Abnormally Quiet Weekend in the Atlantic Basin

Considering it is just ten days past the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season the Atlantic basin is unusually quiet. The strongest hurricane and name storm of the 2014 season, Edouard, lost its battle with cooler water temperatures and strong wind shear Friday afternoon. As of Saturday morning it is nothing more than a swirl of clouds west of the Azores.

ex edouard

Moderate wind shear also keeps Invest 95L from organizing significantly near the Cape Verde Islands. Convection looks promising on enhanced satellite imagery but it is widely scattered due to a belt of southwesterly shear. There is also plenty of dry Saharan air west and north of this feature. As of Saturday morning the elongated low has a low 10% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Monday morning and a low 10% chance by Thursday morning. Models generally take Invest 95L north northwest over the next few days. It will brings squalls the Cape Verde Islands into early work week (regardless of development) and is no threat to any other land masses.

Florida IR Enhanced

Invest 95L Models

Closer to home we are watching low pressure along a frontal boundary east of Florida over the warm western Atlantic. Officially per the NHC no tropical depression development is expected here over the next five days but it is worth keeping an eye on as it moves northeast. Strong westerly shear should keep the low form deepening significant. There is also upper level energy in the vicinity too associated with a trough. The surface now tracks northeast and enhances rain in coastal north Carolina early Sunday.

Southeast Satellite-Radar

In the east Pacific Polo is a minimal tropical storm. As of 11 AM EDT max sustained winds are at 45 mph and it is tracking northwest at 8 mph. Confidence is high that with the exception of rough surf most of the rain and wind will stay well south of the southern Baja peninsula. This region is still recovering from Hurricane Odile earlier this week. Tropical storm Polo is a sheared system and could become a tropical depression late Saturday or early Sunday.

Polo

It’s still a ways off but long-range models suggest that low pressure could spin up in the western Caribbean in 7-10 days. Atmospheric conditions look to be a bit more favorable for development during this time. We’ll keep you posted.

 

Edouard Falls Apart; Invest 95L Emerges But With Little Threat To Land

As of 11am Friday morning, Edouard was still a Tropical Storm, with maximum sustained winds of 45mph and a minimum central pressure of 993mb. However, within the last 12 hours, it has really dissipated. Take a look at the enhanced satellite imagery below, which accentuates the separation now between the low- and mid-level circulations for the storm. This is the result of a strong northwesterly wind shear. That combined with cool sea surface temperatures and a complete lack of any thunderstorm activity should allow Edouard to be designated as a remnant low sometime later Friday or at the latest, early Saturday morning.

Edouard Enhanced Satellite

Edouard, or what’s left of it, has slowed significantly and now is only moving at a snail’s pace of 3mph to the east-southeast. It is expected to curve farther to the south in the next 48 hours and likely miss the Azores before dissipating completely.

Edouard Track

Meanwhile, most of the rain from the remnants of Odile have moved on from the Desert Southwest. While there are still a few showers around in New Mexico, the flooding rains have pushed on into Texas and portions of the Gulf Coast. In fact, flood watches continue through this evening and Saturday morning for portions of Texas.

Southeast Satellite-Radar

As far as rainfall goes, it wasn’t quite as heavy across Arizona and New Mexico as the record rains of Norbert just a week and a half ago. Still, it was enough to cause issues in the recently drenched region. Many areas across southeast Arizona and New Mexico picked up 2″-4″ of rain in the last 4 days, with a few isolated amounts closer to 6″. As that moisture spilled over into Texas, areas in and around Houston saw upwards of 6″-8″ of rain, with more expected on Friday. (The graphic below is courtesy NOAA/NESDIS)

NOAA STAR Rainfall Estimates

Across the Gulf, there is ample shower and thunderstorm activity Friday morning but little in the way of organization. There were some computer models that developed a tropical low in the Atlantic off the Florida/Georgia coastline early next week as these storms moved offshore, but they have since backed off. While it’s still expected that there will be an area of low pressure in that vicinity, it’s now expected to be non-tropical in nature as it accelerates to the northeast. Nonetheless, we will continue to watch the Gulf for development in the coming weeks as some models have hinted at development in the long term.

Floater IR Enhanced

In the Eastern Atlantic, Invest 95L has emerged off the west African coastline. As of Friday morning, the broad area of low pressure was very disorganized but did have some heavy thunderstorms with it. Conditions are not great for development over the next couple of days, but the NHC does give it a 30% chance to develop in the next 5 days. Still, a likely path would be to the northwest, toward the Cape Verde Islands and not into the open Atlantic waters.

Invest 95L Enhanced Satellite

Invest 95L Models

Moisture From Odile to Bring Flooding Rains to Southwest U.S.; Edouard Weakening in the Atlantic

After days of pounding the Baja peninsula with heavy rain, wind, and large waves a much weaker Tropical Storm Odile eyes the Southwest U.S. As of 11 AM EDT Thursday max sustained winds have dropped to 40 mph and it is moving NE at 6 mph. While it will likely weaken to a tropical depression by Wednesday night tropical moisture will trigger flooding rains in the desert Southwest through the end of the work week.

Tropical Track Pacific 2

Downpours invade parts of Arizona and New Mexico early Wednesday and rainfall rates will pick up Wednesday night and Thursday as Odile tracks deeper into the region. Flash Flood Watches are posted for much of the area and some areas are gearing up for the second big rain event in 10 days. In early September moisture from Tropical Storm Norbert brought record rainfall to places like Phoenix. According to the National Weather Service in Tucson this marks the first time moisture from two tropical systems pounded the region in such a short amount of time. The average yearly rainfall in Tuscon is just under a foot (most during the monsoon season) Places like Tuscon could receive 3-6″ with isolated areas (especially near mountainous terrain) seeing up to 9″. The ECWMF model suggests southeast Arizona could see 3-6″ by Friday evening. This model also depicts quite a bit of heavy rain over central and southern New Mexico. Flash flooding is a major concern in this part of the country.

US Radar

ECMWF-Precip Acc

Just on Odile’s heels is a strengthening Tropical Storm Polo. As of 11 AM EDT max winds top out at 60 mph and the storm is moving NW at 10 mph. The environment is favorable for Polo to gain hurricane strength by Thursday or Friday. While the long-term track is not set in stone Polo will pass very close or just south of the Baja peninsula Sunday. Of course this region doesn’t need any more rain. Model trends will be monitored closely and interest in southwest Mexico and the Baja peninsula need to keep a watchful eye.

Tropical Track Pacific 2

Back in the Atlantic basin Hurricane Edouard is no longer a major hurricane. As of Wednesday morning it maintains category one strength with 90 mph winds. Edouard moves northeast into cooler north Atlantic waters Wednesday night. Upper level winds also increase during this time and Edouard is still on track to become a remnant low this weekend west of the Azores.

TD 6

Even though Edouard is well east of Bermuda and the U.S., swells have reached East coast beaches and the risk for rip currents stays elevated the next few days. Wave heights nearshore climb to 5 ft in coastal North Carolina.

Western Atlantic Wave Heights

 A new tropical wave is emerging off the coast of Africa early Wednesday. While convection looks promising, the atmosphere doesn’t favor significant development (mainly due to dry African air) as it drifts westward. As of Wednesday morning the National Hurricane Center only gives it a 10% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Monday morning.

Florida IR Enhanced

Edouard Becomes First Major Hurricane of 2014 Atlantic Season: Odile Brings Flooding Concerns to Southwest U.S.

Hurricane Edouard becomes the first major hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season Tuesday and the first major hurricane in the Atlantic since Sandy in October 2012. As of 11 EDT max sustained winds are at 115 mph. Climatologically the first major hurricane in the Atlantic basin forms on September 4th (on average there are 3 major hurricanes each Atlantic season). Clearly Edouard looks like a textbook major hurricane on enhanced satellite imagery. There is a well-defined eye and great outflow and banding. The deepest convection and strongest winds are well east of Bermuda and will stay hundreds of miles from the island. However, swells are building and rough surf is expected over the next few days. Some of these swells will enhance the threat for rip currents at some East coast beaches into the middle and possible end of the work week. Beyond Tuesday, Edouard will steadily weaken as wind shear increases and it moves over cooler north Atlantic waters. It will head northeast in the coming days and should lose tropical characteristics by Saturday west of the Azores.

Floater IR Enhanced 2

TD 6

In the east Pacific now Tropical Storm Odile continues to lose steam due to land interaction, but its impacts are far from over. Heavy rainfall and rough surf continue to pound the Baja peninsula but the gusty winds have relaxed significantly since Monday. Rainfall totals could tally up to 6-12+” into Friday. That is more rainfall than places like Cabo San Lucas typically see in an entire year.

Tropical Track Pacific 2

Moisture from Odile will bring heavy rainfall to parts of the Southwest U.S. in the coming days and flooding is a significant concern. Areas like Phoenix that were hit hard last week (from moisture from Tropical Storm Norbert) are gearing up for more heavy rain. Parts of southern Arizona and southern New Mexico could see 3-6″ of rainfall and isolated areas in mountainous southeast Arizona could see 9″. The European model in the graphic below predicts a huge swath of 3-5″ into Friday evening. Flash Flood Watches are in effect for these areas.

ECMWF-Precip Acc

Not too far behind Odile is newly formed Tropical Storm Polo. It is the 16th named storm in this very active 2014 east Pacific hurricane season. Polo will bring heavy rainfall to southwest Mexico and some of this moisture may make it to the southern Baja peninsula over the weekend.

Polo

Back in the Atlantic Basin models are still on board for a new tropical wave to emerge off of Africa later this work. Officially as of Tuesday morning the National Hurricane Center gives it a 20% chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next 5 days. Both the GFS and ECMWF show weak low pressure west of the Cape Verde Islands next Monday.

ECMWF vs GFS MSLP and Precip Rate

 

Edouard On Verge of Becoming First Major Hurricane in Atlantic; Odile Slams Baja Peninsula

Hurricane Edouard maintains category two hurricane strength early Monday. As of 11 AM Monday max sustained winds top out at 105 mph. The strongest hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season has a well-defined eye, which has actually grown in size. Edouard thrives over warm central Atlantic waters and upper level winds are favorable for further strengthening over the next 24-36 hours. It could become the first major hurricane of the 2014 season as early as Monday night. Edouard would be the first major hurricane in the Atlantic basin in two years. Several NOAA aircrafts will investigate Edouard Monday. The good news is model consensus is excellent and Edouard will pass a few hundred miles east of Bermuda. It will stay well east of the U.S. this work week under the influence of a strong trough.

Floater IR Enhanced 2

TD 6

Meanwhile, in the east Pacific Hurricane Odile is the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in the southern Baja peninsula (tied with Olivia in 1967). Odile officially made landfall at 12:45 AM EDT Monday as a category 3 storm with 125 mph winds. This was pretty much the worst case scenario for the southern Baja peninsula. The angle of impact pushes tremendous waves into the area and enhances the threat for coastal flooding. Significant damage is reported in Cabo San Lucas and more heavy rain and wind will linger over the region for the next few days.The span of hurricane and especially tropical storm force winds is quite large too.

Odile

As of 11 AM EDT Odile is a category two hurricane with 100 mph winds. Hurricane force winds extend out 35 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. The hurricane will gradually weaken over rugged terrain. Gusty winds will be a major issue over the next 24-36 hours.

Wind Radii

The large hurricane churns up surf near the central and southern Baja peninsula. A massive area of 20-30 ft surf pounds the region. These large waves contribute to major coastal flooding issues during high tide. Swells will continue over the next few days.

FasTrac

Parts of the Baja California peninsula could see 6-12 inches of rain, with isolated higher amounts through Friday. The GFS model paints a huge swatch of 7+ of rain through Thursday morning. Mid to late work week this slug of tropical moisture enhances tropical downpours in the Southwest U.S.. Flash flooding is possible.

GFS-Precip Acc

Back in the Atlantic Basin officially there are no other areas of interest over the next five days per the NHC. Both the GFS and ECWMF suggest a heathy tropical will wave will emerge near the Cape Verde Islands Thursday or Friday. Below is the 06Z GFS Friday morning. There will be plenty of time to watch this feature. Pressure also stays generally low in the western Caribbean this week.

gfs_atl_winds_36

 

 

Edouard Becomes 4th Hurricane of Atlantic Season; Major Hurricane Odile Eyes the Baja Peninsula

It’s official. Edouard becomes the fourth hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season at 11 AM EDT Sunday with max sustained winds of 80 mph. The fourth hurricane of the Atlantic season typically forms on September 21st, so this is a week ahead of schedule. The good news is despite rapid intensification over the past 24 hours Edouard will pass well east of Bermuda and the U.S. mid work week. Upper level winds are even more favorable for further strengthening over the next few days. During this time a small pocket of major hurricane force winds is possible.

Floater IR Enhanced 2

Edouard

In the east Pacific category four Hurricane Odile eyes the southern Baja peninsula.  In just 24 hours Odile strengthened from a minimal hurricane to a category four over warm east Pacific waters (low shear environment too). As of 11 AM EDT Sunday max sustained winds top out at 130 mph. It could be the strongest hurricane on record to strike the Baja peninsula. The major hurricane threatens the extreme southern Baja peninsula Sunday night and early Monday. The GFS model below estimates 7+ is possible this work week as Odile brushes the region (up to 15″ are possible in spots per the NHC). The Southwest U.S. taps into some of this moisture too sparking some heavy downpours and possible flooding mid to late work week. The threat for strong hurricane force winds is highest early work week over the central and southern Baja peninsula. Odile gradually weakens due to land interaction and time over cooler waters.

Odile 2png

ECMWF-Precip Acc

Closest to home former Invest 92L fizzles over the central Gulf due to strong northeasterly shear. Convection is lack there of and the broad low (drifting west) now has a 0% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the coming days. Remnant energy gets absorbed by a frontal boundary parked over the northern Gulf coast.

Gulf of Mexico IR Enhanced

Former Invest 93L loses its battle with dry African air. Models stopped running data on the disturbance Saturday afternoon. A small pocket of deep convection continues to churn between the Lesser Antilles and the Cape Verde Islands. This will likely weaken over the next day or two and tropical depression development is not expected.

Floater IR Enhanced to Water Vapor

Computer models like the reliable European and GFS suggest a healthy tropical wave will emerge off of Africa next weekend and is worth watching. Until then no tropical cyclone development is expected over the next five days.

 

 

 

 

 

Active Atlantic Basin Saturday; Watching Several Areas of Interest

The tropics are busy Saturday. In fact, we are watching four separate features in the Atlantic Basin. An area of low pressure that originated a few days ago over the Bahamas is now west of Florida over the southeast Gulf of Mexico. Invest 92L spent Friday over the Sunshine state and has not organized rapidly since it emerged over the warm Gulf of Mexico. The odds of a tropical depression forming in the coming days are low mainly due to moderate wind shear in the Gulf in the wake of a cold front. The National Hurricane Center gives the weak low a 20% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Monday and a 30% chance over the next five days as it moves westward. Regardless of tropical cyclone development extra tropical moisture will spark scattered showers and storms across the northern Gulf coast in the coming days. This moisture heads towards coastal Texas and Mexico Monday and Tuesday.

Southeast Satellite-Radar Weekend AM

12Z computer models have a general consensus on a west track though the weekend followed by a west or west-northwest track Monday and Tuesday. The area of low pressure gets absorbed into a stalled frontal boundary Monday and Tuesday. This enhances showers and storms for parts of the northern Gulf coast into mid work-week.

Invest 92L Models

The fifth named storm of the Atlantic season, Edouard, strengthens a bit early Saturday. The structure of the named storm is still somewhat disorganized but as of 5 AM Saturday max sustained winds are at 50 mph. Edouard battles moderate shear and dry air in the mid levels of the atmosphere. Due to these features gradual intensification is expected over open Atlantic waters over the coming days as it moves northwest. It could become the fourth hurricane of the Atlantic season early Monday.  A strong trough will guide Edouard out to sea east of Bermuda mid work-week.

Floater IR Enhanced

TD 6

Closer to Africa Invest 93L is less organized early Saturday. A small area of deep convection churns southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It will be an uphill battle for the area of low pressure as it drifts west-northwest over the next few days through a much drier air mass. Water vapor imagery shows a huge batch of dry air west of this feature. Not to mention upper level winds will increase early this work week. The National Hurricane Center gives Invest 93L a low 20% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Monday morning and a low 20% chance by Thursday morning. Most Saturday morning computer models dissipate the area of low pressure in the short-term.

Floater IR Enhanced to Water Vapor

Invest 93L Models

Lastly, time runs out for Invest 94L in near the Mexico Texas border. The broad area of low pressure moves inland early Saturday bringing heavy squalls to the region. While odds of development are at 0% in the coming days (as the broad low is cut off from its moisture source) tropical downpours linger for the next few days.

Floater IR Enhanced 2

 

Tropical Storm Edouard forms.

TD# 6 became Tropical Storm Edouard late last night with winds of 40mph. This had been expected given the organization of this system since it rolled off the coast of Africa. The satellite does show and organized system, but more importantly is its expected path.ir_enhanced_storm2 Notice all the computer models turn Edouard to the NW and eventually the north.models_storm2 There are hints that it may linger in the Atlantic for days on end. But nothing to indicate that it will impact any land masses at all. trackmap_storm2

Tropical Depression Six Forms; Still Watching Invest 92L Closely

Tropical Depression Six formed Thursday morning in the Eastern Atlantic. The storm exhibited decent characteristics of a tropical disturbance, with some convection near the center of circulation, and a modest amount of spin. As of 11am, TD 6 had a minimum central pressure of 1007mb and maximum sustained winds of 35mph.

TD 2 enhanced satellite

The storm is currently in a fairly moist atmosphere, with the Saharan Air Layer well to the north. At the same time, sea surface temperatures are warm enough for maintenance and even some intensification. And wind shear (as pictured below courtesy University of Wisconsin) shows a light to perhaps moderate south/southwesterly shear that is less than 20kts.

Wind Shear

With all these factors in mind, TD 6 is likely to become Tropical Storm Edouard in the coming days, and perhaps the fourth hurricane of the 2014 season as we head into next week (as the NHC forecast calls for). Most of our models are in agreement that the storm will continue on a track to the west-northwest over the next 3-4 days, before taking a significant curve to the north. Notice just about all of the spaghetti plots below falling inside the official NHC forecast for the next 5 days. Beyond that timeframe, interests in the Azores may want to prepare, as some of the models do bring the storm near the islands next weekend.

TD 2 plus Spaghetti

The strength of the storm remains a question. While the GFS model builds TD 6 into a stronger and much deeper storm, the ECMWF (Euro) keeps a weaker, more open wave disturbance into early next week. While both of these scenarios are possible, it’s more likely that the actual outcome for the storm will be somewhere between these two models.

ECMWF vs GFS MSLP and Precip Rate

Meanwhile, in the Western Atlantic, we are still watching Invest 92L very closely. Satellite and radar (from Melbourne) show a modest amount of storm activity surrounding the disturbance, with spiraling rain bands even affecting portions of the Northwest Bahamas/Southeast Florida. The formerly-upper level system has clearly been able to create a small, but visible surface circulation.

Southeast Satellite-Radar

Taking a look back at the wind shear map from the University of Wisconsin (shown above), 92L is currently in a favorable wind environment, with wind shear less than 20kts. However, we can see a moderate amount of north/northeasterly wind shear just to the west of the system. As this system slowly tracks westward over the next day or two, it will move into that moderate shear environment (at least temporarily). At the same time, water temperatures are extremely warm beneath 92L. Sea surface temperatures are near 30°C in the waters surrounding Florida, and this will likely aid in any future development. Keeping all this in mind, the NHC has upped the chances for development of this system to 30% over the coming days.

Gulf of Mexico Water Temperatures

As far as the track of 92L, it’s expected to move over South Florida in the next couple days and this will bring heavy rain to that region (as well as the Keys). Beyond that, the models are all over the place. This uncertainty over time is likely due to the uncertainty of a trough currently over the nation’s midsection. With the models having a tough time determining the extent of how far south that trough will go, there will likely be some uncertainty in where 92L goes in addition to whether or not it develops. Therefore, stay tuned on this one…

Invest 92L Models

Invest 91L and 92L in Atlantic, But No Storms Yet

We’ve arrived at the climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season and yet there are no storms in the Atlantic Basin. This is the first time we’ve seen no named storms in the Atlantic on this date since 2000. Typically, by this date we’d have seen 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane. However, for this lackluster year, we’ve only seen 4 named storms, 3 of which were hurricanes (but none of which were major).

Peak of Hurricane Season With Season Recap1

Peak of Hurricane Season With Season Recap2

Despite the lack of named storms today, we are still watching a couple disturbances very closely. The first is still well out in the eastern Atlantic, several hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. This disturbance has changed little in organization the last few days, but the odds are still high that by the end of the weekend/early next week, tropical depression six (and potentially Tropical Storm Edouard) may form. The NHC has kept the odds of development low for the next 48 hours (20%) but bumps them up to 70% by Monday afternoon.

Invest 91L Enhanced Satellite

Despite the higher chances for development, not all of the models are on board. The GFS is the most aggressive model, developing a strong system in the central Atlantic by Monday. The ECMWF (Euro) on the other hand keeps an open wave/weaker system during this time frame. The good news, despite strength differentials, is that most of the models keep this disturbance well north of the Lesser Antilles. Models are still on board with a strong trough on the eastern seaboard for next week which would help to curve the potential storm even further out to sea. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to monitor it, as well as another tropical wave right on its heels.

ECMWF vs GFS MSLP and Precip Rate

The other disturbance we are watching Wednesday afternoon is near the Bahamas. While this system, now designated Invest 92L, is mainly an upper level feature at this time, it could gain more surface traits as we head into the weekend. The disturbance is also looking better organized in terms of spin and convection. Nonetheless, chances are still low for a tropical depression to develop (10% over the next 2 days, 20% over the next 5 days). Regardless, tropical moisture will track over the Sunshine State over the coming days as this disturbance slowly tracks westward at 5-10 mph. Stay tuned….

Invest 92L Enhanced Satellite

Invest 92L Models