First Alert Weather

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Two areas to watch: Florida/W. Atlantic low...Western Gulf of Mexico

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

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Through June 14th:

***** ALWAYS CHECK & RE-CHECK THE LATEST FORECAST & UPDATES! *****

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 might occur.

*** LOCAL (Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.) IMPACTS FROM THE TROPICS: None this week other than a possible increase in onshore flow (& rip current risk) late week into the weekend as low pressure develops over the W. Atlantic.

The Atlantic Basin Overview:

(1) Weak low pressure - ‘L-90′ - has indeed developed moving across Florida through the day Wed. Unfortunately the low is not strong enough to draw much tropical moisture northward all the way to NE Fl./SE Ga. so the widespread heavy rain will stay south of Jacksonville.

As the low continues to moves northeast, there *may* be some attempts at a tropical or subtropical transition over the open Atlantic as they system is *moves away* from the U.S. while crossing the Gulf stream then crossing the Western Atlantic. It does not appear there will be any direct threat to the U.S. once offshore. However, increasing onshore flow will enhance the rip current risk on the Florida & Southeast U.S. coast into the weekend.

Bottom line: Some scattered rain - but not enough - will fall across Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. By far the heaviest rain will occur across Central & South Florida where amounts may reach 6-12″ +!

(2) Forecast models are showing potential tropical development over the Western Gulf of Mexico this weekend into early next week. *At the moment*, it looks like any threat to land would be Texas &/or Mexico late in the weekend/early next week.

Rainfall forecasts for NE Fl. & SE Ga. will not be near as impressive (unfortunately) as Central & S. Florida.

The upper oceanic heat content (UOHC) [tropical cyclone heat potential/TCHP] across the SW Atlantic, Gulf & Caribbean is unseasonably high for this time of year:

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

June tropical cyclone origins (early season breeding grounds are the Gulf &/or Western Caribbean:

Averages below based on climatology for the Atlantic Basin for November (7 hurricanes so far, 19 tropical storms):

Wind shear (red - strong shear; green - low shear):


Saharan dust spreads west each year from Africa driven 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* interfere with 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 dust plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, there is way too much “hoopla” 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.

2024 names..... “Alberto” is the first 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 (the last time this year’s list was used)... 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 because of the ‘04 season when Charley, Frances, Jeanne & Ivan - all retired names - hit Florida within a matter of about 6 weeks. 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 colors will brighten greatly as the water warms to greater depths deeper into the season:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:

Caribbean:

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


East & Central Pacific:

West Pacific:

Global tropical activity:



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