2008 Hurricane Season

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2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:09 pm

Hi everyone

Today marks the start of the 2008 Hurricane Season.

Tropical Storm Arthur has kicked the season off over Belize and Mexico and there are 3 Tropical Waves on the way.

Although this forum focuses on Tobago I will track all the threats coming across the Atlantic and report on the prospects of where they will cause effect and particular focus will be on any direct or indirect impacts on Tobago.

Readers are welcome to post their views and reports of any Hurricane experiences in the Caribbean are most welcome.

I hope this thread will be a short one ... but several majors are predicted this season ... let's hope the predictions are wrong.

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Paul Tallet
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Camille M

Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Camille M » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:51 pm

Hi Paul,

I live on the Atlantic coast of Florida, and have witnessed 2 hurricanes firsthand (and have evacuated for a couple of others). I've been very fortunate that my house has come through each storm with flying colors thus far. It's sort of oddly fascinating and definitely humbling to hear the wind roaring around your home and to see the aftermath, but not an experience that I particularly hope to repeat any time soon! I hope your thread remains short as well. Hurricane season is definitely something to consider when planning travel to the Caribbean during the summer months. Travel insurance is an excellent idea!

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:10 am

Hi Camille

Yes, Florida has had some big ones in recent years ... I hope you are not being affected by the heavy rains and heatwave affecting the eastern and central US ... you chaps seem to get it from all directions.

Apart from Arthur, this season has started quite slowly so far.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:15 pm

Hi everyone

This is a copy of a post on Liquid Sunshine.

The 2nd Tropical Wave in 2 weeks is passing through and some heavy rain has fallen already ... but ...

I am watching an area of particularly heavy and thundery rain approach Tobago from the south east and there is a high risk that this will affect Tobago in the next 3 to 12 hours.

The passge of this area of moisture is a little difficult to predict and there is a small chance that it could move to the east of Tobago ... but it is a developing event and could become more widespread.

So this is just a message of caution that there is the potential for a significant rain event over the course of the next 12 hours that can bring flash flooding particularly in rural and hilly areas of Tobago.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:07 am

RAIN RISK INCREASES


Hi everyone

Plumes of moisture moving off Venezuela have increased the showery activity over Tobago this week beyond what I had expected.

Further heavy rain is expected later this week on Thursday/Friday when another active Tropical Wave passes. This Wave seems to be forming a depression and there is a low risk of development. It is hit and miss as to which Islands will get the brunt of this weather.

It seems to me that any potential for development at this point of the 2008 Hurricane Season, like last year, is just to the east of the southern windward islands and to the extreme west of the Caribbean ... last week's wave died out as soon as it had passed the Windwards but, to be fair, there was alot of Saharan dust and wind shear in the way as the associated depression moved north.

So here's looking at Thursday and I will further updates if anything changes.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:19 pm

Well ...

The depression disappeared and a little blob of rain moved north towards the northern windwards.

The Wave continued it's progress as the Saharan Dust simply vanished ... the moisture was there at lower levels in the atmosphere but heavy upper easterly wind shear was a huge factor in stopping the clouds forming.

Referring back to my previous post (about where things can happen) ... I watched in fascination as the clouds formed and the moisture really kicked in as the Wave approached the windwards ... the satellite loops brilliantly showed the thunderstorms developing and then having their tops sheared off to the east ... Wow ... and they kept bubbling up.

It reminded me of trying to stop a nasty sandfly bite swelling from the moment the little nit nipped me on the stomach (a pointless exercise) some years ago ... but sorry I digress ...

But the moisture continues to build and it is winning against the shear and although I thought that certain places would get the rain worse than others (I was wrong) the heavy rain and thunderstorms have become widespread ... it really is fascinating to watch on the satloops.

This is a very strong wave and just goes to prove that wind shear in isolation is not sufficient in areas where the seas are warm.

More moisture is piling up as far as 200 miles to the east of Tobago so the rains will come and go for the next 12 - 24 hours and then we are in a rainy period for a few days before the next Tropical Wave brings more of that dust ... that should hopefully snuff it out.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:22 am

FIRST THREAT OF THE SEASON

Hi everyone

A very strong Tropical Wave is just leaving the African Coast ... the risk of development is low at this stage and it is far too early to know exactly where it will go but this needs keeping an eye on.

This is the first threat of the season from the Atlantic.

The Pacific side is well into it's season with 2 spinners and some development off the west coast of the US.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:36 pm

UPDATE ON INVEST 92 ... 2nd JULY 2008 ... 1730 BST

Hi everyone

This one is winding up to be a Tropical Depression quite soon and this could be the first Hurricane of the season within the next 2 or 3 days.

The good news is that formation so close to the African coast makes it likely that this system will move north of the whole Caribbean and quite likely stay in the Atlantic before reaching the more temperate zones ... but it still needs watching.

I will continue to cast my withering eye over this development for the next few days ... hopefully this one will go nowhere.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:08 pm

TROPICAL DEPRESSION 2 / INVEST 93 ... 3rd JULY 2008 ... 1300 BST

As expected, Invest 92 has now developed into a Tropical Depression and is expected to strengthen quickly to Tropical Storm and possibly Hurricane status at some point over the next several days.

The good news, so far, is that this system is unlikely to reach any land and is expected to veer to the north.

Meanwhile, back on the farm (so to speak) ... Invest 93 is a little development that has flared up from a Tropical Wave that passed through the Lesser Antilles over the last couple of days ... Jamaica, the Caymans and Mexico should keep an eye on this for the next week ... hopefully it will weaken but conditions for development could get better if it survives the next couple of days.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:23 pm

TS BERTHA / INVEST 93 ... 3rd JULY 2008 ... 2215 BST

Now a Tropical Storm, Bertha is tickling the southern coasts of the Cape Verde Islands ... no change on the forecasts and therefore still no threat.

Invest 93 is a small worry even if it is only rains ... this is the one that the Caribbean (north and west of Puerto Rico) should be watching. Expect something even if development does not occur.

There is no threat to Tobago from these 2 systems ... in fact the weather looks very nice in Tobago.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:12 pm

TS BERTHA UPDATE ... 4th JULY 2008 ... 1800 BST

Invest 93 is no longer but still remains as a cluster of nasty thunderstorms now brushing the south of the Dominican and Haiti.

A huge area of very intense rain has formed in the Central Americas which will cause some flooding over Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Bertha ... keeps on a more westerly than northerly track and, accordingly, all the forecasting models are predicting a more southerly track that brings Bermuda into the equation. If the trend continues then the northern Windward Islands may be watching this ... but this is a very unlikely possibility.

The point is ... if Bertha takes a more southerly track over warmer seas she is more likely to reach Hurricane status and become a potential problem ... likely only for Bermuda.

If she turns a little to the north then it will be cooler seas and she will weaken gradually and get sucked up into the temperate zone and probably bash the UK and northern Europe in the next 2 weeks as a vigorous and unseasonal depression ... just our luck eh?

So ... a good Hurricane season so far for the whole of the Caribbean.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:18 am

TS BERTHA UPDATE ... 5th JULY 2008 ... 1045 BST

Bertha is following a more southerly track and this increases the prospects that she will become a Hurricane and that she could brush the nothern Windward Islands and the Bahamas.

It's getting very interesting.

This one reminds me of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that, despite predictions of a more northerly track, he was kept on a southerly track by a strong ridge of High pressure to the north ... Ivan stayed as far south as to affect Tobago and devastate Grenada and cause further mayhem in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

The prediction models are now all over the place and there is a high degree of uncertainty of the future track of Bertha.

But Bertha is already too far north for a repeat of Ivan's event but the risks for the Bahamas and possible landfall in Florida are now increasing for the time being. Bermuda is still at some risk.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:43 am

TS BERTHA UPDATE ... 6th JULY 2008 ... 1145 BST

Bertha is strengthening slowly over tepid waters and still maintaining a westerly track.

As I thought, she should reach Hurricane status in the next 2 days.

The good news is that there are signs of a slight turn to a more north westerly direction in a few days as the high pressure ridge weakens.

Stronger wind shear is likely to keep Bertha as a low category hurricane or possibly back down to a Tropical Storm but there are increasing risks of landfall for Florida, Carolina or possibly Bermuda ... it is still a bit of a lottery.

The risks are decreasing for the Bahamas and northern Windward Islands.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:26 pm

HURRICANE BERTHA UPDATE ... 7TH JULY ... 1630 BST

Bertha has strengthened quite quickly to a Hurricane and is now starting to veer to a more northerly track.

Bermuda needs to keep watch on Bertha.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:14 pm

HURRICANE BERTHA UPDATE ... 7TH JULY ... 2315 BST

Bertha has been upgraded to Category 3 ... a major hurricane ... I thought she would become a hurricane but not as strong as this ... just goes to show how unpredictable these little beasts can be.

The track has not changed and Bermuda is still in the line of fire although not likely to be a direct hit ... I still expect the UK and northern Europe to get the fall out from this in a week or 2 ... as if the summer weather in the UK has been up to the expected standards ... I think not!!

Back on the farm, so to speak, Tobago is having very good weather.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:08 pm

HURRICANE BERTHA UPDATE ... 8TH JULY 2008 ... 1800 BST

Good news all round.

Bertha seems to have come a bit of a cropper in some wind shear while she was cunningly going through an eyewall recycle (a weak moment for any Hurricane) and this has weakened the Hurricane quite considerably today.

The track forecasts are also indicating an increasing move to the north and east which means that the risks for Bermuda are decreasing by the hour.

As Bertha moves north the sea temperatures will get cooler and any prospects of restrengthening are going to diminish as she moves north.

She may hang on as a Hurricane for a while if she can complete the restructure of her eye but she certainly showed some attitude yesterday with a quite explosive development to Cat 3.

Anyway ... I think the threats to the US, Bermuda are over ... the UK and Northern Europe await the hangover which should kick in in about 10 days.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:40 pm

HURRICANE BERTHA UPDATE ... 10TH JULY 2008 1745 BST

Although Bertha has weakened considerably it looks like she could get another shot in the arm as she moves over warmer water and much lower wind shear. Her life as a hurricane should last no longer than 5 or 6 more days.

Again, uncertainties have arisen about her future track ... it looks like she will go to the east of Bermuda but it is looking close.

Bertha pulled the ITCZ north so she has had an indirect effect on Tobago where alot of rain is falling right now.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:07 pm

TROPICAL STORM BERTHA UPDATE / INVEST 94 ... 13TH JULY 2008 2000 BST

Bertha is now a Tropical Storm and a slight threat to Bermuda ... she is almost stationary over cool waters so her existence is now getting more limited although she has the potential to bring more ghastly weather to the UK and Northern Europe next week.

Invest 94 ... this is currently a worry (see today's Liquid Sunshine update) ... situated at a very low latitude and moving west ... I can't see much of a northerly track so Trinidad & Tobago and the rest of the Lesser Antilles need to watch this one.

I will be providing daily updates but I would expect bad weather to reach Tobago by the weekend at the very least.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:54 pm

TROPICAL STORM BERTHA / INVEST 94 UPDATE ... 14TH JULY 2008 ... 2145 BST


Bertha is just below Hurricane strength and about to bring hurricane or tropical storm force winds to Bermuda ... quite a gregarious storm this one.

It is also raining heavily over much of Trinidad and Tobago as the next Tropical Wave moves through ... as I said in Liquid Sunshine, this week looks quite unsettled.

But the one I am worried about is Invest 94 which seems much more likely to have an impact on several Windward Islands ... there is a centre to this one as it develops into a Tropical Depression but until you know exactly where the centre is (i.e.; is it close to the equator or 10 degrees north?) it is difficult to know if this is a real threat to Tobago ... 10 degrees can make a big difference.

Some prediction models are currently taking this storm to the south of Trinidad !! It has happened before but only once in living memory.

I feel confident that Invest 94 will become a Hurricane before or as it arrives in the Caribbean ... I am wary of the track and Tobago should not be discounted from the threat at this time.

Hopefully be able to suss this out by tomorrow ... but caution is advised for later this week.

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Re: 2008 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:39 pm

BERTHA / INVEST ... UPDATE 15th JULY 2008 ... 2130 BST

Fascinating.

Bertha has moved on from Bermuda.

Invest 94 ... a very vigorous Tropical Wave with a very vigorous circulation ... the convection (rain) is well ahead of the circulation which has pretty much dried up.

So I guess the best way I can describe this is ... it got a little ahead of itself because the actual business end of this potential development needs convection to develop into a proper Storm.

But the convection is increasing as I write this post and if it slows down then the circulation could get back in ... there is some shear ... but the good news is that this one, that had some considerable potential, has blown it ... for now !

Still needs watching ... there is still some potential ... will still bring unsettled weather to the Lesser Antilles (and possibly Tobago) in the next 48 - 72 hours ... at the very least.

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