25 June 2010

Trouble Brewing In The Western Caribbean?

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Hurricane Darby in the Pacific (120 mph sustained winds) and a tropical wave south of cuba that may be developing. NOAA GOES image.

It seems we may have our first Atlantic Basin tropical system forming this evening. I’ve been here in Miami all week at the annual AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology. This is the 38th Broadcast Conference and one of the best I’ve attended.

The Director of the National Hurricane Center and many of their forecasters put on an excellent seminar Wednesday on tropical meteorology.  Director Bill Read also spoke at our luncheon today.

View from my room of Miami Beach.

The NOAA forecasters and broadcast meteorologists like myself know how important our jobs are in hurricane season. It really is helpful to both groups to understand the problems we each face. Many are very similar and some are rather different.

Tonight, we’re all interested in a system that seems to be organizing in the Western Caribbean. An Air Force Reserve plane is currently investigating to see if a tropical depression has formed.

With a La Nina brewing and record warm waters in the oceans, a late June storm would not be surprising. We get one about 50% of the time. Most of the hurricanes form after August 1st each year.

It’s too early to say much about this system but if it forms it might enter the western Gulf in a few days. Swell from a storm would likely have a big impact on the work around the oil spill, so this could be of extreme importance.

I met the Director of the NHC for the first time today. Say what you will about government, but they got the right man for that job. The forecasters and researchers who work under him are top notch as well, and all of the broadcasters were VERY appreciative of the tremendous seminar and presentations the hurricane specialists put together.

Without doubt we all have one thing in common. We are all very passionate about giving the best information possible to the public.

I’ll post an update if the plane finds a closed circulation.

Update 7:22 PM EDT Fri 25 June:

The recon plane has found a closed circulation and the NHC has begun advisories on TD One. The latest probabilities on tropical storm force winds are below:

From NOAA/TPC/NHC Forecast from Friday evening. Do not use after tonight.

More soon.