Category Archives: Tropical Weather

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Latest On Category 5 Hurricane Irma; Still Maintaining Strength

To say Hurricane Irma is resilient might be the biggest understatement of the year. Irma continues to devastate the eastern islands of the Caribbean with 185 mph winds and will continue to do so in the days to come. Here is the 5 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Warnings in place for all of Puerto Rico, the northern coast of Hispaniola and the central and eastern Bahamas. It is incredible that Irma has maintained 185 mph strength for over 24 hours.

Here is a satellite representation of Irma as it tracks WNW to the north of Puerto Rico. Notice the “buzzsaw” look that Irma possesses… this is indicative of its strength and perfect (or near-perfect) structure. Irma is not expected to weaken much between now and the weekend. It may even strengthen some north of Hispaniola, a notorious hotbed for hurricane intensification.

Below is a snapshot of water temperatures. Note the region of very warm waters (upper 80s) beginning to the north of Hispaniola and becoming even warmer between the Bahamas and Cuba. This could further strengthen Irma as these waters are in its path. Surreal to think, but the possibility cannot be discounted.

WHERE IRMA WILL TRACK: If I would put my money on one particular track over another, I’d be a fool. Model tracks will continue their swaying back-and-forth act so I’ve essentially tossed those in the dumpster long ago. I like to go directly to the source… and that is the upper air pattern. This will always tell us a more comprehensive story of where Irma could go. The upper air pattern tells us we have to continue watching a number of things over the next 24-48 hours. Let’s recap…

  • Guess what tops this list? If you said the trough in the east, you’d be correct. Initial thoughts were that the Irma’s connection with the trough could kick it out to sea, but it will almost certainly miss that scenario. Now we look to how soon Irma begins its northward trough and this will be determined by the timing of that same trough.
  • Irma is continuing its track in a westerly heading as the ridge to its northeast keeps building to the west preventing a turn north, sooner. As soon as Irma distances itself far enough away from the ridge, it will begin its turn north. When that occurs depends on the timing of the trough and how soon it distances itself from the ridge.
  • Thursday into Friday is the timeframe we need to be concerned with as we will almost certainly know if Irma is far along enough from the ridge and whether it can establish a connection with the trough.
  • In the event that Irma misses the trough connection, I suspect we will have to increase the chances of Irma skirting across the west coast of Florida and perhaps the far eastern Gulf. This scenario will be talked more in-depth if it becomes a greater threat.

THOUGHTS: As far as landfall is concerned, regardless of where or IF it makes landfall in Florida, widespread impacts of a major hurricane will be felt. After scouring over the upper air pattern, I’m looking at these scenarios (in order of likeliness)… Yes, I could be wrong, but these are what I suspect for now.

  1. Irma goes into southern Florida
  2. Irma skirts up the East Coast of Florida, then hooks northwest
  3. Irma remains just offshore of eastern Florida and pushes toward the Carolinas.
  4. In the event Irma misses the trough connection, then we have to acknowledge additional Gulf scenarios.

Further, I do not buy the sharp north as models are indicating at this point. I am thinking that the turn will be more gradual, but that is another item to watch closely moving forward over the next day or two. My biggest concern is the potential for Irma to further intensify between Cuba, the Bahamas and Hispaniola.

CALL TO ACTION: We like simplicity, we do not like complicated messages during an extreme weather event. Simply put, those from Florida to the Southeast US Coast, continue to have serious interest and concern with Irma. Florida, I would even go a step farther and say be prepared for conditions characteristic of a major hurricane this weekend.

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Latest & Thoughts On Invest 90L In The Caribbean And Invest 99L In The Atlantic

To start the month, we are seeing an upswing in Atlantic tropical activity. Climatologically, this upswing is falling into perfect alignment with the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season which spans, historically, across August and September. Looking at the latest NHC discussions, we note two areas of interest: (1) a wave in the southern Caribbean (Invest 90L) and (2) a wave in the Atlantic Basin (Invest 99L). Both waves have a decent chance at development through the week ahead.

WHAT WE KNOW: As noted, both areas of interest have a decent chance of development, in the short-term. There is greater confidence in Invest 90L having some type of impact on the Yucatan Peninsula and then into the Bay of Campeche over the next several days. Below are model plots for Invest 90L.

WHAT WE ARE STILL LEARNING: With Invest 99L in the Atlantic Basin, as noted, development is likely for at the least the near term. Up until the Lesser Antilles (set of islands that begin the Caribbean Islands), model plots are in fairly solid agreement on taking Invest 99L toward the Caribbean Islands. After this, things become uncertain, and for a number of reasons. For a few days, model output has taken Invest 99L north of the islands, and while a few still do, recent trends have suggested a slight shift south with the plots, overall. Below are model plots for Invest 99L.

UNCERTAINTIES: The first item that would lead to uncertainty, at the moment, with the future of Invest 99L is wind shear. An increased and elongated corridor of shear is situated directly in the forecast path of Invest 99L. Such conditions are unfavorable for long-term development as wind shear would tear the system apart. The second item is the topography of the Caribbean Islands. The islands feature rough terrain as mountains dominate the chain of islands. If the system manages to survive the shear, the terrain of the islands would almost certainly be its ultimate demise. The third item is the magnitude and extent of the SAL (Saharan Air Layer). This is dry air coming off the west coast of Africa that inhibits storm development across the Atlantic Basin. The SAL can extend as far west as the Caribbean Islands and a reason we saw minimal activity up until now. Shown below is a representation of shear tendency over the last 24 hours. Reds and Yellows indicate current shear. Note the elongated pocket of shear in the path of Invest 99L, some 40 to 50 knots.

Shown below is the current SAL coming off the west coast of Africa. When at its greatest, SAL produces dry air that inhibits tropical development in the Main Development Region.


FUTURE OF INVEST 99L: It’s honestly hard to say with great certainty right now. Some of the biggest questions that are naturally surfacing are whether this will survive future conditions and whether it can make it into the Gulf or up the US Eastern seaboard. That’s a tough call, and one that should not be made right now. Any Invest 99L forecasts out there right now that are calling for a Gulf or East Coast storm are just purely irresponsible. There are a lot of questions with this area of interest that need time and more data in order to be answered:

  • Can Invest 99L survive the shear in place?
  • Will shear dissipate ahead of the system dissipate?
  • If shear dissipates and Invest 99L strengthens, will it strengthen to fast and recurve out to sea or head up the East coast?
  • Will the SAL impact the development of Invest 99L

These are all questions that are surfacing, and ones we just don’t have the answer to at the moment, but in the days ahead, we should begin getting a better understanding of Invest 99L as the system becomes more organized.

PREPAREDNESS IS CRITICAL: No matter what the case, if you live anywhere from the southeast Texas coast to coastal Maine, be prepared during hurricane season. Pay close attention to the forecasts and have a safety plan in place.




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Hurricane Matthew: A Concerning, Heightened Threat For East Florida, Southeast Coast.

Hurricane Matthew already has a very lengthy resume and track record as it barrels into the Bahamas, having torn through parts of Haiti and Cuba. Matthew continues to remain a high-end Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph sustained winds. Now that is entering the Bahamas, there is increased water real-estate, water that is very warm will serve as jet fuel for Matthew. Already once a Category 5 storm, Matthew could easily strength back into a Category 4 and could very well impact the east coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm as well.

Here is a look at the latest NHC Advisory as of 5 PM.



Looking at this track, they say “never say never”, and that is something always to keep in mind, especially in meteorology. Does that apply to Matthew’s track concerning the Northeast Coast? Yes. While the threat is significantly less, something tells me not to wave the “all clear flag” just yet, but I would say we’re getting much closer to being able to do so.

What is most concern is the track Matthew is likely to take concerning Florida. Usually a landfall forecast, while it naturally takes time to determine, it can be done and is done often. With Matthew, it will be exponentially more difficult as Matthew is looking like it will slide up much of the length of Florida’s East Coast as a potential Category 4 storm, making it harder to point out one concrete location for landfall, since it will be gliding the coastline or remain just slightly offshore as it tracks up the Southeast US coastline.

Based on what model guidance was showing last night, it seems as though the NHC has adjusted their forecast cone of uncertainty, accordingly. Last night’s runs of the GFS (American) model and ECMWF (European) model had illustrated Matthew sliding up the East Coast of Florida curving out, looping and coming back up to hit Florida for a second time. Insane, right? Well, according to analogs (historical storms with similar location, environmental conditions to Matthew), there have been a number of storms to do this. Such a track is not out of question, unfortunately.

Here is a look at what the GFS is suggesting for Matthew. Keep in mind, this solution has been evident for several runs. Even the historically accurate ECMWF has had a similar solution.gfs_mslp_wind_seus_fh24-138

TIMING: As we head into Thursday, Matthew will continue tracking its way through the Bahamas. By early Friday morning, it should be nearing the East Florida coastline. By Saturday, Mathew should be just off the coast of South Carolina and by Sunday/Monday, Matthew should be beginning its recurve back into the Atlantic. Where it goes from there is still a mystery… whether it does a loop around and come back towards Florida or just continue out to sea remains in questions. I do suspect, though, that Nicole could have some effects on Matthew’s track as it meanders off the Southeast US coast. Keep in mind, that with such an intricate forecast, adjustments in the overall forecast may be and will likely be needed, to some degree.

IMPACTS: It doesn’t take a meteorologist to have to say that impacts along Florida’s east coast, and even points inland, will be significant, devastating and life-threatening with a Category 3/4 system in the forecast, that’s just common sense with such a high-impact storm as Matthew is. A major concern I have is how, while Matthew is expected to restrengthen as it heads from the Bahamas to the east coast of Florida, how much time/real-estate will have to restrengthen. Either way, we can expect hurricane force winds, significant surge, significant and widespread flooding, blinding rains, extreme beach inundation possible and more than likely from a storm the caliber of Matthew. If Matthew continues on its projected course and with its strength (or strengthens back into a Category 4 storm which is likely), expect devastating conditions with threats to life and property. This is a storm you want to take with the utmost seriousness as impacts are very likely to become grave.

With the forecast track taking up Matthew up along the east coast of Florida, wave heights just offshore could get in the range of 30-40+ ft, depending on the strength and location of Matthew, relative to the east Florida coastline.


BOTTOM LINE: Preparations should be underway in advance of Matthew across the Southeast US, especially Florida. Statewide evacuations have been ordered for several states in preparation for Matthew. Unless something changes to drastically alter the forecast, or strength of Matthew, this storm will be a very serious threat to the east Florida coast and areas inland, and for coastal Southeast regions through potions of the coastal Carolinas. There is no need to panic, just think with a clear, concise mindset, make needed preparations and you will be fine.

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Tropical Storm Hermine: News, Notes and Concerns

As of earlier today, Tropical Storm Hermine had formed in the Gulf of Mexico as expected. Right off the bat, what concerned me was that it was stationary in the Gulf as convection was really flaring up. What does that mean? It was beginning to really develop as it has been in an environment most favorable for intensification that it had been in, yet. As of the NHC’s 4pm Advisory update, Hermine has now begun its northerly heading, but moving very slowly… at 7 mph. While not stationary any longer, this speed is still slow enough for continued development in the Gulf.

Here is a look at the latest satellite loop of Tropical Storm Hermine. Notice the continued firing of thunderstorms with this storm system, and the feeder bands.


The NHC has continued their gradual shift west in their track, something I was suspecting would happen for some time now. I suspect that the track will continue a gradual trend west over the next 12 hours or so. Here us a look at the current forecast track and cone from the National Hurricane Center.


MODEL TROUBLES: I’m not going to show the models plots for Hermine because I don’t feel the models are getting a good grasp on the storm as, for a good amount of time, it had trouble gauging Hermine because of its stationary position. Now that it is moving in a northerly heading, I still think the models are not fully grasping this system as it not where the models expected Hermine to be at this point. By tomorrow, I suspect the models will begin picking up the ball a bit better. A good example of why relying strictly on forecast models can do more harm than good.

LANDFALL: This is the million-dollar question. As noted, I suspect that Hermine will have more of a northerly heading before it makes a northeasterly turn. I could be wrong on this, but because the models are still getting a grip on this system, I feel that there is room for Hermine to continue north before heading northeast, more so than models are currently indicating. That said, I could see a landfalling system anywhere from Apalachicola to Pensacola (perhaps leaning more towards Apalachicola). Again, this could change, but based Hermine’s current environment and the environment it is expected to move into, I see this being a realistic possibility at this point.

INTENSITY: The consensus of intensity models keep Hermine anywhere from a moderate to a high-end tropical storm. I think this is a realistic possibility at this point. However, as I am not a fan discounting any possibility, a few members ramp up the intensity of Hermine to a low-end hurricane. This is likely attributed to the slow-moving nature of Hermine in warm waters, meaning it can pick up more strength the longer it is churning in these exceptionally warm waters. As I noted yesterday, a low-end hurricane is an outside chance, but a chance that cannot be tossed out.09L_intensity_latest

We do note that in the northeast part of the Gulf, a cold eddy has developed. A cold eddy is a cooler current of water moving in a counter direction to the main water circulation. This could inhibit the intensification of Hermine as it moves closer to Florida. Something to keep in mind.

IMPACTS TO THE NORTHEAST: Once Hermine makes landfall, there are two scenarios that we need to monitor closely… Hermine being kicked back out into the Atlantic or the prospect that the system recurves back into the Northeast. A third scenario would be that post-landfall, Hermine would hug the East Coast before exiting for the Atlantic. The prospect of Hermine recurving back into the Northeast is dependent on the interaction with it and a trough in the northeast, something to keep a close eye on.

PSA: If this does recurve into the Northeast, this WILL NOT be another Sandy, not even close. Sad that I even have to touch on this, but the social media world has gone wild with this idea in the past day. Sandy was a completely different storm in a completely different environment. It was a generational storm to say the least. If Hermine recurves back into the Northeast, it will be a much weaker storm that will deliver much-needed rainfall and some stronger, gusty winds.

Here are the GFS and European model solutions that curve Hermine back into the Northeast over the weekend.



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Tropical Depression 9: News, Notes and Concerns

Nearly two weeks later and Tropical Depression Nine (TD 9) continues to march onward, despite the plethora of rumors and forecast a week ago that called for its demise as it tracked north of Hispaniola and Cuba. As of this evening, TD 9 is continuing to show signs of convection with new thunderstorms firing on the western and northern peripheries of the storm. It is looking quite healthy, and the healthiest it’s looked, yet.

Here is a look at the latest IR satellite observation of TD 9…


TRACK: I continue to remain skeptical of the forecast track for TD 9. This storm system will be battling to very important elements as it makes its approach into the Gulf of Mexico: an upper low in the western Gulf and a ridge in place across the Southeast US. How both of these interact with TD 9 will determine the path and curve it takes. I still feel that the upper low will try to pull it farther west than what model guidance is indicating before it begins a northerly track and curves into the Gulf, but only time will tell.

Here is the latest forecast track as issued bu the National Hurricane Center…


Because of my reasons for my skepticism of this track I mentioned above, I could see the forecast track shifting west a bit, might not be a significant adjustment (not into the western Gulf), but I would not be surprised to see a slight nudge west of its current placement. The longer it moves NW and N as compared to a NE heading, the longer it will take to make landfall.

Looking at model plots for TD 9, you might notice that from previous model plots, there has been a bit of a westward trend with model guidance. A number of model plots bring TD 9 more north as compared to a northeasterly track, something I do not think we can just discount right now. This is something that we need to continue to watch over the coming days. For now, I would say if you were to draw a line from the Florida/Alabama (just east of Mobile Bay, AL) to near Tampa, Florida, this would be where I would place the potential landfall area for TD 9, meaning folks in these areas need to be on alert and stay up to date with the latest on this storm system. While this area might not be a widespread area, it’s tough to pinpoint a location and say “that’s where this will make landfall”. We’re not at that level in this science yet.


INTENSITY: Most model guidance brings the intensity of TD 9, at its peak, to a tropical storm. A few members bring it up to a low-end hurricane. Will this wind up becoming a tropical storm or hurricane? Honestly, I don’t think we can discount any of those as possibilities at this point.

Look at shear tendency across the Gulf of Mexico, and there is little to no shear for the next 12-24 hours across the Gulf. Also we note that an upper level high is situated right over the circulation of TD 9 which is a very favorable environment for strengthening across the upper levels.


Coupled with little to no shear is incredibly warm waters across the Gulf of Mexico, with temperature readings in the mid to upper 80s. As I’ve said many times, warm waters coupled with minimal shear (or no shear) act as jet fuel to intensify a weak storm, and I suspect this will be the case for TD 9 moving forward.

WEEKEND CONCERN: Will this system curve out to the Atlantic or will it recurve up and into the east coast by the weekend? Model solutions have been hinting at this idea for several runs now and it is deserves attention. This solution is dependent on whether or not wind coming off a developing low will be able to pull the system back into the Northeast. How strong or weak the system will be at that time is still uncertain or whether it even recurves. Something we need to keep an eye on as well…

A lot of things to continue to watch for and a lot of information to digest. For those folks within the projected path of TD 9, be vigilant and stay up to date with the latest.

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The Latest on Invest 99L; Do Not Let Your Guard Down, Yet.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen on social media from Facebook to Twitter that Invest 99L is done. For those unaware, Invest 99L is the tropical wave north of Hispaniola and Cuba at the moment. There is no doubt that this tropical wave is on life support, lacking any real organization, but showing signs of some life with sporadic bursts of convection. There have been several satellite observations illustrating that there is circulation within Invest 99L, but what is needed for that circulation to be closed off in order for this system to further develop. With an open circulation (center displaced from convection) as we’ve seen over the last several days, this allows for northerly winds and drier air to attack the system (shear) and prevent further development.

Here is the latest satellite image of Invest 99L…


THE LATEST: Invest 99L is a disorganized system at the moment, while showing signs of some life with period episodes of increased convection. Its true test will be how it interacts with Cuba over the next few days. Does it barrel into northern Cuba, killing the system off entirely, or does it skirt in a northwesterly heading, just missing Cuba and continue on a track toward far Southern Florida and through the Florida Keys and into the Gulf? The final destination and life expectancy of this system is really unknown to this point.

The NHC has increased the chances of Invest 99L forming into a tropical cyclone in the next 5 days up to 60%; a medium chance.


The latest model plots for Invest 99L…


Something to note with the new set of model plots coming in this morning… the 0z data had many more of the member tracks taking the system into Cuba. While a handful still do, many have backed off that idea… just something to keep in mind.

MY THOUGHTS: I’m going to stray away from popular thought, which is normally the case for me, and give you my speculation on the system. Understand though, this is just speculation, and not a forecast.

*I do think this system will pull through to survive. With the trough in the western Atlantic, I still suspect that the trough will act as a steering agent and will guide the system into a more northwesterly heading over the next 24-36 hours, bypassing Cuba.

*With the very warm waters across the Bahamas, this would really allow the system to gain strength and allow for the circulation to close off, protecting it from shear and dry air.

*As the system gets closer to the Bahamas, the amounts of wind shear drop off significantly, basically to nothing. Light winds aloft dominate around the Bahamas. Something to watch for.

DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN: If the system can in fact survive and track into the Gulf, then we have an entirely new situation that is concerning. I shared this model output on my Facebook account last night, illustrating the warm waters that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. With temperatures in the upper 80s to near 90s, this would act as jet fuel if the system can make it into the Gulf of Mexico for further intensification of this system. But for now, we have to wait and watch…

CALL TO ACTION: With all of this in mind, and yes… there is a lot of information here, be vigilant, be watchful and stay up to date with the latest information from a trusted weather source, and I cannot stress trustful enough. Folks from Southern Florida to the Western Gulf, keep up to date with the latest information. Yes, this is a large area to put under the “stay alert” mindset, but at right now with as many uncertainties behind this system as there are, it’s best to have you prepared, just in case that time comes.

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Soon To Be Tropical Storm Bonnie To Impact Holiday Weekend Across Southeast Coast

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, confidence in the development of a tropical storm of the Southeast US coast continues to grow. The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the entire coast of South Carolina in anticipation of a land-falling tropical cyclone around midday Sunday.


If this tropical depression does strengthen into a tropical storm, it would be named “Bonnie”, the second named storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The question then becomes, does it strengthen before reaching the South Carolina coastline? All model guidance points to, yes, to at least some degree.

Here is a look at model guidance for forecast intensity… while most keep this tropical depression at its current strength through the entirety of its life, several do strengthen this system into tropical storm strength, which I believe is very possible and a realistic solution given the warm waters off the Southeast US coastline that this system will be trekking through. There is also very weak wind shear in the primary area of development. Wind shear is the changing of wind speeds and wind direction through the atmosphere, an atmospheric dynamic that hinders tropical storm development as it would tear the storm apart. We note that very warm waters of the Southeast US coast acts as fuel to strengthen this system into a tropical storm as well as weak wind shear. Both of these factors combined translate well into Tropical Depression Two strengthening into Tropical Storm Bonnie over the next 12-24 hours.


A look at the spaghetti plot showing the latest model guidance tracks for this system. A pretty clear indication of where this system is headed… could change though over the next 12-24 hours, but these would likely just be slight adjustments in track.


A few of the threats we’re looking at with this system is strong winds, rough surf, the potential for some beach erosion, and plenty of rain moving through the next week. Here is a look at QPF totals (rainfall amounts) through next Friday… Much of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic will see a good amount of rain over the next 7 days.


While this tropical system will threaten outdoor holiday festivities, please don’t become alarmed by the hype of mainstream media. This is garden-variety tropical system, but at the same time, it must be respected. Take all necessary safety measures and precautions and you will be fine. More to come…


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The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season: How Will It Shape Up?

A week from today, commences the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In recent years, we’ve encountered historically low numbers in terms of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes across the Atlantic Basin and Gulf of Mexico as these regions have seen minimal tropical activity.  Early on, global model guidance has been hinting at the tale of a different story this year as they are suggesting an increase in tropical activity across these regions, with an increase in threat to US mainland impact as well. Guidance is pointing at numbers to be normal or even slightly above normal.

Seasonal forecasts are derived using an array of techniques, accounting for current weather patterns, ocean science, NWP (forecast modeling) and statistical analyses. This gives us a better understanding of how drivers, or weather patterns, can affect the development of tropical disturbances over a 6-month season. A lot must be taken into account as there are so many variables and factors that go into a 6-month period.

Since the start of 2016, one of the prime drivers behind global weather patterns had been an incredibly strong El Nino signal. This is marked by a warmer than average ocean temperatures across the equatorial Pacific. El Nino is called an “oscillation”, meaning this type of signal will dissipate and reemerge every few years, as it is cyclical in nature. As we journey into the early part of Summer, we are beginning to see the dissipation of the El Nino signal as water temperatures have begun to cool across the equatorial Pacific. This developing cold pool signals the commencement of a La Nina signal, the opposite phase of the cycle.

A La Nina signal, like an El Nino signal, has many effects on weather patterns across the globe, with pronounced effects across the Atlantic hurricane basin. The flow during a La Niña signal is supportive of weaker wind shear in the tropical Atlantic, due to weaker winds both aloft (higher in the atmosphere) and near the surface. This pattern encourages convergence, which produces rising air needed for tropical storm development. So in La Nina years we tend to see more active tropical seasons, as storms typically find a more favorable environment to develop and strengthen and become sustained. Over the last two years, dominated by a strong El Nino signal, we saw minimal activity across the Atlantic Basin and record activity across the Pacific Ocean, speaking truth to this pattern.

A second driver, and a major driver at that, are the ocean water temperatures across the North Atlantic. Like El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean water temperatures have cycles which affect global weather patterns. One long-term cycle is known as the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). This signal moves very slowly, but we have been in a warm phase of the AMO for the last several decades. This has helped drive an increase in overall hurricane activity in the Atlantic over this time span. However current water temperature patterns in the North Atlantic are trending in the opposite direction as they are cooler than average. Whether this is just a temporary blip or signals a larger flip in the AMO cycle is not entirely known, but regardless this cold water will have impacts on the upcoming hurricane season.


Though the North Atlantic may be colder than normal, there will still be abundant warm water in the tropics to fuel hurricanes this season. In particular the water in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and near the Atlantic Coast of the US are forecast to be warmer than normal. This would raise the concern that storms, as they approach land, would more easily maintain their intensity or even strengthen before landfall.

The presence of warmer than average ocean waters near the US coast, along with weak shear, are the two main drivers behind what is likely to shape up to be an above-normal hurricane season over the next 6 months. One of the hindering factors we must account for as well is the colder water in the North Atlantic which should could stunt storm development across this region.


The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season by the numbers…





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Major Flooding Situation To Unfold Across The Southern Plains

Flooding has been a dominant force in Mother Nature throughout the month of October and it can be a deadly force at that. Over the next 5-7 days, the southern Plains will be dealing with tremendous rainfall and the potential for major flooding. Flash Flood Watches are already in place across parts of eastern New Mexico, western and northern Texas and western Oklahoma, where more than half a foot of rain could fall over the next several days.



THE ATMOSPHERIC DRIVERS: What exactly will be causing all of this rainfall? Well, a number of things actually that will work in tandem. Looking at meteorology on its basic scale, a low pressure system will develop over northern New Mexico, and what this does is it will creating a resulting ridge upstream of Texas and the central Plains. This will allow for substantial amount of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to be pumped into the southern and central Plains over the next several days.

Later in the week, remnant moisture from Tropical Storm Patricia will add to the moisture pump and likely deliver  additional rainfall amounts through late week across these same areas. Here is a look at the track of Patricia…



The guys at the Weather Prediction Center have actually revised their rainfall amounts through this time frame as model output has been quite vigorous with their solutions. Here is a look at rainfall totals through the next week…



FLOODING A MAJOR CONCERN: Rainfall amounts is just one side of the coin, as the bigger threat comes from all the flooding that will result from the rainfall. One thing we must note is the alarming drought that has been ongoing across the areas that will be impacted by this tremendous rainfall. The ground is essentially baked like clay with really no permeable areas for rainfall. This could lead to major problems as the rainfall will have no place to permeate, which will lead to major flooding.

NOTE: The oranges, reds and maroons indicate severe, extreme and exceptional drought areas


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Hurricane Joaquin: Where Could It Go and the Major Flood Threat It Brings

Hurricane Joaquin is stationed near the Bahamas as a major hurricane with 130 mph winds. It should begin its northern ascent by tomorrow. Not a good situation for the folks in the Bahamas as Joaquin continues to batter the islands with hurricane force winds and major flooding.



Latest satellite view of Joaquin… notice the pinhole eye near the center and surging convection.



WHERE IS JOAQUIN HEADED: This becomes the million dollar question. And the honest answer is “we still don’t know” yet. And it’s not because we’re dumb or stupid, which I’m certain many folks have alluded to. The reason we can’t say where Joaquin is headed to with complete certainty is because of its neighbors. Lets take a quick look at a graphic that will hopefully explain all of this better…

New Skitch


Shown in the graphic above are all of Joaquin’s neighbors, essentially all of the atmospheric players that are on the table that Joaquin is working with. Based what we are seeing along, this is reason to believe that an out to sea hurricane seems more probable than a US landfalling hurricane at this point in time, but things can and likely will change. Now before you call your spouse, kids, relatives and friends and say “John said we have nothing to worry about”… that’d be farthest from the truth, so please do not take anything out of context.

SCENARIO ONE – JOAQUIN OUT TO SEA: The reason why we might be looking at a hurricane going out to sea as more probable than an east coast landfalling system, for right now, is quite complicated. The system steering Joaquin on the right is what may keep Joaquin out to sea. The upper level low in the top left would be what steers Joaquin into making a US landfall along the east coast. It’s essentially a battle against time. If the system steering Joaquin from the east continues to push the storm southwest longer and longer, it will miss latching on the trough represented by the upper low on the left and the trough will not steer it into the east coast, rather it will basically kick out to sea.

SCENARIO TWO – JOAQUIN MAKES U.S. LANDFALL: Taking a look at the system steering Joaquin on the right, if that system were not there, we’d have a forecast nearly set in stone with Joaquin a sure-fire bet to make landfall along the US east coast, but we do have this system there so it must be accounted for. This scenario of an east coast landfall is still a possibility so it cannot be ruled out. We just need to see where Joaquin is tomorrow and how it decided to interact with the upper low and trough to its northwest.

THREATS: Regardless of whether Joaquin turns back out to sea or makes US landfall, one threat is very prominent, very real and very dangerous and that is the threat for major flooding across the east coast, especially across the Carolinas and into the Mid-Atlantic. Keep in mind, that the pockets of heaviest rains will be determined by the track Joaquin will eventually take through the weekend.

Here are projected rainfall amounts through next Thursday from the guys at the Weather Prediction Center…



BOTTOMLINE: Major flooding will be a huge threat, regardless of Joaquin making landfall or staying off shore. Have a safety plan in place and ready to go. Do not wait until the last few hours before making a plan for the safety of you and your family. As I always say, it is better to be safe than sorry.