First Alert Weather

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Uh-oh-disturbance suddenly headed for Florida!... W. Gulf disturbance

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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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.

The Atlantic Basin Overview:

(1) an upper level trough is over the Central/SW Atlantic & looks like it’ll leave behind a “piece” of the trough over the next several days. Initially this feature will be upper level & nontropical. But some forecast models - the GFS in particular - eventually develop a surface low that could try to take on subtropical or tropical characteristics upon approach to Florida &/or Ga. by about Thursday. The European model shows more of a trough vs. a low while the Canadian forecast model is a little slower & a little more to the north with a weak surface system.

“Buresh Bottom Line”: there will be an uptick - a much needed one - in rainfall for NE Fl./SE Ga. centered on Thursday. Any surface/tropical development with this system should be gradual & not likely particularly strong but obviously it’s something to keep an eye on.

The forecast models below (images courtesy ‘Tropical Tidbits’) are for 12Z (8am EDT) Thursday, June 20th. The first image is the 500 mb (~30,000 ft.) from the GFS & the 2nd image is the surface chart from the GFS at the same time. Pretty aggressive vs. the other models & nothing new this year. In any case - this scenario would result in heavy rain & gusty winds with a strengthening tropical depression or storm moving ashore near Jacksonville.

The 3rd image is the European forecast model at the same time. Simply an inverted surface trough moving west/northwest. Breezy onshore winds & some bands of heavier rain but not as strong overall.

(2) A disturbance is expected to continue to “fester” over the Southwest Gulf of Mexico near & over the Bay of Campeche through the middle of next week. A slow drift to the west/northwest is likely in what could become the first named storm of the season for the Atlantic Basin - “Alberto” (if the W. Atlantic disturbance doesn’t develop faster). The most significant impacts are likely to be very heavy rain & flooding for Mexico extending northward into South Texas where rainfall may exceed 10″ through the upcoming week.

Bottom line: no local impacts from the Gulf disturbance for Jacksonville or any of Florida. But there will be a significant heavy rain set-up along the Gulf Coast from Mobile, Alabama to Brownsville, Texas.

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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