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2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:13 pm
by Paul Tallet

With regret, I am opening up the 2019 Hurricane Season 10 days earlier than intended.

Not that anything bad has happened … it's the NHC's fault, designating a Tropical Storm (Andrea) off the east coast of Florida, now the ex-Tropical Storm, way out to sea and unlikely to cause any problems apart from maybe some rain and winds in Bermuda.

So as soon as the NHC start naming Storms I have no option other than to start the 2019 Hurricane Season Forum off just to be sure that the first named storm of this season gets a mention. A to Z with no gaps.

As I have indicated in the Liquid Sunshine forum over the last 2 weeks, changes are becoming very clear in the weather patterns with an early start for Tropical Waves but, most of all, is the high sea temperature. This does not mean that there will be more Storms and Hurricanes … it means that what Hurricane and Storms that find the right dessert menu could become stronger or more extreme.

The dessert menu needs more than high sea temperatures, it needs a number of other factors such as upper atmospheric winds (going in the right direction) and instability, all of these factors need to be in place and a combination will set off big storms. A risk is a drought

Is this because of human contributions to global warming? … No, we are just polluting and, although this is a contributing factor, it can only boost natural warming to a minor extent … the earth has been hot and cold for thousands of years and has it's own process of handling it's temperature.

I must emphasise that Tobago rarely gets a direct hit from a major hurricane … Tobago's experiences are often associated with Tropical Waves and the occasional developing Storm that passes or reaches Storm or Hurricane status after it has passed over Tobago.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:31 am
by Paul Tallet

The NHC are issuing advisories on a disturbance in the south of the Gulf of Mexico and currently give this system a 60% chance of development.

If the system develops then it will be called 'Barry'.

Whatever happens, Tropical Storm or Hurricane status is likely to be short-lived although this brings a substantial rain threat to south east Mexico.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:28 pm
by Paul Tallet

As I have said in previous years, it does not take development into a Tropical Storm or Hurricane to deliver extreme weather.

The NHC has downgraded the status of this disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico and, although Tropical Storm conditions are now less likely, those in east Mexico, Texas and west Louisiana should take note of this system that will bring heavy rains to these areas that are (locally) already saturated with rain from the tropical surges that have already brought the extreme conditions from the south to the central US in recent weeks.

This weather event is likely to take place over the next several days so not a good time for the north west Caribbean.

In the south east of the Caribbean it is a little unpredictable with more rain streamers shooting up from the South American rain forests, bringing very heavy and sporadic rainfall and, Tobago, you are included in this.

An unsettled week ahead.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:42 am
by Paul Tallet

A very rare development is occurring in eastern Alabama. The NHC has locked onto it and is issuing advisories giving the disturbance a 60% chance of development over the next 5 days.

The disturbance is expected to move south over warm Gulf waters, perhaps just off the east coast of Florida. Where it decides to go is not really known but the weather models are suggesting a turn to the west and some trouble for other US states, perhaps Texas for example.

I sense that this could be a learner. It may come to little but it is very rare for this to happen unless it is the remnants of a previous storm.

Worth keeping an eye on.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:13 pm
by Paul Tallet

I have been watching this curious disturbance very closely and I have been consulting weather models on the future of this system over the next 7 to 14 days.

The NHC has raised chances of development within 5 days from 60% to 80% … this means that these percentages are wagering on the prospects of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane to develop.

I believe that this is a secondary factor behind the prospect of heavy rains … the potential rainfall is more important.

The models agree that the disturbance will move south and over the cooking seas of the Gulf. This can generate storm development but whether it does or not is, in my opinion, academic.

The rains that this disturbance can generate could be record breaking for the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Texas and, yes, I have Katrina in mind ... don't forget that Katrina's storm surge was the big factor ... not the rains.

The prospects of a westerly track are enhanced by a strengthening high over Bermuda that will kick the disturbance away from Florida but the outflow from this disturbance could also bring heavy rains to the Carolina's.

However, away from the Bermuda High, the upper atmosphere is still and this raises the question of how quickly will this disturbance move. Not much … so there is a serious rainfall event on the cards here.

It could meander between the cooking seas of the Gulf of Mexico and multiple landfalls along the southern coastal states of the US ... progress is likely to be slow and we are talking about more than inches of rainfall, there could be a foot or 2 of rainfall in some places over the course of the next week or 2.

The NHC are focused on Storm development. Those living in lowland areas of Texas, Alabama and Louisiana (and possibly the Carolinas and extreme western and northern parts of Florida) need to refer to their local weather stations and observe extreme weather warnings carefully.

I do not make posts of this type lightly … I am very serious about this, so if you live in these areas you need to sort your life out and get ready.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean ...

A 5th tropical wave has entered the tropical Atlantic in the last 24 hours. Saharan dust could limit the impacts of the 4 other tropical waves to some extent so the rainfall impacts over the eastern Caribbean (including Tobago) could diminish but don't count on it.

The tropical Atlantic is warming up while the Pacific is cooling ... thats all I need to know to predict that the trend of Storm development in the tropical Atlantic is going to be quite lively this season and I sense that I will be suffering from sleep deprivation during August and particularly September and October this year when the Hurricane Season traditionally peaks.

Have no sympathy for me ... I enjoy watching the tropics and I will keep you informed as best I can.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:13 pm
by Paul Tallet

Due to the areas at risk, the NHC has taken the unusual step of opening Tropical Weather Discussions and Forecasts on a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that has not yet (officially) become a Tropical Storm or Hurricane.

Well … if there is a bad ass Storm approaching Tobago within the next 48 hours … no I won't say it, it would get me into trouble I guess!! :mrgreen:

Anyway, my post a couple of days ago stressed the importance of the rains over the southern US States. Any Storm or Hurricane development is going to affect a very small area … the rains are going to affect a very wide area and that is what I think is most important and of more concern and I wish that the general media could convey this clearly.

It's no good causing an evacuation of a small localised area because of a potential Hurricane … apart from simply mentioning that the rains could be heavy, much wider areas need to be informed of the rainfall threat.

The general media are picking up the Hurricane tag and there is not enough emphasis on the flooding potential of this disturbance which could hang around and create direct and indirect impacts over a wide area of the southern US for at least a week.

In my last post I suggested that over 1 foot of rain could fall in some areas in the southern US ... that's not potential flooding, it's an absolute certainty … and it still stands as far as I am concerned.

The most recent updates indicate that the disturbance could move out into the cooking Gulf sea and this is where the Hurricane threat applies. The disturbance is bound to develop if the sea surface temperatures reach 30 degress Celsius.

But as I say … the biggest risk is the rain totals widely over the southern US.

By the weekend you will see.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:47 am
by Paul Tallet

A tropical wave is about to bring heavy rains to Trinidad, Tobago, and most of the islands up to Barbados. This is a potent wave that could develop further when it passes into the Caribbean Sea.

Next up is the tropical wave that I referred to in my Liquid Sunshine post last Sunday. I was expecting a depression to form along this wave and it sure has. The depression is turning and trying to develop but this system is up against dry Saharan air. Not a threat as yet but one to keep an eyeball on.

Tropical Storm Barry has not yet caused too much trouble due to northerly shear keeping the main rain bands away from the southern US coast, however Barry is brewing up some explosive thunderstorms over on it's north west quadrant and this is where the predicted rainfall damage is most likely to occur … in the Mississippi basin (hope I spelt that right!).

As I have said before, I don't think Hurricane status will make Barry any worse and this possibility is diminishing as Barry fights the wind shear. Barry will pack a big punch in the form of rainfall.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:29 pm
by Hugh S
:lol: =D>


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:21 am
by Paul Tallet

Hello Hugh and thank you for watching.

Barry is about to make landfall in Louisiana. The Storm is getting more organised despite the strong northerly shear. There is some speculation that Hurricane status could be achieved but I don't think that makes much difference because hurricane conditions would be over a very small area and it is the widespread and heavy rains that I expect will bring the biggest problems. Barry's slow movement is another factor that will contribute to the rainfall totals over the next 48 - 72 hours.

Meanwhile, back in the deep tropical Atlantic, the NHC are still issuing conservative advisories on the depression I have been tracking since it left Africa. The cooking seas are way above average in terms of sea surface temperature and this is an indication that a lot more Storms could develop out here than expected.

However, right now there is a thick blanket of dry Saharan dust right across the Atlantic and it is encompassing this new development. NHC give this a 20% chance of developing into a Tropical Storm or Hurricane in the next 5 days. I personally can't see it unless the dry factor recedes but whatever happens I think there is a risk of rain for Tobago from this system early next week.

I will keep an eyeball locked onto it and post updates if any are required.

Another rather potent wave is moving off Africa … I don't give any tropical waves much chance of development while this dry Saharan dust loiters around the tropical Atlantic.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:24 pm
by Paul Tallet

Whoooopie - Dooo !! :mrgreen:

Watch the US Media frenzy and utterly unjustified comparisons with Hurricane Katrina.

The Blob in the tropical Atlantic is fading.

Apart from Barry there is no excitement and I can get back to my gardening.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:10 pm
by Paul Tallet

After a weekend of debauchery and no weather I had a look at this system this morning while posting my late Liquid Sunshine post.

The NHC were issuing advisories and giving the disturbance a 20% chance of development … but no long term prospects … no chance I thought.

At lunchtime, the NHC raised this to 60% … again, no chance.

Now it is a Tropical Depression :shock:

Well, this is what happens ... the local environment is currently a graveyard for developing Storms but something has got this little disturbance spinning. Is it the cooking sea temperature? A small pocket of energy / moisture? Or possibly the tiny size of this disturbance has allowed it through the net?

Whatever, it won't last. It may not even make Tropical Storm status before it gets sucked away to the north east and blended into a weather front in the more temperate zones.

However, is this a sinister portent of this 2019 hurricane season? The seas temperatures are really cooking around the Bermuda triangle and if other factors are right then there could be some explosive activity in this area when the season peaks in September and October.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:30 am
by Paul Tallet

This is an expansion on the comments I made in this week's Liquid Sunshine post.

We are approaching the peak of the Hurricane season and there are already signs that storm development is looking more likely.

The seas have been cooking in the Atlantic, they were warmer than normal back in January. So this is one of the ingredients required.

2 other ingredients are needed to bring perfect conditions for Storm development.

No Dry Air … the Saharan Dust layer has been receding (it may come back!) and this limits the amount of moisture that Storms and tropical waves need to generate. This and the high sea surface temperatures are 2 ingredients that are sufficient for a Hurricane to form.

Occasionally a storm may be able to develop sufficiently to wrap it's rain-bands 100% around it's centre and resist dry air … this happened in the 2017 season when hurricanes Irma and Maria hammered the north east Caribbean. The way that these 2 hurricanes tore through dry Saharan air surprised weather forecasters.

Low Wind Shear … this is upper level winds, high in the atmosphere. It is not everywhere and currently there is a south west wind shear (like a jet stream) going north east across the central Caribbean. Depending on how strong this shear is, it can shave the tops off storm clouds and kill hurricanes and in most cases limit a hurricane's potential for strengthening.

A combination of these 3 ingredients increases the chances of major Hurricanes (CAT 3 +) developing but often a storm or hurricane can come across wind shear, cooler waters or dry air during it's life. It is rare not to and therefore there are fewer major hurricanes than there are tropical storms or Cat 1 and 2 hurricanes.

At some point in any hurricane season these ingredients can come together and a storm can go through rapid intensification but often there will be a moderator such as wind shear or dry air along the hurricane's track.

The Pacific is currently lively and the tropical Atlantic corridor is currently offering high sea surface temperatures and no dry air so I would expect some development, even minimal development to begin from now and in the weeks ahead.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:34 am
by Paul Tallet

It is ironic that I posted on Sunday that the conditions for Storm development are improving as we approach the peak of the 2019 Hurricane season.

Within 24 hours of that post the NHC began issuing advisories on 2 disturbances.

The less likely one is just scraping the northern coast of Hispaniola. I don't rate this one's chances and neither does the NHC, giving it a 10% chance of development.

The more interesting one is developing in the more traditional tropical Atlantic at about 10 degrees north which is south of the Cabo Verde Islands and on the same latitude as Tobago. NHC are giving this a 40% chance of development within 5 days.

The more this one gets even a slow spin then the more likely it will go north, possibly missing the Caribbean altogether, however, if there are any moderators such as dry air and wind shear ahead of it then the track will be more to the south and likely as a weak storm or tropical wave.

I will post updates on any developments.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:46 pm
by Paul Tallet

I am cautiously optimistic that the disturbance north of Hispaniola will come to little, if anything at all. the NHC still give this a 10% chance of development.

The interesting one, as indicated in yesterday's post, is a potential spinner deep in the tropical Atlantic moving westward at about 15 mph. The NHC have upgraded the risk of development from 40% to 60% within 5 days, but this development is being delayed.

The longer this system takes to develop into a Storm then the more it will follow a more southerly track and now the Northern Leeward Islands are in this system's sights.

Currently there is considerable dry air to the north of this system which is preventing development. But a large gap in the dry air lies ahead and this is where the NHC (and all the associated weather models) are expecting development and this is likely to happen within 48 hours in my opinion.

The northern Leewards, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola should begin to monitor the progress of this disturbance.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:04 am
by Paul Tallet

Oops, the post I did yesterday has gone missing.

Well I was providing an update to the progress of 2 systems. One disturbance near Hispaniola which has since died and a more interesting one in the mid-tropical Atlantic. NHC were giving it a 70% chance of development and the northern Leewards were in it's sights.

Today, things have changed. Dry Saharan air is affecting this disturbance and limiting it's ability to produce strong thunderstorms. The system has become elongated too and has not yet changed from it's westerly track.

The NHC have also reduced the system's chances of development to 50% and, in my opinion, if this system develops at all, it will be after it has passed the Leeward Islands.

You may note I said 'Leeward' rather than any specific area and this is because I believe that the potential affected areas have widened.

1. The NHC keeps projecting a north westerly track which I think would destroy the system or radically weaken it

2. To survive, I believe that the best track would be west

3. There is currently minimal spin and this is not sufficient to propel the system to the north

If it does go west it will be less powerful.

This could change again but, for now, this is my take on it.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:47 am
by Paul Tallet

The system took a turn to the north and, as predicted in my last update, got destroyed by dry Saharan air. The NHC have reduced the chances of development from 70% to 10%.

This system still has energy so it could get going further down it's road, but I believe it will be little more than an open tropical wave when it reaches the Caribbean. It could cause problems for some areas such as high rainfall totals that I think Puerto Rico will be keen to avoid after the deluge it received last week from another disturbance (that also came to nothing).

Apart from 1 or 2 exceptions, I believe that there will be quite a few tropical waves leaving Africa that could show signs of development and then die out over the next few weeks, until we reach September.

Conditions should improve for storm development from September and then - bang - we could end up with multiple storms and hurricanes at the same time like last year.

But I believe that a rogue Storm could pop up anywhere in the Caribbean before then … the tropical Atlantic highway is not quite ready to accommodate any storms at this time.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:22 am
by Paul Tallet

The tropical Atlantic continues to sizzle with energy but all the components are still not quite right for Storms to develop. As we move closer to September I expect this to change … so far this year there has barely been any development in the tropical Atlantic which is quite unusual.

In contrast the eastern Pacific is fairly active.

There is a disturbance running along the east coast of the US, NHC are giving this a 30% chance of development if it moves away from the coast and has less interaction with land. I reckon this disturbance has more relevance for the UK and Europe because the jet stream is likely to pick it up, although the weather for northern Europe is uncertain over the next 2 weeks and there is a chance the jet stream may carry the disturbance further north towards the arctic.

A quiet season so far.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:26 pm
by Paul Tallet

The first really big surprise of the 2019 Hurricane season.

I looked at this last night, the NHC had downgraded the chances of development from an unlikely 30% to a very really very unlikely 10%.

I thought it looked pretty organised with a bit of westerly wind shear but decided not to issue an update here and went off to my bed.

This morning … Tropical Storm Chantal !!

You can't trust anyone in this business, not even the NHC … but to be fair the NHC has made some spectacular improvements to it's Hurricane forecasting over the last decade … since intensive monitoring and more accurate forecasting began there are still surprises and we continue to learn more about these and this helps to make forecasting better.

Chantal is going to meander around the central Atlantic for a while … at this stage there does not appear to be a threat.

Moving on to the new disturbance it seems that the Bahamas are currently the hotspot for Storm development as another disturbance appears with the NHC giving it a 20% chance of development and this is expected follow the tracks that Chantal has left behind.

It's hotting up and we are still waiting for the tropical Atlantic to produce one of those classic Cabo Verde Storms.


Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:44 pm
by Paul Tallet

Chantal is now in the middle of the Atlantic as a weak tropical depression … nothing expected but one of my eyeballs is watching it.

The other eyeball is watching 2, maybe 3, areas of concern and one of these may concern Tobago … I wish I had 4 eyeballs.

I will leave Tobago until last and focus firstly on a disturbance off the east coast of Florida that I mentioned in my last post.

The NHC has significantly increased the chances of development to 90% within 5 days for this disturbance (Invest 98). The circulation (spin) has increased and it is increasingly likely that this will be Hurricane Dorian before long or, at least, a tropical storm within the next 48 hours.

This system will move up the eastern US coast but a little further out to sea than Chantal … hence, the lack of land interaction will improve this system's chances of developing into a hurricane.

In the tropical Atlantic we have our first traditional Cabo Verde Storm (Invest 99) and another more impressive disturbance vacating the western coast of Africa (Invest 90?). This is a portent of things to come in the 2019 Hurricane season.

Lets look at Invest 99 first … Increasing numbers of weather models are predicting this will become a hurricane before it reaches the Leeward Islands around Tuesday. Maybe. But this system is just south of the Saharan dust layer so if the system tries to extricate itself from the ITCZ and spin north it should track north west and the model consensus brings the storm towards Martinique and Dominica … lets see if that is right.

But if the Storm is slow to develop then Tobago needs to watch this one. The ITCZ is close by to the south and this can pep up local weather.

The large one … still early days and it looks likely that it could develop into a Storm but dry air may hinder it.

Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:33 pm
by Paul Tallet

The mid-Atlantic disturbance I have been following became a tropical depression over last night and has now been promoted by the NHC to tropical storm status. The outlook looks favourable for development over the next 3 to 4 days and the intensification could be rapid … potentially bringing Dorian to hurricane status by the time the storm reaches the Lesser Antilles.

The possibility of a major hurricane should not be ruled out and this will be of concern to the Islands from Barbados northwards. It looks like the storm's track takes it to Puerto Rico and a direct hit on this large Island is likely to weaken the storm considerably.

As far as Tobago is concerned the closest point of approach will be overnight Monday and into Tuesday as the centre of Dorian tracks maybe a little north of Barbados. Tobago could receive some rain from the outer rain-bands of Dorian, it could be a little breezy but there is a likelihood of heavy surf for a time depending on how quickly the storm intensifies as it approaches the Caribbean.

With Storms like this being in their very early stages, there could be surprises and they are not likely to be pleasant, so I would recommend that all the Caribbean watches this and gets ready … this could be the first of many storms over the next 2 - 3 months.

I will post updates if there are any changes.