2015 Hurricane Season

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2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu May 07, 2015 8:54 pm

7TH MAY 2015 ... I know it's a bit early, but ...

... a disturbance is currently spinning slowly off the east coast of Florida.

Last weekend it was over the Bahamas and various models were predicting possible development but I thought "Nah, it's too early".

But I still watched it as it moved north east.

It's quite stressful actually, because I like to start the new Hurricane Season on the 1st June with a nice introduction and convey the NHC predictions as to whether an above or below average season lies ahead and so on.

So here we are on the 7th May, 24 days before the season is supposed to start.

Anyway, if this disturbance develops it is not likely to reach Hurricane status but it has already brought some heavy rain to Florida and there could be alot more because the disturbance isn't moving anywhere in the next 24 - 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Tobago is into the 2nd week of beautiful sunny weather although the cause (Saharan Dust) is weakening.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:18 pm

DANNY?

Who would have thought it? ... An early Storm on 7th May and now it is 3 months later and 2 further rather small Storms ... been very quiet.

The El Nino allegedly increases Storm activity in the Pacific and reduces it in the Atlantic.

So it is 16th August and we have the first signs of something significant ... potential 'Danny' is churning away to the south west of the Verde Islands and is at a low latitude (just above the equator). This system needs to break free of the ITCZ to really get spinning.

The NHC are giving 60% on this system developing into a Tropical Storm or Hurricane within the next 5 days. Most of the Models are forecasting a track to the north of the Leeward Islands or just over the Virgin Islands ... it's early days, lets first see if this system nudges a little north in the short term (ie.; 24 to 48 hours).

As reported in the Hurricane threads over the last 11 years, early Storm development is the most unpredictable stage for forecasters to work on so we should see what happens over the next 2 days and I will post updates here.

Currently, Tobago has a low risk of any direct or indirect impact from this system ... but we should keep an eye on it.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:47 pm

DANNY UPDATE

The NHC has raised the odds slightly to 70% chance of this system becoming a Tropical Depression or Storm within the next 5 days.

The consensus of the Weather Models indicate a Hurricane forming however there is some doubt if this system will reach the Caribbean in one piece considering the amount of dry Saharan air in the atmosphere ahead.

Also, the Caribbean is hostile to storm formation due to very high wind shear.

It could be the system's track that could be the main factor.

Currently, as I mentioned yesterday, the system is within the ITCZ and at a low latitude. Unless it breaks free of the ITCZ it could fail to spin and end up as a cluster of disorganised thunderstorms ... this outcome would very likely affect Tobago.

Another outcome is a strong Tropical Wave bringing widespread rainfall to the Caribbean, including Tobago.

The worst outcome is a Hurricane that would likely spin away from the ITCZ and track towards the northern Leeward Islands although this could indirectly impact Tobago with rainfall and high sea swells. There is a minor possibility that building High Pressure in the Atlantic could keep this system on a more westerly track which would bring it closer to Tobago but, at this stage, the risk is very low but needs monitoring.

When? ... next weekend, so there is some reasonable time to assess all the outcomes as the system makes it's progress across the Tropical Atlantic.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:44 pm

TROPICAL STORM DANNY

The Storm has formed and it will strengthen steadily to a Hurricane and possibly major Hurricane over the rest of this week.

Danny has reduced in speed so if the Caribbean is on Danny's radar then arrival is more likely to be during the late weekend, however the Storm's track will influence future speed.

The various Weather Models are narrowing Danny's future options to either a weakening Storm to the north of the Leeward (Windward) Islands where a strong Saharan influence could reduce the Storm's intensity ... or ...

... as suggested in my last post, if High Pressure builds over the northern Caribbean then a more powerful Storm would veer into a more westerly direction with an increase in speed ... this is potentially the most damaging outcome as this would affect most of the Leeward Islands.

Danny is also a decent size so wherever this Storm goes, rainfall is likely to affect a wide area although the damaging windfield is likely to affect a smaller area.

As far as Tobago is concerned, plenty of rain is already due from a Tropical Wave currently passing through. This will also bring much needed rain to many other Caribbean Islands ... but we do not want too much rain if Danny is there to follow up.

At this stage, the highest risks for Tobago from Danny are indirect in the form of rain and possible high sea swells generated by the Storm.

I will post updates if anything changes.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:09 pm

TS DANNY UPDATE

Today Danny took a huge gulp of dry Saharan Dust and finished up back in the ITCZ coughing and spluttering and much weaker for it, although the centre of Danny still seems intact.

Global Weather Models have responded dramatically by reducing their estimates of 100 mph sustained winds in day 5 by 50%, down to 50 mph ... this, I might add, is regardless of where these Models think Danny will go.

I mentioned yesterday that Danny is quite a large system for such a young Storm so it is no surprise to me to see that dry air around the northern sphere of the Storm has caused the outer rainbands and thunderstorms to collapse ... The core of Danny is still sound and that is what matters.

So, what happens now?

Danny is almost indistinguishable within the generally stormy ITCZ and although there is plenty of moisture in this zone it will be difficult for Danny to spin and this could cause the Storm to regress to a Depression, however there are more positives to Danny's future than negatives.

I am expecting Danny to continue on a westerly track and bumping up against a strengthening ridge of High pressure to the north. Eventually Danny could speed up and be knocking on the doors of the mid to northern Windward Islands by the end of the coming weekend.

I cannot see a swing to the south but, as always, I would never bet against it.

I have doubts about Danny's future in the Caribbean because conditions here are rather hostile however if Danny should take a more northerly track there is a better chance of this Storm's survival beyond 7 days and some concern building in some southern and eastern US States.

Overall, this exceptionally unpredictable situation is fascinating to watch and we will see what new cards the Weather Models put on the table tomorrow.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:40 pm

HURRICANE DANNY and other developments

Tobago is getting a good dose of rain from the Tropical Wave I forecast in Liquid Sunshine and I would sympathise if attention was not focused on the new Hurricane Danny, the first Hurricane of this season.

Since dry air wiped out all the outer rainbands, Danny has become a very compact Hurricane but this makes the predictions even more difficult because smaller Storms can vary in strength and in their track more rapidly than larger storms.

The Weather Models have now started to increase their intensification forecasts up to 75 mph but they are still predicting very diverse tracks. I would not bet on any of them.

Danny is currently moving quite slowly and this is likely to help all those concerned to monitor Danny's progress and begin preparations in good time if necessary.

I am sticking to my prediction that Danny will finish up at the northern end of the Windward Islands on Sunday or Monday next week, but if the Caribbean represents Danny's future I sense it will be short-lived and even shorter if Danny moves over any significant landmass such as Puerto Rico or the Dominican.

Other developments ... there is one off the east coast of the US that is no threat but could end up as another irritating depression over northern Europe next week ... summer is over in the UK as far as I am concerned ... it lasted about a week and ended when the Wimbledon Tennis Championships concluded.

Another Wave has just moved into the Atlantic off Africa ... this looks quite big but it is too early to read anything into it yet.

I will post more updates on Danny and the new Wave tomorrow.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:17 pm

HURRICANE DANNY UPDATE

Danny appears to be running into a dead-end.

The storm has reached Category 2 strength but several obstacles stand in the way:-

Firstly, Danny is going to run into dry air. Secondly, strong wind shear and thirdly, if Danny gets past the northern windwards, the storm will encounter larger landmasses that could suck the energy out of it.

Of course, the remnants of Danny could develop again further down the track but I see this as unlikely unless Danny swings round to a north and then easterly track.

I still think my track prediction is right so the northern windward islands should experience some rain and high winds from late Sunday into Monday.

Tobago may pick up some temporary sea swells.

I will post if there are any changes and I could be posting soon on the Wave that has just left Africa and a second one behind.

The Hurricane Season is hotting up !

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:12 pm

RIP DANNY ... HERE COMES ERIKA

Just as I speculated, Danny never made it into the Caribbean Sea. Now, there is just a cluster of thunderstorms over the north east windwards which will, of course, bring plenty of much needed rain.

Next up is Erika, not yet confirmed but given a 90% chance of developing into a Tropical Depression or Storm by the NHC.

This system is following an almost identical track and is showing just the same characteristics of Danny with the exception that it is potentially a larger Storm and it is moving faster ... this means that it's existence could be shorter than Danny because the same thing will happen if it goes for the Caribbean Sea.

This could be over before the end of the week.

On the other hand there seems to be a chance that this system could take a more northerly track as the pressure decreases to the north and there is the possibility of a threat to the east coast of Florida, Bermuda and possibly further north up the coast of the US.

Just in time for the US Open Tennis Championships?!?.

Anyway, Tobago is safe from this System even if it does appear to be getting close on the weather maps.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:00 pm

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA ... update

Obviously there is no threat to Tobago apart from a few sea swells but Erika has not had a very good day as a combination of wind shear and dry air to the north of the storm has fragmented it to the extent that virtually all of the rain bands and wind is to the south of the storm's centre.

If this continues then the elements will open the storm up and it will revert to a Tropical Wave.

But some of the weather models are predicting a slight swing to the north, taking Erika to the north of the serious landmasses of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola (Dominican etc). This would give Erika the opportunity to reach Hurricane status away from the hostile environment of the Caribbean Sea and pose a threat to the eastern US.

I can't see it somehow, it will take something special for Erika to avoid the fate of Danny who is now a large blob of rainfall over western Puerto Rico.

So, will Erika veer north (choose life) or south (choose death)? ... even north will be a struggle ... I will update on this development tomorrow.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:54 pm

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA TO IMPACT THE WINDWARD ISLANDS

Erika is a large Storm and will bring rain to a wide area.

A thunderstorm can be seen developing just to the north of Tobago as I type and this is part of Erika.

The windfield is erratic and mostly on the eastern side of the storm due to wind shear and dry air consistently attacking the Storms moist insulation to the north and west so it remains to be seen which Islands of the Windwards will take the brunt of the Tropical Storm winds that have, in my opinion, been estimated rather generously at 45 mph by the NHC.

8 inches of rain have been forecast across the Islands and this is a reasonable estimate considering the size of Erika ... much rain is needed but not too fast and so it is of some relief that Erika maintains a good speed.

There is a good chance that Erika could get torn apart by a combination of the hostile atmosphere and interaction with land but, if the Storm makes it past Puerto Rico the prospects of redevelopment and a threat to the Bahamas and Florida could develop.

For now, the main threat is the rain over the majority of the Windward Islands even as far south as Tobago.

I will post updates if anything significant changes.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:21 pm

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA - MAJOR RAIN EVENT

As I have said in the past, it does not take a powerful hurricane to cause fatalities.

Erika is a weak Tropical Storm, but a large system laden with rain and the direct cause of fatalities already being reported in Dominica. Maybe there will be fatalities elsewhere too.

The only good news is that the system is moving reasonably quickly ... if Erika is as slow as Danny the situation would be much more serious.

Erika is raining on a number of Islands that have suffered severe drought which means that the flash flood risk is much higher on hard baked soil that needs more time than usual to absorb the deluge.

The rain area is extensive and covers an area from just off the north coast of Tobago and right up through all of the windward islands. I bet the sunset in Tobago (if there is one) will look interesting tonight.

The future of Erika is not certain. The Weather Models are presenting very diverse outcomes with the most worrying outcome indicating Erika strengthening with a northward swing up the east coast of Florida, with the Bahamas in between.

I have some doubts about Erika getting stronger because the atmospheric conditions are currently hostile and, no matter how the atmospheric conditions improve, there are some significant landmasses for Erika to navigate before the opportunity to find fuel arises.

However, even if Erika collapsed and opened up into a Tropical Wave, the damaging rainfall would still be a potentially life-threatening issue for those affected.

The next 24 hours will be a very challenging forecasting period for the NHC and the participating models.

I personally think Erika will weaken considerably over the next 24 hours and I hope I am right.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:00 pm

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA ... WEAKENING

The emphasis that the various Weather Forecasters are putting on Erika's strength is starting to become rather tedious.

This is a shot Storm, an ex-Storm ... it is about to meet it's maker over Hispaniola.

The winds are strong but not strong enough to cause any damage ... it may blow a wet butt end out of a wet ashtray and that is about that. The centre of the Storm is out in the open and, not under the canopy of the rain clouds, just about to move into Haiti.

The most important feature of Erika is the rain which covers a large area and this is the factor that is causing casualties and fatalities.

So the fact that a pointless centre circulation is located off the coast of Haiti is of no use to me, you and the countless people suffering a deluge in other parts of the Caribbean that are under the rain cloud canopy.

The forecast track has changed dramatically too ... to the west. I wasn't thinking about a future track, I was thinking about Erika being destroyed and opening up as a Tropical Wave and remaining a dangerous rain event.

So while the forecasters worry about the impact that a shot Erika may have in the US, we should spare a thought for the Islands that have suffered fatalities and damaging flooding and the worst that this Storm could deliver.

Erika is now past her best.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:21 am

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA ... STILL WEAKENING ... NEW THREAT OFF COAST OF AFRICA

Erika has slipped further to the west again and managed to avoid the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola and, consequently the Storm bought a little added time before it's demise.

Erika now appears to be taking a track along the length of Cuba which should finally kill this Storm.

The forecasting Models are still running their software over a potential hit in the US to the west of Florida but as I have said before, I believe that Erika will be a open Tropical Wave by then that will still bring heavy rain.

I guess the former President George Bush's visit to New Orleans to mark the 10th Anniversary visit of Hurricane Katrina is what is stoking up all the fuss about Erika.


New Threat

NHC have picked up another Tropical Wave leaving the west African Coast and rates it's chances of development at 60% within 5 days.

I think this one has some form and a good chance of development because most of the Saharan dry air has fizzled out so I will be updating on this system over the next week.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:47 am

THE LATE ERIKA AND THE BIRTH OF FRED

As I have been predicting for the last 2 days, Erika has opened up into a Tropical Wave and this means that the rains are more widespread than they were before with heavy precipitation showing up over Cuba and Florida on the sat loops.

Weather Models are speculating on redevelopment in the Gulf of Mexico ... No, it won't.

Erika has been pulled to pieces so if any remnants get going I think it would be sensible to label it a new Storm.

Although Erika never reached Hurricane status, the Storm demonstrated yet again that a system does not have to be a Hurricane to cause fatalities ... I see reports that 20 people died in Dominica ... even a Tropical Wave can bring freak conditions.

Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, Tropical Depressions and Tropical Waves should all be taken seriously ... Tobago has not had that many Hurricanes but there have been Waves and Depressions that have affected Tobago and gone on to become major Hurricanes elsewhere.


A really potent looking Storm is developing off the coast of Africa and we shall soon call it Fred.

I don't see any threat from Fred because it looks like he is going north west and may not have an impact on any land at all apart from the Cape Verde Islands, however, Fred could be a major Hurricane in the mid-Atlantic at some point over the next week.


A Tropical Wave is creeping up on the Caribbean and this will bring more rain, possibly for Tobago over the next 48 hours.

I will update on this in Liquid Sunshine today or tomorrow.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:29 pm

HURRICANE FRED

Fred has developed really quickly and is eyeing up a direct hit on the Cape Verde Islands.

I hadn't realised that the Cape Verde Islands have not had a direct hit from a Hurricane before. A few close shaves but Tropical Storms at worst.

Fred will likely weaken by Wednesday as another heavy plume of Saharan Dust is ahead so, after the Cape Verde Islands, Fred does not look likely to impact any other landmass as a Tropical Storm.

However, myself and the Weather Models have no idea where Fred will go ... could this system swing round to the north and east and affect the Canary Islands? Europe?

We shall see ...

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:20 pm

RIP FRED ... and New Development

Former Hurricane Fred is breaking up in the east Atlantic after it's path through the Cape Verde Islands.

There is every chance that Fred's remnants could redevelop or provide additional energy to a passing depression in the temperate zone ... I am sure European Weather Stations will be monitoring this.

A new Tropical Wave is exiting the African Coast and most of the Weather Models predict development maybe as early as this weekend.

The unknown will be how far this system will go before it meets trouble ... could it get as far as the Caribbean?

I think there is a good chance that this system could cross the Atlantic due to the fact that the dry air is reducing and the sea is very warm ... the Caribbean is still hostile to these Storms but if it tracked further north towards the US then it may have a chance.

Early days.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:24 am

BACK COMES FRED AND NOW GRACE IS HERE

It's amazing ... Fred is confounding everyone. This Storm was reduced to a Depression and looked like it was about to break up before it reclaimed Tropical Storm status again.

Now, the Azores need to be watching Fred as all the Weather Models seem to agree that Fred will retain at least a weak Tropical Storm status for the next 3 to 5 days.

I am interested in what the UK MET are going to say as they have been predicting fair weather for the UK for the next 2 weeks and are predicting a slow Fred going north ... could Fred pose a threat to western Europe or the Mediterranean ?

Too early to say ...

Next up ... Grace is close to becoming a Tropical Storm. Initially, Grace could pose a threat to the Caribbean and/or the US and it is too early to tell until later this week so Grace needs watching ... the system is currently just south of the Cape Verde Islands and at a low latitude. There does not appear to be anything in the Atlantic Ocean to impede development but, as has been the case so far this season, things can get complicated if the potential Storm reaches the Caribbean.

I will be updating on Grace during the week.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:18 pm

TROPICAL STORM GRACE

Grace is currently a threat to the Eastern Caribbean for next weekend.

There is some doubt about the Storm reaching Hurricane status because, although Grace is expected to strengthen over the next couple of days, the conditions are expected to be hostile as the Storm approaches the Caribbean.

So, as things stand, the majority model consensus is a weak Tropical Storm affecting the Eastern Caribbean by Saturday.

An unyielding ridge of high pressure is expected to keep Grace on a westerly course.

As far as Tobago is concerned I would predict an indirect impact as Grace is expected to track north of Tobago and close to the track followed by Erika. But I don't have much confidence in this until Grace makes more progress over the next 48 hours.

Will post updates as soon as I see any further developments.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:19 pm

TROPICAL STORM GRACE STRUGGLING

Grace has increased speed so arrival in the Caribbean is likely for Friday.

However, Grace is struggling and has not strengthened as first thought and the possibility that Grace will arrive in the Caribbean as an open Tropical Wave is increasing.

This raises the risks for Tobago as well as the Windward Islands to the north because the rainfall will affect a wider area.

Tobago is getting a little taste of a Tropical Wave right now with some localised heavy rain.

Update on Wednesday unless anything significant changes.

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Re: 2015 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:51 pm

RIP GRACE ... TD 8

As expected, Grace has been destroyed by Wind Shear and dry air. The system is expected to arrive in the Caribbean within 48 hours as a strong Tropical Wave.

The south east Caribbean (including Tobago) is getting heavy rains now from a Tropical Wave and Grace is just behind so it could be a wet end to this week ... most of the Caribbean needs this rain.

Elsewhere, a new Tropical Depression (8) has formed to the east of Bermuda. There does not appear to be any threat to the US or the Caribbean however, this one could be of interest to the UK and Europe in 6 days if it is picked up in the jet-stream ... this could be the first of the seasonal autumn Storms.

Although,I am not sure what happened to the summer in the UK ... apparently, global temperatures in July were the hottest on record so someone had a good summer!! I was experiencing ground frosts in July ... I mean, it really isn't on is it :?

Anyway, I will watch TD 8 from a UK perspective and I will post updates here when the next Tropical threat arises.

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