Will devote this hurricane season to provide up-to-the-minute, basic information when a tropical system is threatening land. Both basins included.
By: hurricaneben, 10:04 PM GMT on September 28, 2013
I've been very busy with schoolwork and taking some long needed rests that I hadn't been able to update and the tropics were quiet anyway since my last post so I have returned 'from the dead' as we see the tropics start to pick up again. Invest 96L has a very strong chance of becoming a TD/TS in the next day or two and a weak tropical disturbance in the SW Caribbean may organize and is of significant concern to Cuba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and possibly even the Lower 48 late in the upcoming week.
Invest 96L is continuing to show signs of organization as it approaches TD/TS status well to the NE of the Northernmost Lesser Antilles. Conditions are conducive for gradual intensification and there is the chance we might see this make a shot at hurricane strength towards the second half of the upcoming week. As far as threats to land go, it is not an immediate concern for any land masses though the Azores Islands may want to watch it into the end of the week if it can persist long enough. The NHC gives this a very high 70% of becoming a TD/TS in the coming five days. There is virtually no chance of a threat to the United States or any other land masses at this time.
SW Caribbean Activity
An area of disturbed weather is gathering together in the southwestern Caribbean and has a decent amount of model support in bringing it up to a tropical cyclone somewhere in the Caribbean and/or the eastern Gulf Of Mexico in the next few days. Flooding rainfall and increased winds will affect areas such as Jamaica, Cuba and/or the Cayman Islands regardless and it is expected to make it into the Gulf Of Mexico as it continues its NW track over lower shear. The conditions are favorable of steady, even quick, intensification so this may become something of serious interest as we roll on into the upcoming week. The NHC gives this a 10% chance of becoming a TC by Monday afternoon, but a decent 30% chance in the next five days. We could see these chances go up higher.
I'll probably have an update by Monday, so check up when possible.
Updated: 10:04 PM GMT on September 28, 2013
By: hurricaneben, 12:11 AM GMT on September 18, 2013
The flooding seems to be receding after Hurricane Ingrid & Tropical Storm Manuel each tore through opposite sides of the Mexican coastline. Ingrid was responsible for at least 23 fatalities and major flooding damage including collapsed roads, flooded homes and deadly landslides when it made landfall as a category one early Monday AM. Manuel produced similar effects and 14 deaths, bringing the combined death toll up to 37. But there are other areas of concern in the tropics that are keeping the Atlantic alive.
This one is the only valid threat to land at this time. It is forecast to steadily develop once it emerges into the Bay Of Campeche and has a great shot at becoming a TD/TS as early as Thursday. Some more strengthening could occur as a tropical cyclone and there is a chance it may approach hurricane status at some point over the southwestern Gulf Of Mexico. Where it goes remains highly uncertain but one thing that's agreed on is that a wide blanket of moisture outflow from the system will affect much of the Northern Gulf Coast and localized heavy rainfall (amounts as high as 3-4 inches) may increase the potential for flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama by late week into the weekend and possibly continuing into next week. Models generally want to take it towards NE Mexico--a similar trek that Ingrid took, but a bit farther to the north--or hook it NE towards the northern Gulf Coast states into Florida. We have a lot of time to monitor the system but there is a very strong 70% chance (as per the NHC) of this becoming a tropical cyclone in the next five days.
Tropical Storm Humberto has regenerated, with winds now up to around 45 MPH. Strengthening is expected to be gradual but at a fairly steady pace as it treks N and NNE on a path that would keep it well out at sea. There is a decent chance it may near hurricane status by Thursday or Friday as it starts to transition into an extratropical system well away from any land masses.
After claiming 14 lives, Tropical Depression Manuel is not fully finished with its rough wrath against Mexico's western shoreline but this time it has set its sight on areas of the coastline farther north, including southern Baja California. This includes Carbo San Lucas to San Everisto and Mazatlan to Altata where tropical storm watches are in effect. The flooding threat is somewhat lower than what occurred in the southwestern coast of Mexico but rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches (isolated amounts as high as 15 inches) are still capable of producing some pretty dangerous flash flooding so landslides and even some structural damage cannot be ruled out at all.
This is all for today's update, I'll have another one out by either tomorrow or Thursday depending on my schedule.
By: hurricaneben, 1:48 PM GMT on September 15, 2013
Within' a week and a half, we went from absolute quiet in the tropics to a very dangerous hurricane bearing down on a flood-stricken NE Mexico.
In the past 36 hours, Ingrid has strengthened into a mid-level category one with winds around 85 MPH and some additional strengthening should occur in the next 24 hours or so before it makes landfall in NE Mexico. The very high winds and the storm surges have the potential of causing damage such as downed trees and moderate structural damage as well as significant coastal flooding but the biggest threat by far is the rainfall flooding. Amounts of 10 to 15 inches, locally as high as 25 inches, is capable of making way for some widespread destructive flooding and landslides, potentially catastrophic. Even as we've seen with Fernand, which didn't have rainfall amounts higher than 15 inches or so, flooding damaged many houses and landslides contributed to 14 fatalities--so we may be looking at a deadly and very destructive situation here. Entire towns may be isolated by floodwaters, entire homes may be swept away and/or demolished, this is one that we definitely shouldn't keep our eyes off. As far as US impacts go, we are not looking at anything like that but still most forecasts calling for 2 to 4 inches of rainfall which is capable of producing urbanized minor flooding in South Texas (south of Corpus Christi), and high surf is also a major concern for anyone planning to swim around the South Padre Island/Brownsville area to Corpus Christi but with the rainfall coming ashore, most would probably stay away from the beaches by choice. But the end results in Mexico is not going to look well--I definitely wouldn't be surprised if we get a high death toll, potentially more than a hundred, but let's hope for the best.
Tropical Storm Manuel is about to make landfall along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, making winds around 70 MPH, and is another cause expected to contribute to the potential flooding disaster that may unfold in the next 18 to 48 hours. Similar rainfall amounts of 10 to 15 inches is expected to result in the potential for devastating flooding on the western side of Mexico but the interesting factor here is if the moisture from Manuel combines with Ingrid's, the potential for catastrophic flooding will really play itself out. The biggest threat with Manuel remains the flash flooding though minor to moderate wind damage is a less significant likelihood.
Humberto has dissipated but may regenerate in the coming days, possibly strengthen into a hurricane again, and there are no significant areas of interest to monitor.
By: hurricaneben, 12:19 AM GMT on September 14, 2013
The tropics remain quite busy but, by far, the biggest tropical headlines remains Tropical Storm Ingrid which has been strengthening and now has winds up to around 60 MPH. Very strong winds and many hours to days of continuous torrential rainfall make this a real danger for much of Mainland Mexico's eastern shoreline along the Bay Of Campeche. A hurricane watch is now up from north of Cabo Rojo upwards to around La Pesca, so residents there should be especially on alert but the danger doesn't end there at all. A large part of eastern Mexico may see epic rainfall amounts upwards of 10 to 15 inches in many areas with isolated amounts over 25 inches. This is enough to cause widespread and extremely dangerous flash flooding and landslides in an area which has been blasted by very wet tropical systems in the past couple of months. The very slow movement should aid in the especially elevated risk of flooding. The official forecast does make it a minimal hurricane upon landfall, so scattered wind damage will also be a hazard though not to the extent of the flooding. Southeast Texas, which definitely needs a lot of the moisture and rainfall, may see beneficial rainfall amounts of 2 to as much as 5 inches but considering the dry soil in the region, fortunately widespread significant flooding is not a concern at all in that portion of the state (Brownsville, Corpus Christi, etc).
Another reason that Mexico may be in shape for a dangerous flooding situation is the presence of newly-formed Tropical Storm Manuel in the eastern Pacific which is headed towards the Pacific coast of Mexico with winds around 45 MPH. Some more gradual strengthening is expected could bring it up to a strong tropical storm or borderline hurricane before landfall late tomorrow/early Sunday. NW portions of Mainland Mexico may see isolated rainfall amounts over 20 inches so there definitely is a considerable concern for dangerous flooding in these area too but the biggest concern is if the moisture from Manuel combines with TS/Hurricane Ingrid's and that will lead to the most dangerous threat of flooding over inland northern Mexico. This is definitely a scenario to carefully monitor, a serious situation for residents and visitors to the flood-stricken nation.
This update on Humberto will be brief: it is weakening as it stays well out over open Atlantic waters but re-strengthening is a strong possibility once it enters more favorable conditions for development around the start of the upcoming work week. It could re-strengthen into a minimal hurricane by Wednesday but the good news is that, as it stands, absolutely no land masses stand in the way of any (in)direct impacts so this won't be of concern to anyone--with Ingrid and Manuel out there, we don't need any more hurricane threats whatsoever.
Elsewhere, Gabrielle has dissipated just south of Nova Scotia. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches may impact much of Atlantic Canada from the remnants regardless but the threat of flooding and/or damage is very low at this point. I'll have another update either tomorrow or Sunday.
By: hurricaneben, 7:32 PM GMT on September 12, 2013
The tropics are continuing to show signs that the peak of the season may be upon us--and it may not be over very soon. Hurricane Humberto may be reaching its peak as a high end category one and Tropical Storm Gabrielle is headed towards Atlantic Canada after battering Bermuda with gusty winds but no major damage. However the most formidable threat to land at this time is Invest 93L--nearly a tropical depression and a severe flooding concern for Mexico and potentially SE Texas(?)
We'll begin with Hurricane Humberto, which is packing winds of around 85 MPH (making it a category one), but may have reached its peak. Cooler SSTs and overall more adverse conditions ahead will help place it on a weakening phase but it won't fall apart so soon. Right now it is way out in the eastern Atlantic basin and not near any land masses, but it could make a westward turn in the next couple of days. The thinking is it will be a weakening tropical storm by that time and it is very unlikely that we'll see this hold itself together at all before it comes remotely close to any land masses. So the first Atlantic hurricane has arrived but it appears to only be a concern for shipping interests.
Tropical Storm Gabrielle has re-strengthened from a depression earlier today. It produced TS force winds and heavy rainfall over the island of Bermuda from Tuesday into the early part of tomorrow but there are no reports of any significant damage anywhere and there shouldn't be any considering its weak intensity and small size. We should see the same fate play out for Atlantic Canada, if not better, as it may fall apart before reaching the coastline of Nova Scotia--and it is definitely not a threat to the Lower 48. Increased rainfall and gusty winds are still quite possible. Winds are back up to 40 MPH but not much in the way of additional strengthening is expected.
This system--93L--is a much more substantial threat to land than the other two. It has been visually organizing so far today as it emerges off the western coast of the Yucatan and could be very close to TD status. A RECON is flying into the system this afternoon and will determine whether a TD/TS has formed. Models generally take it into NE Mexico but there is some outside chance that it will continue NW or NNW and land along the Texas shoreline. Either way this is a fairly large system and will pack a lot of torrential rainfall. With exceedingly warm SSTs (27-29C) and very moist conditions in place, swift intensification over the Bay Of Campeche is a very plausible scenario. We could see anything from just a TS to a category 2 hurricane evolve before it makes contact with land (probably by the weekend or early next week, but the exact timing is unclear) and flooding is definitely a major concern regardless of strength. Now much of South Texas (and a great portion of the state) really need the rainfall so it would be much more beneficial for the rainfall to be concentrated up there and significant flooding is less likely with such dry soil than down in Mainland Mexico. Either way, it may end up being the most significant tropical cyclone of the season so far, in terms of damages or overall impacts, there's still a lot of uncertainty so anyone from Veracruz up past Corpus Christi TX should closely monitor the progress of probable soon-to-be-Ingrid.
I also provide a moment of silence to the victims of the 9/11 attacks exactly 12 years ago yesterday as well as the victims of the Colorado flooding catastrophe that's unfolding today. I'll make another update tomorrow.
Updated: 7:34 PM GMT on September 12, 2013
By: hurricaneben, 1:04 AM GMT on September 11, 2013
The tropics are now definitely showing signs of entering the peak of the season, with Tropical Storm Humberto on the very verge of becoming the season's first Atlantic hurricane and Tropical Storm Gabrielle impacting Bermuda with squally, windy weather and a potential threat to Newfoundland. Besides those 2 tropical cyclones, we have a potential candidate to become the next tropical cyclone in the Bay Of Campeche so a lot of activity to discuss this September evening.
After forming Sunday afternoon, Tropical Storm Humberto has strengthened at a gradual but steady pace. It is now packing winds up to around 70 MPH and further strengthening could bring it up to hurricane status as early as the next few hours and possibly near CAT II status by tomorrow night or the first part of Thursday before moving over somewhat less favorable conditions. It is probably going to reach hurricane status by the very early AM hours tomorrow morning but if it manages to hold onto TS strength 'til after 11 AM tomorrow, it could break the record for the latest-forming Atlantic hurricane since the satellite era began in 1966. But that isn't likely right now. That record is being held by 2002's Gustav. This does not pose a direct threat to any land masses at this time, and should more than likely end up a fish storm.
This one's expected to stay a bit weaker but is much more of a concern for land masses--particularly Bermuda which may receive the worst weather in the very short term. Winds are now up to 60 MPH as it makes its closest approach to the island. Tropical storm force winds are already being reported and rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches may produce an isolated risk of minor to moderate flash flooding, but below major levels. The main concern will be plenty of downed trees, power lines and a storm surge of 2 to 3 feet above water levels. Overall I don't expect a lot in the way of damage--nothing like 'Fabian' (2003) and 'Igor' (2010), just a wet and windy ordeal lasting into late AM/PM hours of tomorrow. Nova Scotia and potentially Newfoundland should keep a close eye out for the latest trends as a direct hit on Atlantic Canada appears to be a likelihood by Friday or Saturday, no direct impacts to the Lower 48 is expected but increased swells are possible especially for the New England coastline late in the week.
Invest 93L is not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone before coming ashore the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in the next 12 hours or so but is definitely looking likely to try to spin up into at least a weak TS in the Bay Of Campeche towards the end of the week, and I won't be surprised if we see a mid range to strong TS or higher at some point if this manages to take its time once over the very favorable waters. With all that said, models are sold on taking this into Mainland Mexico with a threat to South Texas not out of the question, and they are in a major rainfall deficit so that may actually be beneficial for the Brownsville/Corpus Christi region and areas inland towards the Rio Grande Valley. There is a rather slight 20% chance of TC formation in the next 48 hours but through Sunday evening, the chances exist at a very strong and formidable 70%.
I'll have another update anytime through Thursday.
By: hurricaneben, 7:50 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
Tropical Storm Humberto has formed as a depression yesterday and has gathered strength since--now packing winds around 45 MPH while nearing the Cape Verde Islands, as of the 2 PM EDT. Tropical storm warnings are up for the Cape Verdes and there is the enhanced potential for flash flooding in these islands--where isolated rainfall amounts as high as 10 inches are possible. Gradual strengthening is forecast due to a decreasing trend of dry air and lower shear and this has a very strong chance of becoming the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, possibly by late tomorrow or Wednesday, could briefly peak as a CAT II at that before moving over much less favorable conditions for development late in the week. Now there does not seem to be any sort of threat to the Lower 48, Bermuda or Caribbean whatsoever as Humberto is forecast to make a northward turn in the next couple of days but we will watch this situation if solely due to the flood threat in the Cape Verde Islands. No land masses are supposed to be affected at the time of Humberto's peak, regardless. Not much else is going on--the remnants of Gabrielle still have a decent chance of long term regeneration as models generally take it toward Bermuda and/or Atlantic Canada, and there is the potential for TC genesis in the SW Gulf Of Mexico/Bay Of Campeche towards the weekend, in which Mexico or even S Texas can be prime targets for tropical development.
I'll have another update either tomorrow or Wednesday.
By: hurricaneben, 5:50 PM GMT on September 07, 2013
The tropics are definitely picking up in activity but still remain rather quiet and harmless for early to mid September which is when the most activity generally occurs. We haven't had a hurricane form yet--the latest date for hurricane formation in recorded history took place on September 11 (2002) and now we are at the 7th of September, 5 days away from breaking that record. Could we break it? Certainly possible but with Invest 91L expected to develop and possibly near hurricane strength by mid-week, we might as well come in with a close tie (possibly beat it by a day or two).
Incredibly dry air, partially due to a record breaking drought in Brazil, has prevented significant development in the open Atlantic waters so far this season which is why we haven't seen anything hold together from Africa to the Lesser Antilles region (though Chantal pretty much came close) and there haven't been any hurricanes anywhere in the Atlantic basin. This may change as early as the next 3 or 4 days with Invest 91L a potential threat to develop as it emerges off of Africa and a TD/TS forming by the start of the week is looking increasingly likely. Some models have been persistent on bringing it up to hurricane strength, others keep it rather weak, so we'll have to see about this one but fortunately one thing that is being agreed on is that the only land masses that have the potential to see any significant impacts at this time are the lightly populated Azores Islands, and the potential there alone isn't high at all.
Tropical Depression Eight is falling apart as it slowly climbs its way over the rough mountainous terrain of Mainland Mexico. General rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches has been reported in the past 24 hours or so but at this time, it doesn't seem like any major flooding impacts have been reported.
Another weakening system is Tropical Depression Lorena which is just offshore SW Baja California and expected to turn west just before dissipating in the next day or so. Locally heavy rainfall has resulted in localized reports of flash flooding over southern Baja California, but so far no notable damage or any deaths for that matter.
Other tropical waves have low to moderate chances of development, most importantly the remnants of Gabrielle, but neither appear to be a direct threat to land at this time. I'll try to update before Monday, and we might have a new TD or TS by then.
By: hurricaneben, 9:24 PM GMT on September 04, 2013
The tropics are back at the game, as it has remained a very quiet peak so far, but now we have a newly formed tropical depression a little bit sooner than thought from 97L.
Tropical Depression Seven
TD-7, which is an imminent concern for land, might play out to be a major rainmaker for Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic. Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 10 inches, are anticipated in the above mentioned areas as well as portions of the US Virgin Islands and this could lead to the potential for dangerous (but probably not widespread) flash flooding--more over mountainous terrain. Again, it is expected to become a tropical storm before hitting or brushing the eastern tip of Dominican Republic (there is uncertainty, so the track can always change somewhat) but should remain a rather weak one at that as it comes through land. Of course you don't need a particularly powerful system to cause catastrophic flooding conditions but I don't see a catastrophe unfolding here--just localized flooding damage. Once over the open Atlantic waters, it should encounter a relatively favorable area for development and slow but definitely more steady strengthening may occur. The odds of a direct threat to the Lower 48 are slim in part to the patterns that will shift it to the NE down the road, but Bermuda may be more in play by the start of next week.
Too early to tell much about track and intensity beyond the next couple of days, the season's first hurricane is definitely a valid possibility (but not an overt likelihood) and eastern Hispaniola as well as the NE Caribbean should brace for some continued heavy rainfall and the significant risk of flash flooding. If you have interests in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and/or the US Virgin Islands, it would be wise to pay attention to the latest forecasts and any possible evacuations or precaution instructions from authorities.
A tropical disturbance in the Eastern Pacific, labeled as 99E, could become a tropical depression or storm in the next day or two as it heads on a course that would likely take it near/over southern Baja California and possibly toward the pacific coast of Mexico. It is worth mentioning too because it is a considerable threat to land and with the path it's taking, monsoonal moisture could overspread a drenched Southwest US with the possibility of more flash flooding after moisture from Ivo killed one and prompted water rescues due to flooding in Arizona and Nevada. Not to mention there is the chance of flash flooding over Baja California and/or NW Mexico, especially if it gets going.
Another update will be made tomorrow or Friday.
By: hurricaneben, 9:12 PM GMT on September 03, 2013
The tropics remain quiet in terms of full-fledged tropical cyclone but there are more than a few areas of interest worth mentioning that have some potential of development so it's not completely quiet but for this time of the year, I would typically expect at least one or even two tropical cyclones. Maybe that'll change later in the week, how high are the odds of that?
Invest 97L is under a decently favorable area for development as it chugs into the eastern Caribbean and generally towards Hispaniola but proximity to land is what's inhibiting significant development and what should at least for the next 2 days or so. Models generally take it on a path that would likely take it into Haiti or the Dominican Republic by around Thursday then N and NE potentially out to sea beginning late in the week. Now that's when development into something significant (i.e. a stronger tropical storm/hurricane) is much more plausible. Relatively low wind shear exists in that region and due to the lack of land interaction, any considerable organization will be much easier to get done. It is quite possible that we do get a TD/weak TS by the time it reaches what should be the Hispaniola coastline but depending on how long it stays over land, we could see it pretty much fall apart all over again--or if it takes a more eastward path which would hardly bring it over land at all, we won't see as much weakening. Flash flooding will definitely be a concern for the struggling infrastructure of Haiti, regardless. Fortunately, the one thing that is being agreed on is that the Lower 48 will most likely be spared from any direct impacts, but a sizable threat to Bermuda cannot be ruled out at all at this time. We will get a better idea by the end of the week for sure, this is all speculation for now, nothing formed yet. The NHC gives it a 30% chance of TC formation by Thursday afternoon, and a 50% chance by the next five days. I'd raise the latter up to around 60-70%, and a 30% chance of us seeing a hurricane at some point from 97L.
A tropical wave just off of Africa is under an area of very dry air. Some slow development cannot be ruled out but right now, it does not appear to be a direct threat to land and the odds are strongly stacked against this becoming anything of significance in the next several days.
A tropical disturbance is about to emerge into the eastern Bay Of Campeche. Conditions are ripe for some slow development too with this one and a TD/weak TS just cannot be ruled out before this comes ashore Veracruz by Thursday or Friday, but still isn't looking very probable at this time. Flooding will be a concern anyway so keep an eye on your local forecasts if you have any interests in Veracruz, because rainfall is a huge player with any tropical system. The NHC gives this a 20% chance of TC formation at all.
There is action in the Eastern Pacific but I am very busy and will not bring that up with this blog post. I'll have a new one by Thursday and that's when I will include the EPAC system as well as the rest of the AOIs or any new systems that develop.
By: hurricaneben, 10:02 PM GMT on September 01, 2013
Since TS Fernand came and went, the tropics have remained unusually quiet for late August (a time when the tropics really start to increase in activity) but it looks like we may have a break with Invest 97L which is approaching the Lesser Antilles. Shear should lessen somewhat in the coming couple of days and a closed circulation has been evident in the past few hours with the latest model runs. Development into a TD/TS by as early as tomorrow definitely seems like a considerable possibility even though the models aren't as keen on development as they should be. There is still a decent presence of dry air which should help inhibit any fast paced organization but all the other factors are favoring a slow but steady rate of intensification. Models generally take it on a path that would brush it with Haiti and/or take it directly overland but from there on, the possibilities are spread out. It is currently unknown if this will ever directly threaten the Lower 48 so that is something that we will watch out for but definitely the Lesser Antilles, Eastern Cuba and an especially high-risk Haiti should keep a very close eye on this potential tropical cyclone candidate. Will it manage to become the season's first hurricane? At this time the odds are generally stacked against anything along these lines but with its very slow movement, something close to hurricane status is not completely out of the question--we'll have to see if it can quickly spin up into a tropical cyclone first. NHC gives it a 50% chance of TC formation in the next five days, I'd give it around a 70%, considering the rate of development and how close it may be to TD status. Regardless of development, Lesser Antilles may want to embrace increased heavy showers capable of flash flooding and gusty winds up to gale force in the next 12 to 36 hours.
After peaking close to hurricane status in the past 24 hours, Tropical Storm Kiko is starting to gradually weakening with winds now down to around 60 MPH and further gradual weakening forecast in the next couple of days. Either way, this should stay well out at sea and likely not threaten any land masses.
I'll have another update on the tropics as early as tomorrow or as late as Wednesday. Have a safe Labor Day and keep your eye out.
Updated: 10:05 PM GMT on September 01, 2013