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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:35 am
by Paul Tallet
UPDATE ... 10th AUGUST 2008 ... 0930 BST

Having posted yesterday's weekly update a number of changes have occurred.

Firstly the ITCZ has moved north and is situated right over Trinidad and Tobago. The Saharan Dust has receded to the north a little as the next Tropical Wave moves in. There is not much rain with this Tropical Wave but the ITCZ complicates things and therefore the risk of more shower activity applies for the next 24 hours.

Another dry interlude should follow before the next Wave moves in for mid-week ... the NHC have identified a circulation in this Wave and issued warnings of possible development in the next 2 days ... again, there is not much rain but there is plenty of moisture and very warm sea temperatures so it would be relatively easy for development to be triggered by these 2 factors.

As if that is not enough, a 2nd area of potential development is not far behind. Both areas are following the same westward track and are roughly on the same latitude ... if something happens with the first area the chances of the second area developing are quite slim because the churning of Tropical Storms have the effect of cooling the sea in their wake.

As I said, both of these areas of energy are following a westward track and there is a strong High Pressure ridge to the north that I would expect to keep them on this track for at least the next 2 days ... There is still plenty of Saharan Dust to the north of these areas and this is the strongest factor that could snuff the energies out.

This is an unexpected development and I have just seen the latest predictions of all the Hurricane forecasters that have unanimously raised their expectations of Hurricanes for 2008 with this peaking in September. The key reason appears to be that the seas temperatures are about 1 degree warmer than the last couple of years but not quite as warm as during the record breaking 2005 season.

Obviously other factors can affect the development of Hurricanes but if all the factors combine (as they will do from time to time) it is possible that there will be 5 or 6 major Hurricanes before this season is over.

I have copied this to the '2008 Hurricane' and any further developments will be posted there.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:03 pm
by Paul Tallet

How unpredictable it can be?

Invets 92 is the first in a succession of 3 potential areas of energy. This week is going to be interesting.

Invest 92 is at latitude 11 and there is little sign of a northward track ... this one looks close for Tobago but any circulation centre should go to the north of Barbados on Tuesday night and through Wednesday.

Nevertheless, whatever happens, this is at the very least a potential heavy rain event for Tobago. It is just so difficult to know when these energies spark off and, equally, if they are snuffed out by Saharan Dust ... this dust seems to be the only thing capable of preventing development of Invest 92 right now.

I will post an update on this and the 2 other energies following in it's wake tomorrow.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:09 pm
by Paul Tallet
INVEST (92 and 93 ... UPDATE >>> 11th AUGUST 2008 ... 2200 BST

Invest 92 is not a threat to Tobago ... my jury is still out on Invest 93.

As I thought ... the dry Saharan Dust is affecting 92 to some extent ... there is still a possibility of development but this energy is now too far north to have much impact on Tobago ... it will pass to the north of Barbados and there may be some rainy segments to the south ... this is on for late wednesday into thursday.

Invest 93 ... due to arrive in the Caribbean longitude towards the end of next weekend ... this is a threat until it takes a more northerly course ... the energy covers a wide area and it is too early to be certain where a proper circulation will get it's act together ... watch for updates ... again I hope the Saharan influence will restrict development.

I have been quite taken aback in recent weeks over how delicate the balance is between something happening and not happening ... the warmth of the seas this year represent a fuse waiting to be lit and it seems inevitable that the various factors that can combine to set off a storm will come together very soon.

It's not as bad as 2005 ... but the whole of the Caribbean needs to be on full alert for the next 3 months at least.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:36 am
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 92 AND 93 UPDATE ... 12TH AUGUST 2008 ... 1130 BST

Invest 92 is starting to get it's act together without much interference from Saharan Dust ... the risk is for a Tropical Storm to affect the Northern Islands in the Lesser Antilles and possibly the Dominican and Haiti from Wednesday onwards.

Invest 93 is also looking less threatening to Tobago and is currently being restricted by Saharan Dust ... this one has more potential for long term development and, again, it appears to be tracking a little further north in the wake of Invest 92. This will be a weekend event.

Saharan Dust is beginning to recede and the risks of Tropical Storm development are now starting to increase with each Wave that rolls of the coast of Africa.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:42 pm
by Paul Tallet
INVESTS 92 & 93 UPDATE ... 13TH AUGUST 2008 ... 1645 BST

Invest 92 nearly broke down over the last 12 hours and the NHC report that they have cancelled a Hurricane Hunter flight to check it out ... of course, as soon as they decided to give up on Invest 92 a sudden burst of convection occurred and we are back to a threat ... 12 hours away from the northern Lesser Antilles.

When will they ever learn?

Invest 93 seems to have been sucking in more Saharan Dust so this one has quietened down for now but it has plenty of time to find better conditions for development.

There is some heavy rain east of Tobago associated partly with Invest 92's Wave and the ITCZ so there is a small risk of some rain over the next 24 hours.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:43 am
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 92 UPDATE ... 15TH AUGUST 2008 ... 1030 BST

I have been watching this Storm develop with increasing alarm at how the NHC are assessing this.

As with many occasions before, the system struggled all the way across the Atlantic and then, as soon as it neared the Caribbean, it exploded into a large and impressive looking Storm. The Hurricane Hunters recorded winds of Tropical Storm force but they could not find a closed circulation.

The satellite pictures show that, without doubt, Invest 92 is going to be a Tropical Storm or even a Hurricane at any time now ... it is a dangerous development now moving west over Puerto Rico and a considerable rain event is happening at the very least ... the only chances of development being hampered is a track over the Dominican and this landmass could disrupt the Storm.

The criteria that the NHC use to designate Tropical Depression, Storm or Hurricane Status is that a closed circulation must exist (even if the wind speeds match Tropical Storm force) ... I have said this before ... very dangerous ... even strong Tropical Waves can cause damage and I can see the day when the NHC give immediate Hurricane status to a newly named development just because the Hurricane Hunter has not previously detected a Circulation.

Anyway ... that's my whinge for the week ... I won't be around on Saturday this week so the next updates are likely to be on Sunday ... There is a small rain risk from the east to Tobago for the weekend ... meanwhile I hope everyone is safe up in the Northern Islands.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:02 pm
by Lisa Keith
Hiya Paul,

For the first time in a couple of years, yesterday the surface temperature of the sea was 32 degrees, and bottom temp was 29. The last time this happened was the year that saw hurricanes all across the Caribbean and into the US. If that's anything to go by, and I believe it IS one of the factors, here comes trouble.

Hoping I'm wrong, but - sadly - convinced I'm not.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:44 pm
by Paul Tallet
Hiya Lisa

Yes, the SST's are higher but not as high as the 2005 season ... not seen anything like 32 degrees yet but it could reach that in the Gulf of Mexico.

Invest 92 is about to be named 'Fay' I sense ... the centre is just to the north west of Puerto Rico and if it stays off the Islands I believe Fay could develop into a major Hurricane to hit the US (Florida?) next week.

Invest 93 is not far behind ... very disorganised but dangerous nonetheless.

I will be posting updates on Sunday.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:35 pm
by Paul Tallet
Sorry everyone

I am supposed to be dealing with family matters but I just had another little peek at Invest 92 because (although I know nobody could find a closed circulation) I know it is a Tropical storm and I am really annoyed about this snobbery about criteria.

I am satisfied that it is, indeed, a Tropical Storm and that it should be called Fay.

I know the NHC are desperate to give Invest 92 the designation it deserves but they can't until certain about their criteria.

The sat loops on both IR and visible indicate to me that the centre is now north east of the Dominican ... this is some way north of the main area of convection but this is where I see it ... new bursts of convection around the north will soon confirm this ... I hope that the NHC get the Hunters to look here and they might find it ... this is a big Storm and there is a lot of ground/sea/air to cover.

The Bahamas need to watch this, the official weather forecasters should stop buggering about with their point systems and start issuing proper Storm Warnings (rather than Tropical Disturbance Updates) NOW for all the threatened areas.

My next rant will be on Sunday.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:43 pm
by Paul Tallet
UPDATE ... FAY IS BORN ... 15TH AUGUST 2008 ... 2345 BST

I could crush a grape ...

At long last ... Fay is born ... let's get everyone ready now.

Speak again Sunday.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:02 am
by Paul Tallet
TS FAY UPDATE ... 17th AUGUST 2008 ... 1100 BST

Fay is a large Storm that will affect a wide area including Jamaica, Cuba, the Caymans and, if the forecast tracks are right, Florida and the Bahamas.

The NHC finally found a centre for the Storm and this is now just south of Cuba.

If Fay tracks along Cuba's coast and then flicks north, as suggested, the centre will stay over warm seas and this will optimise the strength of the storm whilst the outer rain bands and winds will affect thousands of miles of coastline ... and then the same for the south west coast of Florida.

Regardless of how strong Fay becomes she will cause alot of damage.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:35 pm
by Paul Tallet
TS FAY and INVEST 94 ... 18th AUGUST 2008 ... 1630 BST

Fay is now getting plenty of media attention following the deaths in Haiti and the Dominican arising mostly from severe flooding ... the worst incident being the reported loss of 50 lives when a bus was washed away in Haiti.

The other reason for the media attention is Florida.

Fay is likely to cause widespread storm surge damage along Florida's west coast and flooding from rains across the rest of Florida. The winds are not that much of a problem and the strength of Fay will only be relevant to the level of storm surge damage that can be caused.

Any track cannot be ruled out with even the possibility that Fay could cross Florida and emerge over the Atlantic.

Meanwhile ... another disturbance (Invest 94) is developing in the mid-Atlantic ... too early to tell but if anything develops this one also looks likely to affect the northern half of the Caribbean.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:07 pm
by Paul Tallet

I have been quite surprised with Fay ... this storm has spent most of it's time over land, crossing Puerto Rico, Dominican, Haiti, Cuba, a brief spell over warm seas and then Florida ... on one hand it is no wonder that the land association has prevented Fay from reaching Hurricane status but on the other hand I was pretty gobsmacked when she strengthened whilst over the Florida landmass.

Fay is now off the west coast of Florida, having crossed the peninsula and emerged into the Atlantic. She seems likely to make another landfall on Florida's west coast and go back again to the Gulf.

This means that Fay has pretty much covered all of Florida and there is a small, very small, possibility that she could emerge into the Gulf and strengthen ... and then where would she go?

Fascinating ... but the amount of rain Florida is getting must be colossal.

Moving swiftly on to Invest 94 ... This is tracking west at a low latitude and this looks like bringing some heavy rain to Tobago this weekend. Tobago has already had a lot of rain from the last Wave to pass through and now the ITCZ is bring plenty more for the next 12 hours.

Invest 94 needs watching ... it may not develop but it looks like it can pack a punch in the rain department.

I will be watching and updating on this for the next few days.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:15 am
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 22ND AUGUST 2008 ... 0815 BST

It is looking increasingly likely that a Tropical disturbance could affect Tobago over the weekend.

This is tracking west and is about 500 miles or so to the east of Tobago. The NHC report that there is a medium risk of development but hopefully this won't happen until after it has passed the Windward Islands.

I reckon this disturbance will track just to the north of Tobago but there is a small risk that it could affect Tobago more directly.

Either way, expect heavy rains for Saturday and Sunday.

I will post updates here over the next 24 - 48 hours.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:19 pm
by Paul Tallet

Fay is now moving west and back across Florida towards the northern Gulf ... it is possible that a 4th landfall could happen in the extreme west of Florida. Copious amounts of rain have fallen over most of Florida ... Fay sure had it in for Florida!

Invest 94

Of increasing concern is the Invest 94 Tropical Disturbance, now not far to the east of the Windward Islands. This disturbance cover a large area and this contains 3 main areas of thundery activity ... so if any development occurs it is, as yet, difficult to tell where the centre will form ... it could be as far south as Tobago's latitude or as far north as the Virgin Islands ... somewhere inbetween?

My sense is to the south, due to drier air and Saharan Dust to the north ... there is alot of moisture in the south eastern Caribbean and any Storm development will need convection for a centre (or eye) to form.

Invest 94 is a dangerous one ... the first areas of rain could start affecting Tobago and neighbouring islands as early as tonight but the real business will kick in during Saturday and Sunday.

I recommend caution to anyone making plans for trips in Tobago this weekend.

Invest 95

Just behind Invest 94 but at a higher latitude. Early days and if development does occur I think a swathe between Florida and Bermuda should be watching this.

More updates to follow.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:02 am
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 23RD AUGUST 2008 ... 1000 BST

I guess everyone will be waking up this morning from broken sleep if the feedback I have received about the thunderstorms is correct (thanks Lisa).

This is the first area of rain and the main area has yet to reach Tobago this afternoon and could affect Tobago and neighbouring Islands overnight and into Sunday.

Development is possible so caution is advised ... please see Liquid Sunshine for more information about the general situation.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:57 am
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 23RD AUGUST 2008 ... 1300 BST

It's looking grim as some huge convective bursts developed to the south of the depression ... there seems to be dry air to the north of this system and therefore the convection seems to be readily forming more and more to the south ... this is a sign that the system is currently on a mission to develop and this brings Trinidad and Venezuela into the equation in a bigger way.

This system is moving west and is on a pretty certain track for both Trinidad and Tobago.

Rain will start during the afternoon (local time) ... the winds are somewhere in the system and these will probably kick in by the evening --- there is another 100 miles of potential development (or weakening) ... no sign of weakening yet ... these fledgling disturbances can suddenly get their act together without warning so I hope nobody takes any chances.

Again ... I advise caution ... make no plans for this afternoon and overnight ... anyone going on a boating picnic or leisurely bimbles through remote areas of the rainforest will need their heads examined ... see how it looks tomorrow morning.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:14 pm
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 23RD AUGUST 2008 ... 1730 BST

It's not getting better ... and the NHC and all the prediction models seem to disagree with me too ... but I will carry on in my sweet way.

Invest 94 is producing some exceptional convection ... it is disorganised but it is trying to get a life ... that is what makes it dangerous.

Intense rainfall is affecting the south east of Trinidad right now and this will start affecting the rest of Trinidad and Tobago within the next hour or 2.

Please note that this is gearing up to be a major rain event even if nothing further develops ... but there are some strong winds within this system that I am sure will move onto a Tropical Storm at some point in the next few days ... these winds will be localised and you will be unlucky to get them.

As I said in my earlier report ... please don't make (trip) plans today and see how it all looks tommorrow before you make further plans ... if this develops it could go on through Sunday ... if it does not then it will pass and Monday will mark an improvement until the next chapter starts in the latter part of next week.

Tonight ... get the beers in and settle down ... take care everyone.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:16 pm
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 23RD AUGUST 2008 ... 1915 BST

Hello Tobago ... the rains start NOW

Trinidad is already under very intense rainfall.

The business begins ... take care everyone.


Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:11 am
by Paul Tallet
INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 25TH AUGUST 2008 ... 0800 BST

The system passed by relatively quickly and is now in the Caribbean Sea. It could develop into a Tropical Depression later today.

I have not had any feedback on this system so I guess it passed through without causing too much trouble. There are now some remnant shower bands affecting Tobago but it should all clear away later today.

Another Wave has just moved off the African Coast and there are a few more inbetween.