Tag Archives: Belize

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen Prompts Warnings for Cuba and Bahamas

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen prompted the governments of Cuba and the Bahamas to issue Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches for portions of those countries on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen was located at latitude 17.5°N and longitude 84.5°W which put it about 415 miles (670 km) south-southwest of Havana, Cuba.  It was moving toward the north-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also issued for the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.  Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the Central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane investigated the system formerly known as Invest 93L on Friday afternoon.  The plane found sustained winds to tropical storm force.  The plane also found a broad circulation center with several smaller centers of circulation revolving around inside the broader center.  Based on the observations from the plane, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) chose not to upgrade the system to Tropical Storm Philippe in its 5:00 p.m. EDT advisory.  However, NHC did change the designation of the system from Invest 93L to Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen.  If a more well defined center of circulation develops, then NHC could still change designation of the system to Tropical Storm Philippe.

The circulation of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen is still organizing.  As mentioned above, there is a broad center of counterclockwise rotation.  There are also several smaller counterclockwise swirls within the broader center.  More showers and thunderstorms developed closer to the center of circulation on Friday afternoon.  The storms closer to the center of circulation were generating some upper level divergence which was pumping away mass to the northeast of the system.  Some bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing in the outer portions of the circulation.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The system is embedded in a flow over warm moist air.  However there is a stationary front northwest of the system and there is cooler, drier air north of the stationary front.  The system is currently under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The upper level winds are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen could slowly intensify during the next 24 hours as the circulation becomes more well organized.

The ridge east of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen is steering the system toward the north-northwest.  That general motion should continue for another six to twelve hours.  An upper level trough will approach the system from the west on Saturday and the trough will start to steer it more toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will approach Cuba on Saturday afternoon.  The center of the system will move south of the Florida Keys on Saturday night and it could move across the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday.

The system will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to those locations.  The locally heavy rain could cause flooding.  There could be a storm surge of several feet (one to two meters) on parts of the south coast of Cuba, where the wind blows the water toward the coast.  There could also be some storm surge along the coasts of the Florida Keys.

Tropical Storm Selma Forms South of El Salvador

Tropical Storm Selma formed south of El Salvador on Friday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Selma was located at latitude 11.1°N and longitude 89.5°W which put it about 180 miles (290 km) south of San Salvador, El Salvador.  Selma was moving toward the northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the entire coast of El Salvador.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the entire Pacific Coast of Guatemala.

A distinct low level center of circulation formed in a larger area of thunderstorms south of El Salvador on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Selma.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Selma is very asymmetrical.  Most of the showers and thunderstorms are located in the western half of the circulation.  There are bands of showers in the eastern half of the circulation.  An upper level ridge centered over the Yucatan Peninsula is producing easterly winds which are blowing over the top of the circulation.  Those winds are causing moderate vertical wind shear which is the primary reason for the asymmetrical structure of the circulation.  Selma is a small tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Selma will be moving through an environment that is neutral for intensification.  Selma will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will inhibit further intensification.  If the upper level winds weaken, then some intensification may be possible.  However, if the upper level winds get stronger, then Selma could weaken to a tropical depression.

A large counterclockwise circulation centered over Nicaragua and Honduras is steering Tropical Storm Selma slowly toward the northwest and the general motion is expected to continue on Friday.  The upper level ridge over the Yucatan Peninsula will weaken on Saturday and that will allow Tropical Storm Selma to move more toward the north.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Selma will make landfall on the coast of El Salvador or Guatemala on Saturday.

Tropical Storm Selma will bring some gusty winds to the coast.  However, locally heavy rain and flash floods will be the primary risks associated with Tropical Storm Selma when it makes landfall.

Tropical Storm Nate Makes Landfall in Nicaragua

Tropical Depression Sixteen strengthened into Tropical Storm Nate and Nate made landfall on the coast of northeastern Nicaragua on Thursday morning.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Nate was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 84.0°W which put it about 50 miles (80 km) south-southwest of Puerto Lempira, Honduras.  Nate was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

The center of Tropical Depression Sixteen strengthened on Thursday morning before it made landfall in Nicaragua and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Nate.  Showers and thunderstorms continue to develop near the center of circulation even though it is moving across northeastern Nicaragua.  The winds to tropical storm force are occurring in bands of showers and storms east of the center over the Caribbean Sea.  The winds are weaker in the portions of the circulation that are over land.

Tropical Storm Nate will not strengthen while the center is over land.  Nate will move into a favorable environment when it moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday.  The Sea Surface Temperature will be near 30°C.  An upper level low will cause southerly winds to blow toward the top of the circulation, but the vertical wind shear is not likely to be strong enough to prevent intensification.  It could take a few hours for the inner core of the circulation to reorganize after it moves back over water.  Once the inner core reorganizes, then a period of rapid intensification could occur.  Nate could become a hurricane over the northwest Caribbean Sea or southern Gulf of Mexico.

An upper level low west of Florida will drift westward over the Gulf of Mexico.  The upper low and an upper level ridge east of Florida will combine to steer Tropical Storm Nate toward the north-northwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nate will emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday.  Nate could be near the Yucatan peninsula on Friday night and it could move into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.  Nate could approach the northern Gulf Coast on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Tropical Storm Nate is dropping heavy rain on parts of Nicaragua and Honduras.  There is the potential for flooding in those areas.  Nate is likely to be a hurricane when it approaches the Gulf Coast.  It will be capable of causing wind damage, a storm surge and locally heavy rain.

Tropical Depression 16 Organizes Near Nicaragua

Tropical Depression Sixteen organized near Nicaragua on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Depression Sixteen was located at latitude 12.8°N and longitude 82.7°W which put it about 95 miles (155 km) south-southeast of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.  It was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Herrero to Cabo Catoche, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua to Punta Castilla, Honduras.

The circulation of Tropical Depression Sixteen exhibited more organization on Wednesday.  An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft found a distinct surface center of circulation on Wednesday afternoon.  More thunderstorms began to form near the center on Wednesday evening.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms developed on the northern and southern sides of the circulation.  There were sustained winds in some of the bands that were near tropical storm force.

Tropical Depression Sixteen will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next several days.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Some of the western part of the circulation is passing over Nicaragua and the increased friction is the only factor inhibiting intensification.  If the center of circulation stays over water, then the depression will likely strengthen into a tropical storm on Thursday.  If the center of circulation moves over northeastern Nicaragua, then the depression will weaken.  The system is likely to strengthen when it moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday.

A ridge of high pressure is steering the tropical depression slowly toward the northwest and that motion is expected to continue for another day or so.  An upper low near the west coast of Florida is going to move west across the Gulf of Mexico.  When the upper low gets northwest of Tropical Depression Sixteen, it will start to pull the depression more toward the north.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Depression Sixteen will move near or over northeastern Nicaragua on Thursday.  The depression could drop very heavy rain and cause floods in parts of Nicaragua and Honduras.  It is forecast to move over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday and the depression could be near the northeastern Yucatan peninsula by Friday night.  The depression is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.  There is more uncertainty about the future track of the system after that time.

Low Pressure Develops Over Southwest Caribbean Sea

An area of low pressure developed over the southwestern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday afternoon and the system was designated Invest 90L.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.0°N and longitude 80.7°W which put it about 200 miles (320 km) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

The circulation of Invest 90L was still organizing on Tuesday afternoon.  The area of low pressure appeared to have a distinct center of circulation.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were forming south and east of the center of circulation.  There were fewer showers and thunderstorms northwest of the center.  There was some upper level divergence that was pumping mass away to the south and west of the center.

Invest 90L will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification.  The Sea Surface Temperature in the southwest Caribbean Sea is near 30°C and the warm water is fairly deep.  The energy content of the water in that area is high.  An upper level ridge centered over the western Gulf of Mexico is producing northeasterly which are blowing toward the northwestern side of Invest 90L.  Those winds are producing some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not likely to be strong enough to prevent the formation of a tropical cyclone.  Invest 90L is likely to become a tropical depression or storm during the next 24 to 48 hours.  If the center remains east of Nicaragua, rapid intensification could occur after the circulation consolidates around the low level center.

Invest 90L is moving slowly toward the west-northwest as it moves near the southern side of a mid-level ridge.  That ridge could steer Invest 90L close to the coast of Nicaragua during the next several days.  The mid-level ridge is forecast to move east to near the Bahamas during the next 24 to 48 hours.  After that time, southerly winds are forecast to steer Invest 90L toward the north.  On its anticipated track the center of Invest 90L could move very close to Nicaragua during the next day or two.  It could bring locally heavy rain to Nicaragua and Honduras.  Invest 90L could move into the Gulf of Mexico in a few days.  The intensity of Invest 90L when it reaches the Gulf will depend on how much it interacts with Nicaragua and the Yucatan peninsula.  If the center stays over water, then it could be a hurricane when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.  If the center spends more time over land, then the system will be weaker when it reaches the Gulf.  Some models are forecasting that a hurricane could make landfall on the northern Gulf Coast during the weekend.

Tropical Storm Harvey Weakens to a Tropical Wave

Tropical Storm Harvey weakened to a tropical wave on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Wave Harvey was located at latitude 14.3°N and longitude 71.8°W which put it about 765 miles (1230 km) east of Cape Gracias a Dios.  The wave was moving toward the west at 22 m.p.h. (35 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

An upper level ridge east of Harvey produced northerly winds that blew toward the top of the former tropical storm.  A subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean produced strong easterly winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere.  The combination of northerly winds in the upper levels and easterly winds in the lower levels produced strong vertical wind shear which disrupted the vertical structure of Harvey.  A reconnaissance plane was unable to locate a low level center of low pressure on Saturday evening and the National Hurricane Center reclassified the system as a tropical wave.

Tropical Wave Harvey will continue to move west across the Caribbean Sea during the next several days.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  So, there will be sufficient energy in the ocean to support a tropical cyclone. When the tropical wave moves under the core of the upper level ridge, the wind shear will decrease.  If the tropical wave moves into a more favorable environment and slows down, a new center of circulation could redevelop.  Models are not forecasting significant redevelopment of the tropical wave at the current time, but the National Hurricane Center will continue to monitor the wave for possible redevelopment.

Tropical Storm Franklin Makes Landfall on Yucatan

The center of Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall on the southeast coast of the Yucatan peninsula on Monday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Franklin was located at latitude 19.1°N and longitude 87.3°W which put it about 75 miles (120 km) east-northeast of Chetumal, Mexico.  Franklin was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto de Veracruz to Rio Panuco, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Chetumal to Sabancuy, Mexico and from Belize City northward to the Belize/Mexico border.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Sabancuy to Puerto de Veracruz, Mexico.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Franklin became better organized on Monday, but thunderstorms were unable to consolidate around the core of the circulation.  A ring of showers and weaker thunderstorms surrounds the center of circulation.  A band of stronger thunderstorms curls around the eastern side of the circulation.  The are weaker bands of showers and thunderstorms in the western half of the circulation.  The thunderstorms in the eastern side of Franklin were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Franklin will weaken as it moves over the Yucatan peninsula.  Franklin will spend approximately 18 hours over land and it will be a weaker tropical storm or tropical depression by the time it reaches the southern Gulf of Mexico.  The Sea Surface Temperature of the southern Gulf of Mexico is near 30°C.  The upper level winds should be weak and there is likely to be little vertical wind shear when Franklin moves over the southern Gulf.  Franklin is likely to intensify when it moves over the Gulf of Mexico and it could strengthen into a hurricane.

A subtropical high pressure system is steering Tropical Storm Franklin toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for another day or two.  On its anticipated track Franklin will move across the Yucatan peninsula on Tuesday.  Franklin will produce gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall.  Floods could occur in some locations.

Tropical Storm Franklin Develops Over Northwest Caribbean Sea

A center of circulation developed in a system previously designated as Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven and the National Hurricane Center named the system Tropical Storm Franklin on Sunday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Franklin was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 83.0°W which put it about 380 miles (610 km) east-southeast of Chetumal, Mexico.  Franklin was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Chetumal to Campeche, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Belize City, Belize northward to the Belize/Mexico border.

Visible satellite images just before sunset suggested that a center of circulation had formed in the tropical wave previously designated Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven and the National Hurricane Center named it Tropical Storm Franklin.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Franklin is still not well organized.  The apparent center is located near the western edge of an area of thunderstorms.  Most of the thunderstorms are still forming east of the system, which indicates that vertical wind shear is probably still affecting the circulation.  The thunderstorms are producing some upper level divergence which is pumping mass away to the east of the tropical storm.

The environment ahead of Tropical Storm Franklin will become more favorable for intensification.  Franklin will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough west of Franklin is producing westerly winds which are causing the vertical wind shear.  The trough is expected to weaken on Monday and when that happens the shear will diminish.  Warm water and less shear should allow Tropical Storm Franklin to strengthen before it reaches the Yucatan peninsula.  Franklin will weaken when it moves over land, but it is likely to re-intensify when it moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Franklin is being steered toward the west-northwest by a subtropical high centered over the Atlantic Ocean.  A general west-northwesterly motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Franklin could approach the Yucatan peninsula in about 24 hours.  Franklin will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to that area.  The heavy rain could cause flooding in some locations.

Tropical Storm Warning Issued for Mexico Due to Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven

The National Hurricane Center changed the designation of Invest 90L to Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven because of the need to issue a Tropical Storm Warning for portions of Mexico.  At 5: 00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven was located at latitude 15.6°N and longitude 82.0°W which put it about 90 miles (145 km) east-northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the portion of the coast from Chetumal to Campeche, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from Belize City to the Belize/Mexico border.

A broad area of low pressure formed in a strong tropical wave over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  There is not a well defined center of circulation within the broad area of low pressure.  Most of the thunderstorms are developing in the eastern half of the circulation.  There are few thunderstorms in the western half of the system.  The thunderstorms in the eastern half of the low are generating some upper level divergence which is pumping out mass to the east of the low.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven will move through a relatively favorable environment over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 30°C.  A small upper level trough to the west of the low is producing westerly winds which are causing moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear is probably the reason why most of the thunderstorms are in the eastern side of the circulation.  The upper trough is forecast to weaken and the shear is expected to diminish.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven could become a tropical storm over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, which is why the Tropical Storm Warning was issued.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven is being steered to the west-northwest by a subtropical high pressure system centered over the Atlantic Ocean.  That general motion is expected to continue for the next several days.  On its anticipated track Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven could reach the Yucatan Peninsula within 36 hours.  It could bring gusty winds and heavy rain when it moves over the Yucatan.  The system could restrengthen when it moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

NHC Monitoring Two Areas for Tropical Development

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) was monitoring two areas for possible tropical development on Thursday afternoon.  A strong tropical wave was moving through the southeastern Caribbean Sea and the wave was designated as Invest 90L.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.2°N and longitude 65.8°W which put it about 160 miles (260 km) east of Bonaire.  The tropical wave was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55km/h) and there were gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1011 mb.

Another tropical wave moved off the coast of West Africa on Thursday and NHC designated that wave as Invest 99L.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 99L was located at latitude 10.2°N and longitude 20.9°W which put it about 370 miles (595 km) south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.  The tropical wave was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb.

The tropical wave over the southeastern Caribbean Sea will have the most immediate impact to land.  The wave could bring gusty winds to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao within 24 hours.  The circulation of Invest 90L is elongated in an east-west direction and that is probably because of strong easterly winds blowing in the lower atmosphere.  There are some indications of a counterclockwise rotation on loops of visible satellite imagery, but it is not clear if the rotation extends all the way down to the surface.  The tropical wave is generating winds to near tropical storm force in the northern portion of the wave.  There are numerous thunderstorms developing along the axis of the wave.

Invest 90L is moving under the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing southerly winds which are blowing over the top of the tropical wave and those winds are contributing to moderate vertical wind shear.  The strong easterly winds in the lower levels are also contributing to the shear.  Invest 90L could develop into a tropical cyclone when it moves farther west.  The shear could diminish and the Sea Surface Temperatures in the western Caribbean Sea and Bay of Campeche are very warm.  NHC is indicating that there is a 20% probability Invest 90L will become a tropical cyclone during the next five days.

The tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic has a better chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.  Invest 99L is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It is moving under the eastern end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is causing northeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the tropical wave.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear.  When the wave moves farther west, it will move under weaker winds and the wind shear will decrease.  NHC is indicating that there is a 70% probability that Invest 99L will become a tropical cyclone during the next five days.