Speculation on Development Possibilities in the East Pacific and Atlantic

By: MAweatherboy1 , 11:26 PM GMT on May 21, 2013

All is quiet right now in the global tropics, with no active tropical cyclones anywhere and no areas of interest being watched for development, and no development likely for the next few days at least. The next area to watch for tropical development will likely be the Eastern North Pacific basin, which has already seen one tropical storm this year, short lived Tropical Storm Alvin. Models, particularly the GFS and CMC, are hinting at the possibility of low pressure organizing at low latitude off the Central American coast in as little as 5-6 days. The CMC is even hinting at the possibility of two systems forming, though I find this unlikely. Here are some graphic representations of what I'm talking about.

Figure 1: 18z GFS, 132 hours.

Figure 2: 18z GFS 180 hours. The full resolution version of the model takes it to about 968mb, a solid hurricane.

Figure 3: 12z CMC, 120 hours. It starts developing the dominant low around 96 hours, but I believe that is too fast.

Figure 4: 12z CMC, 186 hours.

Figure 5: 12z GFS ensemble at 156 hours, showing strong agreement among the ensemble members, indicating the GFS is likely on to something.

The GFS, CMC, and to a lesser extent NAVGEM all show development in this general areas within the next week, while the ECMWF model does not. Once again, this model is likely struggling to pick up on tropical cylogenesis, one of its major weaknesses. Still, there are subtle hints from both it and its ensembles that it wants to show development in the area, and it may latch onto it before long. Here is my thinking on the matter. Obviously not anything groundbreaking here, this is similar to what the models show:

Figure 6: If a tropical storm does indeed develop in the East Pacific, it will be named "Barbara."

Could Atlantic Development Follow?
As the East Pacific shows signs of life, the Atlantic may be soon to follow. This basin's season officially begins on June 1, and there are indications that the first development of the season may come not long after this date as an MJO pulse arrives in the basin to spark possible development in the Caribbean Sea. Confidence is much lower on this possibility than on the East Pacific development, largely due to the fact that this is considerably further out in time. Based largely on what I have observed from the GFS, as well as what is climatologically favored this time of year when an MJO pulse arrives in the basin, I do think Atlantic development is a real possibility between June 1 and June 10, probably more towards the middle or end of that time period. I like speculating at these types of events, so here is my thinking as of right now:

Figure 7: My early thinking on the Atlantic development. This is not to be taken very seriously, and by no means does this indicate that I strongly feel development will occur in this time. I think it is a decent (40-60%) possibility, not a likelihood, and the possible tracks are of course dependent upon something forming in the first place. The tracks are mostly based off of some of the more common solutions that have been portrayed by the GFS.

Figure 8: 18z GFS, 348 hours, showing a fairly weak tropical system travelling close to the right-side path in my graphic; I have noticed this to be probably the most favored general option by the GFS. Development this run began at around 12 days in the area I have highlighted.

Whether this Atlantic development pans out or not, hurricane season is upon us, and it is once again time to make sure you have your emergency plan ready if you are in hurricane prone areas. Many indicators still point to this being a high impact year for the United States.

That is all for tonight; please feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section about either development possibility I discussed. Thank you as always for reading, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.


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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3. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
12:18 AM GMT on May 29, 2013
MAweatherboy1 has created a new entry.
2. nigel20
12:00 AM GMT on May 22, 2013
Thankks for the update MA!
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1. Tropicsweatherpr
11:43 PM GMT on May 21, 2013
Good analysis. The Global Hazards folks coincide with your thinking.

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About MAweatherboy1

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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