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Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:38 pm
by Paul Tallet

Dare I say that the weather in the UK over the last week has been better than Tobago's?

For Tobago last week started wet, I thought there was a chance that the predominant rainfall would go away by Tuesday but there was still quite a high risk of rain throughout the rest of the week.

Friday and Saturday seemed ok but the rain is back right now.

The situation is the Atlantic High is too far north to have a dominant influence over the weather, not just for Tobago but for most of the southern Caribbean. The ITCZ (Inter-Tropical-Convergence-Zone) is quite a long way south and this perpetual area of low pressure is not really influencing Tobago's weather either (in other words, it is not the reason for the rain).

Also, when the source of the rain is coming from the west or south, it is not being carried by the trade winds which are weak thanks to a very distant Atlantic High.

So most of the southern Caribbean is in a dead zone where nothing much is happening, allowing rainfall to break out almost anywhere. The worst affected areas today are north of Columbia. The Atlantic High is pumping Saharan Dust across the Atlantic from Africa but the High is too far north to really push the Saharan Dust down across the Tropics.

The northern Caribbean is not much better because a weather trough is pushing heavy rains across from Cuba northwards.

The week ahead for Tobago continues the high risk of rainfall, particularly during the late afternoons and overnight with the compliments of the rain forests of South America.

Enjoy ...



Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:49 pm
by Paul Tallet

The weather patterns have changed very little over the last week with most of the weather for Tobago drifting in an easterly or southerly direction, bringing 'periods' of rain rather than showers, but there has been alot more sunshine over the last week.

The Atlantic High influence is still weak and the High pressure is expected to build north rather than south, bringing warm weather to Europe by next weekend.

The extent of the High pressure influence is wavering along Barbados' latitude so everywhere south of Barbados has a higher rain risk with only ragged areas of Saharan Dust being carried by weak trade winds.

So ... I am confident that there will be sunshine but watch out for periods of cloud and rain from time to time over the next week.



Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:58 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 7TH MAY 2018

Last week the weather was not too bad with reasonably fair conditions for Tobago although the rain kicked off again on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a slight improvement but there was still plenty of rain around the south and eastern Caribbean, the worst of which did not affect Tobago.

This week starts off very stormy across the northern Caribbean from Cuba and east towards the Bahamas as a tropical disturbance makes an untimely and rather rude appearance almost 1 month before the wet season officially starts.

The Atlantic High has been building towards the Caribbean and the interaction between the High and the general low pressure around the Caribbean will sharpen the pressure gradients and bring strong winds across most of the southern Caribbean.

This could bring a pause in the rain bearing eastward moving weather patterns but there is resistance and the High pressure looks like retreating during this week.

So ... there is rain around and the disturbance in the northern Caribbean could entice more of it up from South America. Tobago should see some of this during the week but there will be some sunny periods ... but a high risk of periods of rain generally for the south east Caribbean. The winds generated by the sharp pressure gradients could also bring some heavy seas although I would expect this aspect to decrease towards the end of the week.



Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 11:38 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 13TH MAY 2018

The week ahead looks a little mixed in terms of weather.

The wet weather across South America is still sending plumes of moisture northwards and eastwards although, right now, this is happening to the south of Tobago. It is difficult to predict where and when these plumes of rainfall occur because there is no real dominating force in the weather although Tobago is just hanging on to trade winds.

It could be mostly sunny and fair in Tobago all week but don't be surprised if rainy periods arise, most commonly overnight and the early morning.



Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:00 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 21ST MAY 2018

Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this week's update ... the weather in the UK is better than Tobago so I have been slaving over my garden and crashing out with exhaustion every evening.

It is really kicking off in the southern Caribbean with bands of rain moving north and eastwards off the South American mainland.

And there are already Tropical Waves 10 days before the official date of the wet (?) season ... Steve, you need to set up the 2018 Hurricane Season blog.

We already have a disturbance in the central Caribbean and the NHC has given this a 20% chance of development. No risk to Tobago but potentially a risk to Cuba and possibly the Yucatan peninsula.

Strong trades are setting in across the southern Caribbean but this is converging with the mixed weather pluming north from South America.

For Tobago this week, expect sunshine ... but also expect some prolonged periods of rain.



Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 10:58 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 27TH MAY 2018

As indicated in last week's post, a tropical disturbance in the central Caribbean eventually came alive and developed into Tropical Storm Alberto.

I have been posting on this in the new 2018 Hurricane forum. Alberto is now nearing the southern US and landfall is expected between New Orleans and north west Florida in the next 24 hours.

Back in Tobago ... easterly trades have set in but there are still pulses of wet weather pushing north and eastwards generally over the southern Caribbean, so the week ahead is not much different to last week with fair weather. But the occasional prolonged periods of rainfall will still occur.

A tropical wave has just left Africa as we make an early start to the Hurricane season.



Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:49 pm
by Paul Tallet

There was an increase in the South American pluming last week, bringing some persistent periods of rain to Tobago over Wednesday and Thursday (possibly Friday too when I wasn't watching!).

I am feeling more positive about Tobago's weather this week. Although there are 2 Tropical Waves on the way, the only rainfall associated with the waves is close to the equator and the reason for this is the strengthening Atlantic High which is carrying a very dense layer of Saharan dust across the tropical Atlantic.

Another factor is the increasing strength of the trade winds and this will hopefully cut off these plumes of rainfall that originate from the rain forests of the South American continent.

Although the wet / hurricane season started a couple of days ago, I regard this time of the year as the best for good weather in Tobago. When it's good it's really good ... when it's bad ... it's very bad, but bad is quite rare because Tobago is at the southern extreme of the hurricane paths and is mostly affected by Tropical Waves or forming depressions before they go west and cause other areas problems.

I am predicting a fair week of weather this week, it could still rain ... Tobago has it's own rain forest ... but hopefully most of the rain will be overnight and into the early mornings.



Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:19 am
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 10TH JUNE 2018

As predicted, the weather for Tobago last week was fair and with limited rainfall generated by strengthening trade winds.

The Atlantic High remains a dominant feature bringing strong trades that will pick up the seas, particularly during the middle of this week, however the density of the Saharan Dust is reducing slightly which could allow rainfall from 3 tropical waves in the tropical Atlantic to bring some precipitation to Tobago this week.

Last week the rainfall from tropical waves was limited to around the equator due to the intensity of the Saharan Dust down to latitude levels of less than 10 degrees.

It is noticeable, however, that there is also a strong westerly shear over the central and eastern Caribbean, shaving the tops off potential thunderstorms and reducing the rainfall potential.

So ... a good week ahead for Tobago again, but watch out for the tropical waves ... even if they produce little rain they can bring squally conditions.

For those looking for really bad weather, I would suggest a visit to Columbia and central America that have endured some very intense storms over the last 48 hours ... a tropical wave is about to meet this area of disturbed weather and this could energize the storms and make conditions, right up the western Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico, very hospitable for tropical storm genesis and very inhospitable for you ... I posted on this possibility yesterday in the 2018 Hurricane Season Forum.

If anything develops then you will know where to read all about it.



Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:15 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 17TH JUNE 2018

Rainfall for Tobago has increased over the last 48 hours as the Saharan Dust influence has receded, allowing moisture to build, form clouds and drop rain more readily.

This will be helped by the arrival of Tropical Waves that can boost any energy in the atmosphere and enhance the precipitation and, in some cases, begin Storm development.

Right now, there is widespread rainfall around the eastern Caribbean with the compliments of the South American rain forests and the absence of Saharan Dust. The first of 3 Tropical Waves will arrive tomorrow (Monday) and rainfall should be persistent until the wave passes and goes to cause trouble further west.

The next Tropical Wave does not seem to be as potent but will probably bring localised and lengthy showers for midweek.

A stronger looking Tropical Wave (No. 3) will arrive towards the end of the week ... this one has just left Africa so I am less certain of what portents this one will bring.

Overall, a moderately wet week ahead with (dare I say it) the best weather on Tuesday and Thursday.

The disturbance I mentioned in last week's post has done everything I expected it to do apart from form a Tropical Storm ... it is currently in the Gulf of Mexico and will bring some hazardous weather conditions to the US coasts in the Gulf tonight and tomorrow and may eventually become a feature across the central US ... I dare say that the Storm chasers will know more about this than me!



Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:56 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 24TH JUNE 2018

Last week was a wet week and my prediction that Tuesday and Thursday could be the better days would be debatable seeing as it rained pretty heavily in Tobago on most days last week, but Trinidad got it worse.

Right now the next Tropical Wave is knocking on the door and it is already raining in Tobago, some of it very heavy with Trinidad, again, seeming to get the worst.

This new Tropical Wave is dragging a vast area of moisture behind it. But also Saharan Dust and I have low confidence that the Saharan Dust will pass close enough to Tobago to quell the potential precipitation that will fall over Tobago and the southern Caribbean this week.

Generally, the high pressure is expected to recede this week and possibly even become displaced to the north by the end of the week. This means low pressure. Low pressure means unsettled weather. Unsettled weather = rain and lots of it.

The only beneficiaries of this weather pattern are those basking in the sunshine in the UK and northern Europe and this is a trend that could continue for some time ... at least until mid-July.

There will always be some good days of fair weather but, in general, energy is building in Africa and the tropics and there seems to be little to moderate the Tropical Waves as they make their way across the tropical Atlantic.

So ... expect rain, prolonged at times, and do your best to enjoy the sunny bits in between.



Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:28 am
by Paul Tallet

Last week's rain managed to stay mostly to the south of Tobago with the Saharan Dust influence moving a little further south than I anticipated, however this could not last and eventually the rain started falling with purpose on Thursday.

There continues to be persistent rainfall around the south east of the Caribbean and it is becoming a little more fragmented today, however this is likely to get a boost from a Tropical Wave that will pass over Tobago tomorrow.

2 more Tropical Waves will follow during the week and with the Atlantic High, as I predicted, displaced to the north west Atlantic the pressure is lower across the tropical Atlantic and the equatorial regions of South America. With decreasing Saharan Dust in the atmosphere this will allow rainfall to break out readily.

The last of these 2 Tropical Waves will arrive towards the end of this week and this already has high levels of moisture associated with it.

So ... this week ... rainfall will be frequent with some fairer periods but I expect rainfall risk to increase towards the end of this week.



Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:50 am
by Paul Tallet

The current weather is very unsettled and I refer to the 2018 Hurricane forum if you want some detailed information about Tropical Storm Beryl that is expected to pass north of Barbados tonight and into tomorrow.

I am expecting Beryl to create a very moist and humid environment over the next 2 or 3 days across the whole of the south and eastern Caribbean and she could well suck up some of the thunderous activity from the south American rainforests.

So ... Tobago can expect plenty of rainfall up to Tuesday and possibly Wednesday too.

Once Beryl has passed and moved on into the Caribbean Sea I am expecting a significant improvement for the south and east Caribbean from Wednesday or Thursday onward as a very dense layer of Saharan dust is blown in on strong trade winds.

There is a tropical wave mixed in this but it is not going to produce much rain so I am hoping that Tobago should have a good spell of weather from mid-week through to next weekend with little more than a few showers as the tropical wave passes.

The weather is much better in the UK !!



Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:56 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 15TH JULY 2018

Against my prediction, the Tropical Wave following Hurricane Beryl got pepped up and gave Tobago and most of the south east Caribbean a proper washing on Thursday and Friday last week. The one thing I did get right was the sting in Beryl's tail which extended way out to the south and east of the Storm.

Beryl was snuffed out after it passed over Dominica but has since regenerated as a Tropical Storm east of the US, following in the path of Hurricane Chris that expired last week south of Iceland.

So, this week ... it is currently very fair ... there are 2 tropical waves, the first one is right over Tobago but producing little in the way of rain. Behind this wave is fair weather and, eventually, a dense layer of Saharan Dust that should restrict general rain activity until mid-week at least. There will still be showers though.

Further down the Tropical Atlantic line is another tropical wave with a small depression forming. This could bring rain to Tobago towards the end of this week.

It's still much better weather in the UK !

There are no signs of any Storm activity so hopefully the 2018 Hurricane Forum will be quiet this week.



Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:22 pm
by Paul Tallet

The weather is fine around Tobago and it looks OK for the week ahead but with a few caveats; 3 tropical waves vs saharan dust vs a jet stream off the South American Continent.

Er so ... the weather for next week is unpredictable. I cannot tell if the Saharan Dust layer will restrict rainfall so the risks of rain are relatively high but, equally, you could find yourself pinned to a sunbed under the sun's strong rays ... please note that if you want a real tan you should follow my 'spit roast' procedure ... set your phone or other bodily attachment to wake you up every 15 minutes and to turn over by 45 degrees ... give that a week and you should be able to expose your pretty flesh throughout the duration of any boat trip ... boat trips are a potential holiday spoiler ... you must understand that, even when snorkelling, you get a tan and you can get burnt ... it only takes 5 minutes to burn but unfortunately you only realise it 30 or 40 minutes later ... result = up to 1 week in your room covered in aloe vera.

Off topic ... the weather is better in the UK than Tobago ... BUT, is it the same?

Yes and no ... the UK is going through what I would describe as the best/hottest/drought/summer since 1976 ... it is a truly dry summer with a climate more like south Europe than the humidity you would experience in the Caribbean.

So this is a good opportunity to explain that Tobago, by comparison, is not as hot as the UK right now. The UK is going into the 90's and Tobago rarely gets higher than upper 80's. At night, the UK will drop to the lower 70's but Tobago will stay in the mid to upper 70's.

Try putting your big toe into the UK's North Sea and you will be lucky to get it back (at about 59F tops) ... dip your toe into the Caribbean Sea, say at 0400 in the morning (just before sun up), it is awesome because the sea is actually warmer than the air temperature ... sea = about 81F; air = about 73F ... it's like getting into a hot tub.

Water is thicker than air and therefore retains it's temperature more steadily ... of course there could be some scientists that read this post and I apologise if I am doing the TBO (totally bleeding obvious).

Rain showers in Tobago are also a noteworthy experience, the rain is cold, much colder than the sea ... if it rains, stay in the sea.

The weather in the UK and most of Europe is exceptional and looking likely to continue through August but, being in the temperate zone, I doubt if this exceptional weather will be repeated in our life time.



Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:32 pm
by Paul Tallet
WEATHER ... 29TH JULY 2018

This year's Hurricane season is relatively quiet with only 1 Storm developing in the tropical Atlantic so far.

There are plenty of tropical waves moving westwards across the tropical Atlantic but the sea temperatures are lower than normal this year and Storm development is likely to be more frequent in the Caribbean Sea or the western Atlantic north of the Bahamas.

Another factor that can prevent Storm development is the Saharan dust that is picked up off the north African continent and blown across the Atlantic by the trade winds that are steered by the Atlantic High.

So both factors; cooler seas and Saharan dust are currently combining to limit Storm development. The Saharan dust factor also limits rainfall to some degree but this week it is not as extensive and will only reach the Caribbean sporadically. In it's absence, trade showers can be more frequent and there is also a risk that more persistent rainfall can plume up from the rainforests of South America.

So you can expect mostly fair weather this week in Tobago with trade showers and a small risk of rain / thunderstorms from the south. These can be pepped up by passing tropical waves. Humidity levels are also very high at this time of year and this can make sleep a challenge for tourists that are not used to the tropical climate.



Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:56 pm
by Paul Tallet

Last week was rather wet on Monday and Tuesday thanks to what looked like a totally benign tropical wave that dragged loads of moisture northwards from South America ... but the fair weather picked up for the rest of the week with just a few prolonged periods of rainfall.

One unusual feature this year is the Atlantic High going north ... for the benefit of northern Europe and the UK of course ... and this is weakening the driver for the Saharan Dust to sweep right across the tropical Atlantic. There is plenty of Saharan Dust around but it is not getting as far south as Tobago, making rainfall predictions very difficult.

This week there is no change and the next 2 tropical waves will reach Tobago towards the end of this week so, dare I say, the weather should be predominantly fair until rainfall risk increases towards the end of this week.

Storm prospects? No. It has been a very quiet year so far in the Atlantic although much more active in the Pacific.

It has to pick up at some point and September is the peak month.



Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:10 pm
by Paul Tallet

This week is set to be the best week to travel to anywhere in the Caribbean and central America for the weather.

It is looking calm and a large wedge of dry air dominates the tropical Atlantic, reducing rainfall.

There will be rain here and there and 2 Tropical Waves will arrive in the Caribbean this week but you would be unlucky to experience any prolonged spells of rain.

The last Tropical Wave that passed Tobago over Friday and Saturday only produced showers. Yesterday, the NHC issued advisories on a development in one of the 2 Tropical Waves but this was soon snuffed out.

So, for Tobago ... expect fair weather this week. There will be showers which is the norm but I would expect some cloudless days this week ... only a plume of low pressure from South America could spoil it.




Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:18 pm
by Paul Tallet

Last week's weather was spoiled on Monday by a plume of wet weather moving up from the South American rainforests. This kind of 'wave' of low pressure moved westwards along the north coast of Venezuela, affecting the Dutch Antilles along the way and finishing up in Columbia and central America.

The rest of the week was calm in Tobago until a potential disturbance arrived as part of a vigorous tropical wave on Friday and overnight into Saturday. The NHC had been issuing advisories on this system but fortunately it came to little more than heavy rain and died out as it progressed into the Caribbean Sea.

That tropical wave was an exception for the current Hurricane Season, actually threatening to develop but failing.

On the eastern side of the tropical Atlantic the Storms are streaming off the African coast and look very threatening but the conditions are still hostile to Storm development even though the sea is warming and these Storms just get snuffed out. This has nothing to do with the receding Saharan Dust.

In Tobago, when the weather is like this it is very calm but hot and humid and the weather is generally very fair. The tropical waves can bring showery periods or heavy and persistent rain like last Friday however the worst weather, in my opinion, is the potential rainfall from the rainforests of South America.

I expect the hurricane season to kick off eventually and this will make the weather a little more mobile around the Caribbean but, for now, the trend is hot, humid, calm and with occasional outbreaks of rain more likely at night.



Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:42 pm
by Paul Tallet

Still little sign of a Hurricane Season but there is plenty of weather coming off the western shores of Africa. It is getting snuffed out by dry air.

But that does not stop the tropical waves and there are 3 on the way that will bring some rain during this week.

The main event this week for Tobago is likely to happen late Tuesday into Wednesday as a tropical wave brings some mostly showery rain and will introduce some fresher trade winds behind it bringing higher seas.

Other than that the weather looks fair but there is always the risk of the south surprise from the rain forests of Venezuela.



Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:39 am
by Paul Tallet

The weather is currently very calm and with calm seas around Tobago and the south east Caribbean. I expect this to continue through to midweek and possibly through to next weekend with occasional showers but with the usual risk of something wetter moving up from South America. If this does not happen (as it has in the past when I forecast good weather) then the weather for the week ahead looks very good.

In the tropical Atlantic, Tropical Storm Florence has developed but the Storm is surrounded by dry Saharan dust. Regardless, Florence is not expected to go anywhere near the Caribbean or the US.

Attention is focused on a disturbance north of Cuba (I say north of Cuba but the NHC says south of the Bahamas which is the same, such is the bias towards the US and disregard for the Caribbean by US weather forecasters). This may develop in the Gulf of Mexico next week.

I will be posting updates on these Storms in the 2018 Hurricane forum. This season has been quiet so far but September and October are normally the most active months in Hurricane seasons.

Tobago rarely gets hit and is the destination of choice for those tourists that visit the Caribbean at this time of year and require a minimal risk of storm activity.