Page 2 of 4

Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:04 pm
by Paul Tallet

Gordon and Florence ... an unlikely couple, separated by miles of cooking seas. I wonder if there is a real married couple in the world called Gordon and Florence ... please send your credentials and a certified copy of your marriage certificate :mrgreen:

Florence ... yesterday I was wondering how Florence could come through the extremely hostile saharan air layer unscathed but the recent satloops show the Storm simply charging through and dispersing the dry air, although it has in reality come at some cost to Florence and I now wonder how powerful Florence could have become without such a debilitating adversary.

Florence lives on but still may not find any land to go to but I sense that Gordon will pre-decease Florence soon after landfall.

Gordon was eventually designated Tropical Storm status earlier today and is already dropping sheets of rain across southern Florida and the northern coast of Cuba. Gordon's track is slightly trending to the east and so Missouri 's chances of a direct hit are increasing. But this is a relatively small Storm and it can wobble so all interests along the northern Gulf coast need to be ready.

Gordon is moving quite fast so the Storm will need to feast quickly on the cooking seas of the Gulf to make Category 1 Hurricane status even if this is very briefly before landfall.

The Other One has been slewing off the west African coast over the last 24 hours and, although conditions look hostile in the immediate future, this disturbance could benefit from Florence's ability to disperse the dry air.

This disturbance is following a more southerly track so interests in the Caribbean should be watching this development that could arrive by next weekend.

Updates will follow ...


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:42 pm
by Hugh S
We really do appreciate your timely global weather reporting, Paul. Keep up the great work.

Hugh :D

Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:18 pm
by Paul Tallet

Hi Hugh, thank you for your support.

Hurricane Florence ... In my post on 30th August I gave my initial forecast that Florence could become a major Hurricane this week. I then starting looking at the models, looking at the dense saharan dust layer and then starting to believe the models.

Florence has surprised everyone ... she is now a Category 4 Major hurricane. The Storm has blown a thick layer of Saharan Dust apart and has intensified significantly ... not only that, the Storm's track is westernising too.

Much depends on the next 48 hours. Florence is decreasing her speed but her track is showing Bermuda in her sights in the middle of next week.

It just goes to show that despite some obvious improvements in the Weather Forecasting Models in recent years there is still a lot to discover about Storm genesis.

Gordon has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression which is no surprise as Gordon is now over land (in Mississippi) and has lost the energy from the cooking seas of the Gulf of Mexico ... there will still be plenty of rain from Gordon across most of the central and eastern US.

Helene? ... again, despite more conservative estimates of this disturbance's potential, the 'other one' is getting it's act together and could form into a Tropical Storm by the weekend if not before. This disturbance could pose a threat to the Caribbean after next weekend so this is the one I am focused on.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:21 pm
by Paul Tallet

I guess the 2018 Hurricane season could be compared to attending a firework display. You arrive, you wait, you get bored and then suddenly the fireworks go off and it lasts a few minutes and then you calmly go home and get on with your day to day doings.

We have 4 sets of fireworks today.

Let's get Gordon out of the way, having been torn to pieces after landfall in Mississippi. Gordon is history.

Hurricane Florence has weakened to a category 2 following the surprise and explosive intensification to category 4. The Saharan Dust Layer satloops are amazing, showing Florence cutting right through the dust and then you can see the Dust being sucked into Florence's wake. The Storm allows the dust to infiltrate it's centre and this can be a deal-breaker ... yet Florence has her own ideas as hurricanes often do.

the NHC and most of the Models are blaming wind shear for Florence's weakening but I do not think that is the case in isolation, the Saharan Dust has played it's part.

The risks are rising for Bermuda to have a close encounter with Florence as a major (Cat 3+) Hurricane and interests along the east coast of the US should be prepared for heavy seas, generated by Florence, along the coasts by this weekend. The Models are not in agreement over a potential swing to the north for Florence and when you get these inconsistences with the forecasts you have to follow the trend and the trend is that Florence could make a direct hit on the east coast of the US ... watch this space.

Potential Helene is being given a 90% risk of becoming a Tropical Depression or Storm within 5 days by the NHC ... I give it 24 hours. This disturbance could affect Caribbean interests but I feel sure that this development will pass well to the north of Tobago.

Then what ... potential isaac is streaming off the African coast and could well follow the path of potential Helene and this raises concerns that a double strike could happen in the Caribbean (just like the north eastern Caribbean Islands that were pummeled badly by 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes last year.

The NHC are giving 60% odds that this disturbance will become a Storm within the next 5 days.

It's all happening so be prepared and watch for my updates wherever you are in the Caribbean.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:08 pm
by Paul Tallet

I can do without this ... the tropical Atlantic has gone bonkers !!

I can't cope.

So let's just do the simple version of events ...

Florence is degraded to a Tropical Storm but Florence looks fantastic and the threat to the east coast of the US, north of Florida, is increasing and Florence should restrengthen and regain major Hurricane strength by Tuesday next week ... this is a serious threat to the US by next weekend.

Gordon is still on the NHC books but they have issued their last advisory so that should bring the 6 disturbances down to 5.

Helene is up for grabs, which disturbance will claim Helene's name next? I would say the brand new disturbance that has just left the African coast. The NHC has already designated this disturbance as 'Potential Tropical Depression 8'.

Potential Isaac entered the Tropical Atlantic before ?Helene? and is rated by the NHC as 90% to become a Tropical Storm or Hurricane within the next 24 hours.

Potential Joyce is a new disturbance that is developing south west of Bermuda ... NHC currently rates this disturbance at 20%.

It's all happening. I will try to do a more informative post over the weekend when I have had the time to study these developments in more detail.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:52 pm
by Paul Tallet

The week ahead will be a very active week in terms of Hurricanes and numerous tropical disturbances ... energy levels are increasing and many areas in the Caribbean and the eastern US coast can expect direct and indirect impacts as the general weather situation in the tropical Atlantic and the Caribbean becomes increasingly unstable.

Let's start with Hurricane Florence. This Storm has weakened in recent days but has shown some credible resilience to overcome dry Saharan air, fluctuating seas temperatures and wind shear. Now that Florence has successfully negotiated these forms of resistance there is nothing to stop this Hurricane from strengthening into a highly dangerous and powerful Category 4 or 5 behemoth on South or North Carolinas' shores late Thursday or before the birds start tweeting on Friday morning.

Any readers that live in these areas will surely have some past experience of this potentially deadly situation and you have plenty of notice. The sea conditions are already starting to deteriorate as the Hurricane moves closer and conditions will be deteriorating rapidly from Thursday morning onwards ... you have 3 whole days to make preparations to protect your property and your life ... no excuses ... perhaps vacating low lying coastal areas could be a good idea too?

Tropical Storm Helena is of no threat yet but is causing some problems in the southern most Cabo Verde Islands.

Tropical Storm Isaac is going to impact the Caribbean as a Hurricane this week overnight Wednesday, probably tracking north of Barbados. There are some potential complications though.

Firstly, Isaac is very very small and it is very difficult to predict both the track and strength of such small systems so I recommend that the whole of the eastern Caribbean keeps a close watch on developments.

Secondly, the Weather Models are predicting that Isaac will weaken after it has passed through the Windward Islands due to increased wind shear. I don't get this because the NHC is also issuing advisories about another larger tropical disturbance in the central Caribbean that is currently raining over a wide area including Jamaica (which is close to the middle of it).

So, if conditions are expected to become 'more conducive' for development of this disturbance in the next 5 days then why is Isaac expected to weaken in the very same area later this week on Thursday/Friday?

Have I got a bone in my leg?

I am sure all you readers will all be struggling to contain your excitement as you look forward to my updates over the next 3 or 4 days.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:08 pm
by Paul Tallet

After last year I may get criticised for saying this but it is rare to have 3 hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic at the same time.

Lets get Helene out of the way ... no threat.

Hurricane Florence is a threat and brings a significant weather event to the eastern US coast by Thursday and probably a direct hit in North Carolina.

As expected, Florence has exploded in strength to Category 4 status, is growing in size and may go through a number of eyewall recycles before landfall, possibly reaching Category 5. The weather models are all in very close agreement on the track, strength and speed of this Hurricane which is expected to slow down as it's centre reaches land late on Thursday afternoon.

Yes ... this hurricane is going to slow down when it reaches the US and some models are even predicting that it will go some way inland and, despite weakening, could turn back to the north and east before exiting land back into the Atlantic Ocean ... this would be a massive rain event over a wide area.

Already, conditions are deteriorating. Bermuda is taking heavy surf and seas conditions along the east coast of the US are already beginning to pick up.

Yesterday I suggested that there are 3 days for those in the areas of potential impact to prepare for this. You now have 2 days to prepare or vacate your homes, particularly if you live in low lying areas near the coast.

Hurricane Florence is showing signs of becoming a Storm of historical record.

Hurricane Isaac is going to affect the Caribbean simultaneously but the strength and track of Isaac is not as clear. Isaac is a very small Storm and the smaller they are the less predictable they are so we should expect to see some surprises and this makes Isaac very dangerous ... I recommend that all of the windward Islands be prepared for Isaac, you have less distance to run for cover than those in the path of Hurricane Florence.

I am still a little baffled about a disturbance in the central Caribbean that the NHC now gives a 50% chance of development in the next 5 days. Yes I know it will drift towards the more hospitable Gulf but Isaac could overtake it or there could be some interaction between the 2 areas of energy.

So an active week lies ahead with 2 very dangerous hurricanes about to impact both the Caribbean and the US east coast within the next 48 to 72 hours.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:35 pm
by Paul Tallet
The last 2 lines of a BBC news report on Hurricane Florence ...
Two other hurricanes are currently churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricanes Isaac and Helene are expected to accelerate, but at this point, are not expected to threaten the US mainland.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:36 am
by Paul Tallet

A quick update.

Hurricane Florence has the potential to be the mother of all storms as the hurricane increases steadily in strength and makes progress towards a point around the border of north and south Carolina.

Conditions should already be deteriorating and everyone along the coast of the eastern US should have made preparations ... if you haven't then your life is at risk.

After the coastal impact there will a be significant impacts inland from the extreme rainfall levels that are predicted and this is because Florence is expected to slow down around landfall and dump rain for several days.

Tropical Storm Isaac is still unpredictable but expected to run through the middle of the windward islands on Thursday morning. This is nothing like the hurricanes that struck this area and the islands to the north but it is still a threat that should be taken seriously across all of the windwards.

I will post more about the other storms later but I am a little pressed for time and just wanted to focus on the 2 main threats.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:05 am
by Steve Wooler

Firstly, thank you Hugh for correcting me on Missouri when I should be saying Mississippi. I had no idea that they were 2 different places. I have only visited Florida and Philadelphia in the US in my lifetime so far and so my geographical awareness is somewhat challenged but, sadly(?), all my current holiday time is spent on Tobago (and 1 week in the garden) and I need to negotiate extra holiday so that I can visit other places, like Mississippi, New Orleans ... it's all on the bucket list.

Hurricane Florence would be a good thesis for any weather graduate. How this Storm has cut a swathe through the Saharan dust layer is so impressive that (as I said in yesterday's post) it is scary to speculate on how strong Florence could have been without such inconveniences.

Florence is expected to lose a little strength in the short term but could re-strengthen towards the weekend although there is no threat to land.

Tropical Storm Gordon is about to strike Mississippi (right Hugh?) which I hope I have spelt right, and i guess I would not like to be in Pensacola right now as Gordon is marginal Hurricane strength. Gordon's rains are likely to be the most concerning factor but I am sure that the embattled population will endure this having had some much more serious historical Storms wreak havoc in the past.

The Other One is an interest, with the NHC issuing advisories and giving this disturbance an 80% chance of developing into a tropical Storm within the next 5 days. The Caribbean should be watching this disturbance closely ... it is early days but you must be ready.

I feel sure more updates will follow this post as the Tropical Atlantic comes to life.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:22 am
by Steve Wooler

Before I cover these Storms it is worth mentioning a disturbance south west of Bermuda that I think could provide more energy to Florence which is expected to be a major hurricane by the time these 2 systems converge.

We are now into the 2nd week of explosive energy in the tropical Atlantic and it is looking like both the eastern coast of the US and the Caribbean are going to be impacted by Hurricanes over the next week.

Tropical Storm Florence is expected to become a powerful Hurricane by the time it reaches the coast of North and South Carolina on Thursday. Conditions in these areas will begin to deteriorate on Wednesday. Additional energy could be consumed by Florence from another disturbance that is meandering south west of Bermuda and it is difficult to determine how much this energy could benefit Florence, but we already know that Florence will be a powerful storm at landfall ... it is just a matter of how powerful and measures should be taken in north Florida right up to North Carolina to prepare for this Storm.

Tropical Storm Isaac poses risks for the Caribbean. Tobago lies in the southernmost cone of possibilities. I think it is unlikely that Tobago will take a direct hit but there is a good chance that Tobago could be indirectly affected in terms of potential rainfall and heavy surf crashing on the Caribbean side of the Island.

Isaac is expected to be a Hurricane as it passes through the windward Islands and into the Caribbean Sea over Wednesday and Thursday.

I will provide more detail about the potential impacts to Tobago in the weekly Liquid Sunshine post later today.

Tropical Storm Helene, unlike Isaac, formed almost immediately when this system left the African coast. Like Florence, Helene is bothering the southern Cabo Verde Islands. Unlike Florence, it does not appear (yet) that we will have any surprising changes in the Storm's track and so the US and Caribbean look to be safe from Isaac.

Isaac is expected to reach Hurricane status in the next few days.

So it is all happening and there is plenty to be worried about. The Caribbean needs to watch Isaac and the US needs to watch Florence.

My advice is not to doubt Florence ... Hurricane Florence WILL hit the eastern US midweek ... be prepared.

Hurricane Isaac WILL affect the Caribbean and will indirectly impact areas hundreds of miles from the centre ... be prepared, even in Tobago which is an outlier ... again, be prepared from Tobago and right up to the Bahamas, don't give anything a chance.

I will post updates as things develop.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:13 pm
by Paul Tallet

I am sorry that I have not been providing updates as regularly as I usually do, particularly at a time when the tropical Atlantic has exploded to life. I would have liked to have had more time to track all these Storms and post my speculative comments, but such is life (and work!!).

So ... lets do it in alphabetical order ...

... which means that we start with Hurricane Florence ... all bark and no bite? Well, I was showering superlatives on Florence as the Storm battled impressively against the most hostile environments a week ago, literally carving a swathe through the saharan air layer which made me wonder how severe Florence could have been without those adversaries.

Florence went on to become a strong category 4 hurricane and the east coast of the US started to look vulnerable as Florence veered more to the west as an impressive Storm. What could stand in this hurricane's way?

Nothing, it could not have been a more welcoming environment ... and Florence weakened for no apparent reason. This must surely be a good thesis for any young meteorologist.

Despite this, Florence remains a category 2 hurricane and the wind-field has expanded, saving a small area from the most intense hurricane experience and ensuring that a wider area will experience less than major hurricane conditions.

Not only that but Florence is slowing down and the track forecasts indicate that Florence could brush along the coasts of north and south Carolina for a day or 2 before moving inland as a significant rain event. I have noted that the seas are already rising along the Carolinas' coasts. Severe Storm Surge will bring the most damage here and the mandatory evacuation warnings for coastal areas is fully justified.

Not a good weekend for the eastern US.

Next ... Tropical Storm Helene, a former hurricane, has been steadily weakening and, according to the weather models should be paying a visit to the UK early next week as a post-tropical storm on Tuesday, impacting Ireland, Wales, northwest England and Scotland, the most hardy populations, I am sure they will cope.

Now ... Tropical Storm Isaac began weakening long before reaching the windwards. Another good thesis, Isaac was supposed to weaken after it reached the windwards. I speculated that Isaac could absorb some of the energy of another disturbance south of Cuba but this disturbance scuttled of to the Gulf of Mexico where it seems to want it's own way, bringing a rain event to Mexico.

The storm currently looks like an open tropical wave but some of it's disjointed rain-bands could affect Tobago overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning.

Tropical Storm Joyce could follow or merge with Helene as they both seem to be going in the same direction. 2 hits for Europe? We will see but it is autumn.

I will post updates as this very active period develops.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:59 pm
by Paul Tallet

After 2 weeks of intense energy being released across the tropics, both in the Pacific and in the Atlantic, at least the Atlantic is calming down a little ... for now.

Former Hurricane Florence has deteriorated to a Tropical Depression but a wide swathe of rain, thunderstorms and (reports of) tornadoes continue to rage across the eastern US and the consequential and widespread flooding is unlikely to abate for several more days. There is a small chance that Florence's energy may be invigorated again should the system re-emerge into the northern Atlantic, but not as a tropical entity and more likely as food for the autumnal storms that develop in the northern hemisphere at this time of year.

Former Hurricane Helene has deteriorated to a post Tropical system and has passed over the Azores. This system is going to speed up in a north easterly direction towards the UK. The UK Met Office has been issuing warnings of Helene's arrival on Monday and through Tuesday but have not really got a final fix on the track of Helene, adjusting their advisories southwards, so the latest expectations are showing the strong winds affecting southern Ireland, Wales, northern England and southern Scotland. If this track forecast continues to trend south then the Midlands and as far south as some of the home Counties could be affected. Rain is expected to be worst in the north west of the UK.

Those in the UK will have noticed the warm breeze picking up today and my precious Dahlias and Sunflowers have been lashed firmly to their supports in anticipation. Dahlias are excellent cut flowers but not broken flowers and I hope to be delivering a nice bouquet to my office for several more Monday mornings.

Former Tropical Storm Isaac is still causing a little trouble in the central Caribbean as an open tropical wave bringing rain to a very wide area. The NHC are giving Isaac a 20% chance of regenerating. With the estimate of the centre being just south of Jamaica and moving towards the more hospitable Gulf of Mexico I would not rule out further problems ahead for Mexico or Texas late this week.

Isaac did introduce high levels of humidity and moisture to the Caribbean so it has become generally very unsettled almost everywhere.

Finally, former Tropical Storm Joyce is about to be snuffed out and has not and will not be a problem to any land areas.

So, after all that energy where does it leave the tropics now?

The tropical Atlantic is now quieter and with a fresh and expanding plume of saharan dust spreading from northern Africa, being carried by trade winds. Most of this dust will reach the Caribbean later this week but it will take some time for the Caribbean weather to calm down. Another tropical wave is a few days away and this will herald the arrival of the dryer air behind it.

We must not forget that there are about 7 or 8 weeks of the hurricane season left and the energy levels can rise again, seemingly from nowhere and Isaac may not yet be finished.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:45 pm
by Paul Tallet

The Atlantic tropics have died down as expected but there is a little disturbance in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) about 900 miles east of Tobago. The NHC are issuing advisories but only rates development chances at 10%.

The ITCZ is currently rather lively and at this time of year, the earth's tilt has the ITCZ spanning around the zero degree (equator) point which means that Tobago is just 10 degrees north of the ITCZ. It is rare for storms to develop from the ITCZ, so I am not getting excited about the new disturbance but the unsettled weather for Tobago could continue for longer than I predicted in last Sunday's Liquid Sunshine post.

Former Hurricane Florence's remnants have emerged off the north east coast of the US and Canada and there seems to be a chance of further development but, as yet, nothing of concern.

Former Hurricane Helene proved not to be the storm the UK Met Office expected and the warnings were cancelled on Thursday morning, however there was a very warm breeze. This warm air probably energized Storm Ali that hit the UK today quite hard and brought several fatalities. The UK Met Office predicted this perfectly and there are more storms to come for the UK over the next week. The Dahlias are all standing to attention although the hanging baskets had to be brought down.

I don't expect anything significant in the tropical Atlantic for a couple of weeks but the energy is building, particularly in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico ... for now I would watch the ITCZ because this can produce a rain event for Tobago and around the south and south east Caribbean ... the risks of this are quite high over the next 7 to 10 days.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:56 pm
by Paul Tallet

Energy is building again, but slowly.

There is energy just south of Bermuda, thought by many to be remnants of Hurricane Florence. No ... this little disturbance is producing nothing and something could come of it if it moves further south and west. The NHC gives this a zero chance of development in the next 48 hours but the odds rise to 30% after that.

Another disturbance is about 400 miles east north east of Tobago. I reckon this system will veer north. The Models generally do not develop this system much but you never know ... the NHC are giving this a 40% chance and we cannot ignore it.

Then a 3rd disturbance in the middle of the Atlantic, way up on 38 degrees latitude. NHC says 20% but this rises to 70% after 48 hours ... hmmm, maybe the UK should watch this one ... there is plenty of energy around the UK right now.

Finally, the 4th and most interesting one has just left Africa at a very low latitude. I noticed this one yesterday and the NHC started issuing advisories today ... 30%. But this rises to 60% after 48 hours. This is a vigorous tropical wave and it has decent spin although it is getting sheared quite heavily. This could be the one to watch for the Caribbean in 6 to 8 days time and I expect to be posting updates on this during the course of next week.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:09 pm
by Paul Tallet

Since my last post there have been 2 notable developments ...

The energy 400 miles east north east of Tobago has developed into a Tropical Depression (11) but it is moving very slowly and is expected to die off over the next few days. It still needs watching because the NHC were not giving this system much chance of development just hours before it became a tropical depression.

The 'interesting one' has the potential to become a major weather event in the Caribbean during the middle of the coming week. The NHC has raised the chances of development into a Tropical Storm or Hurricane from as low as 30% to 80% in a matter of hours.

Unless the tropical depression (11) get it's act together quickly then we should be looking at Tropical Storm Kirk very shortly and then Hurricane Kirk eventually.

This system has 3 factors that can prevent it reaching it's full potential ...

1. It is at a very low latitude (about 7 degrees north) and it is difficult for a developing storm to get spinning at this level.

2. It is quite large and this requires a real effort to get spinning.

3. The are deep layers of saharan dust to the north of this system, so if it chooses that path it could be significantly weakened ... having said that, Hurricane Florence defied this and strengthened and then, ironically, weakened when conditions improved ... something that the Carolinas should be grateful for as otherwise their experience could have been even worse.

3 factors in favour of development are ...

1. A ridge of higher pressure is to the north too and this is expected to keep Kirk on a westerly track and away from the dry saharan dust layers, there is no sign of the ridge weakening yet and this is therefore a concern for the Caribbean at this early stage.

2. Cooking seas, plenty of nutrients for development.

3. Minimal wind shear.

Another factor to keep in mind is the system's speed at over 20 mph which means that it could be arriving in the Caribbean by Wednesday.

It is early days and the usual unpredictability will apply, but the Storm is moving so fast that, when the forecast becomes clearer, there will not be very much time to make preparations for it's arrival.

At this stage the whole of the Caribbean should make preparations and hopefully the range can be narrowed down as this Storm makes rapid progress across the tropical Atlantic.

Always expect the worst and wait for the good news, if it comes.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:43 pm
by Paul Tallet

Tropical Storm Kirk was being designated Tropical Storm status as I was writing the last post.

Although it is early days to be making confident forecasts, Kirk will not give any forecasters much time to get their predictions right as the storm speeds towards the Caribbean for an appointment around Wednesday night to early Thursday morning.

The timescale is relatively good but the strength and precise strike locations are not ... until these 2 factors become more certain, the whole of the eastern Caribbean from north to south should consider themselves as good as sitting in the cross-hairs of Kirk's sight.

As things stand, Kirk is not expected to reach hurricane status and this is due to both it's (large) size and it's (low) latitude ... 8.3 degrees north (Tobago is 10.69 degrees north which is why hurricanes are rare for Tobago as they need to spin away from the equator to get going).

However, there have been several exceptions to this norm ... notably Hurricane Ivan back in October 2004, but Ivan was a small hurricane that reached Category 4 as it's winds skimmed the Caribbean side of Tobago and went on to devastate Grenada with a direct hit.

Over the next 2 or 3 days the weather models and the forecasters will hopefully narrow down the range of potential strikes but, for now, think of the worst and wait for good news.

I will post an update by the time I post the Liquid Sunshine forecast for the week, if not, before should the expectations become clearer.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:58 am
by Paul Tallet

There is still some considerable speculation about Kirk's future welfare.

Right now, Kirk's centre is at risk of becoming detached from the thunderstorms but conditions are expected to improve in terms of sea temperatures and reducing wind shear, however it is evident that Kirk is sucking in some dry air from the Saharan Dust layer that surrounds the storm on the west, north and east quadrants.

So Kirk is likely to struggle and it does not appear that everything will perfect at any point in the storm's journey across the tropical Atlantic. By the time Kirk reaches the Caribbean the conditions are expected to be even more hostile and Kirk's demise is a distinct possibility, although the effects of the weather (rain) would affect a much wider area of the Caribbean if Kirk opened up into a tropical wave.

If Kirk manages to keep compact then the storm has a better chance of survival, however the models are trending south on the future track of Kirk and the consensus is to the south of Barbados.

Whatever happens, this means rain for Tobago and the south and eastern Caribbean at best from late Thursday night and into Friday this week.

It is still early days and I expect changes so I will post updates as this threat approaches.


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:04 pm
by Paul Tallet

Dry air and strong wind shear have taken their toll on Kirk and if Kirk remains as an open tropical wave then it is bad rain news for all of the windward islands later this week.

But, according to the NHC, Kirk could gather it's copious energy together again and reform into a Tropical Storm before arrival in the Caribbean. The chances are 50%.

Under no circumstances should anyone lower their guard and I recommend caution and readiness because as quickly as Kirk weakened, he can come again.

Tobago wants Kirk to regenerate, get compact and rain on someone else's parade.

I did say that this would be an interesting Storm ... didn't I ?

Updates will follow ...


Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:40 pm
by Paul Tallet

Out of nowhere, a large blob has formed as part of a tropical wave passing over Tobago, ahead of ex-Tropical Storm Kirk.

This emphasises how tropical disturbances can raise the moisture levels, so with ex-Kirk yet to arrive it looks like Trinidad and Tobago are going to get some heavy and persistent rain and squally conditions for at least the next 4 days.

Although Kirk has opened up, the system can reform again and the NHC have raised this possibility from 50% to 60%. Kirk could still impact Tobago as a Tropical Depression or Storm and the satellite images show that Kirk has considerable energy despite the hostility of it's surrounding environment.

Most weather models are showing Kirk regaining Tropical Storm status briefly before arrival in the Caribbean. The main threat is the rain regardless of Kirk's strength and, when added to the rain falling over Tobago now, this could lead to threats to life with flooding and landslides in some areas of Tobago, particularly in hilly areas around the rainforest.

At best, Tobago needs to be prepared for prolonged periods of rain, at times intense and with thunderstorms, from now until the weekend.

I will update as developments arise.