2017 Atlantic Season Winds Down

With ten days left in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, there is no sign of any tropical development on the horizon. Wind shear is incredibly high in the Gulf of Mexico with a deepening trough nearby. Upper level winds are also unfavorable for tropical or subtropical organization in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Not to mention, water temperatures are cooling too. At this pace, with no areas of interest, the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic season will wrap up with 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes. It is the busiest Atlantic season since 2012, in terms of named storms.  When we analyze the total energy output of all tropical systems during the entire hurricane season, or ACE, the number is incredibly high in 2017. According the Dr. Klotzbach and meteorologists at Colorado State University the ACE in 2017 is 226. In an average season, the ACE is 111.  This makes 2017 the 5th busiest season on record in terms of ACE, according to NOAA.



A series of disturbances bring several opportunities for rain this work week to Florida. A weak surface low will swing across the Sunshine State Thursday and Friday. No tropical development is expected with this feature. Below is the GFS forecast Thursday evening.



Invest 96L Meanders Near The Azores

Invest 96L is still a non tropical low near The Azores Tuesday afternoon. Upper level winds are favorable for some subtropical development through mid-work week. By late Thursday and Friday wind shear increases and subtropical development is less likely. Regardless, some squalls are expected in the central and south Azores over the next few days.



There are about 2 weeks left in the 2017 Atlantic season. Mid to late November named storms are less common as water temperatures are cooling and wind shear is elevated with active frontal boundaries. Only 38 named storms have forms in the Caribbean, and Atlantic from November 11th through November 30th since 1851. The graphic below is courtesy Google Earth.




Subtropical Development is Possible Near The Azores This Work Week

An area of low pressure in the northeast Atlantic could gain some tropical characteristics in the days ahead. As of Monday afternoon there is a medium chance a tropical depression or Subtropical Storm Sean forms over the next 5 days. Invest 96L could impact the central or southeast Azores mid work week as it meanders in the vicinity.



Elsewhere the tropical Atlantic season winds down. Water temperatures are still in the low to mid 80s in the southwest Caribbean. The GFS keeps pressure in this region generally low over the next 5-7 days+. This is worth keeping an eye on next week.




Rina to Lose Tropical Characteristics Soon; No Threat as Lifts North in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Rina continues its track northward over the open northern Atlantic Wednesday. As of 11 AM AST max sustained winds are at 60 mph as it races northward at 21 mph. The 17th named storm of the season has likely maxed out in intensity as it starts to transition to an extra-tropical low. Convection will decrease over even cooler waters Thursday. Rina will merge with a frontal boundary and lose tropical characteristics during this time.


Elsewhere, there are no areas of interest over the next 5 days. The biggest culprit for lack of tropical features is strong wind shear.  On Wednesday high shear covers the Gulf, southwest Caribbean and much of the Atlantic. There is a small pocket of marginally favorable upper level winds in the northwest Caribbean. The image below is courtesy the University of Wisconsin.


November named storms are less common as the month progresses. Water temperatures are cooling and upper level winds are less conducive for tropical development with fronts on the move.  74 named storms have formed in November since 1850. Here’s a look at the named storm origin points from November 1-30th. The graphic below is courtesy Google Earth.



Tropical Storm Rina Races Towards Cooler Waters

Rina became the 17th named storm of the active 2017 Atlantic season Monday night. Rina is still a minimal tropical storm at 10 AM AST with 40 mph winds. Despite hostile upper level winds, convection increases on the northeast side of Rina. If this continues, Rina may increase a bit in intensity over the next 24 hours. The disorganized tropical storm will transition to an extra-tropical system by Thursday morning over the cooler north Atlantic. It is no threat to land.



RIna sits over luke warm Atlantic waters Tuesday. It moves into an even cooler environment over the next 48 hours. During this time it will lose tropical characteristics. Beyond Rina, there are no areas of interest for the next 5-7 days+.




Tropical Depression 19 Forms in the North Central Atlantic; No Threat to Land

Tropical Depression 19 forms over the open north central Atlantic Monday morning. As of 5 PM AST max sustained winds are at 35 mph as it slowly moves north-northeast well east of Bermuda. The depression is disorganized as it battles some nearby dry air in the mid levels of the atmosphere. Westerly wind shear exposes the center of circulation. Tropical Depression 19 will likely become the 17th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic season, Rina, by early Tuesday morning. While gradual strengthening is expected, it will transition to an extra-tropical system over the cooler north Atlantic by Thursday afternoon. It is no threat to land, but the remnants of future Rina could bring squalls to Ireland/the United Kingdom by Friday or Saturday.




30 Days Left In The Atlantic Hurricane Season

16 named storms, 10 hurricanes, 6 major hurricanes… It’s been a historic season in so many ways, and thankfully we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s a look at the storms we’ve seen through October.


Just 30 days remain in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and this is the time of year when activity starts to diminish rapidly. In fact, only 5% of named storms since 1950 have formed during the month of November. There are only 3 hurricane landfalls in the continental U.S. on record during the month of November. The most recent being Hurricane Kate (Cat. 2) that hit the Florida Panhandle on November 21, 1985.


In November, tropical systems usually form either in the WSW Caribbean or in the western Atlantic northeast of Cuba. In these areas, water temperatures are still warm enough for storms to thrive and wind shear is low. Closer to the United States there is some level of protection thanks to 1) rapidly cooling Gulf of Mexico waters and 2) more wind shear being present over the Gulf due to frequent cold fronts dropping south. Most November storms end up being more of a problem for places like Cuba, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.

Graphic below courtesy Philip Klotzbach at Colorado State University.


All is quiet across the Atlantic right now, lets hope it stays that way for the next few weeks.

Philippe Races Away From Florida; Remnants May Pass Close to New England

Philippe, the 16th named storm of the 2017 season, drenched South Florida Saturday and Saturday night. As of 8 AM Sunday it taps energy from a nearby cold front. While the tropical low is disorganized structurally, winds increase up to 50 mph as it races northeast at 32 mph. Tropical Storm wind gusts were felt in the Northwest Bahamas early Sunday morning. Philippe transitions to an extratropical low as it merges with a frontal boundary over the Western Atlantic over the next 24 hours. It strengthens further during this time.



The remnants of Philippe could clip or pass over coastal New England late Sunday into Monday. Winds could gust to high-end tropical storm force or even hurricane force during this time.


Tropical Depression 18 Forms-Set to Become Philippe; A Rainmaker for South Florida

Hurricane Hunters found a closed low Saturday morning. Potential Tropical Cyclone 18 is upgraded to Tropical Depression 18 with 35 mph  at 11 AM. Squalls drench western Cuba and a wet late Saturday and early Sunday is in the cards for South Florida and the Northwest and Central Bahamas. As of 11 AM the National Hurricane Center anticipates strengthening to Tropical Storm Philippe by Saturday evening. This will pass close to extreme Southeast Florida overnight Saturday into Sunday with winds of 45 mph. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the upper Florida Keys and Southeast Florida. Wind shear will keep future Philippe a weak tropical storm. It merges with a cold front and transitions to an extra-tropical system by early Monday over the western Atlantic. A stronger area of low pressure in conjunction with that same front drenches New England late Sunday and Monday. Winds could gust up to near hurricane force near the coast.



Future Philippe brings the threat of flooding to South Florida and the Keys through early Sunday. While widespread 2-4″ of rainfall is likely, isolated areas could pick up 6-7″ of rain. Below is the RPM rainfall accumulation forecast through Sunday.


Wind  gusts near tropical storm force are possible in the Florida Keys and in South Florida Saturday evening and overnight Saturday into Sunday. Below is the GFS wind gust forecast at 10 PM Saturday. Wind gusts are stronger in a severe summertime thunderstorm.


Soon-To-Be Philippe Heading for Cuba And Bahamas This Weekend

Late Friday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center tagged Potential Tropical Cyclone 18 in the western Caribbean. Lacking a low-level center, it’s not yet qualified to be a tropical system, but it’s expected that this will become Tropical Storm Philippe later tonight or early Saturday. This system will accelerate to the northeast, moving quickly across Cuba on Saturday and the Bahamas on Sunday.


The biggest impact from the quick-moving Philippe will heavy rainfall potential across Cuba, the Bahamas, and South Florida:

Cayman Islands, Cuba and Bahamas:  4-8″ with maximum totals of 10″

South Florida and the Florida Keys:  3-5″ with maximum totals of 8″

A cold front will sweep through these areas quickly Sunday into Monday, bringing cooler temperatures, clearing skies, and windy conditions.