SEVERE WEATHER RISK: ENHANCED
TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION: LOW (30%)
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(T. F. “Storm” Walsh III)
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Good day everyone!
The SPC has designated an ENHANCED risk for Severe Thunderstorms in the day 1 convective outlook. In the southern most enhanced risk area, and into central Kansas, forecast soundings indicate this is where some of the stronger tornado activity could occur, with a few strong, long tracked tornadoes possible.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK DISCUSSION
Looks like a possible early start to the season. Well, we’ve already seen Alex back in January.
For the past few days, the global models have been indicating a weak area of low pressure to develop either in the extreme W. Caribbean Sea, or IVO the Bahamas. The models indicate that this is not to occur for around another 72 hours (approx.). However, I, as well as the NHC have been monitoring an area of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day, associated with an upper level trof, and decaying cold front. The NHC just recently designated this area as a DISTURBANCE, and has issued a STWO (Special Tropical Weather Outlook) as of 3:30 P.M. EDT. The NHC designates a LOW (30%) probability of formation over the next 5 days.
This area of disturbed weather is situated near and NE of the Bahamas. The disturbance, based on satellite loop imagery and current steering layer map, indicates a current motion slowly off to the NE. However, based on the 12Z run of forecast steering layers maps from PSU e-WALL, indications are by this evening (00Z), steering should collapse. By 36-48 hours in the period, the steering flow changes and should begin to move the disturbance toward the W or WNW. Based on this, and the consensus of the current global model runs, this should place the disturbance off the SEUS coast in about 3-5 days.
Analysis of vorticity maps indicates a lack of vorticity right now at the 850 mb level (5000 ft). Based on the current 925 mb vorticity map from PSU e-WALL, an area of vorticity is apparent over the extreme SE Bahamas.
Analysis of current wind shear from CIMSS indicates wind shear over the disturbance is on the order of 30-40 knots. However the diffluent pattern noted in the streamlines is aiding in some moderate divergence aloft. There was no surface convergence noted at the moment however.
Analysis of the current run if the GFS wind shear maps indicate wind shear may begin to relax in about 72 hours, with zonal shear becoming near zero over the projected forecast position, by 96 hours. This could allow for some further organization or slight development. However analysis of the upper level pattern (200 mb streamlines) doesn’t appear all that favorable for much strengthening, even though shear is forecast to diminish. The pattern will help induce diffluence aloft, however I am not too keen on the probability of the pattern allowing for this to transition fully to warm core. It could become tropical, should the front decay totally, however the 200 mb streamline pattern appears to be more baroclinic in nature. One inhibiting factor could be the dry air currently surrounding the disturbance. Based on this and the MSLP forecast of the global models, this may only become a sub-tropical or tropical depression. Once and if this begins to develop, I’ll be looking at the upper level pattern again for any significant changes. At the moment, as far as development and/or track, it is going to be best to play this in real time, until the models have a good initialization on it.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm formation is not expected during the next 7-10 days.
Have a blessed day!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST /SEVERE WEATHER SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AMS