First Alert Weather

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Rina likely to give way to Philippe over the Central Atlantic

Jacksonville, Fl. — The “Buresh Bottom Line”: Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Preparation Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.

STAY INFORMED: Get the * FREE * First Alert Weather app

FREE NEWS UPDATES, ALERTS: Action News Jax app for Apple | For Android

WATCH “Preparing for the Storm

WATCH “The Ins & Outs of Hurricane Season

READ the First Alert Hurricane Center “Survival Guide

LISTEN & WATCH “Surviving the Storm” - WOKV Radio & Action News Jax


REMEMBER WHEN A TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE IS APPROACHING: Taping windows is *not* recommended & will not keep glass from breaking. Instead close curtains & blinds.

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 where damage that might occur.

*** LOCAL (Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.) IMPACTS FROM THE TROPICS: None. We will continue to have rough seas & surf into next week due to strong onshore flow causing some minor to moderate flooding at times of high tide along the coast, intracoastal, St. Johns River & its tributaries with some extra boost from a weekend full moon.

The Atlantic Basin Overview:

** Tropical depression #17 formed over the Eastern Atlantic last Sat. morning & was upgraded to tropical storm “Philippe” late in the afternoon...

** A strong tropical wave at a lower latitude & just to the southeast of Philippe has been upgraded to tropical storm “Rina”, the 18th named Atlantic storm of the season...

** A strong tropical wave is moving W/NW over the Southeast tropical Atlantic...

(1) A strong tropical wave - ‘90-L’ was upgraded to tropical depression #17 midday Saturday over the Eastern Atlantic then to tropical storm “Philippe”, the 16th named storm of the busy ‘23 hurricane season. Philippe is struggling against strong shear out of the west & southwest + some dry air. It now appears Philippe will be weak enough to eventually be steered by the low level trade winds turning the system a bit west, even southwest by through the weekend but only very slowly. It now looks like Philippe will stay east of the Caribbean though it’ll be close with the European model closer to Puerto Rico by early in the week. Philippe would still be weak at that point but if the Euro is correct then there would be an uptick in heavy rain & gusty winds for Puerto Rico & nearby areas before Philippe turns sharply northward.

Philippe’s poorly defined center will likely jump around some as convection waxes & wanes. Forecast models are struggling with the movement & intensity of Philippe as well as possible interaction with Rina just to the southeast. With the two tropical cyclones only about 500 miles apart, some of the forecast models shows a binary interaction which seems to be possibly already occurring to some degree. In such situations, one usually “wins out” becoming the dominant one while the weaker one either becomes absorbed by the stronger storm or simply dissipates. Models have ping-ponged on how that might occur but have continued to trend toward Philippe becoming the more significant storm. Next week, Philippe appears to enter a more favorable area for intensification northeast of the Caribbean... as long as Philippe survives the short term more harsh environment. From there Philippe should move north then northeast over the open water of the Atlantic possibly intensifying into a hurricane.

(2) A strong tropical wave - ‘91-L’ has come off the coast of Africa last weekend was upgraded to tropical cyclone - “Rina” Thu. morning. As the 18th named storm of the season, 2023 now only ranks behind 2020 & the 2021 as the most named Atlantic storms through Sept. 28th. Rina should move northwest over the open Atlantic through the middle of the week. As mentioned in the discussion about Philippe above, there’s at least some interaction between the two tropical cyclones. It appears now that Rina will be the weaker storm & will eventually dissipate largely due to strong shear.

Check out the upper oceanic heat content (UOHC) [tropical cyclone heat potential/TCHP] across the SW Atlantic, Gulf & Caribbean. The warmth is very deep. But keep in mind warm ocean temps. alone doesn’t necessarily equate to a “big” hurricane season (need other ingredients & factors to be favorable too) but it’s obvious there is a lot of very warm water at great depths over the Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico stretching eastward all the way into the Central Atlantic:

Water vapor loop (dark blue/yellow is dry mid & upper level air):

July tropical cyclone origins:

Averages below based on climatology for the Atlantic Basin for August:

Wind shear:

Saharan dust spreads 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, the peak of Saharan dust typically is in June & July.

2023 names..... “Sean” is the next name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years). Historic storms are retired [Florence & Michael in ’18... Dorian in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20, Ida in ‘21 & Fiona & Ian in ‘22]). In fact, this year’s list of names is rather infamous with “Katrina”, “Rita” & “Wilma” retired from the ‘05 list & “Harvey”, “Irma”,“Maria” & “Nate” from the ‘17 list. The WMO decided - beginning in 2021 - 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. The brighter colors are expanding dramatically as we near the peak of the hurricane season.:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48, 72 & 96 hours respectively:

East/Central Pacific:

West Pacific:


Global tropical activity:

Comments on this article