• Talking the Tropics With Mike: Low pressure over/near Fl. destined to become "Dorian"

    By: Michael Buresh


    Aug. 23, 2019 - The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Survival Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.  

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    The peak of the hurricane season is essentially here.  Two-thirds of all Atlantic hurricanes occur between Aug. 20th & Oct. 10th with the exact peak on September 10th.

    The tropical story through the weekend - stay up to date on the latest developments/forecasts! - is tropical wave '98-L' meandering over/near Fl. through Sat. before moving northeast & gradually accelerating offshore.  Rip currents along area beaches are the biggest threat & should not be taken lightly - always swim & surf with a "buddy" & as close to a lifeguard as at all possible.

    Impacts on Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.:

    * NO significant impacts through the weekend but.......

    * a little bit of a bump in seas & surf so an increase in the rip current risk - especially Sat. through Sunday - use caution if going into the water at area beaches.

    * a decent easterly/northeast onshore flow/wind will develop over the weekend as the low organizes.  Most of the development will be offshore to the east of Fl. when the system could very well become "Dorian".

    * If the low can get far enough west before turning east & northeast, there will some increase in rain for especially coastal areas.  But most of the real heavy rain will be east of the center &, therefore, east of most of Fl. except - at times - for SE & extreme East Central Fl.

    * the disturbance will be moving away by late Sunday reducing any impacts even more.

    At the surface.... low pressure is near the southeast tip of Florida in the vicinity of Miami.  Proximity to - or over - land + a fair amount of shear - should inhibit much in the way of development through Sat. as the low meanders over or near South Florida ..... & might even sneak a bit into the SE Gulf of Mexico. By Sunday, the low will be east & northeast of Jacksonville moving northeast where there appears to be the best "bet" for organization/intensification as the low accelerates northeast as an upper level trough to the north becomes the main steering mechanism.  This would mean few problems/impacts for Jacksonville & Fl. outside of an increase in seas & a refreshing northeast breeze later Sat. into early Sunday.  At this time, the forecast is for the low to stay east of the U.S. east coast at its strongest intensity (possibly even as a hurricane!) but close enough to the Carolina's Sunday to produce gusty winds & serious rip currents.  From the early to middle part of next week the disturbance will move over the Western Atlantic east of the U.S. coastline & west & northwest of Bermuda.

    Meanwhile... A very weak Chantal continues over the North Atlantic.  The system is likely to dissipate over open water over the weekend.

    Another area to watch into the weekend will still be the Western Gulf of Mexico.  A pretty decent tropical wave plus an upper level disturbance will work NW then northward into & over the Western Gulf where there has been some pulsing - impressive at times - convection.  While models show only weak surface development - if any at all - this will be an area to watch for "sneaky" development in an area - historically speaking, the Western Gulf  - that is highly favored in mid to late Aug with water that is plenty warm.

    Rainfall forecast shows the tropical "trouble spots" receiving heavy rain (W. Atlantic/parts of Fl. & NW Gulf).



    An examination of dust over the Central & Eastern Atlantic shows a continuation of a good deal of dust over the Central & Eastern Atlantic as well as parts of the Caribbean.  While such dry air can inhibit tropical development initially, once any waves are farther west or if the wave can stay a little south & out of the dust "cloud" - & IF all other conditions are equal - organization/strengthening can occur.  The 2005 hurricane season stands out (along with several other seasons) as a "dusty" Eastern Atlantic but disturbances simply waited to get out of the dust - further to the west - to develop & then "make history".

    2019 names..... "Dorian" is next on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael last year):


    Atlantic Basin today - note a couple of tropical waves between the Caribbean & Africa.  Conditions appear marginal for much in the way of organization through the next 5 days or so but might be something to watch in the long run.  In fact, the lead wave has helped develop weak low pressure, & this could become a depression or even a tropical storm while approaching the Caribbean.  However, conditions appear marginal thereafter until late next week so something to monitor in the long run as well.

    East Atlantic:

    Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear of which there is plenty across the Atlantic at the moment:

    The Atlantic Basin:

    Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

    Deep oceanic heat content:

    Sea surface temp. anomalies show a warm Gulf of Mexico, Central & Northwest Atlantic while the "Main Development Region" (MDR) remain cooler than avg. along with parts of the Central Caribbean.....

    SE U.S. surface map:

    Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

    Surface analysis of the Gulf:



    Over the East Pacific.... "Ivo" has formed but is battling shear.  Cooler water & drier air should cause pretty fast weakening over the weekend west of the Baja of California.

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