Atlantic Falls Silent, But Watching the Caribbean Long Range

By: MAweatherboy1 , 12:00 AM GMT on October 06, 2012

For the first time since August 14, the Atlantic basin is quiet tonight, as weak and short lived Tropical Storm Oscar became post tropical as of today's 11AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Oscar's remnants will continue to rapidly accelerate NE, and will not harm any land areas.

Invest 96E May Develop
A new invest, 96E, developed in the East Pacific today. This disturbance is located about 700 miles SSW of Baja California. 96E came together quite rapidly today, even forcing the NHC to issue a special Tropical Weather Outlook earlier. In this outlook they have the system a 30% chance of development in the next 48 hours. The regularly scheduled 8PM TWO brought the odds up to 50%. I do think this system will develop, and based on its current organization I give it a 60% chance of developing in the next 48 hours. 96E will not have a particularly long time in favorable conditions, so nothing more than a 65mph tropical storm seems likely to me. 96E is already well offshore and is continuing to move west, so it will not be a threat to land.

Figure 1: Invest 96E. Overall, the cloud pattern is quite well organized for an invest, but dry air is clearly present to the north.

A Weak Gaemi Nears Landfall, Flooding and Mudslides a Concern
Things have remained active in the West Pacific, and tonight Tropical Storm Gaemi is making landfall in Vietnam. Gaemi has been a rather interesting system to track. A few days ago it organized rather nicely, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center increased its intensity forecast accordingly to call for the system to become a typhoon. However, the system was very suddenly hit with a blast of shear that exposed the circulation and forced the convection west of the center. The storm never recovered, and is limping into landfall as a minimal tropical storm with 40mph winds. As of the latest advisory from the JTWC, it is located about 350 nautical miles ESE of Hue, Vietnam, and moving west at 14kts. The center of Gaemi should make landfall in Vietnam tomorrow, but due to shear, the convection is already moving ashore. As usual when tropical systems impact Vietnam, there will be a threat for flash flooding and mudslides. However, since the storm is weak, and is moving at a fairly good clip, impacts should not be too severe.

Figure 2: The Sun is up on Gaemi. The thunderstorms have somewhat moved back over the center, but it remains on the eastern edge of the convection.

There are three additional invests in the West Pacific right now, but none of any immediate threat.

Watching The Caribbean Long Range
With the beginning of October comes the end of the Atlantic's Cape Verde season. We won't be looking to the African coast for development until next summer. Now our attention turns closer to home. The last two runs of the GFS model have each shown fairly significant development towards the end of their runs in the Caribbean. There are a few reasons these runs may have some credibility. One is that climatology favors development in this area at this time of year. Another is that around this time the MJO should return to the Atlantic, allowing for increased moisture in the Caribbean that can help to allow development. As of right now, we can do nothing more than speculate, as it is very much up in the air on getting anything in the 12-15 day period as the GFS has started to suggest. However, a couple of things I think we could see if something decides to form:
1. A track mostly away from the US. With a constant barrage of troughs moving across the US, it appears unlikely that anything that forms in the Caribbean will make a run at the Gulf Coast. At this point I think if anything forms it will take anything in between a track like Wilma's, which hooked across Florida, and Lenny, which moved due east in the Caribbean.
2. Potential For Rapid/Significant Intensification. Right now, if conditions in the Caribbean come together to allow for development, there is a real chance we could see something fairly powerful form. The MJO should help stop any dry air issues, and if shear relaxes enough, the extremely high heat content in the Caribbean waters seem primed to allow for a fairly powerful storm. The last two GFS runs reflect this thinking. Again, this is very speculative and hinges on some initial spark forming first.

Figure 3: 12z GFS at 384 hours, with a hurricane moving through the Caribbean.

Figure 4: 18z GFS, 384 hours, with a hurricane pounding Jamaica.

Whatever happens, we'll be keeping our eyes on it. Thank you for reading, and have a great long weekend!

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

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Average 20 year old weather nerd. Plymouth State University Meteorology, Class of 2018. NOAA Hollings scholar. Summer 2016 intern at NWS Boston.

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