Tag Archive for: Caribbean

Western Caribbean Could Get Active This Week

(Updated at 1:30p.m. 6/13/14 to reflect increased risk) According to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, a tropical system may form over the western Caribbean Sea this week. The National Hurricane Center has increased the probability of formation from 20% to 30% to 40% so far today.

NHC gives the yellow area a 30% chance of formation as of 8am EDT on 6/13/22.
Upgraded to 40% chance of formation as of 1PM Houston time, 6/13/22.

Converging Systems

Currently, a trough of low pressure extends from the eastern Pacific Ocean (south of Mexico) across central America into the far western Caribbean Sea. It is producing numerous clusters of showers and thunderstorms. Additionally, a westward moving tropical wave is starting to interact with the eastern part of that trough. See below.

Satellite image of Atlantic Basin as of 9:50 Houston time on 6/13/22. Note the area starting to curve around Central America and the westward moving storm off the cost of South America.

Thunderstorm clusters over the eastern Pacific are in the formative stages of tropical development. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms over the western Caribbean remain disorganized and in an environment generally of strong upper level westerly wind shear.

Global forecast models show varying degrees of development over the western Caribbean Sea east of Honduras by mid week.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

Most models indicate development very near the eastern coast of central America. And it is possible that no development happens due to the close proximity to land and/or wind shear.

Should this surface low actually develop, the sprawling ridge of high pressure over the southern plains responsible for our current heat wave will affect forecasts.

Without any sort of defined center for the Caribbean system, confidence is low on where anything may form and eventually move. However, the majority of the global models keeps this disturbed area close to central America and then potentially in the Bay of Campeche.

National Hurricane Center Forecast

The National Hurricane Center agrees. It currently gives the feature a 40% chance of formation over the next 5 days. That’s up from 20% yesterday and 30% this morning.

At a minimum, the NHC predicts that an area of low pressure will develop by the middle part of this week over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. Forecasters add: “Some slow development of this system is possible thereafter while it drifts generally northwestward off the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras.”

 Check National Hurricane Center Daily During Season

This should serve as a reminder that we are in hurricane season. And it is a good idea to check the tropical weather outlook at least once per day.

The best place to do that is the National Hurricane Center website. While the statistical peak of hurricane season is still three months away (September 11), life threatening tropical systems do strike in early in the season. Here’s an interesting article about devastating June storms.

Many people in the Houston area will remember Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. It killed 22 people and dumped almost as much rain as Harvey. It caused all the flood maps to be revised at the time.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/13/2022

1749 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Two Systems Approaching Caribbean

A strong tropical wave located midday between Africa and the eastern Caribbean Sea continues to show increasing signs of organization. The red area below has an 80% chance of tropical formation in the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 8 a.m. this morning.

Red storm has 80% chance of tropical formation as of 8 am, June 30, 2021 according to National Hurricane Center.

Storm Farthest East Represents Biggest Threat

Convection has increased near a developing low-level, low-pressure system designated 97L for the moment. 97L has a large moisture envelop and conditions generally favor development as it moves westward.

According to Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist and the National Hurricane Center, a tropical depression will likely form in the next few days. It may also turn into a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands. They expect continued W to WNW motion bringing the system into and through the eastern Caribbean Sea by the weekend.

Models Diverge on Direction After Storm Enters Caribbean

It’s too early to tell where it goes after that. Some models suggest the system will turn WNW and NW while others maintain a more westward track. “There is reasonable support for both,” says Lindner.

Lindner emphasizes that it is early for tropical cyclones to form in this region of the Atlantic. While 97L may become a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands, once it gets past them, it may encounter slightly less favorable conditions over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

While there is no significant threat to SE TX at this time, you should monitor 97L daily.

Nearest Storm Poses Less Threat

The yellow area is a second, separate area being monitored by the NHC. It is moving quickly WNW at 20 to 25 mph and will enter the Caribbean later today. However, it is producing only disorganized showers and thunderstorms so far and diverging trade winds may tear it apart. The NHC only gives it a 10% chance of tropical formation. So while it will bring heavy rainfall to the Lesser Antilles, it poses little danger to Houston.

For the latest information, the NHC updates storm tracks every 12 hours during the hurricane season and even more frequently if storms approach the U.S. mainland.

Posted by Bob Rehak based on information from HCFCD and the National Hurricane Center

1401 Days after Hurricane Harvey