2020 Hurricane Season

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2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

HERE WE GO AGAIN

Well the season starts officially on 1st June but, of course, Mother Nature doesn't keep a diary other than a vague seasonal attitude.

So why not surprise us all with a development that has ominously started winding itself up between Cuba and the Florida Peninsula on the 14th May?

So … is this Arthur? Is it going to be bad / powerful / deadly or just a rain event that can bring widespread impacts according to the speed and track of this system?

Well, it's looking slow and the NHC are giving this system a 70% chance of becoming Tropical Storm or Hurricane Arthur within 48 hours. Or 80% within 5 days as it progresses just south of Florida Keys and possibly through the Bahamas. This sets up more of a rain event although the wind factor is unpredictable and even if this does not develop into a Hurricane there could be localised Hurricane conditions here and there.

Watch this space for updates.

Please note that the weekly Liquid Sunshine updates will return as soon as Tobago re-opens it doors and if you can find anyone that can fly you there !!

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

LITTLE CHANGE

The NHC have nudged up the short term risk of Storm development from 70% to 80%. The 5 day risk has stayed at 80%.

Even if this system becomes a Tropical Storm or Hurricane it is expected to be more of a rain event for Florida and the Bahamas this weekend.

As always I will post updates if anything changes.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

FIRST STORM OF 2020?

This early system seems to be getting it's act together. The estimated centre has slipped to the east of Florida and is expected to move slowly north off the east coast of the US. A landfall is a possibility in North Carolina.

The NHC has just raised the chances of storm development from 80% to 100% so I guess they must think this is a banker although while the storm is getting more organised they need to find a central closed circulation before they can name it.

Rain threats are reducing because the system is expected to stay off the eastern US coast until it reaches North Carolina however the seas are likely to be dangerous all the way up the US east coast.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR FORMS EAST OF FLORIDA

The NHC's designation of the first Storm of the 2020 Hurricane season took place late last night BST.

It's nothing exceptional and I am posting it for the record, however there will be some heavy seas along the east coast of the US and, while landfall is not expected, the Storm will pass close to North Carolina (Monday) before turning away towards the mid Atlantic.

A tiny chance that Bermuda could be affected further down the road but the sea temperatures are a little on the low side to sustain a Storm at this time of year.

Unless anything dramatic happens I will make this my last post on Tropical Storm Arthur and I hope that the season gets going later in August / September … wishful thinking on my part!

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

TROPICAL STORM BERTHA

The second surprise of the 2020 Hurricane season is Tropical Storm Bertha.

Well, actually, it was … because as soon as the Storm exploded unexpectedly off the east coast of Florida it quickly moved into the Carolinas and weakened on landfall.

So I am posting this for the record.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

NEW DISURBANCE EAST OF BERMUDA

Of no apparent risk, there is some energy developing in the mid-Atlantic a few hundred miles east of Bermuda.

The NHC are giving this a 60% chance of development.

I have yet to restart the weekly Liquid Sunshine reports (watch this space) but Tobago and the eastern Caribbean have had a lot of rain in the last week from streamers pushing off the South American rainforests. This weather has reached as far north as Florida bit looks to be settling down.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

INTERESTING

Well yesterday's energy east of Bermuda has fizzled out but there is a lot going on, not just in terms of storm genesis, but also in terms of wetness. It is not only a Hurricane Season that starts tomorrow, it is also known as the wet season.

The rains I mentioned yesterday over Tobago and most of the eastern Caribbean have intensified. There is little energy here but this is a very potent 'streamer' coming off the South American mainland. Generally heavy rain is covering a wide area and there are some areas where there are some extremely heavy downpours, most notably around the Barcelona area of Venezuela ... currently.

There is enough rain already falling to cause flooding in many areas, however any of these heavier areas of rain could cause some serious problems so I would recommend observation of the satellite loops to see where these downpours are developing and moving and make preparations if necessary.

Next up ... another surprise and even more surprising that we are still 1 day off the official calendar start of the 2020 Hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Amanda formed outside of my watch area in the eastern Pacific, just west of the Central Americas. The storm made landfall and has degraded to a Tropical Depression and may dissipate over southern Mexico, however there is significant energy in this system and it has the potential to regenerate in the southern Gulf of Mexico over the next few days ... if this happens the storm would be renamed Cristobel.

The NHC are giving a 50% chance of this so this will be an interesting one to watch this week.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

BIG PROBLEMS FOR THE GULF AND CENTRAL AMERICAS ... RAINS EASING OVER TOBAGO

3 Storms by the start of the 2020 Hurricane season. This does not happen often.

My last post covered Tropical Storm Amanda in the east Pacific and speculated on the potential transfer of this system across the Central Americas.

It has happened ... another rare event ... as Amanda has undergone the obligatory sex change to become Tropical Storm Cristobal in the southern Gulf of Mexico. This is a significant system based on an area of energy that has persisted against the land elements. Even the high pressure to the east of the system is failing to chase it towards landfall in Mexico. Cristobal is going to meander around the southern Gulf until the high pressure weakens and then all kinds of speculative possibilities arise for impacts along the southern US coast.

Not that I am that bothered about the US outcomes, Cristobal poses serious problems around the central Americas in terms of rainfall with totals in excess of 35 inches expected in some places. This is mainly due to the Storm's virtually stationary status over the next few days ... expect media reports on this by the weekend because this is going to be a significant event.

The longer term outcomes are somewhat speculative but there are increasing signs that the high pressure will weaken towards the end of this week and Cristobal could move rapidly northwards to the US with Louisiana currently the favourite destination ... this is speculative at this stage so I will be updating.

Meanwhile, back in Tobago the rains are easing although there has been a nagging streamer bringing showers today ... it will improve.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

CRISTOBAL

What a menace this system is posing in southern Mexico. Cristobal has moved further inland than expected and has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression, currently sitting on the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

The system is on a turn to the north and is expected to re-emerge over the warm waters of the southern Gulf that will provide the energy to resume tropical storm status.

The energy and organisation of this system has been such that I dread to think what could have happened at a later stage in the hurricane season.

As indicated in my last post, the northerly track seems likely to take Cristobal to Louisiana by Monday next week but this is becoming a very large system with heavy rain bands stretching out over a wide area, particularly to the east so Mississippi may want to watch the rainfall potential of this too.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

DISTURBANCE TO VISIT TOBAGO THURSDAY / FRIDAY

The Tropical Wave train has started and there is quite a vigorous one just 400 miles east of Tobago that is expected to bring some heavy rains and stormy conditions to the south eastern Caribbean late Thursday.

The NHC are giving this a very low (10%) chance of development but I would recommend caution because tropical waves do have pockets of severe weather along their axis.

I will update if there are further developments.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

WARMING UP

Since my last post we have had the very insignificant Tropical Storm Dolly so I thought I should mention that to bring the 2020 Hurricane forum up to date.

The 2020 season is shaping up to be quite active with very warm sea surface temperatures close to 80 degrees across the tropical Atlantic. This is one of the key ingredients for storm formation.

Currently there are 2 inhibiting factors; dry air and wind shear ... particularly over the Caribbean. When these factors recede later in the season then I expect that storm formation will pick up and take up a little more of my time.

Right now there are 2 areas to watch. A classical tropical wave has formed in the tropical Atlantic and the NHC are reporting on this, giving a 20% chance of storm formation within 5 days. I don't think so but it is unlikely to affect the Caribbean.

The other area is east of the US coast. It is noticeable how many developments are occurring here and this is because of exceptionally warm sea temperatures in this area, however the 2 inhibiting factors I have already mentioned are preventing anything special.

I expect things to pick up though ...

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

NEW DEVELOPMENT HEADING FOR BERMUDA

A Tropical Depression has formed just south west of Bermuda and is heading quickly north east towards the Island, passing the Island overnight.

It's a relatively weak affair and may not reach Tropical Storm status ... if it does then it will be named Edouard.

I don't anticipate any updates on this one.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

LOTS OF ACTIVITY ... BUT NO BITE ... NOT YET

I am loving the posts on Ambroseosullivan's forum and I recall reading that account of that poor diver that floated around the east side of Tobago (where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean) from near Speyside to Parlatuvier and this helped me make the decision to strike scuba diving off my bucket list. I could post loads about famous people I have met in Tobago, including the respected comedian and global phenomenon, Mr Wooler, but I feel that I would be breaching their privacy by saying too much about them :mrgreen:

Anyway, we have weather business to attend to ...

2020 has been a very active season so far and the fact that we have 3 disturbances on the go right now is an indication of how much energy could eventually be released later in the season.

Firstly, the disturbance I reported on yesterday did reach TS status, named Edouardo, but has since been downgraded to post-tropical. Very short lived. The remnants are on the way to the UK but it won't be any worse than the weather in the UK in the last 2 weeks.

Next ... there is a stream of energy along a line from Mexico north east and out into the mid to north Atlantic. Edouardo formed along this line and another disturbance has formed, moving from the south US States across northern Florida and into the Carolinas. The NHC is giving this a 40% chance of development when it moves into the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolinas' coast.

Of more interest to Tobago is another disturbance forming along a strong Tropical Wave and this will impact all the Caribbean Islands from Trinidad and northwards to Puerto Rico over the next several days. NHC are giving this a 10% chance of development so storm formation is very unlikely but beware, these systems can bring localised extreme weather conditions and, if they are going to develop, they will develop quickly.

So be on your guard over the next 2 to 3 days.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

GONZALO and HANNA?

I have been watching a tropical wave crossing the deep tropics of the Atlantic since the weekend and it has a fiery circulation developing very close to the ITCZ.

Conditions in the deep tropics of the Atlantic are looking ripe for development with cooking sea temperatures and a converse westerly trade wind that will help developments spin and I am expecting a lot of activity to generate in this area this season.

So ... just over halfway towards Tobago and the rest of the Lesser Antilles and this disturbance has ramped up it's game and could be Tropical Storm Gonzalo in a matter of hours ... the NHC has been issuing tentative advisories for about 48 hours and now rates the chances of development at 80%.

2 points ... firstly, conditions in the Caribbean are not yet suitable to provide generous hospitality for this Storm which, when it arrives by the weekend could weaken even if it reaches hurricane status.

Secondly, depending on how quickly this develops, it is more likely to track north of Tobago and if it opens up into a tropical wave then it will spread rains and squalls over a wider area. Whatever, Tobago can expect an unsettled weekend and I recommend cautionary observations of this development.

Elsewhere, another disturbance is affecting Florida / Cuba and has a lower NHC rating of 40% to develop ... could this be Hanna?

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS

The NHC has designated potential Gonzalo as a Tropical Depression owing to a fully closed circulation.

A look at the wide variety of the weather models shows considerable disagreement of the outcomes for this system in it's early days as it approaches the Caribbean. Some suggest it will dissipate before it reaches the Caribbean, some suggest it will weaken before arrival in the Caribbean and then strengthen again in the Caribbean Sea after passing the Lesser Antilles and other suggest a small Storm or Hurricane passing through the south east Caribbean mostly north of Tobago and south of Barbados.

This is a very small and compact system that is likely to defy dry air entrainment from the Saharan dust layer to it's north. The conditions in the Caribbean are quite hostile and strong wind shear is the biggest threat to the system as it approaches.

Early days and plenty of time for things to happen before it's arrival in the south east Caribbean towards the weekend.

I recommend caution in Tobago ... keep an eye on it and be ready to make the necessary preparations for the weekend if needed.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

TROPICAL STORM GONZALO
TOBAGO AND SOUTH EAST CARIBBEAN IN THE CROSS HAIRS


Gonzalo is a small, but growing, Storm. In fact, Gonzalo has wrapped itself up into a small and compact unit that may resist the increasing levels of dry air surrounding it. Other problems for Gonzalo lie ahead.

The weather models are trending towards a strong tropical storm or low-cat Hurricane reaching the south east Caribbean on Saturday. The stronger Gonzalo gets the more likely the storm will gain latitude and this could lead to the destruction of the Storm over the mid to north windward Islands.

But the models are generally predicting a weaker Storm to affect Tobago and the south east Caribbean, possibly even as a Cat 1 hurricane. This would be a weaker affair but, by no means any less dangerous.

The small size of the storm works in it's favour and this makes it unpredictable. I always err on the side of caution because the right conditions could make this storm explode into life very quickly.

Everyone in the Caribbean should monitor Gonzalo and make good

I will post updates.
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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Chris Runciman »

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphi ... #wcontents

The American storm watch website has the most up to date, hour by hour weather information!
I was in Castara for Ivan in 2004 and experienced it first hand. Grenada looks as though it will bear the full force of the tropical storm ( again!!).
“Batten down the hatches” literally . We are!

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

HURRICANE GONZALO

Yes, thank you for that contribution Chris. You are referring to the NHC's site. The NHC are the official forecasters to which Governments and Local Authorities subscribe and on who's advice Storm and Hurricane warnings are issued.

Like all weather enthusiasts and professional forecasters, the NHC relies on a variety of model forecasting and creates a blend of these Models to produce forecasts of it's own although it sometimes does not agree with model consensus ... NHC forecasting has improved significantly over the years since Hurricane Ivan brushed the Caribbean coast of Tobago back in 2004.

I will issue an update later on Gonzalo which is expected to be designated Hurricane status any minute now and I will also cover the developments in the Gulf of Mexico (potential Hanna).

The recent trend for Gonzalo has been westerly towards Tobago but this track is slowly trending northwards as Gonzalo shows signs of strengthening which normally causes hurricanes to gain latitude. As this is a small storm there will be more unpredictability so be ready for surprises.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by CTDA Castara Tourism »

The NHC website has all very important information on it! They actually have crazy pilots who fly into the centre of storms to check readings.........I hope they get paid well.........I have used it for a lot of years since the 80's having been working on Montserrat and then of course living on in Castara. Ivan 'brushed' the coast..........well , some brush, we were staying in Sea Steps at the time and have digital film of the storm from the veranda. We experience the whole 'show' having battened down the hatches as I had had to do regularly on Montserrat but sadly on Tobago there was very little advice on preparing for a storm. In fact we were listening to the portable radio for updates which included a carpet sale at Courts..............Castara was without power for a week and the beer started to become 'brackish beer' and we all lived by candlelight after dusk and cleared debris during the day. Castara was a sorry sight, all the fishing boats were up in the 'street' except one sailing boat which came ashore below Cascreole.

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Re: 2020 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet »

GONZALO ... ARE THE WHEELS COMING OFF?

Gonzalo, like Hurricane Ivan, is a small and unpredictable storm. I remember posting suggestions on this forum that it looked like Ivan could strike Tobago but few believed me. in fact, it blew up into a Category 4 mini-monster as it's centre passed 10 miles off the Caribbean coast of Tobago and then went on to deliver a direct hit on Grenada. For perspective, Grenada was flattened and Tobago got a bloody nose.

Tobago was hit harder by a tropical depression later in November 2004. Damage from this is still evident in some areas.

Equally, the computerised weather models and the NHC have improved massively since those days. Ivan arrived as a big surprise and the latter tropical depression heralded no warnings at all. Gonzalo's potential was picked up 4 days ago (rather then hours) and this is evidence of the improvements in forecasting systems ... we are now speculating on the direction and strength of these storms many days in advance.

Gonzalo is a similar risk to Ivan. Small, compact and unpredictable, with the potential to blow up like Ivan or to dissipate altogether. The models have been spread very widely with one group favouring a strong Gonzalo veering more to the north. As a consequence, hurricane advisories have been issued for Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

But now these warning areas are outside of the warning cone as another group of models, favouring a weaker Gonzalo going south could prove to be right ... could they I wonder?

The NHC has made it’s adjustments and, unlike 16 years ago, we have the luxury of speculating on Gonzalo’s potential over a wider area. More people are being warned and hopefully more lives will be saved.

Earlier today, just after I though Gonzalo was about to become a hurricane, a large segment of the circulation to it’s west broke away from the centre … dry air … Gonzalo was sucking in dry air and this can break a storm down and open it back up into a tropical wave.

The crosshairs have now veered south, directly towards Tobago. But the bets are not off, this could be temporary. All the other factors needed to make Gonzalo comfortable in it’s environment are still there and a southward turn could take Gonzalo away from the dry Saharan air, allowing the storm to recoil and regenerate.

So that is where we are … anything can happen, but most importantly we are all more aware and better prepared than we were 16 years ago.

I will post updates if anything changes or happens and, of course, there are other places of reference such as the NHC site, the local weather agencies and loads of weather enthusiasts posting videos and blogs on social media … they are all far more interesting then me :mrgreen:

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