Talking the Tropics With Mike: Tracking a couple of tropical waves over the Atlantic

Oct. 14, 2018 — The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Survival Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.  

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Historical hurricane Michael - post storm photos & video ** here **:

Preliminary measured wind gusts - no doubt winds were much higher in some spots which will be determined in post storm studies.....

The next 2 images provided by Dr. Phil Klotzbach, CSU:

The last "Michael" advisory was issued by the NHC Friday, Oct. 12th - 2 days after the Panhandle landfall.

While "business" was essentially uninterrupted across NE Fl./SE Ga., it's a much different story for parts of the Virginia, W. Virginia, Maryland, the Carolina's, Georgia &, of course, the Fl. Panhandle & Big Bend where travel will be severely hampered & power may be out for days if not weeks.

Historically - going back to about the mid 1990s - we should have been wary of Oct. hurricanes given certain conditions (warm water, decreasing shear, increasing upper level ventilation thanks to an approaching upper level trough of low pressure) which were in place for Michael - see "Buresh Blog" - Matthew (Fl.) 2 years ago (Sun., 10/07!)... Joaquin (Bahamas & El Faro) in 2015... Sandy (NY, NJ) in 2012.... Wilma (Yucatan &Fl.) in 2005... Mitch (Central America & Fl.) in 1998... Opal (Fl.) in 1995.  Not to mention the 'M' name has been a "devil" three years in a row: hurricane Matthew in 2016 (retired), hurricane Maria in 2017 (retired) & now Michael, likely to be retired.

Microwave energy time lapse has been most impressive.... courtesy CIMSS:

As I wrote nearly a month ago.... the overall pattern through the first 2+ weeks of Oct. has favored tropical development over the Atlantic Basin.  The velocity potential anomaly map below helped track a MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) pulse. This phase has peaked, & the Atlantic Basin is now quieter but realize the hurricane season continues through Nov. 30th.

Note the secondary peak of the hurricane season in mid Oct.:

Meanwhile... Long-lived Leslie rolled into Spain & Portugal as a Cat. 1 hurricane transitioning to a powerful post-tropical ocean storm Sat.  The last advisory was issued by the NHC Sat., Oct. 13th.

AND....  tropical storm "Nadine" dissipated Fri., Oct. 12th.

The Atlantic Basin is indeed quieter & NO tropical systems will impact the U.S. anytime soon.  An area of "disturbed" weather over the Caribbean could develop weak low pressure while moving west over Central America with little time for significant development.  And a tropical wave is located at a rather far south latitude east of S. America.  Some development of this wave is possible in the short term but mid & upper level shear should keep this wave "in check" in the long run.


E. Atlantic:


Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

The Atlantic Basin.....

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content is seasonably high over the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & SW Atlantic as one would expect in the fall....

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:


Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:


Surface analysis of the Gulf: