TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION: MONITORING 92L / 20%
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(T. F. “Storm” Walsh III)
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CURRENT 2016 TROPICAL CYCLONE TALLY:
TOTAL STORMS: 2
INTENSE HURRICANES: 0
SPECIAL UPDATE: At 2:00 p.m. EDT, the NHC added a 20% probability of tropical cyclone development to the 5 day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook regarding the possible Caribbean development, which has been shifted west to the southern GOMEX.
Good day everyone!
Today is the official start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. During a “normal” or “average” year, depending on which climatology averages you choose to go with (shorter term average 1981 to present [12, 6, 3] or the longer term average 1851 to present [10, 6, 2] an average year can expect the number of storms, hurricanes and intense hurricanes in the brackets. Earlier, my seasonal forecast reflected totals of 12-14 named storms, 6-7 hurricanes, and 3-4 intense hurricanes. Given the fact we have already encountered 2 storms, one which became Hurricane Alex back in Jan., and looking this morning at some various forecast tools, I have opted to adjust my forecast accordingly. Right now, based on the uncertainty of a couple of items, namely the PDO (is it beginning to go negative?), and the Atlantic SST Anomalies (which have cooled slightly over the MDR over the past month), I am not totally sold on going overboard in increasing the total number of hurricanes. Dr. Phil Klotzbach of CSU updated his seasonal forecast, which now shows 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes, which includes Alex. My original forecast covered the time frame from today, to the final day of the season on Nov. 30. Given the inclusion of Alex and Bonnie, I have revised my seasonal forecast as follows:
TOTAL NAMED STORMS: 14-15
TOTAL HURRICANES: 6-8
MAJOR HURRICANES: 3-4
With that being said, a still monitoring the area that is ex-BONNIE, or 92L, or what ever the hell tag they applied to it. Some sites indicate INVEST 92L, some still ex-BONNIE. In any case, satellite loop imagery indicates there has been an increase of convection near the center over the past few hours. Now, here’s the kicker, NHC designated BONNIE near the Bahamas, when there was an expose, naked LLC with no convection anywhere near the center…and today? The latest advisory from the WPC at 11:00 a.m. EDT provided the following information:
LOCATION…33.4N 76.6W ABOUT 90 MILES…145 KM…SE OF WILMINGTON/NEW HANOVER NORTH CAROLINA.
This low had been quasi-stationary for a few hours, but according to WPC, it is moving to the east.
Analysis of forecast steering maps is a bit unclear, however it appears a slow, general east to ENE motion is in order during the next 48 hours, before this low picks up forward speed and finally (?) begins to move away from the U.S. coast. Based on the only available guidance at the time of analysis, the following track guidance looks plausible, and I am inline with the TVCA forecast track.
The low is forecast to be under light upper level winds (for the next 48-72 hours, before wind shear increases). It is unknown right now, if this will regenerate, but given the forecast of very light upper level winds (less than 15 knots) for the next 48 hours, I cannot rule out the probability of sub-tropical or topical development during this time.
Elsewhere, to different degrees, all of the global models are indicating development in the western to NW Caribbean Sea in approximately 5-7 days from 12Z this morning. The models differ in strength, and right now the consensus seems to be a 1004 mb low. The NAVGEM which was the lead on this, has backed off quite a bit. I am not putting much weight in the initial strength with the models, until we get something the models can initialize. The models are in some agreement on a forecast path, which seems to be over southern Florida, then toward the ENE after crossing the Peninsula. Of course, this will all depend on whether or not we see development, where it may occur, and the current and forecast steering projections at the time of said possible development. Again, models shouldn’t be used to “pinpoint” development or motion, especially in the early stages. They should be used to catch your attention, in order for you to perform your own analysis of other parameters to achieve a better understanding of either “yes, this could occur”, or “no…the models are blowing smoke”.
The current thinking is, we are going to see surface winds slow over the area, allowing for heat to build and convergence to take place. The current wind shear forecast from the GFS shows a very favorable upper level environment developing, indicating a rather large upper level anticyclone at 200 mb, during the time frame in which tropical development is supposed to occur. Based on these factors, and the very warm SST’s in the Caribbean, some type of development seems likely, should these indicators come to fruition. The models have been fairly consistent, and the GFS shear forecast has been persistent in developing that upper level anticyclone over the W. Caribbean. I will not have an update tomorrow, as I work again. I will be monitoring both situations, and will try and have another update sometime Friday afternoon.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm formation is not expected during the next 5 days.
Have a blessed day!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST /SEVERE WEATHER SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AMS