Monitoring the Caribbean

By: Levi32 , 3:52 PM GMT on June 08, 2009

Tropical Tidbit from 12:00pm eastern time June 8, 2009:

Nothing has really changed today in the Atlantic. We are still watching a weak surface trough in the SW Caribbean associated with an area of thunderstorms. These are being enhanced by upper divergence on the eastern flank of a TUTT (tropical upper tropospheric trough) extending from the northern coast of Honduras to east of Florida. This same TUTT is also enforcing strong wind shear of 30 knots over the trough, which has hampered all attempts at development over the last couple days. QuikSCAT shows almost no surface reflection, but there is still some mid-level turning present.

The GFS has finally come to its senses and backed off a bit on development of this system. The 06z forms a low SW of Jamaica in 48 hours, and then kind of dissipates it by 120 hours as it moves NW. I still think 48 hours is too early, as the TUTT won't really start lifting out until 72-96 hours from now. Once that happens, some ridging will build into the Caribbean, shear will lower, and the overall environment will be much more favorable for development. By 72 hours a tropical wave currently along 68W moving south of the Dominican Republic will be in the western Caribbean, and may serve as a catalyst for cyclogenesis. I still like the European model's idea, developing a weak low in 3-4 days and moving it slowly northwestward into the NW Caribbean during the 5-8 day period. The only other model that even hints at a low is the NOGAPS, which lowers pressures in the region.

At this point confidence in the forecast is low, as the models, especially the GFS, have been jumping around a lot, and model support for this particular low is gradually decreasing. However, one must keep in mind that we are entering a pulse of activity with the MJO here and the upper pattern changing to more favorable over the Caribbean and western Gulf of Mexico. This is likely not the only disturbance we will have to watch over the next 5-15 days. Again I want to mention that regardless of what happens Florida should keep an eye out for tropical moisture getting pulled northward by the retreating TUTT in 5-10 days and possibly bringing more rain to the sunshine state. I will continue to monitor the Caribbean area for any changes.

We shall see what happens!

West Caribbean Visible Satellite: (click image for loop)

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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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About Levi32

Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.

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