First Alert Weather

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Tropical storm WATCH parts of South Texas & 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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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 through Tue. Some showers from nearby disturbance + enhanced onshore winds resulting in rough seas & a heightened rip current risk by late Wed. - Thu. into Fri.

The Atlantic Basin Overview:

(1) an upper level trough is over the Central/SW Atlantic is leaving 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 the Southeast U.S. coast by about Thursday. The European model & Canadian forecast model shows more of a surface trough vs. a low. The GFS has continued to be inconsistent (a problem we’ve seen the last several months) & is now trending northward with a weak low. Overall, it does not appear this will become a significant system upon approach to the U.S. late this week.

“Buresh Bottom Line”: in any case... there will be an uptick - a much needed one - in rainfall for NE Fl./SE Ga. late this week though amounts don’t look to be all that great for most areas. Any surface/tropical development with this system should be gradual & not likely particularly strong but obviously it’s something to keep an eye on. There will be enhanced onshore flow resulting in rough seas/surf & an increasing rip current risk at area beaches. Swim & surf with a buddy & as close to a lifeguard as at all possible.

(2) A Tropical Storm WATCH: Port O’Connor southward to the mouth of the Rio Grande. The government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm WATCH: northeastern coast of Mexico south of the mouth of the Rio Grande to Boca de Catan.

Hurricane hunter aircraft investigated ‘L-91′ Monday afternoon over the Southwest Gulf of Mexico near & over the Bay of Campeche. Broad low pressure has developed & will slowly drifting to the west/northwest. This low could become the first named storm of the season for the Atlantic Basin - “Alberto”. 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 though this is also an area suffering from drought so a certain amount of the rain will be welcome.

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 west of New Orleans to Brownsville, Texas to Northeast Mexico.

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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