2016 Hurricane Season

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:06 pm

GASTON OR HERMINE? ... Choose your Poison !

A worrying week lies ahead for the Caribbean and the eastern US as 2 very strong Tropical Waves track across the Tropical Atlantic.

The US needs to watch the 2nd Wave that has just left the West African coast and this looks like it could develop very quickly before it begins it's journey, most likely in a north west direction ... the sooner it starts to spin then the more northerly it's track is likely to be.

The 1st Wave is the one I am worried about ... this is now right in the middle of the Tropical Atlantic and at a very low latitude with it's southernmost rain bands stroking the Equator. This more of a slow burner for 2 reasons; (1) it's a large area of disturbed weather and (2) it takes longer to get spinning at such low latitudes.

Therefore, this 1st Wave is likely to be called Hermine while the 2nd Wave, being at a higher latitude, is likely to be called Gaston if it develops sooner.

In addition, forecasting the 2nd Wave (Gaston) is likely to be much easier while the 1st Wave (Hermine) is going to be very unpredictable in terms of it's track, it's strength and it's development.

The whole of the Eastern Caribbean needs to watch the development of this disturbance. The weather models currently show the assumed centre of this disturbance to the north-east of the main area of rainclouds, but how many times have we seen the centre of a developing Storm quickly switch to another location to improve it's ability to develop? ... so this one could go a little to the south.

In addition, this is a very large area of disturbed weather reaching as far south as the equator ... if it is slow to develop it could well affect the whole of the Eastern Caribbean, most likely as a large rain event or ragged Tropical Storm ... alternatively, if development occurs sooner than expected, it should tighten up and wind itself up as a more compact spinner that should track north of Barbados ... that is where most of the weather models think it could go.

This is one of those typically dangerous Storms that could be in the early stages of development as it arrives in the Caribbean, so all Windward Islands from Tobago in the south and up to the Bahamas in the north should be on alert until the possibilities can be narrowed down ... but don't wait for the updates to make your preparations!!

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:43 pm

NO NAMES YET

It looks very likely that Gaston will form to the south of the Cape (or Cabo) Verde Islands, probably within 24 hours. It could become a major Hurricane but it has a long way to go across the Tropical Atlantic in a north westerly direction.

The one I am worried about is less predictable and not likely to form until after Gaston forms ... in fact, Hermine may not form before she reaches the Caribbean. The Weather Models all seem to be in agreement that the track should take Hermine north of Barbados but this is based on development into a Tropical Storm.

If (future) Hermine is slow to form it will be a different outcome altogether.

Observation of the satellite maps show almost no rainclouds or thunderstorms anywhere near the centre of a very large circulation. As it was yesterday, the main area of precipitation is to the south, reaching the equator ... a very long way from the centre.

To the North of the centre is fairly dry Saharan Dust, hence all the rainfall action is to the south.

In my opinion, it is going to take some serious effort for such a large circulation to get spinning before it reaches anywhere in the eastern Caribbean and the centre of this circulation needs to wrap thunderstorms around it to really get going and close off the exposure to the dry air to the north.

I may be wrong (as one can be) but I sense that (the eventual) Hermine is most likely going to arrive in the Eastern Caribbean around Tuesday evening as a ragged and dangerous disturbance affecting a wide swathe of the Windward Islands ... in other words, I don't think it will have got it's act together. So this outcome will bring widespread rains, thunderstorms and localised Tropical Storm conditions to most of the Eastern Caribbean.

There is a very small chance of an explosive development that could catch any part of the Eastern Caribbean off guard.

So ... the best advice is to be prepared.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:11 pm

IT'S ALL HAPPENING

I am going to ignore the newly formed Tropical Depression near the Cabo Verde Islands. While this system has better potential for Hurricane development it is not yet threatening land.

As for Invest 99 as the NHC call it ... I had a little chuckle last night as shortly after my post the NHC also downgraded the risks due to an almost complete lack of rainfall near the centre. But this morning, the disturbance produced an impressive burst of thunderstorms and started to get going.

The centre of this system is now much more likely to track towards the north of the Windwards however there is still the associated outer band activity close to the equator.

Tobago is now less likely to experience potential Tropical Storm conditions but could still get a fair dose of rain from these outer rain-bands to the south of this developing system by Tuesday night.

I still have doubts that this large circulation will become a Tropical Storm in the Caribbean but it could get messy if this system turns to the North towards the media that will be waiting on Florida's beaches perhaps next weekend.

Whatever happens, this is a big disturbance which is likely to drop plenty of (much needed) rain in many areas.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:14 pm

HERMINE

Yes, Hermine, but not yet.

I had this problem last year in a similar situation when there was a large disturbance approaching the Bahamas but, because the disturbance was not a closed circulation, it could not be classified as a Tropical Storm even though there were Tropical Storm strength winds and heavy rain all over the place.

As a consequence, there is no justification for the local authorities to issue Storm or Hurricane watches. It's a bit like Crime Prevention, but you have to let the Crime happen if you want a conviction!

Anyway, as I expected, we have a ragged and vast weather system that is trying to get spinning and it is about to dump vast quantities of rain over the Windwards ... it is much needed rain but they don't want it to fall too fast otherwise we have flash flooding as the water bounces off the parched land.

I have had a sense that Tobago could have a share of this rain but no, it will be just a small share if anything as the most southern rain bands are just north of Barbados ... but you never know, the risk is still there for the next 24 hours.

Hermine, as yet not classified, is a dangerous Storm system. Initially a major rain event for the northern Caribbean and the Bahamas and possibly a major Hurricane by the time it makes landfall on, perhaps, the west coast of Florida and crossing to the eastern side and, who knows, it could meander a little further up the east coast of the US.

I can almost hear those phones ringing in the Hotels as the US media makes plans for it's weekend in Florida and, this time, I am sure that the President will refrain from playing Golf whilst a new rain event unfolds in another of his US States.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:29 pm

STILL NOT HERMINE

But still a dangerous and large system.

All the weather models are predicting vastly different scenarios in terms of this large and ragged system's future strength, track and potential rainfall volumes and so ... er ... nobody knows what is going to happen!!

There is an increasing agreement that the most likely track could be across the northern Caribbean Sea and into the Gulf which would likely lead to major hurricane strength ... but before that, Florida (especially Key West), the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Haiti are among the soft spots that can do without severe weather, particularly several inches of rainfall.

It seems that Tobago got not one drop of rain from this system but I hope Tobago was alert to the risks when this disturbance was making it's way to the Caribbean.

I will post another update tomorrow.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:41 pm

STILL NOBODY KNOWS

It's not been a good week for the US Forecasters ... there is still wide speculation on the future of (not yet) Hermine and they got caught cold by a tornado outbreak in very unusual circumstances which, to be honest, no one could have predicted. So I feel a bit sorry for them.

(Not yet) Hermine is trundling along the Bahamas, still in Tropical Wave Status and the supposed centre is probably nearer Cuba than anywhere else. There is less confidence of a track into the Gulf although a landfall on the west side of Florida is, sort of, in the Gulf.

I am beginning to wonder if this system will ever be named and be ranked as one of the most costly non-Storm events!!

The only thing going for (not yet) Hermine is the sea temperatures which are cooking at the moment and if, as expected, the system slows down then this is the last chance.

Elsewhere, in other dark corners of the Tropical Atlantic, Tropical Storm Gaston (remember him?) is ploughing away and probably very close to Hurricane Status.

Gaston is now getting my attention because it looks like this Storm could make a break for it and turn north and then east with the possibility of getting hooked up on the North Atlantic jet-stream for a trip to the UK (?).

The weather in the UK right now is lovely ... heavy thundery downpours, hot sunshine in between and very high humidity ... it reminds me so much of Tobago :mrgreen:

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:24 pm

GUESS WHAT ...

(Not Yet) Hermine is still working hard and still causing mayhem around the Bahamas and northern Puerto Rico and Cuba with heavy rains ... but the rainfall and thunderstorms are displaced to the east of (Not Yet) Hermine's centre which is fully exposed to the elements.

This system is giving all the forecasters a real headache. It is much easier to make predictions for proper storms than it is for a ragged Tropical Wave ... so we are not really any wiser about this system.

However, it does appear that (Not Yet) Hermine could get her act together over tonight and over cooking waters as there are already some thunderstorms forming around the centre ... if successful, (Not Yet) Hermine could be giving herself a long trek through the Gulf and possibly achieve Hurricane status.

The Southern US States need to watch this because there is a potential scenario where (Not Yet) Hermine could scrape away at the whole south coast of the US on her way to Mexico, providing the centre stays over the warm seas.

The next 24/48 hours are important for this system ... if there is no development during this time period then we could be talking about another Storm called Hermine elsewhere at some point over the next 2 weeks.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:52 pm

5 DISTURBANCES

1. Is a new area of disturbed weather in the north west of the Gulf of Mexico. Unlikely to become anything but producing some heavy thunderstorms around the Texas coast.

2. (Not Yet and Maybe Never) Hermine. Still has no classification other than as a strong Tropical Wave. Looking very ragged but producing significant rainfall with Cuba currently most affected. The chances of gaining Tropical Storm status are reducing rapidly although there is still that small chance that this system will get it's act together if it stays over the cooking sea.

3. Remnants of Fiona are hovering around to the south west of Bermuda. Very low chance of much happening ... just thunderstorms.

4. Tropical Storm Gaston is just 5 mph short of Hurricane strength and will likely reach hurricane status by tomorrow. Europe needs to watch this system as it turns round to an easterly or north easterly direction by Monday. This could pay an unseasonal visit to Europe next weekend but it's a little early to predict exactly where.

5. A new and strong Tropical Wave is currently over Africa and this should be over eastern Tropical Atlantic waters early this week ... another one to watch.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:53 pm

5 DISTURBANCES UPDATE

In the same order as yesterday's post ...

1. No changes.

2. (Not Yet and Never Hermine but Ian Instead !) has finally reached Tropical Depression status and this will bring a huge sigh of relief to all the US Weather Experts who will find (Not Yet) Ian much easier to track. Not only that, but (Not Yet) Ian looks likely to follow the track I suggested last Tuesday (but it was only a guess!!). Serious rainfall amounts are still affecting Cuba and Hispaniola but the west coast of Florida should be the landfall location and it is possible that (Not Yet) Ian could still be a Tropical Storm as he emerges into the Atlantic from the west coast of Florida. This one could go on for another week.

3. Ex-Fiona could be renamed Hermine. A rather potent little circulation to the south west of Bermuda and approaching the North Carolina Coast where it is expected to re-curve to the north east before it's centre makes landfall.

4. Hurricane Gaston has reached Category 2 status and is not currently threatening land. It is interesting to see that the UK Met Weather Model sees Gaston as a potential risk to the UK next weekend or early the following week.

5. This Tropical Wave is already packing some very heavy thunderstorm activity over West Africa before it emerges in the Tropical Atlantic ... this is one to watch.


The deep end of the Wet Season seems to have arrived a couple of weeks early so keep watching this space for updates.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:11 pm

5 DISTURBANCES UPDATE

1. No change.

2. (Not Yet and wasn't to be Hermine but Ian instead but could still be Hermine!) ... Thanks to (3) below taking it's time the name on everyone's lips for the past couple of weeks could yet be achieved by this messy Storm which is starting to spin just to the north west tip of Cuba. This system has spread high levels of moisture in it's wake but it is now expected to develop and follow the track I suggested yesterday ... so watch out Florida.

3. Ex-Fiona could now be renamed 'Ian' instead of Hermine ... it's a neck and neck race but this system is moving so slowly that it is unlikely to intensify quickly and may just make Tropical Storm status before scraping the coast of North Carolina ... after this Storm has re-curved back to the Atlantic it could strengthen to a Hurricane, joining Gaston as 2 Hurricanes approaching Europe.

4. Hurricane Gaston is steady and will start to re-curve to the north east. The Azores need to be prepared for Gaston although I am interested in it's longer term destination ... the UK?

5. This powerful Tropical Wave is about to leave the west coast of Africa. It is early days and some Weather Models are predicting that this one could affect the northern Windwards ... this one needs to be watched.


Generally, the Caribbean is having a proper wet season with very few areas escaping heavy rainfall today and to have 5 disturbances of various levels in the Tropics (as we have had now for 3 days) is an indication that the current Hurricane Season is more active than usual, let alone the activity going on in the Pacific.

Tobago has had some rainfall over the last couple of days and the risk of more rainfall for Tobago is high for the rest of this week, however there is a very low risk of any Storms as number 5 above looks more likely to spin to the north of Tobago.

But still it is early days.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:22 pm

5 DISTURBANCES UPDATE


Well in fact there are 4 because ...


1. Snuffed Out.

2. Hermine - Ian? ... still a mess but producing massive rainfall totals of near 10" over parts of Cuba. The centre is re-curving to the north east towards Florida's west coast ... this means the centre (which is exposed) could engage with it's thundery trail and perhaps reach Tropical Storm status before it reaches Florida.

3. Ian - Hermine? ... This one is now struggling too. Otherwise no change.

4. Hurricane Gaston ... no change other than getting slightly stronger. Europe is watching this.

5. This Tropical Wave and associated Depression has just left Africa and the NHC has been quick to designate this as a potential threat to the Caribbean next weekend. Saharan dust is close to the north and this could slow down development.

Watch this space for more updates.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:48 pm

4 DISTURBANCES

1. At last ... Tropical Storm Hermine, formerly the 'not yet Hermine that could have become Ian but instead became Hermine' has won the battle of the Tropical Depressions 8 and 9. As predicted, Hermine is now slowly turning and aiming for the west coast of Florida with the strongest winds to the east and south of the centre, so most of the west coast of Florida will experience a storm surge. But the main weapon of Hermine is the rainfall as has been seen already in Hispaniola and Cuba. A wet weekend for Florida.

2. Tropical Depression 8 has weakened but there is the potential for development as it tracks to the north east and well north of Bermuda.

3. Hurricane Gaston is tracking east and could affect the Azores but looks unlikely to be a Storm in Europe. Instead, Gaston is likely to add strength to a North Atlantic Depression affecting the UK this weekend.

4. The strong Tropical Wave that left Africa earlier this week has been losing a battle with deep layers of Saharan Dust that have almost obliterated it. It could begin gathering more strength further west in the Tropical Atlantic but it's credentials are now in serious doubt ... but still worth watching.

On reflection, I am pleased that Hermine has become a named Storm because that name will be more easily associated with the damage to the Islands of the northern Caribbean but it has been a very strange disturbance, always but not quite reaching named status and driving all the weather forecasters completely bonkers with their daily revised predictions.

I am sure there is plenty more to come in this season ... it's supposed to peak in September.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:40 pm

HURRICANE HERMINE

Would you believe !!

Hermine is now packing a big punch. Heavy rainfall is already affecting Florida but if you are thinking this is bad then be pleased that Hermine took so long to develop otherwise a real disaster could have been on the cards.

After landfall in western Florida, Hermine will run up the east coast of the US, weakening but bringing substantial rains and a risk of tornadoes.

Hurricane Gaston is nearing the end of life on it's approach to the Azores.

The strong Tropical Wave in the tropical Atlantic is now a circulation with almost no cloud, let alone thunderstorms, but it may begin to develop later over the weekend ... still one to watch.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:10 pm

HERMINE UPDATE

There is not really much I can add to the media reports of Hermine and it seems that the Forecasters have a good idea of Hermine's track.

The big negatives happen to include the track as well as the vast amounts of moisture on tap for the Storm. The track takes Hermine up along the majority of the US east coast and re-strengthening is possible if Hermine gets above cooking seas waters.

This is a dilemma for the forecasters because if Hermine tracks just slightly east, the Storm will be feeding off warm waters as well as the moisture in the atmosphere.

Either way, the rainfall amounts could break a few records here and there.

Elsewhere, Gaston is dying and the strong Tropical Wave down in the Tropics is showing signs that it could develop when it reaches the Caribbean ... keep watching this one.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:43 pm

HERMINE AND DISTURBANCE OVER EAST CARIBBEAN

Former Hurricane Hermine is expected to cause a lot of trouble along the east coast of the US for most of the coming week, perhaps even achieving Hurricane status although not as a Tropical Storm.

Closer to Tobago is the highly rated Tropical Wave that showed big signs of development last week before it was almost wiped out by Saharan Dust. This disturbance has gathered itself together and is bringing heavy rain to most of the Windward Islands, mainly through the centre north of Barbados.

Some rain from this system is likely to affect Tobago but it is going to be a generally wet Sunday and Monday for areas to the North with the risk of some squally conditions.

Another strong Tropical Wave is due to leave Africa.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:56 pm

IAN

Tropical Storm Ian is alive and well in the middle of the Tropical Atlantic.

Ian is going north, so little threat to the Caribbean and the US. I note that the UK Met is predicting a close run from Ian towards the UK but this is a forecast for next weekend and such long range forecasts will be adjusted, I'm sure.

But the weather in the UK is wonderful ... a mini heatwave with record breaking temperatures and high levels of humidity ... this evening I was sat outside in the Garden and it felt just like Tobago but a degree or 2 lower. I guess it will last a day or 2 and go off with a Bang load of thunderstorms.

I will post again when a next significant threat develops.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:32 pm

15TH SEPTEMBER 2016 - UPDATE

There are 6 areas of disturbed weather today.

1. Tropical Storm Ian is in the mid-Atlantic and unlikely to threaten any land areas. I expect Ian to weaken soon.

2. A small area of disturbed weather is in the Gulf of Mexico and in the process of dissipating.

3. Tropical Storm Julia is a surprise feature just north east of Florida ... this Storm actually developed over land! ... Julia is not moving much and is weakening but will bring some wet weather to most of the east coast of the US for a few days.

4. Tropical Depression 12 is in the Tropical Mid-Atlantic. This one is moving west and is a low risk to the Caribbean towards the weekend. As I often say, any development will start to spin this Depression towards the north but this system has a hard journey ahead and there is a small risk it may stay on a westerly course.

5. A new Wave looks like moving off the west coast of Africa by Saturday and this has potential but, as things stand, I see a threat to the Caribbean as low risk.

6. A little novelty here as a very small and slightly tropical disturbance, possibly a supercell thunderstorm moves east in the Bay of Biscay towards the border between France and Spain. This may seem small beer but it will become part of a disturbed mass of air (sometimes referred to a a Spanish Plume) moving north. This little Storm will energize the weather systems moving north to the UK tonight and could possibly set off an absolute riot of spectacular and life threatening thunderstorms over France and the southern UK where there have been record temperatures in recent days ... check out the news in the morning ... as I type I can see the UK Met Office is issuing amber warnings on this weather event that I reckon will mark the end of the Summer in Europe ...

... and that means it won't be long before I visit Tobago again!

I will update every few days but sooner if I see any threats.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:49 pm

18TH SEPTEMBER UPDATE

3 Areas of disturbed weather as follows:-


1. Julia is still hanging around of the east coast of the US. More of an irritation than a life threatening Storm. Most likely that Julia will fizzle out by mid-week.

2. Tropical Storm Karl was Depression 12. The biggest threat is for Bermuda and landfall on the eastern US Coast cannot be ruled out even if it looks unlikely.

3. Another strong Tropical Wave emerged into the Tropical East Atlantic and this one has a good chance of developing but, again, probably going nowhere other than open sea.

If anything new or exciting happens I will do a midweek update.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:43 am

2 STORMS AND A NEW RISK

Tropical Storm Karl poses a threat to Bermuda as I indicated last week, strengthening (possibly to Hurricane status) and likely passing very close to the east of Bermuda and then rocketing off to the North Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Lisa is not a threat.

A new Tropical Wave has emerged off the African Coast with potential. It is currently a little too close to the Equator to get spinning but it's westerly track and the possibility of passing through the Caribbean during the middle of next week is a factor that Caribbean interests should watch.

It is early days but if this disturbance nudges north a degree or 2 it could pose a threat.

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Re: 2016 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:15 pm

KARL & MATTHEW?)

The first threat is Tropical Storm Karl which is likely to pass very close to the eastern side of Bermuda, possibly as a Hurricane over the next 24 hours. Karl appears to be speeding up and so any extreme weather should be limited to a few hours.

The 2nd threat is of most interest to me and it should be of interest to the Caribbean as a potential problem by Tuesday or Wednesday next week and, for now, I include Tobago.

The current situation is of a fast moving Tropical Wave moving west at a very low latitude (i.e.; within 10 degrees of the Equator).

There are 2 factors that are going against this Tropical Disturbance. (1) It's proximity to the Equator and (2) it's speed although it has been known for Storms to develop at this latitude with Hurricane Ivan of 2004 as a prime example which passed very close to Tobago but made a direct hit on Grenada as a Category 3 (almost 4) Storm.

The factors going in favour of development are cooking sea temperatures and perfect atmospheric conditions.

Any development could be slow but the best ingredients for Storm development lie ahead of this system and I hope it does not spring any surprises.

Updates will follow ...

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