo was not the best welcome mat, huh?
lol not a sc fan but sorry to burst your bubble but sc plays down to the comp and plays up or destroys the big boys i like notre dame but would be shocked to see thier defense slow down lienhart bush and white, want make predict on nat champ game but as long as thier is no tide or noles ill be happy lol.
Saint I agree with the insurance companies!!! They have lost their butt's the past couple of years!!! I worked in the ins. business for 6 years, it's probably true!! LOL
Buckeye.. I don't think Texas will play anyone of caliber .. Big 12 is weak.....
we all want ND for different reasons
Heaven forbid! I ain't a SC fan. My blood runneth orange and my team plays in Death Valley!
Nope, Hugo got me started!! I was told "nothing to worry about" as soon as they started taping up windows, that is when it hit me!! LOL Been hooked ever since
hate hurri, a friend *stole* it from her step-Dad when he got it at the Las Olas Art Festival in Ft. Lauderdale. I can try to get more info on it when he gets back from Montana visit after this weekend. I don't know if he knows the artist or not. All my friends know about my phobia w/hurricanes so this one just had to get it for me! LOL... poor Hugh... he lost out...
umm, articulate, that's a nice way ::VBG:: of saying mouthy, what was I carrying on about THIS time??? LOL
Got ya palmettobug!! Hubby and daughter the same! Very interesting on Saturday's!! BTW GREAT game last night!!!
Ye gads! Catch you guys later. Lunch break is over! If I can sneak a peek later, I will. Otherwise I'll check in this evening sometime.
By for now bug!!!
insurance co's have really nailed us here in FL since Andrew. Guess now the whole hurricane region is going to get it as well... We had too long a quiet period where folks got complacent and now the rates are sky-high b/c they didn't build up enough of a back-up fund.
We've seen so many co's fold here in FL that it's not funny... actually scary that they don't have enough reinsurance and then the State has to bail them out. Alot of folks wind up in the State insurance pool and that's no fun. I believe the latest big one to start pulling back is AllState. I've been INUNDATED with car insurance policy offers from them sice early summer. Like I'd take out a policy with them if they won't even consider insuring my real property...
AMEN hurrycanegal!! I know how that system works!! They charge all that money, then can't afford to pay out when it's needed!! Then they go bankrupt, and everone is SOL
you got that right buck!

outta here to physical therapy for back. Catch you all later!
By Gal!!! Don't "work" to hard!!!
Posted By: napleswx at 4:32 PM GMT on October 14, 2005.
As far as I know Papa Smurf is already dead, the smurf village was bombed by a bunch of terrorists. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about check out the new UNICEF campaign in Belgium. Link

LMAO - no really, The video is peacefully introduced by birds, butterflies and happy Smurfs playing and singing their theme song when suddenly out of the sky, bombs rain down onto their forest village, scattering Papa Smurf and the rest as their houses are set ablaze.

The bombs kill Smurfette leaving Baby Smurf orphaned and crying at the edge of a crater in the last scene of the video and finishing of with the text "don't let war destroy the children's world

It didn't kill all of them, they fled the country and came to FL. Now they are illegal smurf aliens or ISAs.
These ISAs may be in your back yard, cause I know they are in my front yard. :-)
You are to funny stormy!! LOL
I worked at an insurance agency, I couldn't handle it....these agents make mega money, why? All that extra money should go in a reserve, not in some agents pocket....
Me neither!! Now in the Food Service Industry..Building and installing Applebee's, Fatz Cafe, Teds Montana Grill, etc
If I lived in Jamaica, Id be complaining at the NHC, dah, that surely looks like a depression to me...Link
Im gonna go check out the floaters...see who they are pointing at...if anything good, Ill link it in here...
I agree!! Wilma are you knocking?
Great circulation!!! Here She comes!!!
LOL, Stormy, I stand corrected.
No, Link floater 1 on Bermuda and Link floater 2 over the gulf..if only they'd move it south some...to Jamaica...maybe they will soon...
If the shear stay's low like it's supposed to..this should be Wilma
Buckeye - u did the insurance thing too? Sucked! Even got my license and then realized, how can I possibly stoop so low to take all this money for pushing papers....the insurance industry is just w-r-o-n-g!!! I remember learning about it..ya, your protecting your future...its all about money and its just evil...not my cup of tea...not that welding is either, but at least its more honest!
Yea-worked for about 5 years there!! Couldn't stand the feeling of giving less than what people would pay for!!
Welding...what type? moble,tig..
So, Naples, seen Papa Smurf or any others arond Naples? Having mushrooms popping in your yard? If you do, please don't step on them, after all that bombing, they need a break and somewhere they can feel safe....We americans will let anything into our country, we are nice like that.
PS- I don't think it was Papa Smurf I got earlier, no white in the blue on the bottom of my shoe and it smelled like poo...must been smurf doo. :-)
oh, I don't do the welding, they do everything, you name it, dream it, see it - they can make it, fix it, or tell u its not worth the time. :-)
I just handle the book keeping. I get to call myself the Office Manager...feels like such a big title for such a small job.
I'm always looking for great welders for our stores!! I don't have many across the US, but every little bit helps!! Drop me a line, and I will keep the number handy!!
No job to small!! LOL I'd love to be in a small office!!
Corporations and the hassle.. not worth it! :)
Ok jamica blob.. let's get you a name!!
Kingston 77 F / 25 C 89% 29.74 in / 1007 hPa Light Thunderstorm Rain NW at 18 mph / 30 km/h 1:00 PM EST

Montego Bay 82 F / 28 C 89% 29.71 in / 1006 hPa Light Thunderstorm Rain East at 5 mph / 7 km/h 1:15 PM EST

Latest obs for Jamaica... they are an hour old however...
Oh, were incorporated all right...and its not that small of a job, it does keep me busy most of the time...its just the nice title Im allowed to have, makes me feel special. :-)
interesting weatherspirit, winds going in different directions...come on Wilma!
buck u got mail
Come to think of it Stormy I have noticed a few mushrooms popping up around the yard and my dog going crazy for them. Also, there is an old man next door who does have a strange resemblance to Gargamel. Hmmmm... I wonder.
I know the feeling!! Installation cord, and head of service department that gives no time for anything!! jack of all trades :)
uh oh Naples....they are taking over the state! I wonder how quickly they multiply? Like rabbits? :-)
Nine Consecutive Days of Measurable Rainfall in Mount Place, NY

6pm Wednesday (Rosh Hoshanah) 10/5 to 6pm Thursday 10/6: 0.01
6pm Thursday 10/6 to 6pm Friday 10/7: 0.02
6pm Friday 10/7 to 6pm Saturday 10/8: 0.72
6pm Saturday 10/8 to 6pm Sunday 10/9: 1.75
6pm Sunday 10/9 to 6pm Monday (Columbus Day) 10/10: 0.19
6pm Monday (Columbus Day) 10/10 to 6pm Tuesday 10/11: 0.18
6pm Tuesday 10/11 to 6pm Wednesday 10/12: 4.88
6pm Wednesday 10/12 to 6pm Thursday (Yom Kippur) 10/13: 1.56
6pm Thursday (Yom Kippur) 10/13 to 2:30pm Friday 10/14: 3.94

Nine Day Total: 13.25
the frustrating thing is, the Jamaica Met Service Link doesn't either have a working radar or they're not publishing it...

Wow Dan, do you have a boat? Sounds like you need one...
nope no boat lol only snow tubes....
spirit, maybe they are getting one soon...did you ever see their radar before? I didn't know they even had one...
So Stormy, if they are multiplying then Smurfette must be a busy woman, are they all taking turns?
Thanks stormy!! I'll be back..no more fun at the receptionist desk!! Back to the "cave". Be right back!!
well Naples, I thought Smurfette was dead? There has to be other females...unless they are asexual...eew!
Stormy, some of the old internet pages on Google have some radar images from Jamaica. It's probably broken, but that's why the NHC should help them repair it.

Now, closest Sat picture to Jamaica, definitely seeing some outflow and cyclonic circulation over Jamaica (bottom right corner). This might also be nothing, but it looks like a small surface low coming down the East coast of Florida. Things that make you go hmmmm...

well, off to work guys... Have fun!
weatherspirit Link 12 hour loop from my area, there seemingly was a little rotation with it earlier, but its gone now...its been raining and the clouds have been hustling all week...I just want the rain to stop so I can see the sun tomorrow. :-)
Well, Smurfette was the only female I ever saw. Who knows, I suppose we may find out once they have settled into the community.

Anyone know if the Navy has named this blob an investigative area yet, and if so what is its number? The site seems to be down right now.
well, Im done for now too...catch up with everyone later. :-)
Yeah, the GOES link still shows the rotation... even looks
like it had a small eye. Looks like to me on the last frame
the eye is making landfall now. Strange. Thanks again all.
112. phelp
let me just say how unbelievably cool people are who have the ability to post first. congratulations!
Maybe I'm just being contrary, but that thing near Jamaica has a ways to go before it becomes a TD. Still too much SW flow aloft. If the trough moves out and this thing sits under an upper high, then it may develop.
Ok, Navy has an invest on the system. The area is now 98L, here are some early model plots. Models
I like that Navy link: "if anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product". aye aye captain.
Good afternoon, everyone!

I think that within the next three days, both of these systems will be named, and, going out on a limb here, I think that they will BOTH eventually become hurricanes. The Caribbean storm is in an infamous area for hurricane formation, and the other system is going to be in a rare favorable Eastern Atlantic enviornment (rare for mid-October, that is).
Actually that is graphic from South Florida Water Management, but yeah I know what you mean. LOL
As a consultant I am thinking of adding that to every deliverable...it should definitely be on every internet post...
Tornadoty... and I think we all agreed months ago that this season doesn't want to conform to the norm...anything goes
Though I don't normally agree with Bastardi, he has described in his column today what I think is going to happen with the system in the Caribbean:

The surface pressure in Kingston, Jamaica, on the southeast coast of the island, has fallen to 1005 mb and they are reporting a light north wind. There is another blowup of deep convection just off the southeast coast, so this thing does appear ready to develop. Someone mentioned there is still sw shear inhibiting development, but I see absolutely no sw upper level wind over the center. The outflow appears to improving steadily.
Torn........ thanks for the link...hope Joe is wrong about a Florida strike..
well at least here on the coast of North Carolina I can relax and not worry about hurricanes for another year....it's 68 degrees outside....the forecast for the weekend has it down in the 40's at night..I love the fall....
Hi everyone, all leaves are off from trees in Finland. Last year snow came when they were still green. Getting cold here, MISS MY PALM TREES! Will be back in FL in ten days. Dr. Jeff, thanks for reassurance on the future outlook for us living in FL, I just pray the this Jamaica blob will get some winds to move it fast, so it won't stall for days and days like Mich did. Uhhhh.
torn, seems we WILL get at least to Alpha. Though that's cool, but as I said above, I DO NOT HOPE SO given the danger to those on their way.
I'll be glad to spend Xmas in FL, while there's only 4 hrs of daylight in southern Finland at that time, and the sun doesn't even rise for weeks and weeks 800 miles up noth in Lappland.
125. dcw
I have initiated advisories on the Jamaica system:

Tropical Depression 25Y 4:30 PM EDT


Satellite and Microwave imagery show that the low pressure system south of Jamaica has become much better organized this afternoon...and now has sufficient banding and convection to be classified as a Tropical Depression. For those who did not read the designation convections...the '25Y' means that I am declaring it the 25th Tropical Depression of the season, and the NHC has yet to declare it as TD25. The center is difficult to pinpoint, as the depression is still in the formative stage.
Steering currents are very weak...so only a slight northwesterly drift is shown through 72 hours...after that, the system should pick up some speed and move toward the Yucatan Peninsula or Channel.
The intensity forecast calls for strengthening to a Tropical Storm in 24 hours...a Hurricane in 48-72...and reaching 85kt by 120 hours. Note that a Major Hurricane...though very rare in mid-late October...is a distinct possibility, as the waters of the Northwest Caribbean are very warm.
The likelihood of a Tropical Storm necessitates a Tropical Storm Watch for the island of Jamaica

Initial: 18.0N 78.0W 25kt
12 Hour: 18.5N 78.0W 30kt
24 Hour: 19.0N 78.5W 40kt
36 Hour: 19.5N 79.5W 50kt
48 Hour: 20.5N 80.5W 55kt
72 Hour: 21.0N 83.0W 65kt
96 Hour: 21.5N 87.0W 75kt
120 Hour: 23.5N 90.0W 85kt
oooops, threat to FL, things really change in a heartbeat as far as weather is concerned!
Hi dcw,
I am going to wait about another hour or so before I consider issuing advisories. The situation is right on the border, and though the NHC is not my crutch, I would just like to see what they say.
Ok, I was wrong (or just being contrary). That thing does look a lot more impressive on the water vapor loop. It's a TD now, if not now, within the next 24.

And UVa will shock FSU this weekend....
130. IKE
Dr. Masters has started a new blog.
131. avlos
dcw.... no offense but major hurricanes in mid to late october are not uncommon in this area .... 2 that come to mind in the last 10 years are Michelle and of course Mitch, and then in early November we had backwards Lenny a few years ago. I personally dont consider that rare, but that's just me.
quick thought tornody curious why you doubt bastardi? if you read his column daily which he updates 4 times a day and see how far in advance he predicts these systems that kind of amazes me although if you said that about masters i could see your point, the final straw was that katrina nonsense he should have not even brought that up, all i can say and a lot of oters have brought out this point bastardi is very good and i agree with lefty and others about masters have a nice day.