Tag Archives: Caribbean Sea

Tropical Storm Florence Still Dropping Heavy Rain on the Carolinas

Tropical Storm Florence was still dropping heavy rain on parts of the Carolinas on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located at latitude 33.6°N and longitude 79.9°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) south-southwest of Florence, South Carolina.  Tropical Storm Florence was moving toward the west at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.

Although the inner core of Tropical Storm Florence continues to spin down slowly, the circulation covers much of North Carolina, South Carolina, and eastern Georgia.  The center and much of the circulation around Florence is over land, but strong inflow east of the center continues to transport moist air over North Carolina.  The strongest winds are occurring over the Atlantic Ocean in two rainbands east of the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 150 miles (240 km) east of the center of circulation over the Atlantic Ocean.  The winds over North Carolina and South Carolina are generally blowing at less than tropical storm force.  Thunderstorms in some rainbands could produce gusts to tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Florence has moved very slowly toward the west during the past 24 hours.  The extremely slow motion has allowed bands of showers and thunderstorms to persist over locations and rainfall totals have exceed a foot (0.3 meters) in some places.  Parts of the Cape Fear River and Trent River have already reached major flood levels.  Portions of the Neuse River are at moderate flood levels.  Sections of Interstates 95 and 40 are closed because of high water.

The high pressure system that has been blocking a northward movement of Tropical Storm Florence will start to shift to the east on Sunday.  The eastward movement of the high will allow Tropical Storm Florence to move a little faster and turn toward the northwest.  Florence could be over western North Carolina on Sunday evening.  Wind blowing up the eastern slopes of the will enhance rainfall.  Tropical Storm Florence will continue to drop heavy rain over North Carolina and South Carolina on Sunday.  The heavy rain could cause rivers and streams to go higher.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Helene neared the Azores, Tropical Storm Isaac weakened to a tropical wave over the Caribbean Sea and Tropical Storm Joyce was pulled northeast in the wake of Helene.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 40.2°N and longitude 32.1°W which put it about 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Flores, Azores.  Helene was moving toward the northeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for all of the Azores.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Joyce was located at latitude 33.1°N and longitude 39.6°W which put it about 785 miles (1260 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the east-northeast at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

Tropical Storm Chris Develops South of Cape Hatteras, Beryl Nears Lesser Antilles

Tropical Storm Chris developed south of Cape Hatteras on Sunday morning, while Tropical Storm Beryl neared the Lesser Antilles.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Chris was located at latitude 32.9°N and longitude 75.0°W which put it about 160 miles (260 km) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Chris was nearly stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Thunderstorms developed closer to the center of circulation on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated former Tropical Depression Three as Tropical Storm Chris.  The circulation of Chris was organizing quickly.  A band of showers and thunderstorms was wrapping around the center of circulation.  Several other rainbands were revolving around the core of the tropical storm.  The bands northwest of the center were weaker because there was drier air in that part of Chris.  The storms near the center of circulation were beginning to generate upper level divergence.

Tropical Storm Chris will remain in an environment favorable for intensification for the next two or three days.  The water in the upper portion of the Atlantic Ocean east of the Carolinas is warmer than normal.  Tropical Storm Chris will be over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Chris will be southeast of an upper level trough over the northeastern quarter of the U.S. and it will be under a small upper level ridge.  The upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Chris will continue to intensify and it could strengthen to a hurricane in the next day or two.

Since Tropical Storm Chris is under the small upper level ridge, the steering winds are weak.  Chris may not move much during the next 24 to 48 hours.  Tropical Storm Chris is forecast to linger of the coast of the Carolinas for several days.  Eventually an upper level trough will approach from the west and start to push Chris toward the northeast.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Beryl was nearing the Lesser Antilles on Sunday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Beryl was located at latitude 14.4°N and longitude 57.9°W which put it about 210 miles (335 km) east of Martinique.  Beryl was moving toward the west-northwest at 23 m.p.h. (37 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Barthelemy.

Thunderstorms continued to develop near the center of Tropical Storm Beryl on Sunday morning and the weakening trend halted at least temporarily.  Beryl remained a small tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.  There were several bands of showers and thunderstorms in the eastern half of Tropical Storm Beryl.  The bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and low clouds.

Tropical Storm Beryl is forecast to into a region where the easterly winds in the lower levels are stronger.  That would increase the vertical wind shear and make it difficult for the circulation to stay vertically coherent.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  So, there will be enough energy in the upper ocean to support a tropical storm if the wind shear is not too strong.  Tropical Storm Beryl is forecast to weaken when it moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea, but that will depend on how strong the vertical shear gets.

Tropical Storm Beryl is moving south of the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean which is steering Beryl toward the west-northwest.  A general motion toward the west-northwest is forecast to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Beryl will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe during the next few hours,

Beryl Strengthens to a Hurricane East of the Lesser Antilles

Former Tropical Storm Beryl strengthened into a hurricane east of the Lesser Antilles on Friday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Beryl was located at latitude 10.7°N and longitude 46.5°W which put it about 1045 miles (1685 km) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles.  Beryl was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

The circulation of Hurricane Beryl remains very small.  There is an eye with a diameter of 6 miles (9 km) at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the hurricane force winds are occurring in this ring of storms.  Several short, narrow bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms near the core are generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 10 miles (15 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center.

Hurricane Beryl will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 48 hours.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It is moving south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  However, the wind speeds are similar at all levels and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Beryl is likely to intensify during the next day or so.  There is less mass in motion in a very small hurricane and so it can intensify quickly, but a small hurricane can also weaken quickly if vertical wind shear increases.

Hurricane Beryl is moving south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean and the high is steering Beryl toward the west.  A general motion toward the west-northwest is forecast for the next several days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Beryl could approach the Lesser Antilles later on Sunday.  Beryl could be a hurricane when it nears the Lesser Antilles and watches and warnings may be issued later on Friday or on Saturday.

Low Pressure Forms Near Northwest Caribbean Sea

An area of low pressure formed near the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Monday and the system has been designated as Invest 93L.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Invest 93L was located at latitude 14.0°N and longitude 83.0°W which put it about 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios.  It was moving toward the north at 6 m.p.h. (9 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 1006 mb.

An area of low pressure formed in the southern portion of an area of showers and thunderstorms that has persisted over the western Caribbean Sea for several days.  The circulation of Invest 93L is not well organized.  There is no well organized center of circulation nor are there well organized rainbands.  Most of the showers and thunderstorms are occurring in the northern portion of the circulation.  There are not many showers or thunderstorms in the southern half of the circulation.  Much of the western half of the circulation is over Nicaragua and Honduras.

Invest 93L will move through an environment mostly favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone during the next few days.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  Invest 93L is near the axis of an upper level ridge.  So, the upper level winds are weak over the system.  There are stronger winds farther north over the northern Caribbean Sea.  Invest 93L will be slow to develop as long as almost half of the circulation is over land.  Development will be more likely when the center moves farther away from land.

Invest 93L is just west of the axis of the ridge, which is steering the system slowly toward the north.  That general motion is forecast to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Invest 93L will move over the northwestern Caribbean Sea later this week.  Invest 93L will drop locally heavy rain over Nicaragua and Honduras and it could cause flash floods in some areas.

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.

Hurricane Irma Strengthens Rapidly Over Atlantic

Hurricane Irma strengthened rapidly as it moved over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Irma was located at latitude 16.9°N and longitude 33.8°W which put it about 1845 miles (2975 km) east of the Leeward Islands.  Irma was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

Hurricane Irma intensified rapidly on Thursday morning.  A circular eye developed at the center of circulation and a ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye.  Numerous bands of showers and thunderstorms developed outside the core of Irma.  Hurricane Irma has a very circular, symmetrical shape.  Thunderstorms in the core of Irma were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away in all directions from the hurricane.

Hurricane Irma will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few days.  Irma will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Irma is under the western end of an upper level ridge, but the upper level winds are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  Irma is likely to intensify during the next few days and it is forecast to become a major hurricane.  Hurricanes that intensify rapidly often develop concentric eyewalls, which cause fluctuations in their intensity.  It is highly likely that Hurricane Irma will go through one of more eyewall replacement cycles which will cause temporary fluctuations in the wind speed.  Eyewall replacement cycles often result in a larger hurricane and Hurricane Irma has the potential to develop into a big classic Cape Verde hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is nearing a weaker region in the subtropical ridge to its north.  The weakness is allowing Irma to move toward the west-northwest.  The ridge is expected to strengthen and steer Hurricane Irma more toward the west or west-southwest during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Irma is forecast to be a major hurricane east of the Leeward Islands in five days.  The uncertainty about the future track of Hurricane Irma increases after that time.  People around the western Atlantic need to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma.

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 Harvey Develops East of Barbados

A reconnaissance plane found that a center of circulation and winds to tropical storm force had developed in a tropical wave previously designated as Invest 91L and Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.  Based on data collected by the recon plane the National Hurricane Center named the system Tropical Storm Harvey on Thursday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Harvey was located at latitude 13.0°N and longitude 55.8°W which put it about 250 miles (400 km) east of Barbados.  Harvey was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (30 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 1004 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Dominica.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Harvey became better organized on Thursday.  A low level center of circulation developed and bands of showers and thunderstorms began to revolve around the center.  Intermittent bursts of thunderstorms occurred near and to the west of the center of circulation.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Harvey is asymmetrical.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms are occurring in the western half of the circulation.  The bands in the eastern half of the circulation consist primarily of showers and low clouds.  Thunderstorms near the core of Harvey were generating some upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the south and west of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Harvey will be moving through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification.  Harvey will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level ridge northeast of Puerto Rico is producing northeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of Tropical Storm Harvey.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear which is probably the cause of the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  Tropical Storm Harvey is likely to get better organized on Friday and it could strengthen.  The intensity guidance is mixed.  Some guidance forecasts that Harvey will become a hurricane as it moves over the Caribbean Sea, while other guidance weaken the tropical storm back to a tropical wave.  So far, the guidance has underpredicted the strength of Tropical Storm Harvey and so strengthen would seem more likely.

Tropical Storm Harvey is being steered quickly toward the west by the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  A general westerly or west-northwesterly track is forecast for the next few days.  On its anticipate track Tropical Storm Harvey could reach Barbados in about 12 hours.  Harvey could also reach Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday.  Tropical Storm Harvey will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to those islands when it moves over them.

Tropical Storm Bret Forms Near Trinidad

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 on Monday afternoon as it moved closer to Trinidad and the plane found a closed circulation.  Based on data from the reconnaissance plane the National Hurricane Center classified the system as Tropical Storm Bret.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Bret was located at latitude 9.5°N and longitude 60.5°W which put it about 85 miles (135 km) southeast of Trinidad.  Bret was moving toward the west-northwest at 25 m.p.h. (40 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 1008 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Grenada, Trinidad, Tobago and the coast of Venezuela from Pedernales to Cumana.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.

The reconnaissance plane found a well organized center of circulation at the surface.  The strongest winds were occurring in vigorous bands of thunderstorms located north of the center of circulation.  Weaker showers and thunderstorms were occurring in bands south of the center of circulation.  The thunderstorms north of the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the north of the tropical storm.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Bret is fairly small.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 80 miles (130 km) to the north of the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Bret will move through an environment that will only be marginally favorable for intensification on Tuesday.  Bret will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level ridge east of Bret and an upper level trough to the west are producing southerly winds which are generating moderate vertical wind shear.  The vertical wind shear may be responsible for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  The shear will also inhibit intensification during the next 24 hours, although some intensification may possible.  When Bret moves into the Caribbean Sea, the vertical wind shear will increase.  Tropical Storm Bret will also move very close to the north coast of Venezuela.  It could pull drier air from South America into the southern part of the circulation, which would contribute to further weakening.

The subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean is steering Tropical Storm Bret rapidly toward the west-northwest.  A fast west-northwesterly motion is forecast to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Bret will move across Trinidad, near the north coast of Venezuela and toward Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.  It will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to all of those places.