Oct 9, 2011

DAY 130

With Tropical Storm Philippe passing on as a post-tropical cyclone, we can now draw our attention to the Caribbean for the next 3 or 4 weeks. There is a developing situation near the Florida peninsula right now. Wind and rain persisted throughout the day today, as a cyclone tries to develop in the area. I snapped off a little video on my I-Phone as we were visiting family in New Smyrna Beach.

There are 3 features affecting the weather here. There is a surface trough left over from an old front that  extends from Hispaniola all the way through the Bahamas. This is the feature that we will be watching for development of a closed surface low. That boundary is providing surface convergence all over that area. 

There is also an upper level low spinning in the Gulf near Florida's west coast. This feature is providing divergence aloft, which is helping to lift storms and lower surface pressure in the area. The main flow pattern in the area is east to west from the bottom of a high pressure system in the northeast US. All these ingredients are coming together to try to close off a surface low.

The National Hurricane Center has not deemed this spot an area of Invest yet, but they did mention it in their Tropical Weather Outlook tonight. They are giving this system a 30% chance of developing into a tropical or sub-tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. A closed low could develop anywhere around this very broad disturbance, but the only interesting spot right now is near the Keys. Radar in south Florida shows storm motion to the north between the Keys and the Bahamas. And storm motion to the west over the southern tip of Florida. And even a little motion to the south out west of Naples. Computer models do support this location as a point of origin. The CMC and the GFS both initiate a low near this area that moves to the northwest into the Gulf of Mexico. Neither of those models go as far to develop this into named storm, although that is still possible. We've seen disturbances go from nothing to something very quickly in this area before. Claudette in 2009 comes to mind right off the bat. Either way, Florida is looking at a couple more days of wind and rain.

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