Good afternoon everyone! Thanks for your patience.
There has been little to no change with the weather in the southern Caribbean Sea, and wind shear is still prevalent over the area due to a TUTT in the central Caribbean at the moment, which is evident in satellite loop imagery, especially water vapor.
Once again, the only model indicating development is the CMC GGEM, which indicates a split of 2 lows now, with the much weaker forming in the western Caribbean and moving inland over Mexico in a few days. The second, which the CMC initiates development north of the Caribbean showing a tropical storm, brings it across Cuba into the Caribbean, then eventually across the Yucatan Peninsula, then into the GOMEX toward S. Texas.
Right now, without other model support, I am very skeptical of a strong tropical storm and where the CMC originates it, however based on the persistent forecast of favorable parameters (i.e. MJO, upper level winds, TUTT backing away, warm sst’s) I cannot totally rule out some type of development in the Caribbean Sea over the next 4-5 days. Also, based on analysis of the updated forecast steering layers maps, valid for 00Z this evening, a path much like depicted by the CMC could occur if something develops.
The current MJO index, and MJO itself are now in Octant 8, or Phase 8, and is forecast to move into Phase 1 within the next 4 days. If nothing initiates by then, or shortly after, this may be the last chance for the season as the MJO continues eastward after that. As of yesterday, the MJO Upward motion phase was in our basin, as shown in green on the 200 mb IR Velocity Potential Map.
As stated, upper level winds are still not conducive for any tropical development at the moment, however the GFS wind shear forecast HAS NOT CHANGED for the past 3-4 days, calling for upper level winds to become more favorable in about 24-36 hours, beginning in the eastern Caribbean, and shifting west to the W. Caribbean and Yucatan Channel area over the next 5-6 days.
An increase of vorticity has been noted as well over the past 24 hours at the 925 mb level at various locations in the Caribbean.
I will continue to monitor the Caribbean Sea during the next 96 hours for any significant changes or signs of development.
Have a blessed evening!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FL AMS
CERTIFIED SKYWARN OFFICIAL STORM SPOTTER (advanced)