Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

1st Potential Tropical Cyclone TWO Forms in the Atlantic From 92L. 93L Struggling to Find It's Core.. Watches, Warnings and Thoughts on Early Tropical Warnings. Example Labor Day 1935 Hurricane!

Today is a historic day in tropical meteorology as the first ever "potential tropical cyclone formation alert" has been issued complete with watches and warnings for a storm that has not formed yet. Mind you we have been tracking Invest 92L since it first rolled off of Africa filled with potential and signs of good spin. Eventually it became an early June Invest and soon it should become a Tropical Storm most likely named Bret. Unless 93L does something dramatic over night Potential Tropical Cyclone 2 most likely will get the name Bret. The reason for this new move on the part of the NHC is to be able to give better lead time in warnings for cyclones forecast to develop and affect an area that currently can be given a heads up so they can properly prepare. Understand no one is expecting this storm to become Cleo or Camille, but despite it's small size and low latitude it comes under the designation of Tropical Cyclone when the winds close off and the wind speed is at the appropriate level. Not to make a joke, but to be totally honest, size does not matter when forecasting tropical cyclones. It is what it is and it now it has a historic asterisk attached to it no matter where it goes and how long it lives. All firsts are memorable they say..

Note there are a multitude of products shown above.
Below is one of the nicer new features.

Note those are the earliest possible times of arrival.

ft_lalo-animated.gif (720×480)

It may not look like much... 
...don't let size confuse you.
It has spin.
It has some convection.
Most important... model support.
Compact small storm.
Consistent rotation.
Keep watching.

Clearly recognizable with a red dot in the center.

And note Grenada is the city to watch above.
In truth I'd say Trinidad and Tobago.
But lots of islands in the path.
Map from

Watches and warnings have been posted.

Great interactive map above... 

So check it out at the link below.
Good move by the NHC.
Shows high confidence in their models.
Note models consistently stuck with 92L...

Why you ask 92L vs 93L

latest_wv_loop.gif (535×440)

Being small 92L aka Potential Tropical Cyclone 2 is barely visible on the loop above. 93L looks big, bright, beautiful and then........whoops it collapses again. This has been an ongoing problem in the Caribbean as the X the NHC posts is to the west of the ongoing flare ups of convection. It's easy to say shear is pushing the convection away but that's really not the whole story. There are possibly two centers competing or it's just basically a large, oozy, mess of low pressure and convection with potential down the tropical road.

This colorful, convective ballet is seen above.
More like hide and seek than pin the tail on the tropical cyclone.
Recon was cancelled. Rescheduled for tomorrow . . . 
And 92L gliding along at 7.5 N steals the historic show.

The link above shows the discussion link for PTC2 (as I will call it for now) and at this time forecasts it to be a Tropical Storm with 50 MPH down the road. It will move between West and WNW and affect the islands as indicated in the graphic package shown above. Needs to gain latitude and pull a bit to the North of 7.5 N but let's give it some time to do it's thing. It's not even at 55 West yet when recon usually goes in to take a look for themselves.

As for 93L it's a matter of watch and wait. The image from HurricaneCity shows both models on the map on their main page. There are also links there you can use to show actual ocean and atmospheric data on that map. 

Again note how the X on the NHC main page is not under the convective cluster to the East of the X marks the spot. Until the convection aligns with the X or the X is moved under the convection and it is able to consistently maintain itself it's chances will be lowered down some or hold at 70% even though earlier today they were at 90%. As always weather is fluid and conditions do not always pan out as forecast or expected. Sorry Charlie or maybe Cindy down the road.

Why is the NHC making this change? Let's give a good example. Take a place like Key West which is halfway between Florida and Cuba and only has one road in and one road out. If the forecasters at the NHC see a developing tropical wave moving WNW towards the Florida Keys and they believe it will go through rapid development but that rapid development is a good 24 hours away however the storm is only 2 days away from a possible landfall. Old rules would have held a watch or warning until a system has formed and it takes a few days to evacuate Key West properly. This may seem an unlikely system but if you consider the 1935 Labor Day Storm that went from Tropical Storm status to Category 5 status in a short period of time and you had that storm occur today.... the NHC would be able to issue a Potential Tropical Storm Alert with a complete package containing advisories. 

There were no models nor were there satellite loops in 1935. The infamous Labor Day Hurricane was not even noticed as anything beyond a bit of stormy weather out near the Bahamas. Then BOOM fast it intensified close to land. Look at the point in the above map where it became a strong Hurricane as it moved towards the Florida Keys. It's one example, there are many. And in the landlocked Gulf of Mexico where a storm often forms close to land it forms too close to adequately evacuate barrier island beaches as the storm forms within the evacuation window. Now days the NHC could issue a Potential Tropical Cyclone Alert with watches and warnings helping to alert and save lives in low lying areas. 

So it's an excellent idea in theory and only after this season will we see how it really works and how it may need to be tweaked. There is the possibility that storms do not form and people begin to ignore the product yet I prefer to err on the side of giving early warning to save lives vs worrying on what might happen if a storm does not form. The models these days have been very consistent in early detection of tropical entities. Over two weeks ago the models began to sniff out low pressures in the GOM and they were on the money. The original discussion called for a storm on Monday or Tuesday and we are still within that time frame. We are getting better and better, however it's not a perfect science. 

We are still watching the models and the models are coming together today on a target in the Northern GOM. That could change tomorrow, but this may develop and hang around the GOM trapped under High Pressure looking for a place to make landfall. Large systems take longer to come together and until recently this has been a huge Low Pressure Trough so give it some time and relax. The NHC is on top of things. And right now that "thing" is the once strong wave riding low across the Atlantic on it's way towards islands already warned of it's arrival before it's birth. This is akin to naming a baby after knowing the sex early on in a pregnancy. I have a friend who announced her daughter was giving birth to Grace a few years back early on in the pregnancy. Years ago people waited until the baby was born to find out what the sex was going to be. Now days people put up online announcements complete with sonograms announcing the name along with the sex along with the estimated arrival time. Welcome to 2017, it's an wonderful world!

I'll be back tomorrow with more information. If for any reason either area is upgraded I will update the blog at the top. Til then, enjoy what's left of Father's Day and check back often. Follow me on Twitter for faster news and sharing forecasting ideas from other smart, meteorological minds ;)

Besos BobbiStorm
@BobbiStorm on Facebook

Ps Bottom right on Spaghetti Models there is a scroll of Tweets that are often (but not always) relevant to the weather and usually tropical weather. 

This is my local beach in NC as it's the one closest to where I live part of the year. We go to other beaches but it's beautiful and breezy and the water is too cold for me to swim in but I'm more a picture taker and a walker than a swimmer. I can swim in a pool, I love to stare at the beach.

N view from the pier.
Go Pack.. NC State ;)

Looking towards the pier below.

And strolling along on the beach.
Happy people. Good times.

Living at the beach.... learn to enjoy the good times.
Hurricanes Happen...

Hurricane Irene at Wrightsville Beach...
...enjoy those quiet days when you can.
And then go watch the waves before a Hurricane.

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