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Iota Recap: Tropical wave 98-L - over the Caribbean - was upgraded to tropical depression #31 Fri. morning & to tropical storm “Iota” Fri. afternoon then to a hurricane early Sunday - the 30th named storm of the ’20 Atlantic hurricane season & the 13th hurricane, 2nd to only - wait for it - 2005 which totaled 15 hurricanes... then reached Cat. 5 intensity - the latest Cat. 5 on record over the Atlantic Basin + the 5th year in a row with at least one Cat. 5 over the Atlantic Basin - Mon. morning before a high end Cat. 4 landfall about 10:45pm EST Mon. on the northeast coast of Nicaragua close to where Eta came ashore two weeks prior. Iota weakened over the mountainous terrain with the last NHC advisory issued Wed. morning, Nov. 18.
Iota was a classic late season hurricane over a very warm Caribbean: very slow organization of a “glob” of convection that once it got its act together - developed a core & good banding features with strong outflow over the top - rapidly intensified.
So... Wed. afternoon marked the first time without a named storm somewhere over the Atlantic Basin since Oct. 31 - no small feat for so late in the season.
There is a disturbance over the Southwestern Caribbean drifting to the west & southwest. This system will stay farther south than its predecessors - Eta & Iota - as well as weaker.... it would appear. But also means more heavy rain for parts of Central America. There will be no impact on the U.S.
Another area to watch will be the SW Atlantic east of the Bahamas near & along a stalled front/trough of low pressure. Low pressure will slowly develop & could become tropical or subtropical. This potential system should ultimately be steered east or northeast away from the U.S.
Atlantic Basin wave forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:
Saharan dust, dry air:
2020 names..... “Wilfred” was the last 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 is certain to be retired from the ’19 list). Interesting side note: the last six of the names on the ’20 list had never been used. So it’s on to the Greek alphabet. "Kappa” is next... the first time the Greek alphabet has been used since 2005 (total of 28 named storms using 6 Greek letter names in ’05 [there was one unnamed storm). Theta broke the record for the most Atlantic storms in a single season on record at 29.
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:
Sea surface temp. anomalies:
SE U.S. surface map:
Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:
Surface analysis of the Gulf:
Global tropical activity:
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