Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.
By: Levi32 , 5:18 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Tropical Tidbit from 12:00pm eastern Time 6-5-09:
Most of my philosophy remains mostly the same so yesterdays analysis will remain below this update.
Model Update this morning:
The GFS is continuing to develop a strong tropical cyclone in the Caribbean within 2-4 days and move it through Cuba and up east of Florida in 6-10 days. The model seems to think the starting point will be a low south of Panama that crosses over into the Caribbean. In my opinion it's still a bit too far east with both the trough-split over Florida and consequentially, the low in the Caribbean. Any development of the convection in the east Pacific should move NNW over Nicaragua and Honduras for a while, and then get pulled into the NW Caribbean by the upper trough over Florida. In 4-6 days the tropical wave currently in the central Atlantic may get involved, and regardless of whether a low actually forms, I think it will definitely be getting messy down there next week.
The only models now developing a low are the GFS of course and the NOGAPS model. Regardless of development please remember that this whole mess could be another big rain-maker for Florida if it migrates north in 6-10 days, so be aware. I will continue to keep an eye on the situation.
We shall see what happens!
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Tropical Tidbit from 1:20pm eastern time 6-4-09:
By the way, the trough set-up currently over the northern Gulf of Mexico is very similar to what we had with Invest 90L back in May, and the little low that moved onshore last night over Alabama is warm-core, at least at the low-to-mid levels. It's got banding features and convection at the center, not to mention its position in the warm-sector of the low to the west of it. If you don't believe me look at its inland radar signature this morning (see below). I'm not saying it should have been named. It didn't have nearly enough time for that, but it is very interesting to see these things spin up.
I'm still waiting for the trough split that I talked about yesterday. The low mentioned above will be merging with the extratropical low center over Mississippi today and tonight. The whole thing will get kicked out northeast and a piece of the shortwave will get squeezed off in the eastern gulf. The last few runs of the GFS are drifting too far to the east splitting the trough over or east of Florida. The GFS and Canadian models are also moving east with the surface low formation in the west Caribbean in 4-7 days. The GFS brings the low NE over Jamaica and the Canadian forms a low north of Cuba. In my mind both these solutions are too far east, and trouble, if any, should be watched for in the far western Caribbean. Most models have trouble seeing trough splits properly until they're right on top of them. It's worth mentioning that the 00z European last night has dropped the low almost entirely, but again we know that models jump around a lot forecasting stuff several days out.
So it's looking like a good possibility of some sort of low forming in the western Caribbean in 4-7 days. There are several ways this could happen. The GFS version forms a small low pressure area under the area of convection south of Panama right now, and moves it as a tropical cyclone north and then northeast towards Jamaica, partially phasing with the trough split over Florida by that time. Another possibility is that the well-defined tropical wave in the central Atlantic will pile into the western Caribbean interacting with the trough split feature. The point is there are a variety of ways that trouble can start here.
Conditions will be becoming progressively more favorable for tropical development in the Caribbean and southern/west Gulf of Mexico in 6-10 days. As I mentioned yesterday, the high in the east Pacific will be nosing north into the SW GOM, and combined with the trough split feature will effectively split the subtropical jetstream over the Caribbean, leaving an area of low shear. The MJO upward motion pulse will be moving into the Caribbean over the next 5-15 days, which would enhance any activity sitting down there. It could be an active last half of June, and I think we could get 1 or even 2 storms out of the pattern, but that doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the season will be as active.
I do want to mention that, named or not, a lot of tropical moisture will be trying to funnel northward out of the Caribbean in 6-10 days, and Florida should be prepared for yet more rain. I will continue to monitor the situation. We still have a lot of time.
We shall see what happens!
NW Atlantic Water-vapor Loop (to watch trough-split over north gulf coast)
West Atlantic Visible Satellite: (click image for loop)
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.