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Slow Moving Wave in Caribbean

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Updated: 10/02/2013 8:02 am
Weak "Jerry" Far Out in the Atlantic... Active Wave Creeping Through the Caribbean.......

"Jerry" remains a "nonissue" far out in the open E. Atlantic amongst poor environmental conditions.  This system should soon become a remnant low as the storm turns north then accelerates northeast.

Satellite imagery above shows the active tropical wave continuing to move slowly northwest through the Caribbean.  Heavy rain & gusty winds have diminished across Jamaica but will increase for the Cayman Islands, Cancun & W. Cuba.

The wave is headed for a region with lower shear (see image below) & has the potential to develop.  While few -- if any -- models are very "bullish" with this wave, the system remains one to watch.  Water temps. are more than warm enough to support tropical development but inhibiting (& it's significant) include:

(1) very dry mid & upper level air (as can be seen on the water vapor image below) over Mexico & virtually all of the Western Gulf of Mexico.  This dry air will stay adjacent to the wave for its entire life cycle.  Any development of the wave would likely only encourage this dry air to flow into a possible surface system (low) [due to a clockwise circulation of the system].
(2) increasing shear over the Northern Gulf of Mexico by the weekend.

Both the GFS & European forecast models "acknowledge" this wave but are not indicating major development.  How sharp an eventual northward turn is (or is not) will come down to an upper level trough that will move into the Eastern U.S. by this weekend.  Recent trends have been for the upper trough to be slower thereby slowing the northward move of the wave.  Models have also trended (fairly consistently so) to a weak system, possibly little more than a surface trough or weak low pressure (tropical depression/low end tropical storm).  The longer the wave manages to stay over the Caribbean &/or Gulf of Mexico, the more worrisome at least somewhat more significant development will become.  

It looks like the tropical disturbance will move to the Gulf Coast somewhere between approximately Pascagoula & Apalachicola about Sat. night-Sunday.

Even without significant development, tropical moisture will flow northward in association with the wave -- & in tandem with a cool front -- enhance the heavy rain potential for the First Coast over the weekend into early next week though it would appear that the heaviest rain will west along the I-10 corridor from the Fl. Panhandle to east of New Orleans.

The image below shows shear across the Atlantic Basin which is decreasing right now in the vicinity of the Caribbean wave.  Shear increases again across the Central/Northern Gulf which could be a contributing factor to a weaker system by the weekend.

Water vapor satellite image:

Model plots below courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:

A tropical wave is just off the coast of Africa.  Early indications are that this wave will turn north fairly soon & also encounter shear.  We should be able to close the door this season on long track Cape Verde storms.

The map below is courtesy NOAA & shows the typical genesis regions for tropical development in October (as well as movement).  The 2nd image shows historical development of tropical cyclones the first 10 days of Oct.  The wave moving toward the Yucatan Channel fits this plot nicely.  We'll also need to monitor the Caribbean in a 10 days to 2 weeks for possible tropical development.

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