Fernand Hits Veracruz, Mexico; Active Atlantic Hurricane Pattern Setting Up

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:55 PM GMT on August 26, 2013

Tropical Storm Fernand's brief life as a tropical cyclone is almost complete, as the 35-mph tropical depression chugs inland over Mexico's mountainous terrain west of Veracruz. Fernand hit Veracruz at 12:45 am EDT Monday morning as a tropical storm with 50 mph winds. Two coastal stations in the city measured sustained winds of 50 mph at landfall, but there are no reports of any damage or injuries from the storm. Satellite loops show that Fernand is a small and weakening storm, and radar images from Alvarado, Mexico show the heavy rains of the storm have weakened considerably since landfall. The 4 - 8 inches of rain Fernand will dump along its track will be capable of creating flash flooding and dangerous mud slides, though.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Fernand as it approached landfall in Veracuz, Mexico, taken at 9:45 pm EDT on August 25, 2013. Image credit: radar images from Alvarado, MexicoMexican weather service.

Fernand's place in history
Fernand is the 6th consecutive named storm in the Atlantic that has not reached hurricane strength. Only one season since record keeping began in 1851 has had a longer string of consecutive storms that did not reach hurricane strength--2011, when the season began with eight such storms. However, it is quite possible such an event occurred before the advent of reliable satellite data in 1966, when we were first able to identify weak tropical storms that stayed out to sea. Several other seasons have had six consecutive tropical storms without a hurricane, most recently in 2002. The air over the Tropical Atlantic has been more stable and drier than usual (and was so in 2011), making it difficult for storms to attain hurricane strength.

An active weather pattern coming to the Tropical Atlantic
It's been an unusually quiet August for hurricane activity in the Atlantic, and if we finish the month without a hurricane, it will mark the first year since 2002 without an August hurricane. However, the quiet weather pattern we've been blessed with is about to come to an end, as conditions favorable for hurricane formation move into place for the last few days of August and the first week of September. The big guns of the African Monsoon are firing off a salvo of African tropical waves over the next two weeks that will find the most favorable conditions for development that we've seen this year. While there is currently a new outbreak of dry air and dust from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) over the Eastern Atlantic, the latest European model forecast calls for a reduction in dry air and dust over the Tropical Atlantic during the 7 - 14 day period, accompanied by low wind shear. The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days, has begun a new active phase. The most active part of the MJO has not yet crossed into the Atlantic, but is expected to do so during the period 7 - 14 days from now. The MJO will bring rising air that will aid strong thunderstorm updrafts and thus tropical storms--and their subsequent intensification into hurricanes. According to Dr. Michael Ventrice, an MJO expert at WSI, Inc., the latest run of the GFS model predicts that this MJO event will be the 3rd strongest in the Western Hemisphere since 1989. During the last four comparable strong MJO events, 68% of all the tropical depressions that formed during these events (21 out of 31 storms) intensified into hurricanes. The MJO will likely continue to support Atlantic hurricane activity through September 15. The MJO is then expected to progress into the Western Pacific for the last half of September, which would likely bring sinking air over the Atlantic and a quieter portion of hurricane season.


Figure 2. Saharan Air Layer analysis at 8 am EDT on August 26, 2013. A burst of dust and dry air had emerged over the Eastern Atlantic, along with a new tropical wave to watch just south of the driest air. Image credit: University of Wisconsin CIMMS and NOAA/HRD.

The first tropical wave to watch is one that came off the coast of Africa on Sunday. This disturbance is moving westward at 10 - 15 mph, has a modest amount of spin, but is relatively thin on heavy thunderstorm activity. It has not yet earned status as an area of interest ("Invest") by NHC, but they are giving the wave a 30% chance of developing by Saturday. The wave will encounter an eastward-moving Convectively-Coupled Kelvin Wave (CCKW) that moved off the coast of South America on Monday. This atmospheric disturbance, moving eastwards across the tropical Atlantic at about 25 - 40 mph, has a great deal of upward-moving air, which may help the tropical wave develop when the two interact beginning on Wednesday. The UKMET model is predicting that the wave will develop into a tropical storm by Saturday, about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands. The other models show limited or no development. There will be a trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast at the end of the week that will be capable of causing the wave to recurve and miss the Lesser Antilles, but it is too early to say how likely this is to occur.

There is much greater model consensus on developing a tropical wave expected to emerge from the coast of Africa on Friday. This wave would appear to have a high chance of recurvature, according to the latest run of the GFS model.

Jeff Masters


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

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1382. MahFL
2:58 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1367. GeorgiaStormz:
I remember when this was gonna be recurve-impossible year


I don't think the word impossible was used, they said chances were high for a US landfall, but that does not mean 100 % it would happen.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1381. MahFL
2:55 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1350. GatorWX:
Next invest? Low shear environment, warm water. All the ingredients are in place. KW beter have open eyes! Neat little feature, hehe



That is an Upper Level low.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1380. CybrTeddy
2:17 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
UKMET model still very enthusiastic about development. I think the GFS will end up being wrong with genesis not occurring until it clears the islands.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1379. Progster
2:07 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1268. K8eCane:
If a storm actually hits, put sleeping babies in a room with no tall trees overhead. That's happened around here. Just a tip
Be safety conscious


Fortunately my kids don't have trees in their rooms :)

This thing blew up pretty quickly; interesting but misleading radar signature.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1378. Grothar
1:55 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1362. GatorWX:
Groth, what's your take if you don't mind me asking?


I really don't know at this point. I know the MJO will be in a favorable position soon, but it doesn't appear to be going to stay around long before it moves back to the Pacific side. The Bermuda high has been retreating very far to the east and very strong high pressure are remaining over the US. I would take a guess that any systems in the CV area would be moving to the NW. Unless there is a very, very low rider that makes it all the way west. Unlikely at this time.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1377. sporteguy03
1:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1352. hurricanes2018:
what is going on here!

GFS Model not seeing it?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1376. rudyinpompano
1:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
819 AM EDT TUE AUG 27 2013

.UPDATE...

THE FORECAST WAS UPDATED TO REFLECT THE COVERAGE OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE ATLANTIC WATERS. IN ADDITION CHANGES
WERE MADE FOR THE SOUTH FLORIDA PENINSULA FOR THE MORNING AND
AFTERNOON HOURS. THE COMBINATION OF A CUT-OFF UPPER LEVEL LOW ACROSS
THE FLORIDA STRAITS...A LINGERING DIFFUSE FRONTAL BOUNDARY ACROSS
THE ATLANTIC WATERS IN THE VICINITY OF THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS AND A
WEAK TROPICAL WAVE TO THE SOUTH OF CUBA HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE
WIDESPREAD SHOWERS IN THE OFF SHORE ATLANTIC WATERS TO THE EAST OF
MIAMI DADE COUNTY. THIS SCENARIO IS WELL DEPICTED IN SOME OF THE RECENT
MESO- SCALE MODELS AND PROMPTED A CHANGE IN THE SHORT TERM
FORECAST.

AS THE MORNING PROGRESS THERE WILL BE A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS. BY THE AFTERNOON
HOURS THE CHANCES OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AND COVERAGE WILL
SHIFT TO THE INTERIOR AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE PENINSULA.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1375. HurricaneAndre
1:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1372. GeorgiaStormz:
test
96e is a test.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1373. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:52 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1372. GeorgiaStormz
1:52 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
test
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1371. hurricanes2018
1:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1358. GatorWX:


Did you mention it on your blog?
U ARE RIGHT!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1370. K8eCane
1:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
watchful eye on blob. panhandle via keys. Watch weakened trees
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1369. Grothar
1:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1359. CaicosRetiredSailor:


A wall of dust known as, known as a haboob, hit Phoenix Monday August 26, and residents captured images on the ground and from the air.

via NBC on FB


Dang.

I was just going to post this;

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1368. AtlanticMermaid
1:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1367. GeorgiaStormz
1:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
I remember when this was gonna be recurve-impossible year
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1366. TampaSpin
1:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1353. GatorWX:


It has that "look".




Just looked at vorticity of that spinner off the tip of Florida....Not much at the 850mb, but fairly strong return at 700mb..(midlevel)....thing is it almost looks like storms are trying to form near the center...if that happens some development could be coming to the surface.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1365. sebastianflorida
1:49 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
12 and 77 barreling off of South America looks concerning. Anyone else think so?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1363. nrtiwlnvragn
1:49 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
GFS Ensemble Mean, 240 hrs


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1362. GatorWX
1:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Groth, what's your take if you don't mind me asking?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1361. GatorWX
1:47 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Banding is increasing, should be a fun day of watching the tropics for sure! Atlantic is cold for now. Judging by all the models, that'll most certainly change!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1360. Grothar
1:47 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
All the models are showing a very weak high and any systems being moved to the north

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1359. CaicosRetiredSailor
1:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2013


A wall of dust known as, known as a haboob, hit Phoenix Monday August 26, and residents captured images on the ground and from the air.

via NBC on FB
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1358. GatorWX
1:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1352. hurricanes2018:
what is going on here!


Did you mention it on your blog?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1357. pcola57
1:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2013


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1356. TampaSpin
1:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2013



10 days out on the GFS...MJO clearly there and NOTHING!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1355. Grothar
1:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1354. rudyinpompano
1:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
a href="" target="_blank">Link

Our South FL bloblette is teasing us with an eye lol!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1353. GatorWX
1:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1350. GatorWX:

Next invest? Low shear environment, warm water. All the ingredients are in place. KW beter have open eyes! Neat little feature, hehe



It has that "look".

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1352. hurricanes2018
1:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1350. GatorWX:
Next invest? Low shear environment, warm water. All the ingredients are in place. KW beter have open eyes! Neat little feature, hehe

what is going on here!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1351. CaribBoy
1:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1348. Neapolitan:
And yet another EPac invest:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_ep962013.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201308271337
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 96, 2013, DB, O, 2013082712, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP962013
EP, 96, 2013082712, , BEST, 0, 137N, 1028W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


Sigh... enough with them.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1350. GatorWX
1:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Next invest? Low shear environment, warm water. All the ingredients are in place. KW beter have open eyes! Neat little feature, hehe

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1349. CaribBoy
1:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1344. StormWx:
So many fish storms, so little time! lol


Yeah :( so little time :( ... and 2014 could be an EL NINO... DEPRESSING
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1348. Neapolitan
1:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
And yet another EPac invest:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_ep962013.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201308271337
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 96, 2013, DB, O, 2013082712, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP962013
EP, 96, 2013082712, , BEST, 0, 137N, 1028W, 25, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1347. Grothar
1:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
The high doesn't seem to be too strong for next week.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1346. GatorWX
1:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1343. Grothar:


Good thing you said that :)


I recognize ;)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1345. pcola57
1:30 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1325. SouthernIllinois:

TAKE ME THERE pcola. I want to lay out on the beach and tan ;) TAKE ME THERE.


Morning Nat..
Looks lovely today doesn't it..
Ahh.
But you have had wonderfully pleasant days this year as well..
I lived in Illinois ,Champaign/Urbana for many years..
The weather was tough in the winter but spring and fall were delightful..
'Come on down and enjoy the day..
Para-glide or scuba dive or just hang out and shop.. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1343. Grothar
1:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1335. GatorWX:
I know it's been posted.



Good thing you said that :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1342. MahFL
1:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
The wave near 35 seems to be gaining a little latitude.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1341. wunderweatherman123
1:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
so many fish storms... ive seen enough of them. so far season has underachieved. something tells me i wont be impressed this season
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1340. GatorWX
1:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
So here's a different approach:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1339. Grothar
1:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1315. ncstorm:


come on Gro..you cant leave us hanging with "interesting"..spill the beans..


You know I can't help doing that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1338. CaribBoy
1:24 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1337. hurricanes2018:
are you joking look how far north that storm is!


I'm referring to the Lesser Antilles system.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1337. hurricanes2018
1:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1333. CaribBoy:
GFS vs EURO





THESE MODELS SHOULD RESOLVE THEIR DIFFERENCES WITHIN 3
TO 4 DAYS...THOUGH AT THIS TIME EXPECT THE SOLUTIONS TO BE
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE TWO AND CURRENTLY LEAN TOWARD THE GFS.
are you joking look how far north that storm is!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1336. Doss2k
1:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
So long as we can keep any storms away from the Outer Banks for the second week of October I will be ok. Sandy ruined my fishing trip last year would prefer not to have to sit through something like that again this year.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1335. GatorWX
1:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
I know it's been posted.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1333. CaribBoy
1:21 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
GFS vs EURO





THESE MODELS SHOULD RESOLVE THEIR DIFFERENCES WITHIN 3
TO 4 DAYS...THOUGH AT THIS TIME EXPECT THE SOLUTIONS TO BE
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE TWO AND CURRENTLY LEAN TOWARD THE GFS.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1332. StormPro
1:20 PM GMT on August 27, 2013
Quoting 1312. SouthernIllinois:

Wait? You modified you post to call Scott Steve AND Jeff AND charles. You sure got this person confused with someone else as you can't even keep his name straight. His handle is StormTrackerScott. Wouldn't his name right in his handle tip you off?

P.S. My name is Natalie, but you can call me Darling. ;)

LOL


What if I want to call you sweetie? LOL
Good morning all, next to last morning here in NOLA before my trip. It was a brisk 68 degrees with lower humidity. Heading north tomorrow on the hog into some high heat, first stop Memphis with a high of 98 tomorrow. Then onto Indy and Illinois, 80 to low 90's and looks nice. I will be checking in from my phone so I probably won't post. If I don't yall play nice and I'll see you next Wednesday
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather