Talking the Tropics With Mike: Caribbean tropical wave taking the low road

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REMEMBER WHEN A TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE IS APPROACHING: Taping windows is *NOT* helpful & will not keep glass from breaking.

Realize the forecast cone (”cone of uncertainty”) is the average forecast error over a given time - out to 5 days - & *does not* indicate the width of the storm &/or damage that might occur.

None of the Atlantic tropical activity - right now - will have a direct impact on Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. through at least Independence Day...

* The active tropical wave - ‘94-L’ (Potential Tropical Cyclone #2) which came off the coast of Africa a week ago - last Wed. - continues swiftly westbound. The wave still has the potential for some development, but the low latitude track + rather rapid forward speed makes the intensity/organization forecast uncertain. The recent persistent upper level high will remain intact across the Atlantic & U.S. (Lower 48) which means a rather straight forward forecast track (due west).

So the question then becomes one about shear & land interaction as it relates to intensity. The fast movement & close proximity to South America is slowing the organizational process into Thu. before moving into the more favorable “zone” of the Western Caribbean. The system will still be moving quickly to the west & its time over warm water & that favorable zone will be rather limited. In any case, it looks like a tropical storm or possibly a hurricane will impact Central America - centered on Nicaragua, possibly even as far south as Costa Rica - Fri. into early Saturday. Once to the Pacific, the wave is likely to re-organize & strengthen again.

On this forecast track there will be no impacts on NE Fl./SE Ga. ... or any of Florida... as well as not any of the Gulf Coast. It is worth noting early season African waves like this one are often a harbinger of an overall active Atlantic hurricane season.

A second wave is over the Central Atlantic. It looks like this wave may be over the SW Atlantic & in the vicinity of the Greater Antilles &/or Bahamas *perhaps* about July 4th/ plus or minus a day or two. Long range conditions (shear + dry air) appear rather marginal at this time for much strengthening.

* A trough of low pressure continues across the Northwest Gulf of Mexico. Some low pressure may ultimately try to develop within this trough through Thursday as the system drifts west/southwest helping to produce some heavy rain over South Texas.

Wind shear:

The location of development of tropical systems in June since 1851 generally favors the NW Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & far Western Atlantic:

Saharan dust is spread west each year from Africa by the prevailing winds (from east to west over the Atlantic). Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink. Widespread dust is indicative of dry air that can impede the development of tropical cyclones. However, sometimes “wanna’ be” waves will just wait until they get to the other side of - or away from - the plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, way too much is made about the presence of Saharan dust & how it relates to tropical cyclones. In any case, we’ve already has a couple of dust plumes spread west to the Caribbean & Gulf with the peak of Saharan dust typically in June & July.

2022 names..... “Alex” was the first name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years... “Bonnie” is next. Historic storms are retired [Florence & Michael in ’18... Dorian in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20 & Ida in ‘21]). The WMO decided - beginning last year - that the Greek alphabet will be no longer used & instead there will be a supplemental list of names if the first list is exhausted (has only happened three times - 2005, 2020 & 2021). The naming of tropical cyclones began on a consistent basis in 1953. More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content over the Gulf, Caribbean & deep tropical Atlantic:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


GFS wave forecast at 48 & 72 hours (2 & 3 days):

Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:

The East Pacific:

West Pacific IR satellite:

Global tropical activity:

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