Western Caribbean and GOM to be watched for mischief

By: Levi32 , 4:13 PM GMT on June 25, 2009

Tropical Tidbit from 12:00pm EDT Thursday, June 25, 2009:

Turn up the volume, and click HD if quality is too low:



There are a couple areas we need to keep an eye on. First I'll address the situation closest to home. The trough-split I've been talking and warning about is underway over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and as the piece splits off it will drift SW into the Bay of Campeche over the next 3 days. The old frontal trough still draped across the eastern GOM, southern Florida, and the Bahamas hasn't spawned any organized areas of low pressure, but there is an area of low-level vorticity just SW of Tampa that you can see spinning on satellite imagery. I failed to mention this in the video, but as I said there is nothing really organized and most of the energy is going to start focusing to the south which I will talk about in a moment. Regardless of how it looks right now, surface troughs in the Gulf of Mexico ALWAYS mean trouble, especially with trough-splits, and no matter what we must watch them. The old frontal trough boundary will slowly dissipate over the next few days as the cut-off upper feature backs to the SW.

Now as the upper feature gets into the Bay of Campeche it will start interacting with a new system. There is a mid-to-low-level circulation near the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua that I have been watching since yesterday. This circulation is going to be moving slowly NW towards the northern coast of Honduras during the next 2 days, then in the vicinity of the Yucatan, and eventually in about 4 days will get drawn up into the Bay of Campeche and southern Gulf of Mexico by the trough-split feature which will be backing SW out of the GOM into Mexico. During this time a tropical wave currently along 77W entering the western Caribbean will be combining with the mid-level circulation, and as this happens the GFS forms a surface low north of Honduras in 48 hours. Due to all the land in the way this is likely not a threat to significantly develop in the Caribbean, but I would watch this very closely as it gets into the Gulf of Mexico because when that trough-split pulls out it's going to get stuck there for several days under weak upper-level winds. If it sits long enough another tropical wave currently approaching the Antilles Islands may pile its energy into the mix as well. I will be watching this area closely for mischief over the next week.

Notice the pattern we have going here. Remember how in early June I talked about this period from the 20th through the 30th where moisture and heat would advect northward from the east Pacific into the western Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico. We had that disturbance in the Bay of Campeche a couple days ago. It came north over Mexico from the east Pacific. This disturbance I mentioned in the previous paragraph is also coming north out of the east Pacific where it was last night. Even if nothing develops it's not like there's nothing going on here. You can see the pattern that has developed with the MJO pulse and the big ridge over the southern US. The mean trough off the east coast as I also mentioned in early June is in a pattern prime for trough-splits into the Gulf of Mexico and NW Caribbean, which are one of the main causes of early-season tropical development. It is interesting to see how this is all coming together.

The 2nd area we need to watch is the big wave coming off west Africa. In my last blog I outlined all the pros and cons, and they still stand today. I know there's a lot of threatening-looking convection with this system but don't be surprised if it all falls apart when it moves over water tonight and tomorrow. I'd like to see this over water for 24 hours before I make a judgement on whether it may develop as the GFS has been insisting on. Don't discount it though, we do need to watch this one as it is the strongest wave to come off Africa yet this season.

We shall see what happens!



Caribbean 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.

Reader Comments

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30. mobal
4:13 PM GMT on June 26, 2009
Thanks for the update!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
29. seflagamma
3:31 PM GMT on June 26, 2009
oh yes I was complimenting you and your weather skills the other day to another blogger. You are getting really good and cannot wait until I can see the video.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
28. seflagamma
3:30 PM GMT on June 26, 2009
Hi Levi,

I cannot see your video from work, and when I get home so late, I rarely go to the computer, but will check it out when I get off work Sat night.

So what are your thoughts about 93L????

I wasn't expecting that one but I haven't really be watching either.

will check back later.
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27. singlehander
3:09 PM GMT on June 26, 2009
Thank you for your comments
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26. oakland
11:07 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Excellent video. You explained everything really well and kept it simple enough for an amateur to understand.
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25. AKSnowLuvr
11:06 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
I'll try to send it your way. If you want cool T-storms, go to Colorado in the summer, and drive the I-25 from Fort Collins to Denver in the evening... Holy moly, those were some doozies. I got some great photos from those storms. :)
Oooh... here comes the hail again... :(
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
24. Levi32
11:04 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Quoting AKSnowLuvr:
Hey there... speaking of T-storms... are you getting any of the lighting storms we're getting? I think we've had more this summer already than my entire time in the state!! It's doing it right now, whups... and here comes the rain! yow!


They're north and south of me and everywhere except HERE! I've never seen lighting in my life. Just cloud-to-cloud lightning that makes the clouds light up one time. I love t-storms! I want some of your's you have to share :P
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23. AKSnowLuvr
10:55 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Hey there... speaking of T-storms... are you getting any of the lighting storms we're getting? I think we've had more this summer already than my entire time in the state!! It's doing it right now, whups... and here comes the rain! yow!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. Levi32
10:22 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Quoting ajcamsmom2:
12. Levi32 2:59 PM CDT on June 25, 2009..I am not sure how you would do it...I get updates from others...You may just go to lists under your mail and group those who want to know about your blog updates...then send us an note...we can go directly to your blog from there...I could be wrong though...


Ok well you are the firstest one lol. So sure I can try to remember to do that if that's what you want.

Quoting homelesswanderer:


Awe he's just a little fella. The croc is bigger. Lol. My dad's boat will do 90 on the water and he waouldn't get within a hundred yards of it. Lol.


I just wouldn't fish at all! lol

Quoting mermaidlaw:
Hi Levi, thanks for another GREAT update! I told you a long time ago that I enjoy your blog. The info just keeps getting better, and better. And the vidoes are very nicely done! I am watching with interest, to see what will happen. I sure hope everyone is prepared, and stays safe this year.

Have a wonderful night!


Thanks Mermaid =) I'm glad I'm not boring everyone lol. I get pretty long-winded. You have a great night as well!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
21. mermaidlaw
9:26 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Hi Levi, thanks for another GREAT update! I told you a long time ago that I enjoy your blog. The info just keeps getting better, and better. And the vidoes are very nicely done! I am watching with interest, to see what will happen. I sure hope everyone is prepared, and stays safe this year.

Have a wonderful night!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
20. homelesswanderer
8:43 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Quoting Levi32:


LOL, no kidding!


Awe he's just a little fella. The croc is bigger. Lol. My dad's boat will do 90 on the water and he waouldn't get within a hundred yards of it. Lol.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. ajcamsmom2
8:43 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
12. Levi32 2:59 PM CDT on June 25, 2009..I am not sure how you would do it...I get updates from others...You may just go to lists under your mail and group those who want to know about your blog updates...then send us an note...we can go directly to your blog from there...I could be wrong though...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. roatangardener
8:39 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Thanks Levi.. i was just wondering about that blob off the coast of the Miskitia. On Roatan Island we are toasted and desperately need some rain. hope it drops enough here to make a difference. will keep an eye on it for sure, but frankly looking forward to getting dumped on. rg
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17. Levi32
8:37 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Quoting homelesswanderer:


Lol. THIS is why we don't swim.


LOL, no kidding!
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16. Levi32
8:37 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Quoting singlehander:
Hello Levi, Most impressed with your blog. I was inquiring if there were any predictions for the Hurricane season in the eastern Pacific for this year? One of your followers suggested you might be able to help? I live in Mazatlan on the west coast of Mexico and we have already had a TS with gusts of 75 MPH. This followed by the first Hurricane of the season, has my attention.
Any thoughts?


Well surprisingly this was the 2nd latest start of a Pacific hurricane season since reliable records began. This was also the first year in a decade that no named storms formed in the month of May.

That said, it is likely to be at least a normal to slightly above average year. El Nino typically enhances hurricane activity in the Pacific due to warmer than normal SSTs, and higher pressures in the Caribbean drive more tropical waves across Central America into the Pacific where they have better chances to develop.

El Nino can also tend to set up an average upper trough over the western US which can draw more Pacific storms northward towards Mexico, especially early in the season, as we saw with Andres. As always everyone should be prepared.

There are other people on this site far better than me at seasonal forecasts. Among them are StormW and Weather456. I'd encourage you to seek their opinions as well.
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15. homelesswanderer
8:21 PM GMT on June 25, 2009


Lol. THIS is why we don't swim.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. singlehander
8:16 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Hello Levi, Most impressed with your blog. I was inquiring if there were any predictions for the Hurricane season in the eastern Pacific for this year? One of your followers suggested you might be able to help? I live in Mazatlan on the west coast of Mexico and we have already had a TS with gusts of 75 MPH. This followed by the first Hurricane of the season, has my attention.
Any thoughts?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Levi32
8:02 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
12z ECMWF shows a low north of Honduras at 96 hours. Nothing big but it shows that something will be there. The Euro looks a little slow keeping the low that far south at 96 hours. The trough-split feature should pull this farther north than that before the steering currents become weak enough to stall it out.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. Levi32
7:59 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Quoting homelesswanderer:
Great update. Thanks for the visuals. :) Looks like things could be ramping up. I don't feel a sigh coming on just yet. Lol. Apparently we're stuck under the ridge of doom forever. I can't believe my dad and my husband went fishing. It's 101 degrees and heat index 111! Lol. I don't want fish that bad. :) I don't blame you for not fishing up there. I wouldn't either! But back to the tropics, I'll keep an eye on things. Thanks again. :)


Wow, is the water even cold enough there to provide any relief at all? If I were fishing there I'd get right in the water and all but swim with my fishing pole lol.



Quoting ajcamsmom2:
wow...great update...thanks...can you add me to your mail letting us know when you update your blog??? I don't want to miss anything...


Thanks aj. Uh I don't think WU has mailing lists? I don't know though....I've never seen anything like that before on here where you can get mailed when a person's blog gets updated.
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11. ajcamsmom2
7:52 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
wow...great update...thanks...can you add me to your mail letting us know when you update your blog??? I don't want to miss anything...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. homelesswanderer
7:42 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Great update. Thanks for the visuals. :) Looks like things could be ramping up. I don't feel a sigh coming on just yet. Lol. Apparently we're stuck under the ridge of doom forever. I can't believe my dad and my husband went fishing. It's 101 degrees and heat index 111! Lol. I don't want fish that bad. :) I don't blame you for not fishing up there. I wouldn't either! But back to the tropics, I'll keep an eye on things. Thanks again. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. Levi32
6:24 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
12z NOGAPS now showing a weak trough moving up through the Yucatan in 48-72 hours.

Basically, we now have every major model onboard with at least something coming into the western Caribbean, Yucatan, and southern Gulf of Mexico during the next 5 days.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. Levi32
5:57 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Models picking up on the Caribbean/Central American system so far:

12z GFS: (850mb vorticity 48 hours: trough over Yucatan)



12z NAM: (850mb winds 48 hours; tropical cyclone in W Caribbean)



0z last night ECMWF: (surface 72 hours; low north of Honduras)



12z CMC: (surface 96 hours; closed low over GOM)



12z UKMET: (surface 60 hours; weak trough over Yucatan)





Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. Levi32
5:00 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Thanks Chick, Lenny, KEH, and Drak :)

High-Resolution zoomed-in visible satellite loop of the eastern Gulf of Mexico

You can see the low-level turning SW of Tampa. What we would usually like to see in a situation like this is the vort max pulled into the area of greatest convergence which is to the SW of it along the trough where the thunderstorms are popping. It may just do that when the trough-split completes and the upper feature pulls it SW. We'll have to see.

850mb vorticity:

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6. Drakoen
4:54 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Well done!
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5. KEHCharleston
4:49 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Thanks again!
Will diligently watch (Caribbean/GOM)
Will have fun watching wave off African coast.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. RENONV
4:49 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Thanks Levi....just love what your doing. I'm headed to Denver,CO tomorrow to work the recent out crop of sever storms that hit that area over the last week.

I'll be looking forward to your forecast to keep me up todate on the GOM and eastern sea board.

Lets hope no significant storms hit this U.S, this year.

Thanks
Lenny
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3. Chicklit
4:40 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Thanks Levi.
Great job. :)
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2. Levi32
4:34 PM GMT on June 25, 2009
Thanks Oz! =)
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Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra

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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