Tag Archives: Caribbean Sea

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.

Invest 92L Becomes Potential Tropical Cyclone Two, Warnings Issued for Windward Islands

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) changed the designation of Invest 92L to Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 on Sunday evening.  NHC implemented a new policy for 2017 which allows it to issue tropical cyclone watches and warnings before it officially classifies a system as a tropical cyclone.  NHC issued Tropical Storm Warnings for some of the Windward Islands because of Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 on Sunday evening in accordance with the new policy.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 was located at latitude 7.9°N and longitude 52.4°W which put it about 630 miles (1015 km) east-southeast of Trinidad.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 23 m.p.h. (37 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.

Tropical Cyclone Warnings have been issued for Barbados, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad, and Tobago.

The circulation of Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 appeared to get better organized on Sunday evening.  Satellite imagery seemed to indicate that a more circular area of thunderstorms was forming around the center of circulation.  The system was already producing sustained winds to 40 m.p.h. (60 km/h) and if a center of circulation develops, it will be classified as a tropical storm.

Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level trough over the eastern Caribbean Sea is generating southwesterly winds that are causing some vertical wind shear.  Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 has about 24 to 36 hours before the shear increases significantly.  After that time the system will weaken.

A subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic is steering Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 toward the west-northwest.  A general west-northwesterly motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Potential Tropical Cyclone 02 will reach the southern Windward Islands later on Monday.  It will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain when it gets there.

Invests 92L, 93L Monitored for Possible Development

Two weather systems designated as Invest 92L and Invest 93L are being monitored for possible development into tropical cyclones.  Invest 92L is a tropical wave that is speeding toward the Windward Islands.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Invest 92L was located at latitude 7.3°N and longitude 49.4°W which put it about 800 miles (1290 km) east-southeast of the Windward Islands.  It was moving toward the west-northwest at 24 m.p.h. (39 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.

Invest 93L consists of a broad area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the surface center of Invest 93L was located at latitude 19.0°N and longitude 87.1°W which put it about 145 miles (230 km) south of Cancun, Mexico.  It was moving toward the north-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 1006 mb.

Invest 92L is a tropical wave and it has not yet develop a well defined surface center.  There is some evidence of cyclonic rotation on visible satellite imagery and there could be a center in the middle levels of the circulation.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms are located north and west of the center.  The are some bands of showers and thunderstorms south and west of the center.  There is some upper level divergence from the thunderstorms north and west of the center, but it is not well developed at the current time.

Invest 92L is in an environment that is moderately favorable to development of a tropical cyclone.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It is in a region of rapid easterly flow, but the wind speed is fairly similar at all levels.  So, there is not a lot of vertical wind shear.  The rapid easterly flow could be inhibiting the formation of a well defined center of circulation.  Invest 92L will be in a moderately favorable environment for about another 36 hours.  An upper level trough over the eastern Caribbean Sea will create increased vertical wind shear when Invest 92L reaches that location.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 60% probability that Invest 92L will develop into a tropical cyclone during the next two days.

Invest 92L is being steered rapidly toward the west-northwest by a subtropical high north of it.  A fairly quick motion toward the west-northwest is expected to continue for the next few days.  On its anticipated track Invest 92L could be near the Windward Islands by late Monday.  Even it if does not develop into a tropical cyclone, the system will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to those islands.

The structure of Invest 93L is much more complicated.  There is a very broad but weak surface low pressure system over the Yucatan peninsula and the center of that low is being used as the center of the Invest.  However, there is a strong mid-level center of circulation near latitude 18.7°N and longitude 82.9°W which is about 115 miles (185 km) west-southwest of Grand Cayman.  Invest 93L is producing winds to near tropical storm force and those winds are occurring in thunderstorms associated with the mid-level circulation.  It is possible that downdrafts in those thunderstorms could transport enough momentum to the surface to generate a new surface center beneath the mid-level center.

Invest 93L is moving in an environment that will be favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone.  An upper level ridge is building between the trough over the eastern Caribbean Sea and another upper level trough over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  The trough over the northwestern Gulf is producing strong southwesterly winds which are causing vertical wind shear over the surface low over the Yucatan peninsula.  However, the upper level ridge is producing an area of slower winds over the mid-level center and there is less vertical wind shear there.  In fact, the upper level ridge is enhancing upper level divergence over the mid-level center.  If that continues, surfaces pressure will begin to decrease in that region.  The National Hurricane is indicating that there is a 70% probability of development of a tropical cyclone or a subtropical cyclone during the next two days.

Invest 93L is moving slowly north-northwestward around the western end of the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  A general north-northwesterly motion is expected to continue for another day or two, but there is some spread in the guidance from the numerical models.  If a cyclone forms from the surface low over the Yucatan peninsula, then the greatest risk would be to the western Gulf of Mexico.  If a new surface center forms farther east under the mid-level center, then there would be a greater risk for the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico.  Interests around the Gulf should monitor Invest 93L.

Invest 90L Meandering Over Southwest Caribbean Sea

An area of low pressure designated as Invest 90L has meandered over the southwestern Caribbean Sea during the past several days.  At 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 81.3°W which put it about 170 miles (275 km) east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Invest 90L was moving toward the west at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Invest 90L consists of a broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Caribbean Sea.  There is a definite area of counterclockwise rotation, but the is no well defined core at the center of the low.  There is a swirl of low clouds and showers at the center of Invest 90L, but there are no thunderstorms near the center.  Thunderstorms form and dissipate in bands around the periphery of the circulation.

The environment around the southwestern Caribbean Sea is not as favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone as it was earlier this week.  Invest 90L is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However, northerly winds blowing across the Gulf of Mexico have transported drier air over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  The drier air has not reached Invest 90L, but the drier air is just to the northwest of the low pressure system.  An upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico is producing southwesterly winds which are blowing over the top of Invest 90L.  Those winds are generating moderate vertical wind shear which is inhibiting the organization of the low pressure system.  Even with the inhibiting factors the National Hurricane Center is indicating that the probability of the formation of a tropical cyclone during the next five days is 70%.

The fact that there is only a low level circulation means that Invest 90L is being steering by winds closer to the surface.  The winds in the lower levels have been pushing the low pressure system very slowly toward the west.  Guidance from numerical models suggests that Invest 90L could meander over the southwestern Caribbean Sea for several more days.