Talking the Tropics With Mike: 2 weeks left in the Atlantic hurricane season! Eye on Caribbean

Jacksonville, Fl. — The “Buresh Bottom Line”: Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Preparation Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.

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REMEMBER WHEN A TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE IS APPROACHING: Taping windows is *not* recommended & will not keep glass from breaking. Instead close curtains & blinds.

Realize the forecast cone (”cone of uncertainty”) is the average forecast error over a given time - out to 5 days - & *does not* indicate the width of the storm &/or where damage that might occur.

*** LOCAL (Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.) IMPACTS FROM THE TROPICS: Increasing onshore wind & rough seas/surf through this week.

The Atlantic Basin Overview:

(1) Disorganized low pressure remains over the Caribbean but is finally starting to get pulled northeast. This is a historical (based on climatology) “hot spot” for late season development.

The area of “disturbed weather” - showers & t’storms - has increased over the Central Caribbean. This disturbance will move northeast reaching the Dominican Republic & Haiti by Saturday then continuing northeast. Heavy rain & gusty winds are occurring over Jamaica & will impact Eastern Cuba, Hispaniola & perhaps Puerto Rico by the weekend.

Run to run inter-model continuity & agreement amongst the models remains less than ideal though most of the global models now show at least some kind of development. The low will be north of the Caribbean by late in the weekend & over the open Atlantic next week.

(2) Non-tropical low pressure over the Gulf of Mexico has transferred its energy to a new area of low pressure over the far W. Atlantic just east of Florida & near the Western/NW Bahamas. The low may acquire some subtropical or even tropical characteristics while staying offshore as the system moves north/northeast just to the east of Florida then accelerates northeast & away from the U.S. by late Fri.

This low will increase east/northeast winds with rough seas/surf for NE Fl./SE Ga. coasts Thu.-Fri. Very heavy rain - 5-10″+ - has fallen across parts of S. Florida & the east coast of Fl. from Cape Canaveral southward with wind gusts of 50+ mph. Slow improvement will begin Thu. night- Fri.

NE Fl./SE Ga. will be on the northern fringe of the system resulting in some bands of moderate to heavy rain, gusty winds & rough seas/surf. Rain will diminish by Fri. morning as will the winds by Fri. evening.

The upper oceanic heat content (UOHC) [tropical cyclone heat potential/TCHP] across the SW Atlantic, Gulf & Caribbean with plenty of warm water far below the surface in the Caribbean:

Water vapor loop (dark blue/yellow is dry mid & upper level air):

November tropical cyclone origins:

Averages below based on climatology for the Atlantic Basin for November (7 hurricanes so far, 19 tropical storms):

Wind shear:

Saharan dust spreads west each year from Africa by the prevailing winds (from east to west over the Atlantic). Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink. Widespread dust is indicative of dry air that can impede the development of tropical cyclones. However, sometimes “wanna’ be” waves will just wait until they get to the other side of - or away from - the plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, way too much is made about the presence of Saharan dust & how it relates to tropical cyclones. In any case, the peak of Saharan dust typically is in June & July.

2023 names..... “Vince” is the next name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years). Historic storms are retired [Florence & Michael in ’18... Dorian in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20, Ida in ‘21 & Fiona & Ian in ‘22]). In fact, this year’s list of names is rather infamous with “Katrina”, “Rita” & “Wilma” retired from the ‘05 list & “Harvey”, “Irma”,“Maria” & “Nate” from the ‘17 list. The WMO decided - beginning in 2021 - that the Greek alphabet will be no longer used & instead there will be a supplemental list of names if the first list is exhausted (has only happened three times - 2005, 2020 & 2021). The naming of tropical cyclones began on a consistent basis in 1953. More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content over the Gulf, Caribbean & deep tropical Atlantic. The brighter colors are expanding dramatically as we near the peak of the hurricane season.:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48, 72 & 96 hours respectively:

East/Central Pacific:

West Pacific:


Global tropical activity:

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